converting #4, heater removal, patching and painting

bus work is going well, just slower than expected, as it seems to go. the past week i finished all the grinding, and sanding the hood/front of bus. finally pulled out the heater and that sure was satisfying. almost filled a 12kg capacity bucket with coolant. i was able to reuse both an elbow and a piece of curved plastic sheathing from the original system, which saved a me a lot of trouble as it turned out to be not too easy to find 1″ elbows anywhere. the one plumbing store i found that carried them had none in stock. i wanted metal ones, but since there weren’t any readily available, i figured the plastic one that was attached to the heater was fine. the second photo shows the end result (temporarily held up off the floor with the seatbelt). i’ll probably tuck this in behind a cabinet once i build one. after the heater was out i went to work on patching all of the holes left by the seat-bolts and the nails that held the plywood down. bondo seems to work pretty amazingly, i’m quite happy with the end result. i’ve never used it before, it sure sets fast, i had to speed through application once i had it mixed with the hardener cream. patched a little rust hole in the rear of the bus with scrap metal and bondo, and for the main large hole at the front i decided on PL premium. the bondo would’ve set too fast for me to be able to get the huge patch on.

for the bus to be insured in manitoba (as something other than a school bus) i needed to remove the front and rear flashing lights and paint the front and back of the bus any colour but yellow (all the school bus signs needed to be removed as well, but the school division kindly did that for me). i used patches of sheet metal that i cut out from the scraps i pulled out of the bus prior, which was awesome. there was tin in the front dividers that kept the kids from flying into the front of the bus, and some tin housing around the coolant hoses where they ran along the floor. i also used a rivet gun for the first time! that was FUN! probably mainly because riveting those patches to the front of the bus was instant gratification compared to spending three days grinding away at rust. i sure am glad THAT’S done.

the floor and front of bus are now basically complete, so tomorrow i can hopefully extricate it from it’s parking spot and take it for a spin around the block. both to turn it around to access the rear of the bus to paint, and because i want the coolant to circulate. when i refilled it after removing and draining the heater i put in about 6 litres less than i took out, but i can’t add more cause it’s full. so i’m hoping a drive will get it all moving so i can add more. i am excited to finally drive it again.IMG_2966IMG_2973IMG_2982IMG_2991IMG_2992IMG_2994IMG_2995IMG_2997IMG_2998

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