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Discussion Starter · #421 · (Edited)
I still like Clifford. May hold out for and reclaim when it becomes available again. My daughter has the current CLFFRD and we still associate the name with that car. But it has been cycled through a few vehicles in the past. They were all registered as passenger cars, and the CLFFRD license plate passed from one to the next. One dilemma I have is the Promaster is registered as a "B" truck due to GVWR. Sometime between 2018 and 2020, Illinois started making the "B" really prominent, full size and in line with the other letters vs small and subtle, so it kind of ruins vanity tags. Unless it ends in a B.
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Well of course there is a "B" in

"Big Red Dog"

I also think animals show the emotional signs you wrote of earlier ,,, or I think along the same lines you do about them. Then again I think humans are just smart great apes ,,, well sometimes I think they are smart 🤓

Our "Red Dog" is only 10lbs, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in personality. Mrs. RV8R just said one day to me "So Our Breeder called" ,,, and I am like "We have a Breeder ,,, a Breeder for what?". So then a few weeks later "Rocket" showed up. He doesn't take my tools, however he has found ways to steal my time & I may complain about it ,,, but don't tell anybody as I really don't mind 🤫

He is 4 years old now.
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Discussion Starter · #424 ·
IMHO, a good portion of DIY is not carpentry skills, it is solving a continuing series of unforeseen minor problems. Something made from a kit is normally engineered for ease of assembly and has instructions, but every DIY is a unique prototype, so none of that. When we encounter problems, progress grinds to a halt or that job gets deferred, until we have an "Aha!" moment or find support and ideas here. i.e. my PM has a structural piece for a sliding door top track on the driver side, even though it does not actually have a door there. I know WHY they did it, now I have to figure out a way to work around an odd-shape piece of metal that is going to be in the way of other stuff.

Long way to introduce today's problem. I have all the "middle" furring strips for the ceiling in place. The front is going to require me to finish sound deadening and insulation over the cab and probably pull the shelf for access in the process. The rear end of the ceiling planks attach to the rear facia board over the rear doors. (What @chowmeist3r did in Post #45 over in the Granite build thread. Thanks again, Andy!). Problem... how to mark the proper location. One solution, since I am working alone, is to attach a pencil to the end and aligned with the top surface of a long (in this case 8') straight edge. The drag the straight edge along the existing furring strips, marking a line on the aft facia board where the top surface of the final ceiling planks should be. Then attach a strip there to "catch" the fasteners the ceiling will be held with. Voila!
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Discussion Starter · #426 · (Edited)
1. Making some custom cables and starting to run them, or at least explore places they will fit. #2/0 welding cable with solid copper strands. Lug crimped on with 45KN hydraulic crimping tool, then 3/4" glue lined heat-shrink tubing installed, then wrapped with split loom. Convenience of building them in-house vs sending out to have each custom made, and will pay for itself quickly.

2. The cable is for a self-jump option, running from van battery up front to house batteries over driver side rear wheel well. Will be fused on both ends and switched at rear. High amp fuse holder for #2/0 cable temporarily fit with VHB tape under driver side foot well cover, which leaves about 18" of wire (between it and start battery) unprotected. Cable to back laid in place, wire loom for cable to front just a place holder for now. QUESTION... Currently plan a 100 amp fuse here, but holder can take up to a 250 amp fuse and a #2/0 cable can take 200 amps over a 20 foot run with only 3% drop. Wondering what size fuse to put in that will still adequately protect the cable but not nuisance blow if using house batteries to crank the engine.

3. Can also use this wire to connect DC charger in the back without running its own #4 wire up to the front. BtB charger powered by house batteries, and my current plan is to tap into the AUX 2 switch relay (bottom of pax side B pillar) to use as the trigger, that way I can manage it from the driver seat if needed for short trips or sunny days. Don't really have a plan for AUX 1 yet.
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Discussion Starter · #428 · (Edited)
I wouldn't want to have a fuse there. It will take 15 minutes just to check it.
Good thing I haven't drilled any holes, then. But I can't find a place to fit a big fuse nearer the battery. And the battery compartment isn't really quick into get to, either. I could put the fuse farther away. which would be easier to access but leave more cable unprotected. Pictures, anyone?
 

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Discussion Starter · #429 · (Edited)
Thanks for your help! Appreciate it and wish I had your situation... You can just drop a mega fuse in there and be on your way : )

Can I just tap into one of the lugs (The 90degree one for instance) that is already occupied with a 6ga lug and fuse with an in line ANL Bluesea Fuse Holder?
My battery-top fuse holder is also completely full, and I have plans for the AUX switches and don't want to mess further with the up fitter connections. I came across this un-answered question on an old thread and think it is a possible and good solution. Anyone done this... build basically a little hot-buss bar to make room for an extra ANL or Maxi fuse, when there literally in no room for adding anything in OEM slots? Just need to keep it completely clear of anything it could bump and short out.
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Good thing I haven't drilled any holes, then. But I can't find a place to fit a big fuse nearer the battery. And the battery compartment isn't really quick into get to, either. I could put the fuse farther away. which would be easier to access but leave more cable unprotected. Pictures, anyone?
In older cars cables ran all the way from the battery to the interior fuse distribution panel and the starter motor unfused. If a cable is well protected from physical damage it can be okay to run it unfused to a suitable fuse location.
 

