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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to share some building experiences adding L-track lashing points to my passenger van. I knew I needed a solid and flexible attachment foundation for my future builds, so this is where I started.

Beginning with lower B-pillar modification of the oem cargo attachment. Note: this probably wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't seen shared photos like the one in this post by @gerstle


Based on his first photo I thought the probability that my passenger van would have a couple of extra factory attachments would be pretty likely. I found them under the b-pillar covers and by moving the rounded stickers (which I imagine have something to do with noise reduction).

Ideas for these lower B-pillar L-track points. Flexible enough to attach a lagun table mount. Maybe attach a privacy curtain (I have a ceiling L-track on the works). Etc.

This will be a photographic excursion so brace yourself. Once you have seen this in pictures you'll know exactly what to do.

There is roughly 12mm of space between the outer plastic and the inner metal. For it's strong and insulating properties I chose a 1/2 inch thick by 1 inch wide 2 ft garolite bar.

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I then took some think plywood and outlined the shape and length:
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I wasn't willing to cut into the larger lower b-pilar panel, but was ok experimenting on the smaller (and I cut a small part from the larger, not visible part - marked with 14mm and angle cut)
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Used a Dremel with plastic cut disc (a diamond disk would work well I think too). Slow rpms and little at the time as the plastic will cut/melt.
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Making sure my measurements for the holes are accurate. The top one is a M10 and the bottom a M8 screw. (the lower one in the photo is not the final screw I used as it was a button top - I needed recessed):
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Content with the fit I transferred by template to an aluminum bar which would be more stable and that I could use to transfer to the garolite:
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Transferring the shape and somewhat round holes done by hand drill to the garolite. NOTE! you must pay extra care when drilling/cutting garolite as the dust is very bad for your lungs. I cut under water in a tub with a hacksaw, and also drilled under water in the same tub.
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Fitting to make sure my holes were drilled correctly. I did have to file a little (again under water) to adjust my measurements. (it's tricky taking the measurements - and it's ok, this just functions as support for the l-track):
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This is what the bar attached under the cover looks like. The lacking depth will be used up by the l-track.
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Preparing the l-track and deciding where to drill the holes. Knowing the top M10 screw is going to be impossible to counter-sink in order for the l-track fittings to slide, I make sure to choose an optimal attachment for the bottom screw. Btw. I got a flange l-track with no pre-drilled holes from Cargo Equipment Corp.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Cutting the l-track with a miter saw I borrowed from my neighbor. Bought a aluminum specific blade and that worked really well.
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The garolite spacer/support and l-track with first drilled hole
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Here you can see the l-track attached with the bottom screw only and it looks like it's going to align itself fairly nicely with the panel.

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Drilling the upper M10 hole into the l-track while having a temporary hex nut attached to the bottom (and using the garolite support beam as a guide)
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Top screw attached but the head is absolutely gigantic as expected:
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Onto planning the cut in the smaller panel below the seat belt anchor. I figured if I failed here, this part wasn't going to cost me too much:
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It's all approximations the best I could, using some tape to align my cuts - using the faithful Dremel
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Getting a start on the driver side b-pillar. This one is the trickier one as the top bolt wants to "wander" into the larger panel (and more expensive)
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L-track on the driver side b-pillar requires an extra procedure by cutting a part off from the top. Hack-saw worked wonders on this.
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Here is the modification (notice how I hacked the top part of the l-track). It still has a lot of thickness left and this aluminum is hard and strong. This will be the part that will be "hidden" underneath as I don't want to cut into the expensive bigger b-panel.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Driver side l-track upper cut tab (I sanded and cleaned it up well before mounting)
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Rounding the "backside" edge below the flange so it can fit against the larger b-pillar panel.

