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Old 12-22-2015, 10:02 AM   #541
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Snowflake, Arizona
Posts: 319
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American Rear Engine
Engine: C-8.3-300 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 Prisoners
I was afraid with all the rain your bus had gotten swallowed up by the sink
hole you were fighting in the new parking space. As you probably know by now
I wasn't able to have a going away party, I just left. The trip was rather interesting
as I hit snow going over Snoqualmie pass which put me running in 3rd and 4th
gear which sucks the fuel bad. I then stopped in Kennewick and picked up a
friend who used to drive long haul and I only got to drive once in the next thousand
miles. He had a bit of a lead foot so we did the speed limit most of the way, which
got interesting in Idaho and Utah. Idaho truck speed is 70mph and Utah is 80mph.
Without 6th gear opened up we ran in 5th gear and up against the governor we
topped out at 85mph. Hope all is well with you and the family, have a Merry
Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:38 AM   #542
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 648
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
Progress

So, some progress with stuff - prerequisites, if you will.

The welder has been fixed up. A new wire drive wheel, some offroad casters, and weld the damn cart together because it's been falling apart on this bus build.

To re-christen the welder and get some stuff done, I cut out the rust in the floor of the unimog and fixed that. I gotta get my welding game on.

Obligatory non-bus photos of welding something else not related to this thread:



And one of the hilarious amount of mogstink made on a below freezing day. Direct injection diesel, no preheater, no cold start fluid. Just bigass batteries and a 24 volt starter motor.


The practice run with the unimog metal work gets my brain thinking about all the other stuff I need to replenish. I'll get some new grinding flap discs, hinges, cutting bits, etc.

Once truck is buttoned up I'll get some tubing to frame in the door, and start hacking away at the lower step on the bus. I might have mentioned it before but I need to bring the last step up higher, so it's got a desirable approach angle like the driver's side.

I have been trying to decide what kind of windows to use on the bus door. I could re-use the single pane windows on the bifold split, or get some rv windows (or at least make a spot to install them) I like being able to see the curb when pulling up.

I have been examining the prevost, mci, and vanhool door mechanisims, which open by popping out and back. There's a follower arm on the inside that keeps the door closed along, and avoids a track entirely.

It's neat, but it feels like stuff could break. I'm going to use a standard automotive style hidden hinge to allow a full open on the door, and a nice bulb seal gasket all the way around. The gasket will sit on the door side so no feet damage the seal.

I'll still be able to use the air actuator, so that's nice. Most likely I'll incorporate a couple pin style latches to keep things secure. It'll definitely be more "car like" than before.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:15 PM   #543
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 947
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
The 'mog smog reminds me of a cold February morning a few years ago with my first bus, powered by a 5.9 L 12 valve Cummins. It started, barely, and I fast-idled it in the driveway for a few minutes before leaving. The back yard and driveway out to the road filled with a low gray cloud by the time I left. It seems a passing motorist notified the fire department, which responded in full force -- but not until after all signs of the cloud had dissipated. Apparently it was pretty unnerving to those left at home to be awakened by fire fighters in full battle gear banging and shouting at the doors and windows, and nobody had any idea where the signs of fire had gone. I'm glad to hear nothing so alarming happened with your cloud!

The bus door ideas sound interesting.
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Old 02-03-2016, 02:49 PM   #544
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
Smoke wrench

So, I pulled the bifold door out, it's corresponding seals and bits.

Then, I cut the rusty floor out of the bottom.

Next, I'll be trimming the forward side of the door opening so it's higher. The approach angle of the bus for the left and right side will be symmetrical, with the entry's first step is a little taller.

New door will be a one piece that opens to the outside instead. I'll keep the air ram hinge so it can open and close, but I've got a couple automotive door latches to use so I can properly lock/latch the door.

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Old 02-05-2016, 02:00 AM   #545
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
stairwell shaving

Trimmed the stairwell.

First mark with a laser, because apparently I can't even geometry.




Next, sawzall the line. Tip for marking: sharpies sometime get lost when the vibrating metal mess is happening, so you can lay down a piece of masking tape and a quick spritz with contrasting spray paint.



I put a chunk of metal to demonstrate the new approach angle for the body. It will mirror the driver side, and the entry door bottom edge will have that angle. The first step will be a little higher now but not by much.

It used to be about an 8 inch drop.

The new door being a one piece outward opening door will go in the hole.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:50 PM   #546
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 17
Awesome progress so far. I would design the interior differently but that style bus, that roof raise, the steel framing for the walls etc... is exactly what I had in mind!
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:13 PM   #547
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: TC2000 RE
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Rated Cap: 78
I agree - design criteria includes bunks and living space for 4 kids 2 adults. If it was less people the layout would be completely different.

However, everything bolts in, so technically a future "remodel" will not be very traumatic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhost View Post
Awesome progress so far. I would design the interior differently but that style bus, that roof raise, the steel framing for the walls etc... is exactly what I had in mind!
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:14 AM   #548
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb View Post
I agree - design criteria includes bunks and living space for 4 kids 2 adults. If it was less people the layout would be completely different.

However, everything bolts in, so technically a future "remodel" will not be very traumatic.
Awesome!

I am a bit curious. I am a never done it guy when it comes to welding. But I am willing to learn. How do you go about that process? I can get bodies to help with the roof raise part, but the guys I know that "know" how to weld will either charge and arm and a leg, or just use the welder to puddle up slag... I really want to pick up that skill....
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:40 AM   #549
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 648
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
The square door and terrible approach angle on the curbside has always bugged me. In prep for a new door I'm making the approach match the driver side.

Here is what 15 years of service mashing the curb looks like. This is the bottom of the body rib that is part of the forward door frame.


Here is the framing. Heavy c channel and angle to support the new floor pan, I'll get that in tomorrow. It looks parallel with the ground in the photo, but its not.



Driver side for comparison, which has the same angle now.



The first step will be higher, but I don't plan on picking up lots of kindergartners any time soon, so it'll be fine.

After everything is together, I'll have a removable insert to capture dirt, and present a level surface on the inside.



Lego Benny helped supervise, care of one of the kids.

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Old 02-07-2016, 12:53 AM   #550
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 648
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
I would say that for me, welding is pretty easy to do. BUT, its only easy for me because I have personally pushed tens of thousands of feet of mig spool wire through welding machines.

One of the first projects I ever tackled was to make my own cart, and then what I believe in hindsight was a little too ambitious, a gasoline tank. (No fireballs happened, that I know of)

I think as a guy who doesn't do it for a living I know enough to get by, and also enough to know that I don't know **** compared to commercial guys.

I try pretty hard to make beads right, get my setup and prep of parts, and do things for a reason, the right way. Ultimately, it takes a lot of time in seat to be good, and to be willing to cut your stuff apart when it seemed wrong, as well as check your techniques and try to keep learning.

You could just as easily replace your need to weld with:

Programming computers
Writing a book
Framing a house
Changing the clutch in a transmission

Each of those things can be done correctly by anyone, given the right approach, an open mind, and a willingness to do it several times with the intent to do better each time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhost View Post
Awesome!

I am a bit curious. I am a never done it guy when it comes to welding. But I am willing to learn. How do you go about that process? I can get bodies to help with the roof raise part, but the guys I know that "know" how to weld will either charge and arm and a leg, or just use the welder to puddle up slag... I really want to pick up that skill....
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