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Old 07-10-2018, 11:44 AM   #21
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2007 Chevy Collins Weight

I just went and had the bus weighed at the local coop. ($5 for printed ticket) and it weighed in at 8820 lbs. I have all but 4 bus seats removed. I was told I needed an empty weight for the RV conversion tag.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:43 PM   #22
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I'm still working through engine codes but I'm trying to stay positive. So I ordered some reflectix sheeting for window coverings to reduce the heat coming in. (I've heard mixed reviews on this stuff so well see...) I ordered a grommet kit and made my own covers. I used magnetic hooks to hang the window covers. Well see how they work when I get them all sone and put up.

On a different note I played around with some more layouts. The one I'm leaning towards is this one. Toilet and shower behind the driver, dinette across utilizing truck seats? (Maybe) so passengers can have seat belts. This would turn into small bed for kids. Back behind that would be the sink cabinet with stove top. Across from this would be a queen bed that folds down (kind of like a horizontal murphy bed). This bus will be used for camping and tailgating. Please let me hear your thoughts on the floor plans... I've tried many different things!
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:09 PM   #23
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New Lift Pump Installed

I ordered a twin deluxe lift pump kit from Kennedy diesel and installed it on Saturday. I've read and been told this is something all duramax engines need. I had 3" hg of restriction before the pump install (which I've heard is normal) and after the install I'm currently pushing a little over 5psi. The bad news is it didn't fix my problem. I strapped the kids seats in the bus Saturday for the test drive. We drove it to town and picked up lunch and had a picnic in the back before returning home. On the way home going up a hill the fuel pressure code came on again. So... back to the drawing board again. I have to check out put of the CP3 (injection pump) when commanded vs actual to see if it needs replaced. That'll be another $1000. Lift Pump was around $600... injectors are around $3000... I'm not sure this LMM Duramax was a good idea.................
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:31 AM   #24
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I did the "bottle test" yesterday. The LMM Duramax has a fuel pressure relieve valve on the driver side of the fuel rail at the rear. Many people say this will cause the P0087 low fuel rail pressure code to come on. The spring gets weak and let's fuel bypass and temporarily causes low fuel pressure. (This is my understanding). So you do a bottle test to redirect that fuel into a bottle to test if the FPRV is holding tight or letting fuel by. (It seems my FPRV is OK)

I let the engine heat up to operating temp and went and drove on the highway. Turned around and mashed on the pedal to take off and around 55-60mph it went into limp mode. Checked bottle and no fuel. Checked and same code I've been having. Ugh... what's my next step? Lol

NOTE: pictures are from van so looking at rear of engine inside van with engine cover removed. I had to remove glow plug module and heat shield to access the hose.

I also wondered if the fuel pressure sensor is reading right. I read that key on e fine off the sensor should read 1-1.8mpa which is 145-261psi. (Mine flashes between 71-107psi) so this could be another potential issue... more to come on this later.

Sorry to bore you all! I hope by documenting my troubles will help someone else in the future. The duramax Chevy Express vans are different animals than the trucks and harder to find info on...
Hey, not boring,man! New to the site and appreciate your know how. I probably won’t touch the engine much but good to know going in to get something fixed.

We have the 06 engine Chevy Express and just getting started on painting and floor plan. Engine is purring and powerful!
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:17 PM   #25
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Hey, not boring,man! New to the site and appreciate your know how. I probably won’t touch the engine much but good to know going in to get something fixed.

We have the 06 engine Chevy Express and just getting started on painting and floor plan. Engine is purring and powerful!
Hey I'm pretty new to the site as well! Glad your Duramax is running well! Let me know if you have any questions... i learn something new about mine everyday! Lol
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:53 PM   #26
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Oh yes, learning something new every day, and the puzzles are kinda fun.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:28 AM   #27
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Well I had my first good memory in the bus this weekend! Hopefully things will turn around for me on this thing! We drove it to our first Kstate football game and used it for tailgating! I left 4 seats in it so it will legally haul 9 people at the moment. I added some cable clips in various locations so I could tie up the tables, chairs, tv etc to the walls to save space and keep everything from falling over. I babied it so I wouldn't set it in to limp mode and it did great! Noe I'm excited again to get back to this build! This Saturday we have an 11am game so well be pulling out in the bus around 6am! I'll take pictures this time!
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:50 PM   #28
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Rear Platform

