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Finally started to work on mods for my Titanium.  I'm outfitting this to haul my SAR dog and my SAR gear.  I had a few goals in mind when I started.

  • 1- Be able to restore for resale someday... maybe..
  • 2- Maintain capability to have a least one rear seat so two passengers can be handled
  • 3- Maximize hidden storage area to keep SAR gear out of sight.
  • 4 - Be able to put out sleeping bag and sleep in van.

I have other things as well but these drove this set of mods I'm posting.

I first removed both rear seats and the passenger side middle seat. 

I wanted to build a raised floor with storage underneath.

I saw in this thread http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/5542-diy-roof-rack-for-under100/#comment-15382 the use of uni-struts for a roof rack and that gave me the idea of using them for the supports of the raised floor.  I was able to bolt the unistruts to the floor using the same bolts from the seat holes.  While the bolt heads are big enough, I recommend adding a washer to them because the heads are just barely larger than the hole cutouts in the uni-struts.  After trying a few configurations i decided on the layout in the photo below.

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Edited by Tiller
tagging

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So in the above shot is where I decided to add washers to the floor bolts.  I'll go back and add them before I'm done.

Below the first shot is where the front of the frame was bolted to a middle seat bolt.  The middle support on the end is not not bolted to the floor.  The added cross supports added more than enough added support.

 

 

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Below I have installed the first piece of flooring.  It's not totally cut yet to it's finished size.  But I wanted to get something bolted in so I can use the car for transport.  I hope to build out the floor next weekend.  The right hand side will have a 6" step/storage built in to to make it easier for the dog to load up.

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Edited by Tiller

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The first shot is from the driver's side sliding door.  This middle seat will eventually be covered by a floor panel that can be removed or folded out of the way.

The second shot is from the passenger side sliding door.  I should have access to a good size storage area here.

 

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Edited by Tiller

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Got some more work done over the holidays.  I took parts from an entertainment center that was being tossed out and repurposed one of the bigger drawers from it.  I also reused the drawer slides from it.  The drawer now serves as the step on the right hand side.  This is the raw part of the construction.

Pic 1 is with the drawer closed with the step on top.

Pic 2 is with the drawer pulled out and the hinged step open.  It's a small drawer for things I want handy 

Pic 3 is the drawer out, and step closed showing the extra storage area behind the step.  This will be accessible when the drawer is pulled out.  The far back of the drawer can be accessed from the passenger sliding door.   Will store things not used on a regular basis but carried for longer trips or overnights.
 

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Check out how The City upfitted this one.  Flashing lights in the grill, and on the front quarter panels just in front of the doors.  A full light bar in the front (which you may not want).  It's hard to see in the photo, but there is also a traffic advisor light mounted on the roof, right in front of the third brake light.

 

 

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Very cool.  That's a lot like what I'm envisioning. The front roof bar though I think will be a bar of white off-road high intensity CREE lights instead of flashing light bar.  But I like the grill lights and pillar lights are nice and very subtle.  Someday maybe even the rear traffic advisory light.

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I covered the vertical wood surfaces with a thin aromatic cedar board.  Cedar is a natural insect repellent and supposedly has calming and relaxing effects on K9's.

It also smells much nicer than a wet dog. :):puppy_kiss:

Now the space is starting to take shape.  Next step is the panel that will cover the second row bucket seat when it is folded down.  Then I think I'll be ready to install the matting.

The rear panel on the driver's side will eventually probably be bottom hinged to fold down for access and maybe for potential use as a small desk area.

For those wondering, I could have easily extended the build all the way to the rear.  But I needed to leave enough room on the right side for the dog to jump into the vehicle.  I was considering bringing the left side all the way to the rear but I liked having some space all the way across the back. Eventually I'll have a cargo net so for grocery shopping I can but bags across the back and hook the net across them. 

I also have an idea for a removable storage box that will go on the left side and easily hook one and off of the rear panel.  I also couldn't build all the way out if I wanted to access the jack inside the panel on the left.

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Edited by Tiller

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You have really engineered excellent answers to all of your objectives!  I really like the way you have both an extra seat in the back, but then a flat surface for sleeping when you don't need the seat.  It looks really nice and your construction shows real talent.  It's going to be a completely different vehicle compared to what you bought and really easy to convert back to stock if need be.  Thanks for posting all the details and the great photos.  No doubt you're going to find a few others who would like you to re-work their vans!

Don

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Thanks for the compliments Don.  They are appreciated!  A long way to go!

