Doesn’t time fly when we are having fun?

It got so hot that most of the work is performed at night now and early in the morning…

Good news is that I finished removing all the unnecessary electrical cables, interior lights and emergency lights from the coach. It a was a long job but, like I previously said, it will make it so much easier to install the new cables for my new equipment/requirements…

On the right you can see the 32 kg of copper removed from the vehicle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these wires, so they will definitely been re-used for shorter and new harness as the new electrical devices are installed. If you remove, like I did the A/C unit, don’t forget to keep the two huge cables that go from the battery to the A/C as they are the perfect size for your new battery bank.

 

This week or perhaps I should say this month (keep reading  😉 ), I started the removal of the panels in the ceiling… Not an hard job at all; all I used was the drill to remove the rivets and the Stanley knife to cut the Sikaflex holding the panels in place and in a day all the panel were off. This ceiling was made of 19 pieces, compare to the other coach where it was made of 9 much bigger and heavier panel. It is funny to see how much things have changed in the construction of the coaches industry… In ten years we went from RHS for the frame and Zincalume for the panels, to Galvanised frame with a mixture of Fibreglass and BHP Colorbond for the panels.

It is nice to work in an environment “rust free”!

And is not that this coach does not have few water leaks; it actually have three very large ones (the usual suspects).. Top of front windows and both hatches. In all three instances, the Sikaflex has dried out and is not bonding any longer to both surfaces but just to one. It is just a simple matter of removing the old and re-apply a new bead of Sikaflex.

There are however two main reason for the removal of the panels from the ceiling: One is obviously to remove the ugly carpet, glue and holes everywhere.. The second one is far more important but not always so obvious; you want to remove all the smelly, ugly, dusty, wet and loose polystyrene used for insulation…

Why? Well for start, because of the way it is installed, is not waterproof, so chances are that some of the pieces will be saturated in water. I found them in every coach! Those pieces will be very heavy compare to when dry and it just make sense to remove the lot, saturated or not, and replaced with more modern, better, safer & waterproof material for insulation that we have available today. Polystyrene is also highly inflammable, it breaks very easily, it attract dust and if squashed, it doesn’t always return to its original state… I got 2 cubic meters of it now, to dispose… 😡

While the ceiling did came off in a day, I have no idea of how long it will take to “properly” clean all the frame. There are 6 length 12 metres long plus all the cross members totally cover in thick Sikaflex, plus the thousands half rivets left into the frame…

Hopefully just a week, but after two days I already have a sore neck. This so far has been the hardest job, as you constantly have to look up and there is no way around it.. Feels like painting a ceiling with a ear cotton buds. 😥

Yeah…, that is exactly what it feels like, and apparently the only way to easily remove cured Sikaflex is by mechanical mean only. If anyone reading this knows of a chemical that may help removing Sikaflex, please share it, as you could save people lives, or at least one person necks.. 😉

While on the subject of sticky stuff, the carpet also did played a nice trick.. Well more than the carpet the actual underlay was the problem, as it didn’t want let the floor go. After several ideas, a simple spade made the job a lot easier by just pushing hard against the underlay.

Then off course the residual glue had to be removed and that actually came off quite easy with the orbital sander. Unfortunately I have misplaced the connector for the vacuum and in just about ten minutes the coach became a tunnel of saw dust. Again this is one of those jobs were the breathing mask is essential. I would also suggest to wear a mask while removing the A/C ducts and the carpet as you are breathing 20 years of bacteria…

Finally as it has started to rain for the past two days I wanted to see how the coach did perform off road and more importantly I wanted to see if the difflock was actually working…

I am very please to announce that it does actually works and that a coach can go off road…  given the right conditions… Obviously I didn’t take any picture while bogged, as I was too busy shovelling mud for nearly 4 hours, but I got the picture of the mud still on the tyres walls… I think I need knobby tyres..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please don’t try this at home…  😀