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Old 04-16-2010, 06:52 PM   #81
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
Elliot used a method of one tube inside another to lift his roof, and I'm planning to do the same thing. I already have the 4 jacks that match his (different colors though), and just need to put it all together. Any recommendations on the sizes for the lift rams and lift guides? I've been re-reading elliot's thread and just don't see those sizes mentioned.

Any other sanity check items I'm forgetting to ask?

Thanks,
jim
Really? nobody else on here has an opinion? I find that rather hard to believe. ;)

jim
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:32 PM   #82
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

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Originally Posted by emberglow
As for things to consider, the only thing I didn't see you mention is how you plan to compensate for the fact that Thomas walls taper inward starting at the bottom of the windows. Are you cutting below the window line?
Ah, yes. I'm ignoring that for the moment. Actually letting it percolate in the back of my head. I'm hoping a solution magically springs forth from the depths of my mind at just the right time. Or something like that.

It's possible that I might end up having to persuade things to line back up.

jim
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:30 AM   #83
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

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Originally Posted by Smitty
I seldom give my opinion..., but since you asked Jim, while it's on my mind, I think you'll find your steel comes in 24' lengths (if you're ordering full lengths), and it's cheaper in full lengths.
Ah, that's good to know. This is my first foray into metalwork, and I'm a complete newbie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Did I read you're raising your roof 36" My curiosity forces me to ask why so high? 2nd story? If that's (36") so, I'd want longer than 60" pieces, and I'd diagonal-brace the snot out of it on the sides (where it doesn't interfere with windows), and at the front & rear caps as well. I did 18" of raise, and used 60" pieces formed from 11 ga. and they were just about right for that amount of raise. I'd go closer to 84" if I were you (that would get you 3 pieces out of a length if you're using off-the-rack steel).
Well, 36" is the maximum I want to go to. I'm more likely to just go 30", which would leave a foot of clearance for the top.

And why? Well, I'm building a secondary floor 18" to 24" up from the main floor, and putting tanks and storage in that space, and neatly avoiding the whole wheel well issue for walls/furnishings. If I go 24" for the floor, and 30" for the roof raise, that's an effective raise of 6", which isn't much. I'm also putting a loft area above the driver seat. However, if I do 18" for the floor and 36" for the roof raise, that's an effective raise of 18" for interior clearance. I just haven't fully decided yet.

Also, I definitely plan to do a lot of angle bracing. Triangles are strong. I don't want to make my bus into a pansy just for the sake of a few extra cubic feet of space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
If you're wanting to use off-the-rack steel, you might buy a couple scraps and actually test fit it to be sure (between now & Tuesday, if you're close to the steel shop). The inside of the pillars is radiused in the corners where it was formed, so if you lay a straight-edge over the face, and measure to the back, you won't have that in the corners, so it may or may not interfere with the material you use (since square tube is also radiused on it's outside corners). Just keep that in mind.
I do want to use off the rack steel. Unfortunately, the nearest supply place with anything approaching decent pricing is an hour drive away. I did notice the radiused corners and saw how the flat stock Elliot used seemed to solve that problem in his raise. Not sure exactly how tightly things will end up fitting. But, I'll be taking the bus with me to the steel shop, and perhaps the guys there will be willing to try some scrap test fits to make sure I'm getting what I need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Your pillars are narrower, but deeper than mine, I think mine were something like 1 & 7/16" wide X 1 & 1/2" deep (that was the OD of the pieces I had formed).

Smitty
Interesting how many design elements are the same, and how many of the little details are changed from manufacturer to manufacturer. I'm amazed that the outside walls of my bus are 1.75" thick. I have hopes for better insulation in the final product than I was expecting.

Thanks for sharing your opinions and thoughts,
jim
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #84
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

So yesterday I took the bus over to the farmer's market to get it weighed. Empty weight before starting is 21,560 pounds. Since the GVWR is 33,280 pounds, that leaves me 11,720 pounds for the conversion and cargo.

I also found the trick to getting the bus in and out of the driveway without casualties. It is nice not to destroy mailboxes or get stuck in mud.

jim
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:09 AM   #85
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

No progress to report. Unfortunately, the budget fell apart before I could get the steel. Oh well, this will give me time to shop around for it before buying it.

jim
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:33 AM   #86
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

Exterior LED Lights have been ordered.

unleashed is missing some of the exterior lights that are required to make it legal to operate it on the road. Since those were incandescent lights, and my intention has been to replace them all eventually with LED lights, I finally broke down and figured out what I would need.

