Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic distractions

I don't like going more than a few days between posts, and its already been a week. I haven't been able to get much time with the bus, so I'm basically just posting an apology for not having anything to post. I'll touch on the little bit of work I did get done, some extra motivating camping plans, and finally some thoughts on my pop top.

Inter-cooler lower bracket
I did have about an hour this weekend, so I started working on the lower support bracket for the inter-cooler. Its not much to write about, honestly. Its a simple 1" flat bar cut about 8" long with a slow bend in it so there's about 2-1/2" of straight at each end. Because of the angle needed to match the mount-holes on the inter-cooler, this seemed to give the best alignment. The top-side will have 2 holes for the inter-cooler, and 3 on the side for riveting/bolting to the inside of the engine compartment. I discovered that my cheap carbon-tipped drill bits are starting to wear out, though. I'll be stopping at Harbor Freight or Lowes on the way home tonight to get some replacements. If time and light allow, I'll finish boring out the holes tonight, and maybe get it in-place.

Camping plans
Its that time of year when you are finally sick of the foul weather and start distracting yourself with Summer camping trip plans. For those that have large camping vehicle maintenance or repair work, this brings and extra added incentive to get-er-done. We already have a July trip planned, but this weekend, we started talking about another one... or two. My goal was to have the bus moving under his own power in time for Independence Day. This is still the goal, but he may need to be camping-trip-ready shortly thereafter. The extra motivation wasn't needed. More daylight is. Starting to feel a little stressed....

The 1972 Westy pop-top is the early-version of the slant-roof pop top. The luggage rack is over the rear tires and the available sleeping arrangement is a single narrow cot. On my bus, I have one extra added "feature" - the canvas has a 3' tear in it from top to bottom. When driving the bus, this doesn't make any difference. When camping the bus, though, this is a big deal. Bugs and rain easily enter, and especially annoy the boy sleeping in the upper cot. I have priced replacement canvas, and it isn't cheap. For decent canvas, its over $200, and the labor is still all yours. In the end, you still only have sleeping for one up top. The later Westy's have a full sized bed, so 2 people can sleep up-top. The ASI / Riviera pot tops (they go straight up) also have a full-sized bed that can fit 2 people. I am seriously considering purchasing a used Riviera pop top (with good canvas) as a replacement for mine. This does 2 things: replaces my bad canvas and gives my boys the penthouse together for camping. To be fair, would my bus still be a "westy"?

That's it for now. I'll be trying to finish the lower bracket tonight and maybe try to get some things done on the upper one this week. I have to re-visit the cooling system, deal with the charged-air lines and air filter, and then I'll be ready to deal with the electrical. All told, I could be doing electrical stuff before the end of February. That would be fantastic. I expect the next couple of weeks, though, to be full of Olympic distraction, though. There's just something about the Winter Olympics.

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