Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

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ol trunt
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Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby ol trunt » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:19 pm

Hello All. I guess I better fess up. Though Honeysuckle Rose and I are still an item, I've found another bus. I'm in the process of getting her registered as a motor home here in Calif. which will save her from the glue factory if I get 'er done by the end of the year. She is a 1990, 40' MCI prison bus with three quarters of a million miles on her but runs and drives like new (almost). The rush has to do with her Detroit Diesel 2 stroke engine which will be banned from use in Ca. on the first of the year---except in motor homes. I'm working on a simple but functional conversion without a lot of frills and I'll share my progress as I go along. During my first month of ownership, I removed all the seats and cages etc and did a through interior cleaning. The cages must have been installed before the end caps went on as they had to be saw cut in thirds in order to remove then. I'll post a pic of what the bus looked like when I purchased it. I am repeatedly amazed at the superb quality of construction that went into this bus. I've always wanted to play with one of these and now I can! Jack

Image

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby stuartcnz » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:36 pm

Definitely looking forward to seeing this project take shape!
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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby Lostranger » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:39 am

Finally we have a build thread. Go Jack!

I wondered when CA would ban the two stroke. I surprised it took this long.

Jim

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somewhereinusa
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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby somewhereinusa » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:51 pm

I'm working on a simple but functional conversion without a lot of frills
I'll bet. I think your "not a lot of frills" will but most fancy buses to shame. :shock:

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby ol trunt » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:56 pm

Hello All. Fun to have another project, but this one is about me learning a bunch of cool stuff about a big boy bus. Hopefully what I end up with is something someone else will want to improve on. The bus has a parchment like color on the walls and ceiling and the floor is a medium blue marbled look lino material. I'll try to keep the bus light and airy looking inside and add an oriental touch to the trim. To that end, I scored a 10" craftsman table saw with a laser attachment at the local Habitat for Humanity Re Store today--$100. I am allergic to saw dust so I'll have to be a bit careful, but I can just visualize shoji screens backed with mulberry paper inserts separating the bed/bath area from the living area as well as cordoning off the cockpit the same way--should be fun and I can hardly wait! Jack

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby Dusty » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:27 pm

Cool bus Jack , Thanks for keeping us entertained :)
58 Bedford House

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby ol trunt » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:32 pm

Something went wrong with this post All of my blather and many pics simply didn't post. For now, what you see is what you get--I'll try again later. Jack
Another view of the shower. Image[/b]

Detail of assembly. Image

View into the bed/bath area. Image

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Dennis The Bus Dweller
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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby Dennis The Bus Dweller » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:25 am

MCI's are great rigs, lot of stainless
Peace along the way
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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby GoodClue » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:02 am

Ah, the stories she could tell ... maybe even a movie or two ... think I'd just remove the FFs and call her SHERI ... :)
Good find :thumbup:
"ya gotta have art ..."

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby LuckyChow » Fri May 08, 2015 3:39 pm

Jack, this is the first bus I've seen with Circline (round) fluorescents. Must have been because of the previous rowdy ridership. Please update us when you can on the progress. This is going to be an interesting build.
Darryl
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2000 Gillig Phantom

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby Mark R. Obtinario » Tue May 12, 2015 2:42 am

I will be interested in watching what you do with this bus.

You did some really interesting things with the '35. Moving up several generations in technology, size, and design should provide you with different challenges. And those challenges will result in some amazing solutions I am sure.

Good luck and keep us posted as to your progress.

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby ol trunt » Tue May 12, 2015 1:33 pm

Darryl and Mark. Glad to hear from you both. I'm afraid that the build out on this bus won't amount to much more than is necessary to get the title changed to Motor Home. I really bought the bus as an interesting learning experience (to me) and I have no intention of keeping it long term--but if I win the lottery and could buy a place to keep it that all might change. In a similar vein, if I could buy a locomotive, I'd be in hog heaven. I just love the power and the beautiful engineering (in the design sense). I can hardly wait to tear into the cooling system on the bus and to figure out why the wipers don't etc. I'll post pics as I go along for everyone to view, but none of it will be very exciting. Jack

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby Mark R. Obtinario » Tue May 12, 2015 3:20 pm

The MCI twin radiator design was marginal at best and barely adequate on the flat. Get a big hill and high temps and most MCI's ended up stopped on the side of the road cooling things down so they could continue on up the hill. Sometimes, depending on how steep and how hot the ambient temp was, continuing on meant going only a few bus lengths before you had to stop and cool off once again. BTDT.

The basic problem is the squirrel cages can move a lot of air but they are sucking it out of a low pressure area into a high pressure area--not the direction in which air or water normally flow.

The only real cure is to make sure no air is allowed to go between the frame and the radiator--all of the air the squirrel cages move has to move through the radiator cores. It is amazing what a single can of expanding foam insulation can do to help stop air leakage.

Auxlillary coolers for the transmission and engine oil can help.

But at the end of the day, the MCI's just never did have enough radiator to do the job properly.

Some have utilized water misters to help cool the radiators. That can work but the use of distilled water can't be stressed enough. Any dissolved solids will drop out of suspension and stick like concrete to the outside of the radiators making a bad situation worse.

As far as the wipers are concerned, don't mess around with trying to make the air motors work. When they were new they didn't work very well.

Contact Luke at US Coach in NJ (856-767-4848) for help. He has a kit available to swap the air for electric motors.

Good luck and have fun!

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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby ol trunt » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:18 pm

Hello All. Time for an update. Well I still don't know if I can keep her, but I finally managed to get the title changed from bus to House Car followed quickly by Good Sam's basic liability coverage as well as tow service! Thanks to that I can now drive my MCI 9 on my standard Ca class C drivers license--Oh Boy!

Changing from "bus" to "house car" was no problem once I built a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen into the bus. I used a combo A/C/heat pump to get around the need for heating and I found a killer deal on a 10 cu ft frige for $199 at Best Buy.

Except for a few holes in the floor (which would need to be plugged) the whole construct is modular in nature and lends itself to remodel/relocation with the twist of a wrench--sort of.

It's not very fancy, but it is bright and clean and open feeling. There is plenty of room left for a living room or something. I suggested poles for pole dancers but wiffy nixed that idea. Jack

A very spartan bedroom.
Image


A nice big shower.
Image


An rv toilet.
Image

Sink with medicine chest.
Image


Kitchen with electric frige and propane stove.
Image

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somewhereinusa
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Re: Honey, look what followed me home--can I keep it?

Postby somewhereinusa » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:33 am

Well done Jack, open and airy.

What is the black and white with round top in the foreground of one picture? Air conditioner?

Have you gotten the overheating sorted out yet?


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