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Old 12-01-2014, 10:06 AM   #41
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

You have some interesting ideas that I hope will work well for you.

Personally I would leave space for a co-pilot's seat. That is unless you are absolutely set into the single mode.

Along with the co-pilot's seat I would leave at least one window on the curb side behind the service door. You would be amazed at how much you get used to that little extra peripheral vision area. Yes you have mirrors that you need to use. But sometimes your eyes seeing directly is the best thing.

If you have room underneath the shower you may find it easier to create a step down into the shower than adding extra height to the ceiling.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:24 PM   #42
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach
You have some interesting ideas that I hope will work well for you.

Personally I would leave space for a co-pilot's seat. That is unless you are absolutely set into the single mode.

Along with the co-pilot's seat I would leave at least one window on the curb side behind the service door. You would be amazed at how much you get used to that little extra peripheral vision area. Yes you have mirrors that you need to use. But sometimes your eyes seeing directly is the best thing.

If you have room underneath the shower you may find it easier to create a step down into the shower than adding extra height to the ceiling.

Good luck and happy trails.
I second the suggestion of a step down shower. I've got a spot on the floor I've been eyeing for just such purpose.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:45 PM   #43
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

Cowlitz, good idea on the step down. I'll look into what's underneath that specific area. The shower would be located on the drivers side wall between the engine compartment and the wheel well.

The copilot's seat would be tough...I'm honestly not going to be driving it as much as it's sitting, although I do like the idea...I'll see if there's something I can do with the design to include a copilot seat. When it's not being used, I'll have it double as my coat closet. *ideas!*





Speaking of amending...the bathtub idea may get shelved, although I'm going to fight it. I'll probably lose to the Gillig's original designers. I've been tearing up the floor and this is what I've found:





The floor is divided into three sections by two steel beams. They run the length of the bus, and snugged in between them in the middle was the center aisle. They were also used to anchor the seats to the floor. This means the floor is cut up into thirds, and pieced together front to back, screwed in with a pretty logical pattern.

So the tub, if it happens, would have to be VERY narrow, for starters. The original spot I had thought of putting it won't work, unless I remove the gas tank. Since that won't happen purposefully (hey...this is my first project like this, and anything can happen with power tools gone wild), I'll be shelving that idea for the moment.

The rubber comes up ok, but not without sweat-inducing effort. I've found the plywood condition underneath to be exceptional for a 41 year old bus. I'd say it's in 15 year old condition so far. Seeing as how it was California built & run, with only 117K on her, I'm excited. I want to see what the metal underneath the plywood looks like, and I'm ready to buff & seal when the time comes. Downside (if there is one?) is that I'll have to measure new plywood flooring & do some saw work to re-lay the new floor.

Heading out to Lowe's now to pick up some knee pads (oh wow I'm sore) and get back to it the rest of today.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:19 PM   #44
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

IIRC, on rear engine Gillig buses there is an area behind the driver's side rear wheel and the engine compartment that is empty space.

On the curb side the area is the battery compartment.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:22 PM   #45
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

Make sure as you make updates to the floor that you keep all of the existing access holes accessible.

There are some things that you can not reach if you can't access those areas from inside the bus.

Your bus should have access panels above the fuel tank, above the transmission, and the front of the back shelf to access the back of the engine.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:57 PM   #46
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

Your head is bald like mine...get a cheap welders cap, saves on scars from sparks and keeps head warm

I will be doing a sunken tub next,
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:21 PM   #47
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Your head is bald like mine...get a cheap welders cap, saves on scars from sparks and keeps head warm

I will be doing a sunken tub next,
I'm not so sure welding with hair is too good either you get little round "holes" in your hair!!!
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:11 PM   #48
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

Cowlitz, you are correct...but I think it goes deeper than that...literally!

I was able to locate all the screws in the first floor panel without removing ALL the floor rubber, and removed it. Underneath, the gas tank...and from what I can see, NO metal flooring underneath at all. I'm pretty sure it will look like this the entire length, but I'll find that out tomorrow. To the right of the gas tank is the main storage compartment, accessed and running uninterrupted from both driver & curb side. I actually stood inside with my feet resting on the storage floor.

If it's true that this bus has no metal floor, then A) I won't be buffing a lot of metal sub floor & B) I'll be able to lay 1/4 (?) plywood underneath on ledges that are already there, then insulation, THEN the 3/4 flooring on top of that without losing any height at all. The way this bus is layed out is interesting, with it's two steel runners from fore to aft. Has anyone else encountered this?







Also, stopped by Lowe's & picked up some knee pads. A world of difference. An entire planet. Awesome.
Also picked up a bucket & one of those "bucket tool holders" for $12. It's perfect, since most everything I need fits in there, I just shove it around where I need it, and I'm not opening and closing my toolbox all the time. Extension cords, crowbar, masks & goggles etc. just fit inside, and I take it when I leave.





And because any day above ground is better than the alternative, here's what I got to see earlier today:

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Old 12-01-2014, 11:02 PM   #49
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Bald heads & spark scars ;)

Hey Bansil, I have been wearing a beanie most of the time, but so far I haven't been grinding anything metal. I'll be sure to wear something when the sparks fly though. Thanks for the (bald) heads up! ;)

I'm trying to get as much stuff done as possible before the heat here. It gets up to 120, and it's no fun to work in. Thankfully, it's dry California heat, so no humidity. From the looks of the time frames, I should have a lot finished in 7-8 months, and be ready to move into it, with just a few cosmetic things to address.

Next up, I'm going to need to put a lock on the doors. There's a drop down doorstop style lock I can use for the front doors, but the side emergency door opens from the outside. Found a half drunk bottle of orange juice in the trash bucket inside today, and ants starting a little march to get their drink on. Not sure who was inside, but with tools being left inside more often as the process continues, as well as unstable flooring and sharp edges on the ceiling & walls, I think it best to lock it up so no one gets hurt. No one should be inside, but 'should' & reality aren't the same thing. I saw someone in here do a very clean lock installation on their rig, I think I'll search for that thread again. Has anyone had experience with lock installs?
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:50 AM   #50
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Re: Projekt: Freedom Panda begins!

The service door should have a hole on each door leaf that line up with holes through the first step. The engine door key fits through a piece of flat stock that has a rod welded on the other end. Insert both the rod and the engine door key through the floor and the curved end of the engine door key should line up with a hole on the lip of the entry step. Insert a long shank pad lock through the engine door key and lip of the entry step and your door will be securely locked.

For the side emergeny door, insert a rod with a notch in it over the inside door handle and wedge the top into the top of the door frame. No way can anyone open the side door with the door latch wedged that way.

For the rear, you can pin one of the handles with a 'D' ring or a bolt which will not allow the handle to turn from the outside.

I noticed a jug of Delo 400 oil in the luggage compartment. Good choice of oil if it is 15W-40 and NOT the LE version that is normally found at Costco, Wal-Mart, and most auto parts stores. The LE (low emission) version of Delo 400 is NOT reverse compatible for pre-emission (2007) engines. It does not have ZDDP or some such. It is mostly zinc and phosphorus. Without the zinc or phosphorus in the oil you are going to have metal on metal at start up on all of your flat tappet areas. You can flat spot a cam and take out the bottom of a lifter without the ZDDP. The LE version took the ZDDP out because the ZDDP kills the catylitic convertors much in the same way leaded fuels destroyed the catylitic convertors on '70's and '80's gas powered vehicles.
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