Monday, July 9, 2012

Phase 1 complete

I'm making and executive decision and calling "Phase 1" complete. Essentially, Phase 1 is exterior and major mechanical. Phase 2 will be interior and cosmetic touches.
So, this Spring and early Summer, I've:
Replaced the exhaust system
Repaired the battery compartment and adjacent rust damaged area (mostly wheel well)
Pulled the dents from behind the spare tire and reinforced the whole area with 1/8" aluminum from a roadsign I found. Much, much stronger now
Sanded the pop-top and repainted.
Repaired cargo area, reinforced with aluminum, and painted
Sanded whole bus fixing small spots of rust as I went (actually very few, quite happy about that) and repainted.
Sanded bumpers and repainted (using a color scheme suggested by PdxPaulie)
Repaired window seal.
Adjusted Steering box (wow! It actually turns when you turn the steering wheel!)
Next, Phase 2: Interior!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Finally, some updated pictures.
The process is going like this:
Start with the top (sand, repair, repaint). Status: Done
Fix cargo bin (I like to sit in it at shows, so it need to be reinforced). Status: Done
Start at the front of the bus and work to the back (sand, repair, repaint): Status: Front Done!
Also I repaired and significantly reinforced the area around where the spare wheel is mounted. The sheet metal is just really not strong enough to handle the tire, and tends to dent or compress when exposed to any pressure. So I found a big 1/8th inch aluminum road sign on the side of the road, and cut it to fit across the front where the tire goes. I riveted it in place, filled any gaps behind it with expanding foam, then sealed it with Lab-Metal (a liquid metal that dries into solid aluminum). The area is now significantly stronger and will not rust.
Sanded and reinforced

1st coat

Finished! Thanks to Paul for the bumper trim idea.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


So, having finally (knock on wood, throw salt over the shoulder, sacrifice a goat) fixed the f*$%king exhaust leak (don't ask), I decided to systematically start the cleaning/body work from the top down. I began by cleaning and sanding the pop-top, working my way forward. When I got to the cargo bin, I noticed it was really, really dirty and in need of repair. Figuring that the easiest way to clean it would be to remove it, I tried turning the bolts holding it on: and they immediately broke. When I got the bin off, this is what I found. I guess I'm not really surprised by 39 years of crap caught under there (and a little bit of rust), but can someone tell me where the shoe laces came from I found amongst the leaves?

Monday, May 14, 2012

No new photos yet, but certainly time for an update:

After the last run (Furthur last year), I pretty much parked the old girl until I could actually do some work. I knew it was time when I was backfiring like a mother. My exhaust system, specifically the pipes coming from the heater boxes to the muffler, were swiss cheese. I repaired them insitu (at the September Furthur shows in Eugene) with speaker wire and the lid of a chewing tobacco can, and it nearly worked. But there really is no substitute for replacement parts, so I broke down and bought a new Empi system and finished the install this weekend.

But while I was under there.... :-)