MG Metalworks Van Build

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Dude, I don't know how your luck works, but in MY world a statement like that is the kiss of freakin death. Good luck! :)
My world isn't much different... haha! I'm always getting myself into trouble with statements like that. We'll see tomorrow when I get the van on the lift and take the transmission pan off.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
New seats?? Do tell!
So with the Sienna seats out of my life, I started prototyping some adapter brackets to mount these new seats to factory E-series bases...



I'm in love!!!! These baby's are comfy, supportive and designed for long-range travel.

The Sienna seats are nice seats for the price and they're unique with the foot rests...plus the quality of construction and nice leather. However, for my body type the Sienna seat was only comfortable for me for about an hour and then I'd start to fidget all over the place trying to get comfortable. I had to have something much better suited to what we'll be doing with the van and more comfortable and supportive for my back and hips.

Enter Scheel-Mann USA... A German seat company that's been around for a long time with a relatively new distributor in the US (scheel-mann.com). The distributor is local to me and we've been working together on some adapter designs so it made sense to try these out in our van.

My current interior design (iteration #5) has a driver and passenger swivel so I'll be mounting these on the commonly seen swivels that you find through SMB or other sources. I've got the adapter bracket dialed in so the CAD drawings will be headed to the laser cutter this week. I have to come up with a cover for the seat belt pre-tensioner but that shouldn't be too difficult....just need to have one mounted to figure it out.

Right now I have these demo seats mounted but I've just ordered a custom set for the front and will order the matching set for the rear once the integrated seat belt option is available (this summer). Our custom seats will have adjustable bottom section and side bolsters, plus lumbar support and arm rests then topped off with a color combo to match the Cummins van theme. Super excited about these seats!
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
My world isn't much different... haha! I'm always getting myself into trouble with statements like that. We'll see tomorrow when I get the van on the lift and take the transmission pan off.
The statement that gets me in trouble is, "it'll only take a couple hours to do it"... six hours later the job I really thought would only take an hour nears compleation.

Especially on an Econoline, nothing is ever quick and easy... other than burning through a tank of fuel :D
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
So with the Sienna seats out of my life, I started prototyping some adapter brackets to mount these new seats to factory E-series bases...



I'm in love!!!! These baby's are comfy, supportive and designed for long-range travel.

The Sienna seats are nice seats for the price and they're unique with the foot rests...plus the quality of construction and nice leather. However, for my body type the Sienna seat was only comfortable for me for about an hour and then I'd start to fidget all over the place trying to get comfortable. I had to have something much better suited to what we'll be doing with the van and more comfortable and supportive for my back and hips.

Enter Scheel-Mann USA... A German seat company that's been around for a long time with a relatively new distributor in the US (scheel-mann.com). The distributor is local to me and we've been working together on some adapter designs so it made sense to try these out in our van.

My current interior design (iteration #5) has a driver and passenger swivel so I'll be mounting these on the commonly seen swivels that you find through SMB or other sources. I've got the adapter bracket dialed in so the CAD drawings will be headed to the laser cutter this week. I have to come up with a cover for the seat belt pre-tensioner but that shouldn't be too difficult....just need to have one mounted to figure it out.

Right now I have these demo seats mounted but I've just ordered a custom set for the front and will order the matching set for the rear once the integrated seat belt option is available (this summer). Our custom seats will have adjustable bottom section and side bolsters, plus lumbar support and arm rests then topped off with a color combo to match the Cummins van theme. Super excited about these seats!
Whoa!!!!!! Scheel-Mann is iconic in the seat world. I remember the 80's and 90's was their heyday in German cars; Porsche 911 Turbo's, VW Rabbit's and Scirocco's, BMW's, etc. Think Recaro before Recaro.
Looks like they have some epic seats! http://scheel-mann.com/
Can't wait to see your custom ones to match your Cummins theme.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
I finally had a chance to chase down the issue I was having with the Allison trans. Deep inside the valve body was shift valve slide that didn't like to return to its fully closed position. This was causing two DTCs to force the trans into limp mode. I got the valve body out, traced the fluid paths for 1st gear and sure enough one of the shift valves wasn't where it was supposed to be....just a little sticky in the bore. I tried working it back and forth but it was obvious that I needed to clean up the bore a little. Valve body goes together and back in the van tomorrow and with any luck it will finally shift through all the gears and we can finalize the tuning.



The trans stuff was just during break time... The bulk of the day was dedicated to Transit 4x4 system design and parts research. I'll be starting a build thread for that soon.

Never a dull moment around here.
 

sixstringsteve

Explorer
Nice work fixing the trans. Fingers crossed it's 100% fixed. Once you start your transit build, please post the link in this thread too, I don't want to miss it.
 
Last edited:

nick disjunkt

Adventurer
The trans stuff was just during break time... The bulk of the day was dedicated to Transit 4x4 system design and parts research. I'll be starting a build thread for that soon.
Great work!

Member SG1 on here has travelled many miles in a European factory 4x4 transit based camper and I'm sure he would be willing to impart his experience. I remember him saying that the factory 4x4 system essentially comprises of the front-wheel-drive system from the lighter spec transits, with the rear-wheel-drive system from the heavier vans. I can't remember if the transfer box was a ford unit but it is likely to be an off-the-shelf item as the transit 4x4 is not built in sufficient numbers to warrant development of a model specific unit.
 

Jds2835

New member
I'm excited to learn more about the plans for the transit. I have an GMC Quigley ifs now and I think a transit with your 4x4 parts will be my next vehicle.
 

bknudtsen

Expedition Leader
Nice work MG. As much as I am excited about those Transit parts, I'd really like to receive some texts while you guys are out enjoying the Cummins Van. You deserve a little time away with that chapter in the books.

Also, let me know when the GM squarebody development program begins...
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Great work!

Member SG1 on here has travelled many miles in a European factory 4x4 transit based camper and I'm sure he would be willing to impart his experience. I remember him saying that the factory 4x4 system essentially comprises of the front-wheel-drive system from the lighter spec transits, with the rear-wheel-drive system from the heavier vans. I can't remember if the transfer box was a ford unit but it is likely to be an off-the-shelf item as the transit 4x4 is not built in sufficient numbers to warrant development of a model specific unit.
I'll be using a lot of F150 4x4 parts in the front. I've seen the European system and it looks like a nightmare to work on. I'm glad I get to keep things simple with easy to find and maintain parts.

I'm excited to learn more about the plans for the transit. I have an GMC Quigley ifs now and I think a transit with your 4x4 parts will be my next vehicle.
PM me your email and I'll add you to the list for updates. I'll be sending out updates via a mailing list frequently during the development process.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Nice work MG. As much as I am excited about those Transit parts, I'd really like to receive some texts while you guys are out enjoying the Cummins Van. You deserve a little time away with that chapter in the books.

Also, let me know when the GM squarebody development program begins...
Yeah...it's been a long time since we've been out in the van. Everyone around the house is getting anxious to get it on the road.

Squarebody dreams only at this point. I haven't decided if I want 2wd or 4wd. I am at the point of looking on craigslist for a deal though... :)
 
Top