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Old 10-28-2015, 05:25 PM   #381
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great work, wow!

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Old 11-04-2015, 08:46 PM   #382
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Made some more headway the past couple weeks. I've been working on the basement storage doors. I had to get rid of the lift cylinders as the ones I have are just not strong enough. Needless to say, these doors are not flimsy, lightweight, could shoot through with a pellet gun kinda thing. I'll shear the process so far.
First,I cut the 3/4" x1/16" square tubing to fit inside the frames with shims to create a gap all around and clamp securely to begin welding.


Next weld the bullet hinges in place:

Remove door frame, finish weld the corners and weld in paddle latch mount:

Check to see if shop dog is still alive. He is, Patch is one chill animal!!


Cut a panel from 16ga. Sheet metal and finish grind to fit:


Carefully track into place:


After getting all the doors made I had to test fit the assemblies too finally get an idea of what this project is gonna look like:











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Old 11-04-2015, 10:39 PM   #383
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About time someone stepped up to the plate.

Great job.

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Old 11-05-2015, 07:26 AM   #384
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Beautiful fab work and welding, as usual Sojourner!
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:22 PM   #385
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I ran out of argon so my TIG welding came to a halt till I run into town to get a refill. So, I did a few other things the past two days.
As I've mentioned before, I'm using Peterbilt gauges in this project primarily from the fact I loathe the international cluster and, for me, it just didn't provide enough information. When I'm finished with the dash'll have:
Tachometer
Speedometer
Dual fuel gauges (i have twin fuel tanks)
Oil pressure
Oil temperature
Transmission temperature
Differential temperature
Engine temperature
Dual air pressure
Manifold pressure
Voltmeter
Pyrometer

Some might consider this overkill but having been a marine mechanic for over 25 years, one can NEVER have to much of the right kind of information.

I have a mechanical controlled engine so I'm using mid 80's series gauges. One of the things about using, our should I say "reusing", old gauges is over time from the long them exposure to vapors coming of the engine an accumulation of a very thin film of stuff forms inside the gauge fogging out the ability to read the gauge making it appear the gauge face has faded when in reality, the glass is simply dirty. In some cases even making the numbers appear blurry. So, one has to clean it somehow or buy new gauges. Something I was not willing to spend over $1000.00 to do. What I did on all but a couple gauges (that literally looked like new) is carefully un-crimp the face ring and remove the glass. Clean the glass and parts, reassemble and re-crimp the ring in place. Here's a picture of one before cleaning (on the right) and after (on left) along with a couple pics of the process.












After finishing with the gauges I did some work on the slam latches for the storage doors. I'm using 3/4" x 1/16" square tubing with a piece of UHMV cut to fit inside. A slot is cut in the side of the tubing for a pin to slide in that will pull the UHMV back (against spring pressure). The pin (a cut off 1/4" bolt) will be cross drilled and pinned to hold it in place. The threaded part of the bolt will allow me to adjust the slide tension with a nylock nut once the rod is installed. I had to make 16 for this set of doors. These will be welded to the door frames but can be disassembled in place for service should the need ever arise.

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Old 11-10-2015, 11:43 PM   #386
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I love what you're doing with the gauges. Kinda makes me wish my engine weren't electronic.. though I suppose I could fit mechanical gauges in the dash anyway.

Looks like the latches are coming together. Surely you meant UHMW, right..? As in Ultra-High Molecular Weight polyethylene?
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:37 AM   #387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Surely you meant UHMW, right..? As in Ultra-High Molecular Weight polyethylene?
UHMV AND UHMW are referring to the same thing. A very dense slippery polyethylene. Love the stuff.
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:09 PM   #388
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Excellent work on the compartments!!!
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:01 PM   #389
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Been in the shop working on the doors again. I installed the bracing to help stabilize full welding of the sheet metal. The bracing will also be the base for the bellcrank pivots. I then welded in the panels. The largest door did go out if square. Glad I'm using bed liner to finish them with. It won't be so noticeable to others with the textured finish but it always will be to me.
Next I made the bellcrank pieces. I built a jig to make them with since I needed about 60 parts to make 24 bellcranks. I then welded the bellcranks together. I didn't photo these steps but did pick up with the latch assembly.

