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Old 04-02-2014, 11:51 PM   #121
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

I will get back to you on the final cost of the paint job. I have to add up the body work and sanding that was done. I wanted a showroom finish quality to the paint job so I was willing to pay professionals who knew what they were doing. I will post a real number shortly.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:19 AM   #122
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

FOUND LED REPLACEMENT LIGHTS FOR RED LIGHTS

California was late to the eight light system for school buses. Our 1988 Crown was made when four red lights were required. We decided to keep the lights, but change out the bulb. We want to use them as flood lights when parking in dark campsites, etc. I am assuming that most states are like California and prohibit the continued operation of red lights on former school buses.

When we took the lights off, we found that they are sealed beam red lights, not clear bulbs with a red lens. After much research, I found a company that makes great LED replacement lights. See the information below:

Whelen Engineering
PAR-46 LED Replacement Lamp
Part Number P46WLC

This is a super LED configuration with 35 watts. It puts out 1,600 lumens per light. The flood light has a wide spread. So, with both front lights on, there will be 3,200 lumens of light with a combined spread width that should light up almost everything in front of me. I will also be replacing the rear red lights with a similar configuration and will be pulling out the flasher unit. I will be wiring a second switch at the dash so that I will have a front flood light switch and a separate one for the rear.

I am now deciding on whether or not to replace the stock halogen headlights with the newer and brighter LED headlights. Cost is a big factor. They are much more expensive than traditional seal beamed halogens (Crowns use seven inch round headlights). However, I also would like to have more light in front of me for safety reasons. Stopping a 14 ton bus takes distance. The greater the distance of illumination out in front of you, the more warning you have to hit the breaks before you hit that stalled car or clueless deer or elk in the middle of the road.

I have talked with many of my clients and many of them are getting new buses with LED headlights. Their drivers report much better visibility at night and no complaints from oncoming drivers about the lights being too bright.

If I decide to go with LED's I will let you all know and tell you what I got.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:19 AM   #123
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

If you have time go out to a deserted road with measurable markers and do a before and after with the lights. I'd like to see the difference.

Richard
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:58 PM   #124
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Never mind a windshield wiper on the mirror. Use an airline and blow the schmutz off instead!
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:14 AM   #125
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

HEADLINER REINSTALLED

Headliner is finally going back up. Over 1,000 rivets. Next step is to cover the ugly metal headliner with a thinly padded faux leather covering. The closed cell insulation sprayed into the roof will provide plenty of insulation. I don't want a thick padding as that will reduce the head room.

All metal beams were covered with rubberized tape to create a thermal break and insure no contact between the steel roof beams and the aluminium headliner. Structural engineer strongly advised that interlocking headliner be reinstalled for strength. In short, no plywood between the steel ribs and the headliner. The original Crown tape covering the beams was very thin. We removed it and replaced with thicker rubberized tape. I don't want to compromise the roof structure in any way. I will get some thermal break and still have that strong roof structure for safety. Like many choices in life, a compromise.

The area still exposed is where the old metal wiring chase ran. I will be covering that with a smaller and shallower chase.
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File Type: jpg Headliner Reinstall2.jpg (98.3 KB, 252 views)
File Type: jpg Headliner Reinstall1.jpg (152.0 KB, 252 views)
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:19 PM   #126
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Have to agree on retaining the inner sheetmetal. I was advised by a Blue Bird tech years ago that on their units it was an integral part of the engineered structure and contributed greatly both to the overall torsional strength of the whole body as well as to providing additional "roll over" protection. Of course the Birds are all steel inside & out so I have no idea what the aluminum/steel combo works out to provide.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:51 AM   #127
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

LED BACK UP LIGHTS INSTALLED

The Crown came with old incandescent back up lights that were surface mounted with a small recessed hole in the body that held the center part of the light. I wanted a cleaner look. I found a super bright LED back up light that is fully recessed into the outer body of the bus and held with a heavy duty rubber grommet. A picture can be found below.

We had to make the original hole bigger so that was scary (no ooooooooooooooops allowed)!



The picture with the back up light installed is below:

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Old 05-03-2014, 02:56 AM   #128
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

LED TAIL/BRAKE AND TURN SIGNAL LIGHTS

The old Chrome flanges around the tail/brake and turn signal lights were rusted and about out of life. Plus, I wanted really bright LED lights. I found a manufacturer that makes Chrome style flanges for the big 7" tail/brake and turn signal lights. However, they normally only sell them with their incandescent lights. I convinced them to sell me the Chrome flanges separately. They had to do a special work around as these parts are not normally sold separately.

Below is a picture of the 25 year old original flange and the new flange next to it for comparison. I also got their brightest LED lights made (normally sold to fire departments). You can also see pictures below.

New Flange vs Old


New Amber Turn Signal and Red Tail/Brake LED Lights


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Old 05-04-2014, 01:09 AM   #129
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Outstanding --- where did you find those puppies?
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:59 PM   #130
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

The company is called Weldon. It is part of Akron Brass. The web link is:

http://www.akronbrass.com/lighting?manufacturer=137

They don't make the chrome flanges for LED lights, only their incandescent lights. They are a manufacturer and do not normally do retail. I talked with a wonderful salesperson and told her my story of the bus conversion project. I promised her pictures when it is finished. She came up with a price for the chrome flanges as a separate item and did a "cash" sale. She also sold me the LED lights via a "cash" sales rather than referring me to a distributor.

The LED lights are not the cheapest out there. However, they are the brightest and are used by fire departments. You can get cheaper (even from Weldon). However, these are the best LED's on the market for these big 7" lights. She told me that fire departments love their chrome. So, she said my wanting separate chrome flanges has come up before.
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