Saturday, 20 July 2013

Cables and Cladding

In a bid to tidy up and finish off the front end of the truck, I have been working on a number of cladding and wiring jobs. I'm keen to start some more interesting projects but I don't like leaving small jobs unfinished if I can avoid it. I started with the wall above the offside bench seat.

I fitted teak rails to both the nearside and offside benches, to allow a board to be dropped between them to create a temporary single bed at the front of the truck. The area above the offside bench seemed like the least disruptive place to store the sizable board, and so I made a section of the wall cladding removable using two bolts. One of the bolts doubles as the pillar mount for the seatbelt loop.


My next job was to box in the small section of wall between the bathroom and electrical cupboard. When I took possession of Jim, there was a wall between the front third of the box and the back two thirds, to separate the crew area from the safe compartment. I removed half of this wall, including the door but left the offside half in place. I have been left with a 50mm box section pillar which formed part of the original door frame, rather than cutting it out,  I decided to box it in and use the hollow section to fit a couple of gauges which would have been very low if I'd fitted them underneath the adjacent panels.

I started by running the wiring for the BEP Marine tank gauge. I'm not averse to wiring jobs, I don't get aroused by the thought of neatly clipping rows of colour coded cable, but I don't dread it like I do derusting the chassis; however in general, the smaller the wires, the less capable I am. I perversely enjoy crimping copper lugs onto huge battery cables, but end up cursing my bulbous, stubby hands when I have to wire up signal cables. Wiring up the tank monitor was about as small as I can go without breaking into a cold sweat.

Each of the three tank senders needs a positive, negative and sensor feed, in addition to the positive, negative and backlight feeds to the gauge itself.

The monitoring panel for the Morningstar solar regulator was much easier, just requiring a single Ethernet cable. I then cut out more WISA Multiwall and boxed the area in.

Whilst I was boxing in the bathroom side of the dividing wall, I spotted an opportunity for a bit lighting bling using a cheap LED strip.

It was very easy to fit, just requiring a single pass with an 18.5mm router cutter which I bought in the past to rebate 18mm plywood panels. I used a 1000mm and 500mm strip end to end.

A few of the electrical cables in Jim start at high level, running through the angled conduits that Jim's original coachbuilder fitted where the walls meet the ceiling; however most of the electrical circuits run at floor level around the perimeter of the box, some go backwards towards the bathroom, and the remainder go forwards. My next job was to create a small cable run to allow cables running forward from the electrical cupboard to cross the front of the truck. I first clad the low section of wall below the cab, and then boxed in a small section at the bottom.

I will build a removable lid when I have run all the cables using this conduit.

With this cable conduit completed, I tidied up the cable conduit I had created in the offside bench seat, and began running the power cables for the audio system, 12v sockets, subwoofer amplifier, ventilation fans, water heater, kitchen lighting, inverter, and 240v sockets.

My final task was to clad the small section of exposed wall above the nearside bench seat.

I need to run a bead of silicone down the seams, finish up the covers for the cable runs and build the fold-away table for the offside bench seat, but this pretty much concludes the woodwork at the front end of the truck.

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