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JohnInKansas SuperDork
2/21/20 6:40 p.m.

Yesterday afternoon, I got the couch put back in and welded up a set of brackets to secure it to the wall. They need some paint before I can call them done.

I realized after the fact that I couldn't use the bracket on the lower left if I wanted to stow the stair block off panel behind the couch, so I took it back off.

Today was an uphill battle. 

Cut out the spot for the new tool box. Got the box wrestled up into position and noticed that, although I have keys, there'sno lock. Spent half an hour on the phone with TSC, and the clueless clerk and clueless customer service rep both gave me the runaround. Going to take it back and exchange it as soon as I can.

Got the replacement rear door handle I bought on eBay, and although the lock works fine, the shaft was too short for my latch mechanism, so I had to mangle the old handle into pieces to switch the shafts out. Made a handle for the inside of the back door out of 3/16 plate and 3/8 rod. 

When you lock the exterior handle, it decouples the handle from the shaft, so the exterior handle will turn but it doesn't move the latch. So I should be able to lock the back door from the outside and still get out from inside if I can't get to the front door for some reason.

Wife rebuilt the drawers for the kitchen cabinet today and picked up the soft-close slides for them.

Plan for tomorrow is to get the drawers installed, glue in the next shower wall, and maybe hang some mudflaps in front of the rear wheels. Maybe get some brackets built to retain the fridge or stove if I have time.

JohnInKansas SuperDork
2/24/20 12:13 p.m.

So, this weekend:

Final two shower walls cut and installed. Bracing to hold the seam in place while the adhesive cures.

Second underbody box installed. Welded two pairs of 400lb-rated tie down loops to the floor to act as keepers. Cut a piece of 1/2 inch rubber floor mat to fit in the bottom to keep things from rattling too much. Removed the TSC badge and welded the holes shut.

Painted the couch brackets, glued felt on the bottom of the couch legs to protect the floor, and reinstalled the brackets.

Wife made a valiant effort at installing the drawers in the kitchen. Between rebuilding the drawers before we understood the dimensions the hardware needed and before realizing that the cabinet is about a 1/2 inch out of square, the install fought Mrs. InKansas the whole way. Took most of the weekend to get the first one in, though we should be able to use the lessons learned on number one to expedite the next three.

Rain today, so we're working inside. Drawers and maybe some more curtain tracks. Going to top off oil and make the 45 minute sprint to the Cummins service center this afternoon, because we're both busy this week and the next couple of days are supposed to be less than ideal for working.

JohnInKansas SuperDork
2/25/20 7:33 a.m.

Before we took it in, we managed to get two of the kitchen drawers installed. Apparently the wife bought two partial packages of mounting hardware, so we're missing pieces. Fortunately, they're not all that expensive.

Also got the curtain track hung up on the passenger side over the kitchen counter. 

Packed up everything that wasn't tied down and cannonballed in to the service center. Averaged 5 miles per gallon. 

Of 15w40.

Evidently she leaks a lot faster under load than at idle.

Service center said it might be ready by Wednesday afternoon, but for sure by Thursday afternoon.

Curtain fabric should be here by then. I'm going to work on a mounting solution for the mudflaps and get the trim reshaped for use on the underbody box. Wife is starting to think about storage and organization.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/20 9:44 a.m.

In reply to JohnInKansas :

Wow, your wife is a hell of a planner. Our solution would be a box of plastic utensils & some cheap plastic plates/bowls/cups from the dollar store shoved into whatever drawer/nook/crannie they'd fit into. 

JohnInKansas SuperDork
2/25/20 10:09 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

And that's only part of what's going in the kitchen. She's the best.

JohnInKansas SuperDork
2/26/20 7:08 a.m.

We didn't do a damn thing yesterday, aside from a very quick run to the hardware store for drawer brackets and hardware to mount the mudflaps. Wife has been feeling a bit burned out on the project, so a day or two off isn't amiss.

JohnInKansas SuperDork
2/27/20 5:32 p.m.

A day or two off would have been nice. We can't really afford a week off.

They got it apart this afternoon. Tappet cover was warped too badly to use again. Evidently OEM isn't available and aftermarket is expensive and won't be here fast. So find out how much to expedite, I tell him. $100 extra. But missed the cutoff for getting it here before the weekend (by an hour), so it won't be here til Monday. And THEN they can start putting it back together.

I am so frustrated. Nothing to do but press on. Berkeley.

JohnInKansas SuperDork
3/3/20 6:28 p.m.

Ladies and gentlemen:

We are back in bus-iness.

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/3/20 6:45 p.m.

I love this thread!

Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/3/20 7:01 p.m.

In reply to JohnInKansas :

That's a great picture. 

03Panther Reader
3/4/20 9:14 p.m.

My wife and I got to meet Mrs. InKanasas when we picked up Charlie. They are a great couple. Very good folks. 

Looking good standing in the bus. 

Hope things are finishing up well for the trip!

JohnInKansas SuperDork
3/4/20 11:02 p.m.

Okay, lets get caught up to speed.

The repair bill breakdown is as follows:

Hourly rate - $123 (marked down from $128 because he felt bad it took so long)

2.5 hours degreasing/powerwashing

10 hours replacing the tappet cover and gasket

Labor total - $1537.50

Billet tappet cover - $470.25 (includes half of the expedited shipping, shop paid the other half because the expedited shipping took 4 days)

Oil, coolant top-off, gaskets for this and that, some hose and hose clamps - $318.67

Parts total - $788.92

Total after tax - $2621.15



But it doesn't leak, so there's that.

I did crawl underneath and check to see that there was, indeed, a nearly-$500 billet cover installed.

That's it that the small yellow tube is pointing at in the center of the shot.

The last wall we put in the shower didn't adhere properly, so we're going to have to peel it off and do it again. Thankfully we still have the necessary materials.

We threw the appliances back in yesterday evening and put another drawer in the kitchen cabinet before we were too tired to make good, patient decisions and went to bed.

Wife had to work this morning, so I set into it on my own.

Welded in a pair of angles and bolted the new mudflaps and anti-sail brackets to them.

Reshaped the bracket I built to hold the fridge in place. It left too much gap behind the fridge, so I shortened it.

Screwed the bedframe to the wall. 

Reinstalled the toilet.

Built a bracket to tie the stove to one of the metal ribs.

Mrs. InKansas came home and we finished hanging the drawer slides.

And then the Amazon man brought her some organizers, so she started loading the drawers.

She installed our kitchen backsplash.

I drilled another hole in the driver's seat pedestal for maximum low. My line of sight has been through the tinted  flip-down sun visor in its stowed position, so I was having to hunch over the wheel to see unimpeded. The new hole only gives me two inches at most, but its a remarkable change. Photo is in the down position, it couldn't go any lower without major modifications.

My in-laws are coming tomorrow morning for brunch in the bus (hooray...) so I swept and vacuumed and mopped the floors. 

Hung up the curtain tracks in the back half of the bus.

Wife is doing battle with the curtains (its nearly 11pm, she's been at it since 6 or 7). She's pretty sure she has a design that will do what she wants, but not the patience left to find out tonight. We'll see in the morning.

A good day. 

Still planning on launching the roadtip on Saturday morning.

java230 UberDork
3/4/20 11:10 p.m.

Sucks to pay the big bucks at times, but it's done and isn't leaking. 


Looking good! 


Enjoy brunch

JohnInKansas SuperDork
3/6/20 12:03 a.m.

Another late night.

Brunch with the in-laws wiped out the morning, and then Mrs. had to go on a road trip for work and was gone for 8 hours.

I ran to town and paid the repair bill for the work the other shop did (before it started leaking).

Screwed two small bookshelves in.

My mom came by and snagged the curtain material and knocked some curtains together. Wife will adjust as necessary in the morning.

Built a couple little shelves for the bathroom, and put a coat of paint on them.

FIL gave me a small lockbox for Christmas, so I got it bolted to the wall in the closet. Nice size for personal documents and valuables.

