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All out of grinder wheel. Suppose I'll make a materials run tomorrow so I can keep at it. A couple more ideas came to mind today.

For the most part, I spent the afternoon cutting more out so that I could channel out the tubing routes and knock down welds. The progress is looking encouraging. The only discovery that made me sigh was the top of the curbside tag axle air bag support. The steel is 3/16". Really heavy pitting, as you can see. Suppose I'll look for a drop of plate to replace that with for the time being. If we get Axletech's, the tag bag supports will be cut out.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,242 (Edited)
Couple good people we've become friends with in Colorado have been helpful. My wife got to know another staff member within the hospitals here that got my wife a job at a Denver hospital. Her husband parts out 5th wheels. I spotted his business page post that contained an RV oven. I looked it up and it was a 2019 Furrion. Went up and grabbed it today for $180. One more appliance checked off the list.
 

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Good find, do you have a link to said rv surplus site?
No website that I'm aware of. Book of Faces page, though.
Life On The Road used campers,parts and repair. Kris at 303 513-9684. He's in Strasburg, Colorado. We talked a bit about business comparisons. Sounded like most offer a 30-day warranty after purchase whilst he offers a 90-day warranty after installation.
 

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I've never thought to check for RV salvage yards (never knew it was a thing) but turns out I have a few in my region. Good call man, I'll be checking them out.
 

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I've never thought to check for RV salvage yards (never knew it was a thing) but turns out I have a few in my region. Good call man, I'll be checking them out.
There's some really decent stuff out there. Though much like RV stuff in general, some places overprice their parts. The gas ovens are such a simple mechanism and other that the 12-volt lighting, it is entirely mechanical. I haven't been all that impressed with every appliance going digital.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,247 (Edited)
Fought with the bottle jacks to get the rear of the bus off the tires other night. A surprise winter storm made that fun. Got the drive wheels off so I could get to the chassis beams for paint stripping last night. Most of what needed to be prepped for welded got the grinder treatment tonight.

I've been taking off heaps of this gray, putty-like material that smells like polyester. Came to the conclusion that a few gallons of Evercoat polyester featherfill were used on this bus. Why, I do not know. Probably for the same reason that I've stripped body filler over an inch thick on various "restorations". The person that put it on used it to form their own lines (or waves).

Because of the volume of filler and paint needing to be removed, I've been prepping most of the metal with diamond cutoff wheels. They don't clog up or reduce in diameter and leave a pretty level surface without too much tooth. There are several tights spots, but the diamond discs fit in one way or another. Fugly, but all weldable. I'll be setting up to slot a set distance in the battery track tubes to make way for the battery girdles that were laser-cut. Once the tubes are slotted, they can be welded in.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,248 (Edited)
Pretty much ready for melting. Took a lot on contorting to reach everything that needed to be prepped. Once the tubes, alignment tubes and clamps were in place, I tapped the tubes until they were longitudinally flush with the back of the rear bulkhead and measured the overall width along the entire length. One 1/16" off horizontally from end to end. Wedged a 1/16" piece of copper in at the rear and measured again. Dead on. Sitting on it for a bit before I set up to weld just in case I think of some reason that the tubes need to be moved.

Dafuq you lookin' at? Had to try it. While doing a quick repair on some broken seat rails on a friend's Jeep, he said I needed a camera on my welding torch because I couldn't see where I was welding underneath his seat. Charged up my scope tonight and taped it on. I'll try this to see if it saves me from having to drop the aluminum pan over top of the drive axle so that I can weld the underside of the inner battery track tubes.

Saddled up and ready to go - I remembered that I switched to straight argon. Have to wait until Monday to grab some 75/25.
 

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Got a good start. The camera thing worked out alright until a cherry landed dead center on the glass lens and cracked it. Ah well. I tried welding blindly on the underside. Kept checking my welds with my phone camera and found they were either not welding the two pieces together or really inconsistent in spacing. Gotta drop the pan and weld from underneath.

I know I'm not welding the cleanest metal. I've run into this brown dust a lot on the bus. If I have my torch completely perpendicular to theeld joint, the weld looks great (aside from keeping it straight). If I tilt my torch the slightest bit, it looks like my gas coverage isn't anywhere as good as it should be. Minor stuff.

