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Old 07-16-2016, 02:49 PM   #715
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This is not a mod, but it's an alternative to a mod, so I'll drop the info here.

As others have previously discussed, T1N Sprinter sun visor brackets do not pivot to the cab side windows. There's an aftermarket solution to this problem - a modified bracket - but I've never liked it for a number of reasons. From reading these posts, I understand that NCV3 sun visors come as forward-only entrapped and can be made to pivot only by the effort of removing a clip or another device... something to do with side air bags, I think.

Rather than go the conventional visor method, I created a simple fabric shield that is held to the exposed steel portions of the door frame by tiny neodymium magnets. It extends down to about the same horizontal level as the OEM visor (a little lower because I'm shorter), does not block my view to the left horizon, does not block my side mirror view, does not interfere with window or door operation, and can be raised with one hand by moving bottom-hem magnets up to the frame (or can be removed altogether with one hand).

Details in the post for anyone who may be interested.

DIY SIDE WINDOW SUN VISOR FOR THE AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:07 PM   #716
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Not to offend but looks funny
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:27 PM   #717
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Not to offend but looks funny
As an engineer, I subscribe to the philosophy that "form follows function." As long as it works, it doesn't look funny at all. Certainly not any funnier than a normal visor swiveled to the side.

And I say, "Wish I'd thought of it."
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:11 AM   #718
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No offense taken. Whenever someone tells me that something looks anything (good, bad, funny, strange, pretty, ugly), my first thought is usually... compared to what?


This is v. 1.0 on the side visor idea. My husband did not like this idea at all, and in fact grumbled, "Let me know when you could use my help on v. 3.0." But my husband is almost 8 inches taller than me and he doesn't have nearly the same sun angle challenges as a result of that. He has a different interpretation as to what might constitute a solution to this issue.

I'll see what the road testing tells me. That starts tomorrow with a local trip of a couple hundred miles.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:49 PM   #719
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Receiver/Speaker replacement

After my Kenwood started acting up, I decided to replace with a standalone receiver (Pioneer AVH-4200NEX) with ApplePlay, and to use a Garmin standalone GPS (Garmin 70LMT). Along with this change came some other changes as well.

First, the receiver was pretty much plug and play. The guy who did the Kenwood install cut all the wires, but I used the Kendwood manual to figure out what color wire went where to hook up the Pioneer.

Second, after taking off the door panel, I discovered there's mostly only one layer of sheet metal between the plastic door panel and you, with a very big opening on the inner skin. So to help with the road noise, I used Dynamat on the outside skin inner side. It was a pain to do, and took several hours, but now the door doesn't ring like a bell when you knock against it.

Then I ordered an adapter that allows a bigger, 6.5" speaker instead of a 5.25" speaker, and chose a pair of Pioneer speakers (Pioneer TS-A1676R 6-1/2" 3-way Speakers). It fit perfectly.



My 2011 was not wired to be able to use the house battery to power the receiver, rather, AS wired it using the ignition switch, which kills the power after 30 minutes. So I ran a positive wire from the overhead, and used a 2 way switch, so I can select either the ignition, or use the house batteries to simulate the ignition switch so the receiver stays on without the ignition in ACC mode. Technically, the receiver is still powered by the chassis batteries, as when it is switched to the house battery, a sensor that turns on the receiver, but that's ok, as it would take a very long time to run down the chassis battery just using the receiver. This fix just keeps from having to turn on the ACC on the ignition to run the receiver.

The same guy who made the speaker adapter makes a 2 way switch for the Sprinter. The speaker adapter and switch can be found here:

http://www.impact3d.com/sprinter_products.htm .

Finally, my 2011 has a curved door panel on the center dash, making it a bit hard to mount the GPS. Newer Sprinters did away with it, so I ordered a new center dash kit, which is open in the front. That comes in tomorrow, but should be an easy install.

One thing I was wanted to do was to add a boost switch. AS wiring schematic shows it was wired, and indeed there is a grey wire on the boost terminal of the isolator, but I could not find the end. I have no idea how or where AS put the other end. If it's connected to the ignition, the Sure Power isolater will automatically boost the chassis if the chassis battery voltage is less than the house according to the manual, so maybe it's not really needed at all. If anyone knows how AS wired it up in the 2011 models (or any later model before they added the boost switch), please let me know.

Because of the many steps and complexity of these modifications, I did not do a step by step guide, but if anyone has any questions, I'd be more than happy to help you along.
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:45 AM   #720
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Much appreciate your post on the speaker replacement and sound deadening, this will be an early project on my new vehicle when delivered. Apparently a new Fusion 8" touchscreen/hard button unit will replace the Kenwood for 2017.

You mention a positive wire in the overhead. Could you please elaborate on the location and how it is powered and switched ? If the 2017 is similar, I will use this for my Valentine 1.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:14 AM   #721
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Much appreciate your post on the speaker replacement and sound deadening, this will be an early project on my new vehicle when delivered. Apparently a new Fusion 8" touchscreen/hard button unit will replace the Kenwood for 2017.

You mention a positive wire in the overhead. Could you please elaborate on the location and how it is powered and switched ? If the 2017 is similar, I will use this for my Valentine 1.

