Prepping the interior

It seems very odd sitting here writing the first of many posts which detail a winter’s worth of work aimed at improving Moby’s interior.  The effort began in December with the addition of the radio and kick panels, and continued in fits and spurts right into the start of May.  I did not get to every last item on my list, but I attended to the major issues, which required taking the bus out of camping readiness, and look forward to completing the rest while fully enjoying the summer driving season.  Or, perhaps, they might wait until next winter.  That is a wonderful aspect of bus ownership: there is always something to improve or fix!

After removing of all the cabinetry, seats, tables, and panels last February, there was a lot of dirt and grime to clean up and one broken screw which needed attention before any accouterments could be returned.  This was just as well since I did not have a lot of free time for renovations and could chip away at cleaning here and there.  I could not believe the amount of fine silt that settled between the plywood and metal floors.  Welding this stuff in place was an abundance of a dried sticky fluid that I presumed to be spilled soda or something similar.  Luckily a vacuum, a couple of brushes, and a little soapy water was all it took to freshen up the floor.  There were a few surface rust spots which received a rust reforming paint treatment.  With the interior clean and sparkling, I could move on to bigger and better endeavors.

Update: Panel thread

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Up first: frozen screw extraction.  This screw, which held down the metal threshold near the sliding door, broke during removal. Because of potential damage to the surrounding paint, using heat was not an option.  Therefore, I soaked the screw in penetrating oil for two weeks. Still it would not budge and broke flush with the floor, leaving drilling as the only option left. After filing the screw flat, I used a punch to dimple the center in order to provide purchase for the drill bit and to keep it from wandering.

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A 3/32-inch drill bit, some 3-in-1 oil, and about 20 minutes was all that was needed to drill out the center of the screw shaft.

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This tool came from my grandfather and I have no idea what its intended use was, but I found it very handy for cleaning out the threads in the floor.

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Found a cruddy screw to test and make sure I did not do any damage to the threads.

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After a successful screw removal, I cleaned the interior. Some PO applied the aluminum paint for unknown purposes.

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I vacuumed a small gravel quarry out of the space between the upper and lower floors around the drain hole. Hopefully, my homemade gasket will prevent a repeat. I expect my gas mileage to go up with the reduced load.  🙂

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Among the gravel, I found this little oddity: a metal disk measuring a tad larger than 1 3/4 inches. Too small for a cutout of the drain holes, I think it came from the hole via which the sink vent passes through the roof. How it got between the floors is anyone’s guess.

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Bottom view.

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In addition to the disc, I also found a fan and Allentown, PA fishing license under the cabinetry. Now I know a little more about Moby’s history. From her M-code, I know she was born on Thursday, June 10 and shipped to St. Louis from Germany.  By 1986, at least, she resided in Pennsylvania and, from there, arrived in New Jersey no later than 2004. Lacking the rust holes of your typical East Coast salt exposed bus, I assume her past owners took good care of her, perhaps providing garage space for most of her life.

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After using a wire brush, soapy water, and a scrub brush, the floor sparkled.  Some day far, far, far in the future I may get around to painting the inside.

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