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lapeer20m 06-01-2011 09:23 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
Today was reasonably productive:

First, someone a while back asked for a photo of the door opening it is. Also, i shot a youtube video of it i'll post later if you are really interested.

Here were the front stairs when i got up this morning:

and what they look like tonight.....Not quite finished with them, but made good progress.

Also moved seats around. Only about 4 or so have armrests, and the armrests were in the wrong next to each other instead of being on the ends.


After: Also put bought a gray carpet runner. My wife didn't like the dark brown colored wood on the floor....

I still have not bolted the seats down to the floor, or painted that pesky back wall. I don't care to work in the bus after i paint because it's oil based and gives off a bad odor (and prob isn't all that healthy) so my plan is always to paint just before i quit for the night. The only problem is that i keep getting too tired and stop working without picking up a roller.

Stuff 06-01-2011 09:32 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
steps look nice! not worried about them being slippery when wet though?

lapeer20m 06-01-2011 10:07 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)

Originally Posted by Stuff
steps look nice! not worried about them being slippery when wet though?

I thought about that. Two options. The most likely is that i will buy non-slip treads from menards.

The other option is that i can sprinkle sand into/onto the final protective clear coat that i put on the stairs...i'm not a woodworker, i forget the name of the shiny clear stuff you put on last, but i purchased a can of it.

on a side note....i am curios to know if the steps are actually made from high quality stainless. My tek self drilling screws are useless when trying to screw them into the stairs. (i used to refer to them as "self tapping screws", but that term is not correct)

dirtygoat 06-02-2011 01:35 AM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
Looking really good...

More info on the keyless entry please... I would like to do the same thing...

lapeer20m 06-02-2011 08:36 AM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)

Originally Posted by dirtygoat
Looking really good...

More info on the keyless entry please... I would like to do the same thing...

autozone no longer sells it, but they used to have a really great 4 button long range keychain remote that would turn on/off up to four different devices, and also had an option for momentary on. I used the autozone remote for a couple of other buses.

For this bus I used bulldog remote keyless entry from orielly auto parts: (the above photo)
$39.99 Each
Part Number: KE1702

It has an option to set the length of time current is delivered to the "locks" or in this case to my door opener. 0.7 seconds is default, but there is a 3.5 second option for German cars that use vacuum operated door locks. I made my connections near the switch for the door. It takes less than 3.5 seconds to open my doors, but i don't think it's harmful for the door mechanism to have power going to it for an extra second after the door is all the way open/closed. I considered putting in a limit switch to turn off current, but i don't think it is necessary.

Here is a youtube video with a close-up of the door mechanism. I'm not home today or else i would have included the connection of my remote keyless setup.

roach711 06-02-2011 03:01 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
Hey Lapeer

Looks like we're neighbors. I'm in Farmington (and have also used my bunton hydro for things totally unrelated to mowing). Where did you find your bus? I'm looking for the 24' version of yours.

lapeer20m 06-02-2011 04:21 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
I put more time, effort, energy, and money into finding this bus than i have any of my previous five (except bus IV, i paid more for that one) These half sized buses cost twice what a real skoolie does. However, for a conversion there are a lot of fuel economy, cruise control, air conditioning.

I kept going to auctions with a pocket full of cash and just couldn't find a bus to spend it on! I also carry a g-27, but i digress.

A few months ago, oakland and macomb county SMART buses were being auctioned off on this site, most for under $3k.

I bought my bus from this site, but there were many unanticipated fees.

sdwarf36 06-03-2011 06:47 AM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
Thanks for the picture+ movie of the door opening. I wanted to make mine electric to get rid of the manual door opening mechanism -so i could mount a passenger seat up front. I probably stared at what I had to work with longer than it took you to install yuor seats :lol: -my easiest soulution was a liniar accuator going straight to the linkage. MIne take maybe 8-10 seconds to open. I came real close to going with a remote opener-but was afraid it would always be on the wrong side of the door when i needed it. I have a switch overhead-and one outside (hidden under a waterproof 110v outlet cover.)

lapeer20m 06-03-2011 09:00 AM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
I thought that for an outside switch that it would be cool to mount one of those magnet switches like alarm companies use on windows. Once installed, you could use any magnet to magically open the door. A magnet ring, or necklace, or whatever.

Stuff 06-03-2011 12:11 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
wish my doors never messed up and still worked lol

lapeer20m 06-04-2011 07:17 AM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
Yesterday I finally painted the back wall and bolted down all of the seats. The seats were much more time consuming than anticipated. One problem is that I was working all by myself, which required some creativity to hold the bolts above the floor while climbing under the bus to tighten the nut. Also, Murphy was hard at work ensuring that the holes were in the least accessible places possible. It was actually quite a horrible experience, but it is finished now.

Other than that, I just did some trim work. I think it will be 100% finished after laboring one or two more days. Might not be able to get back to it until Tuesday.

lapeer20m 06-07-2011 12:04 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)

Stuff 06-07-2011 05:52 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
my that looks good!

lapeer20m 06-08-2011 02:13 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
they were designed for indoor use, but the company said that many of their customers have good luck with them outdoors. They faded after the first time they got wet :( The material they were printed on is pretty awesome, used for billboards vehicles and several other outdoor advertising gigs. Apparently the ink this particular company uses is water soluble. oopsies! I guess i should have clearcoated over them.

putterspitt 06-08-2011 05:46 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
if you need a decal, hit me up

lapeer20m 06-15-2011 11:56 AM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
I got a trailer hitch installed.

Yesterday i used to bus to do some work. I am getting ready to sell our house, so i am in the process of moving most of my worldly possessions. I got a little over zealous last year and acquired about twice as much firewood as i needed for the winter, now i'm stuck moving it to another location. The bus pulls the trailer like it's not even there. It is weird driving a bus that is actually overpowered.

This is the first of many loads....

"heating with wood is so nice because it warms you twice" (or three or four times!)

Stuff 06-15-2011 03:23 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
i gotta get my hitch on still.

you bothering with a brake controller or you gonna keep your loads light enough?

lapeer20m 06-15-2011 05:38 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
What is a brake controller? j/k.

I have been pulling tandem axle landscape trailers for over 15 years, and my problem is that trailer brakes systems are built very poorly and don't continue to work for very long.

I live out in the country, and if i pull a heavy load, i just drive slower and give myself plenty of space. A modern truck pulling a brakeless trailer loaded down with firewood still stops better than an empty 1977 ford f250 with drum brakes.

The one problem i have not fixed yet is that the bus has separate brake lights and turn signals like a euopean car, While the trailer has combined brake light/turn signal like an american pickup truck. I can either buy the converter gizmo, or get some diodes and build my own. For now i just connected the turn signals.

Stuff 06-15-2011 09:39 PM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
heh thats odd. mine is just normal like. brake and signal are the same bulb.

gonna be fun hooking mine up to the nice 7 pin setup all the new trailers have (like my TT)

sdwarf36 06-16-2011 12:30 AM

Re: Splash Party Bus (97 E350)
Heres a tip to hopefully save you some time-I have a similar set up-but am having problems. (the lights on the trailer stay on even if the lights on the bus are off.) Its a Hopkins brand converter. I called their tech support last week. I told them of my problem-he 1st said check grounds (i have a 1/4" bolt welded to the frame of the bus-use star washers + cover in dilectric gel)-and the same thing happens on a landscape trailer and my slid in bike mount. He said that the boxes on partial van can give nitemares with the wiring-he suggested model number #46365-and even though I dont have a reciept, they would exchange what i now have for one of the right models!

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