Well I had some inspiration from fellow bus owners and the stinking gas smell from generator in the bus while heading to tailgate! I worked on a platform yesterday and finished up the deck this morning before heading to the game! I used 3x3x1/4" square tubing bolted to the frame and comes out through two holes cut in the bumper. The rear is the same size tubing. Sides are 2x2x1/4" square tubing and also used some 1.5x1.5x1/4" angle. I went with the composite ultra deck boards so I don't have to worry about wood. It's not complete yet. I built it in a hurry and it will need cleaned up a little and painted better. I'm contemplating having an outdoor shower that I can setup on one side in the future. I still plan to add a receiver hitch to it and a slide in step. Other ideas include possibly a grill/smoker that hinges and swings out to use. Thinking about a tv mount for tailgates. Who knows... I gotta buy some receiver mounts from harbor freight while they are on sale! Any suggestions for the rear platform would be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:41 PM   #29
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I worked on a platform yesterday and finished up the deck this morning before heading to the game!
That's pretty sharp.....well done.

How deep is it? Got any pics of the frame without the 'wood'? I'll be building one in the future and I hope it turns out as nicely as yours.
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:23 AM   #30
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That's pretty sharp.....well done.

How deep is it? Got any pics of the frame without the 'wood'? I'll be building one in the future and I hope it turns out as nicely as yours.
It is 31" from rear of tube to bus bumper abd is 92"wide. I made it a couple inches narrower than the bumper on each side as I will add mounts in the future. It's built with what I had laying around. If I were to design from scratch it would be a little different. I don't have a pic without the wood. I drew on a picture to show you what's under there. (I tried taking a picture underneath and didn't work well. Lol)

I used two 3"x3" x1/4" sq tubing that lays inside the frame rails and bolts to the frame with grade 8 1/2" bolts. The rear tube is also the same 3" sq tube. (I had some 4" I was going to use for rear bumper but it was too thick walled for a sewer hose to fit) I offset the rear tube up so the wood lay flat and parallel to the top of the tube. (Thanks to Bork for awesome idea there).
Each side rail is 2x 1/4" sq tube. I also welded a piece of 2x 1/4" sq tube across the 3" tubing coming out of the frame rails spaced back about 16". The purpose of this tube is to allow me to add an 18" long 2" receiver hitch when I have time.
I used 1.5 x 1/4" angle iron for the portion right across the bus bumper, as well as 3 cross members (front to rear) to support the wood.
On the outer edges where the wood meets the side rail 2" tubing I had some 1" sq tube so I used it to support the wood there.

One other note: if you look at the bumper I welded a short piece of 1" tubing to the bumper. I did this to help support some of the weight if needed. (I'm a little worried about the 1.5" angle iron at the front of the platform depending on what I hang on the platform in the future.)
Currently there as two short tack welds holding the platform to the bumper that I used during setup. I built this so I could unbolt and remove in the future if needed. I still have more to add including a charcoal grill mount... hope this helps clear up the questions. Please ask if you have more and see where I can improve!!
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:27 AM   #31
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The picture above is from the Kansas State vs University of Texas San Antonio tailgate. We had just finished frying up around 20 lbs of chicken wings and some Nashville Hot Chicken!
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:34 PM   #32
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I drew on a picture to show you what's under there. (I tried taking a picture underneath and didn't work well. Lol)

I offset the rear tube up so the wood lay flat and parallel to the top of the tube. (Thanks to Bork for awesome idea there).
A picture with explanations is even better than a pic! Thanks for taking the time. I like the look of the wood sitting inside the frame.

Mine will only be 22"-24" deep.....I plan on carrying a 250cc dual sport on it, and raising and lowering with a 2500 lb ATV winch mounted at the back edge of the roof.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:42 PM   #33
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New to me Camper parts!

We headed up to Nebraska for a wedding this weekend, so on the way back I stopped by a place and looked at some camper parts for sale.

I picked up an Atwood 34,000 btu furnace model 8535-iv-dclp. I got the copper line, fittings to go to pipe, and also the rubber hose and regulator to hook up the propane tank. $100 (I think this is a good deal compared to $5-$600 new)

I also picked up a door that was in really good shape. It has good screen and latches all look good. I'll just need to get some keys. $130 (Not sure what these sell for used...)

