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maschinenbau HalfDork
10/12/17 7:36 a.m.

Seat mods! Started with a $5 school bus seat of the Blue Bird variety. A nice young couple is building a house out of a school bus and want to travel the country. They don't want to bring 30 bench seats with them, so they posted their pile of seats on craigslist. I got two in case I berkeley up the first time.

Remove back and bottom pads, and cut off legs

Cut a hole for the trans tunnel and shortened the height by 4 inches to tuck it under the rear window. So literally a "chopped and channeled" school bus seat. 

Bench seat on top, bucket seat on bottom?

About that trans tunnel...time for a foam-ectomy to keep the bottom cushion flat all the way across the width of the interior.

Re-positioned the original legs of the seats which will bolt to the floor structure's 1x1 tubes.

Nothing to see here, just a normal everyday bench seat. Still need to cut the back cushion down a bit too. But now I can sit in it!

chandler PowerDork
10/12/17 7:38 a.m.

That is awesome!!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
10/12/17 7:41 a.m.

Neat idea!  What are the plans for belts?  With that flat lower cushion I'd think at least some very well anchored lap belts will be needed to keep you from sliding across the bench every time you go around a corner.

With the extra seat you have some more padding and matching upholstery to play with for headrests or door panel inserts or something too.

maschinenbau HalfDork
10/12/17 8:24 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I like the head rest idea using the extra seat! I plan on installing normal 3-point lap/shoulder belts. I have mounting locations in mind, just need to get the parts and drill some holes. Any recommendations on cars to salvage safety equipment out of? 

stafford1500 HalfDork
10/12/17 8:29 a.m.

you can get brand new 3-point systems thru places like speedway. Less worry about age related loss of strength.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
10/12/17 8:38 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Not GM trucks, the double reel belts are the worst.  I would want a lap belt that actually cinches down rather than being part of the retractable reel system like most 3-point belts- that way you can tighten it when you want to drive like an asshat.

sleepyhead Reader
10/12/17 8:40 a.m.

I think you're going to want some kind of heat shield material between that foam and the trans tunnel?

NOHOME UltimaDork
10/12/17 12:53 p.m.

I really like your ability to envision simple elegant design solutions. Fun watching the project as it evolves.

Mad_Ratel Dork
10/12/17 1:51 p.m.

I know most people hate them but put head rests in there.

I had the pleasure of doing my final design year in Engineering working with a professor who had lost the ability to walk, struggled to talk, no movement of her head etc.


The reason?  a low speed rear impact as a teenager in a car without a head rest.  T3/T4 spinal injury. 

What were we doing? Adding a head rest to her wheelchair so she could ride in cars without fear again.  (it was a hypothetical final design class.) 


Headrests need to be able to take 50g's from a watermellon while still moving enough not to smash your brains up...

maschinenbau HalfDork
10/12/17 2:34 p.m.

In reply to Mad_Ratel :

Yep, I've been rear-ended before. Thanks to my head rest, I walked away with only a TMJ disorder instead of a broken neck. This car won't be very safe, but it will have seat belts and head rests at the very least.

Ovid_and_Flem Dork
10/12/17 2:54 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Well, at least youll be able to locate the body.laugh


maschinenbau HalfDork
10/17/17 9:40 a.m.

It's $2017 Challenge week and I will miss seeing everyone this year, though looking forward to watching the live stream. If this thing was ready in time, I would definitely bring it down for exhibition. With the chassis rolling, there are now a ton of micro projects keeping me from driving, such as the seat which I finished up last night:

Bolts through the 1x1 subframe underpinning the floorpan. It's actually pretty comfy, though entirely nonadjustable for now. But hey I found a gold star left behind by a good student! 

Brings us to the steering situation. This is a tilt column pulled off an 80's Jeep Cherokee from a junkyard. 

Size 10 flip flop for reference. It is tight down here.

The column is slightly too long, placing the steering wheel too close to the driver. Finally figured out a solution: just hack off the firewall mount and weld it further up the tube.

maschinenbau HalfDork
10/28/17 1:09 p.m.

I was getting frustrated with the pedal assembly and column mount so I shotgun-online-purchased a bunch of hardware and heim joints and decided it was bed time. 

And by "bed time", I mean time to mount the bed. 

I started with an actual real Henry Ford Model A bed and tailgate that I bought at a Model A swap meet a few months ago for $175. It had clearly seen better days, with plenty of rust holes and shoddy weld repairs. But the tailgate mostly works and has the Ford script, so that's pretty cool. I began by cutting it into panels and adding clearance for the wheel arches, because low. 

