Month: October 2016

On incorrect parts



Yeah, definitely made incorrectly:



I found a website, germansupply, that has exhaust flanges available. I’m going to order two sets of flanges, and have a welding shop make 4 inch extensions, so I can use my current exhaust. Otherwise, I’d have to modify either the exhaust headers, or the collector/muffler. Extensions will let me us any stock off the shelf solution.

Now if only germansupply would ship the damn things!

On illumination

Added a center third brake light. During the day when I don’t have the lights on, whatever. But at night, especially with how bright LED running lights are, I think the third brake light is huge for safety.







On vents

I couldn’t go to sleep with that vent still open, especially right after cleaning it out. So, I ran outside with some calipers, then I did a thing in SolidWorks:


Then got it ready for printing


The hole:


The cover:



Boom, fits first try!


It’s shorter than the flooring


Glued down:


Took maybe 2 hours to print. I had it going while I cooked dinner. Total plastic usage: .06 lbs, or about 3% of a roll of filament. The filament I used (WYZ ABS) is $17/kg. That’s $.51 in plastic for the print. Electricity averages $.09/kWh, and the printer pulls 300W at full tilt heating, and 110W after it’s heated up and printing. Let’s just say, worst-case, it cost another $.11 to print, in electricity.

Less than a dollar!

On winter heat

We meet again.


The previous owner had welded in a veritable fuck-ton of patches on the floor, but didn’t seal them at all. Step one was climbing underneath the bus


and using a wire brush to take off as much rust from the bottoms of the panels as I could.

After that, I sealed and coated each patch panel with some black silicone. I don’t have 3M patch sealer, so :shrug: whatever




After using up nearly a full tube of black silicone, I cut off the rusted hose clamps for the heater system, and pulled the hoses.


One shakedown later and I have:


1972 Dime
1975 nickel
melted Matchbox Porsche 911
hair clip
a fairly large superball.

However, a heater system that is stuck on 100% “defrost” isn’t useful. The heating/cooling levers on the dashboard haven’t done anything except open the fresh air vent since I got the bus. I had to pull a bowden cable and re-solder on the end, but now it works! I can adjust between defrost, and floor heater. Since I’ve cleaned out the junk from the hose, the rear heater even works now.



Since I had the dashboard apart, I decided to replace the volt meter with a switch for the windshield washer fluid. The stock bus system uses a super-soakeresque pressurized container that holds the fluid. The fluid goes up a tube that is woven into the wire harness to the steering column, and is merely pinched shut with a blunt plastic spade. Pulling the windshield washer lever back un-pinches the tube, and wiper fluid flows to the sprayers.

As you can tell, the stock setup sucks. You have to inflate the container regularly, seals for the system fail all of the time, and the tubing leaks right into the most critical components. Superior German Engineering.

I put a cheap ebay washer fluid pump on the stock bottle, drilled out a small vent hole, and put the switch in. The voltmeter was something I had hacked in last year to cover up a bit of cracked dash, but I did it terribly. Since I now have a voltmeter in the rear, the switch is more useful.







For the first time in I don’t know how many years, the bus has working windscreen washer sprayers.

On misc combined posts

Turns out your exhaust is quieter when you remember to tighten down all of the bolts. And replace the bolts that had since fallen off because you forgot to tighten them down.

Also, found a steering wheel cover I like. I’m tired of burning my hands on 40-year-old plastic — I’d rather burn my hands on rich corinthian leather.



I also found a good combination of batteries. They seemed dead (<10 volts) but after a few days of CAREFUL charging, monitoring battery temperatures so I don't blow a cell, I'm good.


My old battery combos all had at least one battery that was a charge sink, where above 12.6 volts or so the battery would stop charging and instead would just get really hot. Like a shorted cell, but not an actual fully shorted one.

These will get up to 14.2 easy on the single 100W solar panel, meaning the charger is seeing less than an amp of draw and is actually raising the voltage :dance:

Nothing on this bus is square.




If I try to start it midday I’m doomed. But it will happily cool at night, and can keep up quite a bit throughout. Adding a small clip on fan to mix the air really, really helped. I also cut more vents in the floor between the batteries, under the bed, and added a second exhaust vent.

I’ve also ducted the exhaust through the cabinet with 3/4 inch foam board, so the cabinet doesn’t turn into a radiator like it was.

I’ll 3D print vent covers for the floor. I’m on AT for the guard right now and just RTV’d some screen over the holes to keep critters out due to lack of time.

Next step is 135 degree corner molding, and lights.

Random picture dump:



I installed this one when the metal was still hot from grinding, and it melted. New one printing now:





Flip-out support:


It’s for very light things, like drinks or maybe a computer (with the keyboard in my lap, Logitech KR400 wireless keyboard/touchpad), that’s it. Will do nicely to hold a tablet for watching stuff, though.

I went out and ordered one of these after the recent mention of it: