Too much to tam in here that cool stuff on Ruby’s window historical discovery/ restoration so strap in, it’s Saturday morning and my knees are throbbing wayyyy too much to bust butt today…… needta rest these weary bones……
But besides that…… I took out Marlin P. coach for a QC/ test drive Got his new 16″ aluminum rims,w/ trued tires, quad bag system, fuel and brake systems and the new FiTech fuel injection. For those of you on the fence on this, lemme give you the picture of what we did.
First, this is a low mile, 1973 26′ family owned for over 3 decades. Dad passed it on and now it needs to be brought up to use today. Engine was normal, stretched timing chain, rusted burn mark thru the middle of the intake manifold but it was still running descent. 16.5″ steel rims and the weathered original air bags had to go……
First the motor needs to time right with a double roller timing chain, it needs to breath better with SS blockoff plates on the bad design concave intake manifold THEN and only then it was ready for the brave new world of FiTech. Next was the FiTech throttle body Please understand, this is not what we think of when we say “throttle body fuel injection”. No sireeee, the thing you see has everything included… there are 5 wires that when they are hooked up this thing works……. ground, constant power, ignition power, water temp and O2 senders and the thing will work! Bolt it up onto your motor and BAM… it works Don’t touch your distributer…. the fuel and fire stay separated so just like in the old days when you have Fuel and Fire it will run….. I like that diagnostic tree!
So Marlin’s coach is ready for a test drive, I have a new appreciation of test drives with the fi system…. It just drives so damn nice! We hand the control panel on a suction mount cell phone arm so you can play with it while driving This “large” readout I’m showing you allows you to pick 4 out of like 30 readouts the system gives you to show them in larger readable print. And check out the 4 I have chosen here We have tach, Air/fuel ratio (constant readout as well), vacuum and water temp. So check out the AFR when I snapped the pic….. it samples slow so the reading will jump but the sole purpose of the computer in this new system is to monitor and cause an air/fuel ration of 14.1. it constantly monitors everything to make that happen….. outrageous! It can do something you, me or a carb could never do. Old “throttle body” fuel injection systems don’t do that… they are “dumb” getting their orders and not changing no matter what! That’s why they are unreliable and performance is too. This thing is always on duty and always doing it’s thing. Be gone with the rest….. this fuel injection system is, cheap, simple to install, simple to program and easy to diagnose. What else is there…… heck for the price buy 2, keep 1 under the sofa and you will NEVER be stranded because of fuel! How many people can say that….. NONE! I’m talking this morning to a coach that started this FI thing for me. You know, the one that the cylinder choke spring came off it’s perch……. now it’s in California with more problems………. Marylin, lets go fuel injection….. funny but when I met her she was driving to Alaska with a throttle body fuel injection system that would not go….. it was the electric fuel pump then…. now after like 10 years I’m going to ask her to install fuel injection….. wonder what she will think……? Hey, it’s not me, don’t shoot!
So marlin, your coach is great, right down to the rear camera and Blue Tooth radio We’ll see ya Friday for delivery….. OK, lets talk about the Ruby project and the finding of historical things in this 1973 #41 production coach. Still on the windows…. these felts were rubber and completely glued in The unique thing about this is the style 1 windows used wire wound Mohair “felts” for runners…. #41 here had rubber felts like we install today glued in which we NEVER DO! The fixed windows on every window had migrated where the seal would pass a quarter…. water, bugs and small snakes too! Pounding the fixed glass back in place with a drift hammer and wood block, the glued rubbers were dug out the cleaned up with a dremmel tool
processing pics… stay tuned. I see there are already over 500 of you following…. get some coffee and come back…..
OK, I’m back with some more on Ruby’s windows…. see what happens when I can’t get out there and work?… too much time on my hands…….. doesn’t the song say?
You’ve seen nasty, old, worn out, how bout what we’re going to do about that? Finally getting all the old glued in felts out … now just the trash to sweep up The channels get all new proper felts NOT glued in! Oh and I can hear it now…”look, he didn’t even finish off the rest of the frame!”. Well bunky, the laquer based, trim black self etching paint will act as a UV block to keep the felts from shrinking as bad as we all know they will…… Gotcha! The vertical bars inside and out got new felt scraper/gaskets. You can see it between the metal vertical bar and the glass Oh, and for those naysayers…. the glass is not cleaned yet either…. why do that? We will get trim black overspray on the glass when we finish the frames… we can use a clean, single edge razorblade and clean the glass when we’re done…. no matter WHAT gets on it…… Wham!
