1989 S1600 White Rhino

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Headache
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1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by Headache »

I finally made the leap! Introducing my new project; a 1989 Navistar S1600 with an IDI 7.3 and a yucky(to me because I still have arguments with them after 15 years) Spicer 5 speed. It was a UHaul truck, then a guy bought it and used it like once a month for selling at flea markets, then was bought by a couple of gals who turned it into a catering truck(as soon as we drove up I said the vent on the roof looked like one of those big silver restaurant vents, ugh), then the now last owner before me bought it in Iowa to move his family back to Mass. I'm #4(of the owners after it was orange). :thumbup:

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Headache
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by Headache »

List of "truck stuff" that need to be taken care of:

Right away, installing everything I need to make the toilet and sink look permanent then amending the title to an "auto house" title.

2 rear tires
1 air bag has cords showing
leaking head gasket
air compressor needs rebuilding and air tank drain valve needs replaced
Windshield ding repaired
Finding the leak into the cab when it rains(yes I checked under the rubber floor mat)

Stuff I'm looking into right now:

Compatible transmission to replace the 5 speed in it now(because I can't shift that kind, lol)
Turbo kit
Changing the IDI injector pump to a Ford one
Different gearing in the rear end

Stuff that doesn't "need" to be done but I will get done at some point because it will annoy me if I don't:

Swapping out that flat, snub nose hood with the almost bolt on newer one that's more aerodynamic and has side vents for more air into the engine compartment
Insulating the cab for noise and weather

Today I'm coordinating between the towing place, the former owner and the storage place(where I'll be doing the work on it) where it will be moved to tomorrow and I can start making "THE BIG LIST" and take more pics.
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somewhereinusa
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by somewhereinusa »

Let the games begin. :shock:
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by dburt »

And may the Force be with you! 8)

Cornbinders are pretty good old trucks, and the old U-Haul versions can take alot of abuse. Now you have your project, so as time, money and accommidations alllow, you can tear into that list of 'to-dos'. I always did like the U-Haul truck box on the biggest movers, that 'mother-in-law' attic will make a great overhead bedroom area. I will look forward to pictures and your progress as you go!
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by Headache »

Luckily I got a pretty good chuck of change from FEMA and they said I could buy something and fix it up...so here I go....

I've decided I'll have to do what I need to do to make things operational with the truck first. I knew going into this that shifting would be an issue for several reasons and that it would dictate whatever I did next and how much money I would have to do it. So, an alternate needs to be found and I'm assuming it's going to be an automatic.

Once I get things situated with the truck I'll get the floor sealed(lot's of holes were drilled into it for the cabinets that used to be mounted in the box) and the wall and floor framing done that I didn't do after getting the toilet and sink in. Then the electrical guy will come in and we'll design those systems and rearrange the existing box and conduit. About this time I'll be running low on time and money so the idea is to design the system and get the "brains" of it in so that I can add the rest as I have money to do it.

Somewhere you're in the perfect spot to do some shopping for me!

The truck will be delivered to the storage lot on Monday and I'll get more pics then. You'll be able to see all the oil leaks and such in their awesome glory!

I find it humorous that my caseworker is really excited about this. He's taking me to go toilet shopping tomorrow. LOL

Oh yeah, the storage attic is going to stay just that, my knees couldn't take the daily climb up a ladder or stairs. Wait til you see the couch/bed I'm going to build...
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somewhereinusa
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by somewhereinusa »

Somewhere you're in the perfect spot to do some shopping for me
Let me know what you're looking for, I'm headed to Elkhart Monday to lo look for a couple of things at one of the surplus stores. Shipping could be a problem pricewise.
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Headache
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by Headache »

Nice! I was half thinking of just going out there, finding some place to sort of stealth camp/park and doing the conversion out there just because of the proximity to those salvage and surplus stores. Then I could just go find what I wanted as I needed it.

I'm not "exactly" sure of things since I haven't had a chance to measure out the floor and walls and play with blue tape.

I think the most difficult to find item on my list will be a manual slide kit for a slide out room. I do know that the max length of it sticking out of the side of the box will be no more than two feet. I'm really am looking for manual, not power slides. It's not going to be heavy enough nor long enough to justify buying a motorized slide and I will be parked for long periods of time.

I won't be using propane so all my appliances will be electric. I will probably be better off getting those on scratch and dent from a big box store. I'm going to use a tankless flash water heater(my plumbing friend recommended that) so I'll be looking for one of those and I'll need a water pump.

I'm unsure of tank sizes yet as I haven't got it all figured out where I'm stuffing them all. I do know the black water tank will be boxed in behind the toilet and storage shelves will be above it.

