Continuing the Betty story to get caught up to the present...
First order of business was to gut the interior of all the fur and other such trappings and get as much dust as we could out. We also put on some temporary plywood patches for big holes in the roof just to get it by for a while. Sorta waterproof, but good enough until we got things to the point where there couldn't be any leaks.
No pictures alas, but needless to say there were piles of fur and tons of wires that no longer did anything at all. Lots of the original wires remained from old bus lights and features, but they were no longer functioning
Down to Berkeley for a Lift and a Paint Job
At this point the bus went down to Berkeley where my daughter is, and she and her fiance took advantage of the facilities where they worked to do a lift of the bus. Basically it was chopped just above the windows, lifted with a forklift, then 1' long 1x1 steel posts welded in, and a new skin added on to fill the space. My daughter has a blog with some great photos and narration on the lift at the mellow fellow goes for a ride: Days 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 (oh my!)
with plenty of pictures.
Back up to Oregon
Fast forward now after the lift and several trips up and down the west coast, along with a first coat of white paint, the interior metal stripped from walls and ceiling, and some foam put in to give some insulation (both sound and temperature) since the bus was heading to Burning Man again
Tackling Those Roof Holes
Earlier I mentioned there were some temp patched holes on the roof. At some point a big opening had been hacked into the roof for access, as well as a series of holes so that a steering wheel extension could be run down to the drivers area so the bus could be driven from the roof. Kind of crazy but that's what you get from an old art car.
The plywood patches weren't doing much in the rain, so it was time to take care of them a bit more properly.
First up, wire wheeling things all clean up there in preparation for some metal patches with some relatively thin stuff that was available...
Then the patches, put down with sheet metal screws and liberal (but in the end not liberal enough) amounts of caulk between...
Unfortunately, the seals weren't that great, which I found out in the first good rain. The leaks were compounded by the fact that the flat roof was somewhat dished down in the middle from years of people dancing on top of it at Burning Man. When it rained, perhaps 3/16" or so of water would pool up around the big rectangular patch, and proceed to just find any little hole there was.
Roof leaks were a pain. As mentioned above it was due to not so great caulking on my part combined with a dipped roof that pooled water. The solution ended up being two fold: get up on the roof in the rain and put on lots of Henry wet patch tar up around the joints until it stopped, and put wooden posts in temporarily to push the roof up from inside.
The patches did the job but it took a lot of repeat applications, and since the rain lasted a long time I actually found a number of other smaller pinpoint leaks I also fixed. It's not pretty, and I'll probably regret that Henry wet patch some day, but it stopped the leaks.
In the end there was one final small leak that was driving me crazy near the front, and getting tired of the routine broke down and gave the bus a raincoat.