Saturday, October 31, 2015


Today I commenced work, rather late in the day to complete the battery compartment. After tightening a few nuts and cropping the overlong bolts, suddenly one bolt shattered under very light pressure.

Given that when asked, the store (Fastenal) claimed the bolts to be easily capable of holding 200lbs and probably good for 1200lbs, I'm rather disappointed. Needless to say, with a bad bolt, the whole batch must be condemned as suspect, particularly when it cannot fail. If the battery compartment failed, the consequences could be fatal.

Looking at the compartment so far, the angle bracket that came from the bunk beds that I'd previously condemned is probably 87° rather than 90°. This makes construction of a regular shape somewhat awkward.

Clearly this will have to be rebuilt. I think, sadly, it will have to be welded which is beyond my skills. Given that, I suspect it would be better to let the welder supply the steel as he would likely have access to better quality steel of a more appropriate style.

Generally, I find everything the Hillbillies installed in the bus was of pretty low quality and unusable in any shape or form. In many ways, it would have been better to have started with a bus that still had seats in it. Having experienced the conversion so far, I think I'd do it very differently next time. Having said that, I'm almost completed. I just need to add water tanks and the battery compartment. Then, there's very little else to do.

I had hoped to be able to do everything underneath myself but without welding skills, that's not possible. It's probably cheaper to get somebody else to do the welding than to buy a welder and to waste time learning how to weld. Given that I need the bus operational, I'm going to have to ask about welding. I hate having to use somebody else in my self build project.

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