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Old 03-04-2012, 02:19 PM   #41
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Re: The Roach Motel

Die grinder with cut off wheel. If you are worried about fraying, wrap a few laps of electrical tape around the wire.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:49 PM   #42
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Re: The Roach Motel

My opinion I would keep that heater.
You can as you mention heat your bus or use valves and heat just the bedroom?
Another use as design originally keeping the engine block from freezing and cracking destroying your engine is use as a water heater also.
You would need to make a double wall canister and between these walls coil copper tubing and hook this heater to it.
This configuration keeps the engine coolant sealed away from your water. Then insulate this "water Heater" good.
I really doubt your going to get what your thinking $$ on eBay; but who knows..
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #43
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Re: The Roach Motel

I did think about making it into a water heater but the manual says the water going through it has to have 20% antifreeze to prevent corrosion. Building a heat exchanger seemed like overkill considering I already have a nice propane/electric water heater. It is an interesting piece though, and I think I'll keep it around for a while.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:56 PM   #44
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Re: The Roach Motel

Those are very effective (and expensive) engine heaters. If you ever plan on spending any time in cold climates, they make a big difference in starting and warm-up. Might want to hold onto it and consider re-installing it unless you have some other form of engine pre-heating in mind.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:45 PM   #45
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Re: The Roach Motel

Here's my new battery box. The brass thingy on the front is the shunt for a Trimetric battery minder and the other thingy is the ground bar. Once it's installed in the bus I'll vent the box to the outside. Not sure how the plywood will stand up to the battery fumes so since I'm going to be doing some fiberglass work soon I may give the box a good coat of resin. The armored cable in the background was another lucky find. Did a little dumpster diving at a demolition site and found just about enough to do my 120v wiring.



I removed all the interior window frames while pulling the last of the fiberglass interior trim and found that the wheelchair door frame had been leaking along with at least one of the passenger side windows. There's a honecomb between the inner and outer fiberglass body panels and over time a good bit of it has deteriorated to the point that the inner and outer body panels are no longer connected. My next magical trick will be to cut off the inner panel and 'glass in some new plywood. Just *think* of the new skills I'm learning!

The bad area extends from the wheelchair door back beneath two more windows.



The rear window was a big surprise, too. Yes, folks, that's daylight between the window frame and the body. Strangely, there isn't much deterioration in this area. I'll be resetting this window soon.

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Old 03-16-2012, 08:01 PM   #46
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Re: The Roach Motel

The weather's been *real nice* up here in "The D" (Just for the record, I'm not IN Detroit. I live outside Detroit. No one with an ounce of pride claims to live in Detroit). Last Saturday I cut out the delaminated area in the sidewall and got that mess cleaned up. A circular saw made quick work of cutting off the inner fiberglass skin (leaving me "itchin' like a man on a fuzzy tree"). You want full clothes coverage when demoing fiberglass. Once that was off I used a putty knife to scrape out all the honeycomb material then used my orbital sander to get the inner and outer skin as flat as possible. Once the 3/4" plywood pieces were cut to fit I was ready for the fiberglass resin.

Once that stuff is mixed you have to HUSTLE to get it slathered on before it sets up. I slopped a thick coat on the back and edges of the board, layed a piece of fiberglass cloth into the resin, slopped another coat onto the glass cloth, slathered more resin on the side wall then put the board in place and braced it so it stayed in contact with the outer wall while the resin hardened. I used the cloth so there would be some "give" between the plywood and the wall. So far it looks like a success so tomorrow I'll screw the inner panels back over the plywood filer. The repair is nearly as stiff as the undamaged wall but time will tell how durable it is.

Before:



After:



Once that was done I found that I hadn't had my fair share of daily abuse so decided to drain down the trans and have a look inside the pan. Easy job, right? The pan has a drain plug so it should have been a quick job (can you hear the auto repair gods laughing?). I put a wrench on the plug and turned it, and turned it, and turned it but it never loosened (damn, Damn, DAMN). Of course, now it leaked so I ended up undoing the pan bolts while holding the thing level while flat on my back, trying (vainly, it turned out) not to spill six quarts of tranny fluid all over myself and the driveway. The carnage wasn't too bad and no hazmat teams were summoned, and surprise!, the inside of the pan was squeaky clean. Not a metal flake to be seen. I got a new pan, gasket and filter from the local Ford dealer and tomorrow (good Lord willin and the creeks don't rise) I'll have that sucker buttoned up.

I also got the alternator out and took it to 5 (count'em, 5) parts stores to have it tested. Turns out I have a 230 amp aftermarket alternator and none of the stores could hook the beast up to their testers. I ended up taking it to this little hole-in-the-wall alternator rebuilder who for the grand sum of $3 tested it and pronounced it good to go. Looks like I'm going to have another go at my nemesis, the wiring monster.

I predict total victory, but not for whom.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:10 AM   #47
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Re: The Roach Motel

As long as your under there and have a shiny new pan...see if you can find a magnetic drain plug that will fit. They catch and hold onto any little metallic miscreants so they can't roam about your motor and do any further harm. I've had them on many vehicles, beginning with race bikes, and have always been surprised at just how much crap floats around in the average engine. Works on both trannys & oil pans.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:54 PM   #48
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Re: The Roach Motel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
As long as your under there and have a shiny new pan...see if you can find a magnetic drain plug that will fit. They catch and hold onto any little metallic miscreants so they can't roam about your motor and do any further harm. I've had them on many vehicles, beginning with race bikes, and have always been surprised at just how much crap floats around in the average engine. Works on both trannys & oil pans.
The old pan had a donut shaped magnet that fit around the drain bolt boss on the inside of the pan. I made sure to pop it in the new pan before bolting it on. I was pleased just how clean it was when I originally dropped the pan. The engine oil pan has that magnetic bolt you mentioned.

I got the alternator back in with nice clean connections, but still no charging. It's a Penntex alternator and I downloaded a troubleshooting guide from their website that has a test form. You do the tests and fill in the form then fax it to the company. I'm pretty sure I'll be buying a new alt soon.

I did get that leaky rear window sealed up so the weekend wasn't a total waste.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:40 PM   #49
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Re: The Roach Motel

There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that I found two more oil leaks; one at the front of the engine (turned out to be the steering stabilizer) and one in the back from the turbocharger pedestal. The stabilizer was a quick fix (FINALLY, a quick fix) but the pedestal leak will require pulling out the turbo and rebuilding the pedestal. I decided to also rebuild the turbo while I have it out. On the plus side, the van turbo's are pretty easy to work on with the engine cover off.

Here's the turbocharger:



The pedestal leak:



My alternator adventure continues. The manufacturer pronounced the thing officially dead so I picked up a new one at autozone. The supplied pulley is a six-rib and I need an 8-rib. The 8-pulley came off the old alt. more or less willingly but the 6-pulley on the new alt might as well have been welded on. I finally had to clamp the new alt pulley in a vise then whack my breaker bar with a hammer to get the pulley bolt loose. Once the pulleys were swapped I found that the bolts that hold it on the engine block were now too long. Of course, they're metric bolts. I swear I'll laugh about this one day, but today is not that day.

One bit of luck, I checked my brake rotors and they look pretty good. I'll probably have to slap in new pads but that's about a megabuck cheaper than a full brake job.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:24 PM   #50
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Re: The Roach Motel

From reading posts on another site, (www.dieselstop.com) that is pretty normal. And its suggested to block the holes in the block off permenently to prevent it. Its oil that drives the engine brake flapper on the turbo. Some say you get more power + better mileage with it diasabled. Luckily, the turbo comes off without too much work.
A good place to get turbo parts is www.gpopshop.com.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:56 PM   #51
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Re: The Roach Motel

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36
From reading posts on another site, (http://www.dieselstop.com) that is pretty normal. And its suggested to block the holes in the block off permenently to prevent it. Its oil that drives the engine brake flapper on the turbo. Some say you get more power + better mileage with it diasabled. Luckily, the turbo comes off without too much work.
A good place to get turbo parts is http://www.gpopshop.com.
I ordered my turbo parts from dieselorings.com. They come highly recommended also. Rebuilding the pedestal actuator was going to run about $100 with no guarantee that the leak won't come back. The alternative is to remove the pedestal actuator alltogether and install a pipe plug in the hole left by the actuator shaft. If I have a pipe plug laying around it's a free fix and the leak never comes back. I like free a lot.

I'm toying with the idea of hooking up a manual choke cable to the disconnected back pressure valve and turning it into an engine brake for those long downhill runs.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:37 PM   #52
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Re: The Roach Motel

I swear I'm going to rename this goofy thing "Leaky Lucy."

Last weekend we had a good, steady rain and I was patting myself on the back for ferreting out all those leaks. Well, you know what happens when you start congratulating yourself - you find ANOTHER FREAKING LEAK!!.

This one showed up at the base of the long front window next to the double door. I could see a few gaps in the sealer from the inside but when I pulled the rubber trim from around the outside I was shocked to see that there was literally more leak than sealant. How it leaked as little as it did is a mystery to me. At least the thing came out easily

Anyway, a tube of windshield sealer took care of it. Pricy stuff at $25 a tube but likely worth it.



