Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 41 - Dinette | School Bus Conversion

First, we finished up the framing and paneling of the 14" cabinet that is located next to where the refrigerator will be and behind where the dinette seat will be.

The hole that you can see in the picture is an access port for the top of gas tank. I believe it may be there to make it easy to access the fuel pump possibly.

Today our work surrounded where the dinette will be located. We kinda just came up with it as we went.

We started by framing the bottom portion of the dinette seat.

Then the back portion of the seat frame.

Then the front.

Then I cut pieces of wood at the angle that I want the back of my seat at. Now it's all framed up!

You would think by my description that it took 5 min. to do this but it took a good portion of the day.

Once again I am out of studs. You never can guess how many you need. I think we already have 70 studs invested in this project so far. I have had very little waste. They go fast.

I was able to get started on the other dinette seat.

More on Thursday!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 40 - More work! | School Bus Conversion

I have received a few requests to make the pictures a little bigger so I will make all future pictures bigger. To make a picture bigger simply click on it.

Today not much got done. I was able to get the refrigerator wall paneled.

I also got the back of the first dinette seat started. There will be a counter and cabinet that sits between the back seat and the refrigerator wall.

More on Tuesday.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 39 - Bunks Done! | School Bus Conversion

Today we finished the second set of bunks!

Here is a pic of the top:

Here is the bottom bunk:

Here is the storage compartment hinged open:

After we finished the bunks we framed up where the fridge will be.

More Sunday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 38 - A/C.... Working in style! | School Bus Conversion

I have had enough of this heat so I decided today was the day to install the Carrier 15,000 BTU roof mount A/C unit. We found this unit on ebay for $325.00. I think that was a steal. It is 2 years old but had never been used.

We started by marking the location of the unit on the ceiling. After doing this we drilled 4 pilot holes.

Next was the cut out. I used my cheap, single speed jig saw for this. This jigsaw has actually been great over the years I have had it.

We cut the ceiling out first, then I went on the roof and cut it out.

The air intake on these units draw from anything surrounding it, so I had to figure out a way to seal off the insulation so it would not blow fiberglass all over the bus. I also needed to give the roof metal and the ceiling metal some stability (There is only insulation in-between these two metals unless there happens to be a support beam) so it would not give when the unit is sitting on top of it.

For stability I cut two strips of construction foam and stacked them and then inserted them in between the two metals. I did this around the entire opening. This gave me the strength I needed.

I went ahead and cut a hole in the ceiling to run wire that will bring power to the unit. I made sure that the hole was directly over where we will eventually build a wall. That way I can hide the wire in the wall.

Not the best looking hole but I cleaned it up a bit.

Next I ran the wire.

Then I ran the wire through the ceiling over to the A/C opening.

Next I took my good ol' window flashing and wrapped the opening to make a good seal so that no insulation would be able to be pulled through the air intake.

Now to install the roof unit. The only thing the unit did not include was the main 14"x14" seal that attaches to the A/C unit it's self and sits in-between the unit and the roof around the opening. We ordered a new seal off ebay for around $20 (Shipping Included). I attached that to the unit and then hoisted the unit up through an emergency exit hatch. Then I placed the unit over the opening. Next we made sure it was positioned right. We connected the interior unit to the roof unit. We also connected the power wire to the unit.

Here is the inside before the cover piece is on it.

Here is the outside unit installed.

Here is the inside unit done:

I just had to test it so I ran a wire to the house and powered it up. Let's just say I left in on all day while working on the bunks.

We were able to get some paneling up on the new bunks.

Facing the back:

Facing the front:

Later this evening we went out and installed a few electrical boxes.

These will be powered by a Magnum ME Series 2012 Inverter / Charger that should be arriving shortly.

These sell online for around : $1000.00. We found one on ebay that had never been used for $450.00 and it comes with the remote. As far as I know these are supposed to be good inverters.

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 37 - Second Set of Bunks | School Bus Conversion

Now that the tint is done here are a couple pics of the outside.

