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Old 12-29-2013, 09:53 AM   #1
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Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

From 2010-2011 our family of 9 toured the US in a tour bus, and it was nice (http://www.ourbigtrip.us). I spoke many times with my sons about building our own bus someday. That day came last week, when we found and bought this one. The 4WD hooked me on this particular bus, and we're thinking 'adventure bus'. One of the best things I did during OurBigTrip was to keep a journal/blog, so I'm going to start that again, with this one. WITNESS the beginning of the adventure bus blog

The history is a Wyoming school district bought new, then arancher in WY used it to move trailers around his property- came with a second set of rims/tires already chained up.

Paint? No problem, the body is straight and the small holes can be welded/sanded... I'm thinking about a rattle can paint job, and rolling the roof. Galvanized metal sheds paint I hear, so we're looking at h2o based aerosols.

First impressions? Tips?
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:07 AM   #2
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

mmm first impressions?
.
.
.
you suck

and that shorty will not work for you!!!!!....you can delivery it to TN if you want


Seriously...welcome and look forward to the build and use of it

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Old 12-30-2013, 12:44 PM   #3
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Great find! In looking at your pics I am wondering if the paint problem isn't something other than galvanizing. Some years ago auto mfgs were required by the EPA to use water borne primer. Of course the water in the paint caused rust to begin under the factory paint jobs and many repaints had to be done. The cure was to bake the waterborn primer HOT and fast to drive off the water before it could start the rusting problem. The upshot was that while the rust problem was solved, hard baking the primer made the primer so hard that the finish coat could not get a good bite into it and eventually began to fall off (still common with whites, silvers amd yellows for some reason). I can see in your pics where the yellow paint has flaked off on both the original and aftermarket body sections (grey-green areas are almost certaintly baked water born primer) and since Ford did not galvanize their outter bodies back when your bus was built I doubt that galvanizing is the problem. The primer can be scuffed with 320 grit dry sandpaper and refinished with non water based bug bomb paint with satisfactory results--other than the shine won't last unless frequently waxed.

In areas (probably only in the aftermarket body areas) where you do find galvanized material, use a razor blade to chip back away from the damaged spots, scrub the spots with a Scotchbright pad soaked in vinegar, rinse the spots with water, sand well with 320 grit sandpaper, bug bomb with etching primer and paint as above.

In my opinion I'd say don't use latex paint. While it is quick and cheap, it does not stand up to automotive use for long. In any event, you will still need to do the prep work as above or neither oil base nor latex will stick for long. Hope this made sense?
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

I'm guessing the family of 9 has downsized some? You could fit several copies of your new bus inside the former palace! Or are you making a day tripper for family adventure excursions with no living facilities?

Anyway, whatever your plans, welcome!
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Nice find!!!!!
that bus looks like it could be a lot of fun.

i look forward to the journal.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:17 AM   #6
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Rustoleum has spray cans and paint you can roll on, it's what we used, I sprayed the rub rails and used 1inch foam roller for the rest
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:34 PM   #7
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt
Great find! In looking at your pics I am wondering if the paint problem isn't something other than galvanizing. Some years ago auto mfgs were required by the EPA to use water borne primer. Of course the water in the paint caused rust to begin under the factory paint jobs and many repaints had to be done. The cure was to bake the waterborn primer HOT and fast to drive off the water before it could start the rusting problem. The upshot was that while the rust problem was solved, hard baking the primer made the primer so hard that the finish coat could not get a good bite into it and eventually began to fall off (still common with whites, silvers amd yellows for some reason). I can see in your pics where the yellow paint has flaked off on both the original and aftermarket body sections (grey-green areas are almost certaintly baked water born primer) and since Ford did not galvanize their outter bodies back when your bus was built I doubt that galvanizing is the problem. The primer can be scuffed with 320 grit dry sandpaper and refinished with non water based bug bomb paint with satisfactory results--other than the shine won't last unless frequently waxed.

In areas (probably only in the aftermarket body areas) where you do find galvanized material, use a razor blade to chip back away from the damaged spots, scrub the spots with a Scotchbright pad soaked in vinegar, rinse the spots with water, sand well with 320 grit sandpaper, bug bomb with etching primer and paint as above.

