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Old 12-10-2007, 11:09 PM   #1
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Xtevan's bus

The adventure begins..

I drove the bus back from El Paso the week end before last. She is presently parked on my families property outside of Houston. I ran out of light and camera battery on Sunday evening before I had a chance to get enough detail to start a cad drawing for thinking through the interior layout. My goal is to have livable vehicle suitable for my music festival(mud) and burning man(dust) adventures in the summer.

Progress so far, I have ordered a quart of 3M micro bead for painting the roof, Lowes here has white 'professional' rustoleum in gallons on the shelf. I purchased three Doutherm A/C units from a vehicle my work was going to sell for scrap. Two of them look like they are good shape except for some rust on the fans motor, the other may just be spare parts. They were a lot harder to remove than I suspected, they were secured down with a grey adhesive in addition to the normal peel & stick on the foam.






I am looking at adding pyrometer, boost, and trans temp gauges before I think about adjusting the governor. Am pondering pulling the Generac generator and going with less thirsty Honda generators. I guess my next hurdle is state inspection and licensing.

Xtevan

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Old 12-11-2007, 06:47 AM   #2
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Re: Xtevan's bus

nice paint job.

if you are looking at the hondas for fuel savings over an existing gennie, i would think long and hard about it. they ain't cheap.

if you are doing it to keep angry campground mobs from congregating with torches and pitchforks at your campsite, then by all means, go ahead. But, if fuel savings is it, the payback time would probably be pretty long.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: Xtevan's bus

with fuel at 3.30/gallon, and a geni that eats 0.5 gallons per hour you would have to run your existing geni for about 550 hours to burn $900 worth of fuel. $900 is the approximate price of the honda eu2000.

i think you mentioned you plan to go to burningman not only is geni noise a big consideration, so is the space and weight of the 96 gallons of fuel it would take to run a geni for 8 days straight at 0.5 gallons per hour.

compare that to the 13 gallons of fuel you'd burn in the honda running it for 8 days in a row.

to buy or not to buy when you already have a geni bought, paid for, and mounted to your skoolie....that's a tough question.
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:54 AM   #4
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Re: Xtevan's bus

i think it comes down to how much time will you need to run A/C overnight when not hooked up to shore power. Seeing as he is in houston, heat and humidity capital of the universe, that could be fairly often. An A/C ain't gonna last long running off batteries. And who wants to listen to a loud gas hog gennie all night.

If he will need to run A/C off the grid, alot, go for it. If not, if all you need is a few lights, TV, jacuzzi pump, and all the other usual loads, spend your money on a decent inverter and all the batteries you can carry. Maybe look into one of them 24 volt alternators.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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Re: Xtevan's bus

What do you do with the micro bead?
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:24 PM   #6
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Re: Xtevan's bus

What do you do with the micro bead?

Add to the white paint for the roof to add insulation value. I'm steering away from white elastomer paint for now, because I suspect I will deck the entire roof at some point and don't want to have to scrape away sections to secure attachment pads to the roof.

The bus is parked on my mom's land about 40miles west of Houston. I live in Austin, when I get it painted and plated, I will start looking for somewhere to park it closer to home. I can probably run a line to power the A/C while I have it out there.

The 96 gallons of gas is somewhat daunting, Based on last years burning man weather though I don't plan on using AC except during the 11am-6pm heat of the day. I'm more concerned about the long desert sections of the drive to and from.
Doubt this is more than an afternoon's worth of gas:


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Old 12-11-2007, 10:18 PM   #7
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Re: Xtevan's bus

Somehow I don't think that gas can mounted like that is going to pass DOT should you get caught up in one of their roadside inspections!

I have to agree with the above post, if I already had a Genset installed, I wouldn't go out buying another and then figure out a way to mount it etc... I just got a Onan 2500W (for free) and don't care how much it uses, I only plan to run it when I'm underway so I can have the roof A/C powered up... Trying to figure out a way to mount that thing solidly is going to be a fun job...
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:59 AM   #8
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Re: Xtevan's bus

I wish my bus would have a geni built in already, I for sure wouldnt take the one out you have. Its a geni built for an RV so it cant be to noisy.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:26 AM   #9
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Re: Xtevan's bus

I got out the bus Sunday and spent a few hours working on it. I demoed the back of the bulkhead/bed and took the top off of the kid sized bunk bed to make a bench. With the bulkhead gone I can finally see from end to end and appreciate the room I have to work with.

