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Old 03-07-2021, 03:28 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
Proud builder of an abomination

Hey guys.
The birdhouse saga continues

Its been a while since I've been on. Weird drama during the summer.

I finally got the swinging walls built, mostly. One side actually has some of the wood and Latches installed.

I've managed to survive a 0⁰ winter. Glad it wasn't any colder.

Still don't have all of the skin installed on the back, as winter came in before I got it all dealt with. I need to creatively remedy some rust around the right tail lights.

Now I'm faced with a quandary.
I currently have 2 sets of tail lights. The originals, in poor condition, at normal height. And 22 inches higher, the set attached to the replacement crown (it was all smashed by p.o.) I used the entire rear wall of the donor bus to make up for the roof raise.

The upper set are above the Maximum Legal Height in all states. So if I eliminated the lower ones, to be legal, I would need to hang some led modular ones under the bumper or something.

But if I ever actually tow something, the high ones would be great.
In any case, repairing the rust spot would be best if I went that way.

Of course I'm not actually planning on doing anything back there at the moment due to the lingering winter and 2 inches of meltwater plaguing the area around and under the rear end. Not able to relocate right now.




Anyhow.
I came on to brag about my abomination,
Yes I did...

I actually (semi) completed the mechanical bed frame in the back of the bus. I wish I had painted it but it was far too cold to do so when the doing was appropriate.

I used the lift tubes from the roof raise (cloned from the Millicent Build) reconfigured them a bit, and hung a steel tube structure from them and 3/4 plywood. The mattress should be here Tuesday (if the shop can actually Find it?).

Its laced with cables on pulleys and driven by an atv winch from harbor freight. It works great...

In the stowed position, it's right up against the roof, over 6 feet from the floor, still more than enough room for living beneath it.
In the dropped position, it comes down right to the top of the couch.

There will be about 10 inches of floor space on 3 sides of a queen mattress..

There's one issue though.
The cables are cutting into the pulleys?! And snowing tiny bits of metal shrapnel all around the pulleys. Like a lot of it. Luckily it's at the foot end of the bed, but still crappy.

If I replace the cables with the rubber sleeved ones, will these work with the pulleys or will they rip through the rubber skin?







I need to figure out what to do next.
Oy there's so much.

At some point, I need to reconfigure the kitchen to make a place for a sink. I've been using the multipurpose water closet (shower) for all water related purposes.

I need to shove the washer and dryer forward to swap the fridge to the opposite side of where its at to put the sink forward of the mid ship shower and aft of the stove, on the left.

This is probably the logical next step


Meanwhile I have a stack of knotty pine tongue in groove in the garage where I'm staying, it was meant for the swing up walls. Ran into trouble when I tried to cut the ends on a router table so I could slot sections into wooden rails on the walls. Turns out I need a Sled to control the wood for end cuts, and the only commercial sleds I've seen will not accept an 8 inch wide board. So I was butchering wood til I gave that one up.

Also, need to figure out windows. All I have at the moment are the front and rear facing bus windows. Everything else is blanked off. I need to find the right answer and cut them in. I'd like sliding house windows, hard part might be installing in a bus wall? Hmmm. I still have the rv windows that were in it when I bought the bus, but they are horrible.



Lol I hate finishing a sub project, in a way because now I have to figure out what to do now
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:50 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 2,065
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Nice Lift construction, you mentioned you raised the ceiling of the bus for he 6 ft below the frame.. do you have insulation on the floor already?
\0 degree F is pretty harsh, how did you heat and to what interior temperature?


Johan
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:52 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Need pics to really advise on the tail light issues...
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Old 03-07-2021, 05:36 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
So...
While many here will balk, the original bus floor has not been removed nor do I really plan on doing so. Even though I know it does have issues in spots.
The front half of the bus has a 3/4 oak floor installed by p.o. eventually I expect to finish it through to the back.

Or I may ultimately rip out everything, fix the floor skin issues if any, properly insulate and put subfloor hydronic heating.... that would be nice. And the right way to do it.
But living in it during the build makes that nigh impossible.

As it stands, the roof was raised 22 inches.
Bus original floor to original ceiling is 95.5.
Deck to ceiling raised is 18 in the center
Floor to beams is 74 inches. I have to duck a titch but nothing bad.

I am going to change one thing for sure, being the flat head brass bolts that hold the plywood in place. There's 4 bolts on each sheet, putting 4 above the center walkway, right in scalp gouging territory.

I'm gonna get some of those T nuts for furniture, so the threading can happen within the beams, then cut off the rest flush to the bottom.




As to the 0⁰... it wasn't so bad. With just the bus floor, no skirting. I installed this TITS Eberspaecher hydronic furnace. It should have been great. But I STILL CANNOT get it to run. It false starts every time. Except One instance it actually ran for 3 hours before flamingnout with the fuel code....

I had a Chinese diesel furnace through most of it until it screeched the bearings. It fried things, had to replace it, not just rebuild with new bearings.

Mini buddy heater and a small rv furnace....

Kept it reasonably warm for the most part.

If I ever get the damn Eberspaecher running I'll be set for next winter....

