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Old 09-23-2014, 12:11 PM   #41
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
Mortar ???
Filling in gaps between pieces of wood. Its more of patching material. Working on getting a level base between the plywood on the floor
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Old 09-24-2014, 12:34 AM   #42
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

There are some two-part epoxy "mortars & grouts" that are tough as nails but any conventional cement based product is doomed to fail due to all the flexing these bus bodies do.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:26 AM   #43
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

Managed to start paint priming and hanging walls this weekend! Went with drywall over plywood for price. Choose mold resistant drywall(Same stuff you use in a bathroom). Hoping I made a good choice on this and that I won't regret it down the line... But it isn't looking bad hung up. Will eventually paint over it once it is all hung up. I also have insulation behind it to hopefully keep the elements away. Painting is a pain in the ass due to the fact I only have a six gallon air compressor. Might be renting a larger one next time I paint.


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Old 10-03-2014, 01:53 AM   #44
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

Not to be a downer but I see a few problems here.

1) The mortar in the wheel well area...why did you do this? To level it up? That really isn't necessary with the ply subfloor and it is likely going to just crack and make a mess, not to mention the water (though small amount) this intriduces into the steel. I would have just tried to shim it up with thinner wood, and patch any holes with steel and weld them in, or rivet.

2) No foam under the floor. Not just for temperature insulating properties, but also noise and vibration dampening. When I walked on my bus without any floor other than metal it was like CLANG CLANG and loud, I feel like just plywood it would still be pretty loud. I used 1/2 inch foam board which adds a little cushion to your step and dramatically reduces noise and "cold feet" feeling when it is cold out. It is a small price to pay for a huge difference!

3) DRYWALL. Not to be a dick but notice how nobody has used drywall in any of their builds? As mentioned by others, these buses flex an absurd amount with the harsh, leaf-sprung ride. I built mine with OSB (like plywood but wood chips glued together not sheets) and old commercial doors and I have already had a dozen screws break / fall out and some brackets holding them up break or get super loose. That is only like 3,000 miles of travel so far, I'd hate to see what 5,000 miles does to your bus especially with drywall. It is a shitty building material even in homes, and has absolutely no give. Wood is real flexible, not to toot my own horn, but why I went with finished OSB for the walls. It is much more durable to impact (think stuff flying around cause you forgot to secure something) if something hits it.

4) Paint: you're not doing the whole thing black are you? First of all yes you will need a bigger compressor, and unless you are planning on putting in a huge A/C unit this thing will be an OVEN even with insulation. Mine is a dark-ish green with a white roof and it is still SO hot in the sun (I don't have a/c). Black would be even worse.

Keep up the good progres though, I just would hate to see you build this and have it fall apart while driving or be not what you expected.
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:25 AM   #45
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

I have to second some of Porkchops concerns. Having built a 40' Blue Bird, which is among the very stoutest chassis ever made, I can tell you they flex from end to end. They are designed to do a certain amount. And anything truly rigid is going to be fighting that flex any time the bus is in motion. Drywall is just chalk pressed between two pieces of paper and will almost certainly begin fracturing from the get go. It is also very susceptible to moisture and mold which makes it a really bad choice for a metal can that sweats a lot. The rigidity issue is why I earlier questioned "mortar". I work with cement-based media almost daily and love the stuff...but would never consider it for use in a bus.

While there is no one "right way" to create a bus conversion...there are quite a few ways that have proven wrong. And, again, like Porkchop, I'd hate to see anyone invest a huge amount of time & money only to have it start coming apart on what should be a happy maiden voyage.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:10 AM   #46
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

X3 on the drywall. At a minimum all the joints will crack and the screws will pull through the boards eventually. This happens all the time in new residential construction as the "green" wood dries and twists. Look at any stick framed homes and you'll prob see cracks in the walls. This process will be sped up by 100 with the flex in the bus.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:25 PM   #47
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

I hope you are leaving access points through the floor that were in the factory floor.

Trust me when I tell you those will come in handy if you ever have to access those areas in the future.

The most important ones are at the back. There are certain things on the engine and transmission that are only able to be accessed from inside the bus. If you do not allow for access the only way in which you will be able to access those areas is to drop the engine and/or the transmission.

