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Old 09-06-2007, 08:40 PM   #301
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Millicent's first expedition was a roaring success, but one thing did go Horribly Wrong out there at Burning Man.

Having no experience with the Cumming 5.9, I had no sound to compare with when I cranked her up. Sure, it sounded a bit sluggish, but no alarm bell went off in my head.

When we went to start her back up to come home from BM, the starter died completely.
After attempting repairs, and failing, I hitched a ride to Reno for a new starter. Returned the next day in a rental car, slapped the new starter in and... Wow -- so that's how it's supposed to crank!
Very foolish of me. I should have paid attention to the sluggish starter and replaced it to make sure.

My two bus mates got to spend an extra day on the Playa. They didn't mind.
I got to ride to Reno with a close cousin of Cheech and Chong - Up In Smoke -- if you remember that movie. Woooooow, maaaan.

"Life is what happens while you are making other plans."
-John Lennon


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Old 09-06-2007, 10:27 PM   #302
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

welcome back to the default world. Sorry we didn't get to spend more time together. Glad to hear everything except the starter went so well.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:32 PM   #303
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Thanks, Jason. What a week! I wasn't too worried about the starter, since I knew darned well how it would get handled. It was only a matter of "how angry are my friends going to be over the inconvenience of waiting?" But those folks are my friends for a reason. So it was an OK adventure.

Here is The Big Philosophical Idea:
47.000 people just spent a week in the bleeping Black Rock Desert -- living under conditions of considerable discomfort and hardship. Kind'a like most people lived thousands of years ago. And some people live even today, in some parts of the world. THOSE people lived that way -- when a dry-split fingertip could kill you -- because they had no choice.
To eat, they had to trek up in the surrounding mountains and find and kill a rabbit. Might take a few days.

WE... go out in that effing desert for a week once a year and pretend to live like that... for sport. When the storms blow, we have good wine on ice while we listen to rock'n'roll under 12 Volt flourescent RV lamps.
We are so fortunate. So decadent. So rich. So spoiled.
Gotta love it.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:46 AM   #304
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Finally a photo of Millicent at Burning Man.



This is the front of our camp, with a couple of our Kinetic Contraptions -- we had eight total, plus some minor goofy bicycles and whatnot. Our main shade is a 40 foot by 60 foot tarp that we wrapped around Millicent and tied to two other sturdy vehicles.

I wanna go back there. Now.

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Old 09-20-2007, 10:09 PM   #305
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Just a little bit of trivia:


That's Millicent's bus. No, my bus does not own its own bus. That's the bus that belongs to Harold and Millicent from Utah! My bus is on the left, mostly covered by the shade tarp -- which we were in the process of taking down.

Last year at Burning Man, I drove my $250 temporary bus and I was trying to figure out what sort of permanent bus I should buy. I spotted this Utah bus, and the very kind Lady Millicent gave me a "tour". I measured that bus up one side and along the other -- inside and out. Later I met her husband Hal also. Fabulous folks.

My buddy Peter was with me, and we talked about... not only the bus, but what a pretty name Millicent is. (Lady Millicent is very pretty also!) And I decided that if I bought such a bus, I would name the bus Millicent.

A few months later, I bought my Millicent The Bus.

This year at Burning Man, on the day when most folks were returning to "the default world"... what came slowly cruising towards us but... Hal and Millicent in their bus. They had spotted my bus during the event, and wanted to ask questions, but I was not in camp at the time. But they caught me on that last day. They seemed to get a kick out of the entire story.

Hal and Millicent's bus is from the 1980s and has a gasoline engine. Otherwise it is very much like mine. More correctly, mine is like theirs! Lady Millicent most sportingly gave me permission to keep using her name on my bus.

Life is wondermuss!
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:55 PM   #306
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

and no pics of the real lady?....the shame that we can't behold thy muss for the bus.
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:13 AM   #307
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Another shot of the two Blue Birds...




reveals...



Alas, only grainy outlines of Yours Truly and the astonishingly beautiful Lady Millicent -- in an unflattering pose to boot. Still, in a sense, our muse for the boos, yes.

Peter! Did you get a closeup??!!!
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:53 PM   #308
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

I see your brow has changed! You have any new pictures of your new forehead ready yet? I really enjoy reading your progress.
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:30 PM   #309
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Gosh, I finally get around to updating my signature image... and people notice!

But that progress is "old news" now. You'll see it two or three pages back. I haven't done much with Millicent since Burning Man -- except unload and clean. There is more and more Playa Dust in my house, as stuff migrates from the bus back to the house, bringing the dust with it. Please understand, that's NOT a complaint! It is a GOOD thing! Brings back the memories.

Oh, I did drive Millicent to Sacramento last weekend, to participate in a Parade and Harvest Fair. Put "Henry Ford Goes Surfing" inside Millicent by taking the wheels off. Love that tailgate!


Yesterday, I tinkered with the foot feed ("gas pedal") linkage. It was too stiff and didn't open all the way. The cable seems like new, but the linkage on the engine is very worn and wobbly, so that needs rebuilding. Meanwhile, I removed one of the return springs. Yes, I know, there should always be two return springs -- each capable of pulling the linkage back to idle by itself (in case one breaks). But I want to take it around the block on one spring, to see what difference it makes. An other factor with the foot feed mechanism is that it also operates the modulator or kick-down cable to the transmission, so there may be friction in that cable.

Next trip is in eight days -- to the Southern California Kinetic Sculpture Race in Ventura. My travel mates tell me I need get the heaters working. And we need more bunks. But I have three Kinetic Kontraptions that all need major work.

