Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Done and still to do list

So when we set out to buy a van, we had a budget and an ideal that whatever van we bought had to have; a solid rust free body, a good engine and the perfect interior - or at least two out of three ain't bad.

After a series of trips to see vans which got progressively better but further away with each one we decided to see, we found Jules only 40 miles away in north cambridgeshire and knew it was the one.

The interior is perfect, everything we wanted including walk through the the front, gas hob and grill (which is fed from an outside lpg tank), sink with running water, space for a fridge,

an easy fold down bed (rather than having to balance a mattress on the table like some dormobiles!), loads of cupboard space and a pop top for standing room.

The body is solid - freckles notwithstanding! - so that just leaves the engine and a couple of minor technical bits to fix...

Out of the original to do list, we have done the following...
  • the petrol smell by replacing all the fuel hoses (and the the hole cut into the bulkhead where someone else tried to fix this problem!)
  • the exhaust smell by sealing off the EGR
  • the gear change by correctly fitting the gear change gate
  • some of the loose steering issue by replacing the steering coupler, the steering damper and a pin thing
  • the water pump so it now turns on and off when you turn the tap on
  • the timing (although we have spoilt that by taking the whole engine apart!)
  • the interior electrics by adding an inverter so the 240v sockets actually work
  • the pedal rubbers so my feet don't slide off the clutch pedal any more
  • the engine bay wiring so the batteries won't catch fire
  • one of the battery trays
  • the rear door seal
  • the tires with proper bus rated ones rather than bulging car ones
  • the 25l water tank with a 10l one and gained half a cupboard
  • the seatbelts with retractable ones so you can now reach things safely whilst driving
  • the interior light with a home made funky LED panel
I have also made a start on the paint work - so poor Jules has two black eyes! - and we have fitted a mirror, a carbon monoxide sensor and "secret" cupboard and started the blog!

However, despite this long list of achievements, there is still a bit to do in the next three weeks including....
  • rebuild the engine - when we bought it, it was drinking oil faster than petrol and spitting it out again through the exhaust amongst other places - and was seriously underpowered for a 2l, more on this to follow...
  • replace front shocks
  • finish steering (possible replacement steering box required)
  • replace right wing mirror
  • fit fridge
  • fix the interior light switch so it doesn't turn on so easily and the lights are on different switches
  • add additional sockets and wire battery charger to external hook up
  • buy a keyring
easy.... must be time for tea


  1. yes, word up to the new pedal rubbers, perhaps the biggest and most technical task, effortlessly executed.

  2. I'm wondering if you might regret the smaller water tank...
    Is there going to be a Jules-warming party?

  3. @Dave - I know, I have developed many technical abilities in the course of this exercise, not least rubber swapping... :)

    @Amanda - I think we need the cupboard space more and the water is really just for tea and teeth cleaning etc. We will use other people's hot water (where possible) for washing up etc. And yes, van warming party imminent (althought not as yet advertised) on 5th sept hopefully. will send invite to all and sundry shortly. failing that, i am about to become a lady of leisure so will come visit!

  4. Becky> not least rubber swapping

    Thats not what your mother has been saying

  5. I dread to think what my mother has been saying but I suggest you don't believe a word of it....