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Old 07-22-2009, 08:32 PM   #501
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Fuel milage rapport:

The last two trips, counting from fill-up to fill-up.
On the first trip, Peter went 757 miles WITHOUT trailer and got 11,2.
On the second trip of 1173 miles, we shared the driving WITH trailer and got 9,0. My foot is heavier than Peter's; he's happy to approach 55, while I insist on 57. And the trailer of course drinks fuel. Average for these 1930 miles: 9,75. This involves quite a bit of mountains in Northern California and Southern Oregon.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:35 PM   #502
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Elliot! You've been missed.

Somewhere along the way someone posted up about all the time they took to soundproof their doghouse using those sound deadening mats (which DO work in my experience). The sound levels were scientifically measured and the only reduction was purely placebic in nature.

I actually would be curious to see if you find a solution. My bus is far quieter and cooler than a forward control, but even with that long hood I still manage to have cylinders 5 and 6 under a doghouse in the cabin so there is a fair amount of mechanical noise covering up the sweet song of the turbo and there is heat blasting on my feet all the time which can be either a blessing or a curse in Minnesota.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:45 PM   #503
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Noise and heat are no doubt coming thru everywhere. For example, when the radiator fan comes on, I immediately notice more heat on my right foot thru the steel wall in front of the dog house -- even with the foil-coated insulation on the engine side of that wall. And the metal trim on the floor behind the dog house gets too hot to touch.

I harp on this simply to warn people away from this type of bus. There are so many pushers on the market now, that nobody needs to drive a front engine (if they don't need a "draw bridge" in the back). Conventionals, perhaps. But not flat nose front engine like Millicent -- that was a bad idea from the start, IMHO. I need to fiddle with the fuel and transmission linkages and return springs, and it is darned near impossible for human hands to reach in there.

So... I keep thinking of the Crown Solution! The fabrication would be straight forward enough. The question is whether the engine itself can tolerate operating on its side, or if oil would collect somewhere with unfavorable effect. Valve guide seals, for example, can not be expected to control the oil if they are standing in a puddle of it.

And there is the question of making it fit, with adequate ground clearance.

Wonder if there are any modern engines made for flat installation? Maybe a "boxer"? No telling what the Europeans and the Japanese might have in their domestic vehicles. The perfect under-floor 8-liter six-cylinder boxer diesel might as close the nearest bus stop -- somewhere overseas!

Oh, and yes, John, I would probably switch to a stick shift while I was at it. The 643 works OK, but I don't trust it. The weight shift would not be a problem -- we are allowed 20.000 pounds on the rear axle with four tires (and 18-wheeler size tires). When I bought Millicent, the rear axle weighed 9.700 pounds, and on a trip last year, heavily loaded, the rear axle still weighed only 14.150. After all, pushers have the engine cantilevered over the rear.

[Edited to correct major typo on axle weight limit.]
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:07 AM   #504
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Would it be possible to simply build a doghouse for the engine further back? Yes, I know the doghouse is a bit cumbersome, but it really isn't all that tall. Foreign makes have been putting the engine in the middle of the vehicle forever.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:41 AM   #505
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


And... Decades ago, I had a Ford Econoline van with the engine just far enough back that we used the dog house as a middle seat.

Yes, it may be realistic to mount the engine in the normal upright position towards the rear. As you say, it sticks up only something like eight inches, and that's to the intake duct. The valve covers are lower yet. It's the turbo charger that sticks up the most, and it can probably be relocated down to the side of the block (with a massive heat shield between it and the starter!).

Hmmm.... Move the turbo down, and maybe the intake duct could be flattened some. In fact, at a quick glance, it looks like the duct has a spacer that could be removed (where the heat grid is on Dodge pickups). That would leave the engine low enough to stay BELOW WHEEL WELL LEVEL. Raise the floor to wheel well level, with lots of insulation, and the engine could "disappear" under the floor. This is realistic on Millicent, since we have the extra ceiling height. I could taper the floor to the front and the rear so the entry heights would not change. Wonder if it would seem weird to walk on the sloped floor? Might slope the floor in the rear only; one more step in the front would not make much difference.

Huge job, though! And I'd have to redo the bath from scratch.

Too many ideas! But then... raising the roof was an idea once.

