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Elliot Naess 12-11-2006 10:08 AM

The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate
Please allow me to introduce myself:
The propeller beanie ought to tell you something!

Millicent is my second bus. The first one served us well as a "practice bus"; that is, we converted it somewhat, went on two expeditions, and learned a lot about buses and our wishes and needs.

Millicent is a 40 foot long 1992 Blue Bird TC2000 "Forward Control" front engine bus with a Cummins 5.9, Allison MT643 and air brakes. She will be used as a racing team camper/hauler. Of course, when I say "racing", I'm talking about Kinetic Sculpture Racing! (See avatar.)

It's 11 December 2006, and not much will get done until after Christmas. But I want to get this thread started to help myself get started! I tend to procrastinate; now I don't dare. You should be able to click on "Watch this topic for replies", so you will get e-mail notification whenever there is a new post. The target for Millicent's maiden voyage is Memorial Weekend 2007, to the Grand Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race in Humboldt County, Northern California.

The scariest part of this conversion is the Raising Of The Roof. I intend to go up about TWO FEET. Stand well clear of your 'puter screen, and wear your OSHA approved hard hat.

Questions and suggestions are most welcome along the way. But to keep this chronicle somewhat coherent, I ask that we leave general chatter out of this thread.

Now I must go out and buy a digital camera. And a hacksaw.

pervy2u 12-11-2006 10:23 PM

I'll be watching!

When you take her to the road watch for signs "Caution - Strong Cross Winds" and be prepared to deploy the sea anchors before you set sail. :shock:


busone 12-13-2006 01:44 AM

Here is a guy that did a roof raise. It is nice and detailed on how he did it. It is a skoolie too so that is a bonus.

Elliot Naess 12-18-2006 12:12 PM

Weekly progress report
Millicent -- Weekly Progress Report:

Progress will be in fits and starts, interrupted by rain, gainful employment, Lions Club activities and other necessary evils. But I must accomplish something each week! Preferrably something productive, or at least lovely.

And this week I have a new love in my life. Her name is Big Cutoff Saw. With three blades, she cost $100 a night, but WOW. Cut the trailer hitch off the old bus like it was cardboard. Cut the tow hooks and related extensions and cross member off Millicent like it was paper. Trailer hitch will go in the middle of the frame, to minimize scraping.

Millicent is remarkably rust free, even for around here. All the bumper bolts just unscrewed without struggle (with 1/2" air wrench, of course).

Ah, the roof lift. Purchased four "farm jacks" from Tractor Supply Co. Less than $30 each. Like bumper jacks, but better. Took out some windows and ceiling chase and studied the innards. Designed lift mechanism and extension inserts. Off to the steel store!

Big Cutoff Saw:
(No, that's not my clapped out pickup in the background!)

captainkf 12-18-2006 04:42 PM

very exciting! :D

Elliot Naess 12-18-2006 05:41 PM

:? Exciting to you, eh...

I'm the one getting ready to cut a five thousand dollar bus in half! :shock:
Can four Jacks trump a Blue Bird? :roll:

lapeer20m 12-19-2006 03:28 PM

can't wait to see how it's going

Demonknight 12-19-2006 05:29 PM

hehe...what I wouldn't give to be there to watch....and help (ie: that jacks slipping; he says from the lawnchair)

Griff 12-19-2006 07:23 PM

I hope you win this deal, 'cuz ya sure have ante'd up a wad on this hand! :D
A reminder while attempting this stunt, do NOT at any time say: "Hey! Watch this!" as Officer Murphy is always waiting to apply his law! :roll:
Looking forward to seeing your success! 8)

Elliot Naess 12-20-2006 12:15 AM

Just to keep you waiting a bit longer:

The excitement rises -- but the roof not yet.

Also exciting,

Then there is this:

Aha, now we are getting somewhere...
.................................................. ..............Yikes!

But finally, we get it right:

Purchased steel today.
And picked up, free, a 10’ x 8’ slab of aluminum that may become the “garage” ramp at the rear of the bus. If freight remains as quiet as it is now, I may not drive truck during Christmas after all. We might get this done ahead of schedule!

At this point, the work consists of preparing the four Lift Rams for the jacks to push against, and the four Guide Tubes that keep the Lift Rams, and thus the roof, going straight up and staying straight. Then there are 30 Inserts that fit inside the severed window posts. The lift will be 22.5 inches. This accomodates a 48" sheet of material for outer skin. The Inserts are 29" long and will stick into the window posts about 3 inches top and bottom. So the roof will have to go up 29" and back down 6,5.

I think I have it all figured out! :P

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