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Old 01-29-2015, 11:13 PM   #861
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Evnin' Jack --- Affirmative. I will be welding all the outer body panels in place. This rig was originally screwed together in such a way that removing/repairing any portion would require disassembling the whole bus so figured just cutting and chopping would be simpler. All the ribs are two piece with the original panels folded in between them and bolted together and screwed down from the outside. Bizarre. The new metal is stout at 14 gauge but I will likely wait for slightly warmer weather to avoid any oil canning and do lots of widely placed tacking.

As for windows I am going with some custom builts from Peninsula who makes RV units. Hardly the "deal" you got but well made and I only need four. They will be tinted and lift up from the bottom and fit with an inner and outer rim that pulls up tight. Will still require a few minor mods to fit this wonky body but that's life as Sinatra used to say/sing.

And I may have a real diesel mechanic/builder lined up to help hustle the engine & tranny install. We' see how that goes.

"I don't know but I've been told, if you never slow down you never grow old" --- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Onward!
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:01 PM   #862
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Well Howdy All --- More baby steps but these were bigger than some of the others. FINALLY started installing the engine & tranny! Helped to have a crew of ArtCar builders on hand and we made some headway today.

After numerous "in & outs", firewall trimming, pedal removal and assorted such dalliances...I think we got the motor & tranny more or less lined up with some of the things that matter. I knew this was gonna' be tight but...damn! I had estimated how far back I thought the engine might sit (from the original) at about 24-25 inches. It wound up just about thirty. At least now I have plenty of room in front for the rad, intercooler, trans cooler and A/C condenser.


Doesn't look that odd from this angle, but...


...when seen from the side, it's another story. And it should lighten the load on my front axle a bit. So...just how far into the cabin does this monster go?...


Hmmm, about the dashboard. Ya...a doghouse is definitely in the works. May have to move the pilots seat an inch as well.


Managed to fab & tack part of one engine mount as well today. It is quarter inch steel but will have some serious boxing in when done.

Hey Jack...NEXT time I'm just buying a rig that already has most of it's parts in place. I'm too gal-darned old to build a bus from scratch. Even a shorty!

Onward!
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:11 AM   #863
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looks good, but why didnt ya move it another couple inches back and have a pusher?
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:19 AM   #864
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Believe me Clay...we had that discussion as we kept tweaking that sucker trying clear everything!

Would have saved a few bucks not needing a driveshaft too.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:39 AM   #865
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Ya, or a half inch forward and you could have claimed it was the first mid engine Crown. Ha, Ha.

I'd say you are on the down hill side of your labors now that you have the motor stuffed. I expect that having the weight shifted to the rear a bit will make the bus feel more stable in tight turns. Like you, I had to move the drivers seat a bit to the left--you get used to it. I also put the shift to the left of the driver's seat to clear the center area between the front seats. My engine and trans sit a little lower than yours but I' say they both are about the same distance back. Not a whole lot of room for toe space.

My bus had the same firewall as yours but I ended up cutting more of it out than you have but I'll bet the foot room will end up about the same.

Tango, as always, your work looks beautiful. Sorry about posting one of my pics in your thread--at least it may show you what not to do! Jack
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Old 02-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #866
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Your posts and comments are always welcome Jack (jokes & war stories too;)).

Looks like your firewall may have been flat and a bit simpler to deal with. I have a feeling the doghouse I will have to construct might get tricky...i.e....a PITA given the funky shape it has. May wind up cutting more out to ease the process.

Still have a crazy amount of very basic systems to figger out & fab. The front disk brake kits should arrive by next weekend and I'm still shopping underfloor hydroboost systems. And of course it needs all new lines front to rear.

The steering has yet to be really addressed. I have an NPR box & column (likely the same as yours) but will have to flip some parts around or get used to turning left to go right (which might be easier as well as annoying to any potential thieves).

Having fits locating "accessories" for the Allison. Stuff I had thought would come from them is all spec'd and/or built by various chassis makers (shifter, wiring harness, filler/dipstick, etc.)

I hope to keep a push going for a couple of months to try and this rig back to rolling status. We'll see.


Onward!
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Old 02-08-2015, 12:53 PM   #867
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Hey Tango. I had the cowl off the bus body in the pic I posted. I should have included this one as well to give proper perspective. I ended up cutting off all but the vertical portion of the Chevy firewall and building a second wall close to the body.



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Old 02-08-2015, 02:34 PM   #868
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Thanks Jack --- I will very likely have to go a similar route. I appreciate you sharing the pix.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:09 AM   #869
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More Minor Movement --- Seems like you oughta' be able to position the motor & trans then just nail it down. I have learned it doesn't work that way. There is a whole lot of "in & out" that takes place along the way (I'll leave others to comment on that issue).

