Decided to split this into its own build thread, as I’m going to be updating a lot and don’t want to spam up the transport topic.
Spending more time with my Hamster Van (wife said it looks like a hamster on wheels). I’m so excited about this thing. I’ve been driving for a couple days now and it’s a blast. It’s basically in mint condition. No rust, fires right up, shifts great, brakes are good, no weird noises or vibrations. It eats a little oil, but its a 25 year old work van… It’s weakness is power at this point, with a pretty agricultural-feeling 1.8 liter 4 cylinder NA engine making just under 80 hp. But still, I got it up to 70 mph pretty reasonably today with no issue, and that was one of my biggest worries. She will definitely go north of 80. Lack of cruise control will be a little annoying, but not a dealbreaker.
So the rear opening is 53" at the widest part, which means it won’t swallow a kart fully setup in race-mode. But if I narrow the rear up or just remove the rear wheels to get it through the door, the inside is plenty big for a kart and lots of goodies. It’s about 58" wide through the whole of the cargo area, and about 90" from that metal crossbar to the rear door, which means the kart will sit in there no problem without removal of bodywork. The best part is the slightly higher roof, which means I can stack stuff around in here or throw a cargo net in the ceiling for more storage. Also nice that the cargo area is flat bottom, so no wheel wells to interfere.
The rear bench seats fold down and then fold forward for extra space too, and then I plan on hanging a monitor on that cross bar so when we are at the track we can sit in there and do data right in the van on the seats. That platform under the crossbar could be a nice storage opportunity or spot for some table tops too.
The double sliding doors are nice, but the roller bearing is broken on the driver side mount, so it doesn’t currently slide very nicely. And since the double sliding door was a rare option, there are no more of those brackets left in the known universe. But I have sourced the bearing and will be fixing that when it arrives. I also ordered some OEM center lap belts because the rear seat doesn’t have seat belts… I at least want a lap belt to mount a car seat in there so this thing has some family practicality too. We were going to fill the van with junk and make a Goodwill run this weekend but then realized the bebe couldn’t ride along. If I can make this a bit more family friendly I think the wife will warm up to it!
Also need to lower it obviously. It looks pretty ridiculous the way it sits now compared to American cars. Definitely sticks out like a sore thumb. Plus it’ll make loading easier if it’s lower.
It’s like a pug.