The sliders move like silk even though they are “those nasty style 1 breakapart frame windows”. Proof, take your time, pay attention to details and all will be good.
Oh, check this out!. You kow how the latch is screwed onto the slider glass with 2 screws on these early windows? Right? Everyones original “toll booth” windows use the same latch….. well…. the large slider sofa window only has 1 hole!!!! and you can see a groove in the glass where the loose latch had cut into the glass! Hey, even the prototype engineers missed something! What does this mean? This is a hand made, prototype piece of glass. The glass was made (both sides fixed and slader is the same size), then holes were hand cut using a bonze boretool to cut the holes again…. by hand! Holy crap, this is historic glass! And we have saved them all! Very cool…..
So I think this is a good time to bring something up. Those of you on Facebook are reading about Nancy’s excitement on getting her coach back after a 2 year restoration I can hear the mumble….”2 years?” What the bloody hell, what could take that much time?”
Like I said this is a really good time to remind you and this is absolutely true though we all wish it were not:
- An honest, fair low cost
- Work done fast with nothing else getting done
- The best quality possible for that job.
Why do I say this? How much work was it to historically and accurately reconstruct Ruby’s windows? It was done well and it was done right…. it took some time and it will cost more than 30 minutes worth of labor…. but it’s all good. Nancy and Willies coach over a 2 year period got a new floor and everything inside all new… wood, finish, upholstery, dash, appliances… the works Not only that but full mechanicals to include a quad bag system, FiTech fuel injection, tanks, brakes, bearings AND a complete exterior refinish from this
At the same time, the work processes we have for interior, exterior and mechanical was able to afford themselves doing work like this by putting out many coaches along with Savot Brown. How was that possible? Time, you can have great quality at a very fair affordable price if you give the project time to move through the process. Stress over “when is it going to be done” is something I must have broad shoulders to work with every day. Things never move at the speed we want them too… that’s a fact and stress over that not happening well…. takes years from us.
Our restoration processes have matured to the point that the team is working awesome. No more “lone rangers” people not able to work with others…. not taking the time and the pride of not doing something the best that can be….. no more push it out as fast as we can….. no sir, I just can’t react to that anymore. we are not just installing a motor, a frig or doing a brake job… we are bringing these coaches back to the road safely and reliably. I think that’s what our customers want from us the most…. and by golly that’s what we’re gonna do! We ARE slow because I won’t spend money to hurry…. sorry…. it will cost more to have4 us do it because it will be done as complete as we can! Guys, that’s our job….. Off soapbox now but hey, once in a while you have to sit through a commercial. That’s it so lets get back to our normally scheduled show……
Here’s something else for you guys to ponder. If you follow a tendem wheel trailer, you will see the wheels twist opposite going through a turn… right? It has to do that to relieve the stresses put on the 2 wheels turning…… our rear tandem suspension does that too! Follow your coach around a tight turn or park it in a turn and you will see the wheels pointing different directions…… Don’t freak out, that’s fine… it’s supposed to do that. The swing arms have a flex rate built into them to bring the axle back to straight coming out of the curve. This is why trying to hold those arms straight with different doo-dads you can bolt on are not right! Anyway, when the wheels twist, the arm twists and the mounts for the air bags twist as well. In the drawing below (really bad) you can see the original air bag cones allow the air bag to roll side to side to allow for this lateral movement.
The drawing of the quad bag system with it’s stationary vertical member and 2 air bags has 1/2 of the full width of the arms to deflect… essentially spreading that deflection over the inflated surface area of the 2 air bags… the middle being held in 1 position. Some systems with2 bags have a moving center member, the lateral forces at the pivot that allows for 2d movement stressesout at the bottom…. no way around it…
The third drawing (again really bad) shows this lateral deflection must be spread over a smaller area on only 1 air bag. These new style air bags were produced to move in 2 planes, not 3. The more lateral movement the more sheer is put on the crempted ends of the rubber bag to the base plate. These base plates to not have cones to disperse the lateral movement. I’m asking you, which system is more stable and allows the new design air bags to move in their designed 2 dimensional plane? I’m interested in your thoughts. I expect a report on my desk next Thursday……
Hey, I’ve got more but I’m blowing a “relaxing ” Saturday. It’s off to relax a little… see ya later and hey, thanks for being a part of us…..
Really well written explaination of the forces on the airbags.
Even the drawings weren’t as bad as you tried to make them sound.
One can learn a lot just reading your blog.
I sure have.