Later in the week, we tackled Stage 6 of Operation Chitty Bang, which was Removing the Ceiling Panels and the Fiberglass Insulation. I don’t know which part has been the most strenuous so far, the seats, the floor, the sanding, or this one. Most of the screws came out with a drill gun without a problem, but others needed to be banged/pried out with two hammers and brute strength 🙂 I let my professional Grunt tackle that part if it came to it! The panels were sharp on the edges and heavy. We wore gloves to help handle them when we got them down and to chuck them out of the back of the bus. I definitely recommend wearing shoes/boots here too as it can slide over your foot while pushing/kicking it out the door. We were able to toss the panels later on into our dog kennel cage area where we have been storing the other scrap metal. When you have kids/animals, someone/something will get hurt if you have sharp crap hanging around. That is just the way it is!! 🙂 LOL
I forgot to take a before pic of the roof, but you can find some pics in my previous posts with the roof in it.
After the panels came out, I grabbed two big totes we weren’t using, and brought them aboard the Chitty Bang. We pulled each piece of insulation out and stuffed them into the totes for easier clean up. Holy Cow did I regret not wearing long sleeves! We also wore masks to prevent breathing in the fiber glass particles.
Some of the insulation stayed stuck to the ceiling, so Crab decided to sand it down. We are thinking of painting the ceiling with an radiant barrier paint. I hear Hy-Tech makes a good one, but I need to do more research on that one. Here is a before sanding pic:
After we finished everything to do with insulation, we used the leaf blower again and blew the bus out really well. We figured we might as well get all the itchy stuff out while we were already covered in it! I definitely wanted to be done with this project ASAP!! It took all afternoon, but it is completed!
Next will be Stage 7…..Not sure what we will be doing next though. There are a couple of things we can do here at our homestead, like paint the exterior of the bus, replace the flashers with clear LED lights (got this idea from the Skoolie Converters Facebook page to use at night at tour camp site!) or paint the ceiling with radiant barrier. We are currently trying to trade for a nice welder right now so we can fill the holes on the floor instead of using bondo (we were told the floor can still rust from underneath where the holes were b/c bondo is not water repellant). But our electrician friend and Jimbo live near each other (about 5 hours from us) and they both know welders who will trade for work (I LOVE BARTERING!) so we are trying to figure out if we should just go ahead and go there with Chitty Bang to get the welding done, and the electrical stubbed out. We want to have the electrical done before we put up the ceiling/flooring insulation and frame it all out. So, I will post once we decide what the next step is!
Later that night, after removing the rest of the flooring, heaters, and upper side panels, we decided to go ahead and give Chitty Bang a good Scrub Down so we could tell where the dirt ended and the rust began. We blew it out with our leaf blower, bought a big work light and some scrubbing brushes (broom with hard bristles and a handheld hard bristle brush), made a soapy bucket with Dawn Dish Soap, and went to town.
We kept our big workshop fan blowing to help dry it faster, and we would clean in sections and then wash down with the hose. Crab used our broom with the squeegee on it to help move the water out of the back of the bus. After just a couple of hours, Chitty Bang was as good as new, and we had a better idea of where our Rust was.
Stage 3 of Operation Chitty Bang was finishing up the prior day’s floor demo and tearing out some lights/speakers/panels that run along the top sides of the interior. This was the day we actually removed the heaters (did a little research on skoolie.net for heater help) and looped the coolant hoses under the bus.
We finished the side panel removal where the speakers and lights were. This also exposed the fiberglass insulation that was underneath and under the roof. That project will prove to be a little more difficult than anticipated…
The hoses for the heaters went through a hole between the floor and behind the driver’s seat (something we will need to seal soon!). So we followed the lines under the bus and “looped” them the only way that seemed possible by cutting the hoses much shorter, and reclamping them to the pump they were connected to. I am sure we can take out more of the hoses and maybe even that pump, but that will be a project when we are with our diesel mechanic friend!
We let the bus run for about 20 minutes after we looped it and refilled the coolant to make sure all of the gauges stayed in the green, and no codes came up on the scan gauge reader. This helped us to be sure we did it right:)
Nuts and Bolts, Nuts and Bolts, We Got Lots of Screws!!
Yes, we are totally keeping all of these treasures because you know how it goes on a homestead. You can always re-use it!! Even if it’s broke, you can still try to fix it or use it in some other way. Or you sell it and make some money off of it:)