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14: School Bus Electrical Clean Up

Let me start by saying, I am not an electrician. My husband is not an electrician. We have some electrical experience, but never on a bus. We just never had the confidence because it was a new skill to learn more about. If we are going to have an even more amazing homestead one day, I need to know how electricity works on my temporary home. Old Chitty Bang lost about 30 pounds in unnecessary electrical wire! Thanks to a new and very knowledgeable friend, he got us squared away with removing things I didn’t have a clue what they were for. Thanks Robbie. You are the best….Around…and no one’s ever gonna keep you down…;)

Front flasher area Exposed
Front flasher area Exposed
Front Wires Exposed
Front Wires Exposed
Lots of wires to figure out
Lots of wires to figure out
All that wire!
All that wire!
Yup, this more organized too :)
Yup, this is more organized too, actually.
This  is more organized too...I know it doesn't look like it though!
This is more organized too…I know it doesn’t look like it though!
Now more clean!
Now more clean!
Even this wiring is cleaned up a lot! Don't look at the dirty floor! lol.
Even this wiring is cleaned up a lot! Don’t look at the dirty floor! lol.

And, of course, Murphy’s Law will always come into play…especially when you have no idea what you are doing. We broke the solenoid in the breaker panel that controls the side yellow lights (clip lights I believe is what they are called), and some other stuff (I told you I don’t know what we did in this process, lol. I just absorbed it). So we found one on ebay for $20 and got a new one. I do want to buy another for our “On the Road Equipment” box we want to make. Two is one and one is none…

Old Solenoid. Notice the little wire exposed at the top...a nut of a sort is supposed to go on that. Crab totally ripped that little B off.
Old Solenoid. Notice the little wire exposed at the top…a nut of a sort is supposed to go on that. Crab totally ripped that little B off.
And here is the brand spanking new one:) Pretty!
And here is the brand spanking new one:) Pretty!
Side by Side
A Solenoid Side by Side

We steadily worked on cleaning up the wiring and re-taping and re-looming everything…

Front Panel above driver cleaned up
Front Panel above driver cleaned up
The before and after of the mass part of the mess
The before and after of the mass part of the mess
A cleaned up breaker panel! I did not take a picture of the before, but if you ever have seen a bus panel...you would agree that this looks way better :)
A cleaned up breaker panel! I did not take a picture of the before, but if you ever have seen a bus panel…you would agree that this looks way better 🙂

I am so happy to say that this part is over. Although, we will be revisiting the electrical for the house part, I am happy to be past this specific part. Why? Because now that we finished that, we were able to move on to running the wires for the speakers, the radio, amp, back up camera and screen, and some LED lights for the exterior! Yay progress!!

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School Bus FINAL SEAL JOB FOR REAL THIS TIME

I have decided this never ending seal job of leaks will end this day! We went into the bus on a hard rain day and used chalk to mark all the spots that were leaking. We attempted to spray the bus with the hose to find any leaks, to no avail. So we have been waiting for hard rain storms to hit us the last few weeks (thank God we are not in a drought anymore!) so we can get a realistic view of what kind of leaks we are looking at. Almost all of the leaks came from the seal between the glass and the metal and was collecting in the corners of the windows, dripping down to the floor…eventually will cause rust issues and mildew in the walls if we don’t take care of it. And as our Sgt Crab says, Don’t do the easy wrong over the hard right. And I don’t want issues later *grumble* so here we go!

About to start the last of the sealing job!
About to start the last of the sealing job!
Crab getting down to business!
Crab getting down to business!
The grey looking seal on the glass is super old. So re-sealing these is really common sense.
The grey looking seal on the glass is super old. So re-sealing these is really common sense.
After using the 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane by Loc Tite. Yeah it is messy, but really I don't care. Our counters will actually be a little taller than the bottoms of the windows anyway, so I won't see it. And I can sacrifice some looks for a job well done.
After using the 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane by Loc Tite. Yeah it is messy, but really I don’t care. Our counters will actually be a little taller than the bottoms of the windows anyway, so I won’t see it. And I can sacrifice some looks for a job well done.
We also sealed in between each window to prevent any other leaks from appearing. We plan on painting this white anyway, or covering with trim to make it look all fancy schmancy. We will see though:)
We also sealed in between each window to prevent any other leaks from appearing. We plan on painting this white anyway, or covering with trim to make it look all fancy schmancy. We will see though:)
Don't forget the last and first windows on the edges! We also ran out of the white polyurethane and finished up with the regular polyurethane by loc tite, the stuff we used on the bolt holes on the floor.
Don’t forget the last and first windows on the edges! We also ran out of the white polyurethane and finished up with the regular polyurethane by loc tite, the stuff we used on the bolt holes on the floor.

