School Bus 101, long technical post

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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Tue May 14, 2013 11:30 am

A magnetic garment would not work since this part of the bus is aluminum.
But really... how offensive can this be? I'm more concerned that her proportions are a bit off, and her abs a bit over-emphasized (but I'm not complaining about Kurt's work!).

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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby gyre » Tue May 14, 2013 11:33 am

You just need aluminum magnets, Elliot.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Martiansky » Tue May 14, 2013 2:09 pm

Somehow I knew you were going to say that it was a
non-magnetic surface! Magnetic garments couldve been a
fun addition though!
From that picture angle I don't see anything thats offensive
at all. I was just playing off your "decency laws" comment.
The mural is very cool.
So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Tue May 14, 2013 4:05 pm

Some ayatollah type might blow a fuse and come running with his underpants full of explosives. But I'm willing to risk it. :mrgreen:
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MikeGyver » Tue May 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Depending on whats on the inside of the bus in that area. How about gluing magnets to the inside so you could attach the magnet to the outside?
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Tue May 14, 2013 4:51 pm

Why are we even talking about this? Those magnetic signs must cost money. If Mr. Brigham Young ever pulls me over, I always have a roll of electrical tape with me. No worries.

Now... there is still some space left. Wonder what we are going to put there? :twisted:
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MikeGyver » Wed May 15, 2013 8:42 pm

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/cto/3778491774.html

Makes me wish I had about 15 grand. Buy that put a diesel drive train under it. Make the top into a sleeping area and put a kitchen or something and seating in the bottom.

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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Tiahaar » Wed May 15, 2013 9:54 pm

Wow the London bus would be a fun project! (also ty Gyre...aluminum magnets heheheheh!)

Love the murals Elliot! And since you already claimed Peterbilt gear for your schoolie I'm putting Freightliner stuff on my transit :-)

Looking forward to ya stopping by Yggy! Who else has bus project schemes to share?

I have a bunch of electrical work to do on mine now.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Wed May 15, 2013 10:22 pm

Mrpatatomoto wrote:...put a diesel drive train under it.

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Be advised, these buses have a weird drivetrain with the engine turning backward from the normal industry standard. This is because the rear axle is a very odd arrangement with the differential on one side, so the floor can be low. So re-powering one of these could be a bit of a headache. I believe the old Detroit two-strokes could be configured to run backwards, but I'm not sure. I suppose any engine could be so configured, it's only a matter of cost -- custom ground camshaft, custom oil pump etc.

(Regular four-stroke diesels can start backwards by accident -- it happened to me once. It sounded quite different, and of course there was no oil pressure.)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MikeGyver » Wed May 15, 2013 11:17 pm

Good to know. I didn't think it would be easy, but its a little more complicated with it running backwards. I've heard the engines in these are tanks, but driving cross country with a engine made in 1950 doesn't seem like the smartest of ideas. So a swap is the first thought. But in the real world I don't even have the 7 grand to buy it and really don't have the 15 grand to afford buying and customizing it.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby gyre » Thu May 16, 2013 12:41 am

How else, Tiahaar?

There was a double decker here for sale, in better shape too.
I don't know if it's still around.

There are a surprizing number of reverse engine kits, mostly for marine use, some for mid-engine and similar type adaptations.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Martiansky » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:01 pm

Bump!

After seeing all the cool ways people converted old buses it kinda makes me wish I lived closer because driving a bus to BM from MN would be a LONG slow drive!

Here's the thread Graidawg and Elliot!
Millicent is awesome BTW!
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:49 pm

Thanks!

I put quite a lot of information in the first post, so go there first.

(The technical problem with the thread does not seem to have reoccurred.)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:19 am

this thread should never disappear, although it does lead me to the desire to convert a bus. nothing fancy (at first) just seating, bed area and a (non-plumbed) kitchen. raising the roof would be nice as well but not right away. oh and flooring on the roof so it can be used for sightseeing/chilling in hammocks.

well one day.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:24 am

Start with a cargo van to get your feet wet.

A lot cheaper and easier, then you can upgrade later. 8)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:27 am

FIGJAM wrote:Start with a cargo van to get your feet wet.

A lot cheaper and easier, then you can upgrade later. 8)


yup thats this years plan. extended cargo van extra seat in the back (it its a 2 seater) I have plans but my CDO (thats OCD but with the letters in the right order) partner in crime will have her own plans (which i will of course eventually agree too).

i have looked at cargo vans via google any wanrings on ones not to buy - fiat and citroen have bad reputations over here
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:38 am

Acording to craig's list, chevy seems to be a good choice.

Lots of fords on there which tells me people are getting rid of them for a reason.

My research is showing that a 3/4 ton chevy cargo van with the 5.7 liter vortec engine is capable of 20 mpg.

Find one with the bulkhead behind the front seats and a roof rack to rig a shade over it and you'll be ready to just outfit the cargo space into living space.

I would make the bed fold against the wall with drawers under the bed for storage.

