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ShawneeCreek Reader
6/21/18 8:18 p.m.

Small update tonight. I'm still waiting on my tires to ship. They're still on backorder from Bridgestone.

The interior of the van is now stripped out from the front seats back.

And I picked up the paint. On sale for $26/gallon.

The livery has been determined and I drew up a rendering or three. Mrs. ShawneeCreek said "It looks dope." This is really encouraging, because "dope" isn't part of her normal vocabulary. wink Unfortunately for you all, I'm keeping the livery a secret until October. It deserves a grand reveal. Don't worry though, I'll document the process and share it after I reveal the finished product.


Mndsm MegaDork
6/21/18 8:23 p.m.

I have a guess, but I dont want to potentially spoil the surprise. 

minivan_racer UberDork
6/22/18 5:24 p.m.

Judging by the colors I expect some extra 'murica from the paint job.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
7/15/18 2:03 p.m.

Would you expect this amazing piece of engineering to be something that can be daily driven?

ShawneeCreek Reader
7/15/18 3:58 p.m.

In reply to Left Ventricle :

smiley Thanks for the compliment. In it's current state, no. For a few reasons:

  1. No A/C.
  2. Remaining crash damage in the front frame and subframe. The passenger front wheel is ~1" behind the driver side wheel.
  3. No rear seat belts.
  4. No lower mount on the sliding door. It requires two hands to open and close.
  5. I'm in the process of removing much of the interior to reduce weight.
  6. Questionable combinations of crash structure, especially in the front.
  7. Really low ride height. Before I swapped the rear springs the back bumper scraped on launch and any aggressive cornering.
  8. Large gaps, big enough for a cat to get through, between the lower body and chassis. It's really windy on the highway.
  9. No windshield wipers or mechanism.
  10. Really, really hard engine maintenance.  Rear spark plugs would probably be an engine-out service. And the coolant, brake, and clutch reservoirs are under the dashboard.

Ok, maybe a bit more than a few reasons. It would certainly be epic to see this daily driven. It's still registered with a clean title as an APV. But I won't be the one to drive it every day.


ShawneeCreek Reader
7/28/18 4:52 p.m.

Update time. Now that I've stepped back from getting the truck ready to tow the van to Florida I can finally focus on finishing the van. First up: paint prep. I need to remove the black paint from the last minute storm trooper livery. Thankfully, that's coming off fairly easily with acetone and rags. I'm also painting the back windows white to get billboard levels of area to put the new livery on. It's not so unrealistic either, as Chevrolet actually made and sold a panel van version of these back in the day.

The van was still up on jack stands up against the garage wall waiting for the new tires to arrive, so I could only work on the driver's side and rear.

Much better. I need to repaint the cowl and some of the trim black. But this is a better place to start from.

Speaking of tires, the 225/50R18 RE-71s that I ordered in April have been on backorder. I finally got tired of waiting for them and changed my order. I ended up getting the new Bridgestone Potenza S007 in a slightly smaller 225/45R18. The good news is that is they are the same OD as the current tires and they shipped immediately.

The tires were mounted on Friday and they look nice smiley. New 18" on the left. Old 17" on the right.

They fit really well. At full droop:

And ride height:

I backed the van out of the garage to sweep the floor and to put it back more centered. That way I can get to the passenger side to work on it.

Next up is cleaning the last of this off of the side, mounting the side skirts and front bumper, and cleaning the last of the mustache off of it. Oh, and mounting the 18" wheels on the front.

Until next time.


NOHOME UltimaDork
7/28/18 5:21 p.m.

That thing was awesome the first time, and it keeps getting awesomer!yes



ShawneeCreek Reader
7/30/18 7:31 p.m.

Now that I have access it's time to strip the black paint off the passenger side. Here is where I started tonight:

And finished:

There is still a little more to get around the windows, but most of it is gone. You might also notice that the sticky residue from the number panel is gone. This:

I tried a cleaner and a rag and made very little progress. Then I came up with a better solution:

Goo Gone, a plastic razor blade, and a paper towel. I sprayed the residue and let it sit for a few minutes. Then it scraped off easily with the plastic razor blade. Disposable gloves are a good idea though. Things are still sticky.