EDIT: Second thought.... Make it a "split level" floor -- raised only in the engine area. I have that in my house, and I hate it, but it might be a good compromise for Millicent.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:55 AM   #506
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Did anybody catch my typo on axle weight limit a couple of posts back? Weight limit for one axle is 20.000 pounds. (I wrote 34.000 out of old habit -- two axles).
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:52 PM   #507
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

so now that you have me thinking out of the box, I went out and raised the hood on my 92 dodge diesel pu, the starter is on the drivers/left side and the turbo is on the passenger/right side with a cast crossover to the intake over the valvecovers, the turbo mounts low on the exhaust manifold with the snails lower than the valvecovers, the compressor/intake snail/housing is held on with a band/marmon clamp and can be rotated to any clock position for ease of plumbing, no rules say that the charge air can't be detoured around the engine, front or rear or even thru an aftercooler, you would just need to be aware of restrictions/pressure loss, match up cross section areas and use mandrel bent tubing. it sure looks like you could loose at least 4'' in installed engine height.

the next thought is how much could the engine be lowered in the chassis if it didn't sit above the front axle and need clearance from the axle beam, the biggest factor woild be how much clearance do you need below the flywheel/bellhousing,

would you need to lay the engine on it's side or would a 45% angle lower the installed height enough for a flat floor, a 90% v8 has the cylinders laying over at a 45% angle

how far back in the chassis is back far enough, could you live with a small hump back in the harage floor?

flexible throttle cables, hydraulic clutches and remote shift linkages are all available on cabover/forward control trucks, remote cooling systems with electric fans are also old technology
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:18 PM   #508
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Thanks, VanGuy, but I better not start dreaming of yet another vehicle!

Paul, yes, it is all very doable. My starter is on the passenger side. I know this, because I had to change it in the middle of the Black Rock Desert.
It may be possible for me to simply flip the exhaust manifold up-side-down to lower the turbo. I already have an aftercooler, so the intake ducting goes around the front regardless.

Yes, perhaps a partial tilt might work. It should also be acceptable to move the crankshaft centerline over a bit to the side, within the reasonable limits of the U joints.

But this is strictly a BrainStorm at this point. Too much other Stuff to finish first! But by golly, we are getting great use out of this old bus. 14.000 miles already!
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:22 PM   #509
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Why not just move it to the middle of the bus, and build an "island kitchen" over the top of it? No worry about tilting or the turbos, etc. You may not have use of the drawer space all the way down to the floor, but you could make the kitchen island removable (maybe some wheels to help it slide) for maintenance. Then it is just a matter of mounts and linkages - and a big enough hole in the floor. Extra room up front for another passenger seat!

I have a pusher bus - but that rattling old Carpenter with the Ford 534 back there isn't quiet either!I still love the big tailgate! You just need a better stereo (or a few accordian players).
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #510
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


An Island is certainly a possibility. But that leaves floor space on both sides of the island, which is a waste of precious floor space.

But.... What if.... What if we use the space on one side of the island for something that does not require access from the side? Bunks can perfectly well be accessed from the end -- which is what we do with the top bunks already. An other thing we desperately need is storage shelves for suitcases, ice chests and other luggage. Such things could go in a rack on one side of the engine, accessed from front and/or rear.

No, wait... I have it: Turn Millicent into a pusher! I am not kidding. A normal pusher has the rear axle quite far back, and the engine is at the very tail. Since Millicent's rear axle is quite far forward, we could put the engine far enough forward that it would not interfere with the "beaver tail" loading ramp. I just went out and eyeballed it -- looks realistic. A "dog house" in the middle of the cargo space would not be much of a hindrance. The important thing is that the loading angle is not too steep. I have not yet installed any tanks or other RV Stuff behind the axle, so this would not require re-doing anything else.

An other angle to this is that a guy could buy a pusher and install a "draw bridge" in the rear by relocating the entire drivetrain forward a bit, shortening the wheelbase to front-engine status.

Lemme make a drawing....
.
.
.
.
(edit)


Joompen Jehosafath, this might be the solution!

Somebody with a pusher please go and measure your drive shaft - how short can I make it?

Oh, and we need to figure out the direction of rotation. Do pushers use different rear ends, or is it the same parts just flipped over? I see that the pinion on Millicent is below the centerline, so it may not be realistic to run it up-side-down. Also, the bolt pattern on the pumpkin is not quite symmetrical. Anybody?
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