One of the really difficult things in this work is to anticipate when something is going to be done ….. not funny but just like building a house…. it looks like crap until they get the paint on the walls and the grass in the front yard. It’s that way too on putting these 40 year old rolling houses back together. So much to do…. where do we start?
If someone were to ask me that I’d say interiors…. from the back forward, for exterior from the top down and as far as mechanicals…. from the bottom up. If you don’t focus, there’s so much to do nothing will ever seem to get done. Many that attempt restoring their coach do a great job others not so much and some just give up. I feel it’s an overwhelming feeling there’s just too much for 1 man to do in a lifetime…….. and you know that’s true….. by the time we get our head on straight and feel we can attempt something like this there’s not enough time to be able to do all the things you feel you can…. frustration set in and the next move is the critical one……… “cut bait or try another spot”…. right? Along your “new” path you’re making to discover then do what’s needed to a standard you can live with……. how many more weekends DO each of us have and what do you want to spend that valuable time doing? It’s not the money because whoever does the work, labor is the killer…. not the parts. It’s either having someone who has done things or you needing to correctly figure out each turn in a restoration correctly them reproduce to your liking that thing……. pretty hard thing to do and be right enough not to waste valuable time…. and money.
Where’s all this going and Jim, aren’t those 2 fingers you plunk with tired yet? Yes, there is a finger dexterity issue but I wanted to make this point. Some on social networks scoff when they hear costs of rehabbing one of these classic machines top to bottom, front to back……. the folks who have projects in here first have more important things to do than bag off a grill for painting so while JD is doing some pretty important things for our worlds safety, I’m over here doing exactly what he wanted…… he wanted to go from this look
to this took me @ 2 hours of my labor and @ $20 in materials…. and it’s done. JD is keeping our skies safe and he has a bitchin face on his motorhome. I call that a win/win. Could he do this, probably but there ARE a few tricks to foofing…. a highly technical term! And all the rest of the details that bring the look of his coach together? So while he’s living his life… those valuable weekends left, the cash that would only go to line that box is spent to have what he wants without loosing time…….. that’s also a win/win. Look at it that way and the difference it would cost for you to do the entire coach or have us do it is nothing! Yes, to those that can do that and for the rest of us … me included here…. we do things we feel we can do well and have others cut down the learning curve and have those things done by someone who can turn ideas into those realities you want to drive…….. THOSE both folks are the ones we do projects with.
I recognize that second category heck, I are one!!!! So how can we work together to have the end goal of a big ole machine that’s fun and comfortable to drive?
Building something like this SHOULD BE a once in a lifetime experience …. there’s enough for any one man and THAT’s for sure! much less a team of experienced workers , well there ya go…… how many will it take and how much are they going to need to know to do that the way you want it…. and how much time id that going to take? No crystal balls here, you start at one end and stop at the other… what happens in-between is anyone’s guess! So those are the perameters we all have to work with……. it’s your decision on which way and how far you want to go. Remember….. the question is NOT what you want rather it’s WHERE to stop! Oh and how much is someone willing to cover to take shortcuts? Hey, it’s all relative….. just had to get that off my chest, sorry for the splash…..
Hey, you know me…… I’ll put it all out there…… found an unexpected result on Ruby’s windows. Remember when I discovered one of Ruby’s large slider windows only had 1 latch attachment screw hole and how unusual that would be to happen in the build process… the window must have been hand cut ? Remember all of that? Well, there’s more to this window than meets the eye…….. not to break my arm patting myself on the back but over the years of battle with vehicles, I’ve had several tint shops …. tinting is like bowling, you need to stay in practice but also like riding a bike the curve to get back in the groove isn’t hard……. tinting glass that is curved is like trying to spread a decal around a basketball without making a crease…… think about that…. but if the glass is curved in only one direction or flat…. tint lays down really nice if you know how to float and squeegee it. OK, I said all that as documentation that this wasn’t just a screwup….. I pulled the film off of that piece of glass yesterday If you take it off before it cures it’s no big deal but yes, I’ll have to pattern and stick it again… why you ask? If you’re a tinter you understand this…. you size up the glass to be covered… if it’s curved in 3 dimensions of has irregularities you attach the squeegee process one way, if it’s flat (and I call our side windows flat… 2 dimensional ) You stick the film another way. Well, that piece of glass is not “flat” . Look at the curve in the reflection
THAT my friend is hand laid AND hand cut! We get crappy manufactured glass on our new cars but back then the process only spit out really nice, flat glass … this window is special and I feel honored to attