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Author Topic: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman  (Read 3662 times)

briguy1981

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Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« on: December 26, 2013, 12:12:58 PM »
I've had some tell me to work more on the mechanics, and I agree to some point, I want to get it going so I won't have to worr about breakdowns, and have the ability to fix what comes.  Most of the repairs I should be able to do from Autozone or other parts stores where I am at if the need be. 

That being said I received the opportunity to get this RV for a good price when I was looking into bus conversions.  I can for the most part do a overhaul of the running portion for less than my original planned saving budget for buying a bus.

I am looking at making it more comfortable for me to live in, right now I live near Boise Idaho, and I am staying in a glorified storage shed.  I have to go into a house for any amenities other than my laptop and Xbox.  I would like to make the RV so I that I can have a working computer other than my laptop. and also 'open it up a little more'.  So far I have taken out the the carpet and am going to be trying to get the backing off, it came off in chunks is very few spots, I think it had a sticky back or a lot of glue was used.  Underneath it has a marble like tile, which I like a lot better, but in the future I want to put in a wood floor, possibly more insulation under the flooring and in the ceiling.  Over time I would like to be able to decrease the GVW and increase the efficiency if I can. 

One of my ideas is to move the freshwater tank to a different location, under the floor. and take that portion of the dinette out, putting in a table/desk with a 25" or 30"   monitor on the wall to the kitchen, and using a secured fold-down table/chairs.  and then finding a captains chair that can swivel and use for computer, or lock into place for driving.  not sure on the exact design yet,  because most of the desk I have seen are in bigger RV's or bus conversions. Looking through here will give me more ideas for it thought
Also with the gauges, I would like to have a readout of all the different cool little things on a monitor, rather than 15 different gauges, it will require more time to set up, but in the end I think it will work out better for me.  Maybe try and find a tablet that I can install a program on tha reads the info?

I have lots of ideas, and am wanting to start at base 0.  First thing is to get the floor presentable again, then when it is above freezing and no snow on the ground (at least 50░) start checking the wires under, find a place for the freshwater tank, and get it going.

donn

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 01:28:50 PM »
You may have bought it cheap, however it is going to cost you a lot more than it will ever be worth trying to remodel it into something presentable.  But if you have the time and ability then go for it.  Just do not expect to ever get your money back.
Best thing you could do is gut the interior down to the bare studs and start all over from scratch.  The biggest problem you are going to run into is trying to place all the tanks, gray, black and potable, under the floor along with a gas tank, drive shaft, propane tank and who knows what else.  Start by crawling under the rig and see how much space you can find.  I think you will be unhappy with how little room you will have.  I suppose you could do without a gray tank by carrying one of the portable tanks and hooking that up.  But that is the pits to have to run out and dump often.

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 02:05:47 PM »
When I was looking at bus conversions I notice quite a few liked the compost toilet, I was thinking about looking into one of those, and then not having a black-water tank at all, and that will give me a little space.  I want to make it so I don't have to use facilities very often, I like trying to find my own area off the beaten path.  I want to spend as little money as possible while still having it good for me.  Most of the electronics stuff that I will get will be self installed, and some self programmed (that's a long shot) for the most part after I am done if I do sell I don't plan on getting that much out of it.  I am buying it for $400 and putting around $50 a month into it until I have some debt paid, if I can do that.  If i am able to live in it this summer, at least for now the freshwater tank is going to be possibly paid for my the gallon, or whatever deal I can work out with my parents, and the electric is also going to be a work in progress, so I don't use to much of theirs and stress them any more with bills.
Gutting and starting that way does sound like more what I am kinda planning on doing, just in sections as money permits with it.

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 05:02:14 PM »
I have pretty much all the carpet up, there is a carpet padding that is glues on top of the linoleum  flooring which I am going to leave in for now. 

Does anyone know if they used any type of lead or asbestos on the tacky padding at all?  I am not sure how old it is, other than the glue that is mixed in and the parts that haven't come up it looks like a nice linoleum floor.  If possible for now I would like to just have it if I can get the glue and stuff off, I am thinking about using mineral spirits and letting that soak for a bit, but I don't want to do that without at least a dust mask if there is any toxic chemicals, and an actual respirator if need be.

