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Everything posted by windguy

  1. Has anyone seen or considered adding some type of exterior lighting to the back of a Gen 2? This wouldn't be a real necessity for me because I don't drive much at night, but recently I was backing down the driveway and had a hard time seeing behind me. The rearview camera optics are probably better than my eyes, but it's still marginal. Probably would be a useful feature to have if you're camping or you're in a remote dark area and need to back up or turn around. It would be cool to have some type of dash or cab mounted switch to toggle the light(s). And then the question of where to mount the lights. Perhaps in that upper dummy panel above the light cluster. Just a rambling thought.
  2. FORUM RACK THREADS Before sharing my install notes, I thought it would be useful to reference the Gen 2 threads I found regarding roof racks and rails. There may be more. The first one I found to be most useful when I started researching rack options even before I ordered my van. For my cargo van I wasn't able to order factory rails and the cost from Ford parts to add them after delivery was crazy expensive. Aftermarket tracks and racks would be my only reasonable option. http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/2406-roof-attachment-points-on-2014-transit-connect/ http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/6322-cross-bars-for-2017-tc-wagon/ http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/5542-diy-roof-rack-for-under100/ http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/6179-roof-rack-cross-bars/ http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/4245-can-you-add-roof-rack-rails/ http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/5305-factory-roof-rails-revisited/ MY INSTALL I finally got around to adding tracks and a rack setup for my 2015 TC XLT LWB Cargo and want to share my install. I did the install a few months ago so some of the details are a bit fuzzy at this point. I didn’t have an immediate need for racks but wanted to have them available in case the need arises. Primary use will be to offload windsurf/surfboards from inside the van to the roof rack when I need more space inside. I decided to get all rack parts made by Yakima rather than cobbling them from different sources. My understanding is that the track design is universal from Thule, Yakima, Van-tech and others. Yakima rack items are expensive and price fixed, but they appear to be well made and integrate well. A few times a year it seems Yakima allows its resellers to discount their items up to 20% off, so that’s the best time to buy if you’re price conscious. MOUNTING HOLES The TC has five mounting holes on each side. The holes are covered with a black plastic plug that you can easily remove using a plier from the inside by squeezing the side tabs together or I’m sure you can lever it out with a screw driver from the roof side. The back four plugs are easily accessible from the cargo area. The front plug is shielded behind the cab area roof liner. I’m not sure how this myth got started that you can’t use the front mounting hole because of the side curtain airbags. We all know that the factory rails are using this mounting point as the rails extend the full length of the rain gutter. I used a flashlight to peek behind the headliner to see the forward mounting hole. Not sure how to describe this but there is a flange extending from the side of the roof that projects out and shields the mounting hole from the airbag. You can see the air bag folded up and sitting well below this flange. Perhaps 4-5 inches between the mounting hole, then the flange, then air bag. The front mounting hole doesn’t appear to be affected by the air bag unless I’m grossly missing something. Wish I could take a picture but it would be hard to capture in a tight dark space. You would have to remove the headliner if you want to use this mounting hole unless you can wrangle in some type of captive nut from the roof side. I don’t think it’s worth that effort unless you really need to have a wide spread for your cross bars. Also, the roof starts sloping down more as you get closer to the front so that’s another consideration. I considered drilling my own hole that was more forward but ruled that out as there is extra plating in areas around the rain gutter and thought best just to adapt to using the existing four holes. TRACKS I ended up getting 6ft long tracks, but in hindsight 5 footers would have been just fine. I didn’t want to end up too short and thought I can add my own mounting holes but I would recommend going with the 5ft option. Verify the exact length before ordering. Plus, the 6ft track from Yakima is hard to find online. I was able to get them at a semi-local pickup truck shell installer as they use these for their installs. You can order the 5ft rails from any Yakima reseller. The tracks come with mounting hardware, either