Our Van Conversion

11/17/2018 – Day #3: Journey’s Conversion (Finish removing flooring, window door panels and begin removing the interior panels)

Day #3: Journey’s Conversion (Finish removing flooring, window door panels and begin removing the interior panels)

Total Work Time: 5 hours

Let there be light

What a great day today! I woke up with excitement for the day and the hope to beat the rain. We were heading to the 2 very large junk yards in San Antonio this morning as a family. I had never been to one so was looking forward to it. We just wanted to go and scout out how many Chevy vans they had in case we could find a source vehicle for some things Brian was looking for as options for Journey. You never know what you can find at those places. 🙂

It was $1 per person to enter but unfortunately no one under the age of 16 could go in so the boys had to wait in the truck.  We went to Pick and Pull and Roosevelt You Pull locations and while it was cool to experience it, there was nothing that would work for us this time. Fun to go and see all those cars though!

We got home after lunch time and I got straight to work on Journey with a full day of potential! We got SOOOO much done today! Check it out!

Today’s goals:

Pics below show the before views of the targeted area and then after the task was completed. 🙂

  1. Finish removing the last 3 door window panels to expose the windows and metal beneath. The windows will all be replaced eventually with ones that have a screen so we can open them in the evenings.  Even though some are broken, it is ok but will be nice to have light shine into the van while I work. We bought more grinding wheels on the way home from the junk yard so I was ready to get to work and grind those stubborn welds!

Covered and now can see light!

The side doors also now have no panels covering them!

Side Door panels removed!


2. Time to get that nasty 40 year old floor up. I have to be honest here, I have been stressing about what was under that blue commercial grade linoleum and plywood. I didn’t have anything to worry about! It was in great shape….after everyone took a shot at getting all the screws and nails out of the boards, we then pried the boards up, then swept out the area, and it looked really good. Once it is washed later, the rust areas cut out and repaired and the floor is treated with rust shield, it will be all good to begin the next phases with sound dampening, insulating, plywood and then the wood panelling floors. But, that is pretty far down the line at this point. One step at a time.

We got it all out!! It was a family affair today as that was ALOT of work. The black plastic wheel well coverings did tear as we unscrewed the flashing around it, but thats ok as we will be recovering and insulating it later anyways. We are one HUGE step closer to seeing her bones. Yippee!



3. I wasn’t quite ready to stop even after all that work getting the flooring out so decided to attack something else that has been on my mind for the last week. The sun was still up so the work must continue! The other thing besides the flooring that has been keeping me up while I am laying in bed at night is wondering what the condition of the metal is behind the inner panels. I wasn’t concerned about the condition of the insulation inside, if there was even any, as that will all be ripped out anyways. But excessive rust or seriously degraded insulation could mean leaks from the outside which would be a huge bummer!

I have been a little nervous how much leakage over the last 40 years has come inside the outer shell and what exactly is the state of the body frame of Journey. I was extremely pleasantly surprised. There is rust under the panels below the windows but I expected that as it appears some of the windows were left open for an extended period of time at some point as the flooring under the linoleum had rotted in one section. The rest of the upper panels are beautiful…silver and shiny and their condition truly made me smile with utter joy every time I removed another panel! Things are looking good!

Before and After Upper panel was removed. 

Insulation removed in upper panel and the lower panel removed. Insulation in place.

Upper and lower panels removed and insulation is removed revealing the ok condition of the metal below the windows. 

Today’s Summary:

What a very productive day! It made me happy that everyone in the family came out to help for a little while on different tasks. I love it that the boys came to help even if I had to beg them. 🙂

The door windows are now clear of darkness and the morning sunshine can shine into the cargo space, the extremely stubborn van flooring was removed and no huge concerns there and then the driver’s side paneling has begun to be removed and things are looking great…lots of work in those areas but way better than I expected!

Tomorrow I will continue removing paneling inside and possibly remove the dash board paneling as I know nothing about what is inside of a dashboard and need to learn since Journey needs a new horn and new gas, oil and engine gauges and who know what else. Plus, we are going to have to install an AC/Heating system as it was removed by the previous owner soon as well.

I hope you all have a night of peaceful dreams, more hugs than you can bear from those you love and get to laugh so much that your side hurts this weekend!

Until the next day of conversion adventuring!!!

— Owl, Hi-Five, Joshy & hubby 


2 thoughts on “11/17/2018 – Day #3: Journey’s Conversion (Finish removing flooring, window door panels and begin removing the interior panels)”

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