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2013, 05:03:01 PM »
I got the bathroom pad up, borrowing a floor lamp to help warm it up a little, then using a floor scraper.  For what doesn't come up I have a small 1" scraper that I am using, and I vacuum up the pieces with my shop-vac.  It takes a while but it is looking better, there are afew spots on the padding that it is down to the floor, so even putting new carpet in would require a little work.  Putting in a wood floor is a pipe dream for right now, I just got the emissions notice for my car, and the check engine light is on so it won't pass without a new cat/O2 sensor, and I don't have the money for either of those right now.

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2014, 07:15:48 PM »
Haven't been here for a while, have gotten a little done on my sportsman, but not much lately.

I have all of the carpet pulled up, small spots of the padding every once in a while but overall I think it looks much better now.
Took down the curtains in the bunk, thought that there was some mold on the windows, but it turned out to be some of the molding form the inside of the windows.  need to find replacement or how to fix.  Still watertight for now, not sure how well it will do fro driving.

As far as it not starting I finally talked to my cousin on it and he said to check the voltage regulator, and I can't find that, so I checked online.  Found an answer wiki where another person said it was a bad connection for the auxiliary fuel pump, I disconnected that before I started it, the alternator was putting out 14.3, as well as the battery.  since it was on empty I turned it off and went and got 5.5 gallons, then checked after I got back, it is still reading 12.4 on the battery, so I am going to try to start it again soon.

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 05:38:57 PM »
Today it was reading about 11 volts. 
I think the gas gauge might not work, it still says empty after putting another 5 gallons in, I will have to see after I start it.  I need to move it so I have some room, I can barely walk between it and my parents '95 RoadRanger TT right now.  Once I get it moved up I want to try and trace the auxiliary fuel pump and any other wires to check for shorts.

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 03:36:20 PM »
New battery in the front, fires up great now. I disconnected the wire going to the auxiliary battery for now, I need to get a new one next time I go to the auto-parts store.  I did disconnect the auxiliary fuel pump as well, I read that sometimes that can cause exxessive drain on the battery.
I put about ten gallons of gas in it, and the gauge still reads empty, so I might not work, which of course will be awesome cause I think that is important and I don't really feel like dropping the fuel tank to fix it.  I moved it up a bit so I have more room to work around it, and it almost didn't stop, the brake pedal went all the way to the floor.  The front brakes are 'new' hardly any use, we bled the brakes and they work good for now, but I want to check the rear soon and find out if they need replaced or not before I take any trips.  Still planning on replacing the oil pan gasket and transmission filter this summer before I take it out any further that local roads. 
Now just have to check the rest of the electrical, propane, water lines and make sure that all works, get everything good to go. The longer trip I want to take this summer is Jackson Wyoming, Take my dad and do a little fishing on the Idaho side.
The trip there is roughly 5.5 hours by car and almost 400 miles.  I think that will be a good test before I try taking it on a longer trip myself.

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 03:56:34 AM »
Last year I took it out twice, 140 miles round-trip on each one.  The floor is done for now, I have left it with the linoleum.  I have not done any work on the engine or transmission, other than add fluid, replace battery cables, alternator, battery and basic carb adjusting before the first outing. 
I did start doing some things with a Recreational group last summer and that took up quite a bit of my time, then joined a program at the VA hospital that I go into 3 days a week and didn't do much else for a while.  Now I am doing a little more after that and starting to get things done After the second camping trip I took off the bedding I had used and left a mattress topper on for the winter with some other things stacked on top of that.  Found out when I was going to start moving things in march that it had a leak in the front cab-over area.  We tore that apart and replaced what boards needed it, and about the time that was done it started getting over 100║  so it became a little hot in there.  Have been getting more in the trailer and with my other 'projects' I currently have.  Of course I wanted this done by last spring, but that didn't happen and it is giving me ways to move forward in life and keep a goal for me to strive for, even if it doesn't happen soon I can still work towards it.

gralson

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 09:40:36 PM »
Glad to see/ hear you are making progress with it. keep posting !
85 winnebago cheiftan w honda gen & solar array off grid full timing year round (except the 8 days a month at the sticks and bricks) western canada Ab,Sk,Mb. yes I do it in - 40!

