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Old 03-25-2007, 02:25 PM   #191
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I beg to differ, Experience; I made a trip to Illinois last summer and I'm sure the ratio of
soybeans to corn is closer to 50/50.
The funny part is, I was bringing canned corn to Illinois from Washington state!
Talk about "coal to Newcastle"! The reason, of course, is that there are different kinds
of corn.

Awwrightythen. Time to work on Millicent -- after we were so rudely interrupted
by gainful employment.

The cost of materials is a major concern for all of us, and we all know that it helps to
let friends know what we are looking for. And it helps to get "insider" pricing, when
possible. So I snuck into the shop at work and priced the replacement trailer skin
panels that we use to repair the 53 foot trailers that our drivers tip over rather routinely.
These panels are 49" x 110", good hard aluminum about .040" thick, and they have a
near-bulletproof white paint on one side. My price: $85.
So I ran over to the store to buy four of them -- what I need to finish skinning Millicent.
Our parts man telephoned ahead that I was coming for this purpose.
When I got there, they GAVE ME five panels. These are a bit scratched from being kicked
around the warehouse, so they cannot sell them to "real" customers. It probably helped
that we buy an awful lot of parts from them for 200+ trucks and 500+ trailers!

Yes, I thanked the man profusely for his contribution to Project Millicent.

To be continued.

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Old 03-26-2007, 01:39 AM   #192
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Setting out to install the front-most of the side panels, it dawned on me that there
was no way to get hold of it. All three sides will be inserted among other metal!
So I made a “hand hold”. This area will be cut out for a window later, so no harm
done. In that hole I clamped the familiar angles to beat on. The zigzag front edge
is to accommodate the various obstacles among the assorted layers of steel that
Mr. Blue Bird installed there. I’m going for at least one inch of overlap -- except in
that tightest spot where half inch will have to do.



From the inside, almost there. Quite a lot of force is needed since there is so
much friction.



And... all the way into position. Next time, I’ll take more of the original rivets out
so there will be more wiggle room.



There are only two rivets holding each panel so far, but by golly, they are in
position. And it was a lot easier to handle these nice flat panels than the curled-
up stuff I used on the rear half of the bus. In fact, I lifted these into place without
assistance.



What happened to the new windows? Well, I gave up on planning those in
advance. We need to get further along with the furniture first. So I’ll make it
weather tight and drivable and cut window openings later.
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:11 AM   #193
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Are you putting a sealant between the metal-to-metal surfaces? It may well not be necessary with all those rivets....I'm just one of those guys that would rather put $5 worth of butyl caulk into things now rather than fix an issue later.
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:23 AM   #194
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No sealants or coatings yet.
I studied the information on galvanic corrosion, and concluded it will not be a
significant problem.
I'm certainly concerned about squeeks and rattles, but ran out of patience
to make things "perfect".

There WILL be sealant/adhesive along the top of the skin panels where they are
just pushed into the gap under the "eyebrows". Once all the panels are in place,
I'll go over them with a caulking squirter.
(Maybe I'll put a rub rail there one day, maybe not.)
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:51 AM   #195
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are those the free sheet of aluminum I see hanging there prevost-like in there perfect wavelessness? Nice. Only trouble is, it's gonna make the other panels with a little more, uh, character, look bad.

Nice work, elliot. I'm thinking it would almost be easier to just rip the whole damn body off and start from scratch. Guess it depends on how many of those free skins you can score.
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Old 03-26-2007, 02:30 PM   #196
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Yeah at the tops (and possibly bottoms) is where I was talking about, Elliot. I sure as heck wouldn't worry about galvanic corrosion either unless you are planning on driving that thing for another 40 years.
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:31 PM   #197
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Those free white panels may get wrinkled when I put all the rivets in -- we'll see.
I have read that some folks HEAT panels before riveting, so they shrink and
become tighter after riveting.

It will be very different between front and rear, yes. You wanna make sompin
outof'it, buddy???

I may paint murals on the wavy rear half and not the smooth white. We'll see.
It's all good.
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:48 AM   #198
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The Expensive Adventure of Chico Dakota.
by Hopalong Blue Bird

His paycheck hit the bank with a cheerful “ding!”, and Chico fired up ye olde
Dodge and headed for the Dakotas. No, no. No good.
Try again: Chico picked up his hard-earned paycheck and got outt’a Dodge
in his trusty Dakota. Still not right.
Here: With the paycheck in the glove box, I headed for Chico in my Dodge
Dakota. Ah, that’s more like it. Gotts’ta get ME in there! And Chico is a
nearby town. And a Dodge Dakota is a little pickumuptruck.

