Interior wall finishing

Getting some finish wall covering installed. Don’t mind all the dirty handprints. The surface washes with a rag or even Mr clean magic eraser. Sharpie pens just disappear! Its a good kid resistant surface.

Its an .0625 plastic sheeting, made from the same stuff as milkjugs. Its not really structural, and its designed for gluing onto surfaces.

In this case I’m using FRP rivets instead of glue to hold in place which works quite nice. I’ve done some extended wear tests in the unimog and it seems to hold up.

The main reason for the paranoia is it says “not for use in rv” in tiny letters somewhere, but I think that’s when used with an adhesive. My guess is the material is somewhat sensitive to thermal expansion and contraction. Install while it is hot, and it will shrink slightly. When cold it will expand during heating. So just install at nominal temp and fasten it instead of glue and it’ll be fine.

Door skin

Door structure put together, and its skinned. The filler panel forward of the hinge is clecoed into place.

Everything seems to fit and line up. Next is some minor detail work on the door, and the inner seal frame on the vehicle side. Eventually I’ll get the windows for the bus – I am planning on two windows, a curb view low one and a high one. I thought about figuring out how to make the bottom window a doggie door.

Door frame outline

Frame outlines and such things.

Closed, with plastic wrap to keep the damp out.

Hinge pivot inline with original bifold door actuator. Just reverse the air lines on the ram to make it go the right way.

Forward seal detail. I reused the bluebird forward seal. Just trimmed it a bit and turned it around. It now presses into a piece of 1″ angle iron for the gasket. I think it will work great.

Some of the bracing. I’ll add more as I go along.

Hand forge hinges

Got the hinges in.

I prototyped the hidden hinge arm, so the geometry works.

I was thinking about getting some arms waterjet from 3″ steel billet, but I can probably make some from a couple layers of 3″ 1/8 plate stacked after some precision bending.

This would have been easier with junkyard hinges but I wanted to retain the bluebird air ram and pivot for opening and closing.

I also got the stair floor pan in but forgot to take a pic.

So I have these freakishly large hidden radius hinges I made from flat bar stock.

I hand forged 1/8″ x 3″ flat stock, and then forged a second layer formed and welded to the first. They are strong enough to hold a door for sure. I got one hinge fully complete but it got late and I’ll weld the second layer on hinge #2 tomorrow. I then tempered the hinges so they wouldn’t bend all to hell. It was a pain in the ass.

Forgiving past drivers

The square door and terrible approach angle on the curbside has always bugged me. In prep for a new door I’m making the approach match the driver side.

Here is what 15 years of service mashing the curb looks like. This is the bottom of the body rib that is part of the forward door frame.

Here is the framing. Heavy c channel and angle to support the new floor pan, I’ll get that in tomorrow. It looks parallel with the ground in the photo, but its not.

Driver side for comparison, which has the same angle now.

The first step will be higher, but I don’t plan on picking up lots of kindergartners any time soon, so it’ll be fine.

After everything is together, I’ll have a removable insert to capture dirt, and present a level surface on the inside.

Lego Benny helped supervise, care of one of the kids.

Stairwell shave

Trimmed the stairwell.

First mark with a laser, because apparently I can’t even geometry.

I put a chunk of metal to demonstrate the new approach angle for the body. It will mirror the driver side, and the entry door bottom edge will have that angle. The first step will be a little higher now but not by much.

It used to be about an 8 inch drop.

The new door being a one piece outward opening door will go in the hole.

Smoke wrench

So, I pulled the bifold door out, it’s corresponding seals and bits.

Then, I cut the rusty floor out of the bottom.

Next, I’ll be trimming the forward side of the door opening so it’s higher. The approach angle of the bus for the left and right side will be symmetrical, with the entry’s first step is a little taller.

New door will be a one piece that opens to the outside instead. I’ll keep the air ram hinge so it can open and close, but I’ve got a couple automotive door latches to use so I can properly lock/latch the door.