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Old 05-21-2009, 10:07 PM   #21
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Not much progress on the bus for a while. I've been laid off from work so the money just isn't there right now so I have to stick to getting stuff done that doesn't cost much.

This last winter, my boss gave me an old travel trailer pretty much just because he was sick of looking at it. The outside of the trailer wasn't too bad, but the interior was trashed. Of course I took it. I had no intention of using the trailer for it's intended purpose - all I wanted was the frame and axles and maybe some of the parts inside. So a couple of weeks ago I finally got the chance to go pick it up (it's a 500 mile round trip). I got it back and right away got started with disassembling it. What a chore!

Here's the trailer back at my brother's house where I was doing the work. It doesn't look bad on the outside, but the interior left a little to be desired.


After I got a few items out of it, like the furnace, windows, cabinet door knobs, hinges, etc., I started tearing apart the interior. Not too tough, but it was a mess. The worst part about this whole process was that I had no help with tearing the walls down, cutting them apart and throwing the pieces back on the trailer. Once I got it down to the bare frame, it looks REALLY long! I suppose it is quite long at 27 feet (30 with the tongue).








So, after getting the new spring mounts set up, measured and welded on, I used the trailer to haul off the remaining junk from the floor - it's maiden voyage! Center of the axles was set at 55%/45% for proper weight distribution and tongue weight. The thing pulled so nice on the way to the dump that it was hard to tell that the trailer was back there despite the 1200 lb load. I had to keep looking back to make sure it was still there.


I still have some work to do on the trailer before it's done. The deck is 15 feet, and I'm going to be cutting the rear 18 inches and angling it down a bit so it will be easier to load the PT Cruiser. The remaining 12 feet of frame left over will be cut and welded in for crossmembers. Then I just need to get a deck put on and some fenders. And most definitely get some tires. Those old bias ply tires are junk and are so bald you can almost see the air in them!
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:22 PM   #22
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Did you go get it with your bus?

If so, how'd it pull?
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:07 PM   #23
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
Did you go get it with your bus?

If so, how'd it pull?
No, I didn't go get it with my bus. I probably should have though. The trailer hadn't been moved in about 15 years and I figured that we would probably have to use 4 wheel drive to get it out. The trailer was pulled into place for my boss' father to live in and since it was towed in they had built a shop in front of the trailer so it was impossible to just hitch up and go. We had to pull the trailer out backwards. They had also built up a deck between the trailer and the house making it that much harder. I was worried about being able to get the trailer out with the bus, so we took my older brother's big 4WD F250. Once we actually got there and got part of the deck out of the way and started moving the trailer, I realized that my bus probably would have done it.

My older brother's F250 has a 460 with and automatic so we averaged about 6 or 7 miles per gallon for the whole trip. I'm sure my bus would have gotten better mileage than that. If only I had known how easy getting the trailer out was going to be...
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:54 PM   #24
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Things have been going a little slow for a while after having been laid off, and I don't see that changing right away. I've moved to Missouri for now because of my Mom's health and now I'm kinda starting over. I have managed to get a few things done in the last couple of weeks though. The bus is now primered to get rid of that disgusting yellow, and I've gotten the walls insulated with blue foam.









Right now, I'm in the process of figuring out how to keep the double doors but get rid of all the door actuator stuff that is over the top of the engine cover. I want rid of all that stuff so that I can get a console fabricated that will have drink holders and a place for my laptop for the GPS. What I plan on doing is taking out the glass in the lower panels of the doors and cutting and welding sheetmetal into it's place. I want it to look like the glass was never there, and the doors came with sheetmetal from the factory.





Nice broken windows, huh? Some moron kids threw a rock at the bus a few times and broke the passenger window and also the lower window in the door. Wish I would have seen who did it...

Another thing I'm trying to get done soon is to get rid of that huge 24 x 24 vent in the roof. I'm going to take that out and weld in some sheetmetal so that I can install a standard 14 x 14 roof vent. That center vent will eventually be where the air conditioning unit will go in.

That's it for now I suppose. Maybe I'll get more done soon and get another update posted.
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:47 PM   #25
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Quote:
Originally Posted by mightybus
H.D., You do really good work. Bus looks great. I love the way you knocked off that trailer. Need more pictures of the finished trailer please. Bus looks good enough to move in.
Thanks! I'm trying to do my best on this bus! Unfortunately, with my mom having this surgery and chemotherapy, and my need to get down here to Missouri as quick as possible, I ended up selling the trailer to my brother. But it's a tentative sale - He said he would like to buy it but if I needed it back before he paid for it, then I could have it back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
HD, I'm not at that point yet, but am considering pulling the door out, welding a 3/4" square-tube frame around it, adding 3/4" polystyrene inside the framing, welding the center gap closed, then replacing the hinge(s), or trying to flip the stock one so the now 1-piece door opens outward. You can then add a panel to the inside of the door as well.

That, or just building a new frame, and re-skinning & insulating it.....add windows however/wherever you like.