Now have the two frame mounted portions of the motor mounts fabbed & installed. Decided to weld them in place on the frame. The engine mounted portions are half completed as we still need to finish up the driver side but can't do that until the engine is back in place. Maybe in the next couple of days (it really takes three people to maneuver that package around in that narrow frame without wrecking too much).

Also took a cue from Jack and cut away most of the remaining firewall. Once the engine is in place I can construct the shape necessary to fit around the motor and provide the attachment points for the doghouse that will cover the mechanical stuff sitting inside the bus. It will need to seal up pretty much air (exhaust) tight but be easy to open and access that part of the motor.


This should make it much easier to fit the new metal for the doghouse. You can also see the frame hallves of the motor mounts in primer.


They are 1/4" plate, open in front to accommodate a wrench...


...but boxed solid in the rear. May have to drill through one of them to pass a brake line...we'll see.


Onward!
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:30 AM   #870
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The mounts look great and that they ended up over the spring mount means some of the weight will transfer to the front axle directly. Better weight distribution and better support. Are you going to put a cross member in there somewhere? Jack
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:11 PM   #871
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Thanks...and good observation Jack --- Yes. Actually I am building two. One up near the front of the motor and another back by the tranny to support it. And come to think of it, possibly two more. I need frame mounts for the new rear shocks (these rigs never had any) and it will probably be easier just to go all the way across with some heavy angle rather than rigging one for each shock (the Dana is set up with one pointing forward and one pointing aft).

May wind up with what racers used to call a "ladder frame".
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:08 PM   #872
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Look Ma...No Chains! --- Finally have the engine and tranny secured to the chassis instead of just hovering from the hoist. Fabbed the engine & trans mounts during which they went in and out more than a few times. I had last minute fits with the transmission mount pads thanks to O'Reilly's. Picked out a pair that were for a 1980 Volvo. Built the steel to accommodate the size/thickess/bolt position. But when we went to actually install them, turns out that we had two, slightly different pads in spite of the boxes saying they were the same. Back to O'reilly's who sent me across town to pick up the only mate they showed to be in the city. Get there and guess what, it seems the folks in India had managed to package several different mounts as "mixed sets". After going through several boxes and part numbers, the parts guy acknowledged..."we seem to have a problem here". Lesson learned. Don't believe what the box says. Still not certain which part number I finally wound up with. Could be 2428's...or it could be 2424's.

Either way...here they are...




The famous 4BT tilt (Ya...they sit that way)


Now I can start on the new firewall & doghouse.


Cummins engine mounts can be tricky.


Allison trans mounts were pretty straightforward...once we got the right parts.

Still tons to do, but having the engine and transmission in place are huge for me.

Onward!
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:44 PM   #873
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Excellent. I have some free time Monday, maybe I'll fly down and push you around the block in it.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:51 PM   #874
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Much appreciated Opus --- But there is still a complete steering system to be figured out and built...and the brakes...and...

...what WAS I thinking!?
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:46 PM   #875
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Sweeeeeeet....I have been waiting for these pictures for several years....very pimp

Looks great!!!!!!


Congrates
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:36 PM   #876
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Thanks Bansil --- Glad to have finally been able to take'em. Next project involves a possible axle swap. I have a 2-ton axle that I can adapt to front disks but still waiting to confirm whether the kit will clear the slightly smaller rims I had to go with (19.5 vs 20"). It needs new kingpin kits for both sides so I am spending hours online trying to track parts down.

This shorty arrived about three and a half years ago, so the build thread is getting heavy. In my next life I will very likely buy a newer, running bus and just build out the interior. Maybe. As long as I don't go and do something stupid again, like fall madly in love with a pretty face.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:23 AM   #877
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Hey Tango, I've never seen a cleaner install--is that really a Dodge slant six you have laying under the hood? Just kidding. Will you have to narrow the 2 ton front axle to make the wheels fit inside the front fenders? I've never understood why the front of the frames on our buses were built a couple of inches narrower than the back. Maybe it was to make it easier to mount that skinny little stove bolt? I ended up spreading the cowl and hood on mine to make the stretch but that took a huge amount of sheet metal work. Jack
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:25 AM   #878
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hey old folks...there never was a V-8 until way after ya'll,s shorty rolled off the line;)

I think you shoud have gone for a straight 8 or 12 supercharged
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:31 AM   #879
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
I've never understood why the front of the frames on our buses were built a couple of inches narrower than the back.
Clearance for the steering tires to turn lock to lock without rubbing the frame would be my guess.

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Old 02-22-2015, 01:25 PM   #880
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"Clearance for the steering tires to turn lock to lock without rubbing the frame would be my guess."

A wider axle would have solved that problem without the pinched frame. I'm just about sure the real reason was to make the vehicle more more likely to roll over during events like parallel parking.
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