After this, we waited a few days and used the hose to spray all over the bus. No leaks! But, then it rained really really hard one day and I ran out into the bus to make sure (who can recreate mother nature, really?) and *GASP* a few leaks! But they were only around the Emergency Windows (those are total crap anyway and will be covered inside and out with aluminum anyway). SO I just sealed every single crack on them, and problem solved! I did not even have any roof leaks this time! The only leak we have left is coming from the back door, and that is just as easy as replacing the rubber seal around the door. I have been told by my Skoolie thread on Facebook that I can get that stuff anywhere. So that will be next. Then we think we may just go ahead and cover the outside of the emergency windows with the aluminum b/c we have the rivot gun for it, we just need to get the rivots and sheet of metal.

Either way, we are still making slow progress….we did not drop off the edge of the world, I promise! Summer is here in Texas, and so is the heat…and a smaller bus budget so we can do some family stuff…The dream will continue! Thanks to everyone for continuing to follow and support us in this huge adventure of ours! Look for an update on our GoFund Me page I am creating if any of you would like to help us get moving on it too!

Thanks all and have an awesome day and I hope everyone is having a great summer!

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Previous Sealing Jobs On Bus

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11-13 Re-Do: Sealing School Bus Leaks Again

With all of the rain Central Texas has been getting, it really has allowed us to get some realistic ideas on if we did a good job with our caulking & foam. Leaks, Leaks, Everywhere!! Ok, they are not as bad as they once were. Since re-sealing the windows, roof, and sides; the leaks have been minimal…but still…I am ready to build. But, first things first…Where oh where could they be coming from…

Not what I wanted to see..LEAK 1
Not what I wanted to see..LEAK 1
UGH! LEAK #2
UGH! LEAK #2
Last One..Leak #3
Last One..Leak #3

Time to inspect. They were only on the passenger side of the bus, and it felt wet in the corners of the windows. There were wet spots on the ceiling on the left side only….

Some of the leaks are coming from the corners where the Great Stuff is.
Some of the leaks are coming from the corners where the Great Stuff is.
From the outside, I squished a piece of the Great Stuff and water came out like a sponge! It is definitely not fixing the leak problem..
From the outside, I squished a piece of the Great Stuff and water came out like a sponge! It is definitely not fixing the leak problem..

Lesson #24 in Bus Renovations…Don’t use great stuff on the outside of the windows. Solution? Darn tootin.

Apparently, it was absorbing water amd making its way through our newly sealed windows…I THINK NOT! We scraped the foam off on the outside only, and used the 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane (used on the windows) to really gob up the corners.

Def learned we are not professional caulkers ;)
Def learned we are not professional caulkers 😉 But, I don’t see any holes!
I do think that this will prevent any more rain or water from entering.
I do think that this will prevent any more rain or water from entering.

Next after fixing the windows, I needed to make sure the roof was leak proof. Completely leak proof. Or at least as close as I could get with my experience 🙂 The only thing I had not sealed yet was every single bolt and screw. I did the seams and a few of the bolts that looked “rough”. So, I headed back up to the roof and finished the job!

Using Premium Polyurethane (same as on floors) to cover each and every bolt/screw on this god forsaken roof!!
Using Premium Polyurethane (same as on floors) to cover each and every bolt/screw on this god forsaken roof!!
Using the last of the 2 In 1 Premium on the side roof bolts after running out of my other polyurethane.
Using the last of the 2 In 1 Premium on the side roof bolts after running out of my other polyurethane.

Ok. Final Drum Roll Please……..

I think this did it. Fingers crossed this did it. I really really hope this did it. LOL. Whatever, live and learn! I will keep everyone posted on if this fixed it! Since we are supposed to have great weather next week I think I will use the hose to find my leaks…ready to tackle and end this beast.

(***UPDATE 2019, POLYURETHANE and PAinting touch up paint on the body and rolling paint on the roof of the bus helped seal it. We have not had any leaks from the roof that we know of. We also check the roof every few months and caulk where it looks like it is cracking.)

At the end of the month (June 2015) we should be heading to get the electrical stubbed out, and then we will begin building…I hope!!

More Coming Soon….

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13: Skoolie Leaks and Our Attempts at Stopping Them

Stage 13: Sealing Exterior Sides and Roof

DAY 1

I started the roof seams with the original Polyurethane we used to caulk the floors. I love that stuff. I used my finger to fill the gaps after I placed the bead to give it a big thick layer. I noticed a few screws that may have needed some caulk, so I just did those too. I also brought corroseal with me, just in case there were any rust spots that needed tending to.

