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Old 10-25-2020, 08:17 PM   #21
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Removing the air compressor...

Quote:
Originally Posted by schoolbuscraig View Post
I would be more concerned of the corrosion on the frame rails. Look at the rear spring hangers, from the factory they are riveted on. Those holes rot out and the springs and rear axle can shift. The other thing is the cross members, rust attacks them hard behind the rear axle. The floor is minor if the frame is bad!
Regarding the rear spring hangers, they appear fairly rusty, but hopefully they'll last long enough. That would be very bad, I imagine, if those giant rivets were to break loose while driving.

We've finally painted the bus and gotten the proper permanent plates (took literally 9 weeks), and in the past couple days have finally got all the wood flooring (termite-eaten and rotten) and remaining seat and front dividers out.

The rust is about as bad as we had feared. The floor looks like swiss cheese, especially near the side walls (gaping holes where you can see the rear tires. Additionally, the two
large support beams in the middle bus extending to the left side, on either side of the left wheel well, are completely rusted loose (the one in front of the left wheel well, under the AC compressor, is hanging; will have to rip it out completely before leaving this house-sitting gig and resuming our trip).

The plan is to just lay new plywood and do a Hail Mary. We're trying to just drive/live in it till we figure out a new plan. (We have nowhere else to go.) The one obstacle to this, however, is removing the AC air compressor because I think it is at risk of falling out now that it is only supported by the severely rusted floor steel.

If anybody has any any tips on how to remove the AC compressor, would be greatly appreciated. I'm afraid of trying to wrench/cut the valves and getting inhalation-injured or frostbitten, especially since I dont have a jack to lift the bus up properly. At the same time, however, we are quite adverse to paying some dude somewhere to take it out for us; that, and I don't think it's terribly safe to drive as it is.

This is the air compressor:

https://actusa.us.com/product/act-cs...-mounted-unit/

It uses R-134a refrigerant.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:51 PM   #22
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compresor

your first link is not the compressor.... the compressor is on the engine. The link you provided is called a condensor, or in american condenser. mounts under the bus and turns hot compressed gas into liquid. There is a good chance it does not have gas in it already, Find the high or low pressure fill ports and depress the valve in the middle..... you may find the system is out of gas already.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:49 AM   #23
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*condenser.

The AC is one of the few components on the bus that functions well. I think it was added recently by previous owner. That said, I imagine it still has refrigerant in it.
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:42 PM   #24
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IF you don't have funds to fix the floor "right" now, and your state doesn't check undercarriages for rust, simply put plywood over the existing floor and go from there?

That might get you another year or so without replacing the metal and related support structure it needs.

I mighta done the above when I was younger and in a hurry. I'd have likely used 3/4" Marine grade plywood with 1-1/2" self tapping screws in a few spots where there is solid metal then, caulk in the outer seams.

Good luck...Maybe start a go fund me page for $$?
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:07 PM   #25
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It's not that I'm completely broke, it's just that I'm hemhoraging my dwindling savings (really just money I have against unpaid student loans) and so don't want to sink much more money into this rotten investment. AFAIC, I could probably pick up an entirely new bus for what it would cost me to have a professional re-do the flooring structure. As for DIYing a proper floor structure, I lack the time and space to do so.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:00 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=alsquared;AFAIC, I could probably pick up an entirely new bus for what it would cost me to have a professional re-do the flooring structure. As for DIYing a proper floor structure, I lack the time and space to do so.[/QUOTE]

I guess you figured it out. Along with the potential chassis damage you mentioned, to redo that and the rust remediation it needs to be a road safe rig, it'd be cheaper to find another one. Rust free hopefully.

Hope you get something back against your purchase price...
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:31 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alsquared View Post
It's not that I'm completely broke, it's just that I'm hemhoraging my dwindling savings (really just money I have against unpaid student loans) and so don't want to sink much more money into this rotten investment. AFAIC, I could probably pick up an entirely new bus for what it would cost me to have a professional re-do the flooring structure. As for DIYing a proper floor structure, I lack the time and space to do so.
Well, your floor around the wheel wells is as bad as mine was. My repair of it wasn't super-expensive in terms of the materials (probably less than $500 - it helps to have a metal supply place that sells scrap pieces for $0.50 a pound), but the labor was substantial. A pro could probably do a simpler flat floor in a couple of days, so maybe 20 hours at $100 an hour plus a markup for the steel would make it a minimum of three grand (and probably more). Definitely not worth doing for a bus that has other mechanical problems.

Frame out a floor with 2x4s ripped to 2" and XPS foam board in between, then 3/4" plywood on top, and you'll have a completely solid-feeling floor underfoot. You could even make the parts that are exposed to the openings in the floor out of pressure-treated 2x4s (the downside to PT is that it promotes corrosion, but you've already got plenty of that) to help it last a bit longer.

As long as you seal the leaks in the body (so that no more water comes down on the steel floor from the inside) and don't drive the bus when it's raining or snowing, the steel floor isn't really going to get any worse (it will but slowly, not nearly at the rate that produced this damage). Then do a rudimentary conversion and just see how long the bus lasts as a running vehicle.

