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Old 07-29-2009, 01:02 PM   #521
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


And the answer is....



This is a Blue Bird pusher at my local school bus yard. The pinion is on top! I also looked at their Thomas pushers, and that pinion was just barely above the center. And the reason is obviously to keep the engine safely off the ground. The drive shaft on the Thomas is only 16 inches long. I did not measure the Blue Bird, but that shaft a bit is longer -- maybe two feet.

So I bet you are correct that it is just the the pinion and ring gear that are "backwards".

All right. Good brainstorm! But there is no way I am going to do any of this with Millicent. Too far down the list of priorities. And way too much heavy work to move all these components around.

What IS realistic, is to take a pusher bus and simply drill a full set of new holes in the frame, three feet forward, and slide the entire driverain forward with a come-along. Then build the sloping floor. But I don't think I'll ever get around to that either. But fun brainstorm!

Edit:
Ah.... I failed to read Paul's post.
Yes, that's a good idea also! A longer wheelbase would not bother me much. I'm more worried about the overhang when other people are driving -- or even myself. And no reversing of rotation.


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Old 09-10-2009, 12:28 AM   #522
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


We often discuss how to protect the interior of a bus from the heat of the sun. I’m happy to report that I had great success with the “large-air-gap-shade” method at Burning Man this year.

This involves shading the bus with a tarp (or other material, like a roof deck), so that air can circulate between the shade and the roof. The shade converts the Sun’s rays to heat, and the air in the gap carries the heat away.

My buddy Peter found four pieces of galvanized square steel with nice rounded bends that were perhaps a railing in their former life. They were not wide enough for the bus, but there were two dimensions of steel and the two fit inside each other, so I made a telescoping center section, secured with a bolt.

To fasten them, I cut open the roof skin and slipped the bows inside the “hat sections”. The “hat sections” are the one-piece wall studs and roof bows that were cut and extended at window level when the roof was raised.
If I ever do this again from scratch, I would do the extensions and roof rack all in one operation with one piece of steel!


The first hole was a the rear, where the damage from future rain leaks would be minimal. It took a bit of trial and error:





But subsequent holes were neater and the fit pretty good:







The front was a problem, because there are no hat sections -- only rectangular tubing with various obstructions inside. I fashioned these inserts from 1” tubing...





...and mounted these the same way as the regular bows. The bow then slips over the inserts and secures with bolts. Thus the front bow is removable, should the need arise.





So I left for Burning Man with four of these bows across the roof:





In our next episode, we hope the pictures from Burning Man come out usable!
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:52 AM   #523
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

man...what a great idea. i love it. such a smooth looking install. you could even fashion some sort of hinged or spring loaded cover, then just slide in the bows when you get where your parking. very nice.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:42 PM   #524
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


And the answer is...

... a five dollar throw-away film camera got the job done.







We noticed a substantial reduction in heat inside the bus -- compared with 2007 when we had the same tarp resting directly on the roof.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:12 PM   #525
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

I don't have a picture - but when I first put a silver/gray colored heavy tarp over my bus for temp reduction (same concept) and laying on top of the bus (same execution) it worked.... some. I decided a bit later to put an air gap to make the hot tarp not rest directly on the bus room and carry the heat via conduction to the metal. I put a pair of sawhorses on the bus (and an old folding chair, if I recall correctly) with a few long pieces of metal pipe to tent it over the bus. One thing I remember, is that it was HOT underneath that as I was crawling under the tarp on top of the bus. I've worked in high heat environments before - I'm been crawling in houses that were on fire with flame all around me (I'm a firefighter) - but I think the heat was worse under that tarp until there was an air gap.

After the air gap was setup, some of the heat load under the tarp was allowed to escape because of the ability of air to flow. We probably dropped 5 or 10 degrees in the bus with the extra space. It only took about a foot of room between the tarp (which was still pretty hot) and the bus sheet metal (which was no longer horribly hot).

Of course, in proper Elliot style - you've bodged together something that looks nice and is happily over-engineered. A pair of sawhorses and a pipe would not last in a BurningMan duststorm! And in true Skoolie style, I'm sure there are a dozen or more folk looking at the pictures and thinking "I can do that.... but my way".

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Old 09-17-2009, 02:29 PM   #526
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Generally speaking, people ought to do all this bus stuff their way. Much more fun than just copying somebody else's design. And you will actually understand what you are doing!