Thanks for the kind words. There should be more progress over the winter. It really needs to get all painted -- so we can start decorating on a blank "canvas".
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:02 PM   #310
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate



Damn that looks good! Nice work.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:39 PM   #311
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Thanks! You are clearly no slouch with roof-raising yourself, Abbott, so I think we have a Competition on our hands!

Worked on the heater today, in preparation for next week's trip. Last year we made that trip with no heat at all (in my first bus, "Old #35"), and there were complaints.

I was NOT IMPRESSED with the heater blow in Millicent either, so I investigated. I figured I needed a blower motor.
Turns out that... the main heater in Millicent -- the one in the dash -- has a filter in the air intake. Much like a furnace filter in a house. Except this one was more like a sheet of plywood -- dirtiest filter I have ever seen! The frame for the filter gave me the impression it might rattle in its mount, so I tossed the whole thing. (I hate rattles.) Wow, now that heater blows! The filter is in the corner by the door. Two screws remove the cover, and just pull the filter out.
The other two heaters have been removed for now, but this one will do the job now that air actually goes thru it!
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:01 PM   #312
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Whoa -- I have neglected my duties....
I "need" to report that Millicent made a flawless 1000 mile round trip around the October 27 weekend.

The heater worked fine, but we kept getting engine fumes inside, so we need to seal gaps and otherwise manage air flow. It wasn't bad enough for me to notice, but a couple of the others said they noticed. The theory is that exhaust is being drawn into the bus and forward by having windows open near the front -- the sides near the front being a low pressure area. So I'm thinking of a "ram air" intake in the front, to pressurize the interior a little. But it should help just to get all the holes and gaps in the body sealed -- there are still giant openings next to the tail gate.

A few squeeks and rattles in the sheet metal also, but she runs like a Swiss watch!

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Old 11-22-2007, 10:07 PM   #313
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess

So I'm thinking of a "ram air" intake in the front, to pressurize the interior a little.
My bus actually has something similar to what I believe you are describing. There is a roof vent in the front that has a flapper door in it. Fresh air can come in, but it will close should there be a backdraft of any type.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:30 PM   #314
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Hmmm.... Millicent also has a small roof vent near the front. I'll take a closer look at it. But I think we are dealing with much larger volumes of air, to manage wayward exhaust fumes.

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Old 11-22-2007, 11:57 PM   #315
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

How about just rerouting the exhaust to a different spot? That seems like it might be an easier solution to me. There should be a fair amount of parallel airflow off to the sides so perhaps a side exit exhaust is in order along with an inspection to make sure you don't have any leaks anywhere.

Hmm...25 foot long chrome sidepipes....
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:17 AM   #316
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Way ahead of you!

The current exhaust outlet is on the left, in front of the rear tires -- smack where the sewer tank outlet goes. So I'm thinking of running the exhaust pipe out on the right, up the outside, and rearward along the roof. (The pipe begins on the right, so I would be eliminating the cross over -- not adding one.) I might even eliminate the muffler, since a looooooong pipe provides extra noise reduction. The problem with this idea is that the outside "stack" may be too wide for The Law. So I'm thinking of fabricating an oval pipe -- just two or three inches thick but wide enough to equal a four inch round pipe in flow capacity.

See what the brain comes up with when it has nothing to do but steer an eighteen wheeler all over the western states for 19 days straight!!!
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:14 AM   #317
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

welcome back, elliot.

i know what you mean about that low pressure thing. my toyota sunrader does the same thing, cept it ain't exhaust gases i was sucking in. Instead the black tant vent became an air inlet. not much fun. there was a two part fix. first, i found that leaving the regular cab windows up and opening the triangle shaped vent windows all the way caused the ram air effect you speak of. the second thing we did was install one of them windvane looking things on the black tank vent which completely eliminated the problem. why don't car makers use those little vent windows anymore. they are handy.

i am certain that with your fabricatring skills you could rig up something similar to make millicent look like dumbo. as for the exhaust routing, i think that is your best bet. it would be a shame though, having a big ole sewer pipe on the outside ruining millie's graceful lines. what about one that runs up through the bus? or is that dangerous/illegal/dumb?

how about air intakes on millicent's fivehead? sorry, but that thing's too big to be a forehead.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:42 AM   #318
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Hi Pete! Yes, we are thinking along the same lines with the air flow. Glad you figured your problem out. My RV toilet supposedly closes tightly so fumes cannot back up, but I'll definitely use a "windvane" on the vent.

I have thought of running the exhaust pipe in a "chimney" thru the interior, but I didn't think of it for very long, because we need all the space we have inside. It will be fine on the outside, if I go that route.

The most important part of this, is probably to close all the holes in the body behind the exhaust outlet. There are countless bolt holes in the floor, and those big gaps at the tail gate that a cat could walk thru. So I think it will be fine once I get all done with that.

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Old 11-23-2007, 02:00 PM   #319
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

the black pipe vent cap is called the RV 360. You can get them for between 20-30 bucks. Definitely the best 30 bucks I've spent on that thing. Wish I didn't wait about 6000 miles into a 7000 mile trip to get it, though.

As for the pipe. why not just run the existing one all the way aft with a turnout right before the rear end. Going out the back probably wouldn't be a wise idea with that draw bridge you have out back.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:39 PM   #320
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Thanks.
I'm not inclined to run the exhaust under the floor more than necessary, because I need that space for the various water tanks and related plumbing. That's why I may put the exhaust on the outside. All in due time.
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