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EricbSC 1973 05 Eagle

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EricbSC 1973 05 Eagle
Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:12 pm


This project has developed over a peroid of 10 years. I grew up playing music, and traveled in a lot of different buses. I first rode in an Eagle in 1972, at the age of eleven. It was a 1972 model 05 purchased new only a few months before. It belonged to a gospel group from Cleveland TN. The singing Echos. I fell in love with the Eagle ride!! I vowed to have one of my own one day. Little did I know that the bus and I would be over thirty years old before we met! I have built, and remodeled several rvs over the years. I bought an Eagle in 1999, and a few later. I bought this bus in 2001. I purchased it as a part bus, but after looking at the frame I decided to play with it for a while. This is the way the bus looked when I bought it. Reliabuilt 8-71n, rebuilt rear, Allison 654, new rad,. new power steering. It had seized the input shaft in the drop box. The college traded it in after spending a lot of money on it only a few months before. It had to be towed to me as it had no driveshaft.I bought the bus for the engine and power steering. There are four words that every time I use them get me in trouble. They are " while were at it"

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I decided to raise the roof as I had never done that one before. WWAI!!
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I had new fender rings rolled. After welding them in, I filled them with expanding foam. Hopefully this will prevent future water damage.

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I had a slight fire in the dash area with a torch. melted the fiberglass, and broke a windshield. I never liked the old style window surround as they use a pc. of aluminum to hold the rubber. They leak all over. The 15 type used a lip in the fiberglass to hold the rubber. WWAI!!

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Since I melted the dash, WWAI. R&M dash which I modified heavily. P.S. You would be amazed at how quick those old heater hoses burn when lit!!

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I had the cap fabricated in two pcs. This way I could move the windshields up or down. My faithfull helper Stryder was always on the job!! Evey minute I worked he was under my feet. He would ride in the front seat on trips around the block. He crossed over the rainbow bridge about half way through the project, but his devotion was duly noted!!

I removed the factory truss in back. Eagle had several step-ups which limit space at the rear. I reconfigured and raised the truss. This allows the bed frame to move back by almost two feet.

Replaced factory truss.

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Bed frame welded in. I later addad cross trusses to the frame also.
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Last edited by ericbsc on Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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The original plan was to use block foam. Decided to spray instead. More on that later!!
Last edited by ericbsc on Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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ericbsc
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I chaged the step layout. I wanted the steps to flow up into the coach rather that an abrupt right angle turn. Since the dash was angled I used that angle to blend in.

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I raised the drivers area floor to 6" below the main floor, I unsulated the entire front area with block foam. I then filled every crack with expanding foam. It will be covered with 1/4" bendable plywood and covered. Under the entire area including steps is done the same.

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I am 6'-6" tall and do not like to be cramped when driving. After I sat in the old drivers seat I deciced that I needed more room.I reconfigured the truss behind the drivers area seen in this photo. The area directly behind the driver was moved back to the same as the center. This allows the drivers seat to swivel around into the livivng area.

You can see that there is no extra room here.

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The reconfigured area in a later photo.

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I changed the siding to the polished style. I also changed the siding layout. I never liked the half pc. at the top. A perfect way to allow water in. By having the front cap manufactured in two pcs. I could place the top of the fluted siding behind the fiberglass. This eliminates water fromgetting to the frame. The entry door is constructed fron 2" aluminum tubing. It has the outside latch mounted, and the inside one in a higher position. Both are hooked with linkage to dual latches on the door.

