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1994 B350 for camper conversion?

Discussion in 'Vans' started by Stephen, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. r0bin

    r0bin Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    I actually managed to talk to a nice lady from Dodge US, after a bit of ping pong of email. She looked up the build sheet for me. What I need is more technical thou: Displacement in ccm, axle weights (on the mfgr label is enough I hope), stuff like that. End of the week I'll know more I hope.

    Here the options (I think they were decoded with a system newer than 89 :D)
    *ZZ Temporary Driver Seat
    ADCA Convenience Group
    AEAP Exterior Appearance Group
    AEBA Van Conversion Appearance Group
    AJKA Convenience Group
    AJPA Power Convenience Group
    AKD Ecuador Equipment Group
    APAS Monotone Paint
    BANP 120 Amp Alternator
    BCM 810 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
    BGAS Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
    BKHS 12x2.5 Rear Drum Brakes
    CDSP Plastic Bucket Seat
    CGAS Open
    CHSP Vinyl Sun Visors
    CKJS Black Vinyl Floor Covering
    CLPP Door Sill Scuff Pads
    CTAP Front Lower Door Trim Panel
    CYBS Bucket Seats
    CYXS Delete Rear Seating
    DGB All 4-Speed Automatic Transmissions
    DGNS 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
    DHAS Lock-Up Torque Converter
    DJDS 205MM Front Axle
    DMHS 3.92 Rear Axle Ratio
    DRGS Corporate 9.25 HD Rear Axle
    EAAC All Engines
    GACP Tinted Glass Windows
    GAHP Vented Glass
    GBBS Tinted Windshield Glass
    GCBS Front Door Tinted Glass
    GGAS Panel Van Glass
    GHD RR & RT Side Doors w/Glass
    GJCP Right Hinged Doors w/Vented Glass
    GJFS RT Hinged Doors
    GLCP Rear Hinged Doors w/Vented Glass
    GLFS Rear Hinged Doors
    GNAP Rear View Day/Night Mirror
    GPPA Open
    HAA Air Conditioning
    JBAP Instrument Panel Lower Skirts
    JBBP Instrument Panel Woodgrain Bezel
    JDBS 180 KPH Primary Speedometer
    JFBA Oil Pressure Gauge
    JHAP Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
    JJAA Cigar Lighter
    JJBP Dual Note Electric Horns
    JKAP Glove Box
    JKBS MOPAR Hood Lock
    JPAP Power Windows
    JPBP Power Locks
    LAAP Seat Belt Alert-3rd Row
    LAJS Headlamps On Warning Chimes
    LBCP Glove Box Lamp
    LBEP IP LED Ambient Light Pipe
    LDHP U/Hood, Removable/Rechargeable Lamp
    LMAP Halogen Headlamps
    MBBP Bright Front Bumper
    MBEP Bright Rear Bumper
    MCAP Rear Body Color Applique
    MCBP Rear Bumper Guards
    MEBP Rear Bumper Nerf Strips
    MFEP Bright Grille
    MHBP Bright Windshield Moldings
    MTKP Titanium Satn Gls Sport Plus Badge
    NAAS Federal Emissions
    NBKS EVAP Control System
    NCAS Central Tire Inflation System
    NDAS Catalytic Converter
    NEMM Exterior Sound Control
    NFFA 33 Gallon Fuel Tank
    NHKS Engine Block Heater
    NHMP Speed Control
    PW6 Bright White
    QW6S Bright White
    RAAC All Radio Equipped Vehicles
    RAN NAFTA Premium Radio with Navigation
    RCDP 4 Speakers
    SBAS Power Rack and Pinion Steering
    SCDP Luxury Steering Wheel
    SFAS Standard Duty Shock Absorbers
    SGAS Rear Shock Absorbers
    SHAS Front Stabilizer Bar
    SUAP Tilt Steering Column
    TAAC All Tires
    TBB Full Size Spare Tire
    TBLS Inside Mounted Spare Tire
    TZHP Michelin Brand Tires
    WDAS 16X6.5 Aluminum Wheels
    WLBP Steel Spare Wheel
    W5AA 15" Bright Wheel Covers
    XEHS Jack and Wrench
    XFAS -35F Protection Anti-Freeze
    YACS Build To Canada Mkt. Specifications
    YFAA Incomplete Type VIN Indicator
    YGAA Without Billable Fuel
    Z3A GVW/Payload Rating
    1ABS Canada Dealer Retail
    121S Zone 21-Canada-Ontario
    3BE Customer Preferred Discount
    3DJ Retail Lease Order
    4CPA Federal A/C Excise Tax
    4FMS Fleet Option Editor
    5ALA Low Series Tracking
  2. r0bin

    r0bin Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    So I went to the TÜV now, and they gave me a manageable list to get the van ready for the Autobahn:
    • Brake lights not working
    • Hazard flashers missing (cause the engineer didn't find the switch :D) They do only work on the left side most of the time thou.
    • Running boards to sharp edged and not permissible anyway (already off)
    • Tow hook missing in the front
    • Get actual axle weights (done: 2900 lbs / 1320 kg front; 3330 lbs / 1510 kg back)
    • One of the windows in the roof has no certification whatsoever, need to get a new one
    • Gas tank is a no go (Maybe I can get it checked seperately)
    • Polyair extra springs and air ride needs to go (rusty/ripped anyway)
    • Engine wet ("Yeah, that's always in there")
    I've been looking into new shock absorbers front an rear now, but there's different ones for 4000 pound front axle or not. Do I have that one? The label says 3600 lbs ...? Does anyone have high-jackers installed in the rear? They aren't much more expensive than the regular ones, but I guess with the empty-weight stated above they might be a good idea.


