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Old 05-22-2019, 09:16 PM   #1
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Supercoach_Skoolie

Figured it was time to start a conversion thread for the Supercoach.

The initial adventure surrounding buying the bus on the opposite coast and driving it home can be read here:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/fin...bus-26616.html

Since I have had her home I have removed all the rest of the seats, with the exception of 2 in the front, which we plan to keep and reupholster and use as a dinette behind the drivers seat.

The neighborhood kids helped get the rest of the seats out, and got her all cleaned up inside.

I removed all the wiring from the old entertainment centers, radio/DVD player, 2 tv's, (pair of nice 38"ish Samsungs, one of which is now hanging in my bedroom ) subwoofers, speakers, 2 amps, a 3000?watt inverter (which I am saving, although I probably will use a different one in the build), I plan to replace the radio with a decent touchscreen Pioneer and use the existing speaker locations and wiring. Also found the wiring for the CB radio that someone took out, antenna is still mounted so I am going to order a nice vintage style CB to put on the dash after it gets painted.

Contacted a local spring shop and ordered new springs, shocks, poly bushings for the front end, springs are being custom built to the tune of about $1800

Started the process of cleaning up all the old wiring on the bus, lots of loose ends, and unused wires. I got the flashers working, I will probably keep the power up there and maybe install some 3" or 4" LED's in their place for general lighting.

I replaced both of the floor hatches with new 1.5" pressure treated plywood, and installed new gaskets on both so they seal up nicely.

I am currently working on removing all the rubber flooring so I can assess the condition of the wood beneath. It is an absolute nightmare.

Laptop battery is dead and its time for bed, I will add some pictures tomorrow.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:07 PM   #2
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Check to see if the plywood is safe for direct contact with metal - I know some of the older PT was highly corrosive. I'd make sure the surface is painted, or for an old project I did, I had some spare self-sealing roof membrane/wrap that I cut and stuck on the metal to prevent the wood from making direct contact.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:58 PM   #3
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I scored a bunch of components like that from the TC2000 I bought and flipped. You just gave me an idea I don't know why I didn't think of before. I have a brand new in the box (cornered chewed by mice) Pioneer hideaway CB radio. Everything is controlled from the mic, while the rest is hidden under dash. I bought it new for my 1980 Ford Van, never got around to installing it, found it in a box a few months back.

Start your build thread in the Coach Conversion Forum.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
Check to see if the plywood is safe for direct contact with metal - I know some of the older PT was highly corrosive. I'd make sure the surface is painted, or for an old project I did, I had some spare self-sealing roof membrane/wrap that I cut and stuck on the metal to prevent the wood from making direct contact.
I honestly hadn’t considered this. The existing plywood in the bus is not pressure-treated, but undercoated on the bottom wherr it would be exposed to the elements. The two hatches I made are with new pressure-treated plywood so I don’t think there’s a big corrosion issue, also all the metal underneath both hatches has been scraped, primed, painted, and undercoated and new gasket material was installed so there is almost no actual wood to metal contact, it all rests on the foam rubber gasket.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:43 AM   #5
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Start your build thread in the Coach Conversion Forum.
Woah! I might call her a Coach, mostly because the model is a Supercoach, but this Crown started her life, and put in over 20 years as a yellow school bus in Washington State before retirement into the ski school bus life. She’s a skoolie through and through, and with a top speed of 63mph downhill with a tailwind and 3 guys pushing, I doubt she will get confused with a highway coach anytime soon.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:01 AM   #6
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Another update,

I have removed all of the vinyl rubber flooring in the bus. It was absolute misery. I dont know what kind of adhesive they used but it stood the test of time very well.
IMG_3003.jpg

I tried everything from scrapers, heat guns, shingle removal tools, nothing worked well and everything sucked.

I got the best results by heating a scraper with a torch until it glowed red and using that to separate the rubber from the floor. Time consuming and tedious at best.

The plywood flooring is in excellent shape, except where I damaged it slightly removing the rubber so the next step was removing the cove moldings from the floor/walls.

IMG_3144.jpg

They were attached to the floor with gulmites so those had to be ground away by my assistants, and they were attached to the seat rail by more gulmites hidden under the stainless wall flange. I elected to just cut the metal away below the flange as it was a much easier option.

IMG_3174.jpg

IMG_3205.jpg

IMG_3209.jpg

Yesterday I attacked the entry stairs and found the first and hopefully only rust on the bus

IMG_3207.jpg

Took me most of the day to get them out and get it all ground down and painted with rust converter. I hope to get a few coats of primer and a top coat on them today.

IMG_3214.jpg
IMG_3215.jpg
IMG_3219.jpg
IMG_3222.jpg
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:45 AM   #7
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Good progress but sorry to see that fellow grinding with no eye protection. Guess he doesn't his eyesight? The owner should know better than this and enforce it.