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Becky & Paul Lawry
Dreamscape
1968 Eagle 01 #7443
Silver 8V92 HT 740

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I said earlier that I decided to foam instead of blocking. My thinking was that with the block foam moisture would form due to the temp. diff. inside and outside of the bus. When I skinned the bus I wanted a solid sheet front to back. Eagle used t6061 by .093 thick on the factory buses. They got it in big coils, and had a decoiler to reverse the coil-set. I searched for almost a year for skins with no luck. Companies would be glad to sell me a ten thousand pound roll, but not 200'. I found a supplier that carried 3036 aluminum in .063 thicknesses. I heated and stretched it as I riveted it on. It was flat as a pond even in 85-90 degree temps. The difference in the two:

1. T6061 aircraft grade is harder (non-malleable). This means it is pre-hardened from the mill, and does not do well when formed. It will crack on a tight bend. It also cycle hardens, meaning as the temp. Of the material goes up and down it hardens. This happens until it reaches its preset hardness.

2. 3036 is a much softer grade. It is used a lot for soffits, and fascias on residential and commercial buildings. It will move rapidly when heated or cooled.

The day I had the bus foamed, I was busy in the shop. I told the guys to skim than coat the skin. The foam sprays at about 250 deg. and heats up even further during the cure process. When I went out to check on the progress, I was SICK. They had started on both sides at the back and were ¾ forward. The skin had bulged out as much as an inch. It looked like a topographical map!!! They had applied the foam at about 3”. The skin moved out as the hot foam hit. The hot foam dries almost instantly so the skin had no time to cool!! I would like to say it was all their fault, but I picked the material, and I didn’t stay with them!!

This is how I applied the first skin.
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This is the 3036 skin before foam. Notice it is flat
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This is the 3036 skin after foam. Notice ripples and bulges.
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I didn’t touch the bus again for 5-6 months. Every time I walked by I looked at the mess until one Sunday night I lost it. I worked until 3 a.m. Monday morning drilling out rivets. Monday I hooked the skid steer to the skin and pulled it off leaving the insulation in place. I looked at it and then cut it out also!! I researched and asked a thousand questions!! I still could not find a mill willing to make skin in the length and width I wanted. I decided to take another route. I could purchase sheets of T6061 in 6’ wide by 16’ long. I ordered enough for one side in .125 (1/8) thickness. We have large flat bed CNC’s designed to cut wood and plastic. I would end up with two visible seams using this material. I first cut the sheets to fit allowing for a 1” overlap at all horizontal and vertical seams. I then placed each sheet on the machine and milled the material.0625 at each joint. When the parts are lapped on the bus they will be completely flat at every joint. I also mille the bottom sheet to allow the fluted siding to mate perfectly flat also. Eagle mounted the windows directly onto the frame. The lower skin was than riveted to the frames right below the windows. A small pc. Of trim was placed over the edge of the skin. Every bus I have pulled the skin off leaks here. I have seen even the tube that the window sits on completely rusted out. They then riveted the fluted siding directly on top of the smooth siding, again with a cover. Rivets leak, and as the bus moved what little sealant they used comes loose. Both of these allow water to the tubing over the bays. This is pretty much the backbone of support. If you ever want to buy an Eagle, first sit down in the bay. Look over the door. It looks like the rust troll lives there, RUN!!!!

Before I put the skin on I put a slight bow in the middle using a wooden strip. I foamed around the tubing then used Skiaflex to seal any small areas. Any good caulk will work. THis keeps the expanding foam from pushin out the skin when sprayed. The tubing slightly above the floor was welded in to attach the fluted siding. Eagle just attached the siding without anything behind it.

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Reskinned side. See if you can spot the vertical rivets.
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I used the trim off of the overhead luggage compartments to cover the horizontal seam. I filled the back of the trim with sikaflex (non hardening) then riveted to the frame. EVERY RIVET I HAVE EVER PLACED IN THIS BUS IS DIPPED IN THIS BEFORE BEING PLACED IN THE HOLE!! This completely seals any space.
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I did not like the rubber hindge or the self closing ( with my head in the way) feature of the factory doors. I like the look of cafe doors. I used as few rivets as possible on the entire bus. I built a wooden fixture to hold the parts. After I welded skinned and fitted the first set, I built the others.(Keep a squirt bottle handy as you will have fire!!)

