Low594's Adventure Short Bus

Low594

Member
On the To Do List before San Felipe/May 2019....
-Install battery storage
-Install Sterling Charge Controller
-Install rear view camera system
-Install WeldTec Ocotillo Lift
-Install new tires
-Source & install cruise control steering wheel

Wish List
-Prerunner style front bumper w/skidplate
-Rear bumper (mix of Jeep style cargo and prerunner style; hauling 4 moto fuel jugs, mc ramp, etc)
-Window tint (cab and rear)
-Troubleshoot right mirror motor controls
 
Last edited:

Low594

Member
This crazy project is my daily driver and absorbing alot of my attention for the past 6 months...


2000 Subaru Baja SUS
-6" lift by SubieFish w/ Toyota Tacoma strut conversion using Bilstein 5100 struts
-Jeep TJ aftermarket bumpers
-Falken Wild Peak AT3W tires 235/75-15(29"/9.5-15)
and alot more!
 

Low594

Member
Ive been wanting cruise control for quite a while and with the upcoming trip to San Felipe now was the time to make it happen. Ive found a ton of info, but its been all across the board! This thread had the best info:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums/f9/adding-cruise-control-21304.html
On saturday, I drove an hour to a PickNPull, they had recently gotten a van conversion '99 E150. Several parts I potentially wanted (driver door electrics, door panel, carpet, etc.), none of those panned out, but it did have the cruise control wheel in better shape than my wheel. Mine leaves foams in my hands while driving, so at least I was getting a better wheel out of it! These wheels do not use a standard steer wheel puller, they use a gear puller and you also need a T50 socket. I couldnt detach the wheel from the column, since I had the wrong puller, which worked in my favor since the multi function was in better shape than mine. PNP charged me somewhere in the $75 range.
Today, I swapped the necessary clockspring, multifunction & steering wheel and took it for a drive. I actually wasnt expecting it to work since so many have had trouble, but it work and worked well! I believe since it started from Ford as a Cutaway Cab, they installed all of the parts except the clockspring and steering wheel, since the vehicle could have been used as an RV or other type.

Now that its working, Id like to test my theory and see if a leather wheel from a similar year Excursion or Expedition fits, looks like its just down to the splines!
 

Low594

Member
I picked up the bus from Bruces Tire in Fremont, where they installed the WeldTec Designs Ocotillo Cruiser 4" front kit, replaced all the steering components with new Moog Problem Solver parts, new brake pads and Falken WildPeak AT3W tires! It looks so much better and doesnt have the stinkbug stance anymore! It looks like we got 2.5"-3" of lift in the frontend, plus another 1.25" in tire! The tires were upgraded from 225/75-16(29") recaps to 235/85-16(31.7"). The passenger doors dont hit the curb anymore!




 

ricardo

Observer
You can build a small "A-Frame" and pivot it as high as possible on the back wall, then use a ATV winch to lift the bike, this way you can rotate the bike and enter the bus in "Reverse" this way you dream of the five bikes will be really easy..

Ps: I used to help doc Wong on his GS classes for many many years, I miss Hollister a lot, fun times.
 

Low594

Member
You can build a small "A-Frame" and pivot it as high as possible on the back wall, then use a ATV winch to lift the bike, this way you can rotate the bike and enter the bus in "Reverse" this way you dream of the five bikes will be really easy..

Ps: I used to help doc Wong on his GS classes for many many years, I miss Hollister a lot, fun times.
I hadn't thought about that, great idea! Won't be hard to build and could probably be done off the roof platform that I'm planning for!
 

ricardo

Observer
I hadn't thought about that, great idea! Won't be hard to build and could probably be done off the roof platform that I'm planning for!
I have build a few using windsurf mast and/or hanglider wing tubes, (Bambo will work too) since all the loads are on compression and the structure is already triangulated, they don't need to be heavy at all or have any gussets or rigid corners, even Ropes will do it.. (You can use the Rubber coupler of the windsurf mast with a small pocket on the rack (those not even need to be bolted since is under load)

the only problem is to find windsurfing mast when everybody Kite surfs..

Now...

A) you can use a fix line from the front of the bus to the top of the A-frame, but then the distance to the door is going to be afix (to far away I'm afraid..)

Option two, winch on the diagonal line so the A-frame moves forwards as you are lifting, but then you need another way to fine tune the lift of the bike.._depends in how tall she is and how to tie it to the rope

Option three "My favorite" Connect the winch to the A-frame, then drop two lines (with a "Spacer tube" so they don't get into your arms or the bike bars) to the side of the bike ramp and lift the ramp with the bike on it, always the same distance so you just roll it in, one man operation and listo..

ATV winches are really cheap and some of them even have a load rating of 800pounds if not more..

you can thank me by trying to climb that very step wall in front of the motocross track, I try like 8 times on my GS's and 950's , but never made it to the top..
 

Low594

Member
Saturday and Sunday, I was able to get alot of work done with the help of friends.
I dropped by an air conditioning shop and they helped diagnose the faulty AC Compressor Clutch as faulty. So I ordered a new compressor via Rock Auto along with a HD Green Belt and a 215amp Ambulance Alternator, original is supposed to be a 130amp.
I had all the cockpit windows tinted to 50% and the upper 6" of the windshield done with Limo tint.
Installed the OEM Ford frame mount battery box with an Interstate Group 65 Deep Cycle AGM, Sterling 12v/12v Battery Isolator/Controller, MicTuning Dual Battery Voltmeter and necessary wiring, which will support the Engel MT60 fridge.
Also installed a Boyo rearview camera and 7" monitor to function as a rearview mirror, instead of only as a reverse camera, that way I can see directly behind the bus while driving or parking.

