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Old 05-24-2014, 03:20 PM   #171
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Beautiful work!
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:52 PM   #172
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

She's looking so beautiful!!!
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:58 PM   #173
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Hi Mr. Brown Crown,

Your conversion of the Brown Crown is the gold standard with Crowns. It is a high bar you have set. Hopefully we can meet the challenge.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:19 PM   #174
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

That is such a beautiful bus. I'm really happy when I see people like you are taking the time to properly restore such a classic. This is going to be a traveling showpiece and I can't wait to see it finished.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:26 PM   #175
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

My compliments! It's an AWESOME restoration!

Being in Texas and having been in the government surplus business for 15 years, my only concern is spare parts. That's why I'm looking at either the AmTrans or the MVP. I adore the MVP I drive for Katy ISD. In a couple of years when she is surplused I'm getting her. I know I have easy access to spare parts around here. That aside, she's a BEAUTY!!!
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:16 AM   #176
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Hi PDBreske,

Thank you for your kind comments. Crowns are classics and to do it justice you really have to do it right. It is more expensive, but the quality and final product are worth it. Plus, I will be using it to show off our transportation software, so I want the WOW factor. Your bookmobile conversion is also going to be great. Crowns have a great deal of headroom for a school bus, but nothing like your conversion. Over seven feet is wonderful!!!
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:21 AM   #177
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Thanks M1031 for your comments. Crowns were made to last. One of the beautiful things about Crowns is that many of their components came from the heavy trucking industry. So, parts are fairly easy to come by. The exceptions are the various quarter panels (back and rear), and the doors in the back trunk area. Those were custom. That is why I got a complete set of quarter panels, rear doors and emergency exit doors from school districts and put them in my "bus" shed at the bottom of the hill on my property. If I ever need them I have them.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:47 PM   #178
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmarvel
Hi PDBreske,

Thank you for your kind comments. Crowns are classics and to do it justice you really have to do it right. It is more expensive, but the quality and final product are worth it. Plus, I will be using it to show off our transportation software, so I want the WOW factor. Your bookmobile conversion is also going to be great. Crowns have a great deal of headroom for a school bus, but nothing like your conversion. Over seven feet is wonderful!!!
Indeed, I was very lucky to find my vehicle when I did.
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:09 AM   #179
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Radio/Navigation Unit for Bus

The exterior of the bus is for the most part completed. We are now concentrating on the interior. I have been looking for some time on an AV unit for the bus and decided on the Kenwood Excelon DNN991. This unit will go near the driver's seat (I am still debating where). It has an incredible array of features, including 7" touchscreen, double din head unit, AM/FM/HD Radio, XM/Sirius satellite radio, DVD/CD, Garmin Navigation, Bluetooth, iPhone/Android Smartphone connectivity, Pandora Radio, Bluetooth connection to cell phones for hands free calling and dialing or dialing from the touchscreen, hands fee microphone for the radio's telephone connection, back up camera connection (already installed the backup camera), and connects to a Verizon Wi-Fi hotspot for connection to the Internet, etc.







As I explained on a different post, placement of the radio is not an easy decision. It is awkward in the Crown stock radio slot. The opening in the front of the dash area is certainly large enough for this double din unit. However, it is too far down to make an easy reach from the driver's chair. I am thinking of putting in a custom enclosure on the dash to the immediate right of the instrument panel. I have not decided yet. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:29 AM   #180
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

INTERIOR HEADLINER UPHOLSTERY STARTED
After months of going back and forth with different ideas for the headliner we made a decision. For those that have been following this forum, we took the metal headliner out, used closed cell spray foam insulation in the ceiling cavity, and then put the metal headliner back up. We opted for a thin but very firm closed cell foam that was glued to the headliner and then sanded to get rid of any imperfections that might show the underlying headliner seams. We then put a very light colored faux leather covering over the foam. For the vast majority of the length of the bus the upholstery is one single piece from the very center of the roof's crown to the sides of the headliner above the windows. The center of the roof crown will have a 4" wood strip covered in the same faux leather that runs down the center of the bus and this is where the mushroom cap style LED dome lights will be placed. The foam underlayment and upholstery eats up about 1/4 inch of our headroom. That was our biggest concern and we think this solution solves that problem.

We are having a guy do the headliner who restores old cars and does most of the custom and special order upholstery work on a contract basis for Gillig Bus Company. We did not want the headliner cut up with large seams every few feet. So running the upholstery from the front to the back creates an almost seamless run for the whole length of the bus. That cannot be done in the very front or the very back due to the "twinkie" nature of the bus shape. We also opted to upholster the bulkhead above the front windshield.

Pictures were taken today. The upholstery job should be finished early next week. By the way, the San Francisco Bay Area is in the middle of a heat wave. Hayward, where the bus is having the upholstery done was over 100 degrees when I visited today. The interior of the bus was relatively cool. So, the insulation does seem to be helping. The upholstery can be cleaned with a good quality leather/vinyl cleaner and/or a damp rag.

Back of the Bus




View From the Back Towards the Front of the Bus


Front of the Bus


Close Up of the Area Above the Driver's Seat
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