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Old 08-08-2021, 10:25 AM   #861
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Year: 1995
Engine: DT408
Update 8-8-2021, Pyrometer thermocouple install.

Two things I needed to install were a pyrometer thermocouple and transmission temperature sender for the new gauge cluster I'll be installing. As it turns out the fluid hose running from the MT643 to the cooler is at the top of the transmission and the exhaust pipe is right in the way to gain access to that fitting on my 1995 AmTran FE. One lucky thing though, is I was planning on removing the exhaust pipe from the turbo to TIG weld a fitting for the pyrometer thermocouple. While looking over the situation I noticed a cast boss on the rear section of the exhaust manifold that appeared to be specifically designed to mount a thermocouple!! This area was not drilled or tapped yet but was simply a place to do so. So after drilling part way I started the engine so as the drill made it's way through the manifold the chips would be blown out and not go through the turbocharger. Worked like a champ. After letting things cool down for a bit I tapped the hole to 1/8"NPT using the same "engine running" technique. It took a couple of sessions (I didn't want to overheat my pipe tap) but I finally got the hole tapped without sending chips through the turbo. If anyone reading this tries the same thing, be advised, wear safety glasses as this technique most certainly will blow any chips directly out of the hole!!


Here's a pic of the finished thermocouple install:





Transmission sender install on following post.....

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Old 08-08-2021, 11:01 AM   #862
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Update 8-8-2021, Transmission sender install.

Now that the pyrometer thermocouple was installed I moved on to the transmission sender installation. As I said before, the exhaust pipe was right in the say of getting tools to the hose and fitting to remove. So out came the exhaust pipe from the turbo (which required me removing a large section of exhaust pipe to get the front section back and out of the way. Fortunately, I hadn't reinstalled the driveshaft as the front section of exhaust pipe had to be swung where the first section of drive shaft is located. Once the exhaust pipe was removed I gained access to the transmission coolant hose and elbow fitting coming from the transmission. The elbow fitting is a 3/4 ORB (o-ring boss) x 3/4SAE elbow. It looks like a JIC (standard hydraulic) fitting but the threads are finer. A JIC fitting will not work here!! After doing some research I learned that Allison makes a fitting for installing a temperature sender in a MT643. Allison part #6882099. I ordered one:





I was disappointed to find it did not come with the fitting to attach the fluid hose so I purchased a 3/4MNPT x 3/4SAE elbow fitting to make things turn the hose connection rearward. I had concerns that the fitting would stick out too far and locate the fluid hose too close to the exhaust pipe. After installing the fitting my concerns were justified. Going to plan "B".
I paid $75.00 for Allison part #6882099. If anyone's interested I'll sell it for $60.00 (shipping included). While not a good fit for my inline FE, it may well work for other applications (RE's, dognose V8's) with a MT643 transmission.


Plan "B".....


I found a 3/4MNPT x 3/4SAE fitting and 3/4NPT tee available among my local NAPA hydraulic fittings. They didn't have the 3/4ORB x 3/4NPT elbow to make the turn directly rearward from my transmission fluid hose connection so I had to order that in. While waiting for it to arrive I modified the 3/4" NPT tee to accept the temperature sender and get the sender tip a bit into the fluid flow. I cut off the center "neck" of the fitting and sanded flush with the body. I then trimmed a 1/2" NPT half coupling to allow the sender to mount lower to the tee and tig welded it into place.
As it turned out the sender was still too high in the fitting. I have a small mill/drill so I set the fitting up and milled a good 1/4" off the top and, using a pipe tap, set the threads to properly position the temp sender in the fluid flow. This is what it looked like with temp sender installed waiting for the 3/4ORB to 3/4MNPT elbow to arrive:





Here's what it looked like installed:





With that installed I could now reinstall the first section of exhaust pipe and check for leaks. No leaks!! Woohoo!! I then put the rest of the exhaust system back up and installed the driveshaft. Gimel can now move under it's own power again!!
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

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Old 08-08-2021, 11:23 AM   #863
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8-8-2021, Air horn install.....

