Passenger Lower Quarter Panel Removed

The passenger lower quarter panel was heavily pin-holed with rust and although I had previously attempted repairs here it was in need of replacement. This is another scenario where the replacement part is readily available in a high-quality reproduction at a reasonable price; so it wasn’t worth chasing pinholes in paper-thin metal when a far better repair could be made with less effort by replacing the whole section. Removing the lower quarter panel also gives access to the outer frame rail so that a minor dent in this area can be fixed; this will also allow priming/rustproofing of the interior surface.

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Miscellaneous Repairs Along Bottom of Cargo Door Area

Various repairs were made to the passenger side B and C pillars. The bottom of one of the cargo doors was examined more closely. Repairing the door bottoms with custom patches is possible but this area is available as a high quality repair section at a reasonable price. I’ve put the repair parts on order and when they arrive I’ll cut the inside of both door frames to the repair section size and weld in the repair.

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Lower Passenger Side B Pillar Repair

The bottom of the passenger side B pillar had rusted through. The rusted section was cut out, a custom piece was cut, bent, and then welded in. Also, the passenger side cargo floor repair section that I installed years ago was a generic repair piece that fit buses from the late 1950’s through 1967. Somewhere in that date range the size of the seat mounting plate shrunk. The repair piece had included the larger size plate, so I trimmed it to match the three remaining original plates.

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Front Bumper Overrider Repaired

The bottom of one of the front bumper overriders was rusted through. The overrider parts are what makes this the “US-only” version of the bus bumper; buses sold outside the US & Canada did not have the overriders. The overriders and bumper are in generally OK condition after the repair. Some dents will be smoothed later, but I do plan to leave some ‘character’ on the bumpers.

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Front bumper disassembly

I had been putting off disassembling the front bumper for a while but it had to be done so that it can be ready for primer during the next big primer phase. Every screw and bolt was solidly rusted to the bumper and the rubber rub strip was dry-rotted solidly into it’s aluminum trim piece.

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Pop-out Window Bracket Repair

Another part for the “why did they cut that off!?” category. For some reason the pop-out window bracket for the first window behind the driver’s side door had been chopped off. Luckily the same bracket is used on 3 other windows and I was able to create a paper template by rubbing over an existing bracket with pencil/paper. Once the new bracket was shaped, drilled, and tapped it was welded in place. The picture makes the grind marks look deeper & messier than they actually are; after the next primer coat the new bracket should look as good as the factory brackets.

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Bus Bubble v2.0

The bus was moved 90 degrees again to the other garage bay. The original bus bubble worked well but had the disadvantage of blocking both garage bays. The new-and-improved version only takes up one bay while staying roughly the same size inside.  Structure was also added at key points to prevent the sides from sucking in too much when the exhaust fan is turned on.

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Primer!

For the first time in this project something new is going onto the bus rather than coming off. (patch metal doesn’t count) Everything inside & out above the trim line was coated with epoxy primer. The epoxy primer creates a barrier between the bare metal and the surfacing layers and topcoats that will follow. Despite careful cleaning and tack cloth usage a good bit of lint/trash ended up embedded in the epoxy. This contamination was caused by the roughness of the bare metal pulling lint off of the cleaning clothes; since the epoxy is smooth this shouldn’t be a problem with the remaining coats.

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Spare Tire Bracket Installed

At some point in the bus’s past most of the spare tire bracket was removed, leaving only about 1/4in of the original bracket. A donor bracket was located and after a bit of prep work it was welded onto the left rear cargo wall. The position of the remains of the original bracket were used as a guide.

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Miscellaneous Metal Repair

Paint has been mostly stripped from above the trim line. The wire wheel found a few previously unnoticed weak spots which were repaired. The remaining pieces of the spare tire mount were carefully removed in preparation for a replacement that’s on the way.

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