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Discussion Starter #121
Waited for this for a few months, all the while planning the floor construction. I measured all of the floor framework that the floor would lay on and entered it into SketchUp. Eight 4x8 sheets of 14 gauge with a 0.037" weld gap will cover the length of the floor just right.
 

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Discussion Starter #123 (Edited)
Removed the wall panels and seat rails today. Foam board insulation in the walls that will be removed and replaced with spray-in foam. The exterior panel rust isn't too bad. It's mainly under the window frames and at the bottoms of the walls that needs attention.
 

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If that fitted foam came out in one piece, I'd probably save some money and put it back in. Looks like Polyiso, should be pretty close to the same R value as the spray foam. You can foam around the edges to seal it.
 

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Discussion Starter #125
If that fitted foam came out in one piece, I'd probably save some money and put it back in. Looks like Polyiso, should be pretty close to the same R value as the spray foam. You can foam around the edges to seal it.
Unfortunately, it didn't. Most of the foam panels have broken. I'm pulling them out anyway to make rust repairs. The fiberglass batting in between the wall panels held water and made a mess.
 

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Man! Looking at how this started out and then how it looks opened up really makes me think about riding in one of those things. The surface condition really doesn’t tell you anything about what’s underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter #127
Man! Looking at how this started out and then how it looks opened up really makes me think about riding in one of those things. The surface condition really doesn’t tell you anything about what’s underneath.
Right? So many people have said it's a beautiful bus. I knew damn well there would be work to do underneath all that gloss.
 

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Discussion Starter #128
Standing where the black tank would be makes for excellent access to rip out the last of the floor sheet metal. Rusty, eh? I removed the aluminum sheets over top of the tag axle, as well. They came out without too much effort. Aluminum rivets in steel. The rivets were non-existent. Electrolysis helped me out.
 

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Discussion Starter #129
Not much left to cut out. I'm recessing the rear step by about ten inches to extend the floor a little. Once I get a few more measurements tomorrow, I'll lay them up in SketchUp to figure out where and how I want to rebuild engine bay access from the interior. Pulling all of this apart brought us to realize that there's quite a bit more space to utilize.

I pulled the turbo inlet pipe out, along with the filter canister and some of the associated piping today. The turbo inlet is getting rerouted to either the right side or upward where the radiator fans and motor currently reside. Removing all that opened up a hell of a lot of room in the engine bay. I can comfortably sit on either side of the engine to work on it. Yanking the AC compressor tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #130
Again, the rivets. When I pulled the air filter can out, this air box just fell off. None of the rivets left. None. Same with some of the AC air ducting. It was just sitting in place with nothing attaching it. Despite everyone's concern that I'm causing myself too much work by pulling all of this apart, I sure am glad that I have. The buses were built well, but, aluminum rivets in steel, man.
 

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Discussion Starter #131
Our progress was delayed by a couple days when low temps and high winds arrived. Today was better, so we headed to the bus. Got a number of tasks completed.

The rear electrical box is held up by only four bolts. Quite easy to take loose and set aside. The very last of the flooring sheet metal was sandwiched between the box and floor framework.
 

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Discussion Starter #132
Everything to the left of my foot is in great shape and perfectly usable for the rebuild. What open space there above the wheel tubs had the aluminum sheet and fiberglass batting, which, for the most part, protected the floor framing from the elements. Everything to the right of my foot had only sheet steel and pressed fiberglass between the floor framework and the engine bay. It's toast.

Rather than spend the time and effort to scrape all the rust scale loose and lather the overly rusted portion of the framing over the transmission/engine with rust converter, we've opted to cut it all out and weld in new steel in the formation that suits us for a bedroom floor plan and easy access to the engine bay.

The rusted portion of the frame was subject to bathroom leaks and road spray coming up through engine bay. These events took a huge toll on the steel, as you've seen. What we have in mind to put in place, is a frame for the bed and under bed storage that is hinged so that it may be articulated upwards to give way to parts such as the forced induction system and the alternator. What I currently have in mind will offer more access than the original hatch and still retain the coolant channels for the radiant heat floor.
 

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Just signed up to follow this; we just bought a 1990 MCI 102 C. This is our first bus, our first conversion. And now that I've seen all this I am deathly afraid. Following so I can see the beauty that follows as a carrot.
 

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Discussion Starter #134
Just signed up to follow this; we just bought a 1990 MCI 102 C. This is our first bus, our first conversion. And now that I've seen all this I am deathly afraid. Following so I can see the beauty that follows as a carrot.
It's most certainly an undertaking. Tackle it a step at a time. I have never been and never will be the kind of person to "Band-Aid" my projects. Since watching the skoolie and coach conversion processes taken on by many others, I've found that most prefer to just cover up everything because it's cheap, quick, and easy. I dig into every layer. Just feels better to me.