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Good thing I haven't drilled any holes, then. But I can't find a place to fit a big fuse nearer the battery. And the battery compartment isn't really quick into get to, either. I could put the fuse farther away. which would be easier to access but leave more cable unprotected. Pictures, anyone?
Is your spare “location” on the starter battery fuse block already taken ?

Blue Circle 80amp is what I added to the fuse block

Green Circle is the 70amp factory “upfitter fuse”

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Good thing I haven't drilled any holes, then. But I can't find a place to fit a big fuse nearer the battery. And the battery compartment isn't really quick into get to, either. I could put the fuse farther away. which would be easier to access but leave more cable unprotected. Pictures, anyone?
You have removed the plastic driver’s side door well at least once, so you know how long that takes. You can get faster at it after a few removals, but to access the starter battery takes a quarter “or a Loonie if Canadian” & 30 seconds (@ least once ya figure out where to stand & the tabs that tend to hang ya up that are located near the pedals).

If I understand you correctly, you plan to use the welding cables as DC2DC charging wires to the house battery with an option to “back feed / jump start” the starter battery.

My preference is to “fuse” as close to the source of energy as possible. I suppose you could install a fuse in the location you have planned sized for a “dead short” only & then again at your house battery sized for your back-feed jump start setup.

I have not looked on your build site for an electrical drawing & I know you are a very smart guy, but that can be helpful here if you want ideas. Multiple experienced heads, etc thinking outside the box. YMMV 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #433 ·
Is your spare “location” on the starter battery fuse block already taken ?

Blue Circle 80amp is what I added to the fuse block

Green Circle is the 70amp factory “upfitter fuse”
Yes, that spare position (red circle) runs to one of the inline fuses added on top of the red cover. I can still add the cable there since it won't interfere with any factory fuses, IF I can find a place to put the corresponding ANL fuse.

The place where you added your 80 amp fuse (blue circle) has a 250 amp fuse on mine. Still trying to decipher the factory wiring plan... the owner's manual not much help (I like specifics), and the whole thing looks kinda cobbled together as an afterthought.
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Yes, that spare position (red circle) runs to one of the inline fuses added on top of the red cover. I can still add the cable there since it won't interfere with any factory fuses, IF I can find a place to put the corresponding ANL fuse.

The place where you added your 80 amp fuse (blue circle) has a 250 amp fuse on mine. Still trying to decipher the factory wiring plan... the owner's manual not much help (I like specifics), and the whole thing looks kinda cobbled together as an afterthought.
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I like the specifics also ,,, had a career full of them (or hunting for them),,,

I have the one fuse top (lower in your photo), but not the one in your photo I “blue circled”.

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FYI; Info “Tidbit” The Dealer told me the fuses for the battery top block are made by;

 

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Discussion Starter · #436 · (Edited)
My battery connections seem to be pretty booked up. I don't have the empty spot that most here seem to have. This is a new 2017, not sure what option would have added this connection. It is a 250 amp fuse, with only one connection... a 50 amp inline fuse (upper left). No idea where this goes. I unscrewed the terminals and the ring is adhered to the fuse. :confused:
I went and traced cables this morning, and I'm almost certain that the 250A MEGAVAL fuse is connected to the additional fuse box in the passenger B-pillar. There are two additional fuses beyond the earlier van photos:

  • 70A fuse wired to the Upfitter Power Connector and documented in the body builder guide
  • 250A fuse wired to a second 50A fuse, with a narrower-gauge wire than the one for the Upfitter Power Connector

I do have the Auxiliary Switches option (LHL), as does beewill, and the switches provide 20A each per the accessory connector PDF. From my wire tracing it looks like the narrower-gauge wire feeds into the fuse and relay block adjacent to the upfitter connector, which would make sense.

I suspect that the 250A fuse is used for both the Auxiliary Switches and the Auxiliary Battery Prep, which is why it's so oversized, and has the secondary 50A fuse for the wiring I do have. Based on this, I'm thinking I'll tap off the 250A fuse with a second lug and wire (sized for 250A, or add a secondary fuse) for my house battery charging.
Your pink fuse, is the 2nd time I have heard of this. There was another Forum Member within the last few months that reported the same thing “the spare spot” already taken up. 🤔

I can not recall the outcome of that one.

Do you know what your “pink fuse” is for? I believe the majority of Promasters come with the “spare spot”
Questions about the pink Mega fuse question go back at least as far as 2017. No definitive answer WHY is set up that way. But I like @dttocs logic and will probably attach my #2/0 cable to the downwind side of the 250 amp fuse and eliminate the ANL fuse in the footwell. A bit more research needed before committing to this. There are ALWAYS unintended consequences.

