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CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
3/19/21 9:32 p.m.

Pete, do you find the pedal placement on your van uncomfortable? 

I find the brake and gas pedals to be too far apart, as in, the brake is too close, and the gas pedal is too deep/far, if that makes sense. I have to do a lot of dorsiflexion of my foot to press the gas.

I’m wondering if there’s a solution. I’m thinking a floor mat might help to get my foot higher, but wanted to see if you’ve heard of any good mods.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/27/21 4:39 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

I've noticed that, but it's not really bothered me. If I'm in sketchy traffic I just use both feet. Tom did put in some deep floor mats & I sit nearly all the way forward, so that may have something to do with my foot position relative to the pedals. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/27/21 4:53 p.m.

So I've been measuring/pondering/sketching/revising ideas for building a raised roof extension & have a question for the hive. 
 

I'm planning on building a rectangular frame using 80/20(or equivalent), with 90* rounded extrusions for the 4 corner uprights, 4 horizontal cross pieces F/R, and 4 horizontal side pieces L/R. Then I was going to use square extrusions about every 2' horizontally across the top & vertically on the sides. Then I was going to fill the rectangular voids with an FRP/XPS/plywood sandwich & coat the outside of the whole thing in liquid RV butyl rubber.

But...

I realized that the rectangular spaces on top could be adjusted slightly so I could fit the solar panels flush into them, vs. mourning them on/above the roof where they'll impact speed/mpg & be more susceptible to damage from debris. Obviously I'll need to mount them from above so I can replace them if needed, but I'm not sure how to make it all weatherproof?

I could run a bead of silicone around the panels, then use the butyl rubber for the rest of the roof, but will that be good enough? Do I need to create a 2nd waterproof barrier inside/under the roof & drain it to the outside, just in case there's a leak around the panels?

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
3/27/21 8:36 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Good to know, thanks! I’ll try some deep floor mats. And yeah I’ve been left foot braking a lot too.

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified HalfDork
3/28/21 7:29 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Are you wanting to make the van into a high roof or are you looking to make a solar panel mount?

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/28/21 9:59 a.m.

In reply to Ben_Modified :

Ben the current plan is to build a ~22" raised roof - although that's measured from the top of the drip rail above the rear doors. So it'll actually only be about 16" taller than the highest point of the existing roof. 
 

Initially I was going to wait until later to add solar, and just mount it on the top of the roof like normal. Seeing that I may be able to flush-mount the solar panels into the top of the new roof would be cool & is certainly an intriguing idea.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/28/21 5:40 p.m.

It be a lot of extra work to have drains and flush mount... but WAY cool!

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/17/21 5:09 p.m.

It was time to re-tire the van. I knew the Falkens were pretty feathered, but I didn't really notice it around town. Our recent road trips were another story - it was almost deafening at times. 

I went with Kumhos this time. They were slightly cheaper than the Falkens with similar reviews. I wasn't 100-yards out of the tire shop's lot before it was obvious that it drives like a new van. That's not hyperbole - it seriously feels like a brand-new vehicle compared to before. 
 

We have another trip coming up, so I'll post a longer review afterward. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/25/21 1:12 p.m.

We travel with our critters, and when we took our trip last month we discovered our tortoises didn't like spending 2 days on the road in their totes(we did let them roam the hotel room overnight though). So on the trip home we let them roam the blocked off rear seat area & they seemed much happier. The step for the side doors is a bit of a problem though, since they could fall in & get trapped - and since we might not see/notice them, they could possibly fall out onto the pavement.
 

On that trip we had a shoe box & some other stuff to fill the gap, but I wanted a solution ready prior to our next one. So about an hour & some crap wood I had lying around ended up with this. 
 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/21 10:18 p.m.

I moved the van forward a few feet in the driveway Saturday & when I started it later I noticed it cranked a while before it fired. I figured it was because it only ran a few seconds, but when I started Sunday & again Monday it did the same thing. So I tried turning the key on to prime the pump, then back off, before starting it. That worked fine. Great, fuel pump time...

I picked it up from the mechanic this afternoon - I didn't particularly want lay on the driveway with gas pouring on my face. He changed the filter too & showed me how filthy it was. I ran some errands & I seriously think I regained 5-10hp!

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
6/19/21 11:39 a.m.

Let me know how you like the Kumhos, I ended up getting the Continental TerrainContact that Curtis recommended. I love them, but they were kind of pricey.

Glad you got a couple of horses. I need to check my air filter. My E250 occasionally dies after climbing a big hill and then coming to a stop. I’m wondering if it’s the fuel pump as well. Curious: How much did the mechanic charge?

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/19/21 12:22 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

Pump & filter were $650, though I told him not to put a cheap pump in since I plan on keeping the van long-term. 

I've not had a chance to try the Kumho's off road. But driving through deep puddles, wet sand, and our wet/flooded side yard I've not had any problems. 

I did get a vibration the first time I was on the interstate after our last trip. It had been fine around town, but was pretty bad around 75-80. I honestly thought I'd lost a wheel weight, so I took it to the tire shop & asked them to rebalance the rears & rotate the tires. They tried to argue they didn't need rotated yet, but I explained how bad these vans are on tires, so I'm going to rotate them with each oil change at 3k The vibration is gone, but there's definitely a bit more road noise now then when they were new. 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
6/19/21 2:29 p.m.

Helpful information, thank you Pete.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/4/21 10:47 a.m.

Hey Pete, how have you liked the KYB shocks on the van? 

I'm thinking my van needs new dampers and I am curious about the KYB monotubes I saw on the GRM build page.

I thought about the Bilstein B6s, but one person on one of the Ford forums said they were a bit stiff and increased rattles. I'm looking for comfortable but not sloppy. Thx!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/4/21 11:03 a.m.

I thought they were fine when I owned it. Not amazing, not terrible, just fine. For a van I think I made the right choice, but I'd be dissappointed if I'd bought them for a Miata. 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/4/21 12:46 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Good to know, thanks Tom!

I don’t see a lot of options for these vans, so “fine” will probably have to be good enough. The Bilsteins are expensive, but more worrisome to me is the increased rattles. My van has a LOT of stuff to rattle in it. All the other options are cheap-o stuff from what I can tell. I suppose I could go OE, but not sure that would be better or worse than the KYBs.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/4/21 12:50 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

Yeah I'd agree with Tom's assessment. I sure wouldn't mind a bit more rebound sometimes, but they very definitely don't suck. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/29/21 5:28 a.m.

I hopped in the van last night to go to the store & just happened to glance down at the odometer. 
 

 

I've actually not been putting very many miles on it the past few months. The July/Aug/Sept autocrosses were all canceled, and with the higher gas prices I've been using the Fit to run errands more often. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/16/22 11:01 a.m.

I've been meaning to post this for a couple weeks. I sent an oil sample to Bobzilla for analysis & was very happy with the results. Major thanks to Tom & the rest of the GRM crew for taking such good care of this van!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
3/16/22 11:46 a.m.

Woohoo! Good to see it's still going strong.

I need to pick up a Motorcycle in Atlanta in a few weeks. Sure, my truck will do it just fine, but I have to admit I was missing the van when planning this trip. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/16/22 2:34 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I actually managed 15mpg driving it to band practice & back on Sunday. It's amazing how that works out when I don't drive like a bat out of hell. 

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