I don't know everything about these buses, yet, but feel free to shoot me any questions. With our bus opened up this far, I can get pretty darned specific.
 

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Discussion Starter #135
The subfloor sheet steel has been purchased and delivered at the bus. Went with 14 gauge top and bottom. Half of the washers arrived yesterday. Ordered in a 4-1/2" diamond grinder wheel and a new trigger switch for my Rigid grinder. Hope that strips all the mill scale off in a decent amount of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #136
More stuff happened. Radiator fan is out and staying out. Likely some Flex-A-Lites going in. To be determined. There's an amazing amount of crud built up on the fan mount. Years of oily goo slinging around and dust to make crud balls that the fan tossed up there, I guess.

OE coolant overflow tank won't be used. Instead, I'm thinking of a sight column that I can fill from the back without the need for a ladder. The space atop the read deck will be capped off and integrated as bedroom shelving or something of the like.

The top of the step is only 11" above the floor. I'll be rebuilding the step to be recessed towards the rear by a few inches and it will be part of what the bed sits on.
 

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Discussion Starter #137
The AC compressor was quite a chunk.

The plan with fuel storage is to move it to the rear. Don't really need 142 gallons, but rather than make a tank to fit in the engine bay and cause safety and confinement issues back there, I believe I'll slide it into the rearmost storage bay. Potable and grey water tanks will be going in the front bay. Batteries will go in the engine bay. There's a rhyme and reason to all this. I'll let the pictures tell the tale as it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #138
Oh, and get this - the 8V92TA is mechanical. After conversing with numerous people privy to MCI specs and decoding the VIN prior to retrieving the bus, we were all certain it was a DDEC engine. Throughout the weeks of tearing this bus down, I've been on the lookout for the ecm. Googled several times to get an idea of where the ecm should be after not finding one and still didn't see it.

This past week brought on some headaches due to tracking down air leaks and various other nickel and dime parts runs just to move the bus to a different part of the yard. I hadn't done a "walk-through" of the air system yet to familiarize myself with it and had to reach out to group member a few times in order to solve my problems.

Through tracking down air lines, I noticed that there were no wires leading into the top end of the engine. A DDEC engine should have injector wires. AND, not being able to build air pressure with the engine running required I put my hand over the turbo compressor inlet to shut it off. Lo and behold, I bounced this curiosity over to group members again to confirm my suspicions and our engine is in fact a mechanical Detroit. Happy days for me. I wanted mechanical in the first place.
 

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Mechanical engine is a good surprise!!

Looking forward to seeing you build the coolant filled subfloor.
 

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Interesting about a mechanical -92 series. I thought all -92 series had at least a DDEC I system to operate it.

In regards to the cooling system, every MCI with the twin radiators overheated to a greater or lesser degree. Part of the problem is the system was never sized large enough particularly once the buses went to automatic transmissions. Another part of the problem is due in large part to the fact it is a rear engine bus. Getting enough air flow across the radiator cores was always just barely adequate. I don't know that you will be able to get enough air flow across the radiator cores with electric fans.

MCI had two different sized squirrel cages to move air through the radiators. Most buses that were purchased by someone who was anticipating using the buses in the west and SW would have spe'c'ed the larger capacity squirrel cages. Those buses that were going to see service in flyover country or the east coast generally had the normal spe'c squirrel cages.

I would determine how much air flow you can get with the electric fans. The high capacity squirrel cages were able to move a huge amount of air. It is going to require a LOT of air movement to keep from overheating.

With the advent of the D-model MCI went away from twin side mounted radiators to one large single radiator mounted above the engine at the back of the bus with a HUGE single fan to move air from side intakes to go across the radiator core. While it would require a lot of fab work it might be a better idea to swap in a D-series single radiator than trying to make electric fans do the work to move air.

In regards to the fuel tank, I am not sure exactly why you would want to swap it out for a smaller tank. One of the problems with the D-, E-, and J-model MCI's is MCI moved the fuel tank and A/C condenser from just behind the front axle to an area to the rear of the luggage compartments. That tended to make the front end a whole lot lighter. It helped with weight limits particularly on the 45' coaches. However the lighter loads on the front axle make the newer coaches a bit harder to control on slick road surfaces. Rear engine buses always tend to understeer on slick surfaces. Moving several hundred pounds towards the rear will make the understeer worse when things get slick.

Your efforts to strip everything out to get down to the bare bones in order to build things out properly is to be commended. Seeing all of the ugly under the surface sure points out the necessity of doing what you are doing.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
 
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