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The following image shows the location where I had to use a round file to get just a few millimeters for fitment.
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Trying to determine how to align the top screw on the driver's side. You can just about fit the head without touching the bigger b-panel.
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In addition to the l-track cutout of the smaller lower b-pillar panel, I had to drill a hole for the "plug" to get the screw through, when finally attaching the l-track.
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Ok, this didn't go super well with the hand drill and getting so close to the two edges, but with minimal room, I barely survived.
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Drilled upper screw hole (to be plugged after attachment)
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Dremel plunge router attachment to the rescue with the next step, trying to cover up the holes left by the oem cargo mounts. ABS plastic and my first spin ever. It is managable with some exercise pieces and finding the right rpm.
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Making a template of the factory oem hole. Of course it is asymmetric.
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Cutting the plywood template with reduced thickness of the router guide bit and taping it to the abs plastic with some carpet tape.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After routing the plastic on the outer side I'm ready to remove the template.
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Plywood template removed.
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With the trust hacksaw I split the pieces in half. One on each side is going to be JB plastic welded to the back of the panel.
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Pieces ready and I put some steel wool to one of them to get rid of the glossyness.
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To remind myself to dull the pieces before glueing them.
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Here you can see a non-dulled abs piece against the panel.
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The steel wool dulled piece looks a little closure to the oem panel.
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Inside view of the pieces. Quite a bit of dremeling and sanding is needed to get them to fit, and so that they don't interfere when attaching to the car. You can notice how I kept all the hooks including the lower hook.
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Hole is covered. Not perfect but looks fairly good. At least no debris is getting in there. I used black colored JB plastic weld and it's hue is a bit grayish when dried. (photo is taken under strong artificial lighting)
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Driver side view without l-track attached.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These are my two pieces. The passenger side upper bolt and l-track attachment got decreased a little as there wasn't "full room" attachment possibilities. I kind of wish these could be had in black color, but I didn't find any of the flanged ones. Maybe one of these days I'll take them in to be powder coated...but then again, the color will probably wear off. These are polished with Mothers aluminum polish to make them cleaner. The sunken in drill was tricky but used metric countersunk bits at 90 degree angle (and a bit of dremeling)
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I added Noico RED 315 foam around the garolite spacer. It helped me keep the piece in place when I went in to attach the l-track (and maybe some sound/temperature insulation as well?). I did absolutely no modifications above the seat belt attachment at the bottom as I didn't want to interfere with ANY of the safety features.
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I replaced the factory round stickers on the Noico foam (in case it had any noise reduction purpose against the plastic panel)
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Passenger side l-track installed. I used stainless steel screws with anti-freeze.
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Driver side l-track installed. Figuring out the top hole size and finding a plug was difficult. (I ended up using "1 inch Flush Mount Black Plastic Body and Sheet Metal Hole Plug" by "caplugs" on AMZ. Had to cut a small straight cut at the bottom for fitment.
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Now it should be easy to attach different fittings onto either or both side of the b-pillar. :)
 

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Very clever!
And great result!

Though I am wondering how a Lagun Table would mate to that, as I think it requires a dead plumb install of its brace … so an adapter would have to be invented with some studded fittings.

A compact hacksaw, small “ japanese “ flush cut saw or a compact oscillating tool at lowest speed can work well for the detailed plastic cuts. Perhaps easier than the dremel with plastic dust flinging at thousands of rpm and melting plastic making for even trickier cuts. Also an option is a manual handle for jigsaw blades.

Looking forward to your ceiling idea.

I still have not looked further at my cargo ceiling. I originally had some ideas to run L-across and / or length wise … but the different ceiling bars, curvature and mainly the various square and round holes of which none line up from one to the next … set me back. Maybe this winter? Maybe 2” or 6” tracks with rivnuts instead …

Anyhow, looking forward to your take on tackling that :)
 

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Loves me some build photos!

What's inside that knuckle of a b pillar base? Seems like you could drill some holes and add some rivnuts. Then make some thick stand off slugs and bolt a lagun mounting plate. 3 mount locations would be enough. The standoffs could get you flush with the plastic if that was desired. Those lagun brackets can be shaped down. Lots of extra material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! the Japanese saw is a good idea and I use one quite often. In this case I actually trimmed the larger b-pillar panel in place. The plastic dremel cut wheel worked ok with the correct speed but I'm thinking a diamond blade might have been better.

I didn't want to drill and add any new rivets and because of the hidden (in passenger model) extra bolt, I figured I would get enough stability.

I'm planning on using a flush mount l-track fitting. I found some online but they may be difficult to obtain here in the U.S. Might need to make something of my own, and then attach the Lagun mount to that. It's going to happen and I will share my solution when ready.

This is one example:


Then counter-sink holes in an aluminum sheet which attaches to this flush fitting, and then the lagun mount to that (angled correctly). Yes, I agree, the lagun brackets can be shaped down quite a bit.
 

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Then counter-sink holes in an aluminum sheet which attaches to this flush fitting, and then the lagun mount to that (angled correctly). Yes, I agree, the lagun brackets can be shaped down quite a bit.
Much easier to find L track bases with studs (for obvious reasons). You can probably just as easily use readily available T Slot nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's how I added an l-track to the headliner ceiling of my van. While adding some sound deadener and insulation to my inner roof I though I should try to add some lashing at the same time while I had the headliner removed. I found that the upper ceiling rib right behind the driver seat already had two threaded inserts of M6 size. Being that the ceiling has a curvature I decided I didn't need to extend the l-track all the way from edge to edge. I just wanted an attachment point in the ceiling for a privacy curtain and who knows what. I thought about adding them to the back headliner but I didn't want to take a chance on ruining so much of the headliner, and especially not knowing if I would need anything else.

I had some great quality boellhoff stainless M6 rivnuts, that I had purchased for rear wall lashing (documentation coming later) so I used one of them in the middle of the oem existing rivnuts. The track length I went with was about 12 inches.

What my photos are not showing is how I countersunk the M6 screws. I used metric fasteners because at a head angle of 90 degrees I thought that would be strong enough. Countersinking screws into the aluminum l-track is not the easiest, especially if the screw hole doesn't align with the l-track hole so that you can get a countersunk drill bit in. For this part I drilled the spots from the backside of the l-track, using a short bit of aluminum bar that I had verified had the proper spacing and fit. Then I bought a longer M6 screw which I dremeled its head to function as a grinder. I basically attached the screw to my battery powered drill and pulled it from the backside of the l-track to make the countersunk (deep enough so I could move the l-track fittings.

