Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Work on Big Blue...

I have the week off of work this week, so now that we are moved into our new place, I turned my attention to Big Blue. Yesterday, I took the old floor out to get it ready to put a new floor in. I was able to do this while leaving the bench seat and closet in, although I will be taking those out as well before this is all over.

I was tempted for a moment to leave the bottom layer of wood in but ended up taking it out and I was glad I did - there is some rust under there that needs some attention. I spent the rest of the day working on getting the floor cleaned and rust free and will continue today. I hope to have it primed by tonight. I'm going to leave it in primer for now and put the new floor in over the top of it.

Here are some pictures of the work:

First: removed the metal "sashes" at the sliding door and the walk-through between the front seats.

The walk-through....

...which had its fill of 40 years of crap.

Next, the floor came out. I found there were 2 layers of floor.

The floor out. I had to prop it up and cut it in the corner by the closet.

Second layer of floor.

It's amazing how bad the work was on cutting through the floor and metal. These are the holes for the refrigerator power and drainage.

I was glad to see that the windows hadn't caused rust below them. I wasn't shocked to see rust where the hole had been cut for the water tank behind the driver's seat (see the end of this post for pictures of the old water tank).

The source of the dirt and moisture for the rust? This is where the old water tank drained.

So it was off to the car wash to use the vacuum to get all the crap out that I had shaken up...

Once back home, I cleaned the entire floor so I could see where the rust was. Then used steel wool over the entire floor. After that, I used a wire brush attachment on my drill to go at the big stuff (which I wore down to almost nothing), followed up with a smaller attachment on the Dremel to get more of the rust (which I wore down to nothing).

Small amount of rust...

Getting bigger...


After burning through 3 Dremel attachments, I finally ran out of wire brushes that would do the work. I just have a little more to get and then should be ready to tape and prime it.

Today, I need to take it back to the car wash and vacuum again, then do a bit more work on the rust and I should be good to go.

Just a note, this new "workshop" area of out new place rocks. The picture below is from inside the workshop looking out through the sliding door at Big Blue (who is safely under cover from rain). It's making this work really fun.

Big Blue in the new work area.



Nice job on the interior restoration. Looks like a lot of hard work. What happened with the engine slowness and all that mechanical work you had done?

Ludwig's Drivers

You've inspired me to more seriously investigate Ludwig's rust issues. And (along with someone else) inspired us to buy a car cover for him.


Big Blue's Driver

Exoticdvm - I still need to do some testing on the engine. Right now,the thing I have to check the compression is broken. Actually, it never worked. So I need to get that returned and bla bla bla (excuses, excuses) .... Also, I can't figure out how to check the RPMs while testing the advance on the distributor. I suspect an expensive (i.e. NOT the one you and I bought) strobe timing light would tell me, but I am reluctant to spend the money.

I wanted to use this time off to get as much done that I can do myself. At the end, I'll do the tests even if I need to bug another area bus owner for his tools. Then figure out what to do.

In driving it around town I have noticed that once it gets a little warm, it runs fine (though I never get out of 3rd gear). The problem seems to be that the running temp never gets over 120 (I used to run around 180 around town) so it never seems warmed up.

I'll dive into all that soon and keep you updated.

Mitch - Careful what cover you buy. I had one in college for my Landcruiser and I swear it kept more water in than out...



Hey! If you are going to do silly things to your bus, at least invite your other bus friends over to watch and make catty remarks. (static@well.com)



In regards to the RPMs while testing the advance, I would highly recommend getting a dwell meter. I got one at sears for less than $30. I didn't even know what it was until my Father in law told me about it. It will check your dwell (accurate measure of points gap) and the RPMs. Very nice tool. If you don't have points, it's still worth it for the tachometer. Since setting my gap with the dwell meter, my bus seems like a different vehicle. The recommended gap that I had it set at, was completely different from what the dwell was saying. If there are any campouts soon, I will bring it and show you.

PJ Alau

Bad timing, I have a few of the tools you need, but won't be back for a while.

Nice job, now I want to finish my floor also.

Happy New you to you both.

Big Blue's Driver

Static - The last thing I need is you and your dog watching me hit my head on my side mirror as I get up from under the bus....

Aaron- yeah, I have a dwell meter but no idea how to use it. It came with the bus. Perhaps it's time to investigate...

Peter - when do you get back?

We all need to camp soon. I was in phone calls with a place in Russian River but was distracted by the "do nothing" stance I took over the holidays. I'll get back on it...

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