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2015, 02:17:43 AM »
Went to move it and the auxiliary fuel pump wasn't coming on unless it was bumped, tired having someone tap it to get it going and it would Stat for a few seconds but not long enough to get any fuel to the carb.  Pulled it and it's a stewart-warner 240 pump, we connected it straight to the battery and it kicks on, but isn't pulling anything through, I attempted to Clean  it and Thing that the seals and diaphragm is cracked as well.  A friend at my VA group mentioned just getting an inline or possibly engine mount fuel pump to since the ethanol probably dried quite a bit  out I can't see, I am going to check the junkyard for any temp solutions until I get a good one that will last.

I did get a new distributor  for my Chevy C10, and after that found a carb leak so that's being soaked and a new carb kit ready to be placed on it.  At least now it attempts to start.  Only thing is once I get it running it can't move far since it's parked between the Dodge and a fence.  But, it hasn't been registered or insured since the end of 2013, so I can't really drive it for a while anyway.

Hoping to go for at least one small trip this year, if not have to go with my dad in his TT for a small fishing trip before it gets to cold.

Brian

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2015, 02:50:13 AM »
On a note of the C10 and my plans for it, I have been saying since I got it that I want to rebuild it,and was told that it had no dents, since then I have found a few that were filled with bondo and have started so far have just sanded the hood and put a coat of rattle can primer on it.  Once I get it going again (hopefully this week) I am going to finish pulling the wood bed apart and start sanding the body and then frame, once that is done I want to remove the chassis and media last the frame to start from the bottom up on the restore.  I am hoping to get that started this winter and maybe by next spring have all of the dents pulled or panels replaced.  At that time if I don't have a solar setup and bike I may sell it and use that money for everything. I attempted  to sell it before but wasn't getting any offers for the current condition. I want to get it to were I can get 6 to 10 thousand for it. If I can get it to a point and sell it for a good price I won't have to worry nearly as much about the little things that cost for the RV.  Since I don't have a generator and am just relying on one house battery I will try to use some of the stuff I learned from HandyBob's solar charging puzzle, and set it up so it can be removed, that way if I upgrade or decide to a Class B in the future I will have a full working solar setup to use.

Of course once I get the truck done I may not want to sell it and start using it  more and finally get rid of the car.

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2015, 02:40:20 AM »
Just got a new auxiliary fuel pump, it's quite a bit different than the old stewart-warner pump that was on there, so going to figure out how to get it hooked up this week. The old one had a total that went into the pump and then it runs into another line, not sure if one is a return line that just goes back as far as the pump or not.  Also have a thin piece of plywood  (luan?) That we are going to use for a section of the ceiling that I pulled out because of a leak near the Antenna.   As long as the weather holds also going to put a  coat of roof sealer over the front, just have to wash it off in the morning before I apply it.  Once that is done my Dad wants to take his camper out for at least one trip before it starts freezing, so I'll be following him to make sure everything is set for now.  Debatingweather or not to stay in it after to see how well it holds up for November. So far the temperature has only been getting into the 40░'s at night, but we're the house thermometer is it has said mid 30░ a few nights when I looked at it.  I will more than likely be putting some household window plastic over it and see how cold it gets, if it drops to much I can always go back inside.  That's what happened when I first tried to stay in in the trailer  a few years ago, it was about 20░ inside and out.  Hopefully that won't happen again, but for right now where I am sleeping I have a window open still and the heater isn't hooked up yet, so maybe I will be good.

Kevin Means

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2015, 11:16:45 AM »
I admire your tenacity Briguy1981. Glad it seems to be working out for you.