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Old 06-11-2019, 10:53 AM   #8
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Looks like the person in frame 2 had lab/splash goggles on, at least.
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Good progress but sorry to see that fellow grinding with no eye protection. Guess he doesn't his eyesight? The owner should know better than this and enforce it.


John
Proper PPE is easy-peasey, especially when a brief interval's discomfort is balanced against a life-changing, or -ending, injury...
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:04 AM   #9
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When you get metal in your eye they literally drill it out. Its gnarly man.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:13 AM   #10
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I've never looked into it, but since nearly everything on a bus, excepting conductors & window frames, are iron, wonder if they couldn't use en electromagnet to suck the sucker out..?
Why find out first hand? Use yer freakin' eye protection, peoples!!!
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
I've never looked into it, but since nearly everything on a bus, excepting conductors & window frames, are iron, wonder if they couldn't use en electromagnet to suck the sucker out..?
Why find out first hand? Use yer freakin' eye protection, peoples!!!



Pretty sure a ride on an MRI table would rip out any and all metal wherever it got to, but not without severe agony.
Not to keen on shorts, t shirts and no work boots either doing these types of jobs. Just lack of experience in knowing cutting and grinding wheels can and do shatter, when you least expect it. I think my dog would enjoy a burned out eyeball though. That's all they are good for when ripped apart needlessly.



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Old 06-11-2019, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Good progress but sorry to see that fellow grinding with no eye protection. Guess he doesn't his eyesight? The owner should know better than this and enforce it.


John
Hard to see but I do have eye-pro on in that picture, its just flipped up into my hair, I dropped them down once I realized.

The "lab goggles" my oldest is wearing are at least legit eye-pro, I got the full frame ones for when I am wearing my regular glasses.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:41 AM   #13
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Yup, an MRI'd do the job in one breath-takingly agonizing instant! A rare example of stupidity actually being painful...
Not for nothing, but I was thinking of something smaller, that could be positioned above the wound, perpendicular to the ingress, to minimize collateral damage, before being energized.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Pretty sure a ride on an MRI table would rip out any and all metal wherever it got to, but not without severe agony.
Not to keen on shorts, t shirts and no work boots either doing these types of jobs. Just lack of experience in knowing cutting and grinding wheels can and do shatter, when you least expect it. I think my dog would enjoy a burned out eyeball though. That's all they are good for when ripped apart needlessly.



John
"Dress for success!" If not, at least in such a way to mitigate inherent hazards...
Prolly a bad idea! Fido might develop a taste for such delicacies, and craftily hide your eye protection!
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Pretty sure a ride on an MRI table would rip out any and all metal wherever it got to, but not without severe agony.
Not to keen on shorts, t shirts and no work boots either doing these types of jobs. Just lack of experience in knowing cutting and grinding wheels can and do shatter, when you least expect it. I think my dog would enjoy a burned out eyeball though. That's all they are good for when ripped apart needlessly.



John
Questions were asked of me when I had an MRI whether I had been working with grinding metal. Their fear was the magnet ripping the piece out and causing more eye damage. They did an eye exam before the MRI.
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:48 PM   #15
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Last update I think we were still working on pulling the rubber floors, a lot has happened since then, so this is going to be a longish post.

We got the rubber up with a lot of work, and a propane torch. The plywood was in excellent shape, and so were the wheel wells so I treated and painted all the metal, and laid a new 3/4" T&G Advantec subfloor down. I also built new hatches for the engine and the fuel tank with PT plywood, and then topped with the same T&G subfloor, painted all the frame rails in the area, and put all new gaskets on them for an airtight seal. Installed recessed nuts and flush mount allen bolts to secure them down. We then mocked up the floorplan and dinette to see how it all fits together.











The next project we tackled was the ceiling. It had dozens and dozens of small dents, probably from ski tips. I spent nearly 2 months off and on sanding, filling/bondo, priming, sanding, priming, sanding, priming, and ultimately painting the ceiling with Valspar Anti-Rust, a tintable oil ba sed enamel in a nice light blueish white. It is certainly less than perfect, but we are very happy with the color and I can live with the few tiny imperfections that remain. I know everyone thinks you need to pull the ceiling, but in our case, there is about 1.5” of good insulation up there already, we would have had a ton of work and expense to make marginal gains and we just don’t think it was worth it.












While all this was going on I was also working on the chassis electrical (as opposed to “house” electrical which we haven’t started yet). This will probably continue for years off and on. Step 1 was to buy a Power Probe. That thing is worth its weight in gold, several times over. First thing I tackled was the brake lights. It seems that the original brake switch died out years ago and the solution they had was to add a new switch on the top of the brake pedal, that makes contact with a piece of metal they added above it off the wiper actuator, that opens with any pedal movement to light the brake lights. There was a short on the lines to this switch that I found and fixed, but the switch remains in use until I can figure out the factory setup. The tail lights themselves were in decent shape, but the trim rings were pitted and lost much of their chrome. I found some NOS weldon taillight assemblies on eBay and also bought a set of Crown tail light assemblies from a gentleman on FB, I also found new gaskets for them at Unity Bus Parts online (great place for bus parts) and put together some really good looking rear stop, turn signal, and brake lights. All bulbs are LED now as well. I also replaced the side turn signal lights above the front wheels with some really nice amber glass beehive units with chrome trim and LED bulbs. They look really sharp.









