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Old 10-20-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
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A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

After months of searching and saving I finally have a bus in my driveway. I figured I should start posting here so that I could get a little help when it is needed and share my progress with the other bus folk. I am 19 and have no almost no previous automotive mechanical experience so it should be quite the project im getting in to(luckily I have 2 good friends that are helping me out that know a little more about the technical side of things). My bus is a 1991 Ford B600, its diesel, has hydraulic brakes came with a wheelchair lift and tires have a lot of life left. Rust is minimal, and because it came from the school district it has been fairly well maintained and came with all service records since it was first purchased..that's about I know at this point.
I have had it for 5 days now and have been squeezing in bus time after work. So far I have the seats, wheelchair lift, and floor out. Things seem to be in good shape so I am unsure if I should get too carried away and tear apart the walls and roof to re do insulation. Everything is riveted on so it would be a big job. Thoughts?

Apparently I cant post pictures as the files are too big?
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

19 with a job & an awesome project with a goal, I won't go dirtbag, In over your head? maybe
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by allwthrrider
19 with a job & an awesome project with a goal, I won't go dirtbag, In over your head? maybe

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Old 10-21-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Hey, I'm 19 with a job and a bus too. I have been spending every waking second of spare time working on it, mostly by myself, after work and school. Glad I'm not the only sub-30 year old on here!

DO tear out the roof / walls and re-do the insulation. It's easy for me to say because my bus is screwed together rather than riveted, but you will find (especially since yours is older) that any insulation in it is nasty and smells. If you're planning on keeping it a while like I am, you won't want that. Pinpoint any leaks and take care of them! I have taken out my roof panels and am working on the sides, and it is worth the effort. I will probably replace the fiberglass with foam spray or board. Get a good bunch of drill bits and drilling the rivets out won't be too bad. Where are you located?

I know a bunch about automotive (car and light truck) repair but it is surprisingly unhelpful on my bus in particular. Everything works differently in diesel engines and industrial applications. What are your plans?
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:05 PM   #5
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Yeah Im tempted to take the cautious approach and strip everything but my dad keeps telling me its a waste of time to rip apart everything. Tough call really. The plan is to keep it simple. I really want this thing to still look like a bus once im done with it. Obviously I want to make it comfortable and practical, but I think maintaining that bus feel would be really neat (this means no walls if i can help it). I really like the way this one worked out and would like to have a similar feel once mines finished

http://api.ning.com/files/QT2QozHJ2D...oninterior.jpg

I am not going to bother with plumbing. I really want to keep it simple. That being said I may have an outdoor solar heated shower with a curtain that folds out off the side of the bus...maybe. Im thinking a woodstove for heating and a basic rv generator for basic electrical needs. No concrete plans as of yet.

I am in BC Canada so there will be lots of wilderness centered trips and not as much city use.

How do you all go about posting your photos? Do you link them from another site?
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Ah, youth and exuberance will soon be overcome by our age and stealth Just kidding--glad to see some creative and active youngsters involved in the hobby!
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #7
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

I was definitely in over my head when I first brought our bus home. It's a BIG learning experience.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:12 PM   #8
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

19 year old bus builders. I am excited for you both.

Creativity, strength, mental agility, commitment, good vision, stamina, and inspiration are all at their full power.

It makes me smile with pride knowing that you both are members of the Urban Camping Society.

Rock on.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:30 PM   #9
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Good to see one more.

Pull the ceiling panels down. Its wasted space, poor insulation, and a fair bit of unneeded weight. Things add up when you start converting. That's why if it's not needed, remove it. 6 ceiling panels at 40 pounds each removes 250 pounds or so. Also remove every window you don't need. Again they add up.

My current TC2000 started at 18 000 pounds. Fully striped it is now 12 000 pounds. That 6000 I removed is 6000 I can add without the bus handling any different than it did when I got it.

Nat
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:11 PM   #10
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Oh boy, my smaller more maneuverable bus is proving difficult now that I am trying to map out the interior layout. Progress is going to be at a bit of a stand still until I can firm up a plan. I am going to give posting photos another go.





