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Old 11-20-2015, 10:07 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NoGA
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: GMC Micro Bluebird
Engine: 6.5 TD
Rated Cap: 19 ... 4 window
B.S.U.R. or just B.

B.S.U.R. S.U.C.I.M,I.M.

So read the title and lyrics to an old James Taylor song. My wife and I have shortened up that simple message to ... Just Be ... or "B" ... and that is the name of our bus.

I introduced B to y'all back in this thread:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/another-short-skoolie-10865.html

After much maintenance work, many false starts and other hang-ups ... I FINALLY have a blank canvas.

As a mechanic, I wanted to make certain that B was right for the road before doing anything else. I got B through a private sale, not an auction. I was able to spend a lot of time looking her over before I paid any money. Now that I've got her stripped down, I can see that the inspection paid off ... she really is in very good shape. I have ZERO rust or rot problems to deal with ... and a sound diesel engine.

I pulled out the seats, floors, walls, insulation, signs, warning buzzers and mirrors I didn't want. I also carved out all of the old caulking, power-washed the exterior, with particular attention to the roof and its seams. I re-caulked the hull with elastomeric caulk and put 3 coats of elastomeric paint on the upper part of the bus and roof.

Once I knew the hull was OK ... I brought all the bus mechanicals up to snuff. The engine is in very good shape and runs nicely. I saw a small drip from the water pump, and an oil leak from the front of the engine. I power washed the engine bay and got started, with almost 200,000 miles, I replaced the timing chain, front seal, harmonic balancer, valve cover gaskets, water pump and thermostats, flushed the cooling system, new belts and hoses and put 4 new tires on the rear, which, with the 2 new tires that came on the front, gives me a complete new set of tires on the bus.

I have the parts on hand to do the brakes, wheel bearings and grease seals. As soon as I get a nice day, I'll do a complete brake job.

As I said, the floor is in VERY good shape. It will get a pro-forma anti-rust paint job.

I insulated the walls with a double layer of 3/4 inch thick rigid foam, the white stuff from Home Depot. A double layer fit perfectly between the stiffening members in the walls.

After locating a wiring diagram for the Bluebird coach stuff, I stripped out the stuff I didn't want, and modified the interior/exterior lights and switches to a form and purpose I could use.

FINALLY, I have a solid and reliable blank canvas to work with.

Let the games begin.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:11 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,108
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Man I want one of these!

Keep the updates coming, we need more of these mini-buses on here.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:11 AM   #3
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That's a great looking bus. I hope to steal all your good ideas so please update frequently as I'm right behind you in my development.
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:20 AM   #4
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Coachwork: GMC Micro Bluebird
Engine: 6.5 TD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHarkness View Post
That's a great looking bus. I hope to steal all your good ideas so please update frequently as I'm right behind you in my development.
Thank you. This bus is the perfect size for my wife and I. We are both under 5"8", so there is plenty of head space. B will fit in most parking spaces AND I can park her on the concrete pad behind my home to avoid problems with the HOA.

I'm hoping to remember to post "Things That Work" ... tools materials and techiniques that I found useful ... and also "What Doesn’t Work", when necessary.

B is going to be kept as simple as I can make it. Although I'm a fairly good carpenter, I will be using 1" square steel tubing to frame the various walls and etc. this build will require. Steel tubing is strong, light, easy to work with, fairly cheap ... and takes up a lot less room than 2x4"s. I have the tools, including a MIG welder ... but the truth is, anybody with tanks and torches could weld just as nice as the MIG welder can.

Since I have a bit of a back ground in small boats, the floor plan will reflect that of a daysailer, or small weekend sailboat: aisle up the middle, small composting head (no shower), small but useful galley, and a dinette / settee / bed combination.

The floor plan is pretty much set in stone, the construction of the dinette may change a little.

