Building a Transmogrifier

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by dirtydeeds, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Can
    Bikes are my hobby. Mostly dirt bikes. To get the show on the road at one time was easy. I hung the bike off the back of the jeep, loaded the gear, tools, bacon, beer and then took off. Life has changed. I found a fabulous girl and we're hoping to need a baby seat in the next year or so. :eek1

    I've been considering trucks - from Rangers, Sprinters to Ram 3500 type trucks, gas, diesel, 2 vs 4wd, motorhomes, trailers, campers... it all entered the thought process. I had a hard time justifying price, the trucks capabilities, limitations and the price. Did I mention price? I'd rather buy 6 more bikes than drop 10's of thousands on a truck. I wanted something that could haul the bikes, tools, gas, a few people, get reasonable mileage and use for camping. It will need to be used for moving as well.

    I've been looking through several forums, learning from what coworkers and friends have done and have come to the conclusion that I don't want any part of it. I have other priorities than an expensive truck and wicked toy hauler. They're sweet but I'm WAY too cheap and they won't work for me. And I won't fool myself into 'investing' money in a camping set up.

    Truck/Camper/trailer - too complicated, takes up too much space and I can't bring it to work.
    Motorhome/utility trailer - same. Can't bring it to work.
    Truck/travel trailer - again, can't bring it to work and I don't want to leave bikes exposed for long periods of time in the parking lot. Things go missing that way.
    Sprinter- Pretty damn sweet. Really pricey. Where do you get parts? Service? Still probably the best option at this point.

    I figured a van would be a good option but they're pretty small for carrying multiple bikes, gear, tools and people all at once. So, a bigger van? YES.

    I ended up getting an older Medium Duty Truck with a box on it - 16'Lx8'Wx7'H. It's a Hino cab over FB1715 with a 5spd and 3.8 turbo diesel. I named it. :D


    So without further ado, a pic of the new to me Transmogrifier!


    [​IMG]

    I've only had time to do a bit to it. First, clean it. Cab and box. Cab still needs some cleaning but all the Tim Horton cups are now out.

    Room for 3!


    [​IMG]


    When I was last down in the 'States, I found a few bike chocks at Harbor Freight. They're in now. I installed them against the walls at opposite sides. I figure this has saved me about 2 feet of space versus mounting them front to back. Here's a few pics to give an idea of the space I'm working with.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Chock with a 21" wheel:

    [​IMG]

    The lay out of the chocks mimicks a trailer that I have. Except the one obvious change.

    [​IMG]


    The box has E-Track running down the length of it. While wandering the aisles of Princess Auto, I found these little rings that clip into the side. The plastic bag said they're good for 6000lbs. Even if that's a lie, I'm sure I can tie bikes to them without worry.

    [​IMG]

    I also found these attachments. Not sure what I'll use them for but I'm sure they'll come in handy at some point. It appears that a 2x4 will fit in them:

    [​IMG]

    The next phase will be to insulate and fix the walls a bit. Some pallets have taken their toll on the sides, near the bottom.

    [​IMG]


    I'd like to wire it for 110VAC with a couple lights on 12V. I'm going with the idea that I'll have a generator with me.

    Things that may/will be going in is: a bunk, storage shelves, mini fridge, wood stove (winter) and plumbing of an unknown scope. I'd like to put some racks under the box as well, to carry gas cans. A power tail gate will be going on, too.
    As you can see, I have room under the box for Gerry cans. All I need is some 2" angle iron and I can build some racks. I may be getting some for free. :1drink
    I can fit 3 cans on each side.

    [​IMG]

    (Break, left To AZ for a couple weeks)

    I was out of the country for a bit. Went south to Phoenix. Did a little ride on my SMT. Lots of giggles.
    Im home again, unemployed for a few more days and finally have a chance to work on the Transmogrifier.

    I priced out some cabinets, drawers, countertop etc. Bought a sink at the ReStore, too. It is a SS double, common in kitchens everywhere. got it for $10!
    I had a nice little set up in mind. I was not convinced that particle board pieces would hold up to being smashed around in the back of a MDT. (You think your 1t is rough?). By luck, Home Depot was selling tool boxes for a good price. I figured I could get 3 of the damn things for 1/2 the price of kitchen cabinets, they'd be stronger, hold more weight and allow a small amount of flex. There is plenty of room in them for not just tools, but i can segregate cooking stuff, food or whatever. At the same time, I can recover the tool boxes if I decide to sell the truck. The lower price was nice - I'm saving up for a few more trips. Europe, Australia. Hopefully both this summer. I may also need to buy another house, in the big city! :eek1

    I picked up some panel insulation, started tearing down the plywood on the walls and ramming the insulation in.


    [​IMG]



    I finished about 2/3 of the walls and about 1/2 the roof today.

    [​IMG]

    I picked up some 6mm vinyl floor tiles as well. They're heavier than I wanted but should work well. They're thick, strong, waterproof, aren't effected by temp change too much and have a 15 year commercial use warranty. Easy to clean, too. The guys at Totem/Rona gave me a little discount, too. They're a discontinued style. I'll start dropping them in this weekend. That means unbolting the wheel chocks. :baldy


    Im still short of a plan to hook up the sink, and a place to put it. Haven't decided how to get water to/from it yet either.
    Ive been thinking of building a header out of 4" ABS. I could strap it to the roof. It would heat up in the sun enough to run an outside shower for a short time. A length of it holds 7.5 usg. I could easily get 3 lengths run up there. It's not a good plan for cold temps though. A small hot water tank is looking like a good option.


