Buszilla II has lost its top! 🙂
Over the past week or two post-SOAK* we have been working like crazy to get the articulated floor/bellows section built. First on the list was to “drop the deck” over the engine compartment area to allow an easier pass-through to the rear bus (the more mods the better…right?) The edges of the floor will be boxed in (allowing for air flow from the vents) about 4-6 inches off the top of the engine. Covering this will be a removable (by screws) panel for serious engine work (removal, serious failures, etc). The regular access hatch will be in the middle/rear of this panel to allow for easy quick access to oil dipstick, filler, and check the fan for debris. We will be removing the rear hatch from the back of the bus, so no more easy access there. 🙂
Once this floor build is complete, we will start spanning the gap with some sort of rotatable/flexible floor and then bellows up and over the sides/top. The bellows will likely have a frame of 1/2 EMT conduit (thank you James Molloy!) to allow it to “mostly” hold its shape while flexing/turning/etc.
Street legal vehicle lighting has been finished on the bus. A 7-pin commercial truck trailer plug/socket was fitted to the rear of the front bus to allow for future “disconnection” in case of need. 7-wire multi-conductor was run to the back and landed on a terminal strip. From there it breaks out to the individual lights/marker lights. Also fitted was two mid-ship lights (amber) which act as both a running light as well as a turn signal indicator. Very slick. The whole side of the bus flashes when turning. Makes it easy to see indicated turns.
After changing out the AFM on the 2.0L, things are running much better. The clutch has started to behave and no longer crashes gears (woo!). The battery is going to be moved mid-ship under seating rather than in the hot engine compartment (which is going to be too small to get it in/out anyway). It’s old location will probably be filled by a commercial grade air filter setup that we are fitting in place of the factory paper element filter. The air intake (if even needed on playa) will thus be much higher up (inside the side vent) so hopefully less playa will be ingested.
Rear torsion arms on the back of the front bus need to be bumped up a couple notches. This will bring the ride height back to stock as well as even up the roof lines. The load on the rear axle when not fully loaded with people is similar to a large load of camping gear, so no component should fail with a slightly increased torsion tension. Fully loaded, everything will be smashed to the bump stops anyway.
We considered putting spring shocks (helper shocks) on the middle axle, but after a failure in my 1974 Riviera of the factory shock mount, we decided to avoid that situation and just do it all with the torsions.
Below are some photos of a couple friends of ours that came over and helped cut the project up! Thanks Tony and Nasim! (you can kick me if I spelled that wrong)
Parts we are looking for:
- Baywindow Bus (later) sliding door parts (upper support and track slider in middle)
- Baywindow Bus (later…not wide-5) rear brakes setup (need the hub and drums…got some of it).
- Batteries for the electric drive.
- Electric Drive Parts (solenoids…controller?…stuff)
- Help 🙂
That’s all for now folks! Check back in later for more.
On the personal side of the world, Heather and I are moving houses so work on the art vehicle might be a bit sporadic when we can work on them, but we’ll try to keep it updated.