Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 137 - Batteries & Wiring | Bus Conversion

Today we started on wiring the batteries. Here is the progress:

I am using 0-gauge wire:

Here it is all hooked up with a perfect reading:

Next I started work on the wiring in the compartment (under the dinette bench) where the inverter will be installed.

Here is a pic of the 50 amp cable coming through the floor:

More soon!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 136 - Cabinet, Trim & Battery Rack | Bus Conversion

Today felt like a productive but long day. The first thing we did today was finish (still needs trim, stain and varnish) the under dash cabinet and surrounding paneling. It really completed the look of the dash.

Next I installed corner bead on the over head cabinet that is above the dash.

Next I had the urge to go ahead and construct the rack that my batteries will rest in.

We went and picked up 4 - Pacer 6-Volt Deep Cycle batteries from the local Napa store. The store manager was nice enough to sell me the 4 batteries with no core exchange for $115 a battery. That seemed like a fair deal.

This is how they will be wired:

I had some old steel bed frames laying around so I decided to use those for the battery rack.

I wish I had a romantic story about the next picture because it bears a striking resemblance to the Shards of Narsil. Narsil was the sword of King Elendil of the DĂșnedain which in a later age was reforged as Anduril. Ok, I may be losing some of you here. Sorry, I am a big Lord of the Rings fan. I guess you need to watch the first movie to know what I am talking about.

Ok, now I have to show off the real Shards of Narsil. See the resemblance? LOL:

Well, back to the real world. Seriously though, does anyone make good drill bits??? I have gone through so many drill bits on this project. I even used a $30 drill bit and it is dull now. It must have taken me a good 10 min. to drill each hole in this.

Here are the batteries set into place:

We were also able to get more trim installed in the dinette area:

This sits over the front passenger side wheel well:

More tomorrow I hope.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 135 - Dash Cabinet | Bus Conversion

The cabinet that fits under the dash is not official installed.

I still have some trim and paneling to do here and then it will be done. This should provide a good spot to store shoes. It will keep a lot of dirt from being tracked into the bus.

Today I also finished up some paneling in the bunk room that was long over due. The ceiling for each of the bottom bunks had not been paneled. But today I was able to get that installed.

Yesterday we took the bus for a drive and it did great!

More soon!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 134 - Under Dash Cabinet | Bus Conversion

Today we worked on the cabinet (probably for storing shoes) under the dash right next to the front door.

Here is the base:

Here is the cabinet slid into place:

More soon!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 133 - Dash TV Stand & Paneling | Bus Conversion

Today we started on the much needed TV stand for the rear view camera.

I already had the wires run to the location:

Next was framing up the stand:

The plywood panel seen here inside the box is for the frame of the TV to attach to:

Here is what it will look like in place. I still have to sand, stain and varnish the wood:

Next was finishing the paneling next the the control panel.

The furring strips are now in place:

Here is the plywood cut to fit:

Here it is installed:

Stained and first coat of varnish applied:

Here is a custom made arm rest:

This is what it will look like when it has been varnished and installed:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 132 - Control Panel & Dash | Bus Conversion

Today we did a lot of misc. things like staining the dash, varnishing the dash, varnish other wood in the bus that still needed it and so on. But the main thing we focused on was finishing up the dash, panel display and the control panel.

The first thing I started on today was the panel display (Speedometer etc.).

The trim of the panel display was originally gray:

Here it is installed:

Next I put the first coat of varnish on the dash:

Next I cleaned up my mess of wires (see day 127) and permanently installed the control panel. I may still rework where or how the switches are:

Here is the display panel lit up:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 129, 130 & 131 - DASH | Bus Conversion

Over the past 3 days we have been working on the dash.

Here is the progress that we have made.

The first thing I built was the part of the dash that angles back from the front window.

Here is the front of it:

Here is the back:

This is where it will be installed:

Next I screwed wood strips to the existing metal dash:

After the wood strips were installed we removed the engine cover and put a fresh coat of black paint on it. We then taped off around the dash and the metal that surrounds the engine cover and painted it all red. After the paint dried we installed the main top dash panel.

Here is a before pic of the dash:

And another:

Here is how it looks now:

More soon!