    The insulation was finished before noon!
    Had some rice and beans and started on the floor. Notice the sweet storage cabinets?

    [​IMG]

    I could have finished but that would have meant no riding today. That was not an option.

    Loaded up the 350X and headed to the Blindman River. Had a good 2.5 hrs out on the ice, got soaked and came back. :ricky. (WTF! no 3 wheeler smiley?)

    Loaded, with the Transmogrifier in the background:
    On a side note, the Magnum hit 350k on Friday!


    [​IMG]


    I found a pack of Guinness on the way home, too. :freaky

    Saturday is gone. Sunday now. Today I'll try to finish the floor and get to the Sportsman show.


    :freaky
    #1
  2. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16,861
    I know you don't want to dump a ton of money into it, but I'd fix the rust at the base of the windshield before the wipers fall off or the windshield falls out. Just pulling the trim, removing the flaky bits, and hitting it with POR15 would be an improvement--it'd at least slow it down.
    #2
  3. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,969
    Location:
    Durango CO
    I generally just build my transmographiers out of cardboard boxes. Makes them easier to replace when my tiger chews on them.
    #3
  4. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Can
    Yup. That's in the plans too. It's been snowing lately and sometimes melting. I'll be waiting until its dry before I tackle that situation. There's a couple places on the cab that need attention.
    #4
  5. Fishenough

    Fishenough Team Lurker

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    North of 56
    Yep, you do have a lot of room there; wood stove - nice!

    You also have plenty of storage along side the box on the lower side, if you happen to find the right containers, along with your angle iron, you'd be set.

    :freaky
    #5
  6. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,407
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID
    Yeah, and its cheaper if you reuse the box you made the duplicator out of...
    #6
  7. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Can
    My Duplicator says "Lincoln" on the side of it and its not big enough to put bikes in. It also has a NASCAR sticker on it, so I think it only does left turns. It won't work as a Transmogrifier.
    #7
  8. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,407
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID
    Sure it will, you just have to flip it over. :deal

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,182
    Location:
    WA Palouse area
    I am in almost the same vehicle boat as you and have considered almost all the same options.

    I haven't pulled the trigger on anything yet so will be watching this tread with great interest to see how things turn out.
    #9
  10. Half Fast

    Half Fast Gnarly lurker

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    293
    Location:
    PA
    [​IMG]



    Doesn't look very metric to me. What the hell is going on up there in Canookistan?!
    #10
  11. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Can
    Some of us are bilingual.
    #11
  12. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,407
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID
    P.S... the mention of Princess Auto and Totem make me very homesick. :cry
    #12
  13. pvangel

    pvangel Team AARP

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,652
    Location:
    South Salem, NY
    Very cool, subscribed...
    #13
  14. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Can

    :thumb

    I think I found a 100g aluminum saddle tank from a big truck. Possibly a water tank too. It's actually an unused chem tank from an injection pump. I'll know more about these when the snow melts.

    The weather turned ugly today. Didn't accomplish anything tangible on the truck. I did see a nice kayak at the boat show though!



    There are 2 things in Idaho that interest me at the moment.
    1.) A Timbersled snowbike kit
    2.) Some sand dunes.
    #14
  15. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Can
    I finished the tiles today. I still need to put some trim on the edge to finish it off.

    [​IMG]

    I also found a table and some little LED lights at Newfy Speed and Sport.
    They're not bright enough to fully light the place, but they'll work as night lights. They're magnetic. I have large flat screws every 12" holding the plywood on so I can toss them almost anywhere.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The table is 60'' x 30". It was on sale for 35 bones. I like that I can take it outside when its nice, small enough to use inside and folds up.

    [​IMG]

    Folded up, I got a nice spot for it, today. it'll be stowed against the wall so I can strap it in when under way.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. manic mechanic

    manic mechanic Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    163
    Location:
    up nort' somewheres
    When the shop I work at bought a new box van to haul their 26ft trailer to races, I was tasked with insulating and wiring the box, and also dividing it into a sleeping section and work space. Used Styrofoam in the walls and overhead after installing the wiring and receptacles. Installed a 220V covered outlet to provide separate circuits for lights and convenience outlets. The box has a roof-mounted heater/AC unit. Both the truck box and trailer are supplied by one generator. The "living" space has fold-up bunks that double as seating, along with a TV, microwave, and VCR.

    Prior to doing all of this the owner had a side door and folding steps mounted on the right side of the box, into the living area. There is also a pocket door between the two areas of the box.
    #16
  17. KLR04

    KLR04 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    184
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I've rented such trucks in the past and was wondering if there was a way to smooth out the suspension, the ones I drove had rock solid suspension, I really took a beating with the box empty. How's fuel consumption? I was also wondering if it was possible to remove the spacers between the frame and the box, no need for loading dock height, easier access, smaller frontal area?
    #17
  18. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Can
    I haven't driven it enough to know how much fuel it goes through. I was told they get around 17mpg when empty.

    I imagine it could be smoothed out a bit with air suspension. That's not going to happen on this truck though.

    I was under the truck today looking at the steel holding the box up. There's a lot of weld on there. I certainly don't need it as high as it is. I might get to it eventually. Not a priority yet.
    #18
  19. KFhunter

    KFhunter Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    N/E WA
    I wouldn't mind a quad cab 4x4 diesel :evil

    pretty rare though
    #19
  20. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Can
    I'm also keeping my eyes open for tire chains. They're required in winter, by law or common sense, on some roads in AB and BC.
    #20