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bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/19/21 11:31 a.m.

So anyway.... I don't know where the red wire goes.

 

 

 

I wanted to Remove the engine operation components of the wiring but they were inextricably linked to some of the house components. For example the generator remote start was in the same bundle as the Speedo. It looks like the entire dash wiring system was custom bult with wires threading over, around and through other bundles. And lots of mistakes made along the way judging by the number of redundant butt connectors.So eventually I just had to start snipping.

I did discover why the front heaters and a few other things did not work.

 

I wonder what happened here back in 1981?

 

I am jumping ahead a bit but I did get the rear suspension buttoned back up.

I replaced the spring brake chambers, hoses and air bags and also converted the drum brakes to automatic adjusters. You would think that by 1981 you would not need to deal with setting up your own brakes but on a truck that was still the way it was. Automatic slack adjusters were a fantastic and not to be trusted new development. On the fossil they were particularly hard to get to so I was happy to put that job behind me. You can see the new ones peeking out here.

 

And I built a new five inch frame to lift the back of the bus to match the front. I still have a crosssmember to build and bolt in but the worst is over.

And here it is bolted and welded back into place.

And wheels back on and I dug out my torque wrench to give the nuts 500 foot pounds.

I did not have the square inner nut socket so I made my own.  Most of the commercially available ones are one inch drive so now I have a 3/4 drive inner bud socket which suits my biggest impact and my big torque wrench.

And that brings me up to date. The rear suspension was a lot of work and a lot of lying on my back lining things up and threading bolts into impossible locations, so the photo taking suffered a bit. Not that it is great to begin with. 

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
3/19/21 11:36 a.m.

I love this build thread so much. Thank you for sharing this adventure! 

That wiring though...I'd nuke that from orbit and rewire the whole thing. It's the same amount of work, but a lot less frustration. It will cost a bit in new materials... As an added bonus, you get the confidence that it isn't a butt-spliced mess of mystery and hope. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/19/21 11:49 a.m.

In reply to Mezzanine :

I am flopping in the whole Freightliner wiring harness and dash. I have absolutely no desire to keep any of the old stuff. I will have to tie the house components back in but I can run them all to a separate bus bar and go from there. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/19/21 11:55 a.m.

The reason for tackling the wiring is that I am tired of crawling around underneath and I wanted to get started on something more interesting. I have to work out a pedal arrangement and also a clutch linkage and the wiring was in the way. My plan is to build a firewall which will cut down on noise and drafts and give me something to hang the pedals from. This is the Freightliner firewall I saved.

I plan to hack it up now and bolt parts of it into the Fossil.  I am thinking about building an air operated clutch but only if the mechanical linkage is too m tuch trouble to fit.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/3/21 8:59 p.m.

So I now have a three pedal bus. 

 

The seat is a new leather air seat. I paid $100.00 for it at Peterbilt because it was surplus. One of the perks of being friends with the service manager. But now I need to pay the going rate for the matching one and it is $1200.00...

I moved the steering assembly over about four inches. Bluebird used a pair of electric sofas with a homemade air slide so the seat can be slid toward the wall for access, and then slid back in front of the steering wheel for driving. I did not want to try to add a slide to my new seats so I just so I am bolting the new ones down permanently, but over a bit. 

I built a new 22 gauge firewall to attach the pedal assembly, and also to cut down on drafts and noise. 

And rebuilt the air brake plumbing.......

Built a new bracket and installed the power steering reservoir with a new filter and new hoses....

I used the Freightliner reservoir which is twice the size of the old Bluebird unit and does not require getting a wrench and flasklight  out to check the level.

 

 

 

 

And I aired up the front suspension just for fun to see how it would look.

 

Definitely looks like it has a little lift!

Now on to the wiring harness and dash. Getting closer.....

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/3/21 9:09 p.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

So I now have a three pedal bus. 

 

The seat is a new leather air seat. I paid $100.00 for it at Peterbilt because it was surplus. One of the perks of being friends with the service manager. But now I need to pay the going rate for the matching one and it is $1200.00...

No no no no.  You paid $650 per seat, which is an almost 50% savings!

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/3/21 9:49 p.m.

That is true. My wife will not be happy to find she is losing an armrest. 

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/3/21 10:15 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

Every time I come here, I am humbled. This is some good, good stuff. I really need to see your bus in person when you're done. Just the best. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/3/21 10:56 p.m.

In reply to jh36 :

I am a hacker in comparison to some of the people here. This stuff is all big drill bits and welding. But thanks!

matthewmcl (Forum Supporter)
matthewmcl (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
4/4/21 9:26 a.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

I replaced the spring brake chambers, hoses and air bags and also converted the drum brakes to automatic adjusters. You would think that by 1981 you would not need to deal with setting up your own brakes but on a truck that was still the way it was. Automatic slack adjusters were a fantastic and not to be trusted new development.

