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Old 04-16-2008, 11:00 PM   #21
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Thanks for the advice, but the school district is picking most of them up. They're apparently in better shape than some of the seat cushions they already have. I'll save what I can.

Here are two more pictures. I have all the seats out except the first two! I decided to keep them for the time being until I figure out my next step.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:54 AM   #22
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Two quick things...

First, I discovered that the transmission on this bus is NOT the 545, but the MT643! From all I can tell, that is a definite plus for me...

Second, they do not have a manual for this bus, and Blue Bird no longer supplies them. Does anyone know where I could find a service/operator's manual for this bus? Thanks in advance...
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:17 PM   #23
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Completely O/T, but check out this photo from the Traction Terminal in Indianapolis, circa 1943. Dig that crazy slider driver window on the foreground bus. That is some interesting engineering!

And here's the original link:

http://www.shorpy.com/node/3084?size=_original

Mods, If I blew the thread, I'm sorry. But this was just an exceptional photo. I thought it should be shared...
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:54 AM   #24
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Nice bus. You suck.

Now that THAT is out of the way...

Think light colors--dark will turn the bus into an oven in the summer. Mine is light gray with black trim & silver roof, and I wish I'd done the whole thing in white rather than gray.

Also, keep the rear heat...they will do nicely to warm the bus when driving in the cold weather, without burning generator fuel or propane. Also, they can act as an emergency cooling system boost if you start to run hot.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:37 PM   #25
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Re: Bus #2... and posted floor plan (first draft)

It is noted- and logged- that I suck. I have been told this many times, so it must be true. ;)

I've been thinking colors a lot lately. I'm definitely gonna stick with the black exterior trim, but am open to any number of gray/silver colors for the body. Fortunately for me, I don't have to endure the summers that MOST of you do. The highs here rarely reach past 70, and actually, it's far more important for me to KEEP the heat, so a darker color really won't kill me. In fact, during the shoulder seasons, a darker body helps to retain heat when it's 40 or 45 outside, which it always is. On the other hand, if I get the urge to drive to Missouri in the middle of summer, then yes, that WOULD be a concern. I'm looking at popping an A/C on the roof where the exhaust fan currently resides. That would give me a bit of wiggle room. We'll see.

Listen, we get over 100 inches of rain here a year, so bright, sparkly, deadly heat is not my BIGGEST concern, if you get my drift. When it's gray, cold and rainy, you WANT the heat. And gray, cold and rainy is what I deal with probably 3/4 of the time, so my situation is a bit unique.

As for the rear heat, you have a good point, and I am seriously considering it. BUT... last night, it was about 35 outside, so I went and started the bus, turned on ONLY the little hair-dryer-shaped heater, and had the whole bus cooking at close to 70 degrees in less than a half hour. I'm leaning towards throwing out the rear heater and plumbing in a water heater with the existing coolant lines instead. I am also working on a wood-burning stove to put mid-cabin, and am trying to work out an acceptable chimney solution.

Anyway, that's where I am. A clean shell, lots of thinking while staring and drinking a few glasses of wine. I've worked up a quickie floor plan, which I'll attach to this post. This is ONLY a first draft, mind you...
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:16 PM   #26
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

I have 27' from the back of the driver's seat to the back door, and today, I started ripping up flooring.

I have wet plywood underneath, but not so bad as to make me nervous. I'm thinking that I'll let it sit for a few days and see what happens. I had pressure-washed the interior not that long ago, and I'm thinking this moisture is largely from that. I have a few high and low spots, but nothing really substantial.

The plywood itself seems fine, but the linoleum on top, and that stupid curved metal trim, was obviously blocking any drying action. So... after a few days, I should see if things start to buckle, move or warp. Does that sound like a reasonable course of action?

If things work out, I'll simply screw down the high spots, then put some kind of flooring on it. Carpet, perhaps?

Any ideas or suggestions gladly accepted...
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:22 PM   #27
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

So here's the final result after tearing everything apart...

I see one piece of plywood that absolutely HAS to be replaced, the rest look good to marginal.

Thoughts, anyone?
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:35 PM   #28
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Looks like a decent starting point on the floor plan, but do you REALLY want to step over the toilet bowl every time you go to the shower?
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:51 PM   #29
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

The plywood seems to be drying out quite nicely, and I'm not sure if it was from my pressure-washing or long-term moisture, but it seems to be OK. I still have one 4' X 38" section that is completely shot, so that lends credence to the theory that my pressure-washing wasn't the culprit. I think a few corners had some moisture for a VERY long time. Oh the plus side, my pressure-washing introduced enough moisture to make the flooring easy to pull up!

And... since it's way too cold and wet to paint, and I've already done the nasty, grungy work, I decided to start tinting windows today. I took this shot right after sunset... it should show the the black to mirror gradient film I chose. I picked the 5% (near black out) film, and am starting to think I went to dark. Ah, well, time will tell. I bought this stuff on eBay, and it seems to be a very quality product. I got 60' X 30" for $89.

Incidentally, if there is ANY job out there that makes you feel like a moron first time around, it's window tinting. Geez almightly!!! There is NO learning curve with this stuff!
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:06 AM   #30
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

I am not at all pleased with the tint thus far. Too much light is blocked out, and while that might be a bonus in Phoenix, it most definitely is not here.

Back to the drawing board, as usual. Why didn't you guys warn me that you change your mind a lot working on these machines? ;)
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