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Old 01-31-2015, 12:12 AM   #311
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
We would love to have visitors. The '88 Crown will be done in about a month (strange how that one month out keeps getting stretched). We will be taking it up to Sonoma County (wine country) to one of our clients to have them do a final complete mechanical inspection on her before we consider the conversion completed. We are in the San Francisco Bay Area and June weather is wonderful. By that time we should have started on our next conversion which is our big boy '86 Crown tandem with the 855 cubic inch turbo Cummins. Literally, the most powerful bus I have ever driven. This district is fine tuning it to get more horsepower out of it. They are telling me that it will go from 300 hp to 350 hp after they finish with it. Even before this upcoming tune up I was able to do 70 mph (and holding back) going up the mountains from Los Angeles to Northern California while passing trucks that were only doing 30 to 35 mph up the mountain. I can only imagine what an additional 50 hp will do for her.

This is a large agency with hundreds of vehicles. Their vehicle maintenance supervisor has worked on Crowns for many years and loves them. I am confident that any Crown you were considering could be inspected by this agency and you could get a report on it. They are not free, but their labor charges are a fraction of what a private sector big truck repair shop would charge. You absolutely want it thoroughly checked out before going across the country with an old bus.

I had both of my buses inspected by client school districts in Southern California before making the 400 miles trip to Northern California. It was very, very cheap insurance.

So, feel free to send me an email or private message and we could make arrangements for your visit. I also have many contacts with school districts so if any Crowns become available I will probably know. Unfortunately, many of the Crowns never go on the open market as the state gives the districts $100,000+ for new buses only if they crush the old Crowns (evil diesel). I got both of my Crowns because the owners were not eligible for any grants at that time. More grant money could be heading our way and that means another round of Crown extinctions.

Looking forward to you guys contacting me.
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:26 AM   #312
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

ELECTRIC FIREPLACE AND TV

I know that we all measure, then measure, and then measure again. However, it always seems that with our conversion we are still off just a little. The driver's side furniture placement had to be changed just slightly as there was about a 1.5" difference once everything was laid out with real furniture instead of cardboard.

So, boy were we concerned with the passenger side furniture. That side has the rear bedroom area, bathroom sink and cabinet, the toilet, a dividing wall that separates the bathroom area from the front area of the bus, a pantry, a refrigerator/freezer cabinet, a three seat sofa, the hoped for placement of a cabinet with built in electric fireplace and a 40" flat screen TV on an electric riser, and a navigator's seat. Even a small fraction of an inch off with each component and by the time you get towards the front of the bus, you are out of room.

I am happy to report that we were spot on with the passenger side components. The pictures below show the placement of the electric fireplace and the TV. No cabinet yet, but we can now see that there is plenty of room.

This picture shows the electric fireplace and the TV in the general area where the cabinet that will house them is going to be placed. Again, just like our other cabinets, this one will use the same European birch like the rest of the bus.


We hooked up the electric to this TV lift and it works great. It has a wireless remote.
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:29 AM   #313
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

BETTER PICTURES OF THE REFRIGERATOR/PANTRY AREA
My last pictures of the refrigerator area were taken at a difficult angle. The picture below gives you a better shot of how that area is turning out. The top openings that you see now will have doors placed on them to help finish the look.

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Old 02-04-2015, 12:56 AM   #314
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

UPPER CABINETS GOING UP

We are using IKEA cabinets for the base and upper cabinets. The upper cabinets come from IKEA at 15 inches deep. That was too deep for our build. We cut all of them down to 10 inches deep. It still gives us plenty of cabinet space without crowding the interior of the bus.

Next step is to put the doors on the cabinets. Again, just like the other cabinets they are made of European birch. The ends will also be covered with the nicely stained birch.




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Old 02-04-2015, 05:54 AM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmarvel View Post
So, feel free to send me an email or private message and we could make arrangements for your visit.

Looking forward to you guys contacting me.
I sent you a PM.

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Old 02-04-2015, 07:55 AM   #316
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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We Marvel at the work done to that bus!
What brand and model is that electric fireplace? It looks like what we want for ours.
Thanks for all the details! It is really shaping up!
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:25 AM   #317
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Nice work.

I'm not a fan of a heating device being installed under a TV.

Nat
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:54 AM   #318
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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That was also my initial reaction. A fireplace under a TV in an enclosed cabinet? Heck no! However, this unit puts all of its heat out the front. You have no heat coming out through the sides, top or rear of this electric fireplace.

For those who wanted info on the model. This is a 25 inch wide electric fireplace and heater from ClassicFlame. It has a curved glass front. It is only 9 inches deep. It has a heater component that will heat up to 400 square feet of living space (way bigger than the inside of a Crown). When used in heating mode, it draws 11.7 amps. Since it uses LED technology, in non-heater mode the power draw is negligible. It is very quiet when the heater fan is going. It has a thermostat built into it with digital display built into the glass front. It has a remote and allows for multiple flame and heating options. We got it for almost 50% off on sale. It has good reviews. Again, all the heat is directed out the front. So, we don't need to worry about heat getting into the closed cabinet with the TV behind it.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:02 PM   #319
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Great job on those overhead cabinets! Looking good.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:07 PM   #320
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Thank you Tango. We did a lot of thinking about how we wanted to do the upper cabinets. I have seen builds where the upper cabinets kind of overwhelmed the interior and made it feel cramped. We were trying to avoid it. However, we also wanted the storage that upper cabinets would give us. We created a cardboard template of a cabinet and started to play with sizes. That is how we came down to a 10" cabinet depth. Once we did that we then created a template for all of the 15" upper cabinets we had from IKEA. They were then cut down to proper size and then installed. I think we found the perfect sweet spot between not crowding the interior but getting lots of storage.

We are now starting on putting the upper cabinet doors up. We will have to work on these as the cabinet door hardware that came with the cabinets did not assume we would be cutting the cabinets. So, the IKEA provided hardware for the doors does not fit. We are purchasing new hardware with small pistons inside to hold the cabinet doors open (they will be opening from the bottom up). This was not on my list of expenses for this project. However, like everything else about this conversion, we are learning as we go. We will know for the next bus. We have a large file listing all of what we have learned during the conversion. It will be our Bible for the next conversion.
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