Monday, March 24, 2014

A Couple Cards Short

Totally focused on bus stuff today.  I spent the weekend loving on the bus, mostly focused on cleaning.

Interior Plan, or Lack Thereof
In Setting and Resetting Expectations, I set a few goals for the Spring, including getting the front doors sealed up.  Before going too far down that path, I should have a plan.  Well, I really don't.  Still, there's lots of pre-work, so I focused on that while I thought about how this should go.  First, it's gotta be clean.

Goof Off and Rub
The inside skin of both front doors were gummy, and dirty.  Years of poor sealing plastic film allowed moisture in, destroying the original door cards, and leaving nastiness on the steel.  So, I started my Saturday with a tin of Goof Off and a roll of paper towels.  The driver door took 2 hours of effort, but the results are fantastic.  While it doesn't look like it was freshly painted, it does look better than most of the inside of my bus had looked up to that point.  The passenger door wasn't as bad, and only took about 90 minutes of effort to get to a better state.
native state
While taking the passenger door bits apart to clean up, I discovered a few things that were not on the driver door.  First, around the window crank, a small piece (about 1-1/2 inches by 3 inches) of foam was glued to the door.  I figured that was to keep drafts out.  Then, between the crank handle and the foam, I found a small plastic ring (pn 111-837-595A).  Our friends at and BusDepot have them.  Neat.  I'll need another one of those for the driver side.  Maybe I'll get a new crank too, since my driver's one is kind of broken.

More Sound Dampening
note black mat near front
foil-insulation in the middle
I had previously put vibration matting into the driver door and a few other areas around the bus (see More Sound Killing).  I have used 2 different types, they work pretty much the same, and they do work.  When I did the driver door a few years ago, I still had some of the foil-backed stuff.  By the time I got to the passenger door this weekend, though, I only had the McMaster-Carr stiff rubber sheet.  Still, I covered over half the steel with one or the other.  On top of that, I glued closed-cell shiny-foil insulation I got at Home Depot (like this) with spray epoxy-glue.  While it doesn't really have an R-value, it is effective at keeping noise down, and keep direct sun-heat down.

Roll Your Own Door Card?
Once the doors were clean, and sound-proofed, all that remained was applying the plastic and putting in the cards, right?  Well, what if you don't have any cards?  Or, in my case, just one ratty card?  Back to Home Depot for a 3' x 8' sheet of 1/8" MDF.  I had an adventure getting the sheet into the Jetta, but I'll go into that another day.  I simply laid the sheet on the garage floor and traced my ratty old card with a pencil.  With my Dremel, I cut along the line.  I should have used a different attachment, but I got it cut, and the primary holes (door pull, window crank & latch) created.  It took me about an hour, but I still need to place the mounting holes.  I could buy a pair of pre-cut MDF cards from BusDepot for $55 plus shipping (link here).  In the end, it will cost me more in time, but just barely.  I think the numbers really become interesting when I look at all of the missing interior bits.  BusDepot offers the full set of MDF for $200 plus shipping (link here) and shipping to the PacNW is quoted at only $15 by their site.  Compelling, but that shipping amount couldn't be right.  I may have to wait while I pull together the cabbage to do the full set.  Even then, the full set doesn't have bits for the sides in the storage area, so I'll be making my own with the leftover MDF I got at HomeDepot.

That's about all I have time for today.  I drove the bus to work today, and he ran like a champ.  The rains return tomorrow, but today, we can smile in the sunshine.  Thanks for following along...

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