I made a freaking mess up there. LOL. And I did NOT wear any gloves. SO dumb. This is totally an art, and I am still learning, HA!
I made a freaking mess up there. LOL. And I did NOT wear any gloves. SO dumb. This is totally an art, and I am still learning, HA! Notice the screw on the top right, treated with corroseal.
One Re-Sealed Emergency Hatch and some seams.
One Re-Sealed Emergency Hatch and some seams.
This was the Only rust spot I found up there and it was on the edge of one of the emergency door hatches. I used Corroseal to convert and treat the rust first. Had a few screws with rusty tops, so I corrosealed those as well wherever I found them.
This was the Only “big” rust spot I found up there and it was on the edge of one of the emergency door hatches. I used Corroseal to convert and treat the rust first. Had a few screws with rusty tops, so I corrosealed those as well wherever I found them.
Ran out of the Polyurethane I bought for the holes on the floor and switched over to the 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane to finish the job.
Ran out of the Polyurethane I bought for the holes on the floor and switched over to the 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane to finish the job.
FINISHED! From front to back of roof. My helper on the 20 ft ladder:)
FINISHED! From front to back of roof. My helper on the 20 ft ladder:)
Finished Back to Front!
Finished Back to Front!

I ended up coming back up to the roof after getting more caulk and sealing all of the rusty screws I found as well as other screws where we saw water coming in at from inside of the bus. We had to stand in the bus while it was pouring rain to really see where everything was coming in at, then we sealed it.

WEAR GLOVES WHEN APPLYING POLYURETHANE CAULK/SEALANT! I still have this on my hands as I type. I wore gloves the next time I had to use the caulk gun. And I have been wearing gloves to handle food all week too, lol. LESSON LEARNED!
WEAR GLOVES WHEN APPLYING POLYURETHANE CAULK/SEALANT!
I still have this on my hands as I type. I wore gloves the next time I had to use the caulk gun. And I have been wearing gloves to handle food all week too, lol. LESSON LEARNED!

DAY 2

Sealing the side seams and anywhere else that appeared to need a fresh coat of caulk was really the task to accomplish here. So, Crab started on one side of the bus with our original Polyurethane choice (the type used for the floor holes) after a quick resupply from HD.  I started on the opposite side with a smaller tube of it, and then had to switch to the 2 in 1 polyurethane after I ran out. I call this Frankenstein/ChittyBang because she really looks funky right now. HAHA!

Close up of new seal.
Close up of new seal.
Some random screw holes covered with polyurethane caulk. Bondo would work well here too.
Some random screw holes covered with polyurethane caulk. Bondo would work well here too.
My Part of the bus caulked with LocTite 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane.
My Part of the bus caulked with LocTite 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane.
The Doors with a fresh seal!
The Doors with a fresh seal!
Crab re sealed the outer part of the back windows.
Crab re sealed the outer part of the back windows.
Driver Side sealed
Driver Side sealed
Passenger side sealed up!
Passenger side sealed up!

Now we are just waiting for it to rain so we can see how well we did!! We can definitely test it with a hose, but a real hard rain is definitely more realistic. I feel confident we fixed our leak problem!! All we need to do now to finish up our pre-build work is to do a quick clean out and one more coat of rustoleum on the floor to ensure we did not scuff up the paint while working on it.

Next week we will be buying the floor framing boards, insulation, and plywood! I can not wait!!

Stage 14: Paint the Floor…One More Time

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12: School Bus Leaky WIndows and Trying to Plug Them

Stage 12: Spray Foam on Windows

To really be sure we blocked any rain from getting in through the windows, we used some spray foam to really seal them.

We used Great Stuff PEST foam insulator in all the bottom holes on each side of the windows.
We used Great Stuff PEST foam insulator in all the bottom holes on each side of the windows.
We foamed the outside of the windows on the bottom corners.
We foamed the outside of the windows on the bottom corners.
From the inside you can see the foam made its way through the gap (with a slight over flow) sealing it completely.
From the inside you can see the foam made its way through the gap (with a slight over flow) sealing it completely.

We decided to seal all around the Emergency Exit Windows because these are so loosey goose and we saw a few areas of daylight shining through. We positioned these windows when we were re-sealing where the floor plans have a closet or something covering the entire window. We will eventually rivot a sheet of aluminum over the outside of it (before we paint) and insulate it on the inside with polyboard, then cover it with our interior siding we will use. This definitely made Chitty Bang an Ugly Duckling, but I know its temporary:)

We decided to seal all around the Emergency Exit Windows because these are so loosey goose. We positioned these windows when we were re-sealing where the floor plans have a closet or something covering the entire window. We will eventually rivot a sheet of aluminum over the outside of it (before we paint) and insulate it on the inside with polyboard, then cover it with our interior siding we will use.
Emergency Windows from the Outside on Drivers Side.
What it looks like on the inside of the Emergency Exit Window after foaming it with Great Stuff from the outside. Check for sunlight shining through for a safe measure!
What it looks like on the inside of the Emergency Exit Window after foaming it with Great Stuff from the outside. Check for sunlight shining through for a safe measure!
No Side Panels, No Insulation, Re-sealed and foamed windows, and sealed screws on walls.
No Side Panels, No Insulation, Re-sealed and foamed windows, and sealed screws on walls.

This was the easiest job ever. I’m going to miss this 🙂

Next Up,

Stage 13: Sealing the Exterior Sides and Roof

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