He also had an Iota power distribution panel with fuses and breakers. It had a DLS-55 DC power convertor. He was wanting $150 for that whole setup. I didn't buy it because I wasn't sure if it was a good deal. If I bought it, would it work for a basis for my electrical in the bus? I assume with a system like this, I can hook up to a battery and it converts it to 110v ac? I notice it plugs in. Does that charge the battery up when you are hooked to shore power? What else would I need? I would plan to get some wiring with this as well including the battery cables as long battery cables would be expensive. So hopefully you all will let me know if I should go back for the power convertor.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:50 PM   #34
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here's a few pics of the power distribution panel. And a bad pic of the mess of wiring behind it. (I was trying to show the power convertor)

The question is... is this stuff worth $150 or should I buy new?
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:11 PM   #35
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Tailgating season is over

Well, college football games are over for us this year. So time to get to work on the bus instead of using it. I smoked some brisket and pork loin today which equals a pretty open day for me to work on whatever while babysitting the smoker. I was able to get the final four seats removed as well as the rest of front cushions/stops. I started pulling up the rubber and it sucks. Good glue was used apparently. I used sheet metal vise grips to hold onto it while I pulled it off of the wood. I removed what screws I could that held the rear sheet of plywood down. Then used a large crowbar to pop the wood over there screws I couldn't get out.

One note when doing this is to pry in line of the screws so your pry point is right over the cross member below. This keeps from warping up the floor.

I have more rust than I thought below. I knew I had some in front of the rear heater. I hope I don't run into much more. I can't believe how thin the floor sheet metal is. I'll replace with heavier guage than what's in there now. Any thoughts on insulation and/or coating and plywood thickness I should put down?
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:51 PM   #36
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Floor panel to weld or not to weld?

Let me start by saying I'm surprised I'm actually asking this question. Ive been a welder in the past before I got into manufacturing engineering. I have multiple welders including mig, engine driven stick and and also a 220v Stick/Tig welder. I've replaced floorplans in old vehicles,etc. However, I know that adhesive technology has came a long way in the past 10-20 years. I will be replacing some sections of the floor in my bus. I noticed the original is very thin and not welded in. My question is:

Is anyone "gluing" floor panels in vs welding?

If I weld, a lap joint welded on top is easy to fit up and easy to weld. Then has a place for rust to start. I could set up a butt joint with complete penetration and have less chance for rust to start.

Or I'm thinking about setting up a lap joint (easy to set up) and using 3m panel adhesive. This should be sandable and also able to fill in small holes,etc.

Even crazier note, I am thinking about using some of the inside roof skin for part of a floor section? Has anyone done this? I want to do this right as I don't want rust in a few years....

Thoughts?

Link to amazon here:
3M 08115 Panel Adhesive & 3M 08571 Manual Applicator Gun w/ABN Sticker [Misc.] https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00KSF9TCW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_nLdjCbRB4WKHV
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:54 PM   #37
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3m panel adhesive

Couldn't get the link to work right....

3M 08115 Panel Adhesive & 3M 08571 Manual Applicator Gun w/ABN Sticker [Misc.] https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00KSF9TCW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_nLdjCbRB4WKHV
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:20 PM   #38
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Important factor when deciding how much insulation to add to the floor is how tall you are. Buses are normally 6' or 6'3", if your tall, you'll want all the head room yo can get, which limits thickness of floor insulation unless you plan on a roof raise.
I used metal patches glued down with LocTite construction glue (Liquid Nails). Once sealed and covered with rigid foam insulation no one sees it.
OMG, that 3M stuff is a bit pricey.
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:30 AM   #39
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I'd consider it. Some of the adhesive advertise that the adhesive joint will actually be stronger then the metal its joining. (Kinda like gluing balsa with super glue - the glue won't fail, the Balasa will splinter first.)

I'm not even sure I'd spring for the 3M stuff on the floor. While you want it watertight, it's a panel that's going to be sitting horizontally, on top of another panel, with a sheet of wood/foam on top of it. There's very little lateral force on it. I'm fairly sure that the metal under the floor is to keep the bus weathertight more then anything else. The plywood takes most of the load.
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:02 PM   #40
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Important factor when deciding how much insulation to add to the floor is how tall you are. Buses are normally 6' or 6'3", if your tall, you'll want all the head room yo can get, which limits thickness of floor insulation unless you plan on a roof raise.
I used metal patches glued down with LocTite construction glue (Liquid Nails). Once sealed and covered with rigid foam insulation no one sees it.
OMG, that 3M stuff is a bit pricey.
I'm only 5'9". Before tearing the floor out I had 76" in the middle of the bus. I should have around 77" now the rubber and ply wood is gone. I haven't torn a ceiling panel off yet. I don't plan to raise the roof (at least with my first bus).

I have to replace floor pans in sections. Even tho no one will see it, I'll know it's there... Lol
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