The Dawgvan: 64 Dodge "Bug out Van"

Discussions about the devices that supply a means for movement of people and goods.

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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Neville » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:43 pm

Terrific project van! I have a '78 International Scout Terra pickup I'm restoring.

It looks like in your wiring "fix" you've bypassed the alternator gauge... while I can dig the expedience of "at least now some lights work" what is your plan for the gauge going forward? Get an OEM replacement gauge and hook it up? Replace it with a modern gauge (won't ever look right but...) ? Just fugeddaboutdid? If you're potentially using this as a BOV you'll want some means of monitoring the electrical system... right? That's your first sign that an alternator belt has gone awol or the alternator has died.

I'm re-doing the gauges in my Scout. Originals are tough to find but I have them now. I'm painting the needles so they all match the same color - wouldn't look right otherwise. The fuel and the oil pressure gauges were kaput. And the original needles were badly sun-faded, almost white from the original fluorescent orange. So I have a bottle of the orange touch-up paint, and all five gauges will get the treatment so they match. If I'm going to do it, might as well do it right, eh?

Great project van, good luck with your next steps!

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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:52 pm

I found a guy that will convert my fried ammeter into a voltmeter with a new faceplate and everything. It's a little pricey, but worth it in the long run. In the mean time, I am going to wire in a harbor freight vom and hang it from the dash... Ugly, but effective.

I am adding 4 of these Arco Solar 55 watt panels to the roof too, so I will have 220 watts(Potential) of free charging... More to come on that...

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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Tater Raider » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:07 pm

Dawgboy wrote:The underparts are very clean on the beast
That's an understatement.

It's looking great!

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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:59 am

Dawgboy wrote:I found a guy that will convert my fried ammeter into a voltmeter with a new faceplate and everything. It's a little pricey, but worth it in the long run. In the mean time, I am going to wire in a harbor freight vom and hang it from the dash... Ugly, but effective.

I am adding 4 of these Arco Solar 55 watt panels to the roof too, so I will have 220 watts(Potential) of free charging... More to come on that..]
Get a 12V cigar adapter plug, and wire your VOM to the terminals of it- plug it into the lighter, and you won't have to screw with the wiring until the actual meter is getting installed. I understand the idea behind an ammeter, but to me, they are just one rung higher on the idiot light ladder than a simple red bulb. Tells you if there IS a problem, but nothing really about what the problem is, or how bad. Give me an analog voltmeter any day over an ammeter. The ammeter will only tell you comparatively whats happening between the battery and alternator- if the overall system voltage is low, for instance, it will operate normally, and you'd never know, until it doesn't start. The voltmeter can tell you IF it's charging or not, how well it's charging, base voltage level of the battery, and even give you an idea of the current draw when starting the engine, or even turning on the lights. An ammeter won't tell you if the battery is overcharged, either- a voltmeter will, at a glance.

Is the idea to create a bugout vehicle, restore a vehicle, or sort of both? If it's just to run around in, and have as a BOV, I wouldn't be too concerned with what's original or not- I'd want function over matching serial numbers and such.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:51 am

I am doing both. It's a restoration/camper/BOV conversion. I may very well swap out the drive train from a ramcharger as 4x4 would be awesome. in a year tor two. For now I am just trying to make it reliable for a 10 day trip at the end of August. and this fall it gets the full body treatment.

I don't want to modify it cosmetically much because these are actually pretty valuable restored. Recently watched one go for 19K on EviLbay.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Necrodamus » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:08 am

Save any large scraps from the mylarized double bubble and use it to make a cozies for rehydrating Mountain House meals or even a modern version of a haybox.

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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:47 am

Yeah... I have a 100' roll that's 4 feet wide. I will probably have 30+ feet left when done. If you want a chunk, I will mail it to you.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:23 pm

Today I went scrounging for parts again and got a ballast resistor, a starter relay, top and bottom radiator hoses, and an alternator belt for 22 bucks. Try that with a BMW! These guys go in the on-board spares box.

Trying to finish up the electrical, popped in a new flasher relay and now the right blinker works fine, but I only get 1 flash out of the left... Also still no brake lights. I verified the wires are good so I assume it has to be the switches, Tried 4 auto parts stores for those with no luck...
shrapnel wrote:Dawgboy, please refrain from stirring shit for the sole purpose of stirring shit.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Tater Raider » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:55 pm

Dawgboy wrote:Also still no brake lights. I verified the wires are good so I assume it has to be the switches, Tried 4 auto parts stores for those with no luck...
Get a multimeter to test the switches before buying replacements if you can.

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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Neville » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:36 pm

Dawgboy wrote:I am doing both. It's a restoration/camper/BOV conversion. I may very well swap out the drive train from a ramcharger as 4x4 would be awesome. in a year tor two. For now I am just trying to make it reliable for a 10 day trip at the end of August. and this fall it gets the full body treatment.

I don't want to modify it cosmetically much because these are actually pretty valuable restored. Recently watched one go for 19K on EviLbay.
I LOVE the 4wd van idea, in fact I've seen some around and they look AWESOME with just slightly oversize all-terrain tires on them. There's a military van in the movie "The Crazies" (the original one from way back) that reminds me of yours. I agree, don't tamper with the appearance too much, that's one area where "less is more".

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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Chase The hero » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:34 pm

Neville wrote:
Dawgboy wrote:I am doing both. It's a restoration/camper/BOV conversion. I may very well swap out the drive train from a ramcharger as 4x4 would be awesome. in a year tor two. For now I am just trying to make it reliable for a 10 day trip at the end of August. and this fall it gets the full body treatment.