plusnuts or capnuts. The place I got my tracks from told me I’d be better off using my own hardware, but I wish I had taken the install bag of hardware with capnuts. It’s hard to find capnuts in the thread size I wanted and I ended up harvesting some from an old fluorescent light fixture. Capnuts vs Plusnuts Comparison https://www.etrailer.com/comparison.aspx?pc=Y8810155&pc2=Y8810102 MOUNTING THE TRACKS The tracks come with end caps that you would normally be held in place using a mounting hole. Because the van mounting holes didn’t line up with this, I used a short stainless steel bolt and nut to hold the front end cap in place. I didn’t use the rear cap since I want to be able to remove the landing pad nuts that sit in the channel of the track without having to remove the cap. For bolts I used stainless steel 8-32 threaded bolts to match the capnuts I found. Two bolts were ¾” (back holes) and two were 1” (front holes). On the inside I used a 3/16 x 1” fender washer because the hole opening is pretty large and I wanted a large diameter washer. The forward two mounting holes are hard to get to on the inside due to the slider track framing. It’s a two person job to hold the bolt and get the washers and nuts in place. That’s why a capnut is useful. I drilled my own mounting holes in the tracks so they’d line up with the existing mounting holes in the roof. Because the mounting holes in the roof are rather large, I used a 3/16 x 1 ¼ “ neoprene washer to seal up the hole opening. Before mounting, I applied an ample amount of DAP Auto/Marine sealant around the hole opening and then put the neoprene washers in place. Also used the sealant around the bolt threads and on the inside fender washer. CROSSBARS The Yakima and Thule systems use a landing pad that mounts to the track using two bolts and nuts that sit in channel in the track. You can remove the landing pads if your racks aren’t being used all the time but I think it’s easier to leave them in place. Yakima provides caps to cover the landing pad and it sticks up few inches above the tracks, not a big issue. The cross bars attach to the landing pads using a tower. For the Yakima system, the Skyline towers are used for this setup. You can also order a set of locks called SKS cores that are very easy to install and help secure your rack in place. The cross bars and tower can easily be removed together when not in use. I went for 60” wide cross bars. Yakima offers three types of crossbars. The round ones are the original style and the other two are of an aero design. I went with the Corebar aero style for reduced noise. I considered the round style with the thought of adding some type of roller that would make it easy get something large on the roof, like a sheet of plywood. ITEMS ORDERED Below is a list of the items I ordered. I got mine from rackattack.com since they had all items in stock with free shipping and 20% off at the time. Total cost around $540 plus misc hardware and sealant. As I said, Yakima is expensive even when it’s on sale. Best to verify part numbers as things may have changed since I ordered. Tracks: Yakima 72”, #8001607, set of 2 (the 60” track with capnuts is #8001135) Landing Pads: Yakima Landing Pad 1, #8000221, 2 sets of 2 Towers: Yakima Skyline Tower, #8000148, set of 4 Crossbars: Yakima 60-inch Corebar with endcaps, #800422, set of 2 Locks: Yakima SKS Cores, #8007204, 4-pack
  3. Thanks Cynar. When I select the History Tab, nothing shows up. See screen shot below
  4. 2017 TC XLT simple camper

    Cool find - thanks for sharing
  5. Thanks DonS - those are some great tips you shared.
  6. thanks, I'll take a look at that.
  7. @swps - Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new van(s) Both look very sharp. Thanks for sharing pics. Your custom pvc racks looks great. Those planes are very cool looking. Surely not my old man's RC planes from the 70's.
  8. @JoeMan - Thanks for sharing your thoughts and empathy. You are spot on in your thinking.This dealer handled this whole repair or lack of very poorly. Funny how I didn't get a repair survey afterwards. Coincidence? I still may pursue this with another dealer with a different angle this time. If I do decide to pay for it I won't be having the work done at the local dealer. They don't deserve any compensation after jerking me around. Good Will works both ways. YES, you owe us your own build thread. Please share with lots of pics.
  9. @cynar - thanks for posting that about FordEtis. I created a login and checked my VIN. See the below screen grab regarding Software Updates. Those dates were the original mfg dates. Not sure how to interpret that. I didn't see any other service info on my van as well but did see that I haven't had the sliding door latch recall done yet, so that part is correct.
  10. See the post above from Mickster (found on page 1 of this thread) regarding interior lights, that aren't affected by this update. Only changes the exterior lights.
