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bgkast
bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/26/21 10:49 p.m.

Dash is looking good. I saw a wonderlodge with some cattle horns mounted on the roof, but in rough shape this weekend. It made me think of this project. Keep it up!

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/26/21 11:04 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

I think it's a mail order company and they did not stray to far from that model with the store. There is a tiny showroom with a very few items. I could not sort through veneers. I had to wait till my number was called and wait for them to bring it from the warehouse. And while I waited I had to pull up the website on my phone and decide what wood to get and have the item number ready to show the guy. It was not what I expected from a company famous for interesting and well made items. Clearly it's about maximum dollars for minimum pesky customer interactions.

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/26/21 11:26 p.m.

I’ve never had a problem in store myself but it is a mail order with catalogue stores. The set up does cut down on shrinkage but I can see it being a problem for veneer or products that aren’t out in the showroom.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
6/27/21 12:02 a.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

In their defence, their service has gotten really crappy since covid hit. You can't just browse the store or leaf through the catalog anymore.

I just order online and pick up now.

They're a bit more expensive but their house brand tools are made in Canada, that's worth something to me.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/25/21 5:56 a.m.

An incredibly inspiring journey, this. How far below the bumper is the radiator exposed?  Maybe 6"?  These are the things I like to ponder. 
I think i might go for some utilitarian roll cage bent tubing  (painted black) with a touch of bus matching tan sheet metal trim and a WL style screen over it. The bars might protect and warn you in a practical way. 
 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/3/21 10:03 p.m.

I just popped in to say that I had to take a short break from the fossil. I have started working again which involves a lot of travel, and I also need to paint the house in the interest of family harmony. Also we have had weeks now of sweltering temperatures and I cannot set foot in the shop without dripping so its not very inviting. And since the push was to go away.... well right now actually, I missed that deadline so I guess I will slow down and spend the fall and winter finishing it off.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/3/21 10:04 p.m.

In reply to jh36 :

It is right about six inches I think. Maybe eight. I am considering finding another bumper and welding them together to add the six inches, and rechroming it.  I suppose I have a few months now to look at it and ponder.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/5/21 9:09 p.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to jh36 :

It is right about six inches I think. Maybe eight. I am considering finding another bumper and welding them together to add the six inches, and rechroming it.  I suppose I have a few months now to look at it and ponder.

I see your vision. Instead of doubling the bumper, I wonder how it would be to drop the bumper the 6-8", then add stock looking sheet metal filler panels complete with with radiator openings above?  

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
8/5/21 10:20 p.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to jh36 :

It is right about six inches I think. Maybe eight. I am considering finding another bumper and welding them together to add the six inches, and rechroming it.  I suppose I have a few months now to look at it and ponder.

Have you priced out chrome lately?

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/1/21 1:20 a.m.
jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/4/21 10:22 a.m.

Congratulations!  I saw this post go up a few days ago but decided to save watching it for the weekend.  That is an incredibly impressive job going on there...nice work, as always.  I'm glad the voltage that took out your scanner didn't take out more than that!

Pretty inspirational stuff.  Thanks for documenting this saga.

 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/4/21 10:58 a.m.

In reply to jh36 :

Thank you! I followed the burnt ground about a foot and they sorted themselves out. So hopefully no surprises later. 

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/25/21 7:27 a.m.

Any new news?

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/25/21 7:57 a.m.

In reply to jh36 :

Sorry but I have been on holiday for two weeks. I will be really busy over the next few months but I am still picking away so I will get an update posted next week.  But I am out of covid jail and working so things have definitely slowed down.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/25/21 11:59 a.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

I get it...look forward to what you have, when you have time. I'm loading up and prepping my fc35 for Hyperfest this weekend. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/25/21 4:01 p.m.

Was just thinking about this thread and how we need to get the title changed to "ruined two winters"

Projects.  Gotta love 'em, cause otherwise you realize how much time you've spent.  Speaking of, I gotta go do some work on the truck

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/2/21 1:15 a.m.