I'm going to be looking for a quiet diesel generator as well but this may end up pretty pricey as I know I'll need at least a 5000w. Same with the inverter. I'll have to wait until I hook up with the electrical guy to number crunch before I'll know for sure about all the electrical.

I'll need a boot to go around the hole I cut in the back of the cab and front of the box for access to the box and I'll need 2 swivel captains chairs because I'll have to rip out that bench seat. I think that's something I'll have to order(the boot).

That's really generous of you to do some looking for me. Thanks!
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Headache
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by Headache »

My first order of business is getting the toilet and sink installed so I'm going to buy the parts this weekend to make that happen. However, I have some questions:

Holes were drilled through the aluminum floor in order to secure cabinets for the former catering business. What can I use to seal up those holes? Will something like JB Weld work? Should I seal it in some way from the outside(like some sort of undercoating) to keep road moisture from seeping up through the slats? Is there some kind of "safe" sealer I can use?

I'm going to be laying down a 2x4 floor frame in order to insulate the floor as well as run the PEX and drain lines for the plumbing. I know I'm going to need a vapor barrier but where will I be putting that, directly on the aluminum and laying the frame over it? What kind of vapor barrier should I use? I'd like to use something environmentally friendly if it exists.

As far as insulation, is there anything environmentally friendly that is also not moisture absorbent? I'd love to use the wool or denim insulations but it looks like I'll be using the foam board insulation because of weight and cost.

I'm going to try and use as much "friendly" materials as I can since I'll be living in this box long term.
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by rlaggren »

> cabin leak...

Windshield (of course) - I've waged a long running battle with those leaks. Tried sealing the top with moderate success on my previous van and just found to my sorrow that whoever last replaced the windshield in my present van didn't use enough of the expensive goo and the bottom was just kinda resting there - it flexed out every time I slammed the door and cracked (NEVER would have thought the damn van would hold enough pressure to cause that!). So I guess what I'm saying is, just pull the trim and do the whole thing and maybe you'll get it first time.

> holes...

You mean like 1/4 and 3/8 bolt holes? My first thought is to get some PL Polyurethane sealant from the big box, along with some aluminum flashing and one of those toothed plastic spreaders sold for tile installation. Hit the floor with a pressure wash and maybe a grinder to clean it, spread the sealant over and area over the holes with a special gob on each hole, then press strips of aluminum flashing down - just like installing sheet flooring. Roll it out with a wine bottle if it needs to be real flat. This assumes none of the holes are big enough to need a structural cover - the flashing is just 26ga stuff. Polyurethanes or polysulphides (not as sticky and stays more flexible) are the best for those once-and-never-again jobs. PL in the big box is the cheapest poly sealant I've found and it should be plenty good for this job. Poly takes a few days to cure fully, but it gets good and tacky in 24 hours.

> vapor barrier...

Depends on whether you're going to be staying warm in a cold place or staying cool in a hot place. It goes on the warm side of the sandwich to stop the vapor there, before it seeps into the sandwich and contacts the cold side and turns to water - wetting the inside of your insulation sandwich, which is what you're trying to avoid.

> insulation...

Blown in dense-pack insulation does the best (cheap) job. It comes as paper (celuose) or fiberglass; paper is better/cheaper but the fiberglass doesn't die and rot if it gets wet, so stick with the fiberglass. If you use fiber glass batting instead, you have to carefully carve it around every single wire and pipe so there are no "caves" or gaps anywhere in your insulation sandwich and gently pat it into every nook and cranny. It has to be "placed", not stuffed, because it looses value if you just pack it in - not to mention you then use twice as much as you need. Ideally there should be some way for the sandwich to drain and dry out (if it gets wet somehow) - some _slight_ air movement inside the wall from the cold side. Since the cargo shell is designed to be weather tight, that's going to take some thought...

When laying your sleepers on the floor, it will improve the insulation sandwich significantly if you lay two sets, criss crossing; lay one set of 2x2's 24"OC and install the 2nd layer of 2x4's on edge on that. This is because wood is a very poor insulator relatively and if you lay one set of sleepers on the cold floor, the wood will transmit that cold right through and there will be "stripes" of cold on your floor over each sleeper; they call this bridging. By laying one layer crosswise over another you reduce the bridging to just little squares where they boards cross each other. And you also get a little space to run wires and skinny pipes in any direction without having to drill holes. The bottom layer should probably be PT since it might get wet down there sometime and take a while to dry out - and you don't want it to mold or rot.