I decided to stick with simplicity. I'm only replacing existing lights with new lights in the same exact location as the original lighting. Sure, I could have taken the opportunity to try to improve on the aesthetics of the light layout on the rear. However, I finally decided to just stick with what was proven to be good, which was the original layout.

I ordered 4 red 4" round LED tail/stop lights, which will replace the existing 2 4" round and 2 7" round tail/stop lights.

I ordered 4 amber 4" round LED marker/turn lights, which will replace the 2 7" round marker/turn lights on the front, and the 2 on the rear.

I ordered 2 white 4" round LED reverse lights, to replace the 2 that were there previously.

I ordered a single unit 3 lamp LED clearance lamp fixture, a red for the rear, and an amber for the front.

I ordered 4 amber clearance lamps (2 outside edges at the front, and 2 at the midpoint), and 2 red clearance lamps (2 outside edges at the rear).

I also ordered 2 amber marker/turn signal lamps that go on the sides, above the front wheels, so that someone beside the bus can see when I activate my turn signals.

I'll be doing some minor rewiring as I install these, removing the wiring harness for these functions from the interior of the vehicle and relocating it under the vehicle. The midpoint clearance and marker/turn signal lamps will still be wired via the interior for now. Once the roof raise is complete, they will be rewired differently, but still within the shell walls somehow.

Hopefully the LED lights will arrive before Memorial day, so I'll have a fun project to do.

Jim
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:53 AM   #87
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

The new LED lamps arrived Wednesday. I didn't realize when I ordered them that only the upper clearance lamps were surface mount. The rest of them are flush mount. This means I need to put some really big holes in metal.

I managed to get a 4.5" hole saw from Lowes for just under $45 w/tax. This should take care of the mounting flanges for the 4" LED lamps (stop/tail, turn, reverse).

The side turn signal lamps are 2" x 6" oval, and those holes will be a bit more fun to cut. However, I have a plan for that.

One thing though is that since the new lamps have to be flush mounted, some of them can't go into the original locations. So, it looks like I'll be redesigning the lamp layout on the rear of the bus after all.

Thursday I picked up a box of stainless steel sheet metal screws for mounting the various surface mount lamps. I also picked up a box of stainless steel bolts and stainless steel nylon lock nuts for mounting the flanges for the 4" lamps.

Dad and I tested some of the lamps Wednesday afternoon with a 12V power supply. I pity anyone riding behind that looks directly at one when it is on high (stop or turn). These things are really bright!

This weekend I hope to get many of the lamps mounted and hopefully even wired, weather permitting.

jim
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:11 PM   #88
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

Today, I installed the front turn signal lamps, and the rear turn signal, tail/brake, and reverse lamps, as well as the license plate illuminator.

It takes a lot of batteries and a lot of time to drill 10 4.5" diameter holes in the skin of a skoolie. That metal looks really thin, but it's much stronger than it looks. I ended up dulling my hole saw before I finished, and used a jig saw to make the last 2 holes, so they aren't perfectly round. Fortunately, the bezel covers them nicely.

A few minor issues remain. Firstly, I haven't installed the new wiring yet, so things are just tied into the original wiring. I forgot to tie in the license plate illuminator today. Also, the front turn signals can be parking lights, but I don't have the wiring to it yet.

The right front turn signal has a straight power connector, and I should have gotten a right angle one. It pushes against the air handler, so isn't mounted properly yet.

pics:

Front:


Rear:


Front turn signals lit:


Rear turn signals lit:


Rear brake lights lit:


Reverse lights lit:


Tomorrow I get to work on the upper clearance lamps, weather permitting. Oh joy.

jim
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:53 PM   #89
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy

Dad and I tested some of the lamps Wednesday afternoon with a 12V power supply. I pity anyone riding behind that looks directly at one when it is on high (stop or turn). These things are really bright!

jim
I fired-up one of mine and noticed the same thing.....you don't want to point it at your face from arms-length

Smitty

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Old 03-13-2011, 05:50 PM   #90
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Re: baadpuppy's bus... unleashed

Finally, some more progress.

Today I got most of the junk that was being stored in unleashed moved over to the stowaway, including most of the cardboard. Eventually, I got tired and stopped. I later went out and started attacking the rear ceiling panel with an impact driver.

This bus was put together with Torx T20 screws, then they painted over the screws. The heads of the screws are softish, and strip out easily. Using an impact driver, slotting the bit in firmly before starting, then starting slowly until it breaks loose makes it much easier to get them out.

On this particular panel, I got all but 3 screws out. They will need some other tool to get them out now. Either the angle grinder or the air chisel.

I have some pictures of the first panel partly removed here: http://gallery.giffords.net/v/thomas/ceiling/

It is good to finally be making progress again.

jim
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