Everything is crunchy frozen and uncooperative tonight, so I'll continue tomorrow when the temp is back in the 60's.
 

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Had to knock the pan out anyway. Having it out is nicer than I thought it would be. All of the driver's side tubes are welded and I managed to cut out all the notches needed on the passenger's side. Prep and welding tomorrow, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,251 (Edited)
Just about ready to clamp the last two in place. I'm sorely tempted to video my second round of welding from underneath the engine cradle. I think the curb side will be much easier though because I'm able to climb down in between the trans tail housing and cradle frame to face the other direction. The road side had me crawling underneath the engine cradle and inching upright in between the frame and transmission, then bending backwards and to my right while holding my mig gun at arm's length and my face wedging my welding helmet in between some chassis steel and copper tubes. I didn't get flattened by the bus, but I sure a fawk felt like I got flattened by a bus when I woke up this morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,252 (Edited)
The day got cut short. Ran out wire on a ten pound spool already. Still a fair amount done. Ground off a bracket on the rear bulkhead that was in the way and ended up having to notch a little bit out the bulkhead so that one tube could clear it. About one third, the most difficult portion, is done with. My copper plate I used for aligning the tubes fell into the curb side tag air bag bracket, so I'll go ahead and get some plate to replace the rusted bracket tops so that I can retrieve the copper.

In an interesting side note, vetteboy79 apparently mentioned me in his Iceland adventure thread. He posted a very capable bus that he spotted while there and it must've brought my build thread to mind.

The Bovmani. I need it. https://mountaineers.is/about/our-fleet-and-facilities/

Steer tire blowouts are continually spoken of because of the extensive, collateral damage that could come of the incident, as you can imagine. This threat has had me thinking for months that a second axle up front would be the real deal. I never spoke of it because I assumed I would get all kinds of flamed and the crap I would get from patrol would turn it into a laughing stock. That and enforcers of U.S. laws get rather pissy about anything they can't wrap their heads around.

Secondly, the thought of raising the bays a bit for clearance has been a mild thought floating around the back of me brains. As I mentioned in vetteboy79's thread, upon throwing in the towel last night, this thought entered my cranium once more. This time, much more present and broiling at the forefront of my thoughts. I got on the thread today and glanced up to right to see I had 24 notifications instead of the 23 that it had been on for a while. I had a mention that led me to the picture of the Mountaineers of Iceland bus that blew me away. There it was. My ultimate rig. Found their site and have been drooling over the fleet of black beasts all evening. If I'm not mistaken, I believe I see an AxleTech 4000 at the front of one.
 

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where's mt4runners photoshop of the camper on the 5 ton chassis?

but seriously, how far do you intend to take a bus offroad? I get why they did it in iceland, cause all the flotation you can get, but that's still flat.
 

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Start looking for a HEMTT. Seriously. You can get them under 10k and there you go... all your everything you need
x200 I already looked them up a few months ago. Instant regret of buying a coach bus lol. We own the bus, so we build the bus.


where's mt4runners photoshop of the camper on the 5 ton chassis?

but seriously, how far do you intend to take a bus offroad? I get why they did it in iceland, cause all the flotation you can get, but that's still flat.
Not getting that crazy, but rarely does anything stop from trying. Can't help it.



Aren't HEMTTs too wide to drive on a public road without an oversize permit? Still the best idea.
Pretty sure they're all within the federal limit. The weight on the other hand probably requires special licensing. Don't think they're up to today's highway speed limits, let alone what speed most people actually drive at. If the price were just right, I could likely get a mutual agreement between my wife and I to go get one and start on it right away.
 

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Lacking appropriate pictures. All battery track tubes are mostly burned in. Only lacking the replacement steel for the tops of the tag axle air bag brackets - which I'll be picking up tomorrow. With the tubes welded to a crossmember that I had cut through, I was able to cut through the rest of the rusted panel on either side and clean up those crusty welds in preparation for the next structural addition.

I'm welding in several transverse sections of 3x3-.250 steel tube as extra structure and to be the outer tubes for the wheel tub sliders in the rear. Two of those tubes are the full 102" width, set up just like the tubes I ran transversely over the water tank pit. Pretty stoked to set that up, I must say.
 

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