Don't wait another 5 months to post again

Smitty
The idea of skinning a welded up frame was what I was thinking of to begin with. That way it would be easy to make to the size needed, easy to insulate, etc. But now I'm leaning toward just keeping the double doors. What I want to do is to cut out the horizontal partitions between the glass panels and move them down so that they are the same height as the bottom of the passenger window. I'll have to get new glass cut and a new gasket made. Then I want to take the lower glass out and weld in sheet metal on the outside and insulate the doors. With the way the front door panel has to open first before the rear one can move, I think I can leave them attached to open the way they do now, but instead of the big door actuator rods controlling it latching tight, I think I can just use a paddle-type RV door latch. Of course I'll have to do some modifying to get it to work, but I'm sure it can be done. I just need to find a local Camping World or something and check out how the paddle-type latches work exactly.

I'll try not to wait another 5 months to post.

BTW, I've put up a couple of slideshow videos on my Youtube channel of what I've done so far, if anyone is interested.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:19 PM   #26
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Something to consider (the more I thought about it), it would be easier to just weld-up a 3/4" frame, and add angle to it so you have a flange facing the outside of the door. Then make a skin with 1/2" or so formed up at 90* on all 4 sides, lay it over the flange & hammer the edges over the flange (just like a car door skin). Add whatever window or latch assembly you like, just keep them in mind while framing the door. Insulate & panel the inside as mentioned before.

Of course there's always the RV door route, but making one would be cooler you could configure it however you liked.

Smitty
That's kind of what I was thinking at first, with the exception of the angle flange. I never thought of that, but that's a good idea! That way you wouldn't have to weld around the whole perimeter of the skin to attach it to the frame. It would just have to be stitch welded. And you would end up with a little "cover" around the door opening that would help shed water easier. I definitely like the way you are thinking with the door thing.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:56 PM   #27
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Just watch-out for them Emo kids (I got a good laugh outta that)

Smitty
You must be talking about Zac's Emo Assault Squadron videos on Youtube. That guy comes up with some insane stuff!
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:57 PM   #28
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

This last week, I got the ceiling of the bus insulated with foam. It looks kinda funny in there now. The foam that I got for the walls was bought in Idaho before I moved to Missouri, and it is blue from Dow. This foam here in Missouri is made by Owens Corning, and it's pink. So now the interior of the bus looks like a future nursery where the parents don't know if the baby is going to be a boy or girl. The ceiling is pink and the walls are blue.

To insulate the ceiling, I cut all the foam into 12 inch wide strips for 3 panels each side of center, then the rest where the roof curves was cut into 4 inch wide strips to make the transition easier. It went up relatively fast. Now the bus holds heat SO much better while I'm out there working in it.

Sorry, no pics of the insulation job yet. Maybe I'll update this post with pics later. This weekend I'll probably be doing the subfloor with it's insulation, so I should have pics then.

Work on the bus is still going slow. I started a new job and I'm working 10 hours a day and 6 days a week. The money is nice, but now that I have decent money coming in, I have no time to work on the bus. The cool thing about this job is that the company I am now working for makes some of the parts for Thomas buses, specifically the rear door. I'm in the process of finding a slightly damaged door for a Thomas bus that is about 25 inches tall and 70 inches wide to replace my existing front doors.

I've been trying to figure out a name for the bus ever since I got it and nothing seemed to fit. I think I have a name now though. "Reversio ad Secessum." It's from a song by one of my favorite bands, and loosely translated from Latin means "return to solitude." My plan is to use masking tape to stencil the words onto the head and tail of the bus in the usual place then hand paint in some vinework around the words. Here's what I want it to look like, and hopefully it won't end up being a nightmare to use this font.

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Old 11-22-2009, 09:39 PM   #29
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Just a quick update on pics before I crash. Have to get up at 3:30 am for work...

Here's a pic of the insulation in the ceiling. Started with 12 inch wide strips in the center, then switched over to 4 inch strips as I got close to the curve in the roof.



Starting to frame in the subfloor with 2X2's. First pic is view from front, second from the rear.




Starting to install the insulation. Used 1 1/2 inch Owens Corning pink foam. First pic, just starting. 2nd and 3rd from front and rear.




Next pic is after vapor barrier was put on.



Picture from front and rear after 3/4 inch OSB underlayment was cut and put in.




Great Stuff used to fill gap around fenderwells. This was trimmed down to just below flush with the underlayment, then siliconed.



Here's a pic of the step area. Steps aren't done yet. Probably will start on those this weekend.



Pic of the interior as it now looks with the exception of the Great Stuff. That has been trimmed down and siliconed flush with the underlayment.



I'll try to get pics posted again this weekend. With this work schedule, it's really hard to get anything done after work. 10 hours a day, 6 days a week is enough work. :P This weekend though, I'm supposed to have Thu, Fri, Sat, and Sun off, so I should get the new vinyl flooring installed and start framing if all goes well.

Guess that's it for this update.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:47 PM   #30
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

WTH? Those pics are huge! Photobucket usually resizes them to 800 X 600. Sorry about that... Maybe I'll resize them and upload them again later. Have to get to bed for now.
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