Van life, brahh

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  • It happened. I got my van today.

    Short version, I bought a trials bike last year, decided I wanted to pursue that. Of course, that meant I needed a car license and needed a van. Took until a couple months ago to get the license, long delays for tests. Took until today to get the van, long delays by the friend I was buying from. His house move was delayed from December til this past week.

    Regular low roof short wheelbase 2013 Transit. Long enough to lay down in the back of.

    What’s the plan?

    Folding Murphy bed on one side for overnighting, and trials bike on the other side. Soothed to sleep by the smell of 2-stroke.

    Remove solid bulkhead, place cage instead.

    Replace passenger double bench seat for single seat.

    That’s about it, apart from maybe parking sensors or dashcam or whatever.

    I have been complaining about the little Golf 1.2… and now I take it all back. This thing is an experience.


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  • Looks awesome. Always fancied a van. Closest I’ve been to van ownership was driving the van when we moved house.

    Will you need some sort of tool station?

  • Flames or racing stripes?

  • Nice! A transit will last forever if you look after it properly, my first one did over 300k miles before it became uneconomical to repair. What's the reasoning behind removing the bulkhead? I'd probably feel more comfortable knowing that there was something super solid between me and the motorbike in the back of the van in the event of an accident.

  • @Light_EDDed gonna be barebones inside. Might build a unit behind driver seat.

    @Scilly.Suffolk hentai print, flames a close second

    @ltc steel cage for that, and bike behind passenger. I want to climb in and out the front while overnighting, and allow me to crack a window for ventilation. Plus, natural light etc.

  • hentai print

    Needs matching anodised sick rims.

  • So, loading ramps are now inside. First junk now in the trunk.

    This is the Ford steel cage for the driver side. I will fit it some time soon once I have other stuff worth doing. Maybe wait til I have a single seat for the passenger side. That way it makes sense to do lots of disassembly at once.


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  • Pretty cool the bulkhead is just a bolt on affair, I’d always assumed that would be a bigger job to replace. Personally I’d leave the original in place to stop people peeping in to see what’s in there but if you’ve got secure parking I guess not an issue.
    Our campervan is walk-thru and it’s pretty invaluable being able to get in and out the front during the night.

    Good luck and have fun. I happen to think transits are the best driving position and probably most cushy/fun to drive vehicles I’ve ever experienced. The one at my last job went like a rocket ship with a loaded plant trailer on the back.
    Oh and you’ll never have problems finding spares for them which is nice. Local Ford van centre used to claim they could build them from scratch off the shelf more or less.

  • I stalled it so often in the space of two miles, thinking that the clutch was faulty. Mat had slipped forward and was catching.

    It’s got some bite.

  • Which engine?

  • 2.2 fwd, as far as I’m aware!

    Bulkhead out, one panel removed and wiped down behind.


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  • Aaaaand cage goes up!


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  • Nice, congrats! My first van was a SWB Transit too and loved it. I had only driven my Fiesta before that but soon got used to its bigger size. Upsized to a LT35 conversion 2 years later but the price of VW parts were eye watering compared to the Transit!

  • 2.2 fwd, as far as I’m aware!

    In that case, when was the fuel filter last changed. They don't seem to like many after market fuel filters. So try and stick to either Ford or Bosch (EU made) fuel filters. Careful where you fill up and when diesel pump tanks contain water and crud that gets higher and higher in the tank. Try and add 100ml of mineral two stroke oil to 60l of fuel. Helps lubricate the fuel pump, and clean the fuel system.

  • fuel pump

    I'll check with the PO next time I see him. I have a loooooot of paperwork, but haven't sifted through all the stuff that's been sorted. He told me a couple times, and I forgot immediately afterward each time. It was bought 5 years ago and he put some fair miles on it, so lots of work was carried out to keep it going strong as a work van.

    2T oil

    Oh really?? Never knew this...

  • @Yukirin thanks.

    Because it was so long coming, it feels strange and a little anticlimactic. I sat in the cab for 20 mins after the PO left just thinking "what did I do, and how do I drive this thing?" I was also waiting for some people to leave so I could stall the van in peace.

    Doesn't help that where I might do 50-300 miles a week on a motorcycle, the two months since passing the license I do maybe one short journey each week in a car. Sunday was the longest I'd driven a car so far; one round trip to collect loading ramps (40 miles), and a couple hours later a second for the bulkhead (70-odd).

    Hoping I don't have any hefty repair/servicing costs for at least a few weeks!

  • I drove mine everywhere to start with plus I was taking bands gear out to gigs too, but my salary to fuel-price ratio was significantly better in 2003 than it is now. I had a puddle of brake fluid in the 2nd month - caliper from the breakers was £30 something inc delivery and a mate helped me fit it. Otherwise only had basic consumables go on it and a rusty drivers side wheel arch that seemed to need constant rust attention - probably my bad bodywork skills tbf.

  • and a rusty drivers side wheel arch

    What, you mean where mine has tape on even in the cab? Ha…

  • Now, that was a satisfying test drive.


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  • Exciting times ahead! I'd love to do a basic van conversion at some stage for surf trips (I've got one eye on the high roof, LWB Sprinter we have in work when it comes time to retire it...) My sister also has a 1984 Mercedes, a TN series I believe, she's converting at the moment! A well sorted van is a pretty excellent accessory to a lot of hobbies!

  • Yea this was the only van I could afford and it was also golden scenario - long enough for any motorbike but not too long as a ‘first van’. I paid trade-in cost for this low swb, which was a steal. Trade-in value was going up by the week too.

    MWB high roof is megabucks because of van life hipsters, I bet a LWB Sprinter could be fully off-grid liveable.

  • Yeah the big Sprinter is super roomy and we took our time to find one with automatic transmission and air conditioning so it's a pretty nice space to be in although it's really started to succumb to the dreaded rustworm in the last year or so, it's only 2014 but I reckon we're going to have to give it a fairly extensive partial respray to keep it from falling apart in the next few years!

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Van life, brahh

Posted by Avatar for pdlouche @pdlouche

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