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What has two seats, a mid-mounted 6 cylinder engine, and a turbo?


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The white textured wall covering... Is it vinyl? Only I have been looking for some just like that to fill in between two panels on my boat.

Interesting to read all this van conversion stuff, I have been doing much the same dragging a 1970s boat into the current era. If you think van shapes are difficult you should try boats. Lots of what my woodwork teacher used to call circle-on-circle or something. 

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I've read that electrical post two times and my brain just refuses to make any sense of it at all. I'm glad it works! Our H van had two halogen spot lamps that ran off the standard battery, meaning I had to hand-crank the engine if the battery ran low (all 1911cc of it). I at least understood how it worked.

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I like electrics but I tend to overkill everything. I helped wire a Nova rally car and used relays for everything because I wasn't confident about power through various wire thicknesses. Luckily it was all stripped out so it was only fuel pumps, camera, washers and what not otherwise the car would have been full of relays.


Did manage to get ignition working through the rear wash wipe switch though. Click on, then flick for momentary starter. Click off to stop. Nice and factory looking!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Then next stage was the seating - Mrs_the_cat agreed to pay if I could get it looking a bit more up to date inside.  So we went along to a company called Martrim, who'd been recommended by a friend. We'd planned to get new foam as well, reasoning that surely it must be best its best but they reckoned it was fine - doing themselves out of more sales but saving us a few quid.


While the cushions were away I thought I'd better do something about the toilet. It was just stored at the end of the seat which was functional enough but apparently not very nice to look at. I used to strap in in place for obvious reasons, although an emergency stop once saw it fly upwards, out of the straps and crashing forwards into the cab step. Fortunately it was better sealed than I'd expected, but clearly I didn't want to put this to the test a second time...


So I built a lightweight framework:




Then bonded on sheets of thin ply. This gives it surprising rigidity, so you can actually sit on top of it despite being very light weight.




The finished job!




With the new seats in the background...






They did a top job, I really can't fault them at all. I might have to take one of the Stellar seats to them for repairs as they do car trimming too. They had a Gordon Keeble in there when I went, although I was more interested in the Mk3 Cavalier which had recently left. That had a full retrim in red leather - not cheap!

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I really like these and that is an impressive amount of work there Mr MtC :-) :-) :-) ...These things had a good innings didn't they...mid seventies when they hit the market...wasn't it??


Your reg number is local to me. FE is a Lincoln identifier... :-)

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Yeah, '76 to '96 I think. Right on the reg too - I picked it up from over that way after an 8 hour train journey. The trip back was pretty uneventful, and I even had a caravan to sleep in if I so wished although I ended up stopping off at a mate's in Derby on the way. My overriding memory of that night out is the light-up glass dance floor in one of the bars which I thought was ace! Unfortunately I managed to destructively test its impact resistance after a spot of enthusiastic dancing to Don't Stop Me Now, at which point we swiftly left...

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  • 3 months later...

Not much to report - still running well. We're going away next month and likely to be doing ~3k miles so I've given it a good checkover and a service. Managed to find the (usually expensive) air filter for £2.99 on eBay so pleased with that! I also changed the switch in the cooling system which keeps the electric water pump running if hot after the engine is turned off - surprisingly high tech considering the age of the design.

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I need to fit some new tyres before we go away, so have decided to go for 215/80 R14s instead of 205s. They are listed as an alternative fit and will raise the gearing slightly. Hopefully will help with fuel consumption a little!




Got a great price from Tyreleader, which was actually less than I paid for the smaller Kumhos 5 years ago! I wasn't too impressed with them as all were showing perishing after 4 years, and one looked like this last summer!




Last year I bought 3 replacement wheels for the van, just to keep me going. The tyres were OK although fairly old, but the wheels were mint having come from a 30k mile van. So I'll fit the new tyres to those, and have resprayed one of my originals to match:



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I got the tyres fitted, but on looking at them alongside the originals I was starting to get a bit worried!




They looked considerably bigger, so much so that I was concerned they'd look daft and maybe even foul on the front wheel arches. But once on there seemed to be very little difference:






3000 rpm used to correspond to 53 mph, so will see how much of a difference it's made...

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I got the tyres fitted, but on looking at them alongside the originals I was starting to get a bit worried!




They looked considerably bigger, so much so that I was concerned they'd look daft and maybe even foul on the front wheel arches. But once on there seemed to be very little difference:






3000 rpm used to correspond to 53 mph, so will see how much of a difference it's made...

Depending how many miles the old tyres have on them, i'd wager the new ones will see a gps verified 54-55mph.


Your new tyres are 2.3% larger so speedo will under read;)

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The 53 mph was with GPS, by my logic the relationship between wheel rotation and engine speed will be unaffected, just that I'll be going further for each revolution. So would expect the speedo and rev counter to read the same, yes.


Had a soft spot for the LT after having one as a school minibus, but now I appreciate the engineering too. Very efficient use of road space, and double wishbone independent front suspension was probably quite unusual for a van back in the 700. And the throb of the 6 pot is reassuringly comforting on a long journey :-)

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3000 rpm used to correspond to 53 mph, so will see how much of a difference it's made...


57 mph on the sat nav at 3000 rpm now, and (like seemingly everyone who's fitted larger tyres) the "speedo now reads spot on". It does actually seem to, at least within the width of the needle at 50 mph. Doesn't struggle to pull the higher gearing; I'm in the same gears on hills as before so a win-win :-)

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Yeah, I know...I guess the odometer will now be out, assuming that was accurate before. It just struck me as funny that everyone who fits larger tyres seems to find that the difference in rolling diameter exactly matches the amount their speedo was previously under-reading!

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  • 2 weeks later...

As we're heading for the south of France I thought it wise to fit some climate control...




I didn't really want to drill the dash, but happily it fitted neatly using holes for the central speaker, which I'm not using. I've put in a small flush-mounted socket so I can easily remove the fan without leaving much of a trace.


And (sad that I am) I've used the switch from a van fitted with a roof fan to operate it - you can just make it out on the row of switches by the radio. I like things to look 'factory' if possible!



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double wishbone independent front suspension was probably quite unusual for a van back in the 700.

The LT40s had a beam axle on leaf springs at the front - obviously heavier duty but seemed a bit of an effort to go to for such a small increase in payload, most of which would be over the back axle anyway.  It did make for a smaller turning circle though.

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