drivendaily
drivendaily Reader
9/11/21 6:25 p.m.

I finally got tired of working on rusty New England vehicles. After looking for a van that was new enough to not be rotted out, I came across a 1989/1990 G30 in South Carolina, and decided to buy it sight-unseen. I hopped on a plane, the seller picked me up at the airport, and I set my phone to 'avoid highways' for the 1k mile trip home to New Hampshire.

The drive home was absolutely breathtaking. A total of 24 hours behind the wheel (almost 40 hours total, including the plane trip) only had a few minor issues that were fixed with a quick stop at Harbor Freight.

The trip had a bunch of firsts for me. I had never been through the Carolinas, and the amount of Kudzu that covered everything was ridiculous. I had never had scrapple before, and that was ... a ... thing that I ate. I had never seen Amish people before, and it made my day when they waved to me from their buggies. Even the rest stops along the way were really nice!

I made it home and immediately started tearing in to the interior. The 80s-styled conversion-van wall carpets, fire-hazard interior lights, and three separate stereos had to go. Not only did it all smell horrible, but these interiors are surprisingly heavy. I really need that GVWR for tools and parts!

It also wasn't quite complete, and I'd rather have a barebones interior than an incomplete interior.

There was also a bit of a fire in the heater core, which smoked out any bugs that might have moved in. No damage to anything, but I need to recharge my fire extinguisher now.

As I was removing the interior, I must have bonked one of the side windows. Super dumb move on my part, I should have just tossed some cardboard over them.

I definitely got lucky though; The junkyard that's 5 minutes from my house had a perfect donor, and I got a bolt-in replacement for $35.

A bit more removal and a first-pass cleaning later, and I'm ready to start adding stuff back in!

This is the time to give me whatever advice you have, since I'm not married to any particular build-out yet. It's a 1ton, but it's old enough that the GVWR isn't as stout as modern vans/trucks. I'd like to keep weight down as much as possible. With this blank canvas and a weekend or three of free time, what would you build in here?

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
9/11/21 6:36 p.m.

I have a now not so secret desire for a G20/30 van.

JThw8
JThw8 UltimaDork
9/11/21 7:17 p.m.

On the very first BABE rally back in....ohhh, long ago.  Our first entry was a $200 G20 van similar to this.  An utter E36 M3heap which smelled of sweat socks and broken dreams but damn that thing just wouldnt die.   They are a great base for whatever you decide to do.

APEowner
APEowner SuperDork
9/11/21 8:51 p.m.

What's you're intended use for this? You said tools and parts but is it a work vehicle or race car hauler or....?

I've been on scene for two fatal accidents involving vans where the cargo killed the driver in what would likely have been otherwise survivable incidents.  As a result I'm a huge proponent of cages and/or well secured cargo. 

When I had my van (which was affectionately known as the world's ugliest Econline)  I built a bench seat and wall assembly behind the front seats.  The wall was right about in the middle of the double side door so you could access the cargo area from there or from the rear.  There was over 8' of floor space from the rear doors to under the bench seat.

drivendaily
drivendaily Reader
9/12/21 7:56 a.m.
APEowner said:

What's you're intended use for this? You said tools and parts but is it a work vehicle or race car hauler or....?

I've been on scene for two fatal accidents involving vans where the cargo killed the driver in what would likely have been otherwise survivable incidents.  As a result I'm a huge proponent of cages and/or well secured cargo. 

When I had my van (which was affectionately known as the world's ugliest Econline)  I built a bench seat and wall assembly behind the front seats.  The wall was right about in the middle of the double side door so you could access the cargo area from there or from the rear.  There was over 8' of floor space from the rear doors to under the bench seat.

It's going to be a race hauler that I can sleep in. Not having to set up camp will save quite a bit of time at each event, and it'd be nice to be able to have a dedicated 'race day' toolkit.

For cargo securing, I have 4 strips of etrack that have been sitting around waiting for an opportunity like this. I'm a big fan of holding loose items to the floor. I might pick up a cargo net, even.

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