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Old 04-26-2014, 08:25 AM   #201
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches
Good news, everyone!



Turns out I CAN get 6th gear enabled in my bus. According to my calculations, right now in 5th I hit the rev limiter at 66 mph (2400 rpm). With 6th enabled, I will be at about 2000 rpm at 66, and will have a new theoretical top speed of 77 mph (I will never test this). I just have to take it to an allison tech and give them this, and they will take care of it.

If anyone has this same trans (MD3000 or 3060) and wants info on how to do this, PM me.

This is amazing
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:15 AM   #202
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

I would love to set mine up to cruise 70 mph all day long, I don't think thats unsafe as long as your thinking & looking ahead, I ran tractor trailers all day at that speed out on the open interstate & it can be done safely
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:37 PM   #203
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Sounds like a plan to me!
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:19 PM   #204
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Its great to see your motor running again. So the injector swap went well.
How long did it take to get them all swapped and get it back together?
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:52 AM   #205
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

HEaded to memphis on Thursday! The bus isn't done but it is livable. All furnishings are done and so is the 120 volt AC. I have a 2 pole 3 way switch for input AC source selection, grid power plug, 1kw inverter, fridge, microwave, ceiling lights, accent lights, and charge controller / parallax power supply hooked up and ready to go. No battery bank yet but it will happen eventually. Seats are in with seat belts and stereo / CB is hooked up. Tomorrow I am taking it to get weighed / rid myself of some scrap metal and just to drive and make sure it feels solid.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:07 AM   #206
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Way to go porkchop. I'm still insulating the bus.

Just got the floor finished. I added the last inch and screwed the sub floor down. Now time to put the 1" strips on the walls and ceiling so I can spray foam the rest. I will be out two weekends this month so I hope to be finished with insulation by end of May. Then I can think about furniture.

Oh when do you plan to get the trans re-programed. I looking forward to see if it was worth it.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:35 PM   #207
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

HEY!! What's going on here?! I'm hearing about all this progress, and yet there are no pictures!! The pics, guys, where's the pics?!
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:28 PM   #208
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Sorry for the long delay in updates, I have been way way way too busy to do this for the last 10 days or so.

So I started / finished up the 120 volt electrical:







Wired in speakers I ended up not using:



And built a non-NEC approved but functional and safe cover for this 3-pole 2-throw switch:





This is how I switch between inverter power source and grid power source (and future gen power source). This switch was off West Marine, and was like $130. It shuts off one source before it engages the other source so they can all be on when you switch, and it switches so quickly that it doesn't really interrupt the power more than a brief flicker.

Here is the electrical all wired up:



1000 watt inverter to run fridge and phone chargers etc while driving, worked like a charm. I don't have the 2 gauge leads to it in the picture, I did those really quickly at 3 am and they don't look as good so I dont want to show you guys

Metal c-channel wire cover things put back up:





Front bus panel back up sloppily:



These accent lights were a great idea. $16 for 3 meters and they run off 12 volts:







And many more colors than that.

It poured and poured for 4 days straight right before we left for Memphis (5/1) and a lake formed where I was keeping my bus, so I had to make a bridge over annoying waters:



Stopped at a truck stop, this thing looks tiny compared to 18 wheelers:



Mismatched headlight, one halogen and one HID; one of the HIDs burned out cause the OEM Thomas connector shorted out:



Sleeping arrangement: my hammock mounts were used by 2 people, for 4 nights. They loved it.





At the campsite in Memphis, TN; across the street from Elvis' Graceland mansion:



Sittin pretty.



Enormous bus next to us, they had 5 a/c units on the top. They didn't come out much.



The music fest was unbelievably incredible.



Health food bar, we later cooked vegetables in the bacon grease:





Elvis' mansion:



His plane:



Beale street: Facade of an old building held up with girders, very very cool place:



Sunset on the Mississippi River:





Sunrise on the Appalachian mountains while driving to Asheville on I-40 East. We left Memphis 11pm Sunday and got to Asheville 9 am Monday.





