The Fun Hog Build Thread: 2007 Chevy Express AWD

snoozy

New member
Thanks! Ok, another question: you didn't remove all the white paint before you raptor coated it. You had some bubbling at the corner of a window, so you redid that spot. How long has the raptor coat been on the van now, and have you had any more bubbling of the original white paint since? I, too, have a Chevy Express of that era and am going to have to deal with it soon, and it would be really great if I didn't have to remove every bit of that crappy GMC paint....

Oh! And how hard is it to keep clean? I mean, does dirt get into the rough coat?
 

On Belay

Observer
Thanks! Ok, another question: you didn't remove all the white paint before you raptor coated it. You had some bubbling at the corner of a window, so you redid that spot. How long has the raptor coat been on the van now, and have you had any more bubbling of the original white paint since? I, too, have a Chevy Express of that era and am going to have to deal with it soon, and it would be really great if I didn't have to remove every bit of that crappy GMC paint....

Oh! And how hard is it to keep clean? I mean, does dirt get into the rough coat?
I've had no issues with peeling since. The Raptor has been rock solid. I'm not sure if there was a contamination issue in those spots or just an adhesion problem, it started to peel immediately after spraying. I've only had one small chip where the rear door swung into the swingout spare tire carrier (I've since added rubber padding and touched up).

I definitely sanded pretty aggressively. Everything was sanded with a dual action air sander and 100 grit discs. I didn't take everything to bare metal though just problem areas.

I haven't noticed the bedliner holding dirt appreciably. The Raptor Liner is a harder smoother texture than some other bedliner products. My Tundra bed was Line-X'ed and was horrible about holding dirt. The Raptor has a very different consistency. My van is also dirt colored though so it tends not to show...

These are the problem spots after sanding and reshooting, anyone but me could probably never tell...
 

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On Belay

Observer
Love the look of your interior setup.
How are you liking your fridge? Is that a TF-49?
Fridge has been great, everyone I've met on the road with a Truckfridge has had good things to say. It's actually a TF-65, it's a perfect fit between the fuel filler recess and drivers seat with the 3/4" plywood on either side.
 

On Belay

Observer
Update: After 5 months on the road full-time, and 8 states, I'm happy to report that the van has had no issues. Perfect adventure vehicle! There's really nothing about the build I would change or do differently. It really is perfect for my needs. It's been down countless forest service roads, over mountain passes and down desert washes - with the AWD, lift, and locker it handles everything like a champ. Heading down to Baja in a few days!

See y'all out there on the road!
 

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stuntman mike

New member
Installing the Pop-Outs:

This was actually a fair simple process with 2 people. A friend held the windows in place while I marked the pilot hole locations. The windows were then removed, pilot holes drilled, and the windows were mounted using stainless steel hardware. Eventually, I may replace the sheet metal screws with riv-nuts and stainless bolts for a more permanent solution, but we'll see how the sheet metal screws fair. I'm very happy with the result definitely a step up from the mismatched fixed windows, and should facilitate good airflow over the bed to the front mounted roof fan.
I'd like to replace my fixed windows with pop-outs. I didn't see them on Rockauto.com. How/where did you source them?
 

On Belay

Observer
I'd like to replace my fixed windows with pop-outs. I didn't see them on Rockauto.com. How/where did you source them?
I found mine on ebay motors. The seller was lilyautoglass. I had a good experience with that seller, the glass was very well packaged and arrived safely in perfect condition. I would recommend them.
 

lseann

New member
BFG's have a reputation for being "full value" when it comes to tire size, but I'm still a bit miffed based on everything I've seen online they should fit. The rubbing is fairly minor though and based on my measurements with the extra 2" or so of height from the lift it should just clear.

I don't think I'll be able to use the factory trim panel however. That's all right as I kicking around the idea of getting some custom sized Molle panels made for the slider and rear doors. I just picked up some Smittybilt G.E.A.R Seat covers and have been really impressed with the modular and efficient storage the Molle system provides it's a nice compliment to the compact space in the van and really increases the useable storage in what would otherwise be wasted space. The thin canvas panels should help slider clearance. I'm currently designing around a single row of pouches below the handle and lock assembly with a white dry erase board mounted next to it (in the area that will need to clear the body when the door is open. I figure I can attach the panels with a strong velcro or riveted on snaps.

What model number of the Smittybilt G.E.A.R. Seat covers did you end up using? It's hard to see in your pics but are there straps at the front of seat that dont' attach to anything?
 
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