Let the fun begin. <g>

Rufus
splummer
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by splummer »

nice leap, looks like a real fun project going on , how soon will it be mobile,this time ofthe year is great for taking trips,hopefully you will be ready before cold weather,will be very colorful up here in a few weeks, do you have a route planned for the west coast yet, up from mass, thru maine and thru cannada would be mine,mid sept friends are coming up and want to do the trip we just took so it looks like anther bus trip for us,we should have three buses on convoy thru out the state, the more the merrier, . steve
just because you ride the bus , it doesnt make you a bus person
the bus stopped and i got on and thats how it all began
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Headache
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by Headache »

Rufus, I'll be staying in all sorts of climates. Initially I'll be in humid and rainy. After my Dad passes on I'll be traveling both to dry and hot(New Mexico) and cold and snowy(New England and Canada).

Under dash water leaks aren't always the windshield although it usually is but I have to make sure. I've had them occur from seals going bad from above the cab clearance lights as well.

As far as insulation I will most likely end up using a "blue board" type. The others you mention are a pain to install and I won't get the R value(for the thickness or lack there of) that I will with foam boards. I'd rather use something like cotton or wool to reduce off gassing but I also have to be practical, as well as prevent moisture absorption before it starts.

I'll have to look up this "bridging" you mention because I just can't see it in my head. I need pics. I also need room for my tanks.

Steve, no matter how ready I am I have to be out of this apartment by October 1st. I probably won't be ready to roll(truck itself will be, the living compartment and I won't be) until late October but I hope to be sooner so I can enjoy the fall foliage. Due to budget and that I'm stopping at some Lakota reservations in SD to visit friends and drop off donated horse tack for the annual Big Foot Memorial Ride, I'll be taking the most direct interstate route(I90 for the most part) across.

Yesterday we got my truck stuffed into the storage warehouse so it's out of the elements while we work on it. I've decided to just deal with the dog engine as best I can without "major" modifications. However, I will be having the 5 speed taken out and an automatic put in for now. My knees just can't take it otherwise.

I couldn't get any pics yesterday because it was raining so much but I'll make sure to get them today. The mechanic and I are going over it really good today to make out my shopping list.

Somewhere, I forgot to add steps on my list *if* you had time to look. Ah well, maybe on the way through...
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Headache
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by Headache »

Forgot to add that right now I'm parts shopping. I'll order the toilet online(cheaper than local here) and get the sink and such from the local big box improvement stores in the area. The hardest part is the measuring. I have sooooooo many ideas and then I see other things which lead to more ideas.....

ACK!!
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stuartcnz
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by stuartcnz »

May I suggest you look at these posts for some ideas. Very practical and low cost. Disregard the one element gas cooker that he uses, and you could probably go with the rest to get away cheaper and sooner. About the only thing I would do differently, is use a foot pump, instead of the hand pump in the galley.

http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2 ... as-on.html
http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2 ... toise.html
http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2 ... -area.html
http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2 ... lying.html

And this shower is genius, for the areas he travels.
http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2 ... u-are.html

Well that's a start anyway. There is more stuff on his bus, buried throughout his blog.
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Headache
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by Headache »

Those are great ideas! I can do a bunch of that stuff temporarily until I'm settled and can do the upgrades! I agree with you on the foot pump too.

Here's the toilet I'm looking at for the moment. It's the 111 model with a sprayer:

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-t ... ometic.htm

What I'll do is get the permanent toilet and sink that I would have bought anyway. I'll probably get the cabinet the sink will set on as well. I'll use plywood for a temporary counter top for now. Maybe get some jerry cans so I have fluid storage, then call it good til I get the permanent tanks and such in. I can't get away with not laying the floor and insulation since I'll have to move my stuff in for the trip, so at least the real floor will be done.

I HAVE to get rid of that vent on top too. I'll fork out to get a good low profile one with a fan in it. I can also frame the inside walls and ceiling so the roof is supported better and get the roof coated. I can always work on the inside in any weather.

I won't be able to get the solar charging y'all do down there(too cloudy in WA) so I'll use an inverter set up with some AGM's as well as being able to charge off the alternator. It'll work great on the trip across but I'll have to plug in once I get to WA to keep the fridge cold.
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Re: 1989 S1600 White Rhino

Post by splummer »

head ache getting off topic just a bit , you mentioned the lakota rez in sd. if you can spend some time there ,i have a good friend who works in one of the health clinics there,interesting things going on there, its on my place to vist soon, steve
just because you ride the bus , it doesnt make you a bus person
the bus stopped and i got on and thats how it all began
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