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Old 06-09-2016, 06:53 PM   #101
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North carolina
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Year: 1986
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Chassis: Ford
Engine: Detroit 8.2
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Originally Posted by TAOLIK View Post
Dan-Fox, thank you for the flattering words! I probably re-read them a thirty times or so (give or take) to flatter my ego. I was hoping to find a creative way to respond with an update but I haven't gotten around to taking any pictures. However I will briefly summarize my accomplishments since my last update below.

1. I did a half-assed clean where I got rid of some but not all of my clutter.

2. I organized my wire mess slightly.

3. Did a mediocre install job on a segal lock which I installed in anticipation of my upcoming battery box project.

4. Begun tearing staples out of some dumpster plywood I've had cluttering my garage for a year now.

5. I did a modest amount of shopping for a bunch of crap which includes.

5a. a Magnum SBC 'smart battery combiner' to combine my house and starter batteries.
5b. 4x of these led lights to replace my front side flashers (7" Clear LED School Bus Back-Up Light) (not sure if they will fit yet)
5b. LED 12v Lights "natural lighting" (not great quality) and "warm lighting" (haven't tried these yet)

6. Garage/shop work: sold a broken sandwich cooler I had for way too long, made a more stable workbench with random crap I had laying around.

I'll try to include pictures before next year to make this post more interesting.
Hi, in regards to the new 7" lights in your post? I have been looking for them?
And you found them.
If you don't mind? I have a few questions?
My bus is a single wire system. We're the lights you installed single wire?
Everything LED I have found is multi-pin?
The other is I want mine as reverse lights in the back and a form of fog lamps in the front? I know you said in another post that they weren't all that good?
But if I made solid spacers to direct the back towards the ground and the ones on the front towards my front fender corners would they be worth it?
I was just about ready to blank off the holes and go with KC light style which I didn't want?
You have what I have been trying to find so any opinion good or bad is appreciated. Speak it however you feel you ain't gonna hurt my feelings.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:24 PM   #102
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Year: 1987
Jack and Family wagon: thank you for your input. Air leaking in to the battery box sounds more ideal to me, however any chance of an explosion near my gas tank frightens me enough that I will be willing to let some hydrogen leak out, even if the fans are brushless I would rather not risk it.

Caddilac: Just to clarify, I believe these hydrogen gassing batteries in question are flooded agm "golf cart" batteries, anything that is sealed should not leak hydrogen gas unless the casing is damaged.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:49 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
My bus is a single wire system. We're the lights you installed single wire?
Everything LED I have found is multi-pin?
I am not 100% sure what you mean by single wire system, but I'm going to assume my bus is also a single wire system. I grounded the lights to the frame where the flashers were grounded, and I have these connected parallel to a single 10AWG wire which is wired to the stop sign switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
The other is I want mine as reverse lights in the back and a form of fog lamps in the front? I know you said in another post that they weren't all that good?
But if I made solid spacers to direct the back towards the ground and the ones on the front towards my front fender corners would they be worth it?
I don't know what is worth it for you, it's worth noting I got a free beer coozie with my lights. As far as these lights are concerned, I think their light shines about solid 20-30ft, I was expecting the 4 of these to be like super illegal high beams. I haven't driven my bus since that night, but I did bolt the drivers seat back down so I could probably give you a better answer later this month. Making spacers is a really good idea, at some point in the next 5 years, I may do that if I remember. If you're just looking for increased visibility (under 20 ft) while reversing, I think these will be fine for you. If you're looking to blind any cars behind you, or spot bears in the woods while you reverse, these probably won't work out for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
You have what I have been trying to find so any opinion good or bad is appreciated. Speak it however you feel you ain't gonna hurt my feelings.
Originally I was planning to just get new 7" clear lens covers to put over the existing halogen lamps. I forgot the price, but the difference in price made me decide to just get LED's because halogen lamps use more electricity and will burn out sooner or alter and need to be replaced.

Overall I'd say that I probably didn't need to spend $130 on a mostly cosmetic upgrade like these so early in the build when I have other financial priorities, however I liked them enough to not return them so I have no regrets. Worth noting that I haven't replaced my back flashers yet, since I'm pretty blind back there, I'll probably just sheet over the back OR use them as extra brake lights. If you are like me and you think the look of these lights are really badass, go for it. I hope this helps.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:32 AM   #104
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I'm not sure how worried I would be about the hydrogen.

I think the main point to keeping the batteries contained (and NOT inside the vehicle) is that if one explodes, the battery box will contain the mess of acid and other slop from the battery - rather then spraying it inside the vehicle.

It's not the fire part of the explosion, it's the fact that things are instantly coated with a mist of acid.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:18 AM   #105
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This is all great conversation.
One thing it brings to mind- my old vw's always had batteries under the back seat.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:20 AM   #106
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ECCB, I personally saw one of those batteries blow up after a battery charger had been left hooked up to it by accident over night. When we entered the shop in the morning, the whole building smelled like rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide) and the instant the the mechanic opened the VW's door, the battery blew up taking out the rear windows and soaking the entire interior of the car with acid. Luckily the mechanic received only minor acid burns, but the car was deemed a total loss.

Lead acid batteries like the golf cart batteries so many of us use for house power do emit hydrogen during charging and hydrogen is very easily ignited. Convenient though it may have been, VW's choice of placing the battery under the rear seat was not safe. Jack
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:23 AM   #107
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Lead/acid batteries = Hydrogen gas. You know...hydrogen...like in the Hindenburg...?

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Old 06-12-2016, 12:13 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
ECCB, I personally saw one of those batteries blow up after a battery charger had been left hooked up to it by accident over night. When we entered the shop in the morning, the whole building smelled like rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide) and the instant the the mechanic opened the VW's door, the battery blew up taking out the rear windows and soaking the entire interior of the car with acid. Luckily the mechanic received only minor acid burns, but the car was deemed a total loss.

