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Old 08-06-2014, 12:59 AM   #211
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Thanks for all that great info. I'd love to see some pictures of your insulation in the sides of the bus (under the windows), if you have some. I've never seen behind the stock interior side panels of a Crown. That's fantastic there's room behind there for insulation. I agree, insulation all the way! Insulate! Insulate! Insulate! And closed cell foam insulation is definitely what I'll use. I used closed cell foam insulation in my house and it's fantastic. I think you got a fantastic deal on your body prep/paint. Nice job!

Wolfy



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Originally Posted by gmarvel
Hi Wolfy,

The complete prep, body work, and paint job (including using high quality auto primer, paint and clear coat) was $7,200. There is one bus on this site that cost about $16,000 to have painted. So, I think I got a great deal. I bow to those on this site that do their own prep and painting on their buses. I recognize my limitations (in terms of mechanical skills, patience for all the prep work, and time). I thought $7,200 was a fair and decent price for an excellent paint job that will endure the test of time. The paint job cost more than the bus!!! Plus, once the conversion is done, I intend to store the bus in a large enclosed warehouse near my house to keep it out of the elements. So, the paint job will stay nice for even a longer period. This indoor facility has you call 24 hours in advance and they will start it up, check it out, and even wash it in preparation for your arrival. When you return, they will again clean and wash the bus and then park it in your stall inside the high ceiling warehouse.

You asked about insulation on the side. We have completed that already. We used the reflective core foam panels (about 1.5" total thickness), plus used the closed cell spray foam around all the joints, seams and edges. No cold or hot air getting in that way!! The wood side panels are about to be put in. We are putting a final layer of closed cell foam insulation (the kind sandwiched between aluminum) on the interior sides of the bus before putting the wood side panels up. This stuff comes in rolls and is used by race car builders and classic car enthusiasts. I picked up a roll at less than 50% of the normal price. I figure it can't hurt and there was just enough room to squeeze this stuff in between the side railings.

With all the insulation we have done in the roof, sides and flooring, it is absolutely amazing the difference in sound, noise and rattle. It is the most quiet Crown Coach bus I have ever ridden in. One of the things I have learned on this site is that doing it right early always pays off in the end. Insulation, insulation, insulation is the key. The techniques that I have used have not reduced the headroom while still providing a large amount of insulating properties. The real test will be when we take the bus out in really cold or hot weather. I don't expect to be in 110 degree weather for hours and expect the bus to stay a cool 72 degrees. I am hoping that I can keep the extreme cold and heat at bay for as long as possible and then allow the air conditioning or heating to keep it within an appropriate comfort range. One of the conversion guys on this site told me his experiences with his bus conversion (not enough insulation and under powered AC) and how on a hot day with the AC going, he still could not get his interior under the mid 90's. That is a wakeup call to try and pay close attention to your insulation projects and your heating and cooling needs.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:16 PM   #212
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

REAR VIEW MIRROR RENOVATED
We have not posted lately as there has just been a lot of grunt work in terms of making final decisions on the interior and then measuring. Did I mention measuring?? By the way, more measuring!!! Making really detailed measurements made us rethink some of our earlier decisions. More about that with a post later.

The inside rear view mirror was pretty beat up and shabby. So, we cleaned the glass thoroughly, repainted the mirror housing the semi-gloss black like the dash area and then redid the rubber around the mirror. It literally looks brand new. Donna and I decided early on that we wanted to keep the large rear view mirror. As former bus drivers, it just feels good to see what is behind you in the coach, even if it isn't 78 sweet angels riding to school.

All the plastic sheeting is up to protect the headliner as we start putting in cabinets, furniture and walls.

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Old 08-27-2014, 07:17 PM   #213
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

And how are we coming along on the new Project??
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:20 PM   #214
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

The new bus is still getting a looking over by one of my clients in Southern California. I told them to check it out top to bottom mechanically and fix whatever needed to be fixed, replace whatever needed to be replaced. I want it to be as perfect mechanically as it can be before I drive it up to Northern California. This district still has a large fleet of Crowns, including tandems, so they are experienced at working on these ten wheelers. We are already trying to make some decisions on paint jobs, interior design, etc. Still early. When I am ready, we will start a new thread on the forum on this latest conversion effort.

How is your roof raise coming? Are the crops in so you can get back to your real job of converting your Crown?
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:38 PM   #215
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

NEW DRIVER'S CHAIR INSTALLED

We got around to installing a new driver's chair. It is a De Leon Captain's chair from Seatcraft. These are designed for Class A motorhomes. This comes with an air ride feature and includes lumbar support, etc. We decided to splurge on the seat since there is nothing worse than fatigue and a painful back from a hard and bouncing bus seat. It has extra support and padding. When I sat in it I was amazed how comfortable it felt. This particular model had great reviews. We have the same seat for the Navigator's chair. That is still not in yet as we are figuring out the platform it will go on since it will be partially over the passenger side front wheel well. Seat belts for the chairs have been ordered. Strangely, they don't come with the chairs, but are an extra. We also had professionals look at the placement of the chairs to make sure they were going to be properly placed and bolted for safety concerns in the event of an accident. You can see the first black 12 volt fan installation. One more to go on the bulkhead above the middle of the windshield.

