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Old 08-01-2019
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Revision Revision is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Portland (the other one.)
Posts: 402
Thumbs up Finn's Inn Flies Again

I've been lax to post as we've been busy with daily life for the time being, but I might as well start somewhere. I typically use "build threads" as a compendium for myself more than anything else hence the bold notes, and as a reference for me to look back on, but we'll get started;


So we're in Maine at the moment, the bus is fully insured for purchased value at $360/yr for the time being...I'll need to wander over to the insurance forum to figure out appraisals and whatnot, but that will be a little while yet. Maine is great for low premiums but bad for high cost of excise tax. Anyway, to catch up briefly;


Got the bus back to Maine with a few issues, but I'll address those as I address them.


In the meantime, we have removed all the carpet in the bus with the exception of the budweiser red that is under the forward couch. I still have to take the couch apart to get to that. We will be making changes to the layout of the bus to suit our needs and will be replacing the flooring with LVP. I am unsure as to what I intend to do to replace the carpet on the doghouse, so we'll leave that as TBD. There are ton of systems, switches and gadgets that I have yet to identify or learn to work.



The generator would shut down at temperature. After some troubleshooting, coolant was not flowing. I am not sure if the thermo was stuck or if it was vapor locked, but was able to get it flowing by squeezing the hose as well as releasing the purge on the cap. It stays running now and will charge the bus. As for loading up the generator, there is a delay between flipping the main selector and electricity clicking on which I am currently attributing to the surge protector thingy that was retrofitted into the rear of the bus. Additionally, I have no working gauges for the genset and am unable to monitor it, so will be addressing/adding accordingly. Known current issues are a leaking oil pressure sensor and full fluid change on genset, lack of engine monitoring.


Fuel system algae needs to be addressed. Tank was pressed up but sitting for a year. I changed the racor/fuel filter, but pressure at the electronic aftermarket gauge remains in the 1 to 4 psi range after filter change. I guess this could be normal, but I have no log or way of telling unless there is a post that I haven't found yet. My wife will be driving the bus for the first time this weekend...we are off to fill the bus back up with fuel as well as shock with biocide and once again new racor/fuel filter. The racor vacuum gauge does not work, so I'll need to address that.


Our first dinner aboard was delicious fajitas cooked with steak, chicken and chorizo, all three food groups.


We'll need both a travel and maintenance logbook, as neither exist at this time.

There is no engine driven A/C. Will explore that at a future date but, in the meantime, intend to travel with the windows open and plan our year strategically around the climate.


The stereo aboard is an older Kenwood unit that has a tape deck built in and an offboard CD changer. Unfortunately, both the CD changer and the tape deck are broken, and the radio has no bluetooth. Additionally, the unit only has one set of preamps which are currently run into an EQ that splits the signal and then feeds two Kenwood 4 channel amps. There are 12 speakers aboard of which 4 in the back I cannot figure out how to get turned on. There is no subwoofer, which not only rounds out the sound but also protects your other speakers when properly tuned, and I happen to have an old type-r 10" 1200w sub downstairs, so I ordered a Pioneer GM-D9601 which will drive the type r @1000w RMS @ 2ohms and has a remote knob to make adjustment easy. I have no idea yet where I will build the sub box, but it will be low, probably under the couch, haven't decided yet on ported or sealed yet but my inclination is towards sealed for the tightness and response as I favor rock over rap. Additionally, I have a DEH-80PRS kicking around which is an entry level SQ deck. I'll be rotating that in which loses the CD/Tape capability, but gives me a full set of higher voltage preamps, bluetooth, and the ability to run lossless music from an SSD, which is my preferred method of delivery. I need to explore options for audio integration as well, as the bus will have a computer system aboard for me to do my work/edit videos, and it would be nice to stream music directly as well as to connect the PS4. We'll also be exploring the option for outside speakers, as well as replacing the kenwoods as they break (foam surrounds.) Media will exclusively be streamed and the TV antenna/satellite will no longer be used. I also have no idea whether or not the bluetooth phone function will work in the bus although I am optimistic; I am running a similar system in an E-350 with the 7.3 and the noise cancelling does a good job of cutting the engine out of the call.


We need to look into navigation. I hate google maps. The guy that programs it better hope we never meet, because I'm going to toss him out of an office window and then scream "REROUTING!!!" after him. I know John used a windows-based Delorme product, but I am linux exclusive and need to investigate options/trucker GPS/etc. In the meantime, we'll pre-run routes as much as possible and stick to the common truck route.


I am losing transmission fluid. The bus took a gallon at purchase when checking fluids. I've added another half gallon during the 1500 mile trip. This seems excessive No visible signs of leaks and oil does not smell burnt. We'll be parking over cardboard and investigating further.


There is a rotational "click" in the front left wheel assembly. The center cap was removed from the bus when I purchased it. I assumed it had fallen off and yet to have been replaced. I did not hear the click initially, and subsequently later found the cap inside the bus which leads me to believe that John was investigating something after his last trip. We're on the hunt for a mechanic in Bangor to adjust/inspect accordingly.


There's a digi-panel engine monitoring/dummy alarm system which is nice, but reports low voltage at idle. This seems to be relegated to the panel itself, as the gauges read between 13.2 and 14.7 elsewhere. This is most likely a ground issue and I need to investigate. May also be due to the dead starting bank battery.


Immediate plans (for this weekend) are;


I) Biocide treatment/fuel bus/change filters/racor.

II) Remove the rest of the carpet from under the couch.

III) Install stereo.
IV) Haul everything out of the basement/stor-mor cabinets and make a complete inventory of spares/adapters/etc.




We are planning a short hop to Southern Maine with family for the weekend of the 17th. We'll need to get brakes inspected and will probably have a tech go over everything/grease etc.


The Galaxy DX99 is still at the shop waiting on parts. In the meantime, I'm going to dump my modified Ranger 2950 in there.



We will also begin brainstorming layouts and are currently on the hunt for a replacement range. There is a propane cooktop in there now along with a microwave, but we bake a ton and don't use a microwave, so researching small units that will still allow for high outputs. Additionally, we're currently toying with the addition of a solar maintainer panel that we can later add capacity as we develop our off-grid systems.



Select pics are currently on instagram and you don't need to have an account to view as far as I am aware. We will later be adding content to .com, facebook and youtube, but I need to film more and then devote a couple hours of hard coding to build a website. I will add pics here as well as I see things of interest.



Anyway, that's what's going on in this corner of the world. Thanks for reading, fair winds and fun adventures!
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'82 FC35 "Finn's Inn Express"


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