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Old 11-26-2015, 08:54 PM   #21
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I own a 96 and it does...
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by sproutroot View Post
I bought a DIY spray foam insulation kit, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or tricks they found successful for keeping the nozzle clean after use. I've read that this is the issue that makes these kits a one-time-use item; but I don't want to have to do the entire bus in one headlong rush, and I'm not one to accept defeat easily.

My dad thought that perhaps you could jam pipe cleaners into the nozzle right after use to keep it from clogging. I thought maybe cleaning it with acetone while the foam is still wet would work.

Has anyone had success trying something like this?

Never used one of those DIY kits. But I've had some BS luck with "Great Stuff"...started filling cracks/chips in concrete block around shoddy work where pipes were going through basement wall and couldn't finish the job that night. So I left the straw attached to the can and bent the first inch over and clamped a clothes peg on it and left it on my work bench. 5 days later I noticed the foam turned back to a liquid, and drain out of the straw. So I cut the straw at the bend in the straw tested it in a rag before I used it....seamed to work fine. Still workin' fine after 11 years...my $.02
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:10 AM   #23
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Location: Vermont
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
Good info, guys! Thanks for the input.

I found a similar bus at a salvage yard, and cut out a window with the skin around it to patch the hole where my bi-fold doors were.

The windows in my bus are quite a bit smaller than the one I found, and I'll have to do some fancy framing to get the new window to fit. Overall though, I'm pretty happy with it. It's an emergency exit window, which I love, and I think a larger window there will be good for visibility out the passenger side of the bus.
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:15 AM   #24
Skoolie
 
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Location: Vermont
Posts: 147
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
Our typical big family gathering on Thanksgiving is always a good excuse to tap into the overwhelming knowledge of my relatives.

It's also somewhat of a family tradition to do creative things with my uncle's arsenal of cool tools. This weekend it was woodworking. I grabbed a piece of cherry out of his wood pile and made myself a bowl and a mug on his lathe! These are my first kitchen items, along with the cast iron skillet and dutch oven he gave me.

I love lathes. And relatives. And Thanksgiving. And lathes.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:14 PM   #25
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Sounds like a great Thanksgiving and a great (and creative) family. Now...how about some hand turned cherry wood rims for your bus?
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:22 PM   #26
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Year: 1996
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Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
Don't want to spend huge bucks on a diesel generator, but don't want to carry gas around either?

A cool video I came across. How a guy EASILY converted a gas generator to run on propane. I don't really know why his gas tank was discarded. One of the benefits of such an easy conversion is that I could switch back whenever I needed!


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a crankcase breather on my unit, but I figured I'd share this cool thing that I'd never heard of.
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:09 PM   #27
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There are tri-fuel kits (Gasoline, natural gas, propane) for the new little Honda inverter rigs too.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:46 AM   #28
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Year: 1996
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Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
I've been slowly working through Bingo's circuitry. I've removed the overhead circuit board and weeded out all the unnecessaries (door/window sensors, cab lights, etc.) so that it's only running the A/C, and brake/reverse/taillights.
Now, I'm trying to hook it all back up and get it locked in, but I've run into a problem. The circuit board's feed wire (comes from the starting batteries) is no longer active. Today, I'm going to try and track down the problem, but I'm wondering if anyone has any insight as to what that may be. I assume that there's a burnt fuse somewhere, but tracing the wire into the engine compartment is proving to be difficult.
Anyone know how these attach to the starting batteries, or what I need to look for to fix it?

Thanks, guys. I promise I'll do an update soon, I've been taking plenty of pictures of my progress.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:40 AM   #29
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Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
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Found it! There was a small fuse box on the back side of the Driver's side battery (dual starting batteries). Took some doing to get the battery out (WOW these vans are tight), but I did, and found my 80 AMP (!!!!!!!) fuse had blown.
If I can find one, I'll be replacing this setup with an inline fuse for ease.
All in all, it wasn't too hard.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:35 PM   #30
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Well, it's been since Thanksgiving, so I guess it's time for an update as I've crossed some items off the list since then.

I finished boarding up the bi-fold doors.

The window I got is a little bigger than the hole that the doors left, so I had to cut out the rear frame member and replace it with a perfectly shaped (thanks to my BFH) and situated piece of the frame from the doors themselves!

I welded the frame in, which was all recycled steel from the demo of the bus (mostly from the bulkhead that I removed), and fit an aluminum skin on.

There's still some bondo work to do in terms of filling gaps, and making things pretty, but that will have to wait for warmer weather.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:45 PM   #31
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
Once I finished that, it was time for insulation. The original plan was to use spray foam insulation directly on the skin, and press my urethane board insulation into it, for a gap-free 2-inches. Unfortunately the season didn't hold out for me, temperatures dropped below the limits of good adhesion, and I'll have to make do with a half finished insulation project for now. Still a lot better than it was.