It does indeed look like another winter in the shop, although I kind of like being there so all good. I have a further list of projects waiting completion once the fossil is done anyway: 1970 Ford F100 4X4 is mostly done, but needs paint and interior, Triumph GT6 racecar is now stalled for over 15 years which is silly because all the hard work is done and it just needs a motor nd paint. I have a billet crank for it turned for Chevy rods and some other fun parts that are getting pretty dusty. And I want to build a stacker trailer to pull behind the Fossil, just because I have two 4 foot double acting hydraulic cylinders that need a home and I have an idea to re purpose a school bus and paint the Fossil and trailer to match.

So anyway, I got ahead of the story a bit with the video, but I wanted to share that it still ran. I assumed it would but you never know until you twist the key and noise and smoke come out. I have installed the Freightliner wiring harness and fuse panel:

 

I have a lot of wires to trace and reroute now from the old buss bars that I tore out earlier. Wanderlodges of this era are really just school busses with a bunch of RV parts added. They would start the bus in one plant and then drive it across the road to be turned into an RV. As far as I can see Bluebird took the school bus wiring and grafted in RV stuff as the need arose and wherever it was convenient. So there were four load centers. The big one up front (now gone) that was mostly driving components but with a lot of house components mixed in, a small load center in the battery compartment for a few things (gone), one under the sofa:

And one up above the drivers head:

So the plan is to take all the house wiring that went to the now missing buss bars and reroute them to the overhead panel. So the Freightliner harness will remain separate and  the Freightliner wiring diagram will be accurate. In fact the harness went in much like it was in the Freightliner and all  bulkhead connections and other harness routing is in the same spot so despite the Fossil being a flat nose a Freightliner tech could have no trouble locating components and troubleshooting. Likewise the Excellent Bluebird schematics will be accurate other than my needing to note that the circuit breakers and fuses will now be in a new location.

I bought and installed three new start batteries and new cables. The wires hanging down are some of the 50 or so I am slowly tracing and labeling to reroute to the overhead panel. 

 Bought two new(to me) AGM 12 volt batteries for the house. These are a bit of a gamble because they are five years old, taken from a computer backup system. But they test great and I am pretty sure I will get a couple years out of them before they start to fail. And only $200 each vs 800-1000 new. I have 6 T105 Trojan golf cart batteries but I no longer had room for them and I am sick of dealing with watering and corrosion. These give me almost 400 amp hours which should be fine for two or three nights boondocking, especially as I plan to add another solar panel. 

Had a custom driveshaft made. There are three sections and the other two are Freightliner and have the Meritor RPL25 sealed U joints. But the last section needed to be cut to length, and the last U joint had to be a size smaller (RPL20) because the RPL25 was too big to fit the diff yoke. Blew the budget (if I still have one) but couldn't be helped. 

​​​​​​

Bought some new LED taillights to replace the rotting incandecents......

Bought a new stereo with bluetooth and two zones so we can have phone controlled music outside....

 

New backup camera with two cameras but expandable to four.

And started thinking about front heat. There was a massive head exchanger with three fans that did diddly which I no longer have room for. So I bought two blowers and a couple SUV heater cores to build my own system. I thought if one would heat an SUV then two would be fine for the driver and passenger. I need defrost as well but I think I will do something overhead where the AC evaporator and fans already live. 

The bus has a number of other heating systems, with over the road heat supplied by three heat exchangers in the living room, kitchen and bedroom, so the front heat is not really necessary but on a short trip its nice to have. I know that because the heat has never worked in the years I have owned the Fossil and that means in cool weather we stay cold until the entire bus warms up and heat drifts forward from the living room. 

And thats all I have for now! Back to tracing wires. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/11/21 11:19 a.m.

 

Behind this mess is the dash air conditioning evaporator. It sits in the overhead compartment. The engine run AC rarely works on Birds but I was determined to get mine going. We have three massive Carrier bus style units that we can run off the generator while traveling but the cold air stops six inches from my sweat soaked back. Every now and then I get a teasing cold breeze but mostly I suffer while everyone else is cool and comfy.

