Every job has its problems. Some of those on the bus are relatively simple to deal with, like the curved roofline. To combat that, I made up a template using one of the interior endcaps and some sturdy MDF. Voila, I can now cut a curve for wall paneling or shelf ends that will fit any section of the interior roof to a shape that will fit pretty well.
But some things are bigger problems. Like in working on the electrical system, I’m up to the point in blogging where I *should* be installing the DC Circuit Breaker box. It’s a wonderful thing from Blue Sea marine rated so it’s good with moisture, separate wiring for backlighting, and available in 12 or 24 volts, and you can have all the breakers wired to one power source, or source them separately (which is what I’ll do).
But I can’t put that in the system yet.
Why, you ask? Because it has a cascade of other jobs that need to be done before I can get there, each job hinging on the one before it. The circuit breaker job, for example, needs to have paneling up before it can be installed in place.
Now, I’ve been doing some nice flat panel oak wainscoting on the walls, and was planing on doing more of it for the area behind the captain’s chair, so it would need to be built to fit around the existing electrical outlet, captain’s chair back, & AC breaker box.
Oh, and around the housing for the electrical panel and bus wiring that’s just to the port side of the captain’s chair. Under the plastic there’s lots of empty space and I need to decide how much needs to be taken up with what and how best I’ll get access to the wiring that will still reside in there.
And of course, I have to build the paneling and enclosure around the vents for the defroster (by the port window) and the vents down by the floor for the driver’s heater outlet. Oh, and the control for the heater core fluid flow.
Unlike modern school buses that have a dial like your car that opens and closes a vent that allows air to flow through or around the heating core (a miniature radiator), our bus has a 1/4 turn valve that allows or restricts (or stops) the hot coolant from flowing into the core, which is mounted just under the big panel of toggles and switches. Unfortunately, it’s a little thing with short wings, and is really difficult to turn on or off while driving. As such, I have the body for an old ratchet that I need to weld to the valve for better control. And this needs to be built into the paneling in such a way that the hardware of the valve can be attached to the back so it doesn’t move about.
But before I can get to working on this paneling, I need to deal with the floor. I took apart all the original floor up to the captain’s chair and replaced it with batten strips, insulation, and plywood underlayment. But the floor fore of that, is still the old rubber and marine-grade plywood.
Which is held in place in the front with metal plates. And there’s also a big plate that covers the opening over the transmission for the shift lever to come through, with a nice rubber boot to seal it all up. And, of course, the plate needs to come up so that the floor can be replaced. But to take the plate up, the boot needs to come all the way up the lever and off over the shifter knob.
Said shifter knob needs to be removed so the boot can come off the lever, but has (so far) resisted all my attempts to unscrew it.
And then, last but not least, is the captain’s chair itself. The chair has six bolts holding it down, and the seat belt is held down by two more bolts. While these really shouldn’t be a problem , there’s a more complex chassis configuration in this area, and it’s rather hard to get to some of the bolts from underneath. And I’ll actually have to drill up through the new floor in order to put new bolts in the right places to reseat the chair and seat belt hardware.
All to install a DC circuit breaker box …
(That said, I will be getting things done …)