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Old 05-04-2014, 11:29 PM   #131
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Location: Danville, California
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

REDO OF LICENSE PLATE LIGHT COVER - IT IS OFFICIAL - I AM OBSESSIVE

Crown Coach used Arrow Lights for their license plate lights. They even have a recessed part of the rear end of the bus specifically for the light. My license plate light housing was old and shabby. It was original to the bus. It also has a weak incandescent bulb.

I searched for several weeks for a new license plate light from Arrow. Arrow is still in business. However, they no longer make this particular model of light. The Crown Arrow light had the holes bolting it to the rear doors within the body of the light. The new Arrow version has the flange with the screw holes outside of the body of the main housing. I think it looks horrible and takes away from the symmetry of the light and the recessed body area.

I finally came to the conclusion that I would restore the light rather than replacing it. First I had to find an LED bulb that would fit in the housing. I found a website that specializes in LED replacement bulbs. Their website is:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/

The original bulb is a GE 89 incandescent. They made a replacement bulb that will be much brighter. A picture is below:



Next I checked out the light fixture itself. The interior was painted black. That seems like it would absorb the light rather than reflecting it out of the housing. So, I cleaned it, masked off the glass opening where the light shines through, primed it, then spray painted it with a highly reflective chrome style metallic paint.

Finished Reflective Paint Job in the Interior of the Light Housing


Next, I cleaned, primed and painted the same paint on the base of the housing where the light resides. Again, this was to get as much reflection of the light as possible out of the housing.

Finished Reflective Plaint Job on the Light Housing Base


Finally, I cleaned the exterior of the license plate light housing, masked off the glass lens, primed it and then painted it a glossy black. So, I now have original equipment that has been modernized with much brighter LED technology and it looks like it just came off the factory floor.

License Plate Light Housing Newly Painted




I know that this may seem like a great deal of fuss over a little item. However, I want this bus to look great and the little things add up. So yes, I am obsessed. I proudly admit it.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:54 AM   #132
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

"The devil is in the details"
This is exactly the kind of thing you, as the builder, are allowed and expected to obsess over. It is your right and duty to be sure your project matches your vision, down to the last tiniest of things.

It looks good sitting on the bench in the pics and I am sure it will look great bolted to your behemoth.
Great Job!!
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:28 PM   #133
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Year: 1988
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Chassis: Supercoach
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Rear License Plate Light Installed

The refurbished license plate light has been installed on the bus. We turned it on and the LED light inside the housing was great!! It looks better than the day our Crown came off the factory floor. One more project completed (out of hundreds).

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Old 05-07-2014, 11:52 PM   #134
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Rear Trunk Area Primed and Ready for Lizard Skin Coating

The trunk area of a Crown is massive. It was used (at least by me when I drove them) for band equipment, sleeping bags and backpacks for camping runs, etc. It makes up for the lack of storage on the sides due to the mid-ship engine under the bus.

We have cleaned the trunk thoroughly, removed any rust spots, and primed it. We are going to use a special coating called Lizardskin to insulate and deaden the sound getting into the cabin of the bus. We found a dealer that gave us a substantial discount on the material.

The Lizardskin is a spray on two part process. The first layer is an acoustical spray. You spray it on to a depth of 0.04 inches. Wait 24 hours and then spray on the thermal insulation to a similar depth. Think of this like a truck bed liner on steroids designed to reduce thermal transfer and noise. Classic and hotrod car buffs use this stuff. I did substantial research on this product and determined that it is the best. I am also going to use this product to coat the floor of the bus before putting my new wood flooring down. I was originally thinking of doing some sort of spray foam under the bus. What a nightmare. It is like a maze under there. By spraying this inside the bus on the floor, I can get a complete insulation package rather than the spotty coverage I would have under the bus. I also get the added benefit of not losing very much headroom.

I had them spray a large sheet of thin metal with this stuff and then tested it out. With a flame hitting the other side of the metal I could still put my hand on the non-coated side of the metal and leave it there for some time. I then went to see completed projects that had used this product and was amazed at the sound deadening capacity. Road noise should be substantially reduced.

We are actually going to have this spray used in the engine compartment, the generator compartment and under the wheel wells to also reduce noise and heat getting into the cabin of the bus.