  11. @JackGrimshaw - Thanks for sharing what you did. You made a better mousetrap! Definitely a more refined version of mine. The eyebolt worked out really nice as a latch interface compared to the u-bolt. Crap, now I might have to redo mine to look good like yours. The door insert shim you made looks neat. So you open the door 180deg, slip this shim on and then close the door to 90deg and it won't shut any more? And the shim won't work it way down the arm?
  12. Chapter 4 - Service Advisor (SA) called me back a week later and put the big kibash on making this change as a 'free' in warranty service. Instead of consulting with Ford to find out why they were unable to get dark mode enabled, where they last left off, SA told me Ford told them that there's no way the battery is going to depleted when continually opening the door. Ford says you have to do this more than 200 times before that's an issue. Hard to believe someone even tested doing that. The bottom line is that they will not do this change unless I pay for it and the estimate was $130. I asked if they figured out what's wrong with their programming tool. SA said they tried the dark mode programming on one of their vans and it worked okay. I told them that's because those are current vans that already have the BCM updated, which most likely means that the tech never updated the BCM correctly on my van, even though he said he did. This makes total sense and what poster JoeMan surmised to be the problem. I asked the SA if they could at least verify that the BCM has been updated correctly. Answer - NO. They basically don't want to touch the van unless they can make some money even though they first offered to do the service as a warranty fix and didn't complete the job after saying they did. They claim Ford told them they won't pay them to make this change. Am I disappointed? BIG TIME, but I don't want to make waves with my local service center over a non critical service issue. I thought of taking the van to another dealer, I have the option of three within a 20 mile radius, but I also wonder if my van (by VIN#) has been flagged in the Ford service database against making this change as a warranty fix. I don't think it's worth spending upwards of $130 to make the change since I can use the high beam lever to turn the ext lights off when I leave the side door open and I always leave the windows down as well when parked in the garage. If I shut all doors the ext lights will go out right away, no delay.
  13. Spot on - I would agree. Pretty sure there's a thread or two on this forum that details installing your own backup camera. Good starting point. With no rear windows you're going to like having this feature.
  14. New 2016 Transit Connect Wagon

    @photoal - Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new TC. Looks great. Cool pic too with the moon rise in the background over a nice mountain range. Sounds like you had a fun intro road trip to get acquainted with the van. Enjoy!
  15. ATTN: Admin Is it possible to open up the window for editing posts? Seems there is a very short time span allowed to edit a post? Maybe less than 30 minutes? I'd like to be able to go back and fix grammar/spelling errors or make updates without having a time limit. Thanks!
  16. I'm sure rivet nuts can also be used. Another poster on another thread used them as a replacement fastener for his door panels on a cargo van. It was a nice install. The rivet nuts you referenced appear to be for plastic surface. There are ones for metal. But so are the plusnuts and that's what Yakima recommends using them for track installs, so that would be my preference. Keep in mind that if you get a new track you're going to get a bag of plusnuts with the track. But, as I said above, you might be able to use the existing mounting holes if they already have plusnuts or equivalent installed. First taking the old tracks off will answer that question. And drilling new holes in a track so they line up with the existing mounting holes is a very easy step to do. I did that for my install.
  17. There's a good chance you can use the existing holes provided they did a good job in installing something like a plusnut to bolt to. I'm assuming they did. With new tracks you can easily drill holes in the tracks to line up with the existing mounting holes. Then you can have a nice water tight track that sits flush in your gutter. I'd want to get those old tracks off ASAP. No telling what damage they are doing to the edge of the paint on the gutter and any water damage you're getting inside the van. Putting gorilla tape in the exposed hole is as you say a temporary fix at best. Please keep us posted.
