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  #1  
Old 03-09-2016
JMorton JMorton is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Antioch
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Default Retro's Survey

Well, Retro and I made it home a few days ago and I immediately resumed cleaning to the point where I could conduct a damage assessment / needs survey and start thinking about the projects needed to restore and update Retro. I took a bunch of pictures and will share some of them here as well as outlining some of the initial ideas that I have.

First picture shows the forward cab area. The dash will eventually be re-designed and rebuilt. All painted surfaces will be restored. We will probably end up installing new driver / co-driver seats with shoulder belts.
A combination of analog gauges, video screen(s) and microcontroller based control systems (arduino, rasberry pi etc.) will be designed and installed.

Second picture shows the jacknife couch. Will be replaced. Was covered with rodent droppings and is badly stained. Considered contaminated and would probably cost as much to rebuild as to replace. Obviously the floor covering will be replaced also. Probably not carpet. I am leaning toward some kind of wood or laminate. Ease of care, looks nice.

Third is the mini-sofa, considered same as main sofa. Rather than replacing this, we may build a storage / entertainment center with a flat screen that lifts up in front of the window for use.

Image 8 is the existing cabinetry aft of the mini-sofa. This includes a window style air conditioner, a closet and a propane heater as well as some cupboards and drawers. One idea is to modify this - probably removing the AC and install a residential refrigerator. I am a little concerned about the battery bank required to run the refer and the solar power system required to keep things running when boondocking. Comments?

Foruth is the dinette and aft kitchen area. We think we will cut the width of the dinette back to match the closet aft of it. This will increase the aisle in the kitchen making it a little easier to work in. This will also help with the next idea....

Fifth is looking forward. The bathroom does not stick out into the aisle as much as the wall forward of it. I think I want to stretch the wall of the bathroom out into the aisle 2-3 inches so it matches the wall forward of it. By cutting down the dinette this will not create a pinch point in the walkway.

Six shows the very narrow toilet area in the bathroom. I am not a very narrow person.

Seven is looking aft into the bedroom. The water damage in the lower right corner is apparent, as is the damage under the curbside window (it was not that bad, but I decided to poke at it with the vacuum cleaner wand) All cabinetry will be carefully removed as will the bed framing and water tank. New paneling will be installed on the walls all the way round. Wiring will be installed for rearview camera, backup lighting upgrade and Ham radio antennas. I will probably either put empty conduit in place or install additional wiring for future use. Wire is pretty cheap.

Nine shows the bedroom AC on the rear wall. I may keep that there, it does give a kind of retro-funky appearance to things. Or, I may rip it out and make the cabinetry uniform, and install a roof type AC unit (as I will probably do in the living room)


Roadworthiness Issues:

Radiator needs to be rodded out & tested.

Possibly adding a couple of additional small radiator fans in areas not covered by existing fans.

Headlight adjusters are broken, need to be fixed. Originals are riveted in, but it looks like I could drill the rivets out and put some readily available screw in ones in their place.

No parking brake installed. Was removed by a PO. May have to have a custom fab, or possibly buy a used transmission that still has one installed.
(there is a Mico hydraulic brake lock installed, it works, but I always chock the wheels when stopping for any length of time or on non-level surface)

Brakes lights not working

Various marker & other lights not working

Forward fuel tank / pump contaminate with old fuel, will drain, flush and possibly replace pump (pump seems not to work). This is required to be able to try to start the generator as well as doubling the range.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Other issues / questions

There is rust on the body in a couple of small spots. (last picture) What is the consensus of the best way to treat this? I am thinking masked soda blasting to get the surface rust off, then re-painting, but will that stop the rust or do I need to treat the metal with something before painting? If the rust goes too deep I can imagine that I should weld new sheet metal over the treated spot (or hole if it is that bad). Guidance on this will be appreciated.

I have not really dug into the wall enough to see the complete construction picture. I am imagining some kind of furring strips between the metal ribs and the wood paneling. Is this the case? Any description of the wall construction and tips for opportunities to improve insulation and sound blocking in the walls is welcome.

The Jealosie (sp?) window mechanisms do not all work properly, are these rebuildable? I know I can get new windows in the $200-300 range depending on size, but the old fashioned ones will help keep the retro look and feel.

I am hoping not to have to pull the kitchen apart, but may end up deciding I need to do that, depending on the condition in the wall areas that are not obviously water damaged. I may use a borescope to look inside the walls in a few hidden-ish spots to survey.

The power system gets a complete rebuild - 12 V LED lighting throughout, new separate house battery system, converter, inverter, fuse panels etc.

Thanks in advance for any comments and suggestions. At this point I am still blind enough not to be deterred, after all, this is a FREE Bluebird, right?

Jim
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Jim and Virginia Morton
Antioch, Ca
1967 30FCSB "Retro Active"
1988 PT 40 "Silver Shadow"
88 Jeep Cherokee "Indy"
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2016
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dackerman dackerman is offline
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Default

Jim,

I'm looking forward to following the transformation. Keep the WOG in the loop.

Thanks!
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2001 LXI
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  #3  
Old 03-09-2016
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DTW1086@cox.net DTW1086@cox.net is offline
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Got any pics of the outside?
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1980 FC 31 SB

THE SHORT BUS
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2016
Bob Johannesen Bob Johannesen is offline
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Default

Great project, JIM! Have fun!


.
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1991 WLWB "Seldom Blue"
1978 FC "Smell The Roses Now" SOLD...Costa Rica
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2016
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tulipvendor50 tulipvendor50 is offline
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Default Retro's Survey

Jim:
For the jealosie windows, check out FGRV.com.

A lot of the small fiberglass units use these windows and have all sorts of fixes and places you can get parts.
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1972 Boler "Sad Shack"
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2016
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skywalker6582 skywalker6582 is offline
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Vintagetrailers.com has a lot of parts for windows and cabinets like that. Got good service from them on parts for the Avion trailer I used to have. Good luck with it!
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'86 PT38 "Eagle's Rest"
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2016
JMorton JMorton is offline
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Default Thanks for the pointers

I will check these vendors out. Heading out to work on Retro now.

I read up on ospho and the POR15 systems for dealing with rust, so it seems like that may be in hand, once the rain stops and I can remove the tarps of shame.
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1967 30FCSB "Retro Active"
1988 PT 40 "Silver Shadow"
88 Jeep Cherokee "Indy"
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Old 03-10-2016
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skywalker6582 skywalker6582 is offline
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Default Correction on vendor info

Correction on vendor source for window and cabinet hardware. It's vintagetrailersupply.com. Sorry -- The grey matter ain't what it used to be.
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2016
JMorton JMorton is offline
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Default More Pics from survey



These are from January down in Southern California. Things have changed a little since then - the split-rim steel wheels on the back are gone. The steel wheels from the front are the inner wheels on the back, and used Alcoas are the outer rear and front wheels now. A variety of budget new and good used tires are on and the rig is driveable - I drove it from the L.A. area to the S.F. Bay area along US 101.

I will take some more outside pictures of the rig the next time I move it out from behind the fence.
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Jim and Virginia Morton
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1988 PT 40 "Silver Shadow"
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2016
NickelDance NickelDance is offline
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That is one cool-looking bus! Congrats! Looking forward to following along. She has great bones!
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1982 FC33SB
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