The web site for this product is:

http://www.lizardskin.com/car-insulation-products.html

I will let you all know how it goes. A picture of the massive trunk area is below:

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Old 05-08-2014, 12:02 AM   #135
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Chrome Parts Reinstalled

The Crown's headlight bezels were in fairly rough shape. So were the big chrome bumper forks on the front of the bus. I got an estimate of almost $700 to rechrome them. I went online and found a technique that is simple and practically free.

You use sheets of aluminum foil dipped in water to scrub the old chromed parts. It doesn't scrape the rust and tarnish off, it actually chemically removes the rust and tarnish. This technique will work so long as the rust has not eaten completely through the chrome and down into the underlying metal.

I spent about one hour using aluminum foil and water on the chrome headlight bezels and the big chromed bumper forks. It made them look like new. Cost was about 50 cents for the aluminum. I then used a good chrome polish and wax.

Pictures of the results can be found below.





Note the chrome bezels around the recently installed 7 inch turn signals. Just a touch of bling!!
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:11 AM   #136
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Red Cross Over Lights Replaced With LED Floodlights

In an earlier post, I told you all about finding LED floodlights to replace my red flashing cross over lights. These are now installed on the bus and the black light hoods painted and put back up. Each light has 1,600 lumens. That is a total of 3,200 for front facing and another 3,200 for the rear facing lights. Flasher unit removal is next and rewiring so front and back lights are on different toggle switches. The black hoods can be pivoted down over the lights. Some states require large flood lights like this to be covered when on the highway, so I am prepared if that becomes necessary.

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Old 05-08-2014, 05:07 PM   #137
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Beautiful job, she's gonna be a head turner for sure, and good to know on the chrome thing.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:50 PM   #138
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Alcoa Polished Wheels Getting Prepared to Put On Bus

I got these rims for a steal in Southern California. They needed to be polished, so I took on the job. There are four Alcoa rims in all, two for the front and two for the back. All needed to be polished. I am getting new tires on the bus tomorrow and I need the wheels ready to be mounted. I used a high end metal polish designed for aluminum rims, used a power buffer on them and then applied a wax designed to help keep them from tarnishing. I suspect this will be a yearly cleaning event. I don't care, they will look great on the bus. I promise to post pictures of them on the bus when it is ready.

Here I Am Polishing Like Crazy


Before and After
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:56 PM   #139
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Year: 1988
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Driver Dome/Map Light Refurbished

I hated the options available for me in terms of an updated driver dome/map light. I really liked the original one that came with the Crown. Unfortunately, it was pretty shabby after 25 years. I used the aluminum foil and water trick I discovered earlier and cleaned it up. I then put a metallic paint on the interior of the light housing and then got a nice and bright LED replacement bulb. I think it turned out great!!

Interior Housing With Newly Applied Metallic Paint and New Bright LED Replacement Bulb


Restored Driver Dome/Map Light
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:17 PM   #140
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Year: 1988
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Passenger Door Replacement
My wife and I did a great deal of thinking about the Crown passenger door. We really like the look of it. However, it is simply not practical. There is this huge rubber flap along the side that creates a huge space for heat and cold to get into the bus. The giant rubber along the side of the door never closes properly into the frame of the door. There is no mechanism to lock the door for the night when in the bus. It is simply not practical. We reluctantly decided that it had to be redone. We have kept the original door frame structure and removed the sheet metal skin on the outside of the door. We then had a door frame extension welded to the original door frame structure to make the door fill the entire passenger door opening. Next step will be to cut out the holes for the windows in the door to match the original ones. We like the ability to see out of the passenger door. We intend to have a nice deadbolt lock installed. The door will also have rubber on all sides to help seal the door from the outside temperatures and road noise. We also intend to coat the new glass windows in the door with 3M clear tinting to reduce UV rays and 65% of the heat that would normally get through these large windows. We also will be spray coating the interior of the door with an acoustical and thermal insulation discussed in an earlier posting called Lizardskin. We will then prime the coated door and paint it. This is a work in progress so stay tuned.

Original Crown Door


Inside Shot of the Revised Crown Door Being Extended and Rebuilt


Exterior Shot of the Partially Completed Door
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