Our Van Conversion

11/23/2018 – Day #6: Journey’s Conversion (Remove inner ceiling and front door panels; Begin assessing under the hood)

Total Work Hours: 4 Hours

Today was going to be a doozy and I went to bed last night knowing that it was going to be a day of hard work and probably some frustration. I was right. I wanted to know where the two small drips were coming from on the roof into the cab now that the panels were gone on the sides.  I knew Brian had looked on the top of the van before but I had not. So I got the ladder to inspect and instantly my heart sunk! I had thought the outer shell roof was all one piece of metal but instead it is made up of 3 strips and the rust on the middle one is a show stopper and will have to be removed and replaced. . Ugh! I decided not to freak out with all the work that part now will require…the list keeps growing.  Embrace the journey….embrace the journey. Thankfully I can totally visualize Journey in all her glory and that is what keeps me moving forward. Hubby is also my thermometer and he hasn’t been overly worried about anything yet so I won’t be either.

Here is what I saw when i got on the ladder…ugh!

Today’s goals:

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

  1. Remove the 2 large inner ceiling panels. Now, I knew this was going to be a two person job but didn’t realize before I got started that I shouldn’t have been so excited that there were only screws holding the panels up and not rivets. After i got started, I was wishing they were the rivets. There were 30 screws running down the center of the ceiling holding the panels up and all 30 were completely stripped…so badly that no screw driver would get them out. Once again my heart sunk, as I quickly realized I had to call Brian out and ask what he thought we should do.

It was decided that he would call my oldest son out to work with us and they would have to grind out those stupid screws…all 30 of them! It was going to be a long afternoon and the sparks were gonna fly. They did a great job! Here was the progress…



OMG! That SUCKED! Some of the screws they grounded out still did not want to give as you can see in the pic above with hubby struggling with the ceiling panel. Finally, both panels were down and then we removed the insulation. Finally we could see the two points of vulnerability where the rust was bad enough that it was dripping and leaking in. 2 points was going to be much easier to deal with than 10 plus we are going to replace the outer roof metal anyways which will help.

Once we got all the insulation out, the pic on the right, the majority of the metal is a nice, shiny silver and in great condition…even despite the terrible condition above on the outside. Whew! Okay….today revealed more things will need to be fixed and repaired before it will be ready to get the cargo ready for the pretty stages. Lol!

2. Remove the driver and passenger door panels/door handles. This was a cool quick task as I learned that in order to get a door handle and old window crank off a door panel, you need a special tool…which of course Brian had. LOL! Now I can see what the interior metal looks like and decide how I was to sound dampen, insulate and maybe cut out an opening towards the bottom to hold maps or important adventure literature. 🙂 Like a book rack of sorts.

3. Look under the hood and start assessing what needs to be replaced and / or fixed. We were tired by this point but we gutted it and Brian tested a bunch of wires that I still need to learn what they go to to see if they had power going to them or had been cut over time. Some of the things now on my list include a new Master Cylinder, rebuild the steering pump, reconnect the steering wheel horn, add a brake booster, replace the non-working gauges in the dash, research and decide on the AC unit to install, fix exhaust leaks. This is all in addition to all the steps we need to do in order to cut out all the rust spots in the cargo space and weld all the holes shut as well. Ha! I wanted a project and a project I got! 🙂

Great job Journey team!!! Love you guys! ❤️

All this work wore Crockett out! Lol!

Thanks for checking in with us and we all hope you have a wonderful rest of your Thanksgiving holiday weekend with your families and friends! Be safe and thank you for following us on this adventure with Journey! Until tomorrow!

Make sure to follow us on Instagram at #journeyinavan!

— Owl, Hubby, Hi-Five and Joshy


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