Fuel was costing me about $50 a week. Lol. Not absolutely horrendous but not good. Considering the partial insulation and a very drafty door area, I'm not surprised. I'm sure that will be better by next winter too.

For a long time I was able to keep the water going just by leaving it running. Then the first time it dipped toward 0⁰ the drain pipe froze, the sunken shower basin filled up and almost flooded the bus. Got a set of pipe heater cables. They work great. Took a while but they even cleared a frozen solid 2" pvc drain.

Then the buddy of the homeowner where I'm parked managed to shoot my water line with a 9mm.... and cleanly severed the heat cable.
Against my expectations, the kid who owns the house managed to solder it all back together and it hasn't lit anything on fire yet. It does keep the water very warm though. Lol.
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Old 03-07-2021, 05:39 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
I'll have the back of the bus uncovered again on Tuesday if the mattress shows up. I'll post a pic then.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:02 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 2,065
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Wow. Those are some good stories, and you lived to tell. What area are you in.. going to stick around there to test the upgraded systems next winter? We did a 5 month winter trip in the south west a couple of years ago.. even there we had some snow and cold around Bisbee / tombstone..
T nuts are a good idea.. for steel stranded cables to survive for a long time the pulley has to be a factor larger then the diameter of the cable. A whole science there.. google it and you will find the numbers.. I forgot the details myself... Designed an underwater lift platform for some aircraft application...I know it sounds weird..but went then with double link stainless chain because of the fatique issues with cables in an un lubricated underwater application.

I like your construction but bicycle / motor cycle chains might be an option. Every corner a sprocket on top of the column and a drive shaft along the wall to the other side to synchronize.. a counter weight to keep tension on the chain and the counter weight inside the vertical guidance column. Kind of life a garage door opener.
Not sure if it is worth your effort since you have it working but thought to mention it. You need safety pins in the up position but that would be wise with your current construction as well. You do not want that bed to crash down on you while your under it...bad story..

Johan
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:37 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Wow. Those are some good stories, and you lived to tell.

Johan
You have no idea.
I could write a Lengthy book about the harrowing stories of my life

And nobody would believe most of them.

One of the bosses at work says I should have a gopro camera mounted on my head at all times. If only they existed in 1986 and my parents knew to get me started early...

Ah
Those sound like grand, more mechanically sound, highly engineered ideas which I am less than qualified to concoct at the moment.

I did think about chains and sprockets and screws, mostly where the h@ll do I find 4 appropriate ballscrews?

Regular threaded rod would not hold up in the long term. At least not without horrible quantities of antisieze compound applied constantly.

I do have 4 nice hitchpins for that purpose.
I'll get them in there eventually.


Lol.
Underwater aircraft. Sounds... intriguing.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:45 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
I'm in Oscoda Michigan
I've been here for a year and a half with a job that I don't love but it's a thing. At some point I should venture closer to home (Tucson az) and yeah, even that area gets cold sometimes... not like up here though. Lol.

This particular shitty year we've had..... I'm damn glad to be tucked away up here. My job has been one of the few not screwed over by this stupid virus. Somehow this little town has had the funk here, but it didn't stick. Nobody ever put serious effort into mitigation, either.

Meanwhile, Tucson has been a festering Hotspot with the covid...


If I go back to az , I'll be having a whole different set of issues there though.
Namely, heatstroke.
Have to get some decent cooling installed. Perhaps something as simple as an evaporative swamp cooler, but something.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:59 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
Hmm I have seen ballscrew type garage door openers

Unfortunately they are still very recent technology and highly unlikely to source a pile of them

Unless I went straight to the manufacturer and requested "repair parts"
Lol Never know

Oy I need to sleep.
Tried for over an hour and my head wouldn't shut up.
Need more whiskey...
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Old 03-07-2021, 11:13 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
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Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 617
One option for the bed lift might be seatbelt webbing which rolls round pipes. There's at least one commercial manufacturer doing that. You could pull the sheave off the shaft of the winch and use that shaft to drive the pipes.

As to the tail light height. I spent 2 decades as a police officer, 7 years of which were spent as a motorcycle officer doing primarily traffic law enforcement. And during that time I never, once, even thought about writing a ticket for light height...even in the day of hugely lifted trucks, which were clearly not legal. I'm guessing you'd get by. And, worst case, it would be an equipment violation for which you'd generally get a repair order...not a ticket.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:20 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
Glad for the input on the subject of policing the tail lights...

The upper set look better, are more functional and won't interfere with fixing the rust. The lower ones are slated for demolition then. As mentioned, worst case, I tack on a set down below.


I got word from a supplier of cable pulleys, they say I should be able to use the nylon tubed ones no problem. "We recommend"

So imma try that. Thumbs crossed.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:43 AM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,052
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
As a casual observer, it sounds like your wire rope shredding might be an alignment issue.
If the pulley/sheave is not in near perfect alignment with the incoming wire rope, it could easily cause this issue.

Before simply replacing with coated wire rope, carefully check the alignment of the pulley/sheave to wire rope in order not to repeat your problem with new material...
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:39 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
It does not appear to be damaging the wire rope so much as eating into the pulleys.

