Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-08-2014, 11:47 PM   #141
Bus Nut
 
gmarvel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

IT IS OFFICIAL - CALIFORNIA SAYS WE ARE A MOTORHOME
I went to the California DMV to try and get the bus changed from a school bus to a motorhome for registration purposes. This is important for several reasons. First, the difference in registration costs for a year are $1,200 as a commercial vehicle school bus vs $119 as a motorhome. Second, in California you do not need a commercial Class B license to drive a motorhome that is 40 feet or less. A simple Class C will do. Finally, as a motorhome we will be exempt from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations governing diesel large trucks and buses.

My first experience with the California DMV and my bus was horrible. This took place just after I had purchased the bus and had to go and pay sales tax on the bus purchase and get it registered in my name. The clerk I got clearly hated her job, hated the public, and particularly hated me. She was rude and refused to answer any of my questions related to what it was going to take to have the DMV allow the bus to be converted to a motorhome. I thought I was in some SNL skit or some hidden camera prank video. It was incredible.

So, eight months later, I walked back into a DMV office with great concerns. I filled out California DMV Form 256A, declaring that I was converting the bus to a motorhome. I waited 45 minutes before my number was called. I showed my Proof of Title, my Proof of Insurance form and gave her my two commercial license plates off of the bus. I told the clerk about converting the bus to a motorhome. I also explained that the registration had expired back in October 2013 and I had not renewed it since it was in storage getting converted. I told her that I wanted to now change the registration to a motorhome so I could move it to another location to get some additional mechanical work done on it.

She looked stuff up on her computer and then excused herself. I saw her go and talk with two other DMV employees. They then came over to her window and were still discussing whether or not they were going to require me to bring the bus to the DMV for inspection. The issue was the dreaded and vague issue about what DMV considers "habitable" for a conversion. Thank heavens I had been cheerful and friendly to this particular DMV clerk. I heard her say to the others that she wasn't going to inconvenience me or hassle me and came back to her desk and promptly gave me my non-commercial plates, my new registration tags, and I gave her a grand total of $119.

I am now officially a motorhome in the eyes of the State of California.

You will see in the pictures below that I also did some chrome bling for the license plate frame.

Front Image of Bus


Close Up of License Plate Frame


Rear License Plate (Note the Refurbished License Plate Light)
__________________
______________________
Greg and Donna Marvel

Danville, California
http://www.transtraks.com
gmarvel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 11:50 PM   #142
Skoolie
 
eyedeal.ink's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Kelso, WA
Posts: 248
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Sounds like you got a good plan. Definitely replacing our front doors as well, overlapping rubber flaps don't do much when it comes to spiders, mice and weather. We found a guy who makes custom wood doors (wood fits are bus just fine) and we'll be putting the original glass in that as well, we already got plenty of blindspots.
__________________
"That's,. like,.. your opinion, man...." - the Dude.
eyedeal.ink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 10:16 AM   #143
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,161
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Congrats on the plates! --- that is indeed a big (and dreaded) step for many. But I was expecting to see vanity plates with something clever on them. Then again, your bus is so tasteful & well executed, maybe not. BTW...great looking color on the body. Very similar to a couple I have been considering for my shorty. What is it?
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 09:13 PM   #144
Bus Nut
 
gmarvel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

I will get you the exact color code. We just call it khaki/gold metallic. It has two layers of clear coat as well.

We are getting vanity plates. We ordered. MRVL BUS. Should be here in about four weeks.
__________________
______________________
Greg and Donna Marvel

Danville, California
http://www.transtraks.com
gmarvel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 02:02 PM   #145
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,161
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Excellent!

And "MRVL" does inspire visions of SuperHeros who would be right at home is such a classic rig.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 07:23 PM   #146
Bus Nut
 
gmarvel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

NEW TIRES AND POLISHED WHEELS

On Friday, the new tires and wheels were put on the bus. I talked with a bunch of bus mechanics. They all had different brands that they preferred. However, everyone seemed to agree that Continental tires were very good and had exceptional tread life.