    Spent some time looking at weird wires today under the dash. There are several random wires just ending dead, one came from the steering column and actually ended in a completely frayed end. It's the white one and the other end is right there. Not sure I should connect them back up.
    Disassembled and cleaned the brake-light-switch. The switch is working now. The light isn't yet.

    There is a weird small aluminum cylinder on the left side under the dash (Says "Made in Haiti, engineered in the US" or something like that) that is quite warm to the touch. Anyone know what that is? It is pluggable and has three connectors.

    I'm working my way through the shop manual slowly, but the wiring diagrams are a pain to follow in my opinion.

    Might go back tomorrow, as Monday is off for easter. Happy Easter weekend to all!

  3. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

    Oct 1, 2002
    Sounds like the gas tank will be the real issue. What's wrong with it, a puncture/leak or something else? Might be hard to get a replacement where you are.

    I'd expect the wiring to be a nightmare, even in good shape. No telling what the upfitter/converter was aiming for originally without a schematic from that source. I wouldn't expect the factory shop manual (or the aftermarket Haynes manual that I use) for the basic van to have info on a lot of what your van might have in it.

    No clue on the Haiti thing; don't think of it as voodoo working against you but good juju working for you. Good luck!

    Judging by the front plate on your minivan I'd guess you're in the Aachen area.
    #83 Stephen, Apr 13, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  4. r0bin

    r0bin Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    It's the lpg-tank for fridge & stove, so not a huge deal for now. It's already off. Doesn't have the official seal of approval, that's all that's wrong. Just expensive to get a new one. I'll have to think about the energy options for heat/cooking/refrigeration first though. The best in terms of available devices would be diesel/gas/electricity respectively, but that's the maximum amount of different energy sources required :D

    I actually gained an estimated five inches of clearance without the tank and the running baords, so that's a silver lining :D You can now roll under the van without feeling too cramped.

    Wiring is a mess as described above. There's a retrofit of a headlight-cleaning system for example, including two relays and a whole new tank for wiper fluid. The original manual nicely describes the routing of the brake light circuit through the turn-signal switch. I'm pretty sure this is bypassed, as the car is fitted with additional yellow turn signals in the rear. So figuring out brake light and hazard flashers will be fun.

    The little can is probably a time delay relay. What it delay relays is not certain thou (car doesn't have any door-switched dome lights ...)

    Also the darn headlight warning buzzer keeps coming on. That thing is connected with key-in somehow, right?

    Aachen is correct indeed. Right on the border triangle Germany - Belgium - Netherlands. As you can imagine right now we are not going for weekend trips to the Belgian countryside ...
  5. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

    Jan 7, 2003
    The time delay is not part of the dome light circuit. Usually it is to light up the ignition switch - it triggers when the door opens then goes out some time later.
    The headlight warning buzzer should trigger by an open door. I think it happens whether he key is in or no. The key in buzzer is a separate function.
    Dave Z likes this.
  6. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

    Oct 1, 2002
    The big Dodge waits patiently in the side drive for the free time that will let me begin its engine work and the eventual camper buildout. I noticed today that something had either bent the right windshield wiper or knocked loose the rubber gasket around the glass. Nope, it was something else entirely. My wife walked past right then and said, "I ain't camping in that thing." On the upside, there probably aren't any mice living in it.
  7. r0bin

    r0bin Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    Hah, nice catch. Might need something like that in our workshop as well. We had some mouse poop in a heap of interior trim recently. It was apparently a comfy place ...

    I got my technical check finished last week. Everything fine and even the small defects were all accepted as fixed and taken off the final report. I also got her classified as an rv and a historical vehicle (low taxes/insurance and no emission class restrictions for entry into cities for vehicles >= 30 years old). The final thing I had to was install a cooking plate in place of the gas stove (which sadly does not count without a propane tank). I made the most beautiful exact fitting board just because I felt like using all the tools at hand in a shared workshop we recently improved a lot ;) I used a bamboo board because I wanted to check out how the machining goes with that material. It went quite smoothly pretty much like wood with a little more fiber-dependent burrs etc. The cooker is attached permanently with zip ties and the board is fixed with double-sided tape so far.

    rob_20200429_224424.jpg rob_20200430_113734.jpg

    Here's my tow hook. Comes from a vintage Volvo 240. Not sure I'd trust my adapter plate to tow the 2.8 tons already ...
    rob_20200427_203158.jpg rob_20200427_203257.jpg

    I have pretty much decided to take the engine out for a general overhaul, not because it does not run well, but because it is leaky and has 30 years of grime on it. Best get that done now and maybe by the end of summer it will be possible to go for a trip. The valve covers and one head gaskets is leaky, at least one core plug needs to be replaced. So it's probably already less work to get the engine out than do that while it's installed. Does anyone have links to overhaul/rebuild guides for the LA engines or the 318 in particular?
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

    Oct 1, 2002
    I can see you're going to be a bad influence, pulling the engine for the comprehensive approach.

    Is your tow hook required or are you being cautious?
  9. r0bin

    r0bin Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    Tow hook is mandatory. Guess they want to be able to tow the car out of a dangerous situation.

    Re pulling the engine: We were sitting outside the inspection place waiting for the paperwork to get done, when my s.o. asked if it was us that was dripping. Yeah, that was us. Then the guy comes out with a digital camera to take one last picture of the VIN in the right wheelhouse. He must have used his years of experience to ignore the 8" puddle of coolant water right next to his face and continued getting the papers done. I don't necessarily want to pull the engine, but we are considering living in the vehicle for an undetermined amount of time. So now while I'm in a good job and have the place and tools to do it, I want to reach a state where I can trust the vehicle to last a few thousand miles without major work.

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