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On 1/5/2017 at 9:48 AM, Tiller said:

 a bar of white off-road high intensity CREE lights

 

 

 

You might consider one of these:

http://www.unityusa.com/385-Series-LED-6-Rooflight-Includes-Install-Kit-S04_p_2811.html

 

 

385 Series LED 6" Rooflight (Includes Install Kit) (S04)
 
385 Series LED 6" Rooflight (Includes Install Kit) (S04)
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385-0002
  • 385-0002-rooflight.jpg&maxx=50&maxy=0
  • 385-rooflight.jpg&maxx=50&maxy=0
  • 2874-Installation-Kit-Web.jpg&maxx=50&ma
  •  
  •  
 
 
 

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Thanks fifity!  Cause I want to be able to someday sell this, and I hate putting holes in a perfectly good car, I'd probably not do that. 

I'd probably look at something like this and find way to clamp it to a roof rack cross bar.  That's down the road a bit though!  Then if it works out well and I like it, if I ever sell the Connect, I can use it on the next vehicle as well.

http://www.fleetsafety.com/golight-2049-permanent-mount-combinaton-spotlight-searchlight/

 

 

Edited by Tiller

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Quote

 

I've seen those on Park Service vehicles.  Although I never bothered to ask a ranger if it was any good.

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On 1/8/2017 at 10:04 AM, Tiller said:

Thanks fifity!  Cause I want to be able to someday sell this, and I hate putting holes in a perfectly good car, I'd probably not do that. 

 

You'll put so much work and money into it, that you'll never get it back.  I've seen so many guys who are auxiliary fire, police reserve, et cetera, make modifications onto their personal vehicles.  And actually, most full time cops & firemen don't get to take cars home, so they wire up their personal cars in case they get called in.  At the end of the day, they find out that all of their goodies actually decreases the trade-in and resale value, because the dealer or next owner will have to do so much to return the vehicle to stock.  Sure, you take out all of the flashing lights and siren; but now there are clipped wires and holes everywhere.  Your best bet when you want another car, is to try to sell it to some other guy on your department.  Plenty of guys have alimony, child support, gambling problems, drinking problems, kids in private school, spend all their money on girls........they can't afford a new car, and will be glad to buy yours, with all the lights and siren, at a good price.

 

Go ahead.  Drill holes.  Cut things off.  Do whatever you need to make your vehicle functional.  

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Got some more time to work on the TC yesterday and today.  Completed the final panel that goes over the driver's side second row bucket seat.  The panel will fold back up on itself so the seat back can be raised upright.

Now I should be able to lay out a sleeping bag on the drivers side.  Hopefully the rubber matting will go down next weekend.

 

 

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Edited by Tiller

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Had relatively warm weather, (for this time of year), this weekend and was able to install the matting.

 

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Underlayment installed. Used a double-sided rug tape to hold this down.  The underlayment has an acoustic barrier to it.

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Meadow testing out a scrap piece of the matting.  Seems to approve.

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Installed.  The step section still needs to be trimmed off yet in this pic.  The dog crate will be on the right.  The left side will be available for sleeping bag or equipment.

 

Edited by Tiller

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This is the folding panel over the seat. If desired, the original framework could be easily modified under the platform to provide this folding panel over both seats but I had chosen to remove one seat and leave just one behind.

 

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Final install

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Added in the dog crate.

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The matting is rolled up behind the seat.  The panel then folds up on itself.

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And then folds back again behind the seat.

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Seat up in place.

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The matting, because of its design, rolls up nicely behind the seat.   Still some storage area available on top and all underside storage still available.

Edited by Tiller

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First day of training with the matting installed.

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Just before loading up.

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The first muddy footprints of the day.

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End of day.. but easy to clean off now.

Edited by Tiller

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Sweet.  Looks like you're ready to practice grappling in the back.

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4 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

Sweet.  Looks like you're ready to practice grappling in the back.

If the opportunity arises...  :thumbsup:

Headed for Mobile, Alabama for a 3-day training seminar. Leaving tomorrow, (Wednesday) for it. 15 hrs. each way.  Should be a good shake down and evaluation of what I've done so far.

 

Edited by Tiller

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So I drove from PA to Mobile, AL this past weekend for three day seminar and our re-certification. 2200 miles for the total trip.

No problems with the TC.  I heard complaints of the bucket seats but I didn't find it bad.  Drove about 12 hrs straight on the return trip.

Pic is of the TC all loaded up just before leaving.  Had a lot of my gear under the floor.  Slept in the back on the way down. The mat was waaaayyyyy to hard!  Going to have to find another mat for under the sleeping bag next time.  Otherwise I liked the mat I have.  It proved to be pretty durable.

 

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Get an inflatable mat. You can stuff it anywhere when not in use. A soft enough foam mattress is way too thick.

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