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Discussion Starter #1
Dateline:7/15
Took possession of a beautiful red van. The MB rep helped me with syncing my phone's Bluetooth, finding the DC outlet for my Garmin, and USB input for my iPod Classic. After some basic instruction, I headed home - a two hour trip on interstate and country highways. Like everyone here has said, this van handles real nice, or exactly like a Mercedes should handle. So I am loving it.

But ****, is it noisy! Can barely hear the stereo. Any judgement of quality of sound and possible upgrades to the sound system will have to wait until completing insulation and paneling. Same problem, obviously, with hearing a phone conversation over Bluetooth.
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Discussion Starter #2
Dateline: 7/17
I found this forum January 2016, shortly after I saw my first television commercials for the Metris. I'd owned four different Dodge cargo vans over the years; the last one was a 1992. Every one of them fit in a standard garage. These days, the Dodge and Ford E series are no longer available. Dodge Promasters, Ford Transits,and even the GMC Savana/Chevy Express are all too tall and long to fit in a standard garage. Then the Metris came along. I wanted one.

I immediately began "subscribing" (now "following") the threads that I thought might help me create the exact van I wanted. When I took delivery of my vehicle, I went to the threads that had to do with insulation and paneling and started reading. I decided on a three-layer system: 1/8" thick stick-on sound deadener, 3M Thinsulate SM600L, and 1/8" thick luaun paneling. I wanted the first layer on NOW, so I went to my local Lowe's and bought seven rolls of Frost-King. This isn't as heavy as Noico, but much cheaper, and it would be backed up with 1 3/4" or 3 1/2" (depending on depth of cavity) of Thinsulate. And I could start immediately. The van's sound level decreased noticeably with the first application.


And, hey - what's up with the bleeping stars inserted by the system in my above post? All I said was "d a m n". I've seen stronger language in this forum.
 

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There is a sound boost function somewhere in the bluetooth settings. It helps a lot, but overall yes the van is noisy. I have a passenger version with carpet and full aftermarket floormats, and I find it difficult to listen to podcasts or music I don't recognize. Someday I would like to upgrade the sound system, but probably won't.
 

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I’ve been transcribing tapes from a 1990s radio show that hosted 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s doo wop and R&B. I’ve never heard three quarters of it and it plays just great.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dateline: 7/30/2020
Had a OEM window installed in the passenger sliding door a couple days ago. Much improved visibility!

I got my MB floor trays and mud flaps from mercedespartswholesale.com on eBay today. Put the floor trays in and installed the front mud flaps right away. That was easy. I've read in this forum that the rear mud flaps present a bit more challenge, so that can wait a bit. As they are both OEM parts, the fit is perfect. I bought WeatherTech floor trays for my last vehicle, which also fit perfectly, but I was dissatisfied with their appearance after the first winter. And I had used WeatherTech's protectant on them. I hope the MB trays are better than WeatherTech.

I did remove the front wheels to do the mud flaps. It makes it easier. I used my own floor jack. When reinstalling the wheels, it wasn't bad in the comfort of my garage, but if I had been out on the shoulder on a cold rainy night I would have had considerably more difficulty. So I immediately ordered an alignment pin from Amazon which will make future wheel mountings much easier. Here's the link:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07V1Z5V9Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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River, nice van. I have red aswell...with same floor mats and mud flaps. On you noise issue, maybe it's you tires. mine is not very loud.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lane, the noise is road noise, which comes from the tires. I think I was lucky getting the Continentals though. My studded winter tires will be even noisier, so I must do all I can to keep the road noise OUTside. Thanks for the comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dateline: 8/10/2020
Since my last post I put five rolls of Frost-King on all bare metal in the body, removing the panels on the sliding door and barn doors, and, thanks to Ransomridge's excellent instructions Head Liner Removal, Light Bar Install and Ceiling Insulation , removing the headliner. I only used a single layer of this stuff. I didn't take any pictures of just the Frost-King, but you can see parts of it in other pictures in this thread.

I ordered my van with the EK1 Body Builder Connector, which is behind passenger side lower panel under dash. Also I will be installing rear speakers. So before installing any Thinsulate, I ran three wires from the top of the passenger-side C-pillar forward and down the A-pillar alongside the thick wrap of wires already there. I used a 3/4"ID plastic tube to help thread the wires straight down from the bottom of the A-pillar. For now they are coiled and taped and stuffed up under the dash. At the top of the C-pillar, one wire goes across the roof and down into the driver-side lower rear section where it will feed a speaker. The other two wires go down into the passenger-side lower rear section. One for a speaker and the other for an always-on 12V/USB feed. This can also power an LED light I will install in the ceiling panel over the sliding door.

