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Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
10/8/17 8:32 a.m.

I've run into a few of those cheap street rod booster master cylinder combos that The Rock from the booster to the master is too short. It won't allow it to actually bleed properly or operate properly. I'd check that in your boots.

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
10/8/17 10:07 a.m.

In reply to Toyman01 : I drive a school bus with big mirrors every day 

you have to do so much bobbing and rocking back and forth to see around them it's a miracle we don't have a lot more accidents. Plus under certain light conditions the reflections in the mirror  look extremely real causing you to slam on your brakes only to realize they aren't real.  

Cameras would solve those problems  

 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
10/8/17 12:34 p.m.

Well, I found the adjusters. It has two automatic adjusters on each side and all of them are frozen up. The passenger side has been pulled and repaired. There is a nice ridge on the drum that makes it almost impossible to pull, but it's done. I'm not screwing with the other side today. Everything about this thing is heavy as hell. I've done all I'm going to this weekend. 

Pictures for the interested. The adjusters are in the top left and bottom right. And just as a FYI, when one of those big ass f'ing springs pops off and hits you in the face, it hurts like hell.  

I do beleive I have made an error though. I did some more research, and the factory master cylinder has a 1.250" bore, not the 7/8" bore I thought it did. I'm just not getting enough volume apply any pressure to the rear axle. So, there is a new 1.250" master cylinder on the way and I'll try this again. 

If that doesn't work, I may order all new factory stuff and go back to original. 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
10/14/17 6:40 p.m.

Well, I have brakes. The 1.250" master and adjusting the rears did the trick. Since the rears have dual 1.250" wheel cylinders, I plumbed them to the front of the master, which has the larger reservoir. 

The pedal effort is a little high so I'm wondering if I need a larger diameter booster since I can't go down in bore size on the master. They work pretty well, you just have to put some butt into them to stop in a hurry. For now we'll just be glad I have a big butt. 

Now on to some wiring. 

rslifkin
rslifkin SuperDork
11/2/17 7:03 p.m.

Pedal effort might be fixable with more aggressive brake shoe compound as well as the bigger booster option. 

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones HalfDork
11/2/17 7:14 p.m.
rslifkin said:

Pedal effort might be fixable with more aggressive brake shoe compound as well as the bigger booster option. 

Or change the motion ratio of the pedal...

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
11/2/17 7:47 p.m.

I doubt there are many shoe compounds available for a 56 bus. It stops reasonable well now, and the future is subject to change.

I'm thinking hydroboost out of the E450 with a F450 beam front axle. The width should be right, the master and hydroboost out of the E450 should be compatible. They are also pretty cheap.

That lets me do away with the front drum brakes and the beam axle I can't get parts for. 

 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/10/18 7:31 p.m.

Four months later...

The wiring is happening. 

The plan is to take SanFord to the Southern Discomfort Lemons race at CMP, April 28-29, so I'll have a place to sleep. To do that, I need brake lights, turn signals and all that other important wiring. This is a project I really haven't been looking forward to. 

This is the mess we are starting with. This is the original switch panel. About half of it is solid wire, the other half is still cloth wrapped, disintegrating and 60+ years old. After staring at it for a few minutes, I started chasing out circuits. To say the wiring is bad would be an understatement. The deeper I got into it the worse it looked. The turn signal circuit was spliced in multiple places. The same with the brakes. Pretty much all the critical circuits were spliced so out came the cutters. 

Were we are now is, all new wire has been pulled to the back of the bus for signals and brake lights. The circuits for the clearance lights in the roof have been run to the new switch panel location. The circuit for the interior lights has been run. A 8 circuit fuse holder has been mounted where the old switch panel was. No pictures yet. I'll shoot some tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be rewiring the entire front of the bus, including the headlights, turn signals, ignition, and possibly the alternator. Should be fun. 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/11/18 4:33 p.m.

Well, rewiring the front of the truck wasn't any more fun than rewiring the back. There is good news. This completes the wiring of all the external lighting. 