Then I sprayed what remained again with Goo Gone and wiped it off with the rag. Nice and clean:

And to wrap up the night I put the 18s on the front.

Progress. It's a good thing. Until next time.


Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
7/30/18 7:35 p.m.

In reply to ShawneeCreek :

They have an event down here in Biloxi called Scrapin’ the Coast every June. It’s an odd mix of vehicles, but your van would fit in very well. 

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/2/18 7:41 p.m.

Front bumper is mounted.

And part of the mustache got trimmed.

After I got tired rubbing paint off I decided to put some back on. Panel van time!

Until next time.


onemanarmy Reader
8/3/18 10:23 a.m.

why make it harder to see out of?  Especially when 'racing'?


All the glass keeps the soccer mom minivan look, and you can see who is beside you.

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/3/18 11:19 a.m.

Well, I'm not going to be using this in wheel to wheel racing, so I don't need to see out the sides. This van will only be used at autocrosses and drag strips. Something will be seriously wrong if I need to look out one of the side windows in the back.

Secondly, I'm planning on putting a, currently secret, racing livery/paint scheme on the van. Painting the windows white gives me a lot more room to work with.

Thirdly, I drew some inspiration for this van from the Ford Supervan series of vehicles. They were all white panel vans.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
8/3/18 5:37 p.m.

Well now I need to know what paint scheme this is getting. 

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/8/18 6:27 p.m.

Unwrapped the back windows:

I pulled the van out of the garage to wash it. It seems that my new Bridgestones are a little sticky laugh

The van is all clean now. Just a little more black and white to remove and the side skirts to mount. Then a final wipe down before masking the windows and wheels and laying out the graphics.

Tucked away for the night.

Until next time.


mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/8/18 6:38 p.m.

After using that same paint on Ferdinand I'd suggest using hardener with it. It's stays gummy for a loooooooong time otherwise. 

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/8/18 7:06 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

That's the plan. I've got a can of reducer too, in case I want to spray it on instead of rolling.

spin_out HalfDork
8/9/18 8:52 a.m.

Van paint idea?   Kidding.

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/9/18 7:30 p.m.

Nice. I also like this one:

No more black on the front bumper

And now with side skirts

And now no door handles, locks, or tail lights.

Getting closer. Until next time.


BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon SuperDork
8/9/18 8:20 p.m.

And the suspense keeps building...

I think it looks good with the windows painted over. The cargo van look is working

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/10/18 3:46 p.m.

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/10/18 8:08 p.m.

Ok, so maybe there isn't free candy, but at least the projector works. Also, van-ception made me smile:

Eventually I projected my actual reference image on the side and started masking off the shapes. I was able to finish the back half of the passenger side.

I'm hoping to get most of the edge masking done this weekend. Then I can mask between the lines where I'm saving the white.

Until next time.


Indy-Guy UltraDork
8/10/18 8:40 p.m.
ShawneeCreek said:

It makes me sad that I have but one thumbs up to give this.

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/11/18 4:04 p.m.

I managed to finish masking the front half of the passenger side and most of the front end. Anything that is white will be painted blue or red. Anything with tape on it will stay white.

Then I spun the van around during a break in rain so I can work on the driver's side.

Then I had to move the truck back as much as possible to get out of the way of the projector. It's not quite enough. I need just a couple more inches. I'll have to move it outside tomorrow to get all the way to the back. Then spend forever lining the projection up with my pictures of the other side.

The good news is that the projector still works cheeky

Until next time.


ShawneeCreek Reader
8/12/18 5:51 p.m.

Mirror image time

I managed to finish with the projector on the driver's side and moved on to putting my number on the back.

I wanted to use the projector to put a number on the roof, but I couldn't get the projector far enough away from the roof. Plan B:

Project the number onto a piece of paper on the wall and trace it. Then I'll cut it out and trace that onto the roof with tape.

I hope to finish masking the livery this week and maybe start paint next week.

Until next time.


maschinenbau Dork
8/13/18 7:40 a.m.

That's a really clever way to tape up for paint! Looking great!

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