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Old 08-27-2014, 11:42 PM   #216
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

PERSONALIZED PLATES

California has a personalized license plate program. We decided to get one for the bus. I picked it up at the DMV yesterday and put it on the bus this afternoon.

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Old 08-27-2014, 11:47 PM   #217
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

WATER PUMPS

Did a great deal of research on water pumps. After reading hundreds (literally) of reviews and user feedbacks, I came to the conclusion that cheap water pumps usually mean loud and leaky water pumps. I went with what the reviewers and users said was the best water pump out there for RV's. It is the Sensor VSD Pump 4.5 gpm. I got mine on sale at Camping World through an Internet sale. They say it is very reliable and very quite. I picked it up today.

The link to Camping World for this pump is:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/it ... -gpm/21397

The Pump is Below
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:36 AM   #218
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

BUNCH OF PROJECTS STARTING THIS WEEK

No pictures yet on these projects. However, a great deal is planned for this week. Our massively busy season helping our many school district clients start their school year is over. We can get back to concentrating on the bus.

Window Tinting
I never had so much trouble finding someone who wanted to tint windows. It took a month from the first missed appointment with the first installer to today when a tinting guy actually showed up (three others with appointments never showed up, called, nothing, nada, zero). We went with the 3M Crystalline Film. Reviews say it is the best on the market. In order to get the lifetime guarantee on install and material, it cannot be self-installed or done by a non-certified tinter. I guess that is why it took so long to find one that would actually do an entire bus. They are rare!!

I don't have pictures yet. That will happen next week and I will post.

The 3M web page that talks about this tinting product can be found below:

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/e ... ive-Films/

We were waiting for the tinting to get finished so we could start on the walls and side panels for the bus. That is also starting this week.

Radio Enclosure
We decided to have a metal dash like enclosure made for the touchscreen 7" radio/gps unit and put to the right of the main instrument cluster. I sat in the driver's chair and tried to reach the radio down in the area where the Crown's original radio went. It was not only difficult to reach, but in my opinion, down right dangerous to lean over like that. Plus, don't even try to use the touchscreen accurately when you are having to reach down so far away. I found a guy that would do it fairly cheaply. That should be done by the end of this coming week.

Inside Engine Hatch Recessed Handles
Mid-engine Crowns (that means about 98% of all Crowns made) have an interior engine hatch that you need to access from time to time for maintenance purposes. An earlier post showed how we put new laminate flooring on the engine hatch. However, the hatch does have to close securely. We found recessed engine hatch handles that will clamp the hatch down tightly. That installation should be completed by next week. One is already finished and the other side should be finished in a few days.

Driver Fans
The driver fans are being installed this week. One above and next to the driver and one above the middle of the dash area. These fans not only keep the driver cooler, but are essential in Crowns for defrosting purposes. Crowns are notorious for crappy defrosting capabilities. When I was a driver with 97 students on board my tandem Crown, I could not keep the front windows clear on a cold or rainy day. Don't even get me started about the football team with steam literally coming off of their bodies as they got on the bus and trying to keep the front window clear so I could drive. I kept a towel in the front compartment of the bus and would hand it to a coach as he stood in the wheel well and wiped down the right side front windshield as we drove down the road. To be fair, this was a 1968 Crown we are talking about. My 1988 Crown may do better and I certainly am not going to have 97 bodies riding behind me. So, the defrost problem may not be a real issue. Time will tell. The right side fan can either be pointed at the driver or pointed at the right windshield to help with defrosting.

I got these fans on sale at a Flying J truck stop. They are black, matching the color of the dash, are 12 volt and have two speeds. I am attaching them to the original fan switch on the Crown dash.

New Instrument Gauges
I am carefully taking the front instrument cluster off the dash so I can take it to the local Stewart Warner to get new SW Heavy Duty gauges installed. I decided that it was easier to take it into the dealer so he could accurately determine which gauges to install to replace the old mixture of ones we currently have. An example of the style gauges we are getting is below:

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Old 08-28-2014, 06:56 AM   #219
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

great updates
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:43 PM   #220
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmarvel
The new bus is still getting a looking over by one of my clients in Southern California. I told them to check it out top to bottom mechanically and fix whatever needed to be fixed, replace whatever needed to be replaced. I want it to be as perfect mechanically as it can be before I drive it up to Northern California. This district still has a large fleet of Crowns, including tandems, so they are experienced at working on these ten wheelers. We are already trying to make some decisions on paint jobs, interior design, etc. Still early. When I am ready, we will start a new thread on the forum on this latest conversion effort.

How is your roof raise coming? Are the crops in so you can get back to your real job of converting your Crown?
I haven't worked on mine in a couple months, had to step back & work on the house some, wife had some of her family coming from back east so I had to put in new doors do some trim work plus I've been helping a friend raise a barn that started collapsing about 10 yrs ago but he has a son that wants to get married in it this October so I've been helping with that, I'm making this weekend a 3 day'r so hopefully can get some done this weekend,

Oh the buddy with the barn says I can turn it into a paint booth after the wedding
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