I wanted to make the space useful, and have a lot of room for storage. If my plan for the storage shelf unit works out ... it should be pretty neat.
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:50 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NoGA
Posts: 200
Year: 2000
Coachwork: GMC Micro Bluebird
Engine: 6.5 TD
Rated Cap: 19 ... 4 window
Things That Work

Since I started building model cars and airplanes back in the early 1960's, I have used a LOT of glues and adhesives.

GOOP is one of the toughest adhesives I have ever found.

The rubber seal found on the bottom of the engine's doghouse cover is ALWAYS a pita for a mechanic. The yellow 3M Weatherstrip is ...OK ... but in this application I have always found that GOOP WORKS! I'm sure that I will be using a lot of this stuff in this build.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:46 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NoGA
Posts: 200
Year: 2000
Coachwork: GMC Micro Bluebird
Engine: 6.5 TD
Rated Cap: 19 ... 4 window
Btw...

Ever wonder how all that water got into your bus and rotted out the floors?

Although the caulk in the roof seams and windows let in a bunch ... I'm figuring THESE are where most of my water leaks came from.

When you inspect your bus pre-purchase, remember to look UP at these. If they are cracked or broken, you can bet they are letting in water.

Replacements can be found on Amazon or Ebay for $35 to $40.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:53 PM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,108
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
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Yep, they are a good way for water to get in. My roof hatches were the worst, though. STILL repairing the rust from all the moisture they let in over the years.
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:34 AM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Posts: 200
Year: 2000
Coachwork: GMC Micro Bluebird
Engine: 6.5 TD
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Things That Work

Need to bolt something to the wall, ceiling or floor of your project? Need a threaded fastener in a place you simply cannot get a nut or tools?

I LOVE threaded inserts. (NOT Helicoils) I've been using these things since before Porsche 2.7 engines were pulling studs out of their engine case ... and NEVER had a failure.

This particular type are called Rivnuts (aka., Nutcerts). Simple, easy, fast AND cheap. I got 20 of them from Amazon for $6.89. http://www.amazon.com/20Pcs-Steel-Ri.../dp/B00W8YJ9SA

That's 20 times I won't have to crawl under the bus to bolt something to the floor!

The only requirement is that you must have a solid bit of metal to install them into. Do NOT expect these things to stay in a rotten floor.

As the pictures show, these things are internally threaded ... you can get several sizes but I am working with 5/16" course fasteners.

This vid shows the entire process better then I can tell it.



Make an appropriate sized hole, push in the rivnut, pull up the back of the rivnut with a bolt and nut (you really don't need the special tool) ... and Bob's yer Uncle as they say on the British Car shows.

Yes, the outter flange of the Rivnut does prevent you from getting both surfaces of the parts you are assembling tight up against each other ... but I'm certain that a clever lad will figure out a way to make that happen. (HINT: Countersink the hole that the bolt is going to pass through. Just a bit should do it.)

As I mentioned, l will be using 1" square steel tubing to frame all the walls, shelves and furniture going into B. All of them will be bolted securely to wall, floor and/or ceiling (using the existing roof framing) using Rivnuts.

Rivnuts Work!
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:51 AM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: GMC Micro Bluebird
Engine: 6.5 TD
Rated Cap: 19 ... 4 window
Things That Work

Rigid Foam insulation in the walls of your schoolie ... Wwwwaaaaayyyyy better than fiberglas insulation made for houses and better for your bus than Great Stuff spray in foam.

I did the installation just like Karlimh, as seen in his vid:

Hoophouse - HOOPHOUSE BUS

I chose the 3/4 inch foam boards because they are a little easier to stuff in the spaces. I did the entire insulation installation in under an hour. Remember to stagger your seams, or cover them with tape.

I will be using it in other places during this build as well.

Find it at Home Depot. A bag of Six 13 3/4 x 48" boards runs about $10.00.
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:35 AM   #10
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Welcome

Nice description on nut inserts. I like them also.

I love the strength and other characteristics of steel over wood framing.

However, how will you keep your bolts into the metal bus from causing a thermal bridge?

Thermal bridges cause condensation, frost, rust, and mold.

Nat
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