Monday morning. Just trying to wake up. Big bandaid on my typing finger. (grunt.
belch. scratch. it gets worse, but this is a nice web site.) Yiiikes! Yogurt in the
tooth paste tube!? Oh, yeah -- yesterday was April Fools Day.

Ah! The snap shots. Maybe that will help.




Oooo... much better. We do windows! And I made sure that Peter used his polite
finger for pointing this time.

To sort it all out... I spent a paycheck in Chico the other day. Chico is home to
Affordable RV Surplus -- a cozy little back street business that sells junk RV
parts. Salvage. Used. Rejects. Take-outs. Warranty returns. Overstock.
Whatnot. Lots of whatnots. And windows.

Reportedly, these big tinted dual pane windows that slide open and have bug
screens cost something like $650,- each, full list price. The Dodge carried three
of those home, plus two smaller ones reported at $450,- a piece, for A Grand.
Sure, those “cool” modern black frames are scratched and dirty, but so is the rest
of Millicent. And her owner, for that matter. All the functional elements seem to
be there -- on both of us. The window screens aren’t even torn, but I cannot say
that about my socks.
(Most of Affordable’s window inventory are single pane. And many are missing
the screen or inside trim. I cherry picked!)

Now. I’ve come up with two methods for installing windows, and I’m using both.
I’m just like that -- versatile.
The right side of Millicent already had the skins in place, and no provisions for
windows yet, so there I’m “retrofitting” the windows into one large skin panel.
This is called “failure to plan ahead”.
The left side wasn’t skinned yet, so there I’m fitting the window first, and then
adding the skin in three smaller sections. This is certainly the better/easier way
to do it.

There will be two big windows on the right, and one on the left. Each requires
removal of one window pillar. Here goes the first:



Then we weld in the horizontal above the window: (This picture was taken after
the opening was cut out.)



The skin was riveted to the new horizontal with small rivets that will be hidden
under the window frame, and the opening cut out:



Over on the left, it was MUCH easier to work without the skin in the way. Here
we are trial fitting before welding in the new horizontal:

Why did Chico Dakota change horses in mid stream and suddenly go looking for
windows in the middle of the skinning work? Pure fluke. That Gillig I was babbling
about somewhere around here was located just ten miles from Chico, so I figured
it was time to throw two rocks with.... Oh... Monday!

The third opening is still to be done. Fastening the windows will be next.
Or some time.
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:19 PM   #199
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Millicent is getting famous.

From a thread in the tow rig section of the Pirate4x4 bulletin board.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianspeeder View Post
Wow, I'm joinin' that board!

I can even remember when I was little for the 5 years I rode a bus to elementry school that someday I was gonna get one to take out all the seats out and make a camper.

I know, what a dork...

Adrianspeeder
check out the thread where this older guy raised the roof 23" using 4 hi lift jacks its awesome, i spent an hr reading the thread and didnt even finish. seems like he spent some time and did a good job, ill have to finish the thread.




Don't worry, Elliot....he was calling Peter the older guy, not you.
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:17 PM   #200
Bus Crazy
 
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Quote:
...he was calling Peter the older guy, not you.
Hmmm... I still remember the day when a bunch of us Kinetic Racers were packing
up after the race in Ventura, and somebody suggested we get a bigger trailer, or
more tents, or some such discussion. And I said... "Naw. School Bus." More
discussion. Then me again, "School bus." And so forth for a while. On the same
occasion, we discussed which one of us should be "in charge" (of whatever?)
by virtue of being the oldest. Turned out I "beat" Peter by a couple of months.
So quit calling him old -- I'm even older!

Now, about the Millicent thread taking over an hour to read. I think I know why.
I think we spend too much time blathering about the color of our beards-- when we
should be working on the darn bus.

Well, I picked up four folding bunks out of wrecked trucks at work ,
so now we can soon get back to the interior.

I also repossessed a truck from a rather scary character down in Fontana --
a big narsty-looking fellow who expressed an interest in committing bodily harm
upon me -- so I believe I'll stick to bus-converting for a while, yes.
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