Sunday, September 22, 2013

Completion of Chassis

Most of you probably are wondering what has been happening with Harvee D.  I have been lax on my blog updates, sorry about that.  I find it difficult to take pics and post about things that are half done or on things that might change.  Like the door for instance!

A view of the left from wheel well showing steering and brake system

At this point the chassis is complete.  Drive line is original Dodge with upgrades!  All new brakes, the only thing not new is the rear shoes which were relined.  Everything else came from Alretta truck parts.  Originally I was considering upgrading the brake system to disk and eliminating the hydro vacs.  However, I have to admitt I am not an Engineer and could not make myself feel comfortable with it.  Plus, all my drums were in excellent shape so the decision was made to stick with the bendix twin plex system!
The wheels are now 19.5 single piece rim. (ebay)  with new Hankook 19.5-8R tires. You can see a picture of one on an earlier post.                
I Have done an extensive amount of structural changes on Harvee.   There are now four lower storage compartments which will open hinging up instead of down.  If you look closely at this picture you will see along the lower sides is all new 1.5 inch square tubing with a lip for the floor to mount to.  In the rear there is a schedule 40 steel pipe and plates bonded to the fiberglass at the body line.   This in turn is welded to the extended structure in the rear.  Originally it is just the wood floor with fiberglass strips glued to the sides.  The angle steel is for the bed and underbed storage.  (potable water, pump, Etc.)

65 Gal. fuel tank with in tank sump and fuel pump

You can see the structure in the picture to the right.  There is an I-beam added through the frame at the factory extension. 

This Travco had no support but the floor in the rear.

  I know this will add weight but I am lightening the interior considerably. 

 Should be good.  This was a rear bath unit and had lots of weight back there.
You can see the Gen. floor supports and structure also.  This was lightened quite a bit but made stronger by incorporating it into the "box"

Drivers floor and front inner structure

This picture shows the same structural treatment I did in the rear.  schedule  40,  3/4 pipe with weld plates bonded around body line and incorporated into the dog house and the original Bones  This should make a much stronger "unit"
New hood with old hood bonded closed
I am building this coach as a traveler.  Therefore my number one consideration in my decision to modernize my 413 with a EFI system was dependability.  I chose Mass Flow EFI because it is a simple plug and play system.  It uses a ECM from a Ford 5 litre which is programmed for my 413.  The system is complete fuel, Ignition and controls.
Mass Flo EFI showing MAF, fuel rails& Mallory ignition
ECM, relays and fuses.  Will mount under pass. seat
Ok, now just a bit more tidying up.  Finish tailpipe and tie up lines, then it is time to put the floor back in. This is my goal before snow flies!   
I hope you did not loose hope in this project. I sometimes do!  This Blog helps me to remember how far it has come! 
Please feel free to ask questions.  If you would like to see detailed photos I have lots to show!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Turning a major corner

It was 104 deg.!  This guy earned his paycheck!

The view of the sanblasting through the tailight hole!
With the Floorplan design laid out and most of the structural welding done it was time to sandblast the frame and get busy on the reassembly!

The motor has gone back in
View of the holding tank locations.  Shower will be a 4 inch step down.  The brown stripes are just colors from a donor piece of fibergalss that I used as a bonding sheet.  Circle in the middle is the spare tire mount.
Moved the door rearward to accomodate floorplan

One major design change that I wanted to accomplish was eliminating the back window and mounting the spare "continental" style.  The custom hub cap has not been polished yet. 

Things should start comming together now.  I have all new brake parts and backing plates are built up and ready to go in.  All new exhaust.  Gastank is reconditioned.  Chassis will be finished and floor back in this year.  Then, on to the Windows, Electrical, Insulation, exterior finishwork.   Paint will be last.  I intend on Dove Grey as the major body color with traditional secondary stripeing of a maroon.  I will probably offend the travco purists.  But the ugly "hood" will be gone.  Not exactly sure what I am going to do yet but I am leaning toward a "Retro Redneck Truckdriver" look.

If you would likke to see something in particual about this project just ask, I will try to add it as I go.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Process of Progress

It has been nearly 5 months since my last post.  I have not worked on Harvee D. much this summer but have been working on stuff related to this project.  As you can see in this picture Harvee is leveled and resting on several jack points on his New Pad!  The concrete includes a foundation wall (just to the Rt). which is the first wall of my future building.  I know, cart before the horse... 
Well, now that I am back on track, brakes are disassembled and I am evaluating options. 
System will be all new, some upgrades will be done.  At 13000 pounds safety is everything!  I will post pics when it gets interesting. 
The interior is completely gutted now and I am also continuing on the stuctural rebuild.   Pics of that will be added to the Travco Bones post as it progresses.
Feels good to be back on it!
Just for grins, this is what Harvee D looked like the first time I saw him!  It sure was cold that day!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

