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Installing L-Track

Magnet to catch savings for drilling hole in van

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

L-Track on Rear Doors of a Sprinter Van

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.

Magnet to catch savings for drilling hole in van
Magnet in place to catch the metal shavings from drilling

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.

Installing Rivnuts on a Sprinter Van
Using the tool to install Rivnuts

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.

L-Track rear doors sprinter van
L-Track installed on rear doors of our van

This was a great first project. I hope this helps you out when it comes time to install your first L-track!

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