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Old 07-18-2016, 07:46 AM   #121
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Mount Victory, OH
Posts: 64
Any updates? Awesome project.
superduty_59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2016, 12:32 PM   #122
Bus Nut
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 919
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Work has continued. Slowly. Unfortunately I've continued to let the camera roll but haven't sifted through it to pick out and post photos. They'll come.. I can't believe it's already 10 months since I posted an update!

Current status is that the roof raise is completed and all new hat channels and extensions are secured. I've poured far more time than I had anticipated into building basement storage. This bus had no basement from the factory; I'm building one that consumes all the space between the front tires and the wheelchair lift, less the space in the center where the 100 gallon fuel tank hangs. There are five access doors each about 45 by 19 inches; two on the right side and three on the left. Also on the left is a generator bay something like 39 inches wide by 23 high. As if those six doors and frames weren't enough to build, there are two more going in front of the front wheels. The front entry and stair well have been deleted. Next, just for good measure and consistency, I have to build a new door for the battery compartment at the back so it'll match the other 8. All but the battery door are formed but three still need to have their corners welded up.

The frame for the two basement doors on the right side was the first one built. Quite frankly, it turned out terribly. The gaps between some pieces were a bit too big, I tried to hurry too fast, and it warped something awful when I welded it. The left side turned out much better so now I'm rebuilding the one for the right side. Last fall I bought a metal brake and a bunch of 20 gauge sheet metal (mostly galvanized; it wasn't until later that I learned where to buy galvanneal or electro-galv locally) and have formed all these pieces myself. It's taking a looong time.

I picked up the new skin (16 ga galvanneal for the bottom course; 18 ga galvanneal for the top course) about two months ago. The pieces are kinda-sorta fitted; the rear two on both sides have been trimmed, the wheel arch cut out, and openings for engine cooling, battery access, etc cut. Rivets, paint for the interior side of the metal, body seam sealer, etc are all on hand.. The excitement to get to work hanging those panels is making me crazy, but there's a bit of bubble in them that I need to figure out how to shrink out before installing the sheets to the bus.

Unfortunately the time has come to move out of the shop where I've been working the past three years. It has to be out by Saturday. This week will be focused on packing things up. It's a bit of a problem; I don't like the idea of moving the bus 30 miles with no sides attached to keep the walls and roof steady. Probably I'll end up parking it outside at the property next door to the shop until I finish the basement doors and frames and get at least the first few pieces of exterior sheet installed.
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