While waiting on a fitting to arrive to finish my transmission temp sender install I decided to mount some air horns I bought off Craigslist a good while back. The air horns are Wolo brand Siberian Express horns I got for $50.00. Couldn't pass this deal up!!

The problem is, they're so large I didn't want them to clutter the roof line in any way or potentially get torn off from a low hanging tree branch (I live in the south and this is a real possibility). I decided to mount them under the cab. Time will tell if this is a good idea or not:


Here's a pic of the mount itself bolted to a plate under the drivers seat:





Here's a pic of the horns as they mount under the cab:





I'll probably hang some sort of spray protection as the horns are mounted just forward of the left front tire.

As I said, time will tell if this was a good idea or not. I really don't have any other place to mount these.


Just got the tinted safety glass in to replace the stock tempered glass in the side windows we're retaining and I'm rebuilding. Next project is to get new glass installed and glazed. That stuff's not cheap!! With tax almost $600.00 for the glass alone!
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 08-18-2021, 05:16 PM   #864
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Let the windows begin!!

A while back I disassembled the windows we chose to keep and began the process of rebuilding them. All my glass was stock tempered 1/8" clear and we wanted tinted safety glass in it's place. I talked with a couple local glass shops and took the frames in to get their advice on moving forward using the stock window assemblies. The closest guy to us had done some school bus replacements and advised using some rubber spacer in the bottom of the window channel to absorb shock, center in the frame and give the new glass a bit of room to expand and contract with temperature changes. So with that info in mind I began ordering the necessary items to begin trying to make stock school bus windows seal and function better. The first materials I ordered were the bubble seal for the top of the stationary frame to replace the original. This crushes to seal the window when it's raised to it's closed position.





The "t" fits in a slot in the top frame.


The next material I ordered was the window pile. This forms the seal between the two window frames and fits in a t-slot in the bottom of the sliding part of the window frame.





The next material I had to have custom made at the local rubber and gasket shop. As it turned out the frame width was 5/16" so I had strips of 1/8" thick neoprene cut to 5/16" width to sit in the bottom of the frame all around to center the glass in the frame.








Once I had these strips in place I could measure accurately to have the glass cut. I chose gray tinted 1/4" laminated safety glass. After waiting for the glass to come in it was time to reassemble and seal the windows. The first step was to lightly glue in the neoprene strips to hold them in place. Then with three sides of each frame slightly loosened, slip the glass into place and install the top rail of each window. Install the top frame rail channel and tighten the screws holding the frames together making sure the windows sit flat against the inside portion of the frame rail. I need a gap on the outside to push the glazing material into to make a weather tight seal. I did all the windows before going to the next step.





The glazing sealant I'm using is basically a polyurethane caulk designed for glazing windows and was recommended by the glass shop where I bought the glass. It's a product called MasterSeal NP1. To do a neat job with any caulk I've found masking and tooling to be the best method for a consistent and professional appearing finished product. I masked all the windows as shown before final assembly.





I left a small gap (3/32-1/8") to push the glazing in to seal things up all around.





I then made a tool from a large sized craft stick (think big popsickle stick) that when drug along the masked area left me with a nice clean glazed window. It worked like a champ and the final job after de-masking turned out satisfactorily.






After the 7 day cure period I'll reassemble and final clean the window assemblies for future install. At least that's one more box checked on this project!
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 08-18-2021, 05:19 PM   #865
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Air horn and air ride seat manifold.

I installed a manifold to supply air to the air horn and air ride seats I'll be installing. The take off for the old swinging stop sign was the perfect place to tap the air system.





Shown is the air supply to the my air horn. The other two are capped for now pending the seat install.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 08-18-2021, 05:34 PM   #866
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Running down the interior of the roof are two channels that run the entire length as part of the roof support system. The problem with mine are that these channels are going to interfere with attaching the ceiling due to their not being bent up quite enough.







They'll need to be pushed up so as not to push out the 1x6T&G I plan on using on the interior. I could take a deadblow hammer and just beat them out of the way but that's just not my style. I made a tool out of some scrap angle iron and tube to grip the flange of the channel and bend it out of my way.





