Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rolling around in the dirt like a hippo

I intended to do lots of things today but ended up doing just two. The first was to finish priming the two pieces of steel from the roller shutter assembly. After that, while the paint was drying I decided to remove the I-beam that the hillbillies had welded underneath the bus.
I'm still mentally designing the breaker compartment so going slow with it is fine. Aside from that, the existing hillbilly compartment does actually work though it is in terrible condition.

Thinking the beam would be heavy, I piled up some concrete squares underneath the end protruding from the end of the bus. It was then that I realised piling up the slabs further under the bus would be distinctly challenging with lots of trips underneath. I took a short cut and started the bus engine for the first time in a couple of months and moved the bus backwards about 6 feet. Then I piled up the next lot of slabs underneath the end again. 

There was more welding than I had anticipated on the rear bumper so I ended up with some interesting cuts. Having freed the back end, I moved under the bus and worked on the front of the girder. In all I went through 3 cutting disks and it took most of the day. 
Having removed the girder, with much rolling around under the bus, I carried it to the scrap steel pile. I have no idea how much scrap steel I have removed from the bus but I have removed a tremendous amount. I'd say probably close to two tons.

Visible in the photograph above is the reversing horn. Judging from the dangling wire that has been wound carelessly through holes in the chassis, this must have been the work of the hillbillies. It is something I will attend to in due course.
Doesn't the back of the bus look so much better without that girder sticking out? Getting in and out would be almost impossible now had I not foreseen this eventuality and purchased some folding steps in Walmart the other day. As it turns out they're a little low. I might have to get a bigger set of steps. 

After cutting the steel I reckoned the girder I had just removed would weigh something in the region of 50-70 pounds. It was definitely heavy and I certainly didn't enjoy carrying it!
These are the two blinds I installed yesterday. Worryingly, there's a dark spot on the top right of the right curtain. I don't know whether there was a grease spot or whether there is a slight leak. I will have to watch carefully to see what happens next.
In conversation today, my attention was drawn to a threaded hole in the caps of the drums I bought. It seems that they have a 3/4 inch thread. That makes life a load easer. I can see drums appearing under the bus fairly soon.

Removing the weight that I did makes a big difference. I feel happier and I'm sure the bus will drive more sweetly without that hideous thing lumped onto the back.

Ideally, I'd have loved to have had the bus before the hillbillies got hold of it. I'd have done it so much faster and better without having to fix or work around their disasters. It's almost as though a group of guys got together while blind drunk and decided to do the worst construction they possibly could. Their planning and execution was very poor.

I'm looking forward to heading to Canada at some point this autumn. My university Buddy, Eric,  might or might not make it there this autumn due to an operation he has just had. Only time will tell. Still, it'd be nice to do.

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