One of the many names and logos we have toyed with for Millicent is based on the emercency agency "Mobile Command Post" theme. You have perhaps seen "Incident Investigation Team" and similar at traffic... incidents. We considered painting "Incident Instigation Team" on Millicent.

This is one type of incident that we instigate:



That's me in blue shirt and wide-brim straw hat, NOT spilling the drink in my left hand.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:02 PM   #527
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


It also helps -- a lot -- that there is almost always a breeze (or more) on the Playa.

Houses are sometimes built this way. Just not nearly often enough.

But it can sometimes be seen as an added "shed" over mobile homes -- probably the most common application in this country.

Odds are, if we could go back and study architechture in the British Empire and back a few thousand years, we would find lots of such.


Yes, 16 inches. That's U-joint to U-joint.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:22 AM   #528
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

the tarp over the roof thing. I've sort of had this idea before. I have a large chunk of camo netting that I have used sort of as an awning of sorts and once used it to cover my bus when I camped with my dad. It provided a little shade overhead and we did notice a slight change in temp inside witht he AC running. We had discussed putting something up on the roof to hold the camo netting up off the roof but never really explored it further or talked about it more. I like this idea of portable shade to park under. I know that using the windshield covers my dad made cuts down the temps inside the bus TREMENDOUSLY.
Yah thanks alot. you've "instigated" another project in the never ending list of things I intend to do. Probably not any time soon but I got more stuff to daydream about now.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:59 PM   #529
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


I should mention the wind. This tarp is 40 x 40 feet, and even with some of it "plastered" tightly against the left side of the bus, the tarp was at first unmanagable in the wind and would soon have been torn to shreds. So I cut six big U-shaped vents in it, as I have seen in professional signs and banners. That let enough air "leak" thru, and the tarp survived the rest of the week just fine.

A better approach is to use several small tarps. Then the wind finds its way around each. Hecka lot easier to work with also.

Next year, I think I'll rig up something to give us an air space on the left -- south -- side of the bus also. (Wind and sun both tend to come out of the south up there, so we always park accordingly.)

Well, Millicent is off on an other adventure -- but without me. Peter and family will be particiapting in the Port Townsend, WA, Kinetic Sculpture Race first weekend of October, and Peter already has taken Millicent to his house. He reports getting 12 MPG when he drives her without the trailer.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:58 AM   #530
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Another brainstorm on this tarp thing.... would it really matter what color the tarps are? I'm thinking that if a guy used black tarps then it would provide more shade vs say a white sheet. BUT black absorbs heat yadda yadda yadda..... however, but i'm thinking the black would provide better shade than the white sheet right? but would the black create more heat under the tarp? Either way I'm sure it would make the inside of the bus cooler than just bare metal on top.
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:09 AM   #531
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

The black would create more heat under the tarp. Lighter colors reflect the radiation back instead of absorbing it.

For shade, it's not so much the color that matters, it's the density of the tarp material that creates deeper shade. For example, the difference in shade quality between a sheet of white plastic (which will reflect the sun) and a white industrial tarp (which will block the sun) is substantial. Both are white, but one stops the sun's rays from completely penetrating to the other side, thus blocking more of the light.

However, in order to block both light AND heat, color does matter. In that case, two tarps of equal weight, but different colors (white vs. black) will produce the same quality of shade, but the white tarp will produce cooler shade because it will reflect the radiating heat as well as light.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:55 AM   #532
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Thanks, Tygercub!
The tarp I have is a hay tarp, used by farmers to protect large stacks of hay. It is white on one side and black on the other, and no light gets thru. Quite a deal as tarps go -- 40 x 60 feet, with grommets and rope-reinforced edges, for just over USD 300.

But as I think I mentioned, such a large tarp is difficult to handle. They sell smaller hay tarps also.

Next year I expect to bring construction scaffolding to hold the tarp(s) up at the corners away from the bus, to eliminate the sagging you see in the above photo. I'm using scaffolding now in the construction of my barn, and that stuff is super handy! Lots of it at Burning Man, but I was not familiar with it until now.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:29 PM   #533
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess


We noticed a substantial reduction in heat inside the bus -- compared with 2007 when we had the same tarp resting directly on the roof.
all of our tents over here in friendly Afghanistan have a similar set up. we also put a layer of sand bags on the conexes we use for offices it absorbs the heat during the day and bleeds it off during the night.

