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Old 11-06-2014, 12:55 PM   #21
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

I have a 78 passenger bluebird that's listed as a TC/2000, however by most appearances it seems like an All American (except for the front, which looks like a tc2000). It's GAWR is listed as 23,000 lbs rear and 13,200 front, and a combined GVWR of 36,200.

It looks nearly identical to Vlad's, except for the fact his was missing luggage bays. I'd really be curious to see what the weight plate says on his bus.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:12 PM   #22
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb
I have a 78 passenger bluebird that's listed as a TC/2000, however by most appearances it seems like an All American (except for the front, which looks like a tc2000). It's GAWR is listed as 23,000 lbs rear and 13,200 front, and a combined GVWR of 36,200.

It looks nearly identical to Vlad's, except for the fact his was missing luggage bays. I'd really be curious to see what the weight plate says on his bus.
You are absolutely right. My GVWR is 16626 KG which is 36200 LB. The rest is the same. BTW how long is your bus from rear bumper to front. Just measured my it is 40' + - 1". They have different ways to measure passenger capacity. You can place 3 kids per seat and only 2 adults. This is why my bus is rated 84 passenger capacity(my guess kids)

I keep "replacing" metal with metal... I removed over 2000 lb of steel panelling and other junk from the bottom. Also seats and 3/4 plywood flooring wasn't that light (didn't weight them). I removed fuel tank with useless steel guard and I couldn't even move it myself. I know the reason they added the guard but why did they add this to a diesel bus this size??? I installed semi steel tank 75 gal capacity instead.

I use 1/8" aluminium all around instead of steel. 1/8" is much more than original steel but aluminium is 3 time lighter. I am thinking about making slideout box frames from aluminium. I didn't drive the bus home because I didn't have air endorsement. The driver stopped at scale and wrote the front and rear weight on a piece of napkin. Later this napkin was lost....

Do you know your original weight (front and rear) before the mods and where you are now after roof lift and insulation?
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:33 PM   #23
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

I weighed the bus at the truck scale before I did anything (seats in, everything still original). The bus I'm working on is pretty much exactly 40' long.

I don't have the weigh slip in front of me, but I recall about 9000 lbs on the front and 12000 on the rear axle, with half a tank of fuel (100 gallon tank). When I get home tonight I'll get the weigh slip.

I think using aluminum in your build will be a significant weight savings. Additionally, removing the interior sheet metal, windows, floor deck, and seats is probably 1500+ lbs of material.

How did you remove and replace the fuel tank? Did you have to drive over a pit or jack the vehicle way up in the air? I see no easy way to drop it down and scoot it out. I wouldn't mind removing the giant steel frame from it to lighten the load.

On the other hand, I don't know if it really matters - 100 gallons is sufficiently large, and might as well just leave the framing in there if it's just not a huge problem.

I was planning on installing a group of tankage for fresh and dirty water in vertical pancakes, to keep side to side slosh to a minimum, joined at the bottom with a common manifold. This tank setup could easily fit between the frame rails towards the rear axle, which has the most open weight capacity.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:56 PM   #24
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad
I removed fuel tank with useless steel guard and I couldn't even move it myself. I know the reason they added the guard but why did they add this to a diesel bus this size??? I installed semi steel tank 75 gal capacity instead.
I hear ya! After dropping the cage and removing the tank I moved it around by putting logs underneath it and rolling it over them. Crazy heavy.. Could you post pictures of the tanks installed under the bus? I'm curious how it worked out.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:58 PM   #25
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb
I weighed the bus at the truck scale before I did anything (seats in, everything still original). The bus I'm working on is pretty much exactly 40' long.

I don't have the weigh slip in front of me, but I recall about 9000 lbs on the front and 12000 on the rear axle, with half a tank of fuel (100 gallon tank). When I get home tonight I'll get the weigh slip.

I think using aluminum in your build will be a significant weight savings. Additionally, removing the interior sheet metal, windows, floor deck, and seats is probably 1500+ lbs of material.

How did you remove and replace the fuel tank? Did you have to drive over a pit or jack the vehicle way up in the air? I see no easy way to drop it down and scoot it out. I wouldn't mind removing the giant steel frame from it to lighten the load.

On the other hand, I don't know if it really matters - 100 gallons is sufficiently large, and might as well just leave the framing in there if it's just not a huge problem.

I was planning on installing a group of tankage for fresh and dirty water in vertical pancakes, to keep side to side slosh to a minimum, joined at the bottom with a common manifold. This tank setup could easily fit between the frame rails towards the rear axle, which has the most open weight capacity.
I forgot about windows weight and they weight a ton. I took some not all metal to recyclers and it was over 2000 lb. I still have many large roof steel panels, emergency door, entrance door (also weights a ton) just in case I need some steel. I will build aluminum doors.

