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Paul Hauser

Hole in the floor (but in a good? way)

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Preface: I'll break this up into a few posts. I apologize for the small photos.

There has been some discussion of the void below the floor in the Gen2 cargo vans, I decided to do something with the space. Several lessons were learned, I would do some things different if I were to do it again, but I'm happy enough that I'm not doing it again. Here's what I did.

First I did a little exploration.

Exploration 1

Removed the door wells

Exploration 2

Peel back the Mat

Exploration 3

and pulled out the deck piece

Exploration 4

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To start the fabrication I figured the biggest hatch that would fit and welded up a frame.

Fabrication 1

I decided to go with a 3 segment hinged lid that could be accessed from either side or removed entirely.

6

I built the door out of scrap plywood and covered it with aluminum diamondplate.

Fabrication 2

Fabrication 3

This little fastener is called a Tee nut, they're used in a lot of furniture.

Fabrication 4

A recycled knob and a piece of flat stock would hold the door in place securely but allow it to be removed without much fuss.

Fabrication 5

I drilled a shallow hole in the wood and punched a smaller hole in the metal to make a finger hole to open the hatch.

Fabrication 6

Everything would be painted black in the end.

Edited by Paul Hauser

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Very nice job.

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Trim was measured out and holes were drilled and tapped to attach it. I used carpet trim from a home store, the holes were already in the trim so I matched the spacing, this turned into a problem later.

Fabrication 7

Because I made the framed out opening as large as I could I need to drill holes to reach the bolts that hold the down. Unfortunately some of these holes lined up with the trim holes. I decided that 16 bolts was overkill anyway and opted to only use 14.

Fabrication 7

The opening for the hatch was marked out on the deck and cut out with a angle grinder.

Fabrication 8

The bolts that attach the deck to the supports in the van are captive now. Small (crappy) welds join the OEM deck plate to the new hatch frame.

Fabrication 9

Fabrication 10

Edited by Paul Hauser

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Then for the install

Install 1

Bolted in

install 2

Mat cut out, this was myu last chance to call it all off.

install 3

Trim installed. I fairly happy with the way the trim looks but know sooner or later something will catch on the corners, they stick up just enough to snag something. Any suggestions?

install 4

The door was dropped into place and secured with the knob beneath. Its a little snug but I think it will loosen up with a little use. If it doesn't I'll have to take it out and sand it a little.

install 5

I put reflective tape on the bottom of the hatch. It could be removed and used as a warning signal while changing a tire or other roadside emergency.

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Lovely, Nice finish. The only Problem that I would have is the 800 lbs of stuff that would always be on top of the hatches if that was my TC!

Edited by G B L

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The sub-floor is very uneven so its not a simple measurement but the drivers side is roughly 6.5" deep and the passengers side is more like 8.5". The center is very shallow. there is also space forward of my hatch. If you wanted to keep any small parts in this space there are some cutouts in the rubber mat that would need to be sealed in some way.

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Hard to tell from the little pics, but I'm thinking it looks great :) lol. Gives me some more storage ideas for my 15 TC, thank you! One of these days soon, I need to clean out the 'stuff' I have in mine so I can pull out the mat & platform in my van and figure out how well my ideas would actually work. But, at least I only have around 125-150 lbs of stuff instead of 800 lbs like "G B L" has!

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@paul - thanks for sharing your project. very nice job.

It would be great if you could take some higher resolution pics and post them in your gallery.

I'd really like to see the details of what you did by zooming in closer.

Doing something similar has been on my to do list since I got the van and realized that more storage space is needed.

Looking forward to seeing how others will capture this available storage space with their own unique designs.

another forum member, WA0RTU, recently posted some exploratory pics of this foot well but didn't add them to a post.

below is link to those pics

http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/gallery/image/960-lot-o-wasted-space/

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