Or just dump the whole thing and move on. I can say from personal experience with a rusty bus, you're just getting started on the spending.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:04 AM   #28
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The shuttle buses don't use a steel floor, just plywood over cross supports. Do you really need a full steel floor, does it not have cross supports?
If you have the time, maybe you can disassemble lots of old free fridges and use the steel backed foam sides on the floor, they are plenty strong.
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:48 AM   #29
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The problem is that the supports are appx as degraded as the steel sheeting. Worthy idea though. For now I'm just gonna get this condenser removed and then put new plywood and stuff down as per @musicgenesis
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:50 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Well, your floor around the wheel wells is as bad as mine was. My repair of it wasn't super-expensive in terms of the materials (probably less than $500 - it helps to have a metal supply place that sells scrap pieces for $0.50 a pound), but the labor was substantial. A pro could probably do a simpler flat floor in a couple of days, so maybe 20 hours at $100 an hour plus a markup for the steel would make it a minimum of three grand (and probably more). Definitely not worth doing for a bus that has other mechanical problems.

Frame out a floor with 2x4s ripped to 2" and XPS foam board in between, then 3/4" plywood on top, and you'll have a completely solid-feeling floor underfoot. You could even make the parts that are exposed to the openings in the floor out of pressure-treated 2x4s (the downside to PT is that it promotes corrosion, but you've already got plenty of that) to help it last a bit longer.

As long as you seal the leaks in the body (so that no more water comes down on the steel floor from the inside) and don't drive the bus when it's raining or snowing, the steel floor isn't really going to get any worse (it will but slowly, not nearly at the rate that produced this damage). Then do a rudimentary conversion and just see how long the bus lasts as a running vehicle.

Or just dump the whole thing and move on. I can say from personal experience with a rusty bus, you're just getting started on the spending.
Thoughtful feedback yet again. Thank you. BtW, where can I find your build thread?
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:03 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by alsquared View Post
Thoughtful feedback yet again. Thank you. BtW, where can I find your build thread?
The link is in my signature at the bottom of every post of mine. This is where the floor repair began: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/r...tml#post353458
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:15 AM   #32
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Ah thanks. (Doesn't show up on mobile it seems.)
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:14 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alsquared View Post
The problem is that the supports are appx as degraded as the steel sheeting. Worthy idea though. For now I'm just gonna get this condenser removed and then put new plywood and stuff down as per @musicgenesis
What is going to hold up the plywood? If the bus isn't going to move, you could really just use posts to the ground to make it livable in the short term.
If you need it to move, maybe try to sell it to get some cash and buy a cheaper smaller vehicle. Or sell the drivetrain and could maybe get more than you paid if you have the ability to pull a motor out, some of those diesel engines sell for good money.
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Old 10-27-2020, 04:49 PM   #34
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Quote:
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What is going to hold up the plywood? If the bus isn't going to move, you could really just use posts to the ground to make it livable in the short term.
If you need it to move, maybe try to sell it to get some cash and buy a cheaper smaller vehicle. Or sell the drivetrain and could maybe get more than you paid if you have the ability to pull a motor out, some of those diesel engines sell for good money.
Our dilemma is that I bought the bus right after I a) moved out of my apartment and b) learned that I was not in fact welcome back at my folks' place in NJ due to the -- drum roll -- risk of COVID to my frail stepmother. That was also like the day I learned my unemployment was terminated because they -- drum roll -- mistakenly thought I was in the UK due to my VPN.

Juicy, right?

Next chapter in this saga is that just a few hours ago a nice gentleman from FB Marketplace, Chaise, came to the place in TX where we're housesitting to help me take out the AC condenser, which he was then going to take for himself. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right?

Wrong. Very quickly I learn that he bought the saw he was going to use just the day before, and apparently didn't even have a plan (or tool) to recover the refrigerant. I let him use my angle grinder and find pliers to crimp the refrigerant line to reduce coolant release.

Then once we get the condenser off, he crawls up under the catalytic converter to cut the "AC filter". I finally get down and look closely and see that he almost had both sides of the exhaust pipe cut, as well as a third cut down by the muffler.

FML.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:32 PM   #35
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Hey you need to post on that other guys thread who is going to buy a bus sight unseen from outside the us and live in it right away....

Sounds like he was looking to steal your cat. I've had THREE stolen recently, the shuttle bus one stolen, but more importantly, my son's prius (mine, but he drives it) had it stolen TWICE, they are only dealer sourced and $1200. Great huh?

Selling thus bus seems the best option.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:41 PM   #36
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Yeah, but to reiterate (i think i trailed off before) this is our home for the time being, whether we like it or not. We have nowhere else to go and cant afford financially or temporarily to start over and (perhaps especially wait for a new registration.) But indeed once we can get back on our feet, will probably try to flip it for something more long-term, be it a school bus or something else. Sure has been one hell of a ride.

Yeah, a non-shitty bus I almost bought had its cat stolen couple days before I was going to pull the trigger on it. That purchase also got interrupted from this COVID bologne; bus company owner wouldn't let me buy till after they spent a week cleaning their facilities.

In other news, the cops contacted the guy and apparently he is offering to pay me whatever the mechanic will charge to weld the exhaust back together. I'm happy to not charge him criminally, tho it's frustrating that he's maintaining his innocence. My GF and I were going to get married tomorrow (courthouse) but had to cancel because of this tweaker BS.
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:58 PM   #37
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I have seen one with a rusted floor that the owner simply cut everything out between the walls and essentially rebuilt the floor. It can be done, but I would use this as a bargaining chip to drive the price down. It may not pass a state safety inspection in some / most states until fixed.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:14 AM   #38
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Be cautious around this guy. He may SAY he will pay, but once the work is done you might be stuck with the bill. You do need to get that muffler and exhaust pipe back together. One picture looks like the muffler is about to fall down.
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