Hey thanks to EVERYBODY, I appreciate the input on the heater core piping especially. I'm going to proceed with the compression cap fittings as I originally discussed and I'll tell you how that goes.
On another note, I dropped her off for the brake work and due to sticker shock ($1,100 for front and $1,100 for rear rotors and pads) have to delay the work until the Spring so that I can use the current budget for the roof raise. However, in doing so I got a little gift. While at the shop there was an "incident" whereby my rear door was banged up. Apparently a firetruck lost its parking brake and rolled enough into my bus to shatter the upper window, dent the door panel near the handle, and crack the lower window.
They were sooper apologetic and tried hard to make it right. After thinking about it I told them not to worry about it (knowing I would be removing the rear door and replacing the entire rear section with sheet metal anyway) and to instead waive the ~$300 diagnostic fee I was into them for and I'll be fine. They took about two seconds to agree so I'm making friends at the local shop now which is always a good thing. So, in the Spring I'll have them pull out the diagnostic paperwork and do all the brake work since it's just going to pretty much sit while I do the roof raise and build out anyway except for periodic runs up and down my street.
Speaking of the roof raise, I'm building my army to take that on once I get her back. Ala "Millicent Chronicles" (thanks again brother!) I have my four farm jacks and am fabricating the brackets, here are two of four:
Not pretty, I know, but they'll do the trick. The one thing I can't make out from his pics is the connection at the top of the riser piece where it connects to the bus framing. I've starred and starred at his pics and I can't tell if he made that out of angle or what, and if he welded it to the frames or what. Do any of your hosers know, or can you recommend something?
I'm leaning towards bolting an angle to the top of the riser so that it can adjust into place and then bolting that through the bus frame. I'd weld it (and maybe still as well) but don't trust my welding skills enough quite yet.