Friday, August 2, 2013

Drain rust progress

I've got my galley out and ground away the rust. It wasn't as bad as I'd feared, and I only lost a centimeter or so around the original drain hole:

I made a patch, and drilled out a hole for the drain fitting. Here it is resting in place:

Something else I discovered: I'm not the first to work in this area of the van. There were small spots of black paint in this area of the floor, and they covered some surface rust. My guess is, someone discovered the rust, but not the source of it, and rather than cleaning it properly, they just painted over it with rust treatment. You can see the discoloration from the surface rust in the photos above.

Anyway, there's no sense in fixing one thing while leaving the rust undone, so I sanded and painted some other rust spots in the area with rust preventer, primed, and repainted the floor. Here's the floor, cleaned of all rust:

There's still some discoloration you can see, but these are stains, not rust, as far as I can tell. Then I treated all the bare metal with rust treatment. I didn't sand the entire floor to get a uniformly smooth surface, because this isn't visible: my aim is to prevent the spread of rust and to ensure body integrity. I did pay at least some attention to aesthetics, though, by painting it all the stock color so it wouldn't look too awful if somebody else came a long to work on it.

I epoxied the patch in place with JB Weld. Because the surface of the van isn't flush, and because I have a pretty small hole to pass a clamp through, I wasn't able to get a perfectly flush fit all the way around the patch. Frankly, maybe my patch is bigger than it needs to be, but I figure it does no harm. I did make sure the patch mates flush with the floor around the hole, though. The underside of the van was also slightly non-uniform, because of the two metal surfaces. I didn't want this to prevent a good flush mounting of the drain fitting, so I filled that with Bondo and sanded it smooth. Finally, I treated the underside with a rubber undercoating.

Here's the patched floor with the drain fitting in place:

Finally, the grand reveal: the cabinet is mounted back in place, with a new drain hose clamped to the fitting.

Time for a beer.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The projects, they are a-growin'

The missus and I have been somewhat absent from the Vanagon scene, due to changing abodes, and welcoming a new little one into our lives. So, since we're not taking Kurt around anywhere lately, I decided to tackle a longer-term project: the fridge. You know, the it's-hard-to-light, it-doesn't-get-very-cold variety.

But that's a story for a different day. It's just the lead-in. When I pulled the fridge, I noticed something curious: the bottom clamp for the sink drain hose was rusted out.

The top isn't.  You can also see some rust in the floor in that area. But where's all that water coming from? Here's what I found when I pulled the drain hose:

Yikes! Every time we ran the sink, we'd be putting more water on the floor.

Unlike my previous posts, I'm not going to post the happy ending with this one: I've just gotten started pulling out the entire galley so I can get access to the floor to clean it out.

So, current Vanagon projects include the door panel restoration I haven't finished, the fridge, and now the floor. At this rate, I hope to be done by, I dunno, next summer. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Something not electrical

One project that's straightforward enough is to swap the stock wheels to something bigger. On our maiden voyage, cross winds scared the bejeezus out of me, and I wanted to improve the lateral stability. Mission accomplished, with my boy driving like a boss: