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Old 04-08-2012, 07:35 PM   #61
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Re: The Roach Motel

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Originally Posted by Tango
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.
Man, I hear you. I just spent most of the day flat on my back under mine and my neck is the worse for wear. Fortunately, I found a good spot for the grey tank.

Times like this makes me envious of the school bus people who can walk around under theirs.

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Old 04-12-2012, 10:43 PM   #62
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Re: The Roach Motel

Finally got the grey tank hung. I originally intended to put it behind the driver's side wheel well but it was way too tight there with the shower drain wanting the same space. I briefly considered dropping the shower drain straight into the tank but I'd loose the trap and that seemed like a bad decision. Fortunately, there was plenty of space behind the gas tank and also a space to snake a 2" drain pipe where the bumper attaches to the frame.



The motor cover and fuse box cover got a fresh coat of paint and the funky switch panel got replaced with a drink holder thingy that I got from a place that does van conversions. At this stage of the conversion everything is so rough on this bus that it's nice to see something finished.



Now that the tank is hung I can put in the floor insulation and the plywood flooring. Onward and upward!
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:20 AM   #63
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Re: The Roach Motel

Very cool dash arrangement...and you can never have too many cup holders!
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:46 PM   #64
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Re: The Roach Motel

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Originally Posted by onekerrmudgeon
You've, done a good looking job on the dash. Its amazing what a little paint will do .
Good Job.
Thanx! I've done a bunch of renovations and it always amazes me how much better something looks with a fresh coat of paint.

Yesterday I got the floor insulated and covered. It was fun to do something that was constructive for a change.



Afterward I drove it around just to see how everything was working. It's been parked for the better part of three months but started up and drove just fine. No smoke, the turbo spooled up nicely and the new floor cut the noise level considerably. The brakes have develpoed a new issue and were pulsing badly at first. I assume rust is the culprit and will wear off before too long. I looked at the front rotors after I parked the thing and saw that the passenger side rotor was wiped pretty clean of rust but the driver side was still all nasty and rusty. I wanted to have a go at the brakes eventually but now it looks like I have at least one stuck caliper and will have to give the brakes some TLC soon. While I've got the wheels off I'll give them a coat of paint, too. The opportunities are endless.

Tomorrow it's off to pick up a proper floor jack. I just love watching those dollar bills flutter off into the distance.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:50 PM   #65
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Re: The Roach Motel

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The opportunities are endless.
Now THERE'S an optimist! I admire your positive outlook.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #66
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Re: The Roach Motel

When I 1st started going thru my bus, I had a dragging brake. It turned out being a plugged (rubber) brake hose. I changed it-but also did calipers-pads-hardware etc. when you one thing goes on something like our buses with so much previous use, you might as well do everything around it-those parts have just as many miles on them as the failed part.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:58 AM   #67
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Re: The Roach Motel

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36
When I 1st started going thru my bus, I had a dragging brake. It turned out being a plugged (rubber) brake hose.
Yeah, I'd read that those hoses can be a problem. The plan is to do a full brake fluid flush as well as replacing the pads and greasing up the guide pins. The rotors look good (so far) but I'll know better when I get the wheels off. Those hoses may well be part of the job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
Quote:
The opportunities are endless.
Now THERE'S an optimist! I admire your positive outlook.
Another oportunity showed it's face this weekend in the form of a leaky windshield. I pulled off some interior trim an saw my old friend, daylight, shining in through the gaps in the sealant. Tomorrow it's off to the glass shop to have it resealed.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:12 PM   #68
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Re: The Roach Motel

Went to the glass shop yesterday to have the windshield re-sealed. When the guy checked it out he found that only about two-thirds of the glass was sealed to the frame and that it had been sealed with several different sealers in several attempts to stem the leaks. They could reseal it for $100 with no warranty or replace it for $165 with a lifetime warranty. I went with the new windshield.

I also went around the bus and removed/resealed all the side windows. The 4 windows on the side where the fiberglass had deteriorated had many screws broken off and I got those all cleared out of there so the compression frames would bolt up correctly. We have a few days of rain coming so it should be clear whether "Leaky Lucy" is leak free or not.

I'm just amazed at the mickey mouse fixes the bus company mechanics used on this bus. Seemed like everywhere I looked there was some half a$$ed thing to be re-done; clamps in place but not tightened, wires just cut and left hanging, screws broken off, windows badly sealed, windows sealed but not covering the hole. If any Detroit area SMART mechanics read this, I'd like to say (in the most constructive manner possible) "YOU GUYS SUCK!!".

If the weather isn't too wet I may tackle the front brakes, otherwise I may put on my rain gear and wet sand the fiberglass body in preperation for rubbing it out.

On the other hand, I may not.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:48 PM   #69
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Re: The Roach Motel

Hey Roach --- I have actually waited for a rainy day to take on big wet sanding projects...it works GREAT! Used great big sponges to back up full sheets of wet-or-dry and worked it with two hands. Must have cut the work time by more than half since it was continuously "self-rinsing". Of course, I'm down here in the Tropics where we get plenty of that sort of thing...along with nice balmy temps. Wouldn't even think about it below about 75 degrees. But do keep an eye out for lightning. Not what you want when you are up on a roof.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:19 AM   #70
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Re: The Roach Motel

Quote:
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But do keep an eye out for lightning. Not what you want when you are up on a roof.
Lightning would be bad, but on the plus side, then I wouldn't have to work on those damn brakes.

The flu bug has me and the wife in its clutches today, as well as about half of our extended family. I get a break from the bus, but this wasn't what I had in mind.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:05 PM   #71
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Re: The Roach Motel

Flu... ooo... ick!
Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:25 AM   #72
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Re: The Roach Motel

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Flu... ooo... ick!
Hope you feel better soon.
Thanx Tyger. This is day three and I still feel like I've been run over by a truck. A very small truck and one not going very fast but a truck nonetheless.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #73
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Re: The Roach Motel

Poor pookey.

I could suggest my cold remedy. Helps with the flu. Or it seems to help. First I take a very hot shower. Then I drink a double Apricot Sour (Apricot Brandy, a bit of sugar with double the lemon juice) OR a double Whiskey Sour (Jack Daniels, a bit of sugar with double the lemon juice). I have to drink it while sitting on the edge of the bed, because I would never make it from the galley to the bedroom afterwards. I don't drink much about once or twice a year... when I get sick. My theory is the alcohol helps me to sleep (allowing my body to heal itself and letting me feel less miserable for a good nights sleep) along with killing off a few germs in my throat (why I use it for early onset of colds) and the lemon juice contains vitamin C which can't hurt. No worse than chugging down alcohol based cold medicine. But I can usually function the next day. Often I can beat a cold doing that.

But after 3 days, you are about halfway thru the flu (7 to 10 days all total). I doubt my cold remedy would help you do anything but sleep.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #74
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Re: The Roach Motel

Lorna - Hot showers have magical curative powers, just like band-aids. The booze is just icing on the cake.

Feeling much better today but I've got no energy at all. I did wire up my interior lights to test out some new LED bulbs. The process went like this:

Go upstairs to get my camera.

Come back downstairs and have a seat for 20 minutes to consider my next move.

Trudge out to the bus and stare at the wiring for a bit trying to remember why I came out here.

Take a shot of the LED bulb and set the camera on the dash.

Since the driver's seat is *right there* have a seat (just for a second). Wake up half-an-hour later.

Connect all the light wires together and test. Cool, everything works.

Grab the camera and go back inside for a nap.

Pitiful, just pitiful.

Here's the LED bulb in question.



I got several off Ebay for $7 each and they do give off noticeably more light than the incandescent bulbs they replace. They're also nice and warm, not so harsh as other LED lights I've seen. If the ebay specs are correct I'll be able to run all my interior lighting on 15 watts (Three aisle lights and two reading lights). That compares to 12 watts for just one of the incandescent bulbs.

LED is definitely the future of lighting.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:37 PM   #75
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Re: The Roach Motel

I think you are doing pretty good. Not only did you remember to take the picture, but you remembered to take the camera back into the house!
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:24 PM   #76
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Re: The Roach Motel

Regarding the Flu...an old country doctor once told me..."If I give you a shot, you take 3 of these pills a day and you stay in bed, you could be over this in as little as 72 hours. If you do nothing, it could last as long as three days."

Nuff sed.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #77
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Re: The Roach Motel

On Sunday I got Roachie jacked up and had a good look at the front brakes. The driver's side rotor had a bit of a warp but the passenger side had a *visible* wobble. Spec is no more than a 3 thousandth warp but this one was like a quarter inch! They had both been turned a time or two and were pretty thin. Calipers could probably have been reused but I decided to replace them too so now the fronts are both shiny and new with new ceramic pads. Flushed the brake fluid while I was at it but it wasn't that dirty. I hadn't done a brake job since the 70's so I had to do a bit of brushing up on my skills but they're working fine so far. Those rotors are some seriously heavy metal!

I've got torque specs for installing the E-450 Super Duty brakes if anyone's interested.



I also painted out three windows that will be built over in the fullness of time. I found some paint that's specifically made for glass at the craft store (Michaels). It's called PermEnamel and goes on in two steps. First you brush on a clear conditioner then after that dries the paint goes on. Time will tell how well it holds up but they claim it's dishwasher and microwave safe. A two ounce bottle covers one of my windows if I'm really careful. I painted the inside of the glass so I wanted something that at least had a chance of surviving in a hostile environment.

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Old 05-02-2012, 10:28 PM   #78
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Re: The Roach Motel

brakes look good! had to replace all the brakes and stuff on my bus when i had it safetied. well worth the investment!

just wondering what you did with the inside wall stuff and if you're reusing it or what the plan is.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:41 AM   #79
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Re: The Roach Motel

I pulled out all the decorative white fiberglass on the interior sidewalls and roof. Glad I did because otherwise I wouldn't have found several serious window leaks. Kept some of it "just in case" but I don't have any plans to re-use any of it. The ceiling panels are nice, heavy duty fiberglass but they had lots of holes from the stripper pole screws. Originally I thought I might re-use them for shower walls but the holes killed that idea. I like going cheap but I don't want it looking too "country."

The current plan is to finish gluing up the 3/4" insulation on the roof and side walls then carpet the ceiling before installing the base and wall cabinets. Between the upper and lower cabinets I'm thinking of cutting some 1/4" plywood to fit over the side windows with cutouts that cover the window frames but leave the glass part uncovered. I'll staple some thin foam on the plywood then cover it with some sort of fabric and screw the panel to the wall. This should make the window area look way better and still give me access to the windows should I have to fix a leak or something. It will also give some minimal insulation value.

I need to get going on this thing - December 2012 is coming fast.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:07 PM   #80
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Re: The Roach Motel

Had a pretty productive weekend. I borrowed a floor jack and checked the rear brakes. Lots of pad left and the rotors are just within spec and should be good until these pads wear out. When I flushed the rear brake lines a bit of air came out of the right rear brake line. Brakes were OK before but now I've got a high, firm brake pedal. My rear mud flaps were, well, flapping because the attachment points were badly rusted. When I was working on the rear brakes one of them fell off! The other one wasn't in much better shape so I pulled that one, too.

The rear bumper looked like someone had backed it into something solid and one side was pushed in a few inches. After much grunting and swearing I got the bolts loose and, with the help of two jacks and my trusty sledge-O-matic, got the thing back into position. I think that bumper weighs more than my first car! There's something very theraputic about swinging a sledge hammer.

Got most of the wall insulation up, replaced one of the lower body braces, scraped off the rest of the adhesive left from removing the tape stripes, and painted the wheels with a light grey hammered enamel (Is hammered enamel just normal enamel thats had way too much to drink?)

The front end needs an alignment and the coolant is due to be replaced but once that's done I should be just about done with the running gear repairs. And not a second too soon.

Originally I had hoped to have the interior mostly done by Memorial day. Now the question is, Memorial Day of what year?
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