Our van came with L-track running almost the entire length of the walls and ceilings. However, there was one place where I knew I wanted L-track – on the rear doors of our Sprinter van.
I figured installing these would be a good first little project as I’d get to drill some holes in the van (yay!) and it’s pretty straightforward. Before I did this, I’d never worked with l-track or even much metal. So I read up on it as much as possible and jumped in.
Here is what I did…
Measure Twice, Cut Once
First, I removed the upper panels and insulation above the window. Mine were bamboo panels that came with my van. You might have stock ones. Once those were out of the way, I was able to measure the right length of L-track I wanted and clamp it in place. I cut the L-track with a hacksaw, others use a chop saw with a fancy blade. Since I only had to make 4 cuts I was okay with hacksaw.
Now I had a sense of exactly how it would look. I could have done a shorter piece that fit just under the panel, but I opted for a longer cut that maximized the length.
Drilling the holes for L-track
While it was held in place and I was really sure I was happy with its location, I figured out where I should drill the wholes. I decided to do three holes for for each piece of L-track. I marked the holes by tapping a long screw with a hammer in the center of each hole. I used the pre-drilled L-track so it was easy to see where the holes needed to be.
For drilling, I just used the right size bit and drilled right through the existing L-track hole, being careful not to let the drill walk on me. Of course, I put the magnet in place to catch the metal shavings. After the holes were drilled I painted them to prevent rust and let them dry.
The next day I installed Rivnuts. Initially I was going to use Plusnuts, but the riveting tool I got didn’t work with the Plusnuts I ordered. The end of my tool was too short to reach the threads at the bottom of the Plusnuts. My son and I found an old metal sawhorse in our workshop that we did a couple of practice runs on. Once I was somewhat comfortable installing them on the test piece, we put them in the van.
This is the tool I ended up buying from Amazon. Lots of people said a good tool made all the difference and I wanted to be successful with my first project. I should note, this tool also came with the right size Rivnuts.
All six of the Rivnuts I installed went in super solid. I know some people complain about Rivnuts spinning easily. That wasn’t my experience, but I only have a sample size of six.
Finished L-track installation
Here is the finished product with insulation and panel back in place.
This was a great first project. I hope this helps you out when it comes time to install your first L-track!