  18. A quick search on Whispbar shows me it's a discontinued product for Yakima but still available in Australia and NZ. Because those tracks are mounted on an angle, I question how the rest of the rack properly aligns since it's used to mounting on a flat tracks. That inward pitch is funky. Because you have a roof leak problem, if it were my van, I'd remove those tracks and replace them with regular Yakima tracks that fit in your gutter properly. Not sure what else you can harvest off your racking. You will probably need new landing pads and then the towers have to mate to the landing pads. You'll have to dissect all those parts. Taking the old tracks off will reveal what's going on underneath and to help explain where the leaks are coming from. I'm sure the leak is close to where the mounting holes are located. You'll also be able to see what type of mounting holes you have, the standard on production vans like in my pics or something pre-production. Since you have the headliner inside, the plusnuts that Yakima offers might a solution for you. I have a feeling that is what was used with the existing tracks. You'd have to do more research, but I'm guessing the plusnuts are like a molly bolt that you use for mounting to walls when you can't access the inside and have to work only from the outside. The plusnut will expand inside the van and create a brace. You may be able to use the existing mounting holes if that threaded insert exists. When you remount you can use an ample amount of auto/marine sealant to waterproof your mounting holes and use some type of gasket like the neoprene washers I used if necessary. ADD-ON - found two videos on Youtube on installing plusnuts in general. This might be the ticket for a wagon van owner without having to remove the inside headliner
  19. Thanks Fifty150 and jrm223. It's crazy how many different LED's are available and all with mixed reviews. I guess it's application specific depending on the bulb and reflector in the housing. Your experiences go a long way in helping me. @jrm223 - your van is so shiny clean you got a selfie going on with the reflection. With no extra windows and I don't see rear parking sensors, I hope you have a backup camera.
  20. @jakeru Regarding the mounting holes, my guess is that they are the same for all vans, but that's not verified. There is something wrong in the way those tracks are mounted. Perhaps they are too wide for the gutter. My Yakima tracks look different than your so I'm guessing these are not a Yakima product. It doesn't matter whose they are as long as they fit and can be mounted flat. My tracks are about 1 11/16 wide and the gutter is about 1 13/16 wide at the bottom and 2" at the top. Rough measurements. What's the width of your track? The length also seems longer than what Yakima offers. Yours appears to be close to 7ft and the longest track Yakima offers is 72". Can you tell how the tracks are bolted down? Since you have a wagon version with a headliner, you don't have easy access to the inside/nut end of the mounting bolts. Most headliners are pain to get behind because of all the trim pieces. Perhaps another wagon owner can comment on the feasibility of peeling back the headliner so you have access. I'm not sure how you can do this otherwise. I really think these tracks need to be remounted properly if they will fit flat in the gutter. If not, then you need rails that fit right. Your crossbars appear to have a spread of 4ft or less so I would go with 5ft rails and plug up the front mounting hole with a Ford factory plug. I have no doubt that the mounting holes are the source of your water leak. Is there a chance that your van is a pre-production unit? If it's a 2014 and it was at the 2013 SEMA show, that would have been in early Nov 2013 and someone spent some time fixing up this van. Wasn't the first Gen 2 a partial year production, latter part of 2014 and then 2015 was a full production year? My point is that maybe things aren't quite the same on your van versus the production version so mounting holes might be different. Just a thought.
  21. Over Thinker? Ha, ha, big time - blame it on being an engineer in aerospace for 13 years on top of being slightly anal. Way too much analysis for even the most simple tasks. I've learned to live with myself, for the most part, but it's not easy. Thanks Guys! Hope my post helps another forumites down the road. There certainly have been enough questions asked about racks over the years.
  22. Thanks Fifty150 - I'm guessing you don't have a model number but pic only as a a reference. I'd be concerned about startling other drivers with a bright turn signal cause so many drivers around here in SoCa aren't used to seeing them used I think in general the tail lighting is pretty decent on the TC with well positioned and illuminated lights. So many cars have anemic lights you can barely see, scary!
  23. Last pics showing the rack in place First pic shows the landing pad in position in the rail with it's plastic cover.
  24. Pics of the track - First three pics show the front end cap held in place with the small bolt/nut. If used on a truck shell, this would be a regular mounting point. The last pic shows a good cross section view of the track and the channel that holds the mounting nut for the landing pad bolts. You can see that the weld sticks up a bit in the rear of the gutter so the track doesn't lay perfectly flat in this area. Didn't seem to be an issue and I wanted the track as far back as possible using the rear mounting hole.
  25. Below are some pics of the install. First two pics show the inside mounting hardware for the back two holes. Last pics show the neoprene washer used as a gasket over the mounting holes.