First Drive

I moved Harvee out of the spot where he has been parked.  Just pulled out of the drive, turned around and pulled back in.  The tricky part is there are ZERO brakes!
I need to set Harvee aside for a few weeks and work on some home projects.  Next step will be an entire rebuild of the brakes. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Travco Bones

Travcos were unique in their times in many ways and one was the structure of the body.  They were built on a Dodge Motorhome Chassis,  Harvee is a M-400.  Side members and cross members, a bulkhead and braces for the raised cockpit floor and some lower storage compartments, were all welded in.  Then the curve shaped ribs were welded together with horizontal ribs.  After that, the two halves of the body were connected with a seam running the full length down the center and fastened to the structure with fiberglass and foam.   This makes for a very strong unitized body.... Until it rusts!!!

Driver side bulkhead, notice how it has broke away. 

step and bulkhead at door

Well, Harvee has been diagnosed with Bone Cancer.   His prognosis is good with an outlook of a nearly rust free future!  He will undergo several surgeries and months of intense treatment.  The only way to deal with rust is cut it out,  Completely!  I won't patch anything structural, if its rusty, its gone!

Turning the corner with th first new panels welded in. The step, side members and 2 ft of body rail.
I have the body supported so I could cut out the bad metal and weld in new sections.    You will see in these pics that there is not much left original except the chassis itself and that is solid.  Also note that the panels that are being welded in look "used"  That is because a friend and I bent them from salvage 14 ga. sheet.   It will clean up nice and be painted with Por15 product.   I like to re-use.  Not so much because I think green, more like I lack the green!  Ok, and it makes me feel good too!

Body jacked up and Nasties all cut out.

New bulkhead and side members welded in!
The bulkhead was the worst part of the rust on this project.  There is still alot to do with the side members and the understorage boxes.  I am doing a little redesign with the storage compartments, more on that later.
Door back in

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Harvee Lives!

I saw Harvee run for the first time tonight!    I can only speculate how long it has been since the engine ran but I would say 2-3 years.   I did not get any keys with the vehicle.  As I said this was an abandoned vehicle and Jack, the guy I bought it from never tried to start it.  He bought it at a Sheriffs auction, brought it home and realised he wanted to find someone a bit crasier than him to fix it up. 
Anyway, keys, battery, check oil, re-route fuel to a clean can...  and it did nothing!  Turns out the neutural start switch was bad.  $15 Auto Value and give it another try.  Fired right up! 
I didn't let it run long.  Just enough to see oil pressure come up and hear it run.  Sounded good, no smoke.  Just mouse nests and the decon I had put inside the interior coming out of the tailpipe!  Why would they carry it out of the interior and into the tail pipe?   Formerly very busy, dead mice.

I am satisfied now to move forward.  I first have some things I need to do around the house  Then, I will tackle the cockpit floor rebuild.  It is raised about 14 inches from the rest of the floor.  It is tubelular and angle steel structure, sheet metal (for fire wall) then covered with plywood and carpet.  It is all rotten.  I knew this going in to the project.  In fact the first time I looked at this bus I saw this and walked away.   A full month later I went back with my friend Dale and we took a peek inside the engine with his borescope and determined that it looked like the cylinders were not worn bad and the valves were not burnt or highly carboned.  I had a decision to make.  Talked it over with my wonderful Wife and she did not try to talk me out of it.  So I went back and bought it.  I don't think I will regret it, and I hope she doesn't either.
So I may not post for a while but the next post and pictures will get quite interesting.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Interior demo and clean-up

Have been busy removing the interior from Harvee.  I have it stripped down to the shell in the rear, still have to clean out the cockpit area but want to hold off until I get it running.  Everything looks pretty good in the rear, not much rot.  Actually the interior was not to bad.  There were some bad leaks and nasty critter nests above the refrigerator and a mother load of a mouse nest in the ceiling but when they came out so did the stink. 
Originally I did not think there would be anything reusable.  However, I think I will be using most of the cabinets, refacing them of course.   I used the bath vanity counter top on a special art project, I will try to insert a picture of that later.  The furnace looks OK,  it will need some work though.  A friend of mine took the dinette and the bunks to use in a hunting trailer, that made me happy to not have to throw them away.    The appliances are being  recycled. 
I found a screwdriver in the wall that was foamed in place.  It is a flat blade so it probably belonged to the Electrician wiring the bus. 
View from front

View from rear,  You can see the steel structural ribs.

Screwdriver left from April 24, 1972 ( warranty cards filled out at installation)
 The Blue shag carpet reminds me of our living room when I was a kid.  We were even more hip though...  candy stripe!   And no!  It is not staying!