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Old 04-11-2015, 09:27 AM   #921
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She should definitely be road ready by summer. Just not sure what century, let alone year. It all depends on how the state lottery thing goes.

And using wheel spacers would have solved the clearance issue, but would have required machining some pretty tricky adapters. These wheels are all "hub-centric" which complicates any number of otherwise simple solutions.

And as so often is the case...now I need to get back to building a new firewall and a doghouse for the back of the engine before I can proceed with hanging the pedals and master cylinder to wrap up the brake system.

If it ain't one thing it's another.

Onward!

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Old 04-11-2015, 10:44 AM   #922
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Hey Tango, looking good. With all that braking area you probably don't even need the hydroboost. Its got to feel good to have her back on all fours (sixes). I think you will find that the project really starts to come together once you have the cowl in. As I recall, you purchased a steering column from an Isuzu NPR. If you still plan to use it I'd suggest you take it apart and reverse the long "U"
shaped bracket so that the open side faces the front of the truck. You do have to make a few minor mods to get the tilt and telescope functions to work but it allows you to position the shaft that goes to the steering sector just about where ever you need it top go. It also makes for more foot room as the bend in the bracket allows the column to be positioned closer to the fire wall. I found a pic of the reversed column. Jack

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Old 04-11-2015, 11:03 AM   #923
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I figure by the time you come pic all of us up, you should have a good road test under your belt.
Nice work!
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:34 AM   #924
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opus View Post
I figure by the time you come pic all of us up, you should have a good road test under your belt.
Nice work!
i hope he picks me up first. i want to see montana!
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:59 PM   #925
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Hey Jack --- speaking of steering...the Isuzu is set up with the gearbox in front of the wheels and I need to put mine behind the axle. I'm thinkin' (dangerous, I know) that just maybe, if I can rotate the arm 180 degrees, I might be able to use it. Otherwise, it would be "turn left to go right". Any thoughts, savvy, wisdom in this regard?
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:44 PM   #926
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Steering

Tango, that is exactly what I did. I moved the Isuzu steering gear to the rear of the axle and mounted it to the frame with a 1/2" plate sandwiched to the web of the frame and all boxed in. I cut the drag link on both ends to allow for reversal of the joints and welded it back together with a sleeve and dowel pins just to be sure. The "dog leg" in the original Isuzu drag link was retained as it gave perfect clearance for sharp left turns which otherwise would have allowed the tire to rub the drag link. Clear as mud? Here are some pics. Jack

[b] Original set up with gear in front of the axle.
[b] plate.[b/]

[b]Drag link. [b/]

[b] I found a pic of the steering column shaft. [b/]
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:29 AM   #927
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Outstanding...Thanks Jack! --- And here is one more issue that Newbies might want to consider when romancing old buses (And one that Jack is also very likely familiar with).

Doing body work on Wartime vehicles

Be advised that nearly all non-military steel products produced from shortly after Pearl Harbor through just beyond the end of WWII complied with that era's need to apply all the "good" metal to military use. In other words...much of the stuff made for civilian use was scrap metal...junk...truly weird and inconsistent metallurgy that was full of impurities. The end result very often being a product that resembles steel but just barely qualifies due to all the garbage in it. The critical things like engines & frames seem fine but the sheetmetal on the bodies is a whole nuther story.

Fast forward to today and trying to weld this metal


First off, I do not claim to be a welder. I've done a lot of it over the last twenty-five years with no problems, but I have far too much respect for that profession to ever refer to my self by that honored and highly regarded title. That said, I have had very good results overall including being able to weld 26 gauge galvanized stucco lath onto a large steel beam.

Then I encountered the metal on my '46 Chevy. I have never had as much frustration as I have had with trying to work this particular flavor of metal. Usually I can dial in either of my little Millers pretty quickly and tackle most work. But not this sheetmetal. There does not appear to be any setting that will produce that sweet Miller "sizzle". Seems no matter how low I go, it still blows out. I swear that this stuff seems to be 40% lead or some other similar component that vaporizes at just above room temperature and splatters all over creation.

I even took a cut away section to my local sheet metal shop to see what they could come up with and after several rounds that produced the same results I had, their very professional advice was..."think about glue and rivets".

Which I am.

Anyhow...sorry to ramble on like this but frustration of this degree needs to be shared, right? And hopefully some of you can approach similar situations better armed than I was going in.

WWII produced a lot of great things for which we can all be proud.
School bus bodies were not among them.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:48 AM   #928
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Hey Tango. I guess I got lucky--the drums of war had yet to sound when my bus was built so the metal was still pretty good. I think a blind man with a buzz box could have successfully welded the thing. Nothing wrong with glue and rivets though. Jack
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:58 AM   #929
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OR you could do like the "pro" did when he worked on the 75th anniversary Mark VIII, I was going to buy

I popped the hood and first thing I saw was a couple hundred self drill hex head screws used to hold all the plastic down...I almost cried...
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:01 AM   #930
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Hey Jack --- I had forgotten how much older your rig is. You got in well ahead of the scrap drives.

Need to start shopping for the latest Sika adhesives, I already have the riveter. Just wish it was an air powered one that my crappy little compressor could drive.