For the main insulation on my van I decided on 3M Thinsulate SM600L. I ordered a 40' linear roll (at 5' wide, this is 200' sq.) from impactproducts on eBay, price $415. After completing the job, a 30' linear roll would have been "almost" enough, but I didn't want to have to start skimping on material as I got closer to completion.


It is glued on with 3M Hi-Strength 90 Contact Spray. I bought five cans. I have three left over. Maybe I didn't use enough of it, but nothing fell down.

I ordered a package of 100 8mm two-piece panel fasteners from Amazon.


These are as easy to use as the MB parts that hold the door panels in. I ended up buying a second box. If your holes don't line up exactly and you have to make adjustments, you will probably break a few. At 10 cents each it's worth having extras.

My paneling is 1/8" luaun. I bought seven 4x8 sheets and ended up with 2 full sheets left over. I also have an 8' leftover piece 21" wide, which will probably do for the narrow pieces I'll put in the top corners of the ceiling after all is said and done. To make the interior brighter, I just used clear varnish on the ceiling pieces, which are a full 4' wide. I split the ceiling at the rib at the C-pillar which has a double row of 8mm holes. I measured for the holes as they are all on a single line.

Pic 1 - One layer Thinsulate on entire roof. Front half of ceiling panel is up. I didn't varnish this piece first. You can just barely see the attachment pins on the front edge of the panel.
Pic 2 - Both sheets varnished and headliner re-installed (I decided to ditch the large black plastic blocks at the rear corners of the headliner).
Pic 3 - Rear ceiling panel. Since I ordered the LC2 LED Cargo Light, I just decided to wedge the panel in above the metal flange on the light. To get it to slide in under the Thinsulate, I made sure the panel corner was smooth and and then put a piece of black duct tape on it. This was fortunate as I don't remember seeing any 8mm holes in the very back section.
Pic 4 - The headliner all re-installed (thanks again, RansomRidge)
Pic 5 - Close-up of my three-wire bundle at right-side C-pillar)

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( not to derail this build thread )

@Maximus XXIV

Speaking of floor mats. In what way do you think these MB ones are better?

These factory ones don't look like they go up under the pedals?

For my Grand Caravan I bought exact fit Husky ones because they go twice a high off the floor behind the pedals and completely covered the left side foot rest, ditto on the passenger side where a whole foot can rest on the sloped area. Something WeatherTech still skimps on.

Sadly, shopping for the Metris, I see no Huskies ... so I'm guessing WeatherTech is the option with the most coverage?

But in what way do you not like them??
 

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Weather tech has a huge raised logo on the mat which is annoying to my resting left foot. I also hit it when moving my foot. Not a deal breaker, but why?

I am not as worried about coverage under the peddles since we do not get snow here and rain is really only for 3-4 months a year.
 

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I like the oems better than weathertech in the metris. They fit better and look better. I do like WT. Just bought a complete set for my wife's X3. Front-rear and cargo compartment.
 

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A friend of mine some years ago bought a sprinter cargo van, a 177 EST. Despite the fact that he bought a Mercedes he was generally a cheap filler. So in order to protect the wood floor of his new sprinter, he bought a roll of indoor outdoor carpet, in red believe it or not, and used his Xacto knife to fit it in place. After a few days of being loaded with merchandise the carpet stood flat without help.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Dateline: 8/11/2020
After completing insulation and paneling on the ceiling, I started in on the vertical parts of the cargo area. I started with the sliding door and rear barn doors, because those already had panels. First was the sliding door. I was careful to keep the Thinsulate away from moving parts Each layer was planned, cut, and glued in place independently, as depths of the space vary, but most of the door received three layers of insulation. You can see the addition of each layer best against the diagonal brace which divides the compartment all the way to the outer sheet metal.
Pic 1 - after first layer
Pic 2 - after second layer
Pic 3 - after third layer

Next was the LH rear barn door. The motor in the upper left is the windshield wiper. I temporarily tied the blue wire around the outside of the door to keep it close to the surface as I inserted the layers. Pic 4 shows the first layer inserted. Sometimes you have to insert the part of your piece that has to slide in without gluing, then bend the part you CAN glue out, spray both surfaces with adhesive, wait the 60 seconds, and stick them together. Pic 5 and 6 show this being done. I just wanted to show how much adhesive I used and what it looks like applied. Pic 7 shows the LH door completely insulated. Now just bring the blue wire back inside the door. The RH barn door is similar. You have to work around the inside door handle and there is also an electric lock mechanism. I didn't take any pictures of the RH door.