The dash was another area of concern. The dash lights probably stopped working in the early 2000's and it seems nobody gave a damn to see them fixed. I spent quite a few hours figuring out how they were powered and troubleshooting why they wouldn't work until I discovered they had a dimmer switch knob hidden on the left of the dash and that the leads had snapped off of it. New terminations and all new LED bulbs from an aircraft lighting supplier and the dash looks better than new. I also scuffed and painted the entire dash area with new gloss black paint and added a vintage looking CB radio and it looks really good if I do say so.





The rear trunk area was another project that we have checked off the list. There was a decent amount of surface rust from a leaking rear window (more on that shortly) and general grime in there. The bus was probably never cleaned and the dirt buildup is inches deep in many places on the chassis and the trunk was no exception. I cleaned, scraped, ground, treated, and painted the entire trunk and finished it with a glossy grey paint, and gloss black for the trim on the doors and door latches. It looks brand new now.






















I have been working most recently on the windows, and window seals. This is the last thing I need to finish before I start framing up the floorplan and interior partitions. The side windows had a crappy tint applied that had purpled and was peeling on many of them and 2 of them were cracked. I pulled the tint on all the windows and removed all the rubber sash seals. I have retinted all the windows with a nice Lexan 20% 2-ply ceramic tint that looks good. I bought a roll of heavy rubber and have cut new sash seals for all the windows. I bought 4 replacement windows from that same guy on FB and planned to swap them out for the broken ones. Unfortunately the ones I got from him are factory tinted and it can't be removed, and they don't match my new tint. I have disassembled 2 of them and brought the glass to a local glass shop and I am waiting for them to cut me 2 new side windows, and 2 new pieces for the rear hatch window. I should have them next week and I will be on to the task of pulling the old side windows out, and putting in the new ones. As far as I can tell, I need to remove the exterior trim between the windows (frozen gulmites that won't turn even with a slot in them) then remove the screws from the channels inside and I should be able to get them out from the outside. We will see how that goes next week.



Speaking of the rear hatch, I am currently working on restoring that as well. It has some decent rot along the bottom that was patched with bondo without treating the underlying metal causing further rusting and bubbling. I have stripped it to bare metal, and treated it inside and out with Ospho. I then primed with sandable filler primer, and used Bondo glass to fill the bigger holes. Sanded that smooth and put a top coat of regular bondo over that. Sanded it smooth and now I have about 4 coats of sandable primer over that. Its looking pretty good now so topcoat will probably be on before thanksgiving.










Lastly, I just got my bumperettes and emblems back from the plating shop and installed them. The bus had one emblem on the front, and I found another on eBay so I may be one of very few Crowns with 2 emblems. The bumperettes I got from FB guy as well, I don’t think my bus had them from the factory as it was WA spec, not CA, but they are freshly plated and polished and they are absolutely glowing on that bumper.





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Old 11-26-2019, 04:02 PM   #16
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omg man! YES!
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:44 PM   #17
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When you get metal in your eye they literally drill it out. Its gnarly man.
i came scary close to loosing an eye.

i broke one of my cardinal rules. If you are in the shop you will have safety glasses on period.

i swept the shop without eye protection and got a bit of something in my eye. i wound up with an ulcerated sore on my cornea. That got me two weeks off of work. I spent almost two weeks off of work and staying at home with all of the blinds closed and the lights out.

Please do not follow my example.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:06 PM   #18
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I'm no safety nerd as evidenced by my choice in attire. But eye protection is something I don't mess around with. I've got a bucket full of safety glasses and I wear a full face shield when grinding. That thing about the drill scares the shite out of me.

Willie's Crown sure is looking pretty, eh?
I'm not a fan of black paint but it sure looks nice with the chrome.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:41 PM   #19
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I'm no safety nerd as evidenced by my choice in attire. But eye protection is something I don't mess around with. I've got a bucket full of safety glasses and I wear a full face shield when grinding. That thing about the drill scares the shite out of me.

Willie's Crown sure is looking pretty, eh?
I'm not a fan of black paint but it sure looks nice with the chrome.
Eye care is no joke, I am just now recovering from a corneal ulcer I got last thursday/friday. Got some dirt in my eye at work, doing things that don't normally require eye pro. It must've gotten under my contact and ground in overnight (I sleep with contacts in at work) by friday night I was in the ER and in a ton of pain. A week of HOURLY antibiotic drops and I'm back to full duty today.

I don't love the black either, but painting is not in the cards for at least another year or 2.
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