I was thinking that adding a deck on top of the bus would do something similar and allow additional storage space.
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:23 PM   #534
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Those sand bags serve as Thermal Mass. Well known principle.

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Old 10-09-2009, 05:03 PM   #535
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Glad to be back. now I just got to wait a few more months till my my bus/burning man money comes out of the CD I have it in. and i'll be ready to get started.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:07 PM   #536
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Time for an update -- I have done a bit of work on Millicent.



-
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-
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...but I did not yet take any picture of that work on Millicent. Instead I took this shot in a 45-foot 2010 Prevost Marathon. They made me take my shoes off to go inside. Price tag: just barely north of Two Million US Dollars.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, Millicent has now traveled 18.421 miles in less than three years. Largely trouble free.

I learned something important about her last weekend: The tube that picks up the fuel inside the fuel tank is NOT at the rear of the tank where it ought to be. I say that's where it ought to be, because that's where the last of the fuel is while climbing a steep hill with the tank gauge close to the empty mark. Yep, I ran out. Would have gone another 100 miles or more on mostly level ground. But I forgot about that long 8 % grade just six miles from home. Big tow bill to get out of the traffic lane, and did not get the engine primed and started until the next day. I suspect the priming pump is no good. Wound up filling both filters manually and cranking the heck out of it -- with long cooling-off periods.

Lesson learned: Do not run your bus out of fuel. Never run it below quarter tank. You do NOT want to run a Diesel engine out of fuel.

Now, about my recent Millicent upgrade. The silly bus always smelled kind'a stinky inside while traveling -- exhaust and other engine fumes. So I took the bull by the horns and cut a big opening in the front sheet metal, above the right head light -- where the air intake is for the heater. Now we have 60 MPH air ramming straight into the interior(or thru the heater, depending on setting). Fresh air! Big improvement. We'll probably continue to tinker with that air flow and the heating thereof, but the main problem of sucky air inside has been solved. We have a "pressurized cabin" now.

I'll go out and take a snapshot of Millicent now...

...Here we go:



Probably ought to put a screen on it, to keep low-flying birds and random pedestrians out of it. But boy howdy, lemm'e tell you, it works!
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:58 PM   #537
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Question for you: if you have 60mph wind coming into the bus through that hole, won't you also have 60mph rain coming in? My bus has a stock vent built in on the driver side (the one on the passanger side has a plate covering it) and I wonder, what prevents the rain from coming right in? I've spent enough time grinding rust off the floor now that I want to prevent that from recurring.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:57 PM   #538
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


No doubt some extra rain will get in. Perhaps I ought to put a door or cover on it.

But we are not talking about a new path straight into the bus. I should have explained better. What I created was an easier way for air to reach the normal heater/ventilation intake. Look at the picture and you will see a screen a couple of inches behind the new hole. That's the existing heat/vent intake. It has a door already, controlled by cable from the dashboard, allowing a choice between outside or inside air.

So it is not like I have stuck a giant funnel in the face of the bus. The air flow still has to pass thru the normal vent/heat system.

But yes, no doubt the original convoluted air path (upward in the area behind the headlight) was designed to keep rain from getting to the inlet.

Everything in life is about choices and compromises. I figure I'll be long dead of Old Age before that occational extra water causes any appreciable rust. But the air quality while driving was an urgent matter on every trip. I did not notice it myself, but one or two of my frequent companions were bothered by it, so I Took Care Of It.

And if any serious gullywasher ever comes thru there, it will just run down the stairs and out the door anyway.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:21 AM   #539
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

I saw the coach interior and was thinking, "He put ROLLOUTS in????"

I like the Ram-air ventilation system. Did you ever see the bus drag racing videos where they cut flaps in the bus roof to cut drag as they were doing wheelies down the race track? (hint, hint)
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:39 PM   #540
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


I suppose I should have saved that Prevost picture for April Fools Day, but I would have lost it by then.

Air flow is a tricky science. And I'm no scientist! But I have a rough idea where the low-pressure and high-pressure areas are on the outside of a vehicle. These seem to tend to conspire to create a rear-to-front air flow inside the vehicle.

The worst thing we could do was open the driver's side window. That would draw air out of the front of the bus, and the replacement air would come from the rear -- where the tailpipe is, and a gazillion small holes and gaps in the body. We also have a huge air leak around the unfinished entry door, contributing to the problem. So we needed to bring in lots of air in the front, reversing the general air flow inside to run from the front to the rear. The ram air hole does a good job of that.
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