When I bought my Series 3 the interior was all open front to back as original with only a half height bulkhead behind the front seats. I wanted the vehicle to be used more as a van with a definite front and back area so I set about constructing a solid divider behind the front seats to achieve this.
I could have bought an off the shelf ‘dog guard’ type of divider but this didn’t really suit my needs as I wanted a solid divider that looked like it was meant to be there as opposed to a temporary guard. The benefits of this are that it reduces noise from the rear axle, tyres and exhaust. It also allows the cabin to be heated up more quickly as the heat doesn’t circulate around the whole vehicle and it permits the carrying of wet, smelly and hazardous items without intrusion into the cabin area.
I started by making a template from cardboard and tackled one side at a time. (To keep within the vehicle lines and to have a datum line to work to I decided to put the divider on top of the half divider already there.)I cut the cardboard roughly to size and ensured it was slightly wider than half the width of the interior. By trial and error I then cut an outline onto the card whilst it was taped into position top and bottom. It’s worth taking your time to try and get it as close as you can but a small gap around the
edge of about 2-4 mm is permissible and advised to allow for a bit of movement as the vehicle is driven. Any bigger gaps or irregularities can be made good by applying masking tape to the edge of the template to help achieve the profile you want. Once your happy with the basic outline of the template carefully remove the template and after turning over transfer the outline to another similar sized piece of card and cut out the shape. Offer up the new piece to the other side of the interior and adjust any gaps or irregularities with tape or a Stanley knife as required (it’s highly unlikely both sides will be exactly the same!) You should now have two pieces of similar template which when taped into position
I decided to make the divider from 10 mm ply for ease of cutting, costs and lightness. It could be made from metal but I opted for wood as I also think it would be quieter and retain heat better. I took the template to my local builders merchants who cut wood to size and asked them to cut a piece as close to the size of the template as possible. They did this which just left me to draw around the template onto the wood and remove the excess with a jigsaw. Once done I offered the wood up and fixed it along the top by drilling holes and securing it with self tapping screws which I sunk into the wood for a better finish. The bottom was secured by ‘T’ piece brackets bought at the same builders merchants and evenly spaced a few along the bottom and again secured with self tappers.
Next I sealed all around the edges both this side and cab side with a sealant that was suitable for both metal and wood using a skeleton gun. I smoothed off the bead to obtain a nice finish and once completely dry painted the whole rear interior to blend it all in. You could cut an oval or square hole in the divider if you wished but I decided to leave my solid. As a result it leaves you with a cabin that is quieter, warmer and with more of a van feel about it.
inside the vehicle should overlap in the middle. Adjust the templates until the best fit is achieved (leaving a small gap around the edge) and tape the two sides together and carefully remove. Transfer this pattern to a new piece of card and you should be left with one big piece of card which when offered up to the interior should fit with a small gap around its edge. The gap doesn’t have to be uniform just so long as there is one to allow for a bit of movement.
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