2-23 Late post.
Monday was a rough day, I learned that getting the front panel of plywood out would not be easy - I had a small suspicion/fear regarding this. To get the front panel of plywood out (as most of you probably know) I have to remove the drivers seat, the electrical console(is that what it's called?), and the front heaters. Or at least that's what I assumed I have to do. Luckily Monday I got out early at 6pm and was able to get a head start on this project.
Objective 1: Drivers seat removal: I went at the bolts above like a monkey for about 15 minutes with a socket wrench praying that I wouldn't have to go underneath the bus. Probably for the best, I soon came to peace that I would need to go underneath the bus.
As I was hitting random flooring with the back of my hammer in frustration from lack of progress, I discovered that my bus has a hole in it covered by a piece of steel (which I will call the manhole cover). This manhole cover was great help for me as reference (due to the light shining through to the bottom) to figure out where my drivers seat is. I wrangled my wife Nana outside and she helped me. The first 3 bolts were easy, I went underneath the bus held the bolts as Nana went at it with a socket wrench from above. We also got to pass tools through the manhole which was novel.
The 4th and last bolt was extremely unpleasant, I had a little under 3/4 of an inch to work with and wasn't able to get a good grip on it due to a bunch of bus components blocking any arm path. I probably spent a solid 20 minutes sitting under the bus muttering profanities to myself as my lovely Nana patiently cranked the socket wrench from above. We took a brief break to regroup as I went back and forth between my therapy beer and underneath the bus to brainstorm solutions. I finally was prepared to give up when I came up with this brilliant solution to catch the bolt.
Wrench taped to the car jack stick.
Here's a crappy picture of me using my contraption to secure the bolt from below. karma rewarded my prior efforts favorably, the amount of bus dust that was farted on my face by this point had decreased a bit and I was able to keep a steady eye on my bolt-grip status
Pulling the bus seat out was both satisfying and demoralizing, this bus is now temporarily not drive able(at least safely, I could sit on a bucket I guess) and I felt like I was tearing apart something I loved. There's a piece of steel that looks like the floormat between the hammer, gloves, and crescent city cardboard (this was used for hitchhiking on the redwoods trip, and was kept for sentimental value): This floormat is the manhole cover.
I still have the left seatbelt bolt in tact, but the right one I went ahead and tore the top off with a cutoff wheel, I hope this wasn't a mistake.
Next up my electrical console
As I stared into this rats nest of wires, my heart, soul and body studdered in total fear. I have always been aware that I have no idea what I am doing, but staring at this intimidating pile of wires really demoralized my progress for the night. I finished my beer and invested the rest of my consciousness towards a solution for a clueless guy like me to resolve this electrical insanity.
Captsquid: You were right to lock up the bus, by the end of monday night I had no interest in cleaning up and locking up my tools. I went ahead and latched up the side emergency door
The rear emergency door is pretty comical. It is locked with two i bolts bolted in from inside, on the outside there are two deadlocks locked to each of these i bolts, these two deadlocks are then connected to a bigger deadlock. Of these 3 deadlocks working together to lock the back emergency door, none of which came with keys when I purchased the bus. I just take the contraption on and off based on the context of our situation.
So my old job/one of our vendors for the restaurant occasionally lets me pick through their recycling and take back used label sheets which often have a few labels still on them. Yesterday I printed off a few sheets of labels with everything from "A1, A2, A3" all the way to "T1, T2, T3" I also had "AA" all the way to "ZZ", "11" all the way to "00", and another "A1" to "T3" except highlighted pink incase 20 letters wouldn't be enough.
If this description wasn't confusing or clear enough, here's a screenshot of my word document I made. (it's probably just a waste of space)
Anyway, I went ahead and attached each of these labels to the wires attached to the electrical console in the most systematic order consistent with my instinct I could think of. Meanwhile I had Nana bring in her space heater so she could help me cut apart the labels and record the progress.
Here's some pics of the labels in action
edit: Here's an excel spreadsheet I made to help organize the labels, I ultimately hope to replace my "1" "2" "3" with more productive labels such as "positive, negative, ground", but for now I will leave them as "1,2,3"'s since I barely know what I'm doing. I also grayed out the stuff I don't think I need anymore.
Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the flash kind of ruins a lot of these labels hah!
After 90-120 minutes or so of this I felt pretty relieved to begin separating wire bundles and observing patterns as well and seeing the rats nest lose some density. We even successfuly isolated the "red bundle"! edit: I just gathered that the red Bundle consists of the 1's and 3's of my Left side heaters as well as my Left Defrost. This leads me to believe that the Right heater and the right defrost are also probably bundled.
Here's an after picture. Edit: I forgot to mention, I noticed a lot of my "2" labels stayed latched onto this device, I don't know what this means but I am going to keep this in mind while I google dc electrical systems.
Now for my questions!
I'm hoping you guys can help me label these following parts so I can google what their relevance/function is. (red, pink, and blue) I'm assuming pink is a ground?
Now I am going to try and study some of these pictures and try and provide some clarity for myself.
Tomorrow's my day off so I'm hoping to make some good progress. I'm planning to drain the radiator and get rid of the rear heater and temporarily remove the front heaters so I can get the floor out! I'm also hoping to do some brief studying at home depot.
shopping/future goals related:
I've done a little shopping this week, I traded some junk I had for a drill press and a queen size bed frame. I got myself an old chop saw off craigy's for $55, I got myself some saw horses last night as well for $7 on my way home from work. Unfortunately my house is pretty small so a lot of this is just going to add to the clutter until I make room. I also impulse bought 50ft of 2/0AWG welding cable off ebay for $100ish (probably a waste of money, with some lugs to go with it; 50 ft of 4AWG welding cable with some lugs to go with it. I should have a magnum MMS1012 inverter/charger coming in the mail some time, and I can't remember if I bought a trimetric 2030 yet, so I'm going to wait a week or two to figure out if it comes in the mail. You'd think my bank statements is enough, but my dreams, delusions and reality all mesh together sometimes - the truth can be hard to discern.