White line fever:



All-essential hula doll:

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Old 05-07-2014, 01:54 PM   #209
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

So all in all we all had an amazing time. The drive was just under 2,000 miles round trip. We left DC where we live, and I drove straight to Memphis, 18 hours, on maybe 2 hours of sleep. Not safe, but I was AMPED about how we were actually doing this. We got in around 3 am Friday morning and parked, hooked up to power, got drunk and went to sleep. The 12 volt 55 amp power supply / charger in my circuit panel powered the 12 volt lights while plugged in. Electrical worked great. We slept 7 of us in it for 4 nights and 5 of us in it for one night, and it actually wasn't uncomfortable. We kept the roof vents popped with my fan contraptions on and it was comfortable except mid-day when the sun was overhead.

Mechanically, we had no "breakdown" issues. Nothing that required an immediate stop. However, about an hour into the trip, the engine developed a HUGE exhaust leak at the manifold. I haven't investigated yet but it looks like it just blew out one of the gaskets somehow. So that made for a very loud annoying TICKTICKTICK that varied with engine RPM and load the whole way, and I was probably down on power some because not all the gases were getting into the turbo. I have to remove the manifold, turbo and a few other things to do this, but it shouldn't be too bad.

The engine also ran HOT. Normal temp for this motor is 195 degrees. The issue wasn't when sitting in traffic, low speeds etc but rather high speed high load conditions such as pedal to the metal up a long hill on the interstate, it would climb to about 210-220 degrees. If it got close to passing 220 degrees I would pull over and let it cool (engine on at high idle) but I only had to do that twice. I am not sure if the exhaust leak had anything to do with this somehow? It never overheated before that. But nothing failed and no hoses blew so hopefully not too much damage was done.

The fan belt was in gnarly condition before we left. We didn't have time to change it (hard to do on these) but I brought a spare. It didn't break. I wasn't careful about measuring fuel consumption, since we rarely filled it up all the way, but the one time I could calculate it, I got 10.5 mpg. That is with 5 people and all their crap on board, likely down on boost from the exhaust leak, on steep uphills and downhills the whole way. At this point I do not have 6th gear unlocked, so the whole drive was with the motor taching out at 2400 rpm.

We used one quart of oil the whole trip, so that leads me to believe that my injector seal repair did the trick. Oh and we didn't get pulled over once which was amazing. I attribute that to my outside paint scheme. The pneumatic door actuator stopped holding closed adequately, so we used a ratchet strap to hold it closed the whole way. The steering is VERY loose, dangerously so, and the ride is real rough on rough pavement.

Notes and observations:

-The swivel bucket seat mounts were a great idea. They held up well and got used extensively, one guy slept in one of the chairs every night.
-Having more closet space and organization while driving with 7 people is a must.
-TIE DOWNS AND CABINET LATCHES. I had the fridge and a few other things strapped down well but the microwave broke loose over bumps and the cabinets flung open. We duct-taped everything shut.
-I really don't think I am going to build a bathroom / black tank in this. It really isn't necessary. Lots of extra work for little reward. I am 19, I can crap in the woods. Truck stop bathrooms are usually clean. I think the existing "bathroom" area will become a big closet and I will ditch the underneath storage plan because it is a ton of work and money for metal. Still debating on a shower but I definitely would like to have a gray / fresh tank to run the kitchen sink.
-I need a battery bank that is separate from the starting batteries so I can leave the inverter on when the engine is off for 30 min to an hour for stops.
-Fuel is expensive
-I would like to look into biodiesel but am worried about waste oil supply. I accidentally filled up the bus with B20 on the trip and it ran no differently.
-I need shocks and tie rod ends.
-I need 6th gear
-Teenagers / young adults are very adaptable. We were together almost the entire time, living in tiny quarters and running on no sleep and we didn't ever get pissed at each other. Everyone had a really good time.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:12 PM   #210
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Glad to hear you had a good time and no major breakdowns! I recommend you consider making a little 5 gallon bucket kitty litter toilet like I did. Very little effort, but very convenient. Just toss the bag liner in the trash when it starts to fill up. If you cover up well with the litter there is very little odor, especially if you have it in a little bathroom with a window that can be opened a crack. I think they make little toilet seats with lids that are designed to fit on a 5 gal bucket, if you want to go the super easy route.

Your bus looks great out in it's natural habitat! Party on dude!
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