Cleaning up the wires.

How many lights do we really need? Life is not always about needs. Nevertheless, we are running enough wires to light the place up like a Christmas tree. On the last vessel that we owned, Chief Yoga guru used to turn all the lights on and go outside. With the added lights on this new machine it will take her a bit longer to turn on the lights on. My mom would not be a happy camper to if we did such a thing in our house growing up. To make matters worse, we can now turn on all the lights, the air conditioner, open the windows and then go outside.

There is lots of talk about the correct way to run wires. Don’t do this, do that. One rule is don’t run 12v and 120v wires parallel to each other. This is a tough rule to follow on a small bus.

We purchased electric panels from the Marine Connection Outlet in Fort Pierce. This store sells used boat parts. We spent about 2 hours in there “shopping”. We used to shop here for our boat supplies.

The electric continues. Maybe tomorrow we will install the distribution panels.

The Plumbing Maze

Well, I don’t want to be a plumber someday. There are so many connections, pieces, parts and sizes. We have been working on the plumbing for quite some time now. It seems that we are getting it done, but there is always another fitting that we need. So we go to Home Depot, nope, they don’t have it. So we go to Lowes, they have one of the fittings. Next stop Peter’s Hardware, formerly Ace Hardware, they typically have something close to what we need. Last stop is John’s Plumbing, a real plumbing supply shop, nope, we don’t sell barb fittings. So we end up back at the bus with something that might work. It certainly now looks like I did the plumbing. We have a blend of pex, nylon, PVC, stainless, bronze and brass. I am sure that goes against some code somewhere. With that mix we are able to make 1/2″ barb, 3/4″ barb, 1/2″ npt, 3/4″ npt, 3/8″ npt, 1/4″ connections and we are not done yet. No metric yet on this project, but the rest of the bus is littered with metric as well. We have not even tested for leaks yet. This project is far from over.

So many barb fittings, so many places to go.

Who is the bunny?

Marina is utilizing her amazing cleaning skills and getting dirty. It seems our bus has not been to a car wash since about 2005. This gives Marina plenty of opportunity to exercise her skills. The front of the bus engine seems to have some oil seeping down the passenger side. We are trying to find the leak as well as just clean up. Marina was blessed with the job of doing a bit of cleaning. The magic we are cleaning with is mainly dishwashing liquid and Krud Kutter. Well, we are also using scrapers, scrub brushes and toilet bowl scrubber.

Marina likes to get dirty…her is proof

Our friend from Sunset Bay, Bicycle Bill

We have spent a long time at Sunset Bay Marina and during that time we have met many people who will always be in our memories. Bicycle Bill, as he has been nicknamed, is one of those people. The story goes he owned a sandwich truck or store somewhere on the west side of the US. He passed that enterprise onto others and moved to Florida. That’s the short version. Here at Sunset Bay he gets up before the sun and rides his bicycle all over The Treasure Coast. It is not uncommon to see him peddling down US 1, or sitting in his chair under a tree reading a book. He never has a negative word to say and loves where he is at. You can always count on him to update you on the weather which is more accurate then the weather guy on WPBF. As the evening approaches you can find him watching a local sporting event or sitting outside a pub listening to the local music.

More and more wires.

The bathroom. shower right, toilet left

It takes a long time to pull wires. We pull some wires and then realize we need to pull some more. A plan would certainly help the forgotten wire syndrome, but what fun would that be. We are more of doers than thinkers. That thinking part usually comes after we did it.

We ran the 120v wires in mc and the 12 volt wire is just kinda laying around. We tried to isolate and not overlap and all that good stuff, but one must remember this is 19.5 feet of living space and things are tight. In fact, there seems to be less room on this bus than there was on the boat. granted the boat was 40 feet and the bus is only 28 feet, but the boat was more rounded and V shaped. This bus is a bit more of a rectangle. The engine room on the bus sure has a ton more space than the boat did.

