When I arrived in Corvallis on Thursday the bus was off at the shop. We were hoping to pick it up that day but it needed to stay until Friday. When we found it had some problems I was initially hoping to pay around $300 to get it working again. Both the alternator and water pump were not happy but we hoped they could just replace a belt or a leaky tube or something and it would be cheaper. When it went into the shop we found they did need to replace both parts and it would be around $600-$800. Not great, but acceptable. On Friday we went to pick it up and the bill was $1012. Definitely not ideal, but it was a free bus and now it is a $1000 bus. Still way better than buying a bus for $2000 then finding out it needed $1000 worth of work. But now the bus has been paid for and its all ready to come down to Berkeley! I may be eating beans and rice for the rest of the month though...
After spendy adventures with the mechanic we brought the bus home and I did a little test drive round the block. I was a little worried about it being so big and how well I could drive it, but I've been driving the large van at work (which I think is actually the van version of the bus) and it drove about the same so I'm not too worried.
I started to sweep out the large amount of playa (burning man) dust from inside the bus but realized I was just going to be ripping up most of the floor so it was silly for me to clean it first. With a crowbar and vice grips I was able to tear out about half of the rubber flooring on Friday. Under the rubber I found pretty decent plywood. It appears to be that the adhesive used to attach the rubber to the ply made a good seal and not much water was able to get in because most of the ply looks brand new. There were however two spots where it was rotted out (the back corners especially by the wheelchair lift) but I believe I can replace just those two spots. Under the rot the metal was a bit rusty but not so bad as I could knock a hole through it. I also learned that between the ply and the body of the bus there is a thicker steel plate atleast on the back section. Perhaps there is a bigger steel plate because that is where the wheelchair lift was. I am hoping I can clean up this plate and get rid of the rust. If it doesn't seem salvageable I will remove it and see about replacing it or not using it at all.
Beyond that my dad and I made a list of everything that we need to drive it down to Berkeley. Things we will accomplish the next day.
-Fix the turn signals. Only the back work right now.
-Add a hasp to the wheelchair door so it can lock from the inside.
-Rotate the steering wheel so it is straight.
-Remove extra stuff inside such as the furry walls and the rest of the rubber floor.
I'll let you know how that all goes in another post!