Kev 
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2015, 07:59:38 PM »
Fuel pump works great,  but now the mechanical pump died  :(
My dad packed his truck with all of his 'camping gear'  an overload of things to take that he will never need.  I got ome and moved a few things, emptied a gas can into it.  Let it sit for a minute while I moved some stuff around a bit, we started going strong, was working great all the down to the light. At the next stop light  my dad got up to close the fridge I forgot to secure (at least it was empty still) and it quit. Ran out of gas. Had put 5 gallons in her and she had ran for less than 15 minutes,  actually, I think there was over ten put in this summer. Called to have the truck brought over and towed it off the road, the back around to the house. Replaced another hose on the fuel line and 5 more gallons was put in it. Cranked it and after it started fuel started coming out of the manual fuel pump on the engine block.  So I don't get to take it fishing this week, I'll be driving the car, and possibly sleeping in a tent. 
Any one have experience with the manual pumps? Should I get a new one or bypass it it the electrical pump and put a cover plate over where it was?

oldme

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2015, 01:25:20 PM »
Sounds interesting.
I like projects vs buying off the shelf cookie cutter items.
Investment vs personal enjoyment is an individual call.
This give you a great chance to make it your own.

The one things that concerns me is a  "freshwater tank to a different location, under the floor".
That location would be open to the elements and road hazards. Not my choice.

Ref gauges:
I just bought a UltraGauge for mine.
If you have a OBDII port they will do everything you want and more.
There is even the "UltraGauge Blue for Android & Apple« Mobile devices".
https://www.ultra-gauge.com/blue.htm

Good luck and keep us updated.



briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2015, 04:21:39 AM »
I would love it if it had an OBD II port.  unfortunately those didn't come around for quite a while. 
I put a small electric fuel pump in, the old manual pump is just routed back through itself now.  I am not sure if it is an increase in pressure so the carb needs a little more adjusting or what, but it died on me after the install and a short drive around the block, so I didn't end up taking it camping, slept in my little tent instead.

I did put some of the bubble foil stuff on the bunk windows and shrink to fit plastic covering on the back and one side window.  it was maintaining about a ten degree difference until it hit 20░F outside, then it was less than 5░ difference.  So t he neighbor doesn't complain I haven't stayed in there for more than a few nights, that was when it was above freezing thought. 

Today I received a 100 Watt Solar panel and 30 AMP charge controller from Windy Nation.  going to figure out what is needed for wire length with that tomorrow, and that will be purchased from Low es or Grover's Supply.  I have come up with a solution for lights that use less watts, going to make my own LED lights (based off of the harbor fright security light board).  Also have a Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone to play with, thinking about using that to change the lights to where I can interface with one of my old phones.  Have a few other side project that I wanted to try with it, but that is something that  would more than likely go to another board.

I also installed an app called Checkmark on my tablet, I Have set up a list for things I need to do on the RV ranging from tires to oil change.  I can set differnet checklist on there so after I get it figured a little more I am going to set an arrival and departure checklist as well for when traveling.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2015, 07:03:26 PM »
Take a look at the LED bulbs and lights available on EBay.  Prices are much lower than buying the Harbor Freight security light and many of the Chinese sellers will ship them to you for free.

They also have wired controllers and wireless wifi controllers that let you control LED lights from an app on your cellphone.

The LED tape strips that you buy by the foot make nice ambient lights, just run them under cabinets or along the edge f the ceiling.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 07:06:23 PM by Lou Schneider »

briguy1981

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Re: Remodeling Dodge Sportsman
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2016, 12:24:41 AM »
I decided the remodeling isn't going to work, took it out the last week of may, then went up to a reservoir and stayed most of the month of June.  Shortly after I got there i figured out the mileage and was getting a whopping 3.99 MPG.  If I was going to off of that I would be driving a coach.  The Sunday before the Fourth of July I was visiting my parents and Zoe, my dog,  took off late at night while I inside and got hit by a car. about I week later I went up and got the RV and sold it 2 weeks later.  My new project is a GMC Safari van, the kid that had it previously had already taken out the seats and I am turning it into a van camper build.  So now I am in a mini class B? So I guess that will be a new thread eventually.

 

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