Meet Yellow Bird - Transit Moto build

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by klp, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. klp

    klp Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    520
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    Andover, Ma
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    After two years of dreaming and scheming and a solid six months of Van research at long last I've got a van at home! I could not be happier. Just returned to Boston, left friday am with my co driver, 750 miles to Michigan in my '12 Mustang trade, picked up the van on saturday, drove to Battle Creek MI to get some Sienna seats. Set out home saturday, spent the night in Toledo and arrived in VT last night. Yikes!

    Those pics are crappy dealer screen caps, here is my first pic.
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    Yellow anyone? The color is School Bus Yellow, in person it's got a lot of orange. I did not want to look like a plumber with a white van. Mission accomplished!:clap

    This van was damaged in transit, went back to Ford for repair then resold as used to the dealer. I got it for a steal with 700 miles, 2015 T250 carg0 148" wheelbase.

    Almost came home with this instead. Not. Nice car though. It's a new GT500, costs 60 grand, sporting a flat crank V8 with 520hp. Redline is 8400, that can't suck.
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    Here is the seats - all out of Sienna minivan, I got three lounger style with footrests and two normal recliner. These are really nice seats, well made and sturdy. All have integrated seat belts which is a win.
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    Toledo, I90E at 7am. Nuff said.
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    One of the things I like most about the truck so far is the view out. It is incredible - huge side glass and windshield. Coming from a Mustang the road presence of a huge yellow van is awesome too. The rig is very impressive to drive - it feels like a big car, decent steering, great brakes and the ride is not awful. It is even not too loud considering it's an empty cargo. Visibility is outstanding.

    This truck has the base 3.7 v6 which ironically for me is also offered in the Mustangs. Tuned for torque here it rates at 260hp, 275tq I think. It is no hot rod but combined with the 6 speed auto it does fine. At 60mph I could get 20mpg, 65-70 nets 18 ish. The tank holds 25 gallons for 400 + miles easy.

    My friend and I got through the days like this.
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    Here is another shot of the seats, I don't have a good shot of the footrests but they are really comfy.
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    I am not sure yet how to configure them - I have a lot of planning and work to do!

    Here is the rough plan right now.
    Sound deaden and light insulation. I don't need winter warm but even now it's chilly while driving. My brother is donating oak flooring so that goes over the deadener. I will mount at least two seats - I have the tracks too so that gives 39" of sliding room.

    It has not factory hitch so I need a receiver, I want to put a cargo holder or bike mount in there. I need some kind of driving lights, I like the PIAA led light bars but the one I want is $600. That can wait lol.

    I also need a bed in there, no design nailed down yet. It needs to come in and out easily. I need bike holders for one or two bikes inside, not sure yet what that will look like. It will be used mostly to transport this and my buddies KTM690.
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    I also need to get mini bikes inside to ride with my son who is 6. Right now he has an Oset but a gas bike is likely in his future. Most of my other bikes you can actually ride them to where you want them lol.

    The inside finish if I can do it will be almost just like LurkerLous build. Simple panels and a basic headliner with attachment points all over. I also need a bulkhead to keep the AC and heat in. Mine may be as simple as an insulated curtain as I don't want it there all the time.

    I am sure I am forgetting a bunch but I need some sleep! This is going to take a while but I hope for this spring to have the floor in and seats mounted.
    #1
    Ricardo Kuhn likes this.
  2. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Well done.. keep us posted.
    #2
  3. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    Nice. The first transit (medium roof, EcoBoost, trailer tow, navigation, wide power mirrors) we ordered was also damaged in shipment and the order cancelled. We found the van for sale later FS at a dealer in OK.

    Our van has 5K miles. I like the standing 6' headroom but it moves a lot of air. We bought yard ends of sound deadener from Soundown in Marblehead. Drives great for what it is.
    #3
  4. BlueHeart

    BlueHeart Long timer

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    Nice! Although I would have liked the GT350 better. :D
    #4
  5. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    Right thanks, it is a 350 not 500. Road drunk!

    I dunno your city but the car was in Southfield, MI - can't be too far!!:D

    The dealership was great too - something you don't find too often where I live.
    #5
    BlueHeart likes this.
  6. BlueHeart

    BlueHeart Long timer

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    Yeah, not far at all. Like 3.95 hours south of me. Lol. I used to work in Southfield, right on Telegraph.
    #6
  7. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    Last week I spent some time redoing the garage so the van would fit.

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    All of the above was in the photo below against the far wall. The van is too long to fit with the bench and cabinets down there. So now when you open the roller door you see the bike area off to the right.

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    Here is a glory shot of two of the three chairs cleaned up - I have been keeping busy with these and getting the tracks cleaned up.
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    Here they are just about done. I will still need to modify them to fit in the Transit.