After much frustration and jack stand adjustments, this is where it sits. 

Most of the bed will only be a couple inches deep, but behind the axle should have decent storage. I saved the bed floor for this area. I underestimated how low this car would be when I created the rear frame rail... I will have to move that below the bed floor. It would make a good place for a hitch/jacking point anyway. And I thought I was done with the frame!


Speaking of pedals, here's what's going on with them. The brake booster and MC will mount transversely under the cowl, above the trans tunnel. So I need to figure out a swivel/rocker arm linkage and modify the pedal hinges. Clutch MC mount will be much simpler, pointing to the rear on the left side of the column. They make "under-dash" pedal assemblies, but of course my application is a bit...unique...so I have to make my own. I will scavenge what I can from the Lexus assemblies and fab the rest.

java230 SuperDork
10/28/17 1:12 p.m.

That is going to be quite the MC assembly! Good luck

84FSP Dork
10/28/17 5:38 p.m.

In reply to Mad_Ratel :

I asked a EMT what he could tell 99% of people on the road to make the safer.  Two part answer.  Always wear seatbelts and adjust your headrest properly.

Ryed New Reader
10/28/17 8:05 p.m.
84FSP said:

In reply to Mad_Ratel :

I asked a EMT what he could tell 99% of people on the road to make the safer.  Two part answer.  Always wear seatbelts and adjust your headrest properly.

As an EMT I'll add: Never let your passenger put their feet up on the dash or out the window in a car with SRS. If there is an accident that sets off the passenger airbag, that passenger will be a paraplegic, or worse.

Sorry to pull this thread off topic. I've been watching this build closely and am loving it!

Indy-Guy SuperDork
10/30/17 10:45 a.m.

Nice score on the bed.

You're really nailing the stance on this, and I'm so glad I'm not the one trying to stuff that master cylinder in such a tight spot.  Good luck.

759NRNG Dork
10/31/17 4:03 p.m.

This pedal exercise is rapidly approaching Project Binky status ......love this ALOT!!!!

Bill Mesker
Bill Mesker New Reader
10/31/17 8:12 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

I watched the newest episode yesterday and they made a bit of a big to do about the power steering but the way they went about it was hilarious laugh

Norma66 New Reader
11/1/17 8:35 a.m.

I love this build. I have been dreaming of doing a early ford truck with a ecoboost motor. Craigslist filters set! Keep up the good work!

maschinenbau Dork
11/5/17 10:36 a.m.

Some more under-dash progress. To mount the stock Lexus booster and brake MC sideways, I had to make a rocker arm. These are just steel spacers and "flange bearings" you can get at any hardware store. They are bronze-coated steel.

CAD life forever

This part has a threaded hole for the rod on the booster. I welded a 1/4-28 bolt to the other side of it to work with the generic Speedway Motors heim joints.

It will also mount at a slight upward angle to keep the reservoir level, so everything is mocked up with duct tape and foam until I'm done tacking it up.

maschinenbau Dork
11/12/17 7:04 p.m.

This under dash setup is getting out of hand, yet close to completion. The idea is to work backwards from master cylinder, to linkage, to hinge. Perhaps not the right idea, but my idea anyway.

After mocking up everything with random straps and pieces of "clearance foam" (school bus seat scraps), I made the pedal hinges. It's only for clutch and brake, but they share a single M10 bolt and allows me to re-use the Lexus pedal hinge hardware and bushings. 

Then it was just a matter of making these floating objects stay in place. This is what 6 hours of CAD, cut, fit, grind, fit again, berkeley, grind some more, fit again, close enough, ah screw it. Just need to finish weld everything and bolt it back up, then I can attach the actual pedals

I'm also using the Lexus throttle pedal and cable, which shares a firewall mounting bolt with the pedal monstrosity bracket.

I also cut off the rear frame cross-member to mount it lower under the bed compartment.

maschinenbau Dork
11/14/17 8:11 a.m.

I decided to TIG weld all of this, mostly because I just felt like TIG welding and find it fun and relaxing, but also because I ran out of C25 for the MIG.

volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
11/14/17 8:54 a.m.

Dang.  This is a neat build.  How have I missed this for so long?

759NRNG Dork
11/14/17 8:57 a.m.

Spectacular!!!!!.......the pedal mount should have numerous shots in differing positions on a velvet blanket. Frame and submit at the local modern art gallery.

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