Fabricators in the south west for 5 tons?

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Sirblissfull

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I am looking for fabricators in the south west that can handle the dismantling and reconfiguration of a M4 van body on a M820A2.

I also need some other modifications done that will be simple in comparison. I had a couple people lined up that looked at the size of the vehicle and changed their minds.

I am going back in for more surgeries and am going to be unable to complete most of the work I had planned on doing myself for at least a year. Any recommendations suggestions horror stories?

The closer to Albuquerque the better.
 

zout

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What kind of fabrication are you looking to get done ? Fabrication is just that.

Unless you are looking with MV qualifications along with Fab background ?

There are some really decent shops out there - as long as you explain what you are looking to get done and have drawings to go by - not everyone "see's" the same thing when just explaining what you want. Like blue to me is not the same blue you might think of - just as a very simple example. Some other folks my be qualified to handle your work.
 

Sirblissfull

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For a start I need the cab extended to the van body.

Then I need a door installed to the van body from the cab. Where the passenger side seat is I need wheel chair locking floor mounts installed.

Once those are done I want the over cab section extended about 2 inches past the windshield. Enclosing the cab and sealing it up. This would do away with the need for a soft-top/hard-top and allow me more head room, legroom, wheel chair room.

I also plan on moving the batteries to a center console location " working on how to vent it ". This will allow me to keep my batteries better insulated and more secure. I would put them under the passenger seat however the idea is to have the passenger seat area wheel chair accessible. Hence the door in to the box. With the lift gates on my trucks getting passengers in is not a issue.

Of course I only have one with a lift gate the other lift gate is currently inside my M820A2 waiting on the M820 to arrive and me to find a fabricator that doesnt look at the trucks in awe and say " Its just TOOOO BIG! "

After that or during all that I want to turn the fold out van sides into slide outs. My medical problems leave me able to drive the truck, however folding out the van sides and everything in bad weather means its gonna take forever for me to do it alone. Everyone in the vehicle will be exposed to the weather while I am doing it.

After that is done I can work on the RV conversion. If I can not find someone that can do that work then I can not put anyone in the back of the truck while driving. With the lift gate up they would have no escape route in case of emergency. Having those side doors and a door into the cab would allow for 3 possible escape routes. Slim chance all three could be blocked. Just for giggles I plan on adding a roof hatch in the future.

I have a lot of other additions/minor fixes I want done however those are what I need to make it serviceable as a off road RV with wheel chair access.
 

Floridianson

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Sound like a lot of work but it is a plan. I would be worried about the cab and box together as there is flex right behind the cab on the frame. It would have to be something that flexes a lot it would seem.
 

goldneagle

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Sound like a lot of work but it is a plan. I would be worried about the cab and box together as there is flex right behind the cab on the frame. It would have to be something that flexes a lot it would seem.
You can solve that with a bellows type connection like flex ducts use but much larger.
 

M920

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I think we could help you get your mods done. We do that kind of work and we like to work on MVs..... :) Give me a call if you are interested, my Shop is up in Chama NM.
(505) 787-9961

Soni
 

eldgenb

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I think we could help you get your mods done. We do that kind of work and we like to work on MVs..... :) Give me a call if you are interested, my Shop is up in Chama NM.
(505) 787-9961

Soni
Yeah when he mentioned this and when I saw where he was you were the 1st one to pop into my mind but I did not want to throw your name out there not knowing how many projects you may already have going on.

On second note to the poster, if you have seen Soni's M920 (and if not do a search) you will be very pleased with his level of quality and creativity.
Good luck. sounds like a very meaningful build.
Eldgen.
 

Sirblissfull

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Ahh Thanks Soni will be in touch.

I just got back from Redstone so I have not been trolling the boards every 30 minutes like I do most days.
 

Sirblissfull

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Hah

Well I used to harass my wife about spending all her spare time on Facebook. A couple of weeks ago she pointed out I spend more time on the forums every day then she does on there in a week.
 

tm america

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two of the biggest things you'll have to deal with are...#1 the insulation used in the m4 body is asbestos..and needs to be dealt with properly..the front wall of the box is double layered and there is a layer of insulation in there..second will be the flexing of the bed separately from the cab. a boot of some type would be the easy solution to that..also there is gonna be a big step from, the bed to the cab as the bed floor is probably a good 6 inches higher than the cab floor..places that do limo conversions should be able to handle this for you to as they work on buses and bigger things to
 

Sirblissfull

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The insulation in the walls is old school fiberglass. The insulation in the VENTS in the front wall leading down from the heaters contains asbestos. Those vents were filled up by the army with expanding foam and then sealed up with metal plates.

Taking them out as a whole unit and properly disposing of I am already working on.

The bed and cab height difference I think will be easy to deal with. Since I am going for wheel chair access putting in a flexible plate between the 2 platforms shouldn't be very difficult. Bridge most of the gap with steel plate. Stainless steel piano hinges attached to the cab and floor of the bed with weather stripping crossing the joint reinforced with canvas to prevent heat loss. I could even have the hinges cut with sliding channels on each side in case of extreme flex. That should give it the strength and flexibility it needs with something easily repaired/replaced when it wears out or breaks.

I am planning on bridging the gap in other areas with hollow core bus gaskets " like on the doors " with a gasket on the outer shell expanding foam in the middle and then another gasket on the inner shell. With the over hang from the extended over cab area it will only be needed in areas that are already protected from direct sun and weather. I could go with a pair of sliding flat gaskets that lay flush with the contact surface and throw a normal gasket in the middle to fill the main space for full contact. Several variations available for consideration that wouldn't be hard to replace if they do not work out.
 

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eldgenb

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you could also do a semi extended cab deal and stretch the cab to fill the gap and then use the accordion gasket to seal them together. That is if you are concerned about aesthetics at all.
 

eldgenb

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I had thought of that.

It would mean butchering 2 hard tops in order to have a stable base for the top seals.
Well I don't see why you would need more than one hard top if you are still planning on cutting out the bottom of the overhang to provide more head room. I would try to recreate the window channel on top and to the back of the window and use some straight sheet metal going vertical to tie the gasket to and make a semi wind scoop (if that is what they are called) off of the hardtop and have it transition in front of the box to hide and protect the boot connection the two without it ever actually contacting the box if that makes any sense. So in other words instead of having a 90* angle and exposed boot on where the roof meets the box, use some fiberglass to make one of those tidal wave looking air dam's to make it look better and hide the rubber seal. If that still does not make sense let me know and I will photoshop it for you.
 

Sirblissfull

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I have 2 trucks would be 2 hard tops if I had it done the way I had planned originally.

I understand what your saying, I have a few ideas in mind to minimize the visibility of the gaskets.
 

Sirblissfull

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New Mexico
I am not familiar enough with CARC paint to know if it deteriorates rubber. I have noticed the hoses on the lift gates seem to be in worse shape where they have paint on them.

I am looking into green rubber gaskets and rubber friendly paints.
 
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