You can see the twist of the cable in the cut imprint.

There are a couple of pulleys in the system that are not properly aligned, but the ones most obviously suspect, the overhead ones, are damn near perfectly aligned.

Of course these pulleys say "Lifetime Lubricated" and have not a smear of anything slippery nor sealed bearings inside. They are merely dry metal bushings, presumably expected to wear. I think I'll grease the pins when I go thru with the rubber cable.

Of course that rubber cable is expensive.... bleh. The stuff I have looks as good as any, came from harbor freight, like 15 bucks for 100 feet
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Old 03-08-2021, 02:07 PM   #14
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 238
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdhouse View Post
Hey guys.

Anyhow.
I came on to brag about my abomination,
Yes I did...

I actually (semi) completed the mechanical bed frame in the back of the bus. I wish I had painted it but it was far too cold to do so when the doing was appropriate.

I used the lift tubes from the roof raise (cloned from the Millicent Build) reconfigured them a bit, and hung a steel tube structure from them and 3/4 plywood. The mattress should be here Tuesday (if the shop can actually Find it?).

Its laced with cables on pulleys and driven by an atv winch from harbor freight. It works great...

In the stowed position, it's right up against the roof, over 6 feet from the floor, still more than enough room for living beneath it.
In the dropped position, it comes down right to the top of the couch.

There will be about 10 inches of floor space on 3 sides of a queen mattress..

There's one issue though.
The cables are cutting into the pulleys?! And snowing tiny bits of metal shrapnel all around the pulleys. Like a lot of it. Luckily it's at the foot end of the bed, but still crappy.

If I replace the cables with the rubber sleeved ones, will these work with the pulleys or will they rip through the rubber skin?
Is it possible the pully width is too small? Not giving enough radius for the cable to pass through with proper seating? Check for the wear-if it is on the sides of the pulleys, you may need different pulleys.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:02 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
The pulleys are 1/2 inch wide, round insides.

I bought some 3/16 cable clad to 1/4 with nylon.

Got some crimp ferrules and...... a swager that doesn't open far enough.....

Ughf!

ALWAYS SOMETHING

I really didn't want to beat these down with a hammer.

And as much as I want to, I'm not going to modify their tool.

What now?!
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:41 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
Ooofie.
A rather late night and work in the morning
Good thing I'm used to it.

Ended up getting 3/16 ferrules and cutting back the sleeve on the cable. You're kinda supposed to do it that way anyway.

The first... aborted pull, started to rip the sleeves at the 4 way pulleys.

After some consideration, I yanked the bolts out and ground the hell out of them. Countersunk tapered the heads and cut the threads out. This let the cables steer the pulleys.
Had to notch two others that gouged when it got to max lift, and it seems ready to accept the mattress when they come to throw it at me tomorrow.... yay.

I like fixing problems.


Now I'm surprised nobody screamed reinforce the beam back there with the winch.

I've been thinking about it in a big way all along. The sucker has the power to collapse the entire back of the bus.

Nothing terrifying, but I am seeing the roof rib wiggle when pulling. Imma gonna rivet in some triangulation braces of sorts down towards closer to the walls.

At some point I should also rig up a limit switch to keep from over tightening the hell out of things if I get sloppy or if someone else plays with it.

I'm thinking a toggle light switch with a flexible mount that clicks the winch off at max up, must be manually reset to go back down

I'm less than interested in hacking into the control box and figuring which wire to put the automatic limit switch on... so. Yea.


Uff. 1241
Night yall
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:43 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
Pictures yall
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:50 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
Well its official
I have a bed on a mechanical bunk....

Woo-hoo

Of course my deep cycle battery suddenly went on the fritz when I got my buddies in here to put the mattress on.

Was real strange.
I keep it on a charger and the furnaces and fridge mostly run on it. Every time I've used the winch before has been dandy. The very first time it got overheated, since then, even with more rigorous usage, it has remained happy.

Tonight it exhibited Dead as a Brick battery symptoms, all of a sudden like. Quick enough I thought it was the winch gone bad. Was barely even clicking. The relays in the box were making more noise than the motor. It's a wonder it didn't burn out.

The voltage readout on the furnace controller was at like 13+



I pulled the battery out of its spot, was real dirty and wet. Strangely NO crusty acid residue. Had to carefully scrub around the holes under the cap, so much filth. Shocking considering it hasn't gone mudding, and I keep the battery covered to keep it from arcing out.

Two cells are about 1/4 inch low.
Several are murky, can't see the lead.
I'm thinking I might better drag it in while it's still under warranty and see what they say.

Meanwhile, even with no further charging, I hit the winch (previously deeeead) and it runs great.
What gives?
Was all the crap and bit of juice on top causing it to short out?
When it was acting deeeead, it made no difference if I clicked the charger over to 55a start mode.... oddly.
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:51 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 55
Oh yeah the bed
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:53 PM   #20
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,052
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Probably bad connection(s)/ground?

If the batt is under warranty, have the retailer load test it. Then you'll know if it's still good.

A+ on the ingenuity of your bed construction...
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