The first step to building the latches on the doors is tack in place the latch shells.


Next fusion weld the bellcrank pivots to the frames.

Now fusion weld the latch shells.

Install pad latch and cover to protect from scratching.





Now to determine the position of the center bellcrank.



Time to make some linkage parts. I made a jig to keep the bends uniform. The two pins on the left were used to make the latch slides (think long chain link) so the dots will latch without having to operate the paddle.


Next install the latch plungers with springs, cross pins and bellcranks and linkage parts to track into place.


Weld, sand edges and reinstall linkages then cut excess pivot pin length.


Final fit into door frame.


I'll have to trim and cut the plungers at an angle once the weatherstrip comes in and is fitted. Next step on the doors is to smooth out with body filler and prime to paint. Gonna take a break from the dots glut now though. My ADHD is catching up with me. Gonna work either on the air conditioner adapter or the solar panel frames.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:12 PM   #390
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man, I absolutely LOVE this build.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:21 PM   #391
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
man, I absolutely LOVE this build.
Thanks. This was the last of 8 doors for this batch. I'm probably going to build one or two more but won't know the dimensions until I get the main entry door and windows framed. One thing about all this custom work is, things progress slow. I'm hoping once I get all this fab work finished the interior will go faster. Who knows though. Just eating this elephant one bite at a time 😁.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:27 PM   #392
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Gotta love it... the whole work at own pace/pay as you go spirit of bus conversion is a major part of the allure!
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:30 AM   #393
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Those doors and latching mechanism are impressive! Nice job! Can't wait to see them on the bus.
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Old 12-08-2015, 04:23 PM   #394
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Been busy the past couple weeks. I got the driver side basement skins cut and door frames installed. I still have to finish drilling and tapping the other holes in the frames before disassembling and prepping the panels to prime. Then I'll be able to apply 3M 5200 to the skins and door frames for final assembly. Also,I still have to install the cam locks on the stabilizer, fuel and propane access doors.









The grill on the left is where the basement A/C (window unit converted to central unit) will be located.



The far left little door is stabilizer jack access (everything is manual on this bus for simplicity and reliability).




The bumper I designed was not coming to pass as the resource where I used to work was not able to have the pieces cut on the cnc plasma cutter. So..... I decided to redesign using a piece of 3-1/2" x 3/16" square tubing I had standing in the corner for over 10 years. I had to order another piece to finish it but with the addition of some expanded metal and some angle iron I think it will work fine. I still have to put a piece of expanded metal in the center section but will not be able to do so until I get a hitch receiver installed on the little pad in the center. I'm thinking it'll come in handy for several accessories in the future. I retained access to the factory tow hooks.






I think the wrap around expanded metal gives a cool look to the bumper.


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Old 12-08-2015, 05:14 PM   #395
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Nice work on that bumper! Looks solid too.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:15 AM   #396
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That should work nicely to knock a Toyota Prius out of the way.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:54 PM   #397
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I envy your welding skills...the doors and especially the bumper are first rate!!!
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:45 PM   #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browncrown View Post
I envy your welding skills...the doors and especially the bumper are first rate!!!
As do I, along with your cold smithing skills.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:37 AM   #399
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Thanks guys for the kind comments. It's been good to get the skills dusted off and out if the closet. Being a marine mechanic for most of my career didn't allow me to use them like this project does. It kinda runs in the family though. My dad was a trained blacksmith as apprentice but because he learned when the demand was waning, he drove a truck and was a diesel mechanic most of his career. One might say metal work is in the blood. My wife is finally beginning to see what's been floating around in my head and she likes what she sees. I can't wait to show her what I have planned for the inside. I never got to build her a house as I had always wanted. This project is mostly my gift to her.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:15 AM   #400
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Welcome...and with your skill set this should definitely be a build worth watching!
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