I don't want to modify it cosmetically much because these are actually pretty valuable restored. Recently watched one go for 19K on EviLbay.
I LOVE the 4wd van idea, in fact I've seen some around and they look AWESOME with just slightly oversize all-terrain tires on them. There's a military van in the movie "The Crazies" (the original one from way back) that reminds me of yours. I agree, don't tamper with the appearance too much, that's one area where "less is more".
there is also the military van in "The A-Team". but black with red stripes is a little to standoffish. painting it white with some "fleet" numbers on it will make it absolutely incongruous, especially in more urban areas.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:37 am

Chase The hero wrote: there is also the military van in "The A-Team". but black with red stripes is a little to standoffish. painting it white with some "fleet" numbers on it will make it absolutely incongruous, especially in more urban areas.
^^^THIS
Apply for, and then use, a ZS Fleet number- only those "in the know" will realize the difference, and the rest of the world won't realize anything- it's just more "camo".

On the lighting, I know Ford (p-tuie!) uses a double positive charge to the brake lights to stop the voltage flow, creating the 'blink', instead of simply interrupting the flow with the blinker module- in a vehicle this old, would Dodge have done something similar? I was being driven nuts with a Ford blinker problem, till I finally found that tidbit of information buried in another chapter of the manual (why it wasn't in the lighting/electrical part, I have no idea).
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:13 am

No way it gets the A-team... I have a fleet number too. It's ZS0211. It will be on this van shortly as I am recycling it from the Jeep I sold.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Oneswunk » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:46 am

I would have to give you a swift kick to the throat™ if you a teamed this beautiful beast. Im loving it the color it is. :mrgreen:

I have major wood for a 4x4 van but can't justify the money for something I would only use a couple times a year for surf fishing and beach camping.

Looking good man.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:03 pm

I agree swunk... I would kick myself it the throat for that... Eventuall it's going to get a nice paint job, but for now, it stays tan. I still don't have it fully registered. since it was off the record for more than 10 years I have to take it down the mountain and get it inspected. That will be it's 3rd trip out of the compound in 27 years... Also, they are charging me $260.00 for this privelege, which is outragous since I only paid $50.00 for the van!
shrapnel wrote:Dawgboy, please refrain from stirring shit for the sole purpose of stirring shit.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Tater Raider » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:35 pm

Dawgboy wrote:I agree swunk... I would kick myself it the throat for that... Eventuall it's going to get a nice paint job, but for now, it stays tan. I still don't have it fully registered. since it was off the record for more than 10 years I have to take it down the mountain and get it inspected. That will be it's 3rd trip out of the compound in 27 years... Also, they are charging me $260.00 for this privelege, which is outragous since I only paid $50.00 for the van!
Be sure to let them know that... :lol:

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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by CiggsWar » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:00 pm

I love older stuff nice build going enjoying the pic's. I was thinking about the ballast resistor
perhaps mounting it to a aluminum cooler from an old junk computer with some dielectic compound. I think there are some older ford parts that have aluminum blocks for cooling the voltage regulators? Perhaps there a modern stereo amp resistors? worth a look into solving an old problem.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:50 pm

This baby is on hold until I get situated at the new place. I figure it will be the first of November before I get to working on it again. I have to setup the shop first...
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Blackhawk_tactical » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:22 pm

Nice thread! I will follow.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by confusedyeti » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:16 am

Looks good man, can't wait to see what it becomes.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:40 pm

Ok, So to make a short story long...

Over the summer 2011, I was told I was being laid off from the Observatory and would have to move off the mountain and that turned this project into a storage shed since I had to concentrate on looking for a job and a new home on October 1. I filled the van to the brim and had it towed 88 miles to my Girlfriend's house in San Diego, Where it was used as a shed until found a job and we could get a bigger home with a garage.

It was a sad day for me, that last day on the mountain, had rain just to make certain it was miserable.

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Fast forward to December. Found a new job working in research for the VA Medical Center, Got my son back Permanently from my estranged wife, and the week before the Yule Holiday, Moved into a great new 4 BR house on a half acre with a garage and paved workspace. On Christmas day, drove it to the new pad. Today I emptied the van, Fired it up and am finally ready to take it down to the DMV to get it inspected for a license on Tuesday morning. Still don't have working blinkers, but I do have the parts now to fix it, just need a steering wheel puller.

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shrapnel wrote:Dawgboy, please refrain from stirring shit for the sole purpose of stirring shit.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Turtlewolf » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:02 pm

Sounds like things are looking up for you Dawgboy, I'm looking forward to seeing this improve.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Oneswunk » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:18 pm

Digg it man I realy love that van.

Glad life I going good for ya.
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Re: The Misery Machine: Bug out Van!

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:44 am

Today I got the DMV inspection complete and was issued new plates. Went for about a 15 mile drive in it. Longest I have done now. Beast pulls like a champ, just need to get used to a non-syncro 3 on the tree again. I am having a bit of a cooling issue but I think it's just the cap, which is pretty bad and seems to loose pressure. This weekend it will get a new one, a thermostat, and the new upper and lower hoses I bought last summer.

Also went to check the oil and pulled the whole dipstick tube off :shock: I could hear Sheriff Rosco in my mind: "You dipstick!".

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shrapnel wrote:Dawgboy, please refrain from stirring shit for the sole purpose of stirring shit.
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