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Old 05-14-2018, 07:52 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Rusty The Micro Bird

Meet rusty aka russ
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:29 PM   #2
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Year: 1996
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What are the plans?
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:30 AM   #3
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REPAIRS:
He’s getting new brake pads now, after that I hit the road for a cross country trip from Maine to the build spot in Colorado! Note: this guy has the 2004 e450 6.0L diesel engine, which gets a lot of bad press, but luckily the previous owner had the inspection records so I felt good rolling the dice, and so far so good.


PRE-ROAD TRIP WORK:
Still unclear on whether I need to paint before that. Might do the seat removal here too, since I have an excited bunch and it would save a little weight on the long drive.

FLOOR PLANS AND LAYOUT:
I drew up some tentative plans, but was pleasantly surprised to learn the interior length is longer than I had estimated using the 30 inch per window rule of thumb, so I’ll get to revise. It's more like 13.3 (passenger side) to 14.5 feet (driver side) in length. Here are the old ones, very open to ideas / criticism.

Also thinking of adding back porch and roof deck with help of a welding friend.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:37 AM   #4
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welcome.

no fridge? looks nice. have a safe drive
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:29 AM   #5
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Definitely considering a fridge for a phase 2 or 3 of the build, and with the extra space I will have to update these schematics. Goal right now is to try to get Russ turned around in time for a few short road trips this summer, so for that a cooler will do.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by nomadman View Post
Definitely considering a fridge for a phase 2 or 3 of the build, and with the extra space I will have to update these schematics. Goal right now is to try to get Russ turned around in time for a few short road trips this summer, so for that a cooler will do.

I hear you about phases.... I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what order I need to do things and a what point I will add things. The wife asked me when the bus will be finished, I told her never. I will always be doing something to it I suppose, but I would like to get it trip worthy sooner than later!
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
The wife asked me when the bus will be finished, I told her never.
Quote:
Art is never finished, only abandoned. -DaVinci -Nomadman
DEMO DAY 1: Sear Removal
Went at the seats with a cheap angle grinder from harbor freight. Smooth sailing. The longest part of the day was stopping constantly for photo shoots with the helpers. Now we’ve got some space to operate!
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:34 PM   #8
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: Cummins 8.3 Mechanical (6CT)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadman View Post
DEMO DAY 1: Sear Removal
Went at the seats with a cheap angle grinder from harbor freight. Smooth sailing. The longest part of the day was stopping constantly for photo shoots with the helpers. Now we’ve got some space to operate!
Congrats on the seat removal! By far one of the best parts is feeling how much space you have once it's empty.

Be careful with that driver...I don't think he's licensed...
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:10 PM   #9
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Congrats on the seat removal! By far one of the best parts is feeling how much space you have once it's empty.

Be careful with that driver...I don't think he's licensed...
He actually has an unneeded CDL, Commercial Dog License.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:07 PM   #10
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Coachwork: BlueBird / Microbird
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Nice bus!
I’ve got a 2003 MicroBird, Chevy 3500 gasser.
(Everyone slams the gassers, I know. Whatever.)
For whatever reason, the first two windows (from the front) are wider than the other three.

I can’t see your floor plan on this tiny phone screen, but I’ll check it out later on my computer.

Good luck & have fun!
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:56 AM   #11
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Got rear ended outside of Brooklyn yesterday. Wondering what the best recourse is, considering my transit plates only allow 10 days to get back. Going to try to get an estimate today. For those who have added a “back porch” platform, would this present a problem?
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:18 AM   #12
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make the hitter fix the bus... will get your rust fixed too!
make the hitter buy you new plates too! for the trip home.. or drive it home and get it fixed there..

or did they take off?
-Christopher
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:59 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Seats out. Definitely recommend the angle grinder route - $15 electric grinder from harbor freight made quick work of the rusted bolt heads.

Got half of the floor out (not yet pictured). Pretty easy process: remove trim screws, use a crow bar and mallet to pry under the wood to get things started, then use a longer paint scraper to get further under the wood and rip it up. Name of the game is leverage.

Need to figure out what to do about the radiator. Going to search the forums but any ideas? It has two hoses that come from under the bus, one input and one output I presume.

Btw for Denver area folks, I just joined the Denver Took Library and it’s a much better deal than buying tools new or even used.
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:26 PM   #14
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Floor out. Next step rust removal
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadman View Post

FLOOR PLANS AND LAYOUT:
I drew up some tentative plans, but was pleasantly surprised to learn the interior length is longer than I had estimated using the 30 inch per window rule of thumb, so I’ll get to revise. It's more like 13.3 (passenger side) to 14.5 feet (driver side) in length. Here are the old ones, very open to ideas / criticism.
So you ended up with (roughly) a 7x13 rectangle behind the drivers seat?
That's good to know, that's more then I'd have expected too.


Which was is forward in your drawings?
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:13 PM   #16
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So you ended up with (roughly) a 7x13 rectangle behind the drivers seat?

Which was is forward in your drawings?

Yeah, the entry path has a bit of a diagonal, so behind the driver's seat there is more like 14. I will measure again today now that seats are out and I can run a measuring tape more cleanly. But yeah, I was happily surprised.

Forward is at the top of the drawing. I realized now that could be confusing, because the sliding doors at the front could just as easily apply to the rear door.

After driving this guy across country though, I came to rely on the mirror directly above the driver's seat that allows you to look back through the rear windows, so I might be altering the plans a bit to allow a clean line of sight.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:00 PM   #17
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What about installing an always-on backup camera?

The layout might be fluid, but there will still be people and other stuff in the way. A good wide angle camera might help fill in some gaps from the mirrors too.

What's the headroom in Rusty?

One other bit of feedback on your layout - I think a lot of dump stations are set up for the tanks on the left - and a lot of your water looks like it's on the right.


I've got a similar layout I"m thinking for my build (hopefully starting early 2019.)
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:35 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post

What about installing an always-on backup camera?
Not a bad idea. I actually found myself using it while drive forward a lot too though. But you are right about obstacles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post

What's the headroom in Rusty?
In the middle, I can stand with my hair grazing the top, and I'm 6'2". On the sides its a little shorter, but not too much. Will try to get exact measurement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post

One other bit of feedback on your layout - I think a lot of dump stations are set up for the tanks on the left - and a lot of your water looks like it's on the right.
Ah, great to know! The sides are swappable, so I will do that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
I've got a similar layout I"m thinking for my build (hopefully starting early 2019.)
That's great, link to it when its sketched up, would love to see it.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:39 PM   #19
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Think I goofed up here.

One of the floor plates seemed to have been corroded through once upon a time, and then treated chemically perhaps. I noticed some rust underneath and white powder, so I started digging it up. Seems like there is another layer below the (aluminum?) floor, only in the section of the bus where the back wheels are. It’s pretty rusty. Plan is to de rust it and put a new aluminum sheet over the cut area. Seems like potentially a wasteful detour - any thoughts from the crowd?
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:43 PM   #20
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Aluminum in contact with steel will oxidize very rapidly and produce a white powder like what you are seeing. The two metals absolutely MUST be kept isolated/insulated from one another.
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