This will leave the rest of the space open for bells and whistles. 8)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:48 am

That sounds very much like the one i looked at 20mpg will do i guess.

my plan is for a futon type bed - folded against the wall as a seat - with another opposite, both on drawers, unfold both for one comfy bed or take them outside for comfy seats, or sit inside when weather prevents that choice

ideally the roof rack would be the type with a central walkway to make things easier, that way it can be designed to have two self contained hammocks either side and ,as you say, still room for the bells and whistles inside, the bulkhead i am not sure about. Its good for a work van but not so much for a conversion although it would help with dust control on the playa
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:57 am

I like the idea of the bulkhead because it can be sealed enough so that you would only be heating or cooling the drivers compartment while on the road.

I looked at doing this after the first year, but couldn't justify a vehicle for use once a year.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:04 am

FIGJAM wrote:I like the idea of the bulkhead because it can be sealed enough so that you would only be heating or cooling the drivers compartment while on the road.

I looked at doing this after the first year, but couldn't justify a vehicle for use once a year.


AH! this is where it works well for me, once i get over there the beds etc can come out and it becomes a work van, so i guess the bulkhead does make sense......

the nice thing aboyt glazing is.... not many tools needed though the handyman bit does mean..... PACK ALL THE TOOLS! although i have a plan to box off the side door for tool storage - that way when its being used for camping the tools are out of the way (see what my cdo in crime thinks about that)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby aserendipity » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:29 am

We had a Chevy this year..borrowed..promised to treat it well.

So while traveling we put the futons on top to use them as a buffer zone
and then strap everything else on top inside the futon protection zone.
no scratches on roof

And ,Once at BRC .. we wrapped the engine from the top and the bottom
engine safer presumably
worked well..

xoA.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:35 am

Make everything as convertable as possible!!!

That keeps the van multi-purpose.

I wouldn't block any doors, but make the tool bin portable and able to ancore to the wall or floor with wingnuts.

Wingnuts are your friend. :lol:
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:47 am

tool bin? singular?
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:26 am

If you have a big enough bin, one's enough! :lol:

I'm just saying that making things portable and ancoring with wingnuts lets you change your floor plan with less work.

If you get access to some secure storage it makes it easy to switch from work vehicle to play(a) vehicle!!! 8)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby gyre » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:44 am

FIGJAM wrote:Acording to craig's list, chevy seems to be a good choice.

Lots of fords on there which tells me people are getting rid of them for a reason.

A lot of interpretations of that, including that older chevies fail faster - my experience.

Class C motorhomes or commercial vans are another easy option.
The big vans are popular at the burn.

My ford van is an older 351W with C6 and 9" rear end.
It will run long after the newer ones are all gone.

if you're inclined, people are starting to do diesel conversions of ford rangers.
For a work truck, a ranger would probably be your best fit here, 4 cyl - 5 speed.

On fiat, I have no experience with the european vans, but extensive experience with the imported models.
Typically, if maintaned well, you can just beat hell out of them and keep going.
I had one I kept at 10,000 rpm for years.
If someone says they drove it real easy, run like hell.
Short shifting will kill them.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:51 am

FIGJAM wrote:
If you get access to some secure storage it makes it easy to switch from work vehicle to play(a) vehicle!!! 8)


actually I do. that's something i hadn't really considered. makes the storage even better VFM.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Box Burner » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:27 pm

Eliot -

what kind of paint are they painting the top of school buses with? And where can I get it?

Also need to seal some leaks in my roof. Was thinking about silicone sealer for the job. Do you recommend something better maybe?
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:38 pm

Elastimer roof coating is what they use on everything around here.

Look up henry's 287 roof coating, NOT sealent.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:54 pm

This is not an area I know much about. But a popular paint for low-budget school bus conversions is Ace Hardware Rust Stop. This is an oil-based paint, essentially generic Rustoleum. It can be sprayed(with suitable thinning), but I'm brushing it on since I don't mind the el-cheapo look.

It is common to see paint peeling off in large flakes on home-made bus paint jobs. I cannot tell what paint was used, of course, but I can safely guess that surface preparation was inadequate. You want to sand it very well, then wipe with paint thinner. Bare steel should be primered. Bare galvanizing and aluminum require a special primer.

On roofs it is common to add some sort of insulating particles to the paint. I've bought a couple of pounds of the stuff, but have not applied it yet. It is tiny glass or ceramic "balls", small enough to go thru a spray gun, yet with insulating and heat-reflecting qualities. From what I've read, it does help. I'd give you the name, except the stuff is buried under a ton of boxes.

For sealant, 50 Year Silicone is probably pretty good. I have heard of professional sealants that are better, but don't know what they are.

Finally, Figjam's suggestion sounds great.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby FlyingMonkey » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:16 pm

Box Burner wrote:Eliot -

what kind of paint are they painting the top of school buses with? And where can I get it?

Also need to seal some leaks in my roof. Was thinking about silicone sealer for the job. Do you recommend something better maybe?


We used white boat hull paint for the top of our bus. It went on thick, evened out really good & sealed up every nook & cranny. If I remember correctly it was not horribly expensive. We chose white to reflect the sun from most of the living area.

From the windows down we used chalkboard paint & that was a lot of fun. People would stop by & draw on it or leave messages for friends. We took pictures of the art every day. If you want details I can find out exactly what we used on the roof. It's been working great (no leaks).
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