Author Topic: E150 Van Project ~  (Read 4182 times)

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Offline Authentic718

  • Posts: 5
    • Authentic Woodcraft, LLC
E150 Van Project ~
« on: October 30, 2015, 08:06 PM »
So I finally made the "big" step and purchased my first work van! It has been roughly 14 months since I started my career as a Carpenter/Installer and I have been using an F150 Pick-up to carry my tools, which was also my personal everyday vehicle. (I know you can relate how that can be!) I felt like it was time to finally upgrade to something more comfortable. A lot of people close to me told me it wasn't necessary so early on because I had my pick up. But quite frankly, I don't like dragging myself down that way.

Anyways, I am getting a bit carried away here. So I bought a 2002 E150 Ford van after the whole financing ordeal for a brand new one didn't go through. (I'm glad it didn't.) On the outside the van is in decent condition, so I don't have to worry about presenting myself in the wrong way with customers, that's a plus. The inside however needs some elbow grease. Speaking of grease, it is filled with it EVERYWHERE!. It seems like a plumber owned it last, and they left oil puddles everywhere on the flooring as well as shelving.

The first order of business would be to strip the inside to its core and clean out the oil as well as throw away the torn up flooring. (Will post pictures below) Before doing so, I wanted to gather some tips from everyone on the FOG. I was possibly thinking of using Masonite on the floor, to make it an easy sliding surface for materials. I was also thinking of 1/2" plywood with insulation beneath. (The one that comes with the van, but brand new.) I am thinking long term, so this means the surface will get wet from either rain, or melting snow during winter. I want to know what would be the preferably choice of material in your opinion.

As far as shelving goes, I will be keeping the metal ones on the left, and taking out the drawers on the right for more space. I currently don't own enough festool products to warrant custom built shelvings and all those sweet things I've seen around here. Also as I have mentioned before, it is my first year or so in the business, so I have a lot to learn, specially with the power tools. I do know however that I would like to buy a lot of festool products in the future, specially with the added space that a van provides.

Long story short, I wanted everyone's opinion on what material I should place on the floor of the van that is easy to slide materials on without damaging them, as well as keeping neat. And perhaps options to tying it to the floor. I was thinking of using the shelving holes as well as the cage in the front to hold it in as I am not too fond of drilling into the actual bed. But I am very open to suggestions as I want to do everything right.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the all over the place/confusing post.






« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 08:11 PM by Authentic718 »

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2191
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2015, 08:43 PM »
I've retired four Ford f series vans @ with over 250,000 miles on them and my present one has 210,00.  The Fords have 49" of head room so I have always screwed 3/4" ply to the floor.  I cut the edges around the wheel wells to fit and them fill all voids with spray foam.  I have always used slotted angle for racking and shelving.  I carry glass, plastics, commercial steel door/frames, and wood with no problems.  My next van I intend to have an external glass rack attached to the drivers side to increase carring capacity.

Offline DB10

  • Posts: 911
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2015, 10:14 PM »
That van looks nice and tidy on the outside, which is the most important thing.

For van flooring I've always used plywood, you can always lay an industrial looking vinyl on top of the plywood if you want to make it the deluxe version.
 If it was me I would strip everything out of the van, might sound like a bit of hassle but this will give you a chance early on to check the overall condition of the original floor base and make any repairs if necessary. You might even find a few dollars lying around !
 Once all the shelving is taken out, this could be steamed cleaned, I would lay the new floor and put back all the cleaned up shelving that you require and make any alterations that might suit your set up.

Offline Flynnworx

  • Posts: 17
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2015, 09:09 AM »
Nice van! I have "racked" trailers and vans to satisfy my own storage OCD. My present van I have redone 3 times to accommodate my present trim carpentry set up. The steel shelves will definitely work for awhile and when you are done with them you can sell them and buy materials for custom shelving.
Google van racking and check Malcolm McGrath. Tool storage and movement onto site is a system to be efficient. Also, I arrange everything I need daily is reachable from the back or side doors so I don't have to crawl around inside all the time.
Good luck and have fun. You will learn some useful skills along the way.