Yesterday and today I spent a few hours after work stripping away excessive amounts of caulking and sealants used by the school district. Then I re-caulked the bad areas with Henrys TropiCool silicone caulking. I will touch up a few spots tomorrow and roll on the Henrys TropiCool roof coating to create a nice tight waterproof layer and add good insulating/reflecting barrier to the entire roof.
 

Low594

Member
On the To Do List before San Felipe/May 2019....
-Install battery storage
-Install Sterling Charge Controller
-Install rear view camera system
-Install WeldTec Ocotillo Lift
-Install new tires
-Source & install cruise control steering wheel

Wish List
-Prerunner style front bumper w/skidplate
-Rear bumper (mix of Jeep style cargo and prerunner style; hauling 4 moto fuel jugs, mc ramp, etc)
-Window tint (cab and rear)
-Troubleshoot right mirror motor controls
Been too busy working on this project and then travelling to San Felipe, Baja and neglected the updating....
All of these items and more, except the bumpers, happened before the trip!
-The single Group 65 battery can run the Engel MT60 fridge for 20+ hours, depending on the ambient temperatures and can easily freeze beer/liquids if not careful! I will be adding another Group 65 soon.
-Sterling Charge control was easy to install and does a great job!
-The rear view camera system(Boyo VTB301C/VTM7000S) was easy to install, had way more than enough cable and works great! We hooked it up to run fulltime with ignition, that way it functions as a rearview mirror would, not as a reversing camera. Between the 4 mirrors and the wide angle camera, there is alot of over lap of vision. Not only do I feel perfectly safe making lane changes, but I can parallel park in major cities, like Oakland, CA, with relative ease!
-All new front suspension components, WeldTec Ocotillo lift and Falken 32" tires went well with Bruces Tire in Fremont, CA doing the work.
-The cruise control was successful and cost roughly $75, sourced the cruise wheel and clockspring from a gas powered 1999 E150 van conversion at a local PickNPull. The only difficulty is that Ford uses a T50 bolt, not the standard nut to secure the wheel. Also, a normal steering wheel puller wont work, you need a 2 claw style gear puller.
-On the window tint, I just had the cab windows tinted to 50%, I felt the rear windows were factory tinted well enough.
-Right mirror controls were simply unplugged inside the mirror, easy fix!

Also, got 2 heavy coats of the Henrys TropiCool on the roof and only used 1/3 of the 5gallon bucket, so itll be getting thicker!
Had the A/C system diagnosed, bad compressor. New compressor and full charge (4.25 lbs of R134a) and it works great! Still need to go by a house A/C service shop for a recharge on the rear electric A/C unit, but it still blows cold.
Added a Shore Power exterior connection and a dual Uground outlet w/ GFCI and a (4) USB outlet. Blue Sea 12 ckt DC fuse box, dual usb outlet, cig socket and dual voltage meter.

Added a canvas curtain wall between the garage portion and passenger space to help with sound and A/C needs.

The trip went well, the bus averaged 12mpg, using cruise and maintaining speeds of 70-80mph, until we had to deal with traffic and or mountain climbs. We had to try and keep pace with the motos I was supporting, we did that successfully with the help of the large fuel tank. They ran ahead, but stopped every 100-125 miles for fuel. Sometimes we would stop at everyone of there stops, sometimes every other stop. The bus would only be hitting 3/4 tank after 2-3 of their stops! We would usually pull in during their refuel or at least during their cigarette break after fueling.

The border crossing went better than expected, due to rumors of bus conversions having difficulty. Mine is registered as a Cali Passenger plated and the one bus I know that was denied passage was Cali Commercial plated. It would have gone better it seems if I had seen the sign for RV/Bus lane, but I only got a light scolding. They searched the whole vehicle including the engine compartment. They checked thoroughly for vehicle reg on the bus and moto, large sums of money(excess of $10k US). They asked about alcohol, not concerned with the 12pack and 2 bottles of whiskey. They did take issue with the 5gallons of fuel inside the vehicle, but let me keep it. Future work will include jerry can holders on the rear bumper and maybe a gasoline tank under the floor one day!




On the way back, we stopped off at WeldTec to drop the core charged parts and they installed a Fox 2.0 steer stabilizer!
 
Last edited:

Low594

Member
Just thought Id share some useful information, that was difficult to find.
My aux/house battery (Interstate MT7) only has listings as 770 Cold Cranking Amps/990 Cranking Amps or 130 (RC) Min @ 25 amps. These numbers are not useful when trying to calculate device draw vs storage needs vs recharge rates, etc. After quite a few searches, I found:
Sciencing.com Amp/Hour Conversion
Theres a long multi step calculation or you just take the (RC) Min # and divide by 2.4

In my case with my single Interstate MT7 [(RC)Min# 130] has a Amp/Hour Rating of 54.2, which means a device that pulls 1 amp per hour will run for 54 hours. Or my main piece of equipment, an Engel MT-60 running at maximum (2 amp/hour) will run for 27 hours. That is until I get the second MT7 installed!
 
Last edited:
Top