I worked out a deal with one of my clients' tire vendors so I got a good price for the tires and mounting. I decided to go with all new tires rather than recaps on the rear tires. They are definitely cheaper, but not that much cheaper. I want peace of mind. I have personally experienced failed recaps on a bus I was driving years ago. It was not pleasant.

The chrome "top hat" for the rear axle hub has not arrived yet. So you are getting an unfinished photo for now.

Front Passenger Side Tire/Wheel


Front Driver Side Tire/Wheel


Driver Side Rear Tire/Wheel (Without Chrome Top Hat Cover for Axle Hub)
__________________
______________________
Greg and Donna Marvel

Danville, California
http://www.transtraks.com
gmarvel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 07:35 PM   #147
Bus Nut
 
gmarvel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

DASH AREA PREPARATION
We have been prepping the dash area for its reconditioning. We filled in some holes left over from old tachometer clocks and two-way radios. We got rid of some dings in the dash and a rust spot and crack in the metal down in the very bottom of the dash area by the front door and step well.

You may note that the steering wheel and steering column are gone. My old steering column had a tilting steering wheel, but it did not telescope. I found a two year old steering column on a Crown that was getting crushed and paid my client for the nearly new steering column. This new one tilts and telescopes, plus it looks practically new, versus a 25 year old heavily used steering wheel and column. Once the dash area is finished getting painted, we will put in the new steering wheel and column.

It is hard to see. However, to the immediately left of the driver's seat is a cavity area that was covered with a metal plate. Many school districts put their two-way radios in this area. We have removed the metal covering and are spray insulating this area to reduce road noise and heat/cold penetration. The metal covering will then be painted the same as the dash and put back over the newly insulated area.

__________________
______________________
Greg and Donna Marvel

Danville, California
http://www.transtraks.com
gmarvel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 07:47 PM   #148
Bus Nut
 
gmarvel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

CROWN COACH EMBLEMS RECONDITIONED
With Crown Coach out of business, there are no more Crown Coach emblems being made. They are getting harder and harder to find. Luckily, my Crown came with its original two emblems (front and back). However, 25 years of rain, sun, and the elements were not good to it. As you can see in the picture below, the Crown emblem definitely was in sad shape.

I also got two emblems from one of my clients that was crushing some Crowns. So, I have a total of four emblems. I spent today getting them reconditioned. I think they turned out great. I thoroughly cleaned them with metal cleaner to get 25 years of crap off of them. I then used my aluminum foil and water trick that I explained in an earlier post. I then primed them and let them dry. Then I put two thick coats of glossy black oil based Rustoleum on them. The difference is amazing. Two of them will go back onto the bus (front and rear). The other two will go inside the coach somewhere. We are still figuring that out.

Old Crown Emblem Showing 25 Years of Wear


Four Hours of Reconditioning Later and a Rejuvenated Crown Coach Emblem
__________________
______________________
Greg and Donna Marvel

Danville, California
http://www.transtraks.com
gmarvel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 10:38 PM   #149
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,161
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Outstanding comeback on the emblems! --- An old time hot-rodder told me the same aluminum foil trick a while back but I have yet to try it myself. Appears to work as miraculously as he claimed!
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 10:42 PM   #150
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 337
Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Before you mount the extra 2 crown emblems it may be handy in the future if you had a CNC machinist or designer measure them up and make a CNC file to cut new ones. As you said they are getting hard to come by and it may come in handy down the road to have a method of replicating the originals. They look great on the bus.....so ummm when might we get a pic of the bus as painted?
Malkieri is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starting My Conversion Journey Mark Antony Wray Conversion General Discussions 26 10-28-2014 11:41 PM
1988 Bluebird tailgating/nascar conversion garbemi Skoolie Conversion Projects 34 05-14-2012 02:42 PM
1988 Ward School Bus Camper Conversion Sleeps 5 Steve Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 0 05-02-2011 10:28 AM
1988 school bus gutted ready for conversion neegee Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 1 04-11-2009 11:01 PM
Conversion begins on an '86 GMC Carpenter bus! msharps Skoolie Conversion Projects 6 09-05-2006 01:33 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.