Sunday, November 23, 2014

Working on the bus

Today quite a lot was accomplished. The first set of bunk beds was removed from the bus making ingress and egress from the rear emergency door much easier. During the process, it was discovered that the beds were freestanding on the floor, unsecured by any more than a carriage bolt passed right through both skins of the bus.

As the dismantling continued it became more evident just how badly the interior of the bus had been remodeled. There were bent screws galore, a wide range of screw types and carriage bolts used instead of regular bolts. There were even a few that weren't even tight.

Having got this far, its no surprise that the bus rattled badly when driving it home. The bolts through the body are an annoyance that will be cured with duct tape temporarily while a permanent solution is devised.

The lack of a horn might be due to the fact the horn is unplugged. With luck, plugging the horn in might fix it - if its possible to get the horn to remain plugged in. At the moment it's connectors are just hanging loose. On a more serious note, the fluid level in the radiator was so low it swallowed an entire gallon of 50/50 without blinking. Transmission fluid is pinkish and while not at the maximum, fairly usable. I have not been able to ascertain the state of the engine oil. The air filter looks clean as does the fuel filter. There are some suspicious oily patches which makes me wonder about an oil leak somewhere.

On the whole, I'm happy. I do need to get a mechanic to look at the bus though. Fortunately one of the parents at the after school program that I work for is a truck mechanic and is very familiar with the international trucks and busses. I just hope and pray he's not prohibitively expensive.

On a positive note, the sheet steel I want for the windows is quite reasonably priced. For 18 sheets of 24x26 steel of 1\8th inch with holes drilled around the edges, the price is $395. Given that Lowes wanted $50 for a uncut sheet that mighty have done two windows if I was lucky, this is a bargain. Not only that but it comes ready primed for auto body work.

This weekend should see the bunks removed and the headlamps installed. With luck I should get to the indicator lamp and possibly even get the bath and or some cabinets out. The goal is to strip all the junk out and then get to the windows to work on replacing them. My goal is to get the bus ready for habitation by January 1st.

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