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Old 06-08-2019   #406
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

It's been a bit quieter with restoration than I hoped for because I've been chipping away at tidying up my 500 and the summer has brought all sorts of other things to do....not least of which are holidays.

But I've gradually layed four coats of paint on the petrol-tank and I've been sealing the seams under the centre of the van floor and this will be followed with stone-chip paint in the near future, followed by the installation of the tank and pipework.

I've completed the fixings for the five hinges on the roof and made a start on insulation. Obviously this wouldn't have been done originally, but I might as well whilst it's stripped out.

I'm running out of time to get the roof back on before the winter but fingers crossed.
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Old 07-08-2019   #407
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
...followed by the installation of the tank and pipework.
Don't forget to cut an access hole in the floor above the fuel tank sender unit, it will make fitting all the pipes and checking for leaks later much easier.

I speak from painful experience (I didn't) and now I've got to drop the tank again to try and locate where the excessive smell of petrol is coming from. If I had put in an inspection hatch it would have taken ten minutes... not several hours crawling on my back

Also, if you have to change the sender unit in the future you won't need to drain the tank, if you can go in from the top.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #408
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I had a spare sender unit for the fuel tank which is a good job because the body of the original is fairly corroded despite working perfectly. The spare was giving no reading on the multimeter but by carefully wiping the resistor wires and lubricating with some electrical grease I got it working.

To test it the meter has to be set on the 200 ohm range and with the negative probe on the body of the unit and the positive on the terminal to the gauge the resistance increases, in this case from 22 to 199 ohms as the float arm is lowered.

A simple continuity test ascertains that the low fuel signal is working because this is either on or off.

I also tested the float for any leaks by immersing in warm water.

To access the internals there is a litle oblong of plastic which slides and releases two tabs.

You can see the two arms and contacts for the two signals and make out the windings of the resistor.

I expected this to be more complicated but now I have faith that it will work when fitted. I have a new gasket for the top of the tank and all I need to work out now is is which way to orientate the sender unit within the tank.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #409
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

The sudden appearance of sunshine and warmth has jogged me into action with painting the roof. This is at a stage when I suddenly had the inspiration to buy some MDF and start re-making the interior panels; so that's now on hold.

The fibreglass had been repainted at various times, just like the rest of the van. Most of it seemed OK but it was well scratched and with some flaky areas. I filled the marks with polyester stopper and for starters sprayed a couple of coats of high-build primer. This stuff is really good although a small area reacted with some old paint beneath. It sanded down well with 400 grit and I think two more coats and another sanding should do it. The huge area seemed daunting but having very few changes of contour and being a continuous sufrace it was surprisingly quick and easy to prepare.

On this panel my final coat is going to be the much vaunted Rustoleum Combicolour, which everyone seems to put on with a roller; I will be spraying it on. My thinking is that it will be harder-wearing than cellulose and less likely to react with any of the fibreglass or previous paint products. The top-finish is very wavy by design as it has very little internal support, but the sides are evenly moulded.

We've become impatient to get on the road so in the interim we have invested in a 20 year old VW T4, which really shows the impudent size of the 900e. It's actually been a bit of inspiration to see that even a fairly high-end product like the VW has an element of homespun about the internals.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #410
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Hi Peter
What have you used for the interior (silver) insulation/soundproofing?
Was it self-adhesive?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #411
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
Hi Peter
What have you used for the interior (silver) insulation/soundproofing?
Was it self-adhesive?

I've had it so long Gary, that I can't trace the source. It must have been the cheapest I could find. It is about 10mm thick and black, closed-cell foam with a self-adhesive backing. The foil top layer is reinforced with fibreglass mesh. I have sealed the joins with aluminium tape. The main thing I'm trying to do is to avoid condensation in hidden areas but I'm lucky that the amount of fixed fibreglas roof on this version of the van insulates much of the metalwork from being in direct contact with the cold air.

The top half of the roof got its first two coats of white Rustoleum Combicolor today. I thinned it with ordinary white-spirit and as it still ends up fairly viscous, I sprayed it (not advised on the tin) using a nozzle that I usually use for undercoat.

It goes on really well and although it will benefit from another coat it already has almost complete coverage and no runs. I knew it would take ages to dry but this allows it to level out and become shiny without polishing.
The colour match with the Corfu White on the bodywork looks pretty good. All I have to do is wait a week or so before I can touch it again.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #412
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
Hi Peter
What have you used for the interior (silver) insulation/soundproofing?
Was it self-adhesive?
Camping mats make a good job of insulation. I had them bonded to the inside of my aluminium Land Rover roof.

D
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #413
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by rallycinq View Post
Camping mats make a good job of insulation. I had them bonded to the inside of my aluminium Land Rover roof.

D
Without the foil or adhesive but basically the same stuff.

More layers added today with the MDF inner "eaves" cut and fitted using the tatty remants of the old pieces as a guide. These are partly wedged into place as original and then secured by screwing into a frame made of angle-iron which is rivetted to the rectangular hole in the roof. This frame has the chalked-in words, " Sleeping Giant" still visble, which I forgot to photograph.

I used a brilliant spray-adhesive called "Web-Tack" to fit the 19mm upholstery-foam which is a backing to the headlining fabric which I will be fitting next.

It all went remarkably well for a job that I have been putting off for months!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #414
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I bit the bullet today and made a successful start on sticking down the headlining "carpet", I was a bit worried that it would be difficult to use as it's thicker and has less "give" than the horrible brown stuff that was used originally. But it went on easily, although it was a slow and methodical job for this upholstery novice, it quickly made a big difference to the front sleeping platform, giving it a light and comfy floor.

This is the second biggest and possibly the most difficult section that needs covering. But when de-constructing the van I realised that there was a specific order that it all goes together. So the next job will be a small area at the back of the van followed by the two side-panels.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #415
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Finished! It feels very nice to the touch and it also feels very nice to have got over this hurdle. Now I'm looking at the inside of the top of the roof and working out how all the lifting mechanism goes back in. and which parts of it might be showing signs of wear.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #416
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I've fitted the rooflining in the cab and over a small area at the back of the van. This is the traditional perforated white vinyl. The vinyl is backed by a thin layer of fabric and is amazingly stretchy and easy to use. Some vehicles use complex rods or formers to make the shape, but in this van it was simply glued and tensioned on three sides and the final stretching is done using staples to the MDF cross pieces that I fitted earlier.

I'm also fitting a second interior light. I've used a fairly traditional design but with the upgrade of LEDs. I've used Labcraft Trilite and these are very low profile and lightweight and give out a brilliant light.

I've refitted some of the original trim pieces for now so that they secure the rooflining, but I have some white and some grey vinyl on order which should make a big difference to the appearance of the van once I get round to re-covering them.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #417
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Looking good.
You appear to be making rapid progress now. You will soon be ready for your first trip if you carry on at this pace
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Old 1 Day Ago   #418
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
Looking good.
You appear to be making rapid progress now. You will soon be ready for your first trip if you carry on at this pace


That would be good.....but loads to do yet; eg, all the mechanical work!!!

I sorted the fitment fuel tank at last and went the whole hog with the solid and flexible fuel-lines and the filler-tube and breather-pipe.

Today I used the remnants of the old window surrounds as patterns to cut new hardboard. Once I stripped out the vinyl which was glued to them there was not much left. The next stage is to glue some new, white vinyl to replace the old brown stuff. I should have some nice images of it within the next week or so.
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