The headlights were first, I wasn't planning to change all of this, but the wiring must have been original. If you touched it, it crumbled. The headlight wiring had already been taped up by someone. I made a run to the parts hoses and picked up new sockets and rewired the entire front of the truck. 

While I was running wire, I went ahead and ran a circuit for the Hellas. I also fixed the front indicators and installed new lenses in them. 

Still to come is tying all of this into the battery. The fuse block and switch panel are wired, but the main runs for the switched and unswitched circuits still need to be run and the main relays installed. I didn't think this would take two days, but damn wiring takes forever. 

Run_Away
Run_Away HalfDork
3/11/18 4:43 p.m.

Awesome.

Did the lights work fine before? Curious to know how bad of a voltage drop there was before.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/11/18 5:39 p.m.

The lights were awesome on the trip home which is why I hadn't planned on changing all the wiring. It's just a miracle they didn't go up in smoke from shorting out. It's a wonder the entire bus didn't go up in smoke. There was more bare wire than there was insulated in some places. 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/11/18 6:16 p.m.

Here's a couple more pictures since it's a little darker now. 

Norma66
Norma66 Reader
3/11/18 10:54 p.m.

Just read through this entire thread. The fact you drove this cross country blows my mind. I love the fact that its got a big block FE in it. I need to get mine done and swapped. This gives me some motivation to get my ass moving!

crankwalk
crankwalk SuperDork
3/11/18 11:23 p.m.

Such great work!

jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
3/12/18 10:26 a.m.

There is something amazing (enlightening??) about getting decades-old lighting fired up again. 

84FSP
84FSP SuperDork
3/12/18 11:14 a.m.

Yikes - that wiring looks like stuff that came out of my 1880 victorian!  Congrats on having it functional and not enfuego.

Petrolburner
Petrolburner Dork
3/15/18 11:31 a.m.

Nice work Toyman.   

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/17/18 4:49 p.m.

The wiring is done for now. The brake light switch is install in the brake lines and brakes bled. All the exterior lighting works, all the circuits are now fused, the old nasty wire is gone. A new switch panel is installed for lighting control. That's all the wiring it gets before it makes the run to the Lemons race.

Also done today is carpet in the front from the firewall back to the cabinets. This is a temporary piece. It helped the looks and the sound deadening department a lot. 

Mattress is installed. 

Foam for the dinette mattress cut to fit. 

I did some troubleshooting on the rear axle shift motor as well. There is a circuit board in the gearbox that had deteriorated to nothing so I had ordered a rebuild kit for it. I was going to install it today, but also found the motor to be burned up. Since I'm waiting on parts, I disassembled it entire thing and fed the parts to the blast cabinet, then painted them.

The motor should be in Thursday. That's the only thing keeping it from being drivable. It's pretty much ready to drive. 

Next up is the water system. 

 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/27/18 8:03 p.m.

Shift motor for the rear axle rebuilt and installed. 

New ball screw and switch plate.

The ball screw rotates this spring assembly. 

The spring assembly is what moves the shift fork. 

And since that was the last part of getting this thing back on the road, I went for a drive. About 15 miles, and everything worked like a charm. Two years and two months later...

It is a happy day. 

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
3/27/18 8:14 p.m.

Woohoo! laugh That's gotta feel good!

RossD
RossD MegaDork
3/27/18 8:52 p.m.

Great work!

Petrolburner
Petrolburner Dork
3/27/18 10:10 p.m.

Cool!  Where is the Lemons race and how far is the drive?  

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
3/28/18 6:36 a.m.

AWESOME! Congratulations! So happy to hear it's back on the road, and it looks great to boot.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/28/18 6:44 a.m.
Petrolburner said:

Cool!  Where is the Lemons race and how far is the drive?  

Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. Round trip for me is 266 miles. Should be child's play. Right???

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
3/28/18 6:45 a.m.

When? May be able to find time to stop by 

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