I will reuse the evaporator but I am tossing the roof mounted condenser. I installed a new one in the conventional spot in front of the radiator.  

The old system was R12. The hoses are just rubber and too short to reach the new compressor and condenser, and I did not think gear clamps were going to work for R134 so I had to pull it all out.

The condenser had a protective screen that matched the ones on the radiator.  That was handy, so I stole it and made a thing to cover the bottom of the charge air cooler. 

 

Sorted as they say. I am quite happy with that compromise.  

The condenser is going to be removed from the roof and I have a fun idea for the space. involving aerodynamics......

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/11/21 6:20 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

I very much like the front end treatment.Well played. the original WL mesh ties it together well.  

Rigante
Rigante New Reader
10/12/21 6:05 a.m.

what a superb story so far. Thanks for sharing

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/23/21 10:33 a.m.

 

Here are my costs to date. I saw no way to attach an excel file so I just snipped the page. If there is a way to attach a better image please let me know. It is readable if you zoom in. I think I am most likely light on hours by about 10 per cent, and I have probably missed a few small invoices so I am probably in the hole about $1000 more than what is listed. I still have two 315/80R22.5 tires to buy (about $800 each), one windshield (about $650.00) and two new air seats (about $1000 each) plus whatever other stupidity crosses my mind. 

 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/27/22 11:54 a.m.

I am ashamed that I have not updated this since October. It is still moving forward, but last fall I started working a lot more and progress slowed. Still, it is getting done. I will have to do a big photo dump over the next few days to catch up. I redid a lot of stuff I was not happy with, which also slowed me down. 

The intake stuck up too high despite my best efforts. Even after slicing off the top it was about 4 inches higher than the rocker cover, which meant 4 inches higher for the doghouse.

 

 

 

 

 

So I built this one instead. Same height now as the engine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Built a new doghouse out of square tubing and 22 gauge steel. Fits nice and tight around engine.

 

The doghouse is double walled and filled with expanding foam. 

The foam did not work as I expected. I would drill two holes in a section and empty a can in and it would eventually seep out the second hole. But I discovered that weeks later it was still liquid in the cavity so I would have to drill other holes which allowed more air in and it would expand some more. The photo below is after weeks of coming to the shop, drilling a new hole and either watching it expand out the hole or not in which case I would add some more. Weeks later I installed the cover and drilled some holes for support brackets and foam came pouring out. It makes me wonder how this stuff works when people trust that when they spray it into a cavity and assume it is filling the gap, whether it actually is. I say probably not. 

Anyway, I got it done and it should be quietish. I built a subframe that I bolted to the floor and used a gasket from a minivan hatch so seal it up when closed. 

The aim was to have a smaller doghouse than the orininal and I think I won.

I also ripped out my shifter and the hydraulic jack controls as they looked terrible stuck up on top of the dash. I thought the shifter was a bit too far away from my seat and I had trouble routing the cables underneath as they interfered with the fan, so I flipped it around and repositioned it more vertically.

Before

After

I also got rid of the Freightliner pedal and steering column assembly. The more I improved other areas the more I disliked the bush league door hinge steering tilt that Bluebird built. Instead I found a tilt column from a Volvo heavy truck which has a cool floating design that allows it to be positioned in an infinite number of positions, with about 7 inches fore and aft and 5 inches up and down. It is operated by the small pedal off to the left. 

I also got rid of my janky multi heim joint clutch linkage in favor of something nice and simple on top of the pedal.

 

 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
3/27/22 2:02 p.m.

Lookin' great! 
While that intake might inhibit peak power somewhat, somehow I don't think it will be a concern... angel

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/27/22 3:31 p.m.

In reply to 03Panther :

I wondered but I figure thirty pounds of boost will stuff the air in regardless and I value ergonomics over horsepower at this point.

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
3/27/22 5:38 p.m.

My sillyness doesn't always come through in writing... I mean hey, it limits the top end  power by a few... you're only installing more than double! That drivetrain is looking fwd to the easiest days of it life!!! Good retirement for it!

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