Saturday, 10 March 2012

Main Body Work

1st week of body work underway, finding all the rust (mainly along the roof) cutting it out and replacing with new sheet metal. Drivers floor has been replaced and primed with anti rust. All unnecessary wiring will be removed. Too much cut and snip over the years with Stereos & Alarms. I will use phosphoric acid based anti rust treatment (unheard of around here) to neutralize new metal before primer / paint / undercoating. The body man tells me the last body shop just welded plates over the rust and did'nt cut it out. That was about 12-13 years ago.
Here's a video after 2 weeks of body work

All the rust has now been removed and all the new metal has been treated with Loctite Extend Rust Treatment.
This chemical neutralises all rust and seals the metal to prevent rust. No Body man or car paint supply store had even heard of this here. Should help keep rust from coming back. Had to order from Johore Baru and came in one day by courier. Body work done, goes to paint shop on Monday!
As the paint shop is not able to start on the van for one week, I will have a welder put in the steel angle iron frame for the back storage/bench seats that with a board/table in the middle they will convert to a bed. These will be covered with plywood or MDF board and carpeted afterwards. Here's the plan.

Below is the finished job, done in about 2 hours! Welded in and solid.
Now the van is at the paint shop. Paint work will start 1st April and will take about 3 weeks.

Preped for primer
Primed and ready for Paint!
We have color!
Outside Finished!
On the road again!


  1. nice project. please keep on updating this project so that others who interested can use this project as a guide.

  2. Hi Mark,

    Good work. However, second hand cars /vans are cheap in Malaysia so I think a newer van would give less headache later on. I have also been toying with the idea of a campervan..a small one but later as all my free time is used to build a catamaran. You can follow progress on

    Capt Wong

  3. Hey Capt!
    I've owned this van since new in 1985, Have rebuilt enjine suspension,brakes etc. just body work and interior now.Had my boats before (hole in the water ya pour money into).Now I'm gonna have a "Land Boat"!Already know what I got. Sentamental value to me. Not gonna use much anyway. Gonna buy a 2nd hand Pajero to pull a caravan later. Next project.
    Good luck on your boat.

  4. This looks like an awesome project. Good luck with it.

    Couple of questions.
    1. Unless you open the windows, it can get stuffy and warm inside. If you open the windows the mosquitos come uninvited. I'm assuming running the engine all night for the AC isn't an option due to the costs and environmental damage. What's your plan to solve this?
    - E.g. solar panel on top, to charge up a battery and some ventilation ducts above to remove the hot air and get some circulation.
    2. Are you clear about the legality aspects of doing this in Malaysia?
    3. On your road trip: how do you find a place to shower?


    1. You can put screens on the windows for the mosquitos. Run a 12volt fan. Plan to have 220 volt connection for places with hookups and probly buy a generator for remote long term stops. Use the new portable aircons that are now available. 1hp 9000BTU, Exhust hot air from window with supplied vent or build a vent out the side of the van.
      Legal aspects? No matter what you do, there will always be the "funny funny" situations along the road with JPJ roadblocks as you may know. As long as everything is well secured and seats have seat belts, should be ok. I will make the tall cabinet that blocks part of a window removable just incase.Do I want to go and ask? NO. Besides I've drivn this van as a camper van for 27 years already with a bed in the back. I'm just doin an upgrade/repair/renovation.
      Shower? Plan to put a water tank under the van with electric pump for outdoor showers. Many rest areas now have showers with their public toilets along the main highway in Malaysia. Camping near lakes & rivers will solve the shower problems as well. Dont forget, it's called camping, so a bit of ruff'n it is normal. Bring wife and kids (or fussy girlfriend)things become more complicated of course. Couple of guys goin fishin, no problem lah!
      Every camper design has to fit for what is needed. Mine is mainly set up for solo travel and day trip picnics. A stop in a hotel now and then is ok with me also.

    2. For showers, all you need is a garden spray bottle with a pump, and a popup changing tent. It works really well, and with the high pressure spray you only need small amount of water to have a decent shower. This is my preferred option even when my campervan has a shower because it use up water rather quickly. tj

  5. for the past few months, I've been having talks, with my other half, to sell everything we've got in KL and just travel the world with our yorkshire terrier. We figured that now would be the best time since we don't have children yet.

    My parents are also tempted to do that once their 12yo miniature pinscher passes away.

    We've been considering a campervan (with 4x4 would be better)... Only thing keeping us is what to expect when traveling the world, with a dog, in a camper. What kind of documents/permits would be needed? Where to park? How do we get water supply etc etc etc...

    You and TJ are really inspiring. I hope you would document all your travel experiences so that people like me can learn from you .


  6. Hey Thanks!
    Wow sounds like a great trip! You'd probly want to contact the embassies of each country you want to visit for more info. Better get a new van, not many 4x4 vans on the market. Otherwise a Toyota Hiace might be good cause they are around the world and parts & service would be better. Diesel powered is a good idea as well. If just 2 of you and a dog you will have plenty of room in the Hiace. Look at all the designs on the net and take your time to plan.I'm thinking your in Malaysia? All needs to be self made here. If your in the real world then there many ready made campervans available.
    All the best and have a great trip!