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Old 09-08-2012, 10:39 PM   #171
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Very nice installation. What are your plans--will you use the hatch to access the roof deck? If so, how?
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:50 PM   #172
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Originally Posted by ol trunt
Very nice installation. What are your plans--will you use the hatch to access the roof deck? If so, how?
I'm going to install a ladder hinged at the back edge of the hole that will swing up to the ceiling inside. I have enough headroom that I won't even come close to hitting my head on anything attached to the ceiling. This will be the only access to the roof deck, so I won't have to worry about someone climbing up an external ladder to steal anything I may have stored on the roof. (If they were really ambitious, they could jump up on the nose and then climb up the windshield, but they risk a helluva fall if they slip; it's nearly six feet from the hood to the roofline.)

You can see the deck joists already partially installed. It's going to be big enough for some small storage (maybe a couple of those soft-side cartop carriers on either side of the hatch) and will be a great place for me to take pictures of the surrounding landscapes and wildlife. I'm even thinking of a fold-down bimini top for sun shade, but that's a luxury for the future.

I needed to finish the hatch hole before I could finalize the deck joist locations. Now that the hatch is complete, I can start working on the deck.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:05 PM   #173
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

A million years ago when I was in college, a friend put a top rack on his Toyota FJ (the one that looked like an old Jeep) and then while out camping he would simply put a tent on the rack and he was good for the night. Since you are a photographer that set up might work for you as well--weather permitting--for late evening/early morning shots etc etc.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:08 PM   #174
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Originally Posted by ol trunt
A million years ago when I was in college, a friend put a top rack on his Toyota FJ (the one that looked like an old Jeep) and then while out camping he would simply put a tent on the rack and he was good for the night. Since you are a photographer that set up might work for you as well--weather permitting--for late evening/early morning shots etc etc.
Oh, I've definitely thought of that! That's why I installed the aluminum channel uprights on the left and right sides to hold another vertical plank to keep me from rolling off in the middle of the night.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:26 PM   #175
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

I haven't even started the engine in a few months due to a leak I found on one of the fuel injector return lines. It was just a slow drip, but I don't need a puddle of diesel oil on the driveway. Yesterday I decided to fix this issue.

I opened the engine cover inside the bus so I could work on the hoses from injectors 4, 5, and 6. The tube labeled "Pipe B" connects all six return hoses to a common hose that goes back to the fuel tank.


"Hose A" shows the part I replaced on all six injectors. The old hoses were brittle and cracked and even though only one was actively leaking, I figured they all should be replaced at once.


"Hose C" is the same type of hose and so I replaced it as well. The trick was getting everything reconnected once the new hose was attached to each injector. Since the common pipe is non-flexible, I had to carefully feed the barbed ends into each little hose all at the same time. I started with the No. 1 fitting and then guided each subsequent fitting into the hoses until they were all inserted and lined up. Then I used a prybar to carefully push the pipe into each hose a little at a time. I had pre-positioned all the hose clamps so all I had to do was squeeze them and slide them into place over the hose barbs.


This job took about three hours over two days (I got rained out midway through the first day). I wasn't especially difficult, although I'm a little sore from bending over to work on the front half of the engine. The rear half was simple as I sat on the floor of the interior and worked in relative comfort. It was also really nice having the quick-detach driver's seat so I didn't have to crawl around a chair fixed to the floor next to the engine cover.

After I finished I tried the engine and it started right up. I think I last ran the engine about three months ago, maybe less. I can't believe how reliably it starts every time I've tried (with the exception of the times I've forgotten to disable the fuel cutoff ... oops).

I also cleaned the engine cover while it was out of the bus (please ignore the rusty bolt heads):
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #176
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

I've got that very same job coming up on my horizon. I can see that several of the fuel hoses on my DT466 are cracked, and it's just a matter of time before I end up stranded on the side of the road. I'll replace mine when I convert my fuel system to run on veggie oil, which is one of my upcoming projects.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:39 PM   #177
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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I've got that very same job coming up on my horizon. I can see that several of the fuel hoses on my DT466 are cracked, and it's just a matter of time before I end up stranded on the side of the road. I'll replace mine when I convert my fuel system to run on veggie oil, which is one of my upcoming projects.
Since these are only return lines, they contain only very low pressure fuel. I think in an emergency you could repair them with duct tape or something. Good enough to get you to the next town. The actual pressurized injector lines are all metal as they contain many thousands of PSI for diesel fuel delivery. Still, you don't want to have to repair something like this on the road.

It's easy enough if you take your time and replace the bottom hose first, then plug in the six lines from the injectors starting from No. 1 and working back to No. 6.

Be real careful with those stupid spring clamps as they love to pop out of the pliers and fly off to nowhere. I had only one leave the tool and I was lucky that it landed nearby where I could easily find it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:43 PM   #178
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

As I started to type this I was thinking, "I've finally finished the roof deck access hatch. Wait a minute! No I haven't; there are still a few things to go." Well, it's finished enough to share some more pictures.

I had to run the wiring for the vent fan exposed for the few inches in the hatch hole because any other way would have created new holes in the roof and more ways for water to get inside. The oak trim was necessary as the hatch door isn't thick enough to completely cover the parts of the fan. The 1" x 2" oak lumber was just right and makes it look kinda nice, I think.


I saw something like this for sale in a RV catalog and they were asking about $25 for it. I thought, "I can make that!" So I did. I drilled two holes in either side of the vent fan door opening handle (actually, four holes, but you can see where the plastic broke around the first set of holes) and added a piece of baling wire in a hanging loop. Then I bent another length of the same wire into a hook to go through the loop ...


... I bent the other end of the wire into a "speeder bar" to facilitate opening and closing the door mechanism without having to stand on a ladder to open the fan. This works so well that I might also add a loop to the fan speed control knob.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:02 PM   #179
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Beautiful job on the hatch Mr. Camel
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #180
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Beautiful job on the hatch Mr. Camel
Thank you.

It's little things like this that are causing this conversion to take WAY longer than I expected.
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