Simply slip over the flange and bend as needed!





This tool also allowed me to hold the flange tight to the hat channel (see gap in top left part of this pic), to drill and pop rivet the flange to the hat channel bows to keep things pulled up tight.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 08-25-2021, 11:17 AM   #867
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Does anyone out there, per chance, know who manufactured the drivers side slider in the 1995 AmTran Genesis? I'm trying to find out if I can source parts for mine.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 08-26-2021, 11:34 AM   #868
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Pass the point of no return (aka, no guts, no glory)!

Getting things ready to paint the inside front of the cab. After removing the old dash cluster and anything mounted to the dash, I laid the instrument cluster adapter over the older cluster location to lay out the new cutout.









Next I'll ease the sharp edges and do a final test fit before prepping to paint.

I also made a new heater control assembly. The original was totally trashed. I'll get a pic later.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 10-18-2021, 03:20 PM   #869
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Finally got the new dash cluster installed. It took a while to get everything done correctly but I think it turned out nice. My wife's impressed. The loose wires to the left are the beginnings of a custom cruise control. Just waiting on a couple more parts and I'll get that installed. Once that's done I'll install the new steering wheel!! I ordered new seat upholstery and arm rests for the air ride seats but the lead time is 16 weeks!! I'll keep working on the cockpit though. I've got new vinyl shop flooring to put down. I'm getting some cool ideas for the interior and can't wait to start working on that. Hoping to have it ready for paint this spring. Things sure go a lot slower as one gets older!!

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Old 10-19-2021, 05:59 PM   #870
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Nice looking dash!

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Old 10-19-2021, 06:48 PM   #871
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Please don't take this wrong, but you have a nice dash.
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:59 PM   #872
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Thanks for the kind comments.
The original heater control was pretty much done so I figured I'd make a new one.
Here's a pic of the original for reference:



The control cables had looped ends to make the connections to the accessories. After several attempts I made a jig to make them on:



Here's what the finished end looks like:



Here's the new heater control ready to install:

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Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 11-06-2021, 11:43 AM   #873
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I've begun the initial framing phase and am experimenting with partition wall design. Due to wasted space I really don't want to do traditional 2x4 framing so I came up with this idea thatwould allow DC light switches and wiring inside with plenty of strength to hang door hinges. Basically it will start with a core frame made with 3/4" material (in my case strips cut from 1x6 T&G (I have a HUGE amount of this material)) joined with pocket screws on the flat to fit the wall floor to ceiling contour. I'll then glue 1x6 T&G to each side of the frame and trim to the frame. The wall sections will be glued and pocket screwed to the 1x6 T&G I'm covering the entire interior walls with.
This will give me a very strong 2-1/4" thick hollow core partition wall with finished surfaces.
Photo is of a test panel I made.

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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 11-16-2021, 06:43 AM   #874
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When the bus is done, then where will you go?
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:43 AM   #875
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First off, thanks for the question. I was beginning to wonder if I should keep this thread going.
The short answer is, wherever we can and want 😁.
We used to live in the Pacific Northwest and would very much like to visit friends all over the region. My wife has never seen the grand canyon so I'd like to take her there. We're still developing our bucket list.
We currently own our home base and, my wife in particular, want to live full time in the bus. Once in the bus the plan is to sell the doublewide here to reduce property taxes and build a bus port.
I've begun framing the sides and am currently wiring. I'll post some more pics when I get the wiring done.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 11-16-2021, 08:39 AM   #876
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
First off, thanks for the question. I was beginning to wonder if I should keep this thread going.
Please keep it up, I have found myself coming to your build on multiple occasions to read some of your write-ups.
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Old 12-07-2021, 11:26 AM   #877
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First off, thanks for the question. I was beginning to wonder if I should keep this thread going.
Yes, you should...
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:27 PM   #878
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Yes keep it going pal.
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Old 12-13-2021, 03:23 AM   #879
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I agree. Please keep updating. Your attention to detail and solutions are wonderful.
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Old 12-14-2021, 06:44 AM   #880
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Will do. Trying to get the wiring done so I can take more pictures to share.
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