This is the drivers side:

This is the passenger side:

For the most part it turned out very well.

Today we where able to get a lot done on the second set of bunks.

Tomorrow we should have them done.

This is a pic facing the back:

Facing the back:

Facing the front:

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 36 - Tinting is DONE! | School Bus Conversion

Today we finished up the last of the tinting. Tomorrow we should be able to start on the next set of bunk beds.

More then!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 35 - More Tint | School Bus Conversion

I was not planning on doing any work on the bus today but I was able to get some more tint done after all.

Here is a pic of the front before it was tinted.

And After:

I was also able to get the entrance door tinted.

Here is a before:

And After:

I still have to tint 4 windows in the master bedroom, the drivers window and the two little side widows seen above on the right of the entrance door.

I will have it finished tomorrow. God Bless!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 34 - Window Tint | School Bus Conversion

A week or two ago I stopped at a local tint shop to get a quote to tint the windows. They needed all the measurements so I came home and measured all the windows and called them with the measurements. They called me back the next day with the quote. Are you ready for this????

And the magic number was: $1,800. That was more then I was expecting.

I got online and found www.windowtint.com. I was able to buy ALL the tint I needed for the bus for much, much less. See my invoice below for details and dimentions.

SKU Product Tax Item price Quantity Total
AXS0336P-3 Professional Non-Reflective 03% VLT
Width: 36 Inches
Length: 30 Feet

$74.35 1 $74.35
AXS3840P-1 Professional Non-Reflective 38% VLT
Width: 40 Inches
Length: 10 Feet

$35.30 1 $35.30
TKT02 Automotive Tool Set
$24.95 1 $24.95
Subtotal: $134.60
Shipping cost: $23.86
Total: $158.46

I was not able to install my A/C unit today because it needs the mounting gasket that sits between the unit and the roof. I have one ordered so I will have to wait untill it gets here. I decided to go ahead and try my tiniting skills out. Now any pro tinters reading this will probably not like the way we did it but it worked the best for us.

First, we brought all the tint inside the house out of the 100 + degree, 100% humidity heat.

I meassured the glass to know the exact messurments we needed.

My wife has a circular cutting tool and cutting pad that she uses for quilting so we used that to cut the tint. We used this to cut all the tint for the side windows.

After she cut each piece I would do the easy work and round the corners. Rounded corners will last longer then square corners.

Here are the finished cut pices ready to go on the windows.

Next I had to venture back out into the blistering heat and begin the application of the tint.

First you need your water soap solution for the cleaning and application of the tint.

Take any spray bottle and add about a cap full of Joy dish soap and fill the bottle with water.

Step 1: Spray down the glass surface.

Step 2:
Take a razor and scrap the glass down removing any and everything on the glass.

Step 3:

Thoroughly wipe the glass down removing all debris.

Step 4:

Just to be safe spray the glass down again and scrub it.

Step 5:

Start to peel the protective layer off the tint to expose the sticky side.

Step 6:

As you are peeling off the protective layer (Don't let it get into any dirt) spray the sticky side of the tint liberally with your soap solution.

Step 7:

Once your tint is all soapy spay the glass as well.

Step 8:

Apply the tint to the glass.

Step 9:

Now take your smoothing tool and slide it from the center towards the edges removing any water between the tint and the glass.

I found it helpful to spray the surface of the tint and run the smoothing tool over it again to make sure that you got all the air bubbles and water out.


Another tip for the amateurs. (Like myself) When you cut your tint make sure and leave a small gap at each edge. If you don't the tint will buckle and be about impossible to install.

I also installed the 38% tint on the front windows. The first window I did was a nightmare because the edges of the tint were touching the window trim. I ended up ripping it off and redoing it. The second time I did it I made sure there was a small gap all the way around the window and it went on perfect. Looks good too!

I only have 5 windows to go and the bus is tinted.

Here is an inside pic:

And the outside:

I probably will not be back on the bus until Wednesday. See ya then!