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Old 12-23-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
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Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Hi - I'm new to the board, although I've been reading the forums since about July. I thought I'd share my bus conversion project called The Cargo Space. It's a 25' 2002 Blue Bird CSFE. Our plan is to convert it to a living space that will sleep up to six (maximum, and for very short trips). (update: I thought I'd replace the wikipedia image with a picture of the actual bus, taken at the time of purchase)

We have a http://www.thecargospace.com where we log our status as the project develops. At the time of this posting, we've cleared out the interior and are just beginning to prep the interior walls, ceiling and metal subfloor for paint.

We'd love to hear any feedback, and in particular if there's anyone who has a CSFE or has experience with them.

Cheers!
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Welcome aboard.... Looks like you're off to a good start. lots of help too....
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:13 PM   #3
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Welcome Cargo Spacers (Somehow it's hard not to think of "Clutch" Cargo)--- Sweet looking little Bird and a terrific sounding project. Happy to hear that Rice has gotten behind something as cool as this. Would love to see/hear more about the art side of this project as my studio is very involved in Houston arts. Hardy & Nance Studios in the old, downtown art warehouse district. We put on the biggest show on the ArtCrawl and are one of the largest independent showplaces for FotoFest Houston.

Shoot me a PM sometime. We might be able to do some kind of benefit show for the project.

And BTW...my bus is even smaller!
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Cargo Space

Nice looking bus.

Anybody who remembers Clutch Cargo and Spinner and Paddlefoot is definitely showing their age, Tango.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Clue #2 --- My bus is younger than I am. Scary huh!?
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Tango, you were born before 1946? WOW!

I thought I was an old guy. My bus is twenty years younger than I.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Some people just like to rub it in don't they? Just remember that age and stealth soon overcome youth and beauty! Merry Christmas all. Jack
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

I've got a question. I've done a few searches on the board relating to repairing holes on the interior walls and ceiling, but I've come up empty. There was a PA system installed in the bus, and it looks like whomever installed the speakers took a 'grind it till you find it' approach to cutting holes in the sheet metal ceiling. These mistakes were hidden by the carpeted luan paneling that was installed throughout. We've jettisoned all of that luan crap, but now we're left with six holes ranging from 6" x 6" to 10" x 10". This is turning out to be a long preamble to my question, which is this: How would you patch these holes? Obviously, we could pull out the ceiling panels and weld patches, but it's wildly inconvenient - grinding off all 50 or 60 (or more) rivets, pulling out 3 or 4 ceiling panels, carefully welding patches. Any suggestions anyone might have would be appreciated. Also, if there's already a discussion thread somewhere, feel free to point me to it. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

May sound silly.....whatcha covering ceiling with in the end?
Will it cover the holes w/o doing anything to them?
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Not a silly question. Our plan is to leave the bare metal. We're taking a KISS approach with the project.

I've found an image of the interior that shows some of the round(ish) holes. The wisdom I've gotten around here is square sheet metal patches overtop screwed in, with maybe some JB Weld to make it rock solid. I investigated the idea of patching from the back, and then using bondo to make the areas 'disappear.' The reading that I've done hasn't been too complimentary to bondo, so we've set that idea aside.



Just to explain some of the rest of the picture, the exposed channel that runs the length of the bus will eventually be where our new electrical conduit will go. We'll fabricate some sort of long box or enclosure that runs the length. The rear AC unit will be removed (as will that current piece of electrical conduit that's currently in the channel.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #11
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Pop rivet little metal squares on the holes. If you want to save time cover the holes with aluminum foil tape.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:33 PM   #12
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

My vote is for putting wood on the ceiling. I put carpet on mine. It helps with insulating.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:44 PM   #13
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Hey Guys --- as everyone has basically noted...only do what you have to do in order to do what you want to do and get where you want to go. In other words, start with what you want your finished product to be/do and work to that end.

If the bare metal appearance is a priority, then carefully welded and finished patch panels are the way to go. Also the biggest hassle. On the other hand, if you can live with visible patches, they can be applied any variety of ways. Welded...pop riveted...screwed on...or glued. Yep...glued. Check out "Sika" corporation. They make a variety of adhesives for sheet metal that are stronger than welding. I used some of their products on an earlier bus conversion and they are truly bad azz. In fact, most cars, buses, trains, airplanes and other such conveyances are largely glued together these days. Many with adhesives from Sika. Forget Bondo. It was never meant for any kind of structural application. And while something like JB Weld or PC-7 might hold a patch in place, they are not very good at dealing with resonant vibration over time. That requires a little bit of built in flex, which the right adhesives do have.

Personally, I would still consider some form of sound attenuating/absorbing material over the steel roof regardless of what patching route you go. It really does make a world of difference when rolling down the road in a big ol' tin box with a diesel vibrator attached to one end.

Keep up the good work and let us know how work out this particular riddle.

BTW...still want to talk to you folks about the "art" side of this project. I'll be around my studio a lot over the coming weeks.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:54 PM   #14
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Nice bus and very nice windows.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:42 AM   #15
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

I suggestion is what is called "panel" adhesive. Body shops use it and you can get it at auto paint stores.
I use it when patching big holes and attaching non stressed body parts. Many newer cars are assembled this way.
I fixed a huge rusted out hole over 9 inches around right in the middle of his p/u roof. I can weld a patch in and some of you know the pain that's can cause due to heat warping..
I cut out all the rust ground it good and made a device to firmly hold the panel in place under neath and "bondo" the small depression in the roof. Material was very thin.
When I finished the guy couldn't tell there was a hole there.

an example:

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detai ... &ppt=C0171
That one you need the dispensing gun and that critter isn't cheap. You can get it in two tubes and mix it together.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:49 AM   #16
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Ah, fellow Houstonian (Houstonite?)!! Looks like a fun project and a very nice bus.

We're currently working on a conversion at a metal fabrication shop up in the Heights area. If you need anything, holler!
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #17
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Thanks, everyone. The spirit of community on this board is one of the reasons I felt confident about moving ahead with my project.

I'm going to go with adhesive and simply make square patches to cover over the holes. Again, running up against another issue, there is a slight embossed pattern on the metal of the ceiling. The sheet metal that I have is smooth. Even if I welded new pieces in, I'd still have that difference in textures between the old metal and the new. So, adhesive on metal patches.

These may seem like trivial issues, and they are, but I worry about compromise. If I'm willing to settle now, then will I settle later when I face bigger challenges. I'm landing on having the strength to accept the things I can't change, yadda yadda.

Tango, I sent you a personal message, but it clearly hasn't gone through. Feel free to email me via sperandio@rice.edu - I'd love to have you over and to see what you're up to.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:40 AM   #18
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Ahhh, TWO MORE Houstonians with Bus fetishes!...Excellent!

Inevitable --- I had no idea the very cool CSFE project was taking place here in town. Outstanding. Would love to swap stories, sources, etc. sometime. Used to live in the Heights myself.

Cargo --- Nope...haven't seen a PM but will be happy to get together and will shoot you a note right away. Maybe we should include Inevitable and have a true gathering of the local conversion clan. Regardless of any interim coffee klatch plans, you are all invited over to my art studio on the 19th of this month. We host an Open Studios event the third Saturday of every month. Typically about 40 artists showing, a little liquid refreshment, occasionally some music, that sort of thing. You can find info & a map here...

http://hardystreetstudios.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:19 PM   #19
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Sounds good - let's have coffee.

FYI: We're holding an event for the Cargo Space on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 8PM to 10PM at Sewall Hall on Rice campus. There are another of other art events in the building that evening and we'll also have refreshments. I'll post a detailed description and map closer to the day on thecargospace.com. Pencil it in and check back for details. It's a mid-point open house. None of the systems (electric, propane, water) will be installed, so it's just a glorified excuse to show off the bus as we continue to work, and also it's a little party for the scads of volunteers who've helped thus far (and a thinly veiled volunteer recruitment effort). There's also a newspaper article slated to appear as soon as next week - I gave this site a plug, but we'll see if it makes it into print...
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #20
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Re: Cargo Space - Blue Bird CSFE conversion

Wow! We should have coffee! My email is Sperandio@rice.edu. Give me a holler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_inevitable
Ah, fellow Houstonian (Houstonite?)!! Looks like a fun project and a very nice bus.

We're currently working on a conversion at a metal fabrication shop up in the Heights area. If you need anything, holler!
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