Spent an hour measuring to start to start a drawing for planning the layout. My camera was dead so I could not take any new pictures.

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Old 02-16-2008, 09:25 PM   #10
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Re: Xtevan's bus

Hello friend,
Glad you made the trip OK. Sorry I haven't written, been kinda crazy here. Anyway I just wanted to chime in on the generator issue. Before I bought that generator I already knew a bit about generators and then I researched the options for a month before buying that one. The Hondas arent even as good on fuel if you plan to actually use it and not have a long time of idling with a low power draw. Heck, that's what batteries are for. Generators are for running an AC and charging batteries. When you look at the spec of the honda (EU3000) it will burn 3.4 gallons in 7.1 hrs at full throttle. That's where it will be running when the AC is running. The Generac uses .34 gallons at half load (about where it will be running the same AC). Besides the generac is remote controlled and will last 5 times as long in the same environment. It's made for the job. Heck, it's yours now but make sure you know what fuel consumption is going to be for the way you plan to use it before spending 2Gs to replace something that aint broke.
Also If you plan to run 2 ACs then you will need at least a 5KW gen to run both. That's about where most generators start using .75 gallons an hour so how cool do you need to be? You might be surprised how cool you will be with just one in that small space.

P.S. BTW the "gas can" is actually an approved marine fuel cell. May or may not pass inspection but is safe and I bought it to get by till I could install a large fuel tank.

Good Luck
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:42 PM   #11
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Re: Xtevan's bus

Spent Sunday afternoon working on the bus. Pressure washed and scotch brited the roof, all afternoon. Just before dark rolled on a coat of white rustoleum with glass microbeads mixed in. Not real happy with the coverage(should have used a foam roller)- the mixture was really thick with the microbeads. Will probably do another coat with a thinner mix and foam roller. Will definitely spray the sides.

Had about a dozen things on the to do list, the roof prep just ate up the whole day. I did get the stop sign and signal eyebrows removed. Was dying to paint the bumpers, wheels, and mirrors with silver hammer finish rustoleum.

Picked up plates at the tax office first thing Monday morning, while It took while since everyone there wasn't through their first cup of coffee, getting it plated as an RV was not an issue. They didn't ask anything or even look at the pictures.

The digital camera screen died on the last trip. So I had to use the film camera, so I will have pictures..

Has any one installed a pyrometer? I started looked at them online. Most of them have green and red zones on the gauge face and am wondering where the redline(exhaust temp) for a Cummins 5.9 should be. I guess sensor position would come into that also.

58 days till Burning Flipside, need to get the AC installed soon

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Old 03-26-2008, 01:35 PM   #12
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Re: Xtevan's bus

I live and work in North Austin(parmer&mopac). My bus is parked at my mom's property about 45 miles south of Houston off I10. I hope to finish the exterior painting done before I bring it into town
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:02 PM   #13
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Re: Xtevan's bus

I reserected a pyrometer from an old kenworth, type K thermocouple,the tc should be in the exhaust manifold just before the turbo and centered in the exhaust port to get thebest actual temp. In wiring up instrumentation, wire type is critical and the color code is red=negative, type K wiring will have a yellow outer jacket. 1500F is probably a safe max temp @ turbo in.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:04 PM   #14
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Re: Xtevan's bus

I spent Saturday sanding and prepping the the bus. I used a 'scotch brite' type wheel on my angle grinder to save my shoulders. Getting the abrasive wheels seated on the backing pad was a pain. After saturday's prep



Ended up with a psychedelic Chester the cheeto's cheetah pattern on the areas I used the angle grinder. Sunday I power washed and scotch brited with dish detergent. I was amazed at how filthy the new paint on the roof was. I also demoed what was left of the bed platform /bulkhead that divided the bus at the axle, It was wonderful to walk the whole length of the bus. I'm thinking through how I could hinge the bed to fold out of the way for bike storage in what will be the back bedroom. I got a pretty decent coat of paint on the sunny side of the bus, the shade side I had issues with water seeping out from under the side extrusions.








I removed the mirrors, sanded off rust, primed and shot a coat of silver hammer texture finish paint. The I ran out of time to completely strip trim and mask the front and rear to finish up. As usual I ran out of daylight before I was done.

I need to build a mask to quickly finish painting the window columns
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:34 PM   #15
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Re: Xtevan's bus

And a view from the front.




