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Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway! 
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And in the first post of page 5, here it is, the magic moment, first tow:


Image


Image


Great feeling, grins all around, even the grumpy neighbour was smiling :-D

Same pics with captions:

https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 1037961217
https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 8770610176

Plates marked out roughly enough:

https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 8457978880

Celebratory red wine: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 8812873728

Didn't get everything I wanted done, but did scrub down the driveway and fuel up the Starlet. Also realised that the caravan is no longer the priority, however I'd still like to have it legal and safe by the end of the week, if possible. New priority is garage and Hotel/Starlet swap by Thursday night, if possible. Still need this to end up on the street somewhere pretty soon, though.

This morning one quote came back, 50 bucks. Tonight 2 more, one cheaper, one more expensive. One to go, but unlikely to be them, as I'll probably order from the guy who replied first and is closer to me by the end of tonight.

Tomorrow, likely will do the reinforcement plates, but unlikely to do much more. Next work will probably be the jockey wheel install, unless I feel like some therapeutic dismantling of the dash or bracket removal etc.

Great mile stone, but a long way to go until it's how I want it.

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Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:41 am
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Tonight, nothing serious, therapeutic while I waited for it to be time to leave.

  • Removed heavy sound deadener from passenger side (water soaked foam, too)
  • Removed blower motor from dash
  • Removed fuel pump wire fragment from floor bung
  • Removed all relays from holder
  • Removed bracket from beneath holder
  • Removed passenger seat belt
  • Removed some trim to access the above
  • Ordered the jockey wheel steel (forgot this morning)

Out of time, so will have to do more later or tomorrow.

Not a single comment? Really? Forum must be dead. Might just shut it down :-p

Fred.

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Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:00 am
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Fred wrote:
Not a single comment? Really? Forum must be dead. Might just shut it down :-p

We know you work better when you think no one's watching.

This is an exciting build, but when do you FreeEMS the caravan? ;-)

I've been following both here and on Twitter and am pretty damn impressed at the speed at which it's coming together and that it will remain single-axle. How are you considering flattening the floor and have you tested it out empty and under load yet at highway speeds to see how she handles? I expect it to drive as straight as an arrow, in tow, but am curious if there's any swaying while empty due to unforeseen circumstances.

Also, any names picked out? Any cheap wine to christen it with?

-Jeff

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Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:53 pm
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When I install the genset, of course! ;-)

Floor and firewall will be some sort of light weight foam laminate composite. Either alloy-polystyrene refridgeration panel or possibly custom ply/GRP/polystyrene panel. Somewhere in the range of 25-50 mm thick foam + skins. The upper skin should be able to take 100kg on a heal/knee area without deforming/being damaged, and the lower needs to be water proof, rot proof, and mildy impact proof for stones etc. I guess I could bond a sheet of alloy on there myself and it would meet the bottom-side requirements perfectly. I suspect a plywood top would be best, but need to investigate the strength and weight of various thin plys first. I'll probably cap the foam edges with some light wood such as cedar such that the edges are strong and sealed. Around the edge possibly alloy angle fastened to the body as a ledge for the laminate to sit on. It'll probably end up being done in three pieces: firewall, front, rear, each divided by a steel beam across from sill to sill for mounting the draw bar to.

I'd like to have that done, and a mattress purchased before next summer if possible. And the ute running again. And the Starlet in better shape.

I've not driven it outside the driveway yet, as I didn't install the plates at the back yet, and don't have legal status for it yet, and can't afford more fines at the moment. Once it's strong I'll be looking to legalise it ASAP so that it can be parked on the street somewhere, freeing up the driveway and garage access for other projects/uses.

The brief movement I did give it had it feeling smooth as silk, which you'd expect because it's quite heavy right now (don't ask me how much, I don't know). I don't expect any issues towing it, it should tow very nicely given the proper suspension and shocks. It'll always be empty, though. Any attempt to fill the large sleeping/living cavity with gear would mean a severely over-loaded tow ball and bad characteristics. Hence the plan for a luggage rack above the kitchenette for gear in transit. Once parked it'll be fine to store things inside it, though.

No name and no cheap wine. Not sure I could be bothered cleaning up the mess, either. You might recall this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTbmQDKL03Q which was a massive pain to clean up after :-D

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Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:23 pm
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Some pics later, but this morning's work was to buy a steel blade for the reciprocating saw, and mow the rest of the front off. Also drilled out a bunch of spot welds and removed two small brackets from inside the cabin - very sweaty work, eyes stinging from salt. Total weight saved, 2.35kg @ ~80% ball effect :-)

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Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:29 am
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Pics from earlier today:

Stuff trimmed from the front: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 2738923520
Stuff drilled out from inside: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 6493059074
More of that: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 9433389058
Still more: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 8822673409
New look front: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 0236804096
New look side: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 8258002944

Also today: Paid for the jockey wheel steel pieces to be cut for me.

Tomorrow? Not sure. Possibly not much. Should probably focus on stuff that matters.

Will weld in the jockey bracket once it arrives, but that won't be till late tomorrow or Friday, probably. Possibly even next week.

Regards,

Fred.

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Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:37 am
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Jan 14th:

I bought the jockey wheel and started taking it apart.

April 18th:
Fred wrote:
And in the first post of page 5, here it is, the magic moment, first tow:

http://stuff.fredcooke.com/Volvo940Cara ... Lantis.jpg
http://stuff.fredcooke.com/Volvo940Cara ... antis2.jpg


17 + 29 + 31 + 18 = 95 days from first stuff removed from the car to first tow of the car! Phase 1 almost complete.
? days from first tow to legal (Phase 1 complete)
? days from legal to first sleep (Phase 2 complete)
? days from first sleep to full kitchenette and final ballast (Phase 3 complete, project complete)

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Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:34 pm
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I love it. The Lantis looks a bit rear-heavy, but this will definitely get some strange looks on the road.

For consideration, something along the lines of this in the quarter window (on the opposite side of where the Mrs. passes by):

Image



-Jeff

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Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:29 pm
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Yeah, the Lantis has soft rear springs because it's a FWD car, so the ~90kg on the ball pushed it down about the same as me standing on the ball. Still plenty drivable despite the squat.

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Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:52 am
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And today my jockey wheel pieces were ready for pick up, so that's exactly what I did!

Mocked up, but laying on its side: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 8411256832
Testing for size/alignment, good: https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 8288529408

Hoping to attach it tomorrow and do away with the wooden block :-)

Jockey wheel will add a total of just under 9kg all up, 7.7kg for the jockey wheel assembly, 1.062kg for the bracket steel, and some grams for the fasteners and weld beads. https://twitter.com/FredCookeNZ/status/ ... 1630467072

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Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:58 am
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