Here are some photos on how it came out.

This is my check to see how the l-track would fit:
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Here you can see the Boelhoff rivnut I have attached with a stainless M6 screw attached. The rivnut head sticks out about a mm or so from the base, and it turns out it nicely helps with the curvature right in the center for the 12 inch track. (see how the oem pre-inserted rivnuts are flush). I think the oem might be used in the cargo for the partition.
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In order to fit the l-track I needed to remove the center magnet. I figured I wouldn't need it once I attach the flanged l-track as that would further secure the front headliner part.
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Magnets were attached very strongly with glue, so I used a heat gun to soften the glue, and then a sharp knife to remove it from the headliner.
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Here the magnet is removed and I'm ready to figure out how to cut the space for the l-track.
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I attached the l-track upside down and put a little pain on the heads (not shown in photo)
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I pushed the headliner up against the wet pain screw headings and can now see where my mounting points are.
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I outline how to cut the headliner. You can see the aluminum bar which is what I used to verify the screw spacing and then drill the holes from the backside of the l-track (marked it OK since I my first attempt wasn't so good)

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Carefully cutting with a fresh blade while paying attention to the fabric towards the inner van. I kind of scored the harder parts and then took my time to cut the fabric in a motion that wouldn't cause long rips.
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The cutout is done. It comes quite close to the edge, but leaves enough room for the edge of the headliner (plus it will be supported by the l-track flange anyhow.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is what the cutout looks from the inside facing the van. The narrower cutouts at the ends are for the l-track plastic end plugs.
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I painted and then varnished the black plastic end caps to better match the headliner. I gently scrubbed the plastic with steel wool before painting and cleaned with acetone. Hoping they will stay in tact if I don't knock into them. The color I bought was "stone gray" in satin by Rust-oleum 2x ultra cover paint + primer.
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This is what it looks completed
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@thefinnisher
That looks PRO !!!

Flared screws that sit flush in the track are sweet for an install like that. Certainly something to keep in mind for lighter load & short tracks, as button heads take up a slot.
 

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Regarding the B pillar and having a flat and potentially larger plumb mounting surface …

I think you may have three factory bolting positions on the rear side of the pillar, if passenger and cargo are made the same. Which could give you a nice flat surface. My cargo B-pillar, passenger side ( R )

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Nice. Could definitely make an adapter plate that spanned 3 bolt holes and added standoffs to mate up to enough of a Lagun table mount plate (through the passenger trim).

Is the other side a mirror image?
 

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Great question.
No, it is not a mirror image.
They're a bit different in size and shape, the driver's side is certainly taller and has a slanted side to follow the contours of the fuel filler etc. Both have three bolt holes though, one for the D-ring and two for the factory cargo partition.
Give me a few minutes.
 

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Passenger's side

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Note it is at a small angle, just like the step.

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Driver's side

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I'm thinking if I had a left side sliding door, that the face would just be vertical and it would not have that angled bit going in the floor facing the camera / towards the rear.

Note: There is about 1/2 inch taken up by foam & plywood, at the same time on the passenger side there is that trim gasket.

Similar thing, there's a bit of an angle.

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I have no idea what the bent metal U-shaped piece with the little hole is supposed to be good for.

So, that's what the lower end of the B pillars look like on a naked 135 cargo :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@icerabbit Thanks so much for the photos! It's things like this that allows others to visualize the possibilities.

In my case I didn't want to "reach" into the third bolt insert as I figured having two bolts firmly attached to an l-track would be enough to achieve a strong hold on the lagun table. I also didn't want to take a chance on possibly ruining to plastic panels with a wider cut. But there may be someone else who wants that extra stability and feels confident in cutting into the middle b-pillar panel. At about $80 each it wouldn't be too too expensive to make a mistake but still.

The u-shaped piece with the little hole is for the lower-smaller cover to hook into on the passenger van. Interesting to see it on a cargo, and I wonder if that is used at all with the cargo partition. I wonder at what stage in the building process at the factory, they assign the van to be either a passenger van or cargo van. Not really looking for an answer, but it makes me ponder.
 

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Without seeing the passenger trim, I was thinking that it may be possible to do a larger support plate of sorts to squeeze between the metal and passenger trim and then have a larger fastening plate visibly bolted into the three positions … onto which plate the lagun then mounts.

Or just go through the trim and use some small lengths of pvc or metal tubing as standoffs along the shafts of the bolts. May save time and reduce complexity.

Certainly on a cargo it would be a no brainer to go with a larger direct bolt on plate.
 

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PS: In case anybody was wondering about exploring the C pillar, for hidden bolt positions, there is nothing but a few different size holes … D-ring in the floor only.

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Looking at the Lagun mount I think it could be trimmed down substantially. I think you could trim off all but the center Tee. If you counter sunk two mounts through the Tee it could make things easier.

One could make an adapter plate and span only the M8 and offset M10 with a 3rd standoff vertical of the M8 to mount. Or span over and mount a plate to 2 M10s and the M8 with a new 4th mount vertical of the M8.

I'm envisioning the M8 connection being the countersunk bolt through the Lagun mount.

Or simply add a rivnut vertical of the M8.
 
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