MG Metalworks Van Build

mgmetalworks

Explorer
I've been working on this concept for a while... I originally wanted to debut this in the SEMA van in 2015 but just didn't have time to pull it all together.

The trouble with the van floor is that it's uneven, oddly shaped and not a straight edge in sight along the perimeter. Doing something cool started to look challenging. I wanted some flexibility in my van so I planned on some L-track in some configuration or another from the start.

I've been down the road of installing L-track through the floor and while it worked, it is such a pain to do, not to mention you don't have access to all the holes in the L-track from the bottom side of the body...and the body is basically a tin can, not much to bolt to in the first place. So what if there were a way to bolt down the L-track from above? And could I use the existing holes in the van (from seat mounts) to secure the floor?





So here's how I'm doing my van... Two 11' long laser cut steel plates with L-track holes pre-cut, some weight reduction cut outs and a grid of mounting holes. The stack up works like this...starting with a leveled out van floor (I have to shave off some of the seam sealer in spots to make things sit flat) and under the plates will be some sound deadening material (a foam-like material) which is the equivalent of many layers of Dynamat. Steel plates then bolt to existing factory seat mount holes and some drilled holes (through the body) in easy to access locations. On top of the plates will be a "subfloor" material. I'm not using wood but rather a fiber reinforced foam board that is 40% the weight of plywood with the same mechanical properties. Then on top of the subfloor will be my flooring material of choice...I'm going with a rubber material but I'd also consider the same Starboard materiel as the SEMA van if I wanted to change things up. The L-track then bolts down over the edges of the flooring material (flanged L-track) and holds the flooring in place. I'll have some edge trim for the door openings plus the split between driver area and back and those will be bolted in as well. All of it is removable if need be.

The L-track runs almost full length...stops at about the center of the fuel door to be exact. I have some short sections along the outsides planned as well. There are nuts welded to the bottom side of the plates as you see in the pictures so installation should be really easy.

The plates will be bolted down in no less than 20 places and the L-track has 25 holes spaced every 4". The plates are also pretty much captive in the van once they're attached together so I really have no worries about the floor moving forward, backward, side to side nor up.

Now I can already see your responses coming in about weight... The entire flooring "system" weighs less than the 4 factory bench seats that were originally in the van. The plates themselves only account for ~240lbs. The rest is mostly the rubber flooring. Starboard or some other flooring material is easily half the weight of the rubber floor I'm using.

I'll need to update my CAD models for the next van because I can get rid of a bunch more weight by cutting away more material and I also need to update some hole positions.

When it comes time to design my interior, I'll have all of my mounting points already sorted out so bolting in cabinets will be super easy. I am also planning on disconnects for any of the wiring/plumbing so I can easily reconfigure the layout or use the van as cargo carrier or ???

Long term, I'll design a set of plates for each style of van and interior layout so everything will be a simple bolt-in affair.
 

dleeallen

Adventurer
Very cool idea on the floor! Bummed you aren't building a Chevy so I could benefit from this work!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
<shaking head vigorously>
MG, you seem to be the solution to all of our "problems." What an absolutely brilliant design.

Having gone down the path with L-track in my van, the L-track is great and handy, but at times I would like other mounting points that the L-track can't deliver. This floor plate solution would solve that.

:clapsmile
 

Petrolburner

Explorer
I like your flooring. I've done a sort of similar thing with a sheet of plywood and tee nuts for various things that I bolt to the floor. I'd love to have something stronger. I've also bolted a couple sections of L-track to the floor and it's a major pain dealing with all the various systems under the floor.
 
Is the foam padding like insulation you are using closed cell? I am looking for some good closed cell sound insulation for going under my rubber flooring. I hose out the inside and any moisture can get trapped in open cell insulation.
 

SoCalChaos

Observer
damn that is sweet! nice work!
are the new seats narrower than the Sienna's? will you be able to place 3 across?

now if only you and/or Chris would make the the rear seat mounts for the Sienna buckets into sliders like the front driver side that would provide even more adjustability!

if my van doesnt sell... maybe I got this route and try to squeeze in an extra row of sienna's or a different seating solution all together.

looking forward to see what's next!
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Well this is how my Memorial weekend is starting....



Have a problematic leak to take care of and an internal issue causing one of the clutches to not engage. On the bright side.... all of the work I did to make things easy to service have proven to work very well.
 
Well this is how my Memorial weekend is starting....



Have a problematic leak to take care of and an internal issue causing one of the clutches to not engage. On the bright side.... all of the work I did to make things easy to service have proven to work very well.
Wow! How heavy is that trans? (I remember bench pressing a torqflite into place.)
 
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