I think I am going to remove the center panel over the radiator and paint it as well as the bumpers with the silver hammer texture.

I would like to deck the roof forward of the luggage corral. While I wanted to weld up some thing really slick, we have a pile of 2X12 x 8's that would be headed for the dump otherwise at work. So next weekend I need to create a roof profile to start cutting out ribs.

I think figuring out the bath room will be the next major step after painting is done, space for the tank placement under neath will dictate the rest of the interior layout. Any suggestions for bathroom fixtures to use or steer clear of?

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Old 04-08-2008, 09:21 PM   #16
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Re: Xtevan's bus

looking good x man did the hammer finish come in a gallon can and how much paint did you use?
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:18 PM   #17
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Re: Xtevan's bus

=>how come you didn't sand off the previous paint, even just lightly?

I lightly sanded all of the flat areas with the angle grinder. The first weekend that I scrubbed the roof with scotch brite pads I really tweaked my right shoulder that I dislocated a few years back- So i was pretty physically limited in how much I could get out of the grooved side rails- I lightly scrubbed with scotch brite pads and then pressure washed the grooved ribs

=> Did you use Rust-Oleum?

Gloss white rustoleum- ~$25 a gallon at Lowes

=>And what are you going to do about the windows with graffiti on them, is there a way of taking that off of them?

The colors scrape off pretty easily with a razor blade- the layered stuff over black in the middle takes a bit more work to scrape off decided to wait till I'm done painting In case there is my own over spray to deal with also

=>looking good x man did the hammer finish come in a gallon can and how much paint did you use?

I wish I could find the silver hammer tone in liquid, It's 5.97 an aerosol can at walmart, need to shop around here in Austin. The hammer tone aerosol cans seam to spit and drip a lot more than the primer and regular texture cans I've used in the past.

So far I have rolled one gallon on the roof with 3M glass microbeads http://uscomposites.com/fillers.html and another gallon sprayed on the sides. I think with recoating the roof and finishing up front and sides another 1 1/2 gallons will probably about right.

I am really looking forward to seeing it all white with the silver accents
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:04 PM   #18
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Re: Xtevan's bus

I made a Lowe's run at lunch to pick up another gallon of White paint and found a quart of Rustoleum Silver hammer tone a few shelves up for 10.97. I'm pretty certain they didn't have it at the Lowe's in San Antonio where I bought the first gallon of white.

I also picked up new hardware to mount the mirrors with, meant to get to the Nut& Bolt place to get stainless but the week got way from me. I have scrounged a few big pieces of cardboard to mask the tires for wheel painting and make roof contour templates.

The weather is looking really good, should have the bus painted this weekend!!
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:53 AM   #19
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Re: Xtevan's bus

xman so you found the hammer paint in a non aerosol can will you reduce it and shoot it through your gun? let us know how that goes and what you think of it hope it goes well this weekend timbuk
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:10 AM   #20
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Painting Xtevan's bus

Wow, I am finally somewhat recovered from the weekend, has been pretty busy at work also. I prepped and masked most of Saturday afternoon and Sunday. I had a number of bubbles from where water came out from under the sides ribs on the afternoon shade side of the bus and big area at the end of the ribs where an amazing amount of water had flowed out . I sanded these out. The afternoon sun side had lots streaks of dirty drip stained paint from where drips had run out from under the ribs probably after dark when the temperature dropped and the paint was partially cured.

My plan had been to prep & paint on Saturday, Sunday put everything back together and drive the bus into town. Ended up painting till dark on Sunday.



Painted



I was somewhat relieved to see evidence of gloss in the side view, in some areas the first coat on the sides was too thin and grainy. This time, I used an inline filter and pressure regulator to keep the pressure to the spray gun under 55 psi like the instructions suggest. It was past dark when I finished shooting paint so I'm looking forward to getting back out and seeing it all white. I expect It's between a 10 and 20 foot paint job. I also expect a bunch of my mom's patio furniture to be lined up next to the bus for painting white also Now that they know I can apply large amounts of paint the projects will be coming...

Sorry about the picture quality, my film slr didn't want to work half way through the afternoon. These were scanned from photos taken with a disposable camera.

I'm looking forward to catching a bunch of music at the Old Settlers Festival tonight and Friday. This is one of the events I'm building the bus for. The summer is rapidly approaching here

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