Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bus Conversion Day 19 - Prep & More Paint

First I removed the back windows. I am glad I did because the window framing was showing signs of rust. I sanded all the metal down so that it would stop the rust and provide a good seal when the windows go back in.

For some reason the removal of these windows were more difficult then all the others and in the process I broke one.

Luckily I had removed the window from the Emergency Exit door that was removed from the drivers side of the bus before it went to scrap. It should fit perfect.

Next we worked on getting the surface ready for another coat of paint. Going around the entire bus we lightly sanded the surface. Next we went around and wiped down the bus with a rag and paint thinner. This removed all the sanding dust and gave us a clean smooth surface to paint.

We had not yet put any white paint on the back of the bus so we started there.

Next we painted applied another coat to the passenger side. This is the passengers side third coat of paint.

Then the front.

Later in the day we were able to come back and put another coat on the drivers side and the back.

Tomorrow (besides some touch up) the paint should be done!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bus Conversion Day 18 - Taping & Painting

Yesterday we finished our last coat of red paint on the bottom portion of the bus.

Here are a few pics of the finished red paint.

Drivers Side:

Passengers Side:


Here is a pic I took of how the finish turned out:

Not a bad looking finish for being rolled on!

Now for the white paint.

First we had to prep the surface.

This consisted of:
  • Sanding here and there
  • Taping plastic on the seam where there red and white paint meet.
  • Taping off windows (I removed some of the windows just to make painting easier)
  • Taping the front of the bus where the red and white will meet together.
I started with the front.

As you can see the white and red paint will merge together and slope down towards the bumper and grill (grill is currently removed).

Then, using that painters plastic that already has the tape on it, we went around the entire bus and taped off the seam where the red and white paint will meet.

Here is a picture of the drivers side taped off:

Now we were ready to paint.

We started at the front.

Here is the front with it's first coat.

Then we painted the drivers side.

And here is the passengers side.

There is still a lot of touch up to be done but everything is coming along nice.

It will be Sunday before I can put another coat of paint on. Check back for more.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bus Conversion Day 17 - Paint Paint Paint

Today we finished the final coat of red paint. This makes 3 coats of paint. Overall I think the paint turned out well. I will post some pics on tomorrows post.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we hope to have a coat of white paint applied.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bus Conversion Day 16 - More Paint...

Today we lightly sanded the whole bus down.

I also removed the rear Emergency Exit door and prepped it for paint.

I was able to get another coat of red paint on the drivers side. This now makes 2 coats of red paint on the whole the bus.

I was also able to get a coat of red paint on the newly installed panel on the passengers side.

Here is a look back:

Here it is now (This pic was taken in the dark so it isn't the best quality).

So far everything looks good.

Monday, May 25, 2009


It has been a few days since our last post. Rain has kept us from completing the paint on the bus.

The weather states that it will not be paint worthy till late this week sometime. We may go ahead and start some things on the inside until the weather clears.

More soon!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bus Conversion Day 15 - Body Panel

It has been raining quite a bit and the forecast looks like it will continue for a while. We may not get the rest of the paint done till late next week or until things clear up.

Late yesterday UPS delivered my 1/4" rivets.

Today my main goal was to finish the body panel.

Here is a picture of the panel primed before any rivets were installed.

The sheet metal guy had made me 2 brackets for supporting the metal just like the ones that had been there before. I removed 2 of the old ones because they were loose and bent.

Here is what the undamaged stock brackets look like.

Here is where a new bracket will be installed.

Here are the new brackets installed.

I was able to use the existing holes in the frame to rivet the new brackets in place.

Next we riveted the panel in place attaching the metal to the brackets and the bottom portion of the top rub guard. We then riveted the once loose wheel well trim piece.

Next we attached the bottom rub rail. This took some time to do because it was bent up pretty bad. If I could have found a new rub rail I would have replaced that too.

We had to use one clamp to keep pressure on the rail and used another (not seen in pic.) to bring it down so we could rivet it in place.

Now the new panel is successfully completed. After paint I don't think the bent rub rail will be to noticeable.

Next I installed the rub rail that I took off the side exit door over the now covered Emergency Exit.

I hope that this will blend this part of the bus in with the rest and make the door frame less noticeable.

It is now primed and ready for paint.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bus Conversion Day 14 - More Prep...More Paint

The first thing I did today was sand the Bondo on both the drivers and passengers side.

It turned out really good!

After that I wiped off the dust with a rag and some thinner. It was ready for primmer.

Here is the drivers and passengers side primed.

Next was the daunting task of prepping the drivers side, the front and the rear of the bus for paint.

This consisted of the following:

  • Scraping all "Emergency Exit" stickers off the side.
  • Removing as much of the sticker residue left over with a rag soaked with thinner and a scraper.
  • Sanding what ever residue was left over.
  • Removing all exterior lighting (brake lights, blinkers etc.
  • Priming any areas that need it.
  • Sanding the entire front, side and rear of the bus.
  • Thoroughly wiping the entire sanded area down with a clean rag soaked with thinner.
Here the bus prepped and ready for paint.

Now we are ready to start painting.

We actually considered trying the sprayer today just to see if we notice much difference in the finish but it was way to windy. So we used the roller and a brush. The one with the brush went ahead of the one with the roller and painted any cracks and areas the roller could not get to.

We were able to just get one coat of paint on the drivers side and the front and the back.

After were done with our first coat on the drivers side we went ahead and did a second coat on the passengers side.

You may have noticed above that we also painted the grill. We used Rustoleum Metallic Finish spray paint. I have to say, I was skeptical how this would look but I was quite impressed with the finished product.

Here is the grill painted.

Here it is on the bus.

Coming along very nice so far. Can't wait to get the paint out of the way so we can do more on the inside.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bus Conversion Day 13 - More Body Work & Paint

The first thing we did was take the bent up panel from the bus up to the sheet metal shop.

I wanted to post some pics of his shop.

This is the machine that slices through the metal like a hot knife through butter.

And this is what he uses to bend the metal.

Along with the panel I also left him with a bracket that supported the old panel. I asked him to make me 2 of them. 3 hours later they were ready.

Now I was ready to install the panel.

It actually took some time to get this panel in place. It had to slide up in-between a few pieces of metal on the bus. With a bit of effort the piece went in.

I ordered 2-50 count boxes of 1/4" dome head rivets with a grip range of .080" - .375". These should match the bus's rivets exactly. They will be here on Thursday.

After we installed the panel I finished prepping the passengers side for paint by doing some last min. sanding, scraping and cleaning of the surface with paint thinner.

I started with the top color first although I should have started with the bottom. (I realized this later)

Now the roof has already been painted. (still needs one more coat).

We are now using some smaller foam rollers that we found at Lowes. These seem to make an ok finish and gives it a more sprayed on look.

We decided, after much contemplation, to go with red on the bottom portion of the bus. After it is finished it should look really good.

I did not get the whole side done because of the panel and the Bondo work I am still doing. I would say that we got about 3/4 of the passenger side painted today with its first coat.

Still have a lot to do though before even this side is finished.

Through out the day I was working on the Bondo on the rear of the bus.

This hopefully is the final coat. Should be able to sand it tomorrow and be done with it.

The drivers side Bondo will also be done tomorrow. I applied one last coat and it looks good. I'll hit it with the sander tomorrow and it's ready for primer. (I found one more dent. You can see it in the picture. It is the one on the very top next to the other one.)