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Old 01-14-2008, 03:37 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: 1985 Chevy Short Bus

Hi there,

Thanks for keeping me on-track, Shortbus. I had some ups and downs this week. I talked to a mechanic last week, who was open Saturdays. That is perfect, since I wouldn't have time to get my bus to a mechanic during the week. We talked about my bus, and that it needed to get tuned up to pass smog, etc..

So, I got up early Saturday morning, drove it over there, to meet the guy. He said that I "never explained it was a bus" and never told him that it didn't pass smog. I gently reminded him that we talked for 20 minutes about it, but he told me I was wrong. Anyway, the owner of the shop came over, we started chatting, looking at the bus, and he secretly loved it, and said he'd be happy to work on it, but they had over-booked their mechanics that day. and he was apologetic.

So, long story short, I am taking it back there next week, hopefully, and dealing directly with the owner.

I spent most of Sunday, tearing half of the wooden box off the top, and taking out a few of the seats, which is going great so far. There isn't much rust anywhere, and all the screws/bolts are coming out just fine.

As for the transmission, I got to crawling around underneath, and noticed that the transmission modulator hose was completely unhooked. I figure that's probably a big issue as to why it was shifting strangely, since as far as I know, it helps tell the transmission when to shift. A trip to the local parts store, and I got a new air filter, new PCV valve (was completely "gunked up"), and a new transmission modulator, and things are definitely looking up.

Next weekend, I will get the rest of box off, and the seats out, and take some more pics. I've been kicking some floor plans around in my head, and am leaning towards a full/queen size bed lengthwise, across the back of the bus. That way, it's over that heater box, that is trouble-some to remove, and I can build drawers underneath it for storage. I still have decided if I am going to remove some of the windows or not, we'll see. I am also thinking heavily about putting a small wood stove in there someplace.

I feel like I've rambled a lot, but I am just so darn excited to have a skoolie!

Thanks!
-Nathan
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:32 PM   #12
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Re: 1985 Chevy Short Bus

Well, I played hooky from work today, and dug into work on my bus. I got the seats out, and most of the roof rack off the top of the bus. I also found a picture of my bus, in its previous "churchly" duty. I thought it was kind of funny, so have included it here.

Here's what it looked like until last August:


I got all the seats out pretty easily. Didn't need to grind any screws off at all. It just took a lot of elbow grease and a socket set:


I also got most of the wooden box of the top of the bus. You'll notice my lovely workshop, a semi-industrial back alley street, near my buddy's work:


I don't know if this is the manufacturer or not, but was the only info. I could find:




I don't really know what this stuff is. It's in a box, above the driver's seat. I wonder if its the electronics for flashing lights or something? Most of the wires have been cut, and I didn't feel like trying to figure it out yet:


Well, that's about it for now. My friend and I are going to take the wooden floor out tomorrow, and clean the interior up. First, I have to head to the dump in the morning and get rid of some of this stuff.

After that, we're going to put some kind of vapor barrier sealant down, and head to Home Depot to debate flooring ideas.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:50 PM   #13
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Re: 1985 Chevy Short Bus

Did the vacuum modulator clear things up? You're right about having it disconnected being an issue. With it disconnected the transmission isn't seeing any vacuum, just like if you were at wide open throttle pulling a big load.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:57 AM   #14
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Re: 1985 Chevy Short Bus

You know, I haven't actually driven it since changing the modulator out. Tomorrow is the big test. Yesterday, I went to the DMV and got it all registered and legal, so I am not as worried driving it around.

I have a feeling it will probably help a fair bit, since the transmission will now know what's going on. It seems to make sense, if it thought I was at full throttle, it would wait until forever to shift, to get the most power.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:55 PM   #15
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Re: 1985 Chevy Short Bus

Yeah, I ended up just tearing the whole thing off the roof, and chucking it. I thought about keeping some of it, but I am pretty much going to re-build the deck anyway. The previous owner hadn't sealed the holes in the roof at all, so for now I sprayed a bunch of that expanding foam in there, to hopefully keep the water out.

I also finished ripping up the rubber mat, and wood floor too. My buddy and I wire brushed the metal floor, and vacuumed everything out, then sprayed Rust-oleum everywhere. My next plan is to throw some kind of vapor barrier down there, and then a new plywood sheet, along with some of that fake Purgo flooring stuff (may be able to get some free leftovers).

Oh, fixing that transmission modulator hose made a world of difference. There is no more leaking transmission fluid, and the thing shifts like a dream. It makes me very happy, as my mind was racing, envisioning monsterous repair costs.

One last question for anyone, in terms of roof decks. I've been looking on the forums, but wasn't sure. If I want to build a roof deck, that would hold at least, say 5 people, are there specific points that I need to bolt into, on the roof? I didn't want to tear the roof apart, just to look for beams. I was even thinking about having posts bolted to the floor, that come up to the roof, to support the deck. What do you guys think?

Thanks!
-Nathan
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:53 PM   #16
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Re: 1985 Chevy Short Bus

My roof easily supports 20 people over its length. Even still, when I get around to building my roof rack I'm going to try and tie into the vertical studs between the windows. There are also the bows that go from side to side (as well as a pair of longitudinal rails on mine) that would make a good point even just to run the joists across. That way if it flexed at all it would contact a rather strong point on the roof. To find the framework is pretty easy. Just follow the rivets. They all have to go into something more substantial than just the sheet metal.
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:45 PM   #17
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Re: 1985 Chevy Short Bus

Thanks for the info. about the roof. I figured I'd bolt into the lengthwise areas, where the rivets are, but wasn't sure. I'll take a look and try to find the supports running side to side as well. I don't plan to have 20 people up there or anything, but the last thing I wanted is for the roof to crack or something.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:39 PM   #18
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Re: 1985 Chevy Short Bus

How is the floor coming?
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