Last thing today was re-install the OEM door panels.
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Discussion Starter #18
Dateline: 8/17/2020
Now I have three areas insulated and the (OEM) panels back in to hold the insulation. Next step is making templates to use in making the other six panels that I don't have patterns for. My first thought was to get some paper that was at least 29" wide. You can buy rolls of packing paper 30" wide, but it tends to be expensive ($50 or so). I did find probably a sufficient quantity in my burn barrel that I had gotten in packages from Amazon and other places that had been crumpled up as cushioning. But when I got serious about using it in the van, I had another idea - 4mil plastic sheeting. I had some pieces saved from previous jobs, so I dug it out. Perfect! Not only that, you could make the template for the right side rear upper and it should work also for the left side rear upper with just minor alterations - the basic shape would be the same. Same for the rear lower sections. The upper and lower left front panels (between B and C pillars) had no counterpart on the right. So I had to make four templates. I removed the three OEM panels temporarily again to use for templates of the door panels.

Tape the plastic in place as shown in Pic 1, draw the shape of the panel, mark the holes you'll use for your 8mm pins, cut the shape with scissors, and lay it on your board. trace around the edge and centerpunch through to mark holes, jigsaw, and drill.

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A word of caution here - use a fine-tooth saber saw blade (I used a hollow-ground blade with no set), and cut from the back side. Now you can really see the benefit of using see-through plastic. The holes you marked are visible from both sides of the plastic. Also, in places, the holes aren't exactly the same on both sides of the van, and you can see while the plastic is taped to the van where the differences are.

When I cut my panels, I clamped two opposite pieces together before cutting. When you do this, clamp finish face to finish face so you will indeed have two mirror images. I failed to do this with the rear upper panels and I ended up using the "bad" side of the panel for my left upper.

Okay, all nine lauan panels cut, drilled, and sanded all edges, good face, and corners where back and front sides meet the cut edge. Then set up for finishing. My panels are lauan, as I said before. Lauan is a type of mahogany. I've been around boats my whole life, and I love the look of varnished mahogany. So I naturally used ZAR Dark Mahogany stain, followed by ZAR quick-drying urethane clear gloss varnish, two coats,sanding between, then rubbed out with steel wool #0000 after drying. Pic 2 shows the panels laid out after the second varnish coat. You can see the result of using the "bad" side when looking at the upper rear left panel. You can also see the result of getting sloppy with the belt sander looking at the panel closest in the back row.

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Discussion Starter #19
Dateline: 8/18/2020
Once I had all my panels finished, I could proceed with cutting and installing the remainder of the Thinsulate SM600L, I started with the lower section left front. Pic 1 shows part of the insulation in place. You can also see twelve (threaded) holes in the upper section, with several bolts in to hold the reinforcing bars in place. More on this later.

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Pic 2 shows the lower panel held in by 14 of the 8mm fasteners. You can also see the effects of my sloppiness with the belt sander.

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Pic 3 shows the panel which took the place of the factory sliding door panel, which I used as a template for the lauan.

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That was all for this day. The rest of my time was used by moving stuff from the shop to the garage, cleaning up the shop, and setting up in the garage for cutting insulation.

If I didn't mention it in earlier posts, here are a couple tips on working with the SM600L Thinsulate: To draw the outlines of the pieces of insulation, I used ordinary chalk, like a teacher would use. The white shows up well on the black fabric substrate. To cut it, use a pair of quality scissors/shears. No problem.
 

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Nice work River. Thanks for posting. I do not yet own a Metris but there are many things I like about them, particularly the size. This past summer I completed a build out of an All Terrain Pop Up camper. I used Baltic Birch ply for all the furniture and IMHO it came out perfecto. I then decided that the camper and the crewcab pickup was way more than I needed, and with the fires and Covid and all the people heading to the hills I decide to sell; a very happy young couple took it home with them. Now I'm trying to figure out the best route for my next vehicle. Maybe a Metris.
 
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