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Old 10-23-2013, 09:23 PM   #11
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Damn, Tabula Rossa!
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt
Damn, Tabula Rossa!

?? I know what Tabula Rasa is, but Tabula Rossa? Is this the same, please educate me.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:58 AM   #13
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Why do ya think --I can't spell. Hence Ol Trunt (truant?)
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #14
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt
Why do ya think --I can't spell. Hence Ol Trunt (truant?)
I was hoping to learn something new.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:10 AM   #15
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

HA HA. I don't think you'll learn much from me I can't remember names either but I can do long division in my head and sudokus--go figger???
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:36 PM   #16
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by lestock-kay
Yeah Im tempted to take the cautious approach and strip everything but my dad keeps telling me its a waste of time to rip apart everything. Tough call really. The plan is to keep it simple. I really want this thing to still look like a bus once im done with it. Obviously I want to make it comfortable and practical, but I think maintaining that bus feel would be really neat (this means no walls if i can help it). I really like the way this one worked out and would like to have a similar feel once mines finished

http://api.ning.com/files/QT2QozHJ2D...oninterior.jpg

I am not going to bother with plumbing. I really want to keep it simple. That being said I may have an outdoor solar heated shower with a curtain that folds out off the side of the bus...maybe. Im thinking a woodstove for heating and a basic rv generator for basic electrical needs. No concrete plans as of yet.

I am in BC Canada so there will be lots of wilderness centered trips and not as much city use.

How do you all go about posting your photos? Do you link them from another site?
Are you in a rush to get this thing going? Take your time. I want to have mine relatively finished by June. You don't want to build it out, covering access to inside the walls, only to find out the thing smells terrible because of mold in the insulation. It really doesn't take that long. Get a few people with drills and drill out the rivets, itll only take a few hours. I did all the screws in my bus (750+) in just a few hours. Though my arms were dead afterwards.

I have been using that picture you linked for inspiration.

To post photos, I use Imgur (imgur.com) and upload them to there (resize to 1024x768 or so first) and then copy the link from there (BBcode) and just paste that. When you submit that it will embed the picture.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #17
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches
Are you in a rush to get this thing going? Take your time. I want to have mine relatively finished by June. You don't want to build it out, covering access to inside the walls, only to find out the thing smells terrible because of mold in the insulation. It really doesn't take that long. Get a few people with drills and drill out the rivets, itll only take a few hours. I did all the screws in my bus (750+) in just a few hours. Though my arms were dead afterwards.

I have been using that picture you linked for inspiration.

To post photos, I use Imgur (imgur.com) and upload them to there (resize to 1024x768 or so first) and then copy the link from there (BBcode) and just paste that. When you submit that it will embed the picture.
I agree with Porkchop. I found a lot of mold in mine. Another quick way to get rivets out is to use a grinder with a cuting wheel. Cut the head of the rivet with an X, than chisel it off. I did so of mine that way. Others have used this to remove the inside rivets.

I too like the picture you linked to, nice and clean.

I use http://www.flickr.com for my photos, Flicker creates the link for oyu that you can copy and past into your post and you can select what size photo you want in the link. I use 800 x 534.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:35 AM   #18
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Thanks for the tips! Yeah, I have been doing some thinking myself and for what its worth there is really no reason that I shouldn't pull those walls and roof out. Even if it just be for peace of mind. I just missed out on an awesome hardwood floor deal which sucks but I am still a little hung up on deciding my layout so its not the end of the world.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #19
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

Takes a little lookin' around, but there is a special mill type bit made for shaving off rivet heads. Got one years ago for my BB which had about a thousand of the critters that had to come out. With a big drill (1/2" Milwaukee), it whizzed through them fast without chopping up the sheet metal. Sorry, no idea where it came from or where it is now. Rock on.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #20
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Re: A Bunch Of Dirtbag Kids In Over Our Heads

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000K45GIM/...SIN=B000K45GIM



Quick amazon search turned up this...... is this close?
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