Also touched up some paint on the ceiling. When I painted the bottom/outside edges of the ceiling a couple weeks ago, I used the wrong paint, and it was just different enough that it stuck out. Now its all back to flat white.

Once Mrs. got home, we set into fixing the shower wall. She did some research and decided that we must not have let the adhesive tack up long enough the first time. When I removed the flaky panel, there was adhesive that still hadn't set (almost two weeks old, product dries in 45 minutes, full cure in 24 hours). 

Cut a new panel, took our time applying the adhesive. Turned out really good.

Tomorrow: paint, trim, caulk, curtains, maybe some flooring in the bathroom?

Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/6/20 7:12 a.m.

You're heading to Alabama tomorrow?  If so that's right down to the line. 

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/6/20 8:59 a.m.

 JohnInKansas said:

​​​​​​The new hole only gives me two inches at most, but its a remarkable change. 


the_machina Reader
3/6/20 10:17 a.m.
JohnInKansas said:

Ladies and gentlemen:

We are back in bus-iness.


BOOOOO for bad puns! But hooray for getting it back and getting on it!

ClemSparks UltimaDork
3/6/20 7:31 p.m.

I just found this and got all up to speed.  

Raising that roof was ambitious!

I love it.  Great work and I'm sure fun times are ahead.  

JohnInKansas SuperDork
3/6/20 11:55 p.m.

Last day of work. Tomorrow morning we embark. Plan is to overnight in or around Joplin, MO; south central MO; central AR; north Memphis, TN; northwest AL; northeast AL; Ft. Rucker, AL. If anybody monitoring this is along this rough route and wants to meet us for a beer, we'd be happy to host.

Wife worked on curtains. My mom rough-stitched some panels together yesterday, but wife was somewhat less than delighted with them (I love my mother, but she's not much of a seamstress). 

Wife painted the bathroom door, and the bathroom shelves.

I cut a big hole in one of the shelves for a potted plant.

We moved a bunch more stuff in and got it situated for travel. Will refine as we go.

I played with my welder and angle grinder one last time. Welded some angled caps on the trim at the bottom edge of the body to make it match "stock". Slapped a quick coat of white on them to keep the rust at bay. I need to sand and paint all the trim, its peeling really badly, so this is just a temporary paint job.

Also put the first coat of white on the rear toolbox.

Spent a couple hours tidying my shop, triaging scrap wood as "keep this for later" or "take to the burn pile", putting tools away. I can see the floor in both the garage and the shop for the first time in months.

Working on saying my goodbyes. Dogs are the worst, and Bear is worst of all. He's a stubborn old shiny happy person, but he is the first dog my wife and I had together. He's pushing 13. We've been quietly bracing ourselves for years, that we aren't sure he'll make it through another winter. I'm not at all sure I'll see him again. 

I spent a lot of time just laying in the yard with him today.

I've been staying busy enough that its just now hitting me.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/7/20 6:27 a.m.

Be safe on the road 

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/7/20 5:28 p.m.

In reply to JohnInKansas :

I get that.

this is Taylor. We think she's 11. We've had her 9 years.  I spend a lot of time on the floor with her.  Dogs are the best.

Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/7/20 5:39 p.m.

Safe driving and of course keep us up to date. 

java230 UberDork
3/7/20 9:04 p.m.

Bear isn't coming?? 


Safe travels. We lost one dog way too early to cancer and are realizing our other is too told for backpacking trips this summer..... 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
3/9/20 10:28 a.m.

Excellent build & story! Following. 


Also, I'm curious about the little SUV on Page 2 that looks like something from the original RoboCop movie...


JohnInKansas SuperDork
3/9/20 7:13 p.m.

We're still alive and the wheels are still going round and round.

End-of-day-three assessments:

Front shocks are blown. They have to be. No way this much bounce is normal.

Losing coolant. About a gallon every 100 miles. Not in the oil and not burning, so far as we can tell. Suspicious stain on the right side of the oil pan.

Getting about 9mpg. 

Governor closes the throttle at 72mph. Hit 74 on a downhill.

We're in Memphis. Just had messy crawfish at the Flying Fish. Pictures when I have signal and battery and am not driving.

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