Thanks again.
You are welcome.

I tapped into the line that runs to the 12vdc power plug located, at least in my 2011, in the upper left side of the overhead compartment over the driver's seat. However, I believe Airstream now wires it so if the ignition is on, the receiver/nav unit is powered by the chassis battery, if that's not on, then the house batteries are used. But I tend to doubt how they can do that, because if there is an intermittent connection switching back and forth, the receiver will lose all its settings. But I don't know for sure how they currently wire it up (probably a relay). So you may not need to worry about it, or at least, figure out how they currently are wiring them up. Most receivers have two positive connections. One is always on, 12vdc. The other is ignition on only. The ignition connection senses when the ignition is on, and that turns on the power from the other, always on, source. In reality, I did not have to connect the ignition sensor connection to the house battery, I could have just used the always on chassis battery connection, through the switch. Didn't figure that out till I ran the wire, so I just went ahead and used it. I may later use the house battery to power the receiver if the chassis isn't up to the task of powering it when the engine is off since I ran the wire to under the dash, but I doubt that will be the case.

As for the speaker replacement, I highly recommend the adapter and speaker combination as it is a perfect fit. Other 6.5" may not be (I had to send two sets back before I found one that worked). The adapter is mandatory to use a 6.5" speaker. I also highly recommend Crutchfield to purchase them and for the technical drawings to remove the panels and color coded wire schematics, including figuring out which wire is positive-negative for the speakers. They also sell inexpensive tools you will need to remove the door panel (or you can find them also at Harbor Freight).

I bought the Dynamat off Amazon. It will take two full door kits (one two door kit for each door) as the kit is designed for a car, not a large panel van. Cut it in smaller pieces to fit in the door itself and take your time. It's not hard, but you have to be careful. Clean the surface with some alcohol before applying as best you can. It won't be very dirty.

Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:44 AM   #722
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Appreciate your reply with further details. I've been swapping speakers and radios in cars since the early 1970s, but your link to the adaptors and confirmation of feasibility are a big help.

Adding Dynamat is also a great idea while the door panels are off, I use this routinely in restoring old sports cars. In new Sprinters Mercedes also offers option code H04, "heat insulation front compartment" in which "the doors are fitted with additional insulation mats". Perhaps I'll see whether I can find a part number for these mats, as I doubt that Airstream specifies H04.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:12 AM   #723
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After 200 miles of road testing yesterday, I pronounce my strange side window visor a success. It may not be the optimal model of such a device, but it is a functional model, and my Interstate driving life has improved significantly because of it.

Here's a typical on-the-road view as I see it. You can see that troublesome nuclear fusion reactor in the sky at photo left, behind the visor, just above the hem, the bulk of its radiant wrath mercifully blocked by the device. I am always the early-morning driver (inserting understatement of the century here: husband is not a morning person) so this kind of functionality has to happen for me somehow.

What I found on the road is that I tend to finger-shove the magnets this way and that way to achieve the optimal configuration for prevailing conditions, in this case, raising up the portion at the flap window post. In other words, I don't just leave the thing hanging wholesale.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:27 AM   #724
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InterBlog - your post on side sun shades inspired me to make some too. We are getting ready for a trip diving north so side shades are definitely needed. I also saw something on the Instructables web site that made me realize you could also use something like a thin piece of plastic and slip it into the rubber seal around the side windows inside the door frame.

Then I tried using a piece of heavy paper board like a file folder that worked too. But I wanted something that covered most of the window like your shades. Then I remembered I had a lot of Ramboard left over from a flooring project. Ramboard is just heavy paper board used to protect floors when doing remodeling project.

My shades are not elegant, there are no cool magnets - but it looks like it will work and they can be just recycled when worn out. Here are some photos of my final cut pieces. Ready to hit the road again - heading to Churchill, MB on the Hudson Bay to cool off from all this heat and humidity. We drive to Thompson, MB. Leave the van at an RV park and take a train to Churchill. Should be a real adventure.

Inside driver's side.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:18 AM   #725
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Window tinting works well too.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:39 AM   #726
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Window tinting works well too.
Where it's legal, so check your state's regulations before spending the money. In Louisiana, for example, it's not legal to tint windows forward of the B-pillar. Cops in Louisiana want to be able to see the driver as they approach a vehicle.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:15 PM   #727
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Where it's legal, so check your state's regulations before spending the money. In Louisiana, for example, it's not legal to tint windows forward of the B-pillar. Cops in Louisiana want to be able to see the driver as they approach a vehicle.
It isn't legal in California either but if you don't get too dark you will never get hassled or at least I don't know anyone who has. You can still see through mine but does an amazing job of blocking heat and ultra-violet rays. Plenty of "Limo" tint out there for the po po to pull over. Besides it's not a lot of money and is a fix-it ticket.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:20 PM   #728
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Forward of the B-pillar we used the lightest tint 3-M makes. It blocks infrared (heat) but looks factory. Aft we get a couple shades darker.

The desert sun in SoCal will cook you unless you get the 3-M film. Cheaper stuff just does not work.


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