The ones forward access the top of the fuel tank(s). If you ever have a sending unit issue or fuel line collapse or fouling being able to access without having to drop the tank can save many hours and $$$.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:45 PM   #48
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach
I hope you are leaving access points through the floor that were in the factory floor.

Trust me when I tell you those will come in handy if you ever have to access those areas in the future.

The most important ones are at the back. There are certain things on the engine and transmission that are only able to be accessed from inside the bus. If you do not allow for access the only way in which you will be able to access those areas is to drop the engine and/or the transmission.

The ones forward access the top of the fuel tank(s). If you ever have a sending unit issue or fuel line collapse or fouling being able to access without having to drop the tank can save many hours and $$$.

Good luck and happy trails.
Actually, unfortunately these don't have any engine area access panels, the only one is in the floor near the front over the fuel tank. But for valve adjustments / injector replacements I sure wish it did have some...
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:19 PM   #49
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches
Not to be a downer but I see a few problems here.

1) The mortar in the wheel well area...why did you do this? To level it up? That really isn't necessary with the ply subfloor and it is likely going to just crack and make a mess, not to mention the water (though small amount) this intriduces into the steel. I would have just tried to shim it up with thinner wood, and patch any holes with steel and weld them in, or rivet.

2) No foam under the floor. Not just for temperature insulating properties, but also noise and vibration dampening. When I walked on my bus without any floor other than metal it was like CLANG CLANG and loud, I feel like just plywood it would still be pretty loud. I used 1/2 inch foam board which adds a little cushion to your step and dramatically reduces noise and "cold feet" feeling when it is cold out. It is a small price to pay for a huge difference!

3) DRYWALL. Not to be a dick but notice how nobody has used drywall in any of their builds? As mentioned by others, these buses flex an absurd amount with the harsh, leaf-sprung ride. I built mine with OSB (like plywood but wood chips glued together not sheets) and old commercial doors and I have already had a dozen screws break / fall out and some brackets holding them up break or get super loose. That is only like 3,000 miles of travel so far, I'd hate to see what 5,000 miles does to your bus especially with drywall. It is a shitty building material even in homes, and has absolutely no give. Wood is real flexible, not to toot my own horn, but why I went with finished OSB for the walls. It is much more durable to impact (think stuff flying around cause you forgot to secure something) if something hits it.

4) Paint: you're not doing the whole thing black are you? First of all yes you will need a bigger compressor, and unless you are planning on putting in a huge A/C unit this thing will be an OVEN even with insulation. Mine is a dark-ish green with a white roof and it is still SO hot in the sun (I don't have a/c). Black would be even worse.

Keep up the good progres though, I just would hate to see you build this and have it fall apart while driving or be not what you expected.
1. I am going to remove the mortar. Using caulk to fill gaps instead now. Just havent had a chance to remove it. I did think about cracking after the fact.

2. I am going to add the foam on top of the wood. Or would it have been better to put under the wood? Wasnt really sure where to do that.

3. Yeah the drywall was a mistake. I plan to take it down and use this underlayment wood. Thoughts on http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded...1178/203183010? Id like to switch to that. Going to take off the drywall this weekend.

4. I was going to put an AC unit on it, especially since Id like to take it to the south next summer. Didnt think too much about the heat on it. I will have to look into paint colors and their affect on vehicle heat
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:20 PM   #50
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Re: College student taking on 2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach
I hope you are leaving access points through the floor that were in the factory floor.

Trust me when I tell you those will come in handy if you ever have to access those areas in the future.

The most important ones are at the back. There are certain things on the engine and transmission that are only able to be accessed from inside the bus. If you do not allow for access the only way in which you will be able to access those areas is to drop the engine and/or the transmission.

The ones forward access the top of the fuel tank(s). If you ever have a sending unit issue or fuel line collapse or fouling being able to access without having to drop the tank can save many hours and $$$.

Good luck and happy trails.
Theres only one access point and its in the front. Not really sure whats in it, but I did leave it accessible. It looks covered in the picture but I cut a whole in the plywood so it just lifts right up. Going to continue that til the top flooring
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