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Old 10-19-2009, 10:17 PM   #11
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Re: New skoolie for Diesel Dan

For those hard to reach places, a squirt bottle full of Ospho (rust inhibitor) is your friend! Just wire brush as much of the loose stuff off first, squirt the heck outta those pesky spots, then spray shoot some Rust-O-Leum rusty metal primer over the inhibitor. Should help tremendously!
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:38 PM   #12
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Re: New skoolie for Diesel Dan

WOW Looks like The internet worms ate my message. Its not even there.
Glad to hear you made it home ok. And I severely apologise because after you left I realized I didnt even hook you up with breakfast or even a hot cup of coffee or even offer the use of my bathroom! I am such a terrible host.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:09 PM   #13
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Re: New skoolie for Diesel Dan

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Originally Posted by C00LR
...And I severely apologise because after you left I realized I didnt even hook you up with breakfast or even a hot cup of coffee or even offer the use of my bathroom! I am such a terrible host.
Well, I did wake you up from your slumber first thing in the morning and then dragged you out of your warm abode to show me your bus in the early morning chill. You really couldn't have been expected to have your wits about you!

I actually did get a free cup of fresh-brewed coffee in Gainsville, TX from a nice lady who was a convenient store clerk by night, but school bus driver by day! She was really tickled by my plans to build a skoolie. I also found on my trip that I was getting respect from the truck drivers at the diesel pumps. I suppose they consider us to be somewhat "related".

I had all good intentions of taking pictures during my trip, but was too distracted, and I guess, just not in the habit of taking pictures. I just got a couple road shots from the driver's seat. I'll have to get better about taking pics.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:55 PM   #14
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Demolition begins

So I finally downloaded the photos from my camera.

My bus was a handicap bus, so it only has a few seats, but it has these tiedown plates for the wheelchairs. Each one has (and I kid you not) 16 bolts holding it to the floor. Multiply that by 10 of these plates, and you have... a lot of bolts to remove. I just found out that my air compressor is not able to keep up with the angle grinder I got. Stupid. Here's what they look like:

I've got a leak somewhere in the front of the bus that has been rotting out the floor. Here is what I found:

And under the front defroster/heater (after I pulled out the rotted plywood and the ant colony living in it):
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wc grates.jpg (525.4 KB, 4482 views)
File Type: jpg remove rusted engine cover panel.jpg (757.6 KB, 4480 views)
File Type: jpg rusted heater area.jpg (951.3 KB, 4485 views)
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:01 AM   #15
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Re: New skoolie for Diesel Dan

The weather stripping on the driver's sliding window is coming off, but this is also probably part of the reason for the floor getting wet:

I removed the driver's seat and engine cover, and am currently working on removing the electrical console and heater unit. Man that thing is just not budging! I've pretty much run out of screws to remove and still it holds tight. Obviously something I'm not seeing...
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:22 AM   #16
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Re: New skoolie for Diesel Dan

One cool thing about this bus is that the door already has a built in locking mechanism:
It's got a cabinet lock built in, which although not the best security device, will keep the "honest" criminals out. Or at least the lazy ones.

The back door has a deadbolt on the inside. The wheelchair lift door has no lock as of yet, but the lift itself blocks anyone from entering through that door, and I can shut off power to the lift from the front console. I'll probably add a deadbolt there as well.

There doesn't appear to be much rust on the outside of the floor, I think it all came from the plywood getting wet from water coming inside the bus, and then the rubber holding the moisture in. So there's no question the whole floor will have to come out. I'm still not sure about whether or not I will keep the lift. It could be real handy, but it takes up some valuable space and it rattles around on the road. I'm not sure if I will use it enough to offset the disadvantages of having it, not to mention the cash I could get from selling it...

One last thing for now... I removed the stop sign and slapped a piece of metal from an old appliance of some sort over the hole. I figure the bus will have all sorts of utility service ports and such sticking out of it's sides, so this will just look like another similar thing, especially after it gets painted, it'll just blend in. I always save little objects like that, and love it when I find a use for one of these things.
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File Type: jpg open lever.jpg (665.6 KB, 1514 views)
File Type: jpg wc lift.jpg (380.0 KB, 1516 views)
File Type: jpg stop sign removed.jpg (426.8 KB, 1516 views)
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Old 10-25-2009, 02:16 AM   #17
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Re: New skoolie for Diesel Dan

Silly thought, but have you thought of building a cabinet around the lift? If you but some insulation inside it, it should quiet the lifts rattle noises a bit, and then it would look better with whatever you plan to put in there.

Just use two doors, or maybe folding doors so they arn't in the way as much.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:07 AM   #18
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Re: New skoolie for Diesel Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
DD- you'll probably need to remove the switch panel, the top panel of the heater box, and get to the inside of the heater box....it's likely got some screws inside holding it to the wall & maybe the floor. At least mine did. Smitty
Yeah, I had tried that but still no go. There is a front panel that is hanging on by one invisible screw. If I could get that off I might be able to see better what's going on in there. I don't want to start breaking things, but that day may be coming soon...

But for now I'm taking a break from that and focusing on some exterior prep work. Scraping stickers, loose paint/fiberglass stuff that is peeling on the hood, and next will be some rust grinding/bondo/etc. I'm also working on removing the wheelchair tiedown brackets.

Also pondering floor plan options in the back of my mind. Lately I'm thinking of not having a shower. I think we will be in state parks most of the time and will have access to their shower facilities. I might actually have an external shower just to hose down after a muddy mountain bike ride, or day at the beach. I have limited space inside, and giving up the shower would give us some storage space.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:53 PM   #19
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Re: New skoolie for Diesel Dan

My latest floorplan:

I'm still not sure if I will use the window A/C in a cabinet idea, or go with the rooftop A/C. I aready have a window unit, so cost-wise this option appeals to me. I may use a propane camp stove for cooking that will just sit on the counter next to the sink when in use. Either that or get an RV stove with the fold-up counter top. I'm not completely decided on whether to have a shower or use that space as storage. I will definitely have a toilet though.

The beds are not accurately described in the diagram. Basically the shorter bed will be a little shorter than a standard twin, and the bottom will double as a couch that folds out to a bed. The longer bed will fold out to be a full length double or queen size bed, and will also be a couch during the day. The top bunks will either fold or raise out of the way when not in use, allowing more headroom for the couches.

The back section of the bus is separated by a wall with a door for access. This should quiet down the clanking of the lift, and keep the bathroom out of the immediate living space. The grey squares represent tanks and/or barrels (mostly standard 55 gal barrels) to be mounted underneath the bus along the sides of the frame rails. Plastic for water, steel for fuel/WVO. The two WVO barrels in the back storage area of the bus are upright WVO storage and processing containers.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:28 AM   #20
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Thoughts about painting

Last night I spent another couple hours scraping stickers. Next step for the exterior is to clean up the left over sticky goop with acetone, and then go after the rust spots. A little bondo, sanding, primer, a good pressure washing, and I'll be thinking about paint. Since I live in a hot climate, I'm thinking of going with white as the base color, and then maybe I'll paint the rub rails with a forest green. I'll use the silver hammered enamel on the wheels, mirrors and bumpers. I haven't decided whether or not to keep the fisheye mirrors on the front bumpers. They are the large panorama type, and seem pretty intrusive to me. I still have the convex round mirrors attached to the main mirrors. The main advantage in the bumper mirrors for me is that it gives you a reference for where your front corner is when navigating parking lots, etc. Decisions, decisions... hmmmmm...
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