Project Description

JERRY HUTCHCROFT

EDITOR-AT-LARGE

I’ve mentioned many times over the last 30+ years that I’m not a very good mechanic, so when I accomplish something mechanical it always gives me a little thrill. Here are a couple recent examples; I now have a very low mileage (60,000) 2007 Chevrolet Express 3500 (one ton) van. It is a passenger van, so came with seating for about 15 people. I’ve removed all of the rear seats and realized that it’s pretty well insulated back there, which should be good for dealing with both the heat and the cold. The big ugly van has the 6.0 liter V-8 engine and the heavy duty 4L80E transmission and working cruise control and cold air conditioning. Those were the main things I wanted in a van, that l plan to use for towing when I go racing and going on little get out of town trips. The rear part of the van will soon include a bed, a fan and a portable A/C unit that will be bolted down for safety.

My 2000 watt generator will be used when l need the A/C. Venting the exhaust from the A/C unit has been a frustrating experience as I’ve tried to figure out how to do that without drilling any holes in the van. I actually spent 45 minutes wandering through the local Home Depot hoping that something would jump out as the WALLA item that would solve this problem. Didn’t happen! Tony, one of my racing buddies suggested simply removing one of the rear windows and putting in a piece of wood to attach the vent hose to. After more pondering and thinking I decided that his idea might be the best. Long story short, as I was figuring out how to remove that piece of glass, I noticed that the plastic inner door panel had a lot of space leading up to the glass. I also realized that the window opened up about an inch and a half at the very bottom. Then l started looking closely at the A/C mounting bracket for the exhaust hose. Bolting that bracket the to door panel has solved the exhaust problem and still allows for opening and closing that rear window and saves the window for better rear vision.

The other REDNECK fix was solving the problem of the side van barn-door that would not open from the inside. I watched every YOUTUBE video and nothing related to my specific door. After removing the door panel I tried this and that, and eventually got the door to NOT open from the outside either, which required going inside to figure out how to get the door open. Once I discovered which little rod actually opened the door, I decided that me and Mickey Mouse could solve this problem too. So, let’s just say that an old shifter ball attached by a solid rubber bungee to the top of that little rod and exiting through the door panel, allows me to open the door from the inside. The door locks still work, the outside door handle works and it didn’t cost hundreds of dollars at the Chevy dealer. Yep, it’s a REDNECK fix, but like most of them, it solved the problem and at zero cost. The next problem with the van will be stripping off the remaining 60% of the factory white paint. The other 40% has already fallen off as it has on almost all of this generation of GM trucks and vans. The van is huge, so this is gonna be a big HOT job, can’t wait to get started (LIAR)