Offline Authentic718

  • Posts: 5
    • Authentic Woodcraft, LLC
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2015, 09:46 PM »
Nice van! I have "racked" trailers and vans to satisfy my own storage OCD. My present van I have redone 3 times to accommodate my present trim carpentry set up. The steel shelves will definitely work for awhile and when you are done with them you can sell them and buy materials for custom shelving.
Google van racking and check Malcolm McGrath. Tool storage and movement onto site is a system to be efficient. Also, I arrange everything I need daily is reachable from the back or side doors so I don't have to crawl around inside all the time.
Good luck and have fun. You will learn some useful skills along the way.
Thanks! And yeah, I will be doing that as soon as I can. (Tomorrow) take everything out, and possibly use degreaser and powerwash it on the inside. As you can see from the pictures, it has not been taken care of on the inside, like AT ALL!.

How do you guys think Masonite Hardboard will fair as a floor surface over time with the whole swelling and such? Im stuck between that or 1/2" unfinished ply.

Offline Flynnworx

  • Posts: 17
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2015, 08:23 AM »
No masonite; quality exterior plywood. Round over the leading edge at the back door to decrease abuse delamination.  Thin down polyurethane 50/50 and soak it in repeatedly until the plywood will not take any more  (10 coats +/-) it drys fast

Offline overanalyze

  • Posts: 411
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 09:26 AM »
We used Advantech for our van floor and tool wall. Still rounded over the leading edges to keep it from chipping.

Offline PA floor guy

  • Posts: 290
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2015, 10:16 AM »
Just a suggestion, for everyone suggesting plywood, if you know a flooring guy (hardwood). Be sure to ask him if he has anything "tear out" wood laying around. Every van I have had, I do a 3/4" floor. Currently have a hickory floor in one of mine and maple in the other.   Nothing wrong with plywood, but if you can get wood for free or almost. Why not

Offline dg1127

  • Posts: 7
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2015, 01:33 PM »
Looks nice on the outside plumber sure made a mess looks like you ll have a nice work truck soon enough congrats and good luck with it . When I fitst started driving I used to take  an 88 f350 diesel with 438k to the jobs. It was a beast to drive but never failed

Offline Authentic718

  • Posts: 5
    • Authentic Woodcraft, LLC
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2015, 03:59 PM »
@Flynnworx: I just got home, and I was unable to read your tip. I bought 1/2" Birch plywood, will that be okay? As for Poly, anything in specific? (Haven't really worked it with so I have zero experience.)

@overanalyze: Thanks for the tip, in fact I just bought a router to do just that. I mean, I didn't buy it JUST for that, but I needed to get one eventually (just started out) so it was the perfect time. With a van now I will be able to slowly but surely get more tools.

@PA floor guy: Unfortunately I don't know a floor guy, but perhaps in the future I will find someone and I could update the flooring. Or even leave that as a possible option for the future when I update to future systainers and such.

@dg1127: Thanks! And yeah.. you have no idea how much filth there was inside along with the stench of oil. Today I was able to tear all the shelves out (which was a pain because I needed someone's help and all bolts broke). I was also able to tear out the flooring and cleaned the interior with degreaser as well as soap and water. (Walls, etc etc.) Up next is taking out the cage and working out on the cut outs while I wait for the flooring insulation to arrive. (Just my luck, homedepot didn't have it in stock and apparently the Ultratouch Radiant Barrier one is very limited in where it is sold.

Thanks for the feed back thus far guys, very much appreciated.

Offline Flynnworx

  • Posts: 17
Re: E150 Van Project ~
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2015, 08:55 PM »
1/2" will fail early but it will get you going. Don't mess with poly on the 1/2" ;
Any cheap poly will work fine