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I installed all doors and used clecos for the siding. These are used to fit the skin on aircraft. Notice that there are only three rivets holding each pc. of skin. I put sikaflex between all aluminum and the steel frame. This will reduce the effects of electrolosis.

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Withe every hole and bracket complete, they were then powder coated filled with insulation, and the insides covered with .063 aluminum.

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The handles and latches are Trimark from Austin Hardware. All are keyed alike for my simple mind!!
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Last edited by ericbsc on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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The front electric panel on the 05 is very small and cramped. The model 15 used a big door. I reconfigured the area with a large acess door.
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http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv32 ... 2b37b3.jpg[/img]

Fuel filler replaced on both sides
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Last edited by ericbsc on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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ericbsc
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Notice the height of the silver siding. It is one half of a pc. taller than the factory sidind. I moved the lights to the center of the space to retain the factory look. I also replaced the factory air wipers with electric ones from Autex.
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Corner door at rear. I replaced every light and base. I used led where possible to reduce amperage.I built a new rear bumper. The lod one and every one I had were bent end to end. The bumper frame was rolled to match the radius of the tailgate. I then had stainless sheet .125" thick bent into a "C" shape to fit over the frame. I clamped and welded on end then clamped the other end. It followed the radius. It uses four bolts on the inside to hold it. I then polished the cover.

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Both the front and back caps are R&M
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Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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ericbsc
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Looks good, Eric. You went even farther down that my bus is! Worth it in the long run though.

Glad you figured the pictures out. Pictures are what really makes a project thread great!
Dale Houston
1993 Eagle 15-45
Nashville, TN
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Eric Nice looking Ride. Nice to see the old Eagle brought up to new. You have done some nice work.

Keep up the good work Wayne
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I spent several months under the bus. The bus hvac on an 05 is located between the bogie axles. Eagle put an aluminum skin on the inside and outside of this area. It had fiberglass insulation inside. Now you have ab evaporator with 40degree air on the inside, and 150 degree air outside. Can you say CONDENSATION!!! Of course you will lose the bottom to rust. Old ac compartment. Replaced the entire truss. Not a lot of fun under there. I had the tanks washed and checked for leaks. Had my fab guy replace suspect areas not wanting to blow up the entire project!!
I used this area for my fresh water tank. It is app. 80 gal. cap. It was strip heated and insulated.

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Bogie frame.
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I removed the battery compartments on both sides of the bus. the passenger side was converted into a toolbox storage area.

Before
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After
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I removed the floor and all bracing from the bays. It was weak when new!! I doubled the bracing with 1-1/2" tubing. The entire bus frame was primed with a product called POR 15. It is a rust preventative coating. Even though it stops and prevents rust it must be applied over seasoned metal ( a rust film!!LOL). It applied over new metal it can be peeled right off. When applied it turns a black shake as it chemically etches the surface. It has no UV protection in the paint. If not top coated it will turn chaulky but will not come off!! This product cures from the metal up. If covered to quickly it will stop the curing process leaving it soft. It will dry in app. two hours. If allowed to cure completely you must etch the surface (sandpaer) to make the topcoat adhere. I found that if you wait app. one hour and test the surface it can be coated over with nothing. It is almost dry but will still bond. The label warns that nothing will remove this product from your skin when dry. Trust me, just belive it!! This product and others like it are very bad for your lungs!! Wear protection. I used this and Rust Bullet during the build. I found that each worked well. This product can be brushed on and when dry will show almost no brush marks!!. I had better luck spraying the rust bullet. It is a lot of work to spray ) this stuff sticks to everything!!) I stayed with the POR product.
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Start of the new electric panel. I will rearrange and add to this as I progress.

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Last edited by ericbsc on Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:15 am, edited 7 times in total.
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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ericbsc
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Eric very nice and very nice detail work. I love the Electric work !!! Iam not looking forward to redoing mine . again Very Nice
Andy Wright 68 Silver Eagle Model 5 8V92 #7481
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