1989 Ford Club Wagon XLT | DIY Sportsmobile Conversion


This may be putting the cart before the horse...

Im excited to be joining this community! I've been an avid fan of full-size vans for quite some time now. I love to travel, I love to drive, and I love to wrench and luckily my girlfriend puts up with it and even pretends like she enjoys it!

About a year ago, I picked up a 1989 Ford Club Wagon XLT, 351w, c6 transmission with a broken Gear Vendors Overdrive. At some point, someone seriously loved this van. My goal for the van was to convert it into a Camper Van to continue traveling. Slowly I've been getting it back to road-worthy, new radiator, complete tune up, repaired some rust, fixed the Gear Vendors Overdrive and just this past weekend we removed the carpet... to deal with more rust!

If you want to check out my progress, I've got a build thread over in the Full Size section.

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Just recently while talking with a buddy that I've bought van parts from, I discovered he has a late 70's Sportsmobile top that he's willing to let go of that I can't seem to get out of my head. No one is on board with me cutting an enormous hole in the roof of my van, but I'm fairly confident in my abilities to get it done!

I know that the top needs some work, the owner says that it leaks a bit depending on the intensity of the rain, it has a bit of a dip in the center of it, there are some remnants of past fiberglass repairs, and the canvas needs some work. This will be my first time dealing with fiberglass, let alone Canvas work. I've researched a bit and people say that getting replacement canvas is a bit of a chore and some have said they've had to call around to sail shops. If anyone has any suggestions or anything like that, let me know!

I should be picking up the top soon. I believe we will actually be chopping off the top of the van so I can have the entire roof section in the event that I need anything from it.

Anyways, thanks for having me.