Lead acid batteries like the golf cart batteries so many of us use for house power do emit hydrogen during charging and hydrogen is very easily ignited. Convenient though it may have been, VW's choice of placing the battery under the rear seat was not safe. Jack
I always stuck an optima under there and never had any issues, but its very interesting that they did choose to stick it under there.
In all my years of VW enthusiasm, I've never heard of any issues until the anecdote you jsut presented, Jack. Thanks, man!
One thing though- anytime I had to charge a battery when I wasn't using the Optima, I took it out of the car.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:46 PM   #109
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Looks like I somehow overlooked some discussion and anecdotes on the explosive nature of hydrogen, regardless I'm pleased to see my thread getting some attention from some of the forum regulars.

Also for Mr. Jolly roger, I took the bus for an evening drive the other day, and my LED flasher's are very bright, I have no trouble reccomending their performance for your rear lights if they are slanted. Except they may be visually intrusive for anyone behind you.

This past two weeks has been an emotional roller coaster, I had a few other pictures I thought I emailed to myself last night, but apparently I didn't. However I really wanted to share my progress while my residual tenacity lingers so here we are. I ordered some 18 gauge galvannealed sheeting from a metal shop (pacific metals) very close to me in Kent. I made a few last minute changes (some necessary, some not) and as a result had my plans delayed. I went back and forth, but I decided that having them professionally cut to size was well worth it. I forgot to look at the receipt closely but the cuts were $35 total and the sheets were $64 a piece I believe, I'm pretty sure I paid 9.5% tax as well, but financial review is an end of the month thing for me. Luckily one of my kitchen staff has some personal issues with his housing situation bad enough to make him want to spend his day off in my bus- also he owed me a small favor. Now the pictures!

I painted 2 layers of primer on the outside, and 1 layer of primer on the inside before putting the work in, I caulked between with polyurethane based caulk. I followed somewhereinusa's procedure and used a wooden structure with cheap bottlejacks to hold the metal on. It worked REALLY well. I couldn't imagine doing this any other way.

I reparked my bus in a fairly level area at the end of my driveway. Due to a sloppy uncalculated mistake I made with thin gauge extension cords and my neighbors GFCI outlet, the first half of the work was done by trolling the air compressor back and forth between my neighbors garage to the bus. It was a little frustrating but worked out, the neighbors later brought out some thicker gauge extension cord to keep progress steady, huge help.

I followed some of aarsonsb's suggestions from my window skinning input thread one of which was to use cleco's as temporary fastener, they were EXTREMELY helpful.


I drilled my pilot holes with 11/64 cobalt bits, I also made two uneven poorly designed jiggs(one of my last minute changes to the cut) to consistently distribute my bad measuring skills around the bus. The spacing is approximately 2 inches vertical, 1.5 inch horizontal, no mathematical backing will be provided to support my "conceptual engineering" My procedure was
1. Clamp the jigg,
2. drill a few holes
3. cleclo through the holes,
4. unclamp the jig.
5. Finish drilling pilots

We had a pretty good system developed. My kitchen mate drilled through the pilot holes into the exterior sheet/skin. My wife would cleco through the holes & take pictures, and I would pull the cleco's out, drill through them with my #10 bit, and re-cleco them.


After all of this was done, we rivetted them with my boulderfly 4x rivet gun, we didn't eat much throughout the day, you can see this by comparing my stomach to other pictures of me.
I'm pretty sure my 3/16x5/8 rivets were too long for the bottom horizontal section, and maybe too long for the vertical stretch, but at this point we were well past the point of no return. We laid down a lot of really bad solid rivets, some look like mushrooms on the front side, some look like melted tootsie rolls on the backside, most of them are dented and scratched. This quality of work is typical for me so it does not bother me too much, it looks great from any distance past 3 feet away

The finished result (poor quality pix from my flipphone)


Overall the process of drilling pilots, setting metal, drilling extra pilots, fastening the metal, drilling full size, rivetting took a little over 9 hours with a few 5 minute breaks inbetween. We finished around 10pm, hungry, tired, exhausted, with fatigued hands. We ate some food and back to non bus work! There are some rivets here and there that need to be redone, also the aft side of the skin has yet to be rivetted vertically.

I wanted to include some pictures of my jiggs and swivel captains chair but you all can look forward to that another day. Yesterday the rain in Washington was fierce, I had the luxury of cleaning up the bus and seeing that there are no leaks detected yet on this new roof patch.

The next week's agenda goes as follows.

Saturday(rain): I go to wallys(only hardware store open after I'm done with work) and buy primer on my way home, I prime first layer on both sheets for my port side.

Sunday: I prime another layer in the morning, I return and remove the windows, clean off the adhesive gunk from the weatherseal, finish the evening with a layer of primer on the "inside" of the port sheeting.

Monday: Maybe prime a second layer for the inside of the port sheeting (probably not). Drill as many port side pilots as possible. Determine proper rivet length.

Tuesday: Finish port side pilots, shorten rivets with bench grinder if needed. Also will probably cut one or two sections of the frame.

Wednesday: A good buddy is coming up to help me out. I hope to knock out the port side sheeting with him.

I will likely be on a vacation for a week after this so you can expect another relevant update sometime in July.

July objectives: Interior insulation&plywood flooring, dual pane window & roof vent installation, painting. Also considering more starboard sheeting.

Worth noting: I just got myself a 48"x15" dual pane slider ($65 shipped) window. In my storage shed I have 3 more dual pane windows (2x$75, 1x$100). I am excited to say that I don't think I need many more windows.

I hope this update finds you all well. Thank you as always for following, and advising my build.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:41 PM   #110
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Looking good--keep on plugging away!
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