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Old 03-04-2012, 03:19 PM   #41
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Re: The Roach Motel

Die grinder with cut off wheel. If you are worried about fraying, wrap a few laps of electrical tape around the wire.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #42
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Re: The Roach Motel

My opinion I would keep that heater.
You can as you mention heat your bus or use valves and heat just the bedroom?
Another use as design originally keeping the engine block from freezing and cracking destroying your engine is use as a water heater also.
You would need to make a double wall canister and between these walls coil copper tubing and hook this heater to it.
This configuration keeps the engine coolant sealed away from your water. Then insulate this "water Heater" good.
I really doubt your going to get what your thinking $$ on eBay; but who knows..
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:09 PM   #43
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Re: The Roach Motel

I did think about making it into a water heater but the manual says the water going through it has to have 20% antifreeze to prevent corrosion. Building a heat exchanger seemed like overkill considering I already have a nice propane/electric water heater. It is an interesting piece though, and I think I'll keep it around for a while.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #44
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Re: The Roach Motel

Those are very effective (and expensive) engine heaters. If you ever plan on spending any time in cold climates, they make a big difference in starting and warm-up. Might want to hold onto it and consider re-installing it unless you have some other form of engine pre-heating in mind.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:45 PM   #45
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Re: The Roach Motel

Here's my new battery box. The brass thingy on the front is the shunt for a Trimetric battery minder and the other thingy is the ground bar. Once it's installed in the bus I'll vent the box to the outside. Not sure how the plywood will stand up to the battery fumes so since I'm going to be doing some fiberglass work soon I may give the box a good coat of resin. The armored cable in the background was another lucky find. Did a little dumpster diving at a demolition site and found just about enough to do my 120v wiring.



I removed all the interior window frames while pulling the last of the fiberglass interior trim and found that the wheelchair door frame had been leaking along with at least one of the passenger side windows. There's a honecomb between the inner and outer fiberglass body panels and over time a good bit of it has deteriorated to the point that the inner and outer body panels are no longer connected. My next magical trick will be to cut off the inner panel and 'glass in some new plywood. Just *think* of the new skills I'm learning!

The bad area extends from the wheelchair door back beneath two more windows.



The rear window was a big surprise, too. Yes, folks, that's daylight between the window frame and the body. Strangely, there isn't much deterioration in this area. I'll be resetting this window soon.

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Old 03-16-2012, 09:01 PM   #46
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Re: The Roach Motel

The weather's been *real nice* up here in "The D" (Just for the record, I'm not IN Detroit. I live outside Detroit. No one with an ounce of pride claims to live in Detroit). Last Saturday I cut out the delaminated area in the sidewall and got that mess cleaned up. A circular saw made quick work of cutting off the inner fiberglass skin (leaving me "itchin' like a man on a fuzzy tree"). You want full clothes coverage when demoing fiberglass. Once that was off I used a putty knife to scrape out all the honeycomb material then used my orbital sander to get the inner and outer skin as flat as possible. Once the 3/4" plywood pieces were cut to fit I was ready for the fiberglass resin.

Once that stuff is mixed you have to HUSTLE to get it slathered on before it sets up. I slopped a thick coat on the back and edges of the board, layed a piece of fiberglass cloth into the resin, slopped another coat onto the glass cloth, slathered more resin on the side wall then put the board in place and braced it so it stayed in contact with the outer wall while the resin hardened. I used the cloth so there would be some "give" between the plywood and the wall. So far it looks like a success so tomorrow I'll screw the inner panels back over the plywood filer. The repair is nearly as stiff as the undamaged wall but time will tell how durable it is.

Before:



After:



Once that was done I found that I hadn't had my fair share of daily abuse so decided to drain down the trans and have a look inside the pan. Easy job, right? The pan has a drain plug so it should have been a quick job (can you hear the auto repair gods laughing?). I put a wrench on the plug and turned it, and turned it, and turned it but it never loosened (damn, Damn, DAMN). Of course, now it leaked so I ended up undoing the pan bolts while holding the thing level while flat on my back, trying (vainly, it turned out) not to spill six quarts of tranny fluid all over myself and the driveway. The carnage wasn't too bad and no hazmat teams were summoned, and surprise!, the inside of the pan was squeaky clean. Not a metal flake to be seen. I got a new pan, gasket and filter from the local Ford dealer and tomorrow (good Lord willin and the creeks don't rise) I'll have that sucker buttoned up.

I also got the alternator out and took it to 5 (count'em, 5) parts stores to have it tested. Turns out I have a 230 amp aftermarket alternator and none of the stores could hook the beast up to their testers. I ended up taking it to this little hole-in-the-wall alternator rebuilder who for the grand sum of $3 tested it and pronounced it good to go. Looks like I'm going to have another go at my nemesis, the wiring monster.

I predict total victory, but not for whom.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:10 AM   #47
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Re: The Roach Motel

As long as your under there and have a shiny new pan...see if you can find a magnetic drain plug that will fit. They catch and hold onto any little metallic miscreants so they can't roam about your motor and do any further harm. I've had them on many vehicles, beginning with race bikes, and have always been surprised at just how much crap floats around in the average engine. Works on both trannys & oil pans.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #48
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Re: The Roach Motel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
As long as your under there and have a shiny new pan...see if you can find a magnetic drain plug that will fit. They catch and hold onto any little metallic miscreants so they can't roam about your motor and do any further harm. I've had them on many vehicles, beginning with race bikes, and have always been surprised at just how much crap floats around in the average engine. Works on both trannys & oil pans.
The old pan had a donut shaped magnet that fit around the drain bolt boss on the inside of the pan. I made sure to pop it in the new pan before bolting it on. I was pleased just how clean it was when I originally dropped the pan. The engine oil pan has that magnetic bolt you mentioned.

I got the alternator back in with nice clean connections, but still no charging. It's a Penntex alternator and I downloaded a troubleshooting guide from their website that has a test form. You do the tests and fill in the form then fax it to the company. I'm pretty sure I'll be buying a new alt soon.

I did get that leaky rear window sealed up so the weekend wasn't a total waste.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #49
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Re: The Roach Motel

There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that I found two more oil leaks; one at the front of the engine (turned out to be the steering stabilizer) and one in the back from the turbocharger pedestal. The stabilizer was a quick fix (FINALLY, a quick fix) but the pedestal leak will require pulling out the turbo and rebuilding the pedestal. I decided to also rebuild the turbo while I have it out. On the plus side, the van turbo's are pretty easy to work on with the engine cover off.

Here's the turbocharger:



The pedestal leak:



My alternator adventure continues. The manufacturer pronounced the thing officially dead so I picked up a new one at autozone. The supplied pulley is a six-rib and I need an 8-rib. The 8-pulley came off the old alt. more or less willingly but the 6-pulley on the new alt might as well have been welded on. I finally had to clamp the new alt pulley in a vise then whack my breaker bar with a hammer to get the pulley bolt loose. Once the pulleys were swapped I found that the bolts that hold it on the engine block were now too long. Of course, they're metric bolts. I swear I'll laugh about this one day, but today is not that day.

One bit of luck, I checked my brake rotors and they look pretty good. I'll probably have to slap in new pads but that's about a megabuck cheaper than a full brake job.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:24 PM   #50
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Re: The Roach Motel

From reading posts on another site, (www.dieselstop.com) that is pretty normal. And its suggested to block the holes in the block off permenently to prevent it. Its oil that drives the engine brake flapper on the turbo. Some say you get more power + better mileage with it diasabled. Luckily, the turbo comes off without too much work.
A good place to get turbo parts is www.gpopshop.com.
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