That’s the kitchen!

There are some writings on the wall if you look close. The sink is labeled on the blue tape on the floor. The lights and plugs are labeled on the wall and the microwave is on the right. The countertop height is black magic marker line on the stud behind the fan. The upper magic marker line is the top of the backsplash. That bundle of wires running along the top of the kitchen are the rear lights, tail lights, turn signals and such. What a mess they are. The yellow metal on the bottom right is the heater for the drivers area, we have not tried the heaters yet.

The closet with an 120 volt outlet

And that’s the closet on the left and the pantry on the right. Five feet by two feet of storage. If you come to visit, don’t bring a rigid suitcase. In fact, don’t bring a suitcase at all. A toothbrush and a sleeping bag should be sufficent.

Idle pulley failed

6302lua idle pulley

We had the engine running fixing a different issue and noticed an odd clicking noise.

The first approach was to spray water on each pulley and see if the noise stopped for a bit and then returned. This narrowed down the search, bit was difficult to isolate the exact pulley.

The next step was to remove the belt and spin the pulleys and see which one made an odd noise. The belt is easily removed with a 1/2″ breaker bar and pulling the tensioner over to release the tension.

With the belt removed the pulley spinning revealed the idle pulley was squeaking. A 14mm took the pulley off and revealed the bearing was missing some balls.

Tried to find the pulley, but that was unsuccessful, so a little cleaning revealed the bearing model, 6203lua. With this information I was able to buy two replacements bearings at NAPA for $5.00 each.

Remove the retaining click, beat out the bearings using a large socket. Pound the new ones in using the old ones to beat on. Clip the retaining clip in and mount on engine.

Viola, that noise is gone. Now on to the next noise.

Grinding and more grinding


That grinder is earning it’s keep on this bus. Actually we have 3 of them. They are the go to tool lately for this part of the project.

We have removed a lot of stripped screws, pop rivets and extra pieces that we don’t think we need.

Not sure how many blades we have been through, but it’s a lot. And a lot of sanding pads.

Today was a few stuck screws and a few hidden pop rivets. This allowed us to remove the back wall and expose more wires that were not needed and hence removed.

Day 18?

Priming the sheet metal

After 2 days off from bus work we are back at it again. The last 2 days we were taking care of our other yacht. Had to do some cleaning and a sea trial. That was a riot.

Today Marina primed the sheet metal that am arrived a week late. We had 5 sheets of sheet metal cut for the skins for the windows by Z metals. The pieces were delivered today and Marina spent the day spray priming them

While she was doing that, I patched the two exit holes in the roof. I used galvanized 16 gauge sheet metal for those two patches and about 60 button head screws. The seams were sealed with a black gooey substance that was served in a caulk tube. I would like to see the person that can pump that stuff through a caulk gun. It’s Thicker than peanut butter and stickier. So I cut the tube open and applied it with a 5 in 1.

That took the better part of the day. The morning was blessed with the neighbor, the old neighbor and the sheet metal delivery guy asking lots of questions and generally just chit chatting. Lots of people with nothing to do. Ok, back to work

Priming the skins

Exhaust System Rerouted

Exhaust out the side

So in order to free up some precious space underneath the bus we needed to reroute the exhaust pipe. It originally ran from the front of the bus all the way to the very back. This 4″ exhaust pipe occupied a lot of space and nothing could be close to it because of the heat.

So, we removed the pieces of exhaust that were pieced together from the bank of the bus up and over the rear axel stopping 2 feet before the muffler. Now all we needed was an elbow which we got from NAPA to make the turn out the passenger’s side. The next step was to cut off about a foot of the exhaust pipe still remaining and then place the elbow on that shortened exhaust pipe. With the elbow in place we were able to use a piece of the tail pipe we removed to attach to the elbow and run it out between the fuel tank and the rear tire.

The only part you really see is the cool cheap stainless steel exhaust tip.