Bansil --- At least they weren't drywall screws!
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:05 PM   #931
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Dry wall screws----- Back a while at work we recovered a stolen Datsun 240Z. It had been stolen from a local repair shop, sent to Mexico for repairs and remarketed in So. Calif. Dumb luck found it because of an expired tag etc, etc. The car had been "T" Boned and the cowl and A pillar had been shoved in. The A pillar had been repaired by screwing (with dry wall screws) a 4 x 4 to the crushed pillar and attaching the drivers door to that with lag bolts. The car actually looked pretty good. Perhaps there is something here that will help you with your bus--but then again, probably not. Jack
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:20 PM   #932
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Gotta love that down home body work Jack. Ain't it amazing what you sometimes find under a layer of Bondo? A buddy bought a '49 or '50 Ford Shoebox a few years back that had been "restored" by it's previous owner. In the process of doing a little work on it a few months later he discovered most of one rear fender had been crushed in maybe six or eight inches and never straightened...the whole cavity just filled with massive amounts of Bondo & reshaped. Looked fine from the outside but must have weighed an extra 90 pounds. Crazy thing is...it probably would'a been faster & cheaper just to replace the damned thing. Go figger.

What made me think of it was your reference to screws. At least whoever did the above work had the good sense to run a hundred or so sheet metal screws partially into the damaged area to help keep the Bondo in place until it sold.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:44 AM   #933
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A few more Baby Steps --- Spent a few days doing something I am as thoroughly unqualified for as anything else on this build. Playing "Body Man". It is an art with skills I have always had a great deal of respect for. Even more so now.

The lower cowl on both sides of my bus were rusted away from the inside out and had to be replaced. I got really lucky and found a chap who just happens to hand craft body replacement parts for war years Chevy trucks which is what my Shorty is based on. But naturally, mine is just different enough that even parts made for these rascals needed to be modified a bit to work as "Busware". Still put me way ahead of the game since it also involved reinforcing brackets as well as body panels. Took them to my local sheetmetal shop, had them trimmed & folded to fit my rig and dove in.


Here is the cutout with the reinforcing bracket already in place along the bottom.


Body panel tacked in place. I had absolute fits trying to weld the crappy slag metal that was used for civilian purposes during the war years. No matter how I set my Miller...it would blow out. I am convinced there is more lead in this stuff than steel.


After waaay too much grief, they are finally in place and all metal. No Bondo. I hate that crap. Surface filler, OK...but I want the repair itself to be steel.


And while I was in the neighborhood, I went ahead and removed all the old sealant between the cowl & bus body. Left the anti-squeek rummer gasket and will come back and fill the whole joint with seam sealer. It is perfect for this type of gap and fully paintable.

All for the moment. I am now trying to work out the new firewall, doghouse and dash. Gonna be tricky.

Onward!
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:00 AM   #934
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Looking good Tango. My bus had the same rust out area but no replacement panels available so it took a lot of time to get to where you are--and yours looks a lot smoother! Since the cowl was off my bus, I welded the cowl to the body. That did away with the seam and made a firm base for the new cowl face. Jack
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:20 AM   #935
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Thanks Jack --- I thought about welding the cowl but given the nasty nature of this rigs' steel, decided to just go with seam sealer rather than burn a few hundred holes in it that take forever to try and patch.

Next time I'll be smart and work on something older that is made from real metal. Like yours.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:58 PM   #936
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:22 PM   #937
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It's just my opinion, but it's too bad the guy didn't write a check to get the front fenders to match the wheel base of the replacement frame. Tango's finished product will put this one to shame. Jack
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:53 PM   #938
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Hey Jack --- There's one I haven't seen before. Thanks for the pic. At least his appears to be assembled. Mine still has quite a ways to go. I'm working on fabbing the new dash/firewall/pedals & such and it is a royal pain. Might have something to show in a week or two if I can break out'a my other job(s) long enough.

Till next time...

Onward!
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:14 AM   #939
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Jack --- Knowing that you won't accept any work not supported by pix...

Below is the start on the new firewall & dash. Given that the engine is set back so far (to squeeze in between the narrow frame rails)...the new firewall will be located where the old dash was.

Here is a "before"...and a shot with the dash metal cleaned and ready for welding in the first chunk of 14 gauge. It is going to be a little tricky. A new doghouse is also being worked up that is going to be a bear, but hey...just about everything else is from scratch, so why not.


In the beginning...


The new firewall will be flat and flush with the old dash with only a small setback on the drivers side for pedals.

Still trying to figger out how & where the new steering column will be routed. Definitely a little to the left of where it was.

Onward!
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:35 PM   #940
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Grrrrrrr!!! --- finally had a full day to work on the bus and a "quick, minor" project took up nearly all my time today. Had swapped a 5+ foot long Taco Truck oil dipstick for a shorty but as it turns out it was too short for reasonable access now that the engine is set back so far. So...back to Cummins for something in between. They had one that is 27" which was close to my preferred measurement. But...the danged thing was intent on obstructing my throttle. At first I tried running it to one side and through the original firewall. Modified the factory bracket, drilled a hole, bolted it up but still couldn't get it to bend out of the throttles' way. Then I remembered...oh yeah...these little four bangers shake all over the place which would no doubt rip the tube and/or the firewall apart in short order. Finally found a way to route it closer to and on top of the engine where they can move together. But that called for cutting, drilling and welding another a custom bracket. More time lost. Finally got it tucked in and bolted down where it should be out of harms' way.

Note to self...slow down and think things through better. It's the little, simple stuff that always seems to eat your lunch.

And yes Jack...I'll post a pic soon. After the frustration, I just had to head for my neighborhood bar to reflect and meditate a bit. Not being a practicing Buddhist...I have to resort to Rum for such guidance & insight.
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