With a bit of luck this weekend I'll get that turbo rebuilt and MAYBE, (if the planets line up just right) we may actually have a working alternator. I'll be SO GLAD to get done with these engine repairs and get to the fun part.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #53
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Re: The Roach Motel

I pulled the rubber & windows from the door glass and re-installed with Henry's 212 Crystal Clear All Purpose Patch (Elastometric sealant). I've used it on all the fixed glass/rubber seals except for the windshield. This stuff can even be used on wet surfaces. I've used a lot of it on the bus to seal lights, holes, windows, etc. And costs under $9.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:29 PM   #54
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Re: The Roach Motel

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
I pulled the rubber & windows from the door glass and re-installed with Henry's 212 Crystal Clear All Purpose Patch (Elastometric sealant). I've used it on all the fixed glass/rubber seals except for the windshield. This stuff can even be used on wet surfaces. I've used a lot of it on the bus to seal lights, holes, windows, etc. And costs under $9.
Good catch Lorna! I'll have a look at it. The price is certainly right. I got sticker shock from the windshield sealant.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:59 AM   #55
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Re: The Roach Motel

Quote:
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... I got sticker shock from the windshield sealant.
I'm "frugal". Also known as "cheap" in less polite circles. When ever I see a high priced thingy you guys use or a way of doing something, I will post a link or method that is cheaper. I'm not trying to insult you or anything but I'm frugal. Every $ I save on one thing can be used in another spot.

IE: I have found it's cheaper to buy a cheap inverter and hook up 110vAC lights to the inverter than to buy a pile of expensive 12vDC lights. I accomplish the same thing for 1/2 the cost of DC. I can take the $200+ I'm saving on lighting and use it someplace else.

IE: By painting our cabinets, I can use a lesser (cheaper) grade of plywood over buying expensive "cabinet grade" (stainable) plywood.

IE: By using an 8" deep one third stainless steel steam table pan we had, I didn't have to buy a bathroom sink.

Yep, I'm frugal. Yesterday, I made a cardboard template of the ceiling curve so that I can lay out the sides of the can rotators I'm going to install in the cabinet over the freezer. I will be building the sides of the can rotators out of the FREE 1/4" pegboard I found on Craigslist and some scrap plywood we have. I'm also going to use the FREE pegboard to build the drawer peg system and some rotators for other foods like mac & cheese boxes, pasta, microwave popcorn packets (comes 28 to a box), instant cocoa packets (comes 60 to a box), and anything else I find a need for. I like free stuff.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:06 AM   #56
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Re: The Roach Motel

I will have to try the henry's stuff. For many applications, especially industrial, i use the same rubber calk stuff that you put windshields in with. It is extremely stick and durable. I have used it for many years, and i have found that is tougher than silicone. But the price is around 16 a tube at the automotive paint store here. If you use that stuff to plug a hole, it aint coming out...
will try some of the henrys stuff and see how tough it is...thanks for the link
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:38 PM   #57
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Re: The Roach Motel

<hijack>Lorna, I would very much like to see the end result of your rotators. That sounds internesting. </hijack>
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:32 PM   #58
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Re: The Roach Motel

No worries Lorna, I'm cheap as the day is long. Keep those ideas coming!

Yesterday I pulled the turbocharger to get at the leaky pedestal and as I pulled it out it split into two halves! The 4 bolts that hold the bearing section to the hot turbine section were laying in the engine valley and looked like they'd been there for quite some time. I roundly cursed the mechanics that had worked on it before but after a bit of research I found that this is a known problem and there is a bolt kit with modified threads that will fix the problem. The ford part# is 1C3Z-9G486-AA and costs about $25. Some red locktite couldn't hurt either.

Anyone with a 7.3l Powerstroke should have a look at these bolts. I read about motors with only 40,000 miles having the problem.

Fortunately, my turbo is OK.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:38 PM   #59
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Re: The Roach Motel

Well, halelujah (sp?)! The alternator alternates, turbocharger charges and no more leaks! I'm like Snoopy, jumping up and down with joy.

I also ran wiring to the ceiling lights and got some foam insulation installed on the ceiling.



Next big project is to get the grey tank installed and figure out how to run the drain from the shower.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #60
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Re: The Roach Motel

Ahhhh --- there are joys that just can't be experienced any other way than building a Skoolie! I'm in the midst of hanging tanks myself. If you can...jack it up and put it on stands so you can get to everything comfortably. My back & neck are killing me from being in a half sit up for the last two weeks.
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