Another option is to fit a fuse in the big space over the two screws and red drywall anchor thing. There is plenty of room there, but probably some interference in the way the whole battery control unit (that fuse panel's real name) is attached to the battery.
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Discussion Starter · #437 · (Edited)
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I love this meme... because it is absolutely true. Having previously owned a 1949 Plymouth and currently a 1960 Chevy, the owner's manuals included a lot of maintenance information and NO tort law public service announcements. My newer cars manuals are as thick as a phone book (remember those?) but have very little useful information in them. So, mostly because I hope some of my projects will outlive me, I feel the need to document at least the things I have added. So, whoever ends up with this won't have to guess. Or spend hours digging online.

... access to the starter battery takes a quarter “or a Loonie if Canadian” & 30 seconds
Or from northern Minnesota. Canadian change does a really good job sneaking across the border. :)

If I understand you correctly, you plan to use the welding cables as DC2DC charging wires to the house battery with an option to “back feed / jump start” the starter battery.
Yes. Fused at both ends, connected to a 60 amp DC charger. Plus a big red switch to by-pass the charger for the wilderness emergency. IIRC the charger has the ability to do that itself, but I don't trust the internal circuitry of off-shore products with my life. Direct connection (like a jumper cable) gives peace of mind. Plus it becomes a two way street.

I have not looked on your build site for an electrical drawing, but that can be helpful here if you want ideas. Multiple experienced heads, etc thinking outside the box. YMMV 😁
The tab in the Conversion Owner's Manual I am currently working on is "Electrical". Most of my notes are scribbled on Post-It notes, so majority of work is finding / collating missing data, fact-checking it, and then making it pretty. And dumbing it down so even I can understand it. Lot of OCD work to do. Partial examples below... Appreciate anyone's help filling in the gaps.
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Questions about the pink Mega fuse question go back at least as far as 2017. No definitive answer WHY is set up that way. But I like @dttcos logic and will probably attach my #2/0 cable to the downwind side of the 250 amp fuse and eliminate the ANL fuse in the footwell. A bit more research needed before committing to this. There are ALWAYS unintended consequences.

Another option is to fit a fuse in the big space over the two screws and red drywall anchor thing. There is plenty of room there, but probably some interference in the way the whole battery control unit (that fuse panel's real name) is attached to the battery.
View attachment 88196
Thanks that photo & green arrows shows what that 250amp fuse is connected to - I do not have that nor do I know what it is or the rating of the secondary fuse ,, I am confused. 🤪

The red drywall anchor thing has to be removed to remove the "battery control unit", so you might not want to cover it up.

Ya I see the logic in bolting your welding cable onto the (non-battery) side of that 250amp pink fuse, I would just like to know that the draw is towards that secondary fuse & what it is powering.

Same logic would apply to the "upfitter fuse" if the load you are using off that is light.

Not usually the way I like to do terminations, but sometimes we get stuck into these compromises and they can be ok if the DIY does the research and thinks it thru for the pitfalls. The Caveat in these situations is I design and build the electrical system for me & Mrs. RV8R (she is also a pilot and can turns things and stuff on and off in sequence - as long as the system or avionics are explained to her), and not for a "customer" like @HarryN does where he has to make the managing of the system pretty bulletproof or suffer the consequences of late night phone calls cause you know "it is dark outside & inside his customer's van".

If the existing load to that pink 250amp is light, and your welding cable can handle the 250amps, and you find out what that secondary fuse powers, then I could see attaching to the non-battery side of it for your purposes. Like you wrote a bit more research & vetting out the "unintended consequences".
 

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Discussion Starter · #439 · (Edited)
it will be interesting to see how much red interior u keep.....
Probably not a lot. I imagine it will at least be visible be around the door edges and the rear corner areas for access to tail lights, etc. ... I think the factory grey from the front might flow well through the living area.
I think I am going to end up with a lot more red than I originally pictured. Looking at the front doors indicates what the factory thought was acceptable. If I can keep that or a little less proportion of red to black and gray in the back, I'll be happy.
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But there are some areas that definitely need to be covered. I need to cover the holes in the beam over the rear doors with something, probably foil tape, just to keep the insulation from leaking out into the sleeping area. To cover that, I experimented with some scrap pieces to find the angle (12°) for adding a horizontal trim piece to the vertical piece already (temporarily) installed.
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The ripping some 1" x 4" poplar with that angle, cutting to length (22" and 23", one side longer than the other), and drilling a few Kreg holes for strength. I would have preferred to have these holes on the other side to conceal them, but that would have left very little wood on the main board for the screw tip to bite into. Kreg does make some suitable plugs, and with a little sanding prior to paint I hope them to not be obvious.
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Discussion Starter · #440 ·
Attaching the trim to the main board proved a little tricky. Joinery is an art, and I envy you guys with mad wood working skills. I am embarrassed to admit, with that 12° angle, I could not find a way to clamp them that did not cause the boards to slip under compression. So, giving the wood glue a few minutes, then carefully running the Kreg screws in to pull the boards tightly together, seemed to work. Will probably add a small fillet across the backside just for insurance. Still need to sand, paint, insulate prior to final install, but put up just to check the fit. Does look better than the factory holes, especially from the outside looking up. And a little less red to live with.
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