In my opinion I'd say don't use latex paint. While it is quick and cheap, it does not stand up to automotive use for long. In any event, you will still need to do the prep work as above or neither oil base nor latex will stick for long. Hope this made sense?

Right on! That's the kind of input that helps, so thanks.

My paint-master-teacher (Lou at Ace Hardware) seems to know everything about every paint, ever- and he pointed me toward Rustoleum with a zinc repair prep primer underneath. He said the vineager wouldn't hurt, or I could use the $10/quart mild acid ; I (and my sons) will be spending most of the time prepping once the weather warms up and then using the ACE RUST-STOP (in SCHOOL BUS YELLOW, no kidding) to cover with light coats until perfect. Lou said the RUST STOP was comparable to Rustoleum, which I've heard is the best bet for cheap-os DIYers like us. I'll bet it turns out nice!

I'll keep reading the wisdom here and share the location of our journal once we set a location.

Thanks, and we'll talk soon!

Mark
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:39 PM   #8
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

That's some good tech Ol Trunt. Thanks for making sense of that all to common problem.

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Old 01-03-2014, 03:40 PM   #9
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Good news! A friend (that is a great body man/painter) whom I was too afraid to ask for another favor, offered today to shoot it with single stage paint at cost, if we prep it.

Little victories

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Old 01-03-2014, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Hey Cobus. Just a heads up about using school bus yellow. First let me say that I too like the color and have used an even brighter version of it on my Toad ( 2007 Toyota FJ, Sun fusion yellow). I'll only be using the yellow for accent on my bus as I have learned that the Feds have gotten into the school bus color game, renamed school bus yellow "National School Bus Glossy Yellow" and are pushing the states to accept the uniform standard. Their directrive mandates that only school busses in active duty shall be of NSBGY coloration and no non active duty school bus shall be operated until the color is changed.

BTW, I have discovered that the bright yellows cover with less paint and fewer blotches if applied over a bright white first coat.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:10 PM   #11
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Many states (mine included) require you to re-paint what used to called "National School Bus Chrome" if registering for non-school/non-camp operation. Here, we get only 2 weeks, I think. Most officers will leave you alone if passing through with out-of-state plates, if yellow is legal in the state of registration.

But there have been stories here on the board of people who have been pulled over just for being yellow in a non-yellow state, even when legal in the state of registration. It probably does not happen that often, but why give them a reason? If you are going to shoot the whole bus, you might as well change the color, if only by just enough to avoid confusion or confrontation.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:39 PM   #12
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

The gov couldn't very well call it chrome yellow any longer since they baned chromium ion in paint--in the case of yellow (and some reds) the lack of chrome is the reason these colors don't cover worth a hoot. I'm sure we'll all live longer without chromium unless we govern ourselves to death first
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:44 PM   #13
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

I'm sure the government spent years and billions of dollars deciding that chromium (and incandescent light bulbs and 32 oz. sodas and oil paint and...) are really, really bad for us and they're just protecting us from ourselves. (that lobotomy they gave me really gave me a whole new outlook on life!)
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:03 PM   #14
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
lobotomy they gave me really gave me a whole new outlook on life!)
Now you are ready for the management team!! WOOT!!
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:32 PM   #15
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

Forget management! Now I can be a senator!
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:12 PM   #16
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Senator? Why Hell boy I'll nominate you for president--notice the small p in President? wouldn't want to offend anyone. Oh well why worry about that now? PRESIDENT!
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:29 PM   #17
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

PRESIDENT. I like the sound of that. I'd bring all my bus buddies along and we'd rule the country with great disrespect for "how things should be done."

This country would be a much better place - at least for us.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:55 AM   #18
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

A painting method that have used twice successfully. Go to this page of my thread. Scroll down just a bit.

Read about TSP cleaner and oil based enamel exterior house paint.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10764&start=120
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:03 AM   #19
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Re: Introduction: 1981 4WD Ford/Collins Ind short bus

That is the sweetest mini-bus ever!!

I've seen plenty of "adventure vans" of that time time and model, but never a mini bus!! What is the clearance inside there and off the ground??

Congrats on the paint job score (what goes around comes around, so pass it around)
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