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Tripz Eagle 10 project

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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:56 am


Vinny, when I read your first post yesterday, I went into a funk. My picture of the situation was that an uninformed person had made a quick purchase and had no concept what they were getting into in terms of work, money and time. I really pictured a thread like a few we have had where folks jump in and do a bunch of work and then, for whatever reason, offer the unit for sale for a terrible loss. None of us want to see that.

Now, with your most recent posts, it looks like you have done your homework and got into the bus for a reasonable price. So, I am not starting the day in a funk :roll:

Since you have done your homework, you know that this will be a huge project of all three commodities (money/time/work).

One of the common themes on these boards is to get your bus to a level where you can use it and go have fun. That sounds like good advice and to a degree it is. We did that, but now we have a bus that is fully functional, but is not pretty and one where the work to do the finish work (spit and polish) is huge. We have used it a bunch (60K miles and spent over 600 nights in it). That said, I often wish that I had torn the bus apart and started from scratch. I would have, at a minimum, raised the roof and perhaps built a driver up.

BTW, you will find many good project pages on bus conversions. There are several threads in the project pages here and a few of us have set up extensive project pages on our websites (mine listed in my signature).

So, you have lots of huge decisions to make. If you do decide to lengthen the bus, you are going to really modify the structure of the bus and that must be done with a ton of research and knowledge. Widening the bus is not a huge deal - folks simply weld tubing one the exterior of the existing frame and then widen the roof bows and roof sheet metal. Again that is not a structural modification that is of concern. Same is true of raising the roof. Done properly, raising the roof strengthens the structure. So bottom line, do a huge amount of research before you basically cut the bus in half to lengthen it. Very few folks do that modification - justifiably so.

As far as storage for your books and other stuff, consider that you can add storage with whatever you tow. You could tow a van or a truck and that will hold a ton of stuff. That takes a big load off of your suspension and will not hurt a toad if you don't overload it. We pull a 3/4 ton service truck with a service bed and that hold most of our tools, and lots of other stuff. Any toad you pull should have a brake system that is activated by the bus in some fashion (we use an air cylinder that pushes on the brake pedal and is charged by the bus brake system).

You could also consider pulling a trailer for a "toad" and lots of other storage. That said, be aware that our buses are not designed structurally for big tongue loads. I have some thoughts on the subject here:

http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/Trailer%20Towing.htm

I apologize for the long rambling post, but I decided to write this; first for your thought process and secondly for the benefit of folks thinking about taking the "big step".

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net (Please email me rather than use the PM process)
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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:02 pm


Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear on the Cummins thing....the V8 Cummins are not worth having, whereas the inline 6s are on the other side of the spectrum...if you can fit it in there, they can be a great engine, whether it is the M11/ISM (small block) or the NTC/N14 (855 cubic inch)

Please don't bring up Mack engines, there is no place for that kind of talk here!
DaveG
 
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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:06 pm


Concerning engine swaps, I would put that down the list of priorities if your present engine runs good (sounds like it does). Yes, going up hills will be slow, but that is not the end of the world.

That said, you will need to do some planning for a future engine swap. The first thing I would suggest is the you get the copies of the Bus Conversions Magazine that have my engine conversion three part article series. It is not a how to do, but a "what do I need to consider" type article.

Your big decision will be two stroke vs four stroke. If you lean towards four stroke, the first thing you will run up against is gearing. They want to run 30% slower and that is a challenge.

In the four stroke area, it has been mentioned that there are two options. The mid size engine like the Cummins M11/ISM will fit without raising the floor, but the big engines like the Series 60 will require that you raise the floor. You can do that ahead of time when you build your bus. I did this on my bus. There are lots of photos of the floor raise project and the conversion to a Series 60 on my project pages.

A really good site for an ISM engine conversion (albeit an MCI) is here:

http://home.earthlink.net/~diehls0792_1/BusSection10.html

No matter what, Brians engine conversion project is a great read ;)

An engine conversion done by a professional will cost at least $30K (for a four stroke). Maybe half that for a two stroke. Many folks have paid quite a bit more to get the job done correctly.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net (Please email me rather than use the PM process)
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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:02 pm


Hey Jim! yeah i'm in this for the long haul, so please dont place or assume my attentions by my lack of bus knowledge. in fact, i plan on being a fulltimer for a few years which is why i want it just perfect. but your still very right!, i have to listen to everybody and everything at this point! just to find the right way for me!, and this is coming from a guy whos quietly been reading and studying everything I could find on buses for the last two years! what I did learn is I wanted an Eagle more than anyother bus I researched. then i found one with very little rust and i jumped on it!... ok!,.. there is hidden rust i'm finding now!, which sucks! I have looked on your site before as well, but now I will go back and read all everything you mention, i did think bout pulling a trailer or van, but I need two tow my car as well. which is a convertible mustang, small and not alot of storage room for books. so everything you mentioned, believe me, it has crossed my mind. If im gonna make my dream bus conversion its gotta be big and run strong!
here, to prove that point is what i just learned from talking to Eric Brown on the phone when i was trying to buy his dash, I was going to add 5ft to the rear of the bus! because thats the way i seen it done on the MCI's at Buses 101 site. seemed easy?, I drawn out plans and everything! Eric said thats not where you wanta do it on Eagles! you wanta add the 5ft right behind the front wheels. which my sense when he explained about the wide back end turning. so for me, it's all about think first, before I do anything!
tripz
 