I did raise and leveled the bus before I started. Some wheels are 7" some more. I tried manual hydraulic 20t jack but after sweating for an hour bought 12t air/hydraulic jack from HF and it worked like a champ. No sweat and bus goes up in seconds....

The fuel tank is not tall(14") but long(54"). My new tank is more like a cube. It is a bit smaller but I am going to add proppane injection. In this case propane will subsidy some diesel making it averall cheaper on fuel. I will also use auto propane for other needs.
At this moment I keep open space concept in my basement and when time comes I will try to get every wheel weight load and place tanks/ batteries accordingly.

I had one storage compartment and one tire compartment and men they were so heavy my all bottom framing and aluminium is not even close to it.

I am thinking about placing tire under front bamper before axle as high as possible. I know it must be secured super reliable. This will give extra strength in case of front collision. Remember you are almost outside and 30k pounds behind you. ... not fun....
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:08 AM   #26
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty
I hear ya! After dropping the cage and removing the tank I moved it around by putting logs underneath it and rolling it over them. Crazy heavy.. Could you post pictures of the tanks installed under the bus? I'm curious how it worked out.
Here is the bottom of fuel tank. I made an opening in "basement" floor to get access to drain plug. Later I will make a cover.


Here is a side view:


Here is back side:


You can see a bus frame and a piece about 3/4" on top sticking out. This piece is a part of steel guard. It is bolted with 3000 bolts to the bus frame. I welded a channel into it from top and bolted straps to the channel. This allowed me to to avoid bus frame drilling or welding(I don't think it is a great idea...)

Here I changed fill-up hose and boxed it up. Now fuel can't get inside.


This is fuel cap area. All welded and sealed. I have "basement" below so I welded a steel tube to the bottom to drain any spilled fuel outside.
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:15 AM   #27
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Aluminum outside panels

Aluminum outside panels is what holding me back for some time. It is a lot of work to remove old panels fabricate new ones and install them. Also working under tarp is not super productive but what is my choice? It is raining outside 90% of the time.... grrrrr. We kinda get used to this and call the sun liquid sun.... so we have 90% of liquid sunny days. This sound better...

Because whole project is really HUGE I usually try to define sub-projects and split them into smaller manageable pieces. So my aluminum outside paneling sub-project has 4 parts. They are front right corner, front left corner and 2 rear corners. I have 2 middle parts but they will be part of slide outs sub-project. As of today I have only left rear corner left which is a good news....

Here are some details, tools used, tips etc.:

First of all tools. For paneling this size (4'x8' 5'x9') a must have tools are clecos. I used 2 types and sizes 1/4" and 3/16":


They are different. This one 3/16" is a spring loaded and you need a special pliers to install/remove:


It is ready to be inserted:


This is how it will look inserted into hole:


This clecos are very handy and very easy and fast to install/remove. The only one thing I don't like about them. You can't pull panels together with them harder then spring inside cleco itself.

This is the second type 1/4":


It is ready to be inserted:


This is how it will look inserted into hole:


This clecos hold panels just like screw. You can pull panels together as much as you can tight the wing nut. The only one thing I don't like about them. They are slow to install/remove.

But here is the problem. You can dry fit panels but how to hold panels together when sealant/glue applied? You can use clecos but glue will kill them very quickly. Here is what I used for 3/16 rivets holes:


This little trick saved me a lot of time and hassle. I drove metal screws into every second hole and they tightened panels together. Here red circles are screws and blue are rivets ready to be riveted:


Here are some panels installed or ready to be riveted. Front left corner:


Driver window:


Access door below driver window. I decided to reuse original door:


I used a lot of PL premium 8x between panels and between panels and bus frame. Also I put PL under each rivet....

Tarp makes taking pictures a project ) I can't even make a good picture of whole side.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:22 PM   #28
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

Finally I finished installing outside paneling. I still have bits and pieces here and there but they can wait. Now I am on my next sub-project which is going to be rough flooring and rough interior walls framing. I am thinking about dropping ceiling a few inches. It is so much easier to work with flat ceiling. Also I will have an air gap about 4" above fake ceiling and can run wires and ducting there. This air gap will make extra insulation layer.
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:46 PM   #29
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

You're crazy. Love the ambition, bus looks great!
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:13 AM   #30
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Re: 98 Bluebird TC2000 Conversion:2 Feet Roof raise 3 Slideo

Here is some progress:
I decided to add 3/4" wood strips to steel body ribs. This ribs will hold a layer of plywood when I start working on interior paneling.

I used some screws and a lot of PL premium glue.
Here some pictures:





There was an "old project" I was waiting to do but didn't have time for it. The engine cover is build from 2 layers of steel with fiberglass insulation. The insulation was all wet and just ugly.





I opened top metal layer and removed all fiberglass insulation:



Then I cut some foam and filled space between metal layers instead of fiberglass:



After adding a lot of spray foam into all voids I put everything back together using 1/4" steel rivets:



Now it all looks like before but there is no wet ugly fiberglass insulation inside.
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