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    Here is some of the stuff that came out of them. Most were pretty clean, some looked like they lived in a minivan.

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    And this is what makes it all worthwhile - my little girl fell asleep in one the other day and they are not even in the truck yet! They are super comfortable.

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    I plan to get some MLV this week and strip out the front in order to install it. Once in I can figure where the tracks need to be.
    #7
  8. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    No progress on the van but I did hang some cabinets to make room for the van inside.

    These are 6'3" clearance underneath, I wanted to be able to walk around the whole bike and lift. I will use a step stool to access them.

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    At this point until I sell off some bikes they will have to be outside if the van is inside - not ideal but OK for now.

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    It has been super cold here, until that breaks there is not a lot I can do on the van. I hope to buy the deadener on thursday from Soundown - thanks Garandman!

    Once I have that I want to gut the front and install the deadener throughout. That will have to be done inside - hopefully this weekend. After that is track and seat install.
    #8
  9. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    A little progress is better than none. I began prepping the tracks.

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    There is a bracket on each end of this track - the clips you can see will stay. Tomorrow I plan to remove the locating studs and there are also threaded studs on some of the tracks.

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    Here you can see one of the locating studs.

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    After the tracks are cleaned up I need to mount them on a seat and figure out where they go.
    #9
  10. theofam

    theofam Been here awhile Supporter

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    Love the color! I was noodling today white vs. something flashy. I think you nailed it! Sub'd.
    #10
  11. Johno33772

    Johno33772 Johnny Africa

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    I put a 20" LED light Bar off Ebay for $53-99 ...it's turned nighttime into daylight...it fits right in the opening in the front bumper. 30k Miles past 12 months on my Transit...best van I have ever owned.
    #11
  12. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    Nice! A light bar is definitely in my future. I've got no shortage of stuff to do, that'll likely be next winter for me.

    I got the tracks cribbed up and in the van!

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    I have 3 of these to go in - I may have to offset the third one to fit drivers side along the wheel well. I have another non recliner to go back there too though most times I will likely run just 2 back there.

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    Fold the back and this seat will slide all the way up to the front which will leave about 9 feet clear in the back if I need the space. Pretty sweet! The tracks will be flush to the floor but for the actual rail that holds the seats. I plan to paint them bright to help prevent tripping.

    This is the floor finish. Probably stain it real dark to contrast all the glowing daylight in here.

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    Once the seats and floor is in I hope to get some camping and moto camping trips in.
    #12
  13. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    The Sienna seats are nice. I have two of those as the second row in my van. I do love the tracks you installed. Mine are solid mounted to floor. Extremely sturdy, but being able to slide forward and back could be nice.

    I like the yellow. The best deal I found was on a white van. I didn't want white either, but it was a thousands less than anything else new.

    Goodluck w/ it. I love my van.
    #13
  14. T Reynolds

    T Reynolds Been here awhile

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    What is that window behind the seat on the drivers side? Never have seen on like it.
    #14
  15. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    The window is a small flip out - I am not sure how much it cost but I think you could order up to four of them. I wish I had more as nothing else opens back there - it will be great for camping.

    It opens about 1.5", not much but everything helps. I plan to build a small fan shroud that will mount there and move some air when camping.
    #15
  16. T Reynolds

    T Reynolds Been here awhile

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    I don't think that would be enough for me. Right now in my 2001 E 350 in that position there is a window made by CR Lawrence, it is a slider with a screen that's big enough to crawl though DAMHIK.
    It's worked out great for over ten years, no leaks.
    I plan on getting a transit in the next few months or the first of next year to get a 2016 leftover. Probably will use these windows in the transit.

    http://www.crlaurence.com/crlapps/s...0587:21889:16124:21889:2089:2102&ModelID=2394

    Van window.jpg
    #16
  17. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    Yeah those windows will work. I wanted stock looks for stealth camping. I will have my kids back there too so I wanted plenty of light.

    I got the seats about where I want them.

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    With the seats in this position I will have 5' clear, if I push them all forward then I will have 7'. Should be enough room for a bike or two. I have got to figure out how to secure them.

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    I have another seat to put alongside this one but need to source the tracks to mount it, it's different than these three.
    #17
  18. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    Those seats look awesome.
    #18
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  19. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    Got the seats in!

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    This is the rear all the way back.

    Below you see the fronts all the way forward.

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    I got some deadener from Soundown here in Ma. Thanks Garandman. Got a great deal on some MLV/ closed cell foam combo - got about 90 sq ft.

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    Peel and stick tiles are on the left, I got 180 sq ft plus.

    I plan to do the floor with the MLV, then about 2 feet up the sides and the ceiling with tiles. The guy said 80% coverage, flat surfaces only.

    Plywood and oak on top of that.

    I'm pretty psyched!

    :clap
    #19
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  20. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Nice man!
    #20
    klp likes this.