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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:09 pm


...and to the gentleman from Redding! thanks for clearing that up about the Cummins! dont worry I wasn't going anywhere near a Mack! as Jim said, my order is get the frame and body ready first, then hit the engine and tranny, but believe me, at these prices, i'm saving my pennies now for my engine!
tripz
 
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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:39 pm


Vinny,sorry to hog your project thread, but you are getting good input and I hope I can contribute to that information.

At least one person is adding length to the bus behind the drivers. I think that is a good way to go. I would not let turning radius drive my decisions.

The one design factor that most of us Eagle folks don't care for is the drop box. If you add to the rear, you can put a pure "T" drive in and then you have all kinds of options on rear end gear ratios and no worries about the drop box and rear end ($$$$$$$).

I would remove the bogies and put an air spring tag axle in behind the drive axle. Wayne (Rusty) can give you the details of the axle he installed when the time comes if you go that direction.

From a structural standpoint, I think that modifying the rear of the bus is the safest.

The one that is nearing completion is extended by the amount needed to make a pure "T" drive and the axles are in the same place as I recall. Extension is about 2-3 feet.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net (Please email me rather than use the PM process)
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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:13 am


I do like opening the back for a 'T' drive! plus I get to keep the original designs I spend so much time on! I agree with you that it would structurely be the best way for me to go! I will look at rusty page when I get to that stage. I'm very excited about changing the gear ratio!, it fits my needs perfectly! the air springs also was something I was going to look into if I added on the back end, so i'm glad you agree with that.
I'm sending Eric the money monday for his dash and two bay doors so I know he wont be too upset with me, not taking his advice on the footage. I was really playing around the figures this weekend, adding it behind the drivers seat! its just not something I want to trust a advanced welding student to do! just the reinforcement needed, was more than what I was spending, if added to the back. I would have to get professional to help with that one!
Last edited by tripz on Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
tripz
 
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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:41 am


this weekend its raining in california, so I didnt get as much work done as I would have liked. worked inside my Eagle mostly, ripping out fiberglass ceiling and the plywood panels that were put up by the former owner. I would stop, every once and awhile,... and just look around, then think about what to name her? and Art's project kept popping into my head. all the work I seen his family do!, then I realized, I"m single just moved in area, so I dont have the big family and cool friends Art had on his weekends to help! "I'm screwed!" this may take longer than six years of weekends! I snapped out of it, and just blasted the music louder and went back to stripping stuff out!
the former owner I never meant, but it looks like he did a fairly good job on the stuff thats in here. the shower stall, sink, toilet is high end looks new and bearly used. the same items in my Fleetwood are nice too!, marble even! so I will keep them both, maybe design my bus to have a bathroom and a half! like some of the newer 45 footers i've seen. I am taking photos of everything, but trying to find time to fiqure out how to load them on this site will take a minute! anyway i'm having fun and thats all that matters.
tripz
 
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Location: los angeles california


Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:16 am


Hey Vince-

It ain't raining in Riverside. . .yet! In fact, I seemed to have developed a leak in my power steering gearbox, so we (me and the neighborhood "King of the Hill" crew) spent a few hours pulling it out before the wet starts. I'll probably run it up to Straight Line Steering on Monday (since it'll probably be raining anyway) and hopefully I'll be able to put it back on later in the week.

Good luck with your project!

Art
Art Wales
1988 Eagle 15
6V92/740
Riverside County, CA
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Re: Tripz Eagle 10 project
Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:26 am


Hey Vince,
Welcome aboard!

It took over a year for us to come up with a name for our bus. The right name will just come to you one day, and you'll know it!

The other side of you being a single guy working on this project is the possibility of having more time.... because you won't have all the school functions and family activities that need attending. We also had 5 grandchildren born in the last 3 years, you better believe we took time for that too. You also will have the benefit of nobody trying to talk you into doing something differently or telling you it needs to be redone! lol Unless of course, you'll have those convo's by yourself anyway! (I do).

If you ever need a few extra hands for a task, Van Nuys is only a hop skip and a jump from here, we would be happy to help! :) Art says I can give you his cell number 951.243.4469

Cindy
Cindy
1988 - 15 - SunChaser
http://www.webcove.com/eagle/
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