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build pages/other/van leveling 

The van can be leveled at a camp site by one person using Lynx plastic blocks. The blocks are 8 1/2" square and are 1" thick. Sold at Walmart. The blocks are stacked to provide a spacer between the tire and ground to level the van. The question is how many blocks are required under each tire. Instead of trial an error with repeated attempts and the need for another person to tell the driver when they are centred on the blocks, a scale model of the van can provide the correct number of blocks needed and a rod in a stand can be used to show how far to move the van. 

The method of leveling the van at a campsite is to use a two direction level mounted on a board that is 1/16 the size of the van tread and wheelbase. Park the van at the unlevel location desired. Place the scale model level board on the sink counter. Stack 1/16" thick flat washers under the corners until the van is level. Count the number of washers under the corners to determine how many blocks are required under each tire. The 1/16" thick washers are 1/16 the thickness of the 1" Lynx blocks. 

The board width and length are 1/16 the van track and wheelbase dimensions plus the washer diameter. So center of washer to center of washer is 1/16 the van track and wheelbase. The washers I used are 7/8" diameter. The long wheelbase transit van has tread width of 69" and has a wheelbase of 148.6". 

Board width is 69"/16 + 7/8 = 4 3/8" + 7/8" = 5 1/4" 

Board length is 147.6/16 + 7'8" = 9 1/4" + 7/8" = 10 1/8" 

Put van in the location you want to park and use the scale model leveling board to determine the number of Lynx blocks required at each location. Make a mark on the ground where the wheel center is located. Move the van forward or backwards from the parking place far enough that you can place the Lynx blocks where the tire was located. Stack the Lynx blocks for each of the wheels.  Then move the van so it is on top of the blocks. 

There is a way to accurately move the van so tires are centered in the blocks. Measure the distance van was moved from the original van location.  To center the van on the blocks, place a pencil or pen on the driver door step with the driver door open. Place a vertical rod along the side of the van the same distance from the pen/pencil that equals the previously measured distance van was moved. Move the van so rod lines up with the pen/pencil.  Van will be centered on the blocks. 

For the vertical rod I used a 1/2" wood dowel cut to length so top of rod is at bottom of the step. Put dowel in 1/2" bore V-belt pulley as a stand to prevent dowel from falling over. 

Another useful addition to the Lynx blocks is to make a plywood base for a couple of the blocks. The Lynx blocks have a 1/2" diameter dowel glued in the center. They can be used in soft ground to help prevent the Lynx blocks from sinking into the ground. Also can be used with jack to prevent jack sinking into soft ground. 

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