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Old 04-10-2005, 05:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle, Washington
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Year: 1981
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American FE
Engine: Cummins 555 9.1 L diesel
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The Lucinda Lowdown

Well, having read a bunch over the last little while, I've gone and done it. I'm now the owner of a Bluebird All-American, 1982 vintage. Cummins 555, Allison auto, air brakes, great rubber, recently tuned then retired. Seats are out. Looks like I'll have to re-do the subfloor. Any thoughts on plywood/outdoor plywood/particle board for this? It's got particle board now, and some if it is rotten.

Branden

1982 Bluebird All American--Lucinda
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to the club!

Flooring & such have been discussed to varying degrees...do a search through the archives, and also at the other forum (http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/...conversionuts/).

It will give you some background on what people have done about their floors. Save folks from re-typing what they done typed.

What are your plans for the conversion? Seasonal use? full time? Got any pictures?
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:46 PM   #3
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Floors, subfloors, and rubber, oh my. And powerwashing?

Thanks! Not that I'm not just a bit freaked out at the moment. Sitting in the driver's seat one thinks (beyond "I get to work the door!") damn, is this thing BIG! I've checked the archives, and it seems that people do many different things (surprise!). I think I'll likely use plywood for the repairs or rebuild of the floor.

In terms of condition, she's all cleared of seats, the floors are soft in spots, but other than that the bus seems very sound. It's in such decent shape that my plans for beadboarding the walls have changed, and I think I'm just going to clean and paint them. I kind of like the rivets look and the steel rail where the seats were mounted will come in handy. The ceiling paint is fine, but doesn't match my long-term color scheme Anybody ever just gone to a truck wash and used their pressure wash hose to clean the inside of your bus? I'm thinking that might be a good idea, but I'm a bit worried about the wiring and lights, so would avoid the ceiling. But it would be great for the floor, walls, and glass, no?

I plan on using her for recreational trips--Burning Man 05 for her big launch date, but then oystering with the gang here in Washington, as travel vehicle to triathlons, concerts, and such, and the occasional solitude-seeking writing trip to the Oregon Coast, or the Madison River, or whatnot. My dad is a crazy flyfisher, so we'll be putting some fishing miles on her, too.

So I want clean, easy, and simple. Gotta handle dirt roads, wet waders, and muddy folks. I'm thinking of tearing out all the old flooring (but if it's just bad in spots then replacing just those). I don't know what to expect under the wood. Over the wood subfloor I'll put a thin sheet of insulation material and then a t&g or pergo-type wood floor running the length of the bus. I plan on framing in either 2 closets or a closet and bathroom (might be required for RV lic. in WA, but other than that am debating if it's worth the trouble of installation and maintenance, although a shower would sure be nice) over/around the rear wheel wells, and having the rear section thus defined being the bedroom. Midships will be a kitchen with stove and sink cabinet and behind on the other wall (probably passenger side) will likely be a fold-down table for extra cooking space and to eat, forming a galley kitchen. In front of that, living room and eating space, with probably a futon for seating/sleeping and some chairs mounted (on pedastals?) for navigator and others. Maybe 4 seats like that, reclaimed from a car.

I'll put together some pics as I go along, and probably put them on a website. This is clearly a dangerous obsession! I'm already thinking floorplans in my sleep.

Branden
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Old 04-13-2005, 02:24 PM   #4
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If you're considering mud/sand/water on the floors, I'd think sheet linoleum. Fast, easy, relatively cheap to put down, and another floor can be laid on top of it later if need be.

Easy to clean, too.

T&G will get scratched fast with sandy soils being tracked in, but sure looks nice for a while.

My $0.02.
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Old 04-13-2005, 04:00 PM   #5
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If looks are not the most important thing in the world you can use commercial tiles. The stuff you see in your local grocery store. They come in lots of different colors and are solid so you can sand, grind, and polish them.

http://www.armstrong.com/commflooringna ... y=linoleum
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Old 04-13-2005, 04:47 PM   #6
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the bus is possibly the best possible vehicle for burningman. When the dust storm kicks into high gear, or the freezing cold nites come along you'll be so happy that youre in a bus and not sleeping in your tent on the cold cold ground.

During a real bad dust storm, i had my bus full to max capacity at bm2004 as people were trying to escape from the blowing sand.

This year i plan to bring a 110 volt air purifier to help keep the atmosphere in the bus more tollerable during the killer dust storms.
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:53 PM   #7
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soudns like there'll be a Mini-Member-Meeting in Black Rock City ;)

my last trip to BRC i had a 23' long vehicle, not quite a bus, but amazingly better than the little dodge caravan i had my first year, for all the reasons (and more) Jason mentioned

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Old 05-14-2005, 06:45 PM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle, Washington
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Year: 1981
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American FE
Engine: Cummins 555 9.1 L diesel
Rated Cap: 77
Black Rock Meeting!

I picked her up today... I have the KEYS AND TITLE!!!!!


Only one month and four days since payment... eek.

Now it's an emissions test and insurance and and and...

YEAH!!!!


Happy happy, joy joy!

I'm going to our burners' brunch tomorrow and taking the big rig.

If I can get insurance today I'm going to get some road miles in on I-5 to heat it up and burn out the gunk. More on the key/title saga later.

Branden
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:27 PM   #9
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Year: 1981
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Engine: Cummins 555 9.1 L diesel
Rated Cap: 77
Emissions. Check!

Nothing like learning to drive a bus in Seattle rush hour traffic and the Mercer mess. Um... whoops.

But she drives like a champ although the brakes pull right a little bit--might the air tanks need some adjustment? The brakes themselves?

Cruised on the freeway for 50 miles and heated her up really good. Burned out all the gunk, no more blue smoke. Drives at 60 at 2500 rpm, and can make it to 70, but that seems kind of fast. 60 is really comfortable, though. Probably better when loaded--will additional flooring cut down on the noise a bit? I don't want to insulate the walls, but it is pretty loud. Of course it's a rolling cave at the moment, so that's no surprise.

Yesterday I took the bus down for emissions testing and it passed. The drive-through was about six inches wider on each side than the bus. Man, they're testing me early!

So fun, so fun!

I'll post some pics in the gallery.

Karma has been good and I've a warehouse space for a couple months in South Lake Union, downtown Seattle. A mile from my house!

Will have to wait for the weekend to title and license, and then start on the floor and painting.

Has anyone else noted the ability of their bus to suck up money?
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:50 AM   #10
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Re: Emissions. Check!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Branden
Has anyone else noted the ability of their bus to suck up money?
Have you ever seen the movie "Money Pit"? It's kinda like that, and yet it's still FUN.

I, (and others I'm sure) share your enthusiasm! It's like when I was a kid taking the bus to school, the euphoria of getting one of the coveted wheel well seats so you could try to set bounce altitude records over bumps.

Yeah, bus ownership is a priceless joy!
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