Finally, I took the wiring panels out of the bus, and eliminated about 3/4 of the wiring (interior lights, door sensors, and mostly wires that just didn't connect to anything!).. The panels now operate the A/C, and the tail/reverse/brake lights. They may also be operating the 12V circuits for interior lighting, and some outlets, but there's a lot going on that I don't understand on these panels, so I may just do something different there.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:52 PM   #32
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
Now, I'm working on putting all the auxiliary power items into the old stairs, and getting everything hooked up correctly. In looking up what to use for an isolator between the house and starter battery banks, I found this item came very highly recommended among boat and van boondockers: Catalog Frame
It's a bi-directional isolator, which gives priority to whichever bank is connected to the active power source. This means it won't charge the house batteries until it reads ~13V at the starter batteries. It will also charge the starter batteries off shore/solar power once the house batteries are sufficiently charged. This seems to make a lot of sense to me.

This model is for alternators with an output of less than 100A. There is a larger model for alternators up to 160A. Despite considerable effort, I've yet to identify what my alternator is, and I wonder if anyone with experience in a similar bus could offer some enlightenment here?
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:03 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sproutroot View Post
Now, I'm working on putting all the auxiliary power items into the old stairs, and getting everything hooked up correctly. In looking up what to use for an isolator between the house and starter battery banks, I found this item came very highly recommended among boat and van boondockers: Catalog Frame
It's a bi-directional isolator, which gives priority to whichever bank is connected to the active power source. This means it won't charge the house batteries until it reads ~13V at the starter batteries. It will also charge the starter batteries off shore/solar power once the house batteries are sufficiently charged. This seems to make a lot of sense to me.

This model is for alternators with an output of less than 100A. There is a larger model for alternators up to 160A. Despite considerable effort, I've yet to identify what my alternator is, and I wonder if anyone with experience in a similar bus could offer some enlightenment here?
Thanks for that link.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:16 AM   #34
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
Glad to help.
I'm not sure it's the right product for big house battery banks, though. In the installation instructions I read that they require wiring no bigger than #6! In a system sized for a big alternator, that seems needlessly limiting, and would mean the aux batteries would charge much slower than even a 100amp alternator could manage. There are other products out there that serve the same function without this limitation. I'll make sure to share my research once I've found the right one.

Anybody know what size I should expect my alternator to be? 96 E-Super Duty bus? This would really help me narrow down my research.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:34 AM   #35
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
I've done a bunch of electrical stuff recently. Using the old steps as a battery box has turned out to be a great (albeit tight) fit. I still have to route and install lighting and outlets, but the battery box itself is fully populated.
As you can see, I reused the original 12V circuit board, and will route all my lighting and 12V outlets through that. It's hooked to the house battery side of my battery isolator, so it'll have power all the time.

I ended up using this as a battery isolator: Robot Check
I contacted a few companies with higher end gear, and they all recommended that I size the isolator for the alternator (>100A) rather than my auxiliary battery system. That would've bumped the price of their products up considerably, so I went with an Amazon buy (200A) with great reviews. I haven't started the bus up since installing it, so I can't speak for its functionality, but it was a great price.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:37 AM   #36
Skoolie
 
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Posts: 147
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
I'll be making a simple 2x4 cover for the battery box, then putting this on top of it for both insulation, and seating: Robot Check

I'll have to figure out a way to strap it down and make seatbelts so that I can actually have passengers on board.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:42 AM   #37
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1996
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Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
After the wiring is completed, I'll be moving on to some underbelly repair work. I think I'd like to make a cargo compartment down there while I'm at it, and I was looking for some recommendations for cargo doors that would fit this sort of bus. I'd like to store my LP tanks down there, which means openings of at least 13" square, but I'd prefer 13.5"x18" so that I can fit my generator, and whatever else in there as well. I'd also like them to lock.

If I can't find anything I'll just make some, but if anyone has recommendations I'd really appreciate it.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:47 AM   #38
Skoolie
 
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Location: Vermont
Posts: 147
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
Which companies do people recommend for insuring these little van-busses? I've been looking at Progressive, and I'm not sure they'll let me insure Bingo until I'm finished, but I want to get him inspected now!
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:05 PM   #39
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Year: 1996
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Going back a post-hatch covers are easy to find. Do a Ebay search -theres many take outs + scratch + dent specials. I picked up 2 8x20 covers for under $20 each. Quicky search found this right off.
28" x 14 1 2" RV Baggage Compartment Access Door Grey | eBay
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Old 03-19-2016, 02:44 PM   #40
Skoolie
 
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Chassis: E-Super Duty
Engine: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 13-passenger
Yea, it's odd that I couldn't find anything that's the size I want. It really can't be more than 13.5"x18". I ended up making a door out of some white scrap metal from an old oven. After a little fiberglassing, the siding there should be finished.

Here's where I'll be installing it, but I'm not quite finished with the space. I had to supplement the rearmost floor joists with these 2x10s because the metal was so bad. I also needed to do body work right where the access door is going anyway, so building in some cargo space there was a no-brainer.

I still need to put in a piece of plywood for a floor/brace. The braces that are in there right now are temporary, and will need to be moved.
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