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Old 02-14-2018, 06:45 PM   #1
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PNW_Steve's 2002 Bluebird A3RE

Well I have finally managed the time and energy, at the same time, to get started on the interior of my 2002 Bluebird A3RE.

The seats came out when I first bought it. I wanted to title it as a motorhome initially as opposed to registering it as a bus and changing it later so the seats had to go.

Over the past week I have managed to pull the ceiling panels and most of the wall panels.

Plans include a roof raise. I am hoping to find someone who has done a similar Bluebird raise to give me a hand. I would be quite happy to pay a fair fee for qualified help. Volunteers?

After the roof raise we will be spraying the interior with 2 part closed cell foam insulation. I found a (somewhat) local outfit that will do it for about $1200.

Additional plans include 1200-1500 watts of solar and mini-split A/C's.

I just moved the Bluebird to the house last week. No complaints from the neighbors yet....
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File Type: jpg 006.jpg (273.2 KB, 106 views)
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:49 PM   #2
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Here are some additional pics.

You can see the oops on the rear cap. I am still trying to settle on a plan for attacking that. I have a buddy that does body work. I am going to have him tale a look when he gets back from vacation and see if he has any suggestions.
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File Type: jpg Bus1.JPG (103.4 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Bus2.JPG (78.3 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg Bus4.JPG (91.2 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg Bus5.JPG (86.3 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg Ouch.JPG (108.0 KB, 94 views)
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:01 PM   #3
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I suspect the body work may begin with a hydraulic jack, some 4x4's and big hammers....

Or maybe cut the damaged section out and make a (nearly) flat, slightly lower roof section to mount the outdoor portion of my mini splits.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:07 PM   #4
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How exciting that you are getting started!! Bus looks good, except for the ding in the back... I have one too, but I just left it... not as involved as yours.
I had rust, but ECCB (Charlie) took care of that for me!
Maybe I can stop and see your bus on my trip through the PNW in June/July.
Sandi
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:13 PM   #5
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Awesome man, glad to finally see your new toy!
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WanderWoman View Post
How exciting that you are getting started!! Bus looks good, except for the ding in the back... I have one too, but I just left it... not as involved as yours.
I had rust, but ECCB (Charlie) took care of that for me!
Maybe I can stop and see your bus on my trip through the PNW in June/July.
Sandi
Thank you Sandi,

Give me a few days heads up and I will make room for you to park. We would love to have you visit.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:52 PM   #7
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Awesome man, glad to finally see your new toy!
Thank you Josh.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:13 PM   #8
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awesome that you are getting started!! cant wait to see the roof go up!!

I thought you had a bus with air-conditioning..
-Christopher
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I suspect the body work may begin with a hydraulic jack, some 4x4's and big hammers....

Or maybe cut the damaged section out and make a (nearly) flat, slightly lower roof section to mount the outdoor portion of my mini splits.
Iíd screw something to the rear cap that you can hook a come along or strap to and put tension on it pulling rearward while your beating/jacking. Should help the dent want to go back. Just donít over do it just a nice firm pull.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:28 AM   #10
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A hilift jack works well in those situations.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:05 AM   #11
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Very nice Steve - happy for ya!

I'm not seeing the 'oops' in the rear cap. I do see a rear air diffuser that should significantly increase downforce and decrease drag - at speed, of course.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:14 AM   #12
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N
Quote:
Originally Posted by RRRVBUS View Post
I’d screw something to the rear cap that you can hook a come along or strap to and put tension on it pulling rearward while your beating/jacking. Should help the dent want to go back. Just don’t over do it just a nice firm pull.
I was going to try that. Unfortunately I have moved and don't have access to suitable trees any more. I have one tree in my new yard and I am concerned about it's health. It may be coming down this year.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
A hilift jack works well in those situations.
I have considered putting some cribbing on top of the engine cover, put a bottle Jack on top of the cribbing and then cut a length of 4x4 to go from the jack to the ceiling.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:20 AM   #14
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It's hardly noticeable from the front!
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:23 AM   #15
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awesome that you are getting started!! cant wait to see the roof go up!!

I thought you had a bus with air-conditioning..
-Christopher
No A/C unfortunately. I am looking at my budget to see if I can manage adding A/C.

Come on up and we can jump right on the roof raise
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:22 AM   #16
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A hilift jack works well in those situations.
You never realize all the benefits a Hi-Lift jack can bring, until you own one
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:15 PM   #17
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You never realize all the benefits a Hi-Lift jack can bring, until you own one
Not knowing what a "hilift" was I googled it. Those look like what we called farm jacks.

We used 4 of those for an Eagle roof raise.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:34 PM   #18
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I used HiLift Jascks as Make shift "Winches" with my Jeep to get out of mud or such..

they are super cool... never thought of using them for a roof raise.. seems you want more precise movements rather than a couple inch "bite".. esp since the jack will be on the floor and can cause temporary deforming of the floor..
-Christopher
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:50 PM   #19
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Glad to see you're making progress. It's always exciting to see progress on a project one is passionate about. Yea, that rear cap looks "interesting". If you have a body man that can assist, by all means do so. From the looks of things, one, and maybe two, hat channels are moved out of place. They'll be more of a challenge than the actual sheet metal. The sheet metal is so thick on the roof it can take a good bit of beating to get it back in place.
Is aaronsb (The Broccoli Bus) anywhere near you? He seems pretty handy with the body work. You might reach out to him for some advice.
Keep up the progress!!
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:51 PM   #20
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I remember when this bus was in the auction, specifically identified because of the compacted rear cap. I thought about bidding at the time but couldn't quite talk myself into it.

I'd have made that booboo into a back porch. I love the porches that look like the back of a caboose.

That shouldn't be that hard to straighten out if you get the ribs out of the way. I assume the interior panels are off?

The hilift jacks are said to be made for roof raises according to the old timers. Each click is an inch. And yeah, as Chris said they also pull very well. You can also use them as a large clamp or spreader. I always thought they were bus jacks when I was a kid.
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