Back in about 2000 I was working with a guy who had previously been at a company designing new brakes for OTR trucks.  The theory being, build a better mousetrap...  They made significantly better brakes than what were on the trucks at the time, but they had not done the market research.  They took their new brakes to the trade shows and were met with, "We have been using these brakes for 30 years, why would we want something better?" Even now, I can't quite grasp that mindset, but there you go. 

You are making a truly awesome rig.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/15/21 10:01 a.m.

I just realized it has been a while since my last update. 

Let's see....

Built an air powered clutch because the mechanical linkage was going to be problematic to run back to the bell housing. The added benefit is that I can choose how much pedal effort I want by changing springs. The downside is that air assist does not seem very common because it makes for jerky clutch action. But I forged ahead anyway because it was a fun addition.

I bought an air cylinder and built a bracket for it.

I initially installed it under the floor pushing the clutch arm, but after screwing with that for a while I changed my mind and bolted it to the  side of the motor above the ECM.

 

To supply air I used spring loaded hand valve from a Freightliner that is normally used to apply the trailer brakes independently. It is pressure balanced so that a little application gives a little air and the moment the valve stops opening the air flow stops. And as soon as the valve starts to close the air is dumped. Playing with the action it seems to control the clutch quite well, but we shall see. I used a funky heim joint arrangement to connect the valve to the original mechanical clutch arm, because I did not want to modify the arm in case I return to full mechanical, and also because the radius of arc was different for the valve compared to a full clutch application.

And I added a couple light springs on a bracket to give a little clutch feel. Easy to add progressive or heavier springs if I feel the urge.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/15/21 10:18 a.m.

I finished off the passenger side firewall and built the start of the double wall doghouse. I had to make a bump out for the throttle because there is very little room between the steering box and motor, but I can work the pedals with my boots on so it should be fine wearing flip flops.....

I used fire resistant foam between the panels for some sound deadening and to hopefully prevent any drumming. I also saved all the mass loaded vinyl from the Freightliner to glue on at some point.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/15/21 10:27 a.m.

And lastly I dropped the front axle again to add some castor wedges. I want the Fossil to track as straight as the highway trucks I have driven which it certainly did not previously. I know a lot of the wander was from a pounded out Panhard rod bushing, but even without that detail Wanderlodge's are not known for their road manners. When I had the axle out initially I measured the factory castor at 1.5 to 2 degrees. All the trucks I have owned have been in the 4 to 6 degree range so I added 3.5 degree shims. 

And now the front axle is bolted in permanently.

 

And you are up to speed! This weekend I plan to finish bolting in the radiator and charge air cooler and install a transmission cooler.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/15/21 10:34 a.m.

Here is one of our ducks who thinks she is a chicken.

11GTCS
11GTCS HalfDork
5/15/21 5:32 p.m.

Looking great sir, love the air assist clutch.  You shouldn’t have any trouble keeping up with traffic with the new power and gearbox.

mblommel
mblommel Dork
5/15/21 6:00 p.m.

I have no knowledge about 18 wheeler mechanicals so I have a dumb question: why would you use pneumatic instead of a hydraulic cylinder to activate the clutch?

 

I'm really enjoying this build!

Hammeringman
Hammeringman New Reader
5/15/21 7:26 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

Now, all you need is a turkey and your all set.laugh

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/15/21 7:37 p.m.

In reply to Hammeringman :

I think we all know who the turkey is, and if there is any doubt my wife will let you know as she sees her summer holiday slipping away.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/15/21 7:40 p.m.

In reply to mblommel :

The bus has an air system for the brakes, suspension, seats, tilt steering, and a few other uses so it was very easy and also cheap. I do have hydraulics as there is a stand alone system for the leveling jacks but that would have been a lot more expensive.I have about $100.00 into the air setup.

edwardh80
edwardh80 Reader
5/25/21 8:58 p.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

And lastly I dropped the front axle again to add some castor wedges. I want the Fossil to track as straight as the highway trucks I have driven which it certainly did not previously. I know a lot of the wander was from a pounded out Panhard rod bushing, but even without that detail Wanderlodge's are not known for their road manners. When I had the axle out initially I measured the factory castor at 1.5 to 2 degrees. All the trucks I have owned have been in the 4 to 6 degree range so I added 3.5 degree shims.

Is that why they are called Wanderlodges? Steering is just a suggestion? 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/26/21 12:00 p.m.

In reply to edwardh80 :

I am not sure what came first the name or the wander, but it certainly is a running joke among owners. 

I am realizing I have now ruined my winter and spring, and soon to ruin my summer, so the name of the thread is no longer valid. However, it is moving ahead and I am getting down to the fun stuff. I am currently installing a funky dash mounted shifter and leveling jack controls. Pics to come. 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
5/26/21 2:50 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

It's ok, it's not like we can go anywhere for another month.

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/26/21 3:38 p.m.

Summer sucks and is too hot to enjoy camping. So, seems like a good time to finish so you can enjoy fall!

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/26/21 4:46 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

That is true. Quick to take freedoms and slow to return them.  I am more or less obeying the rules but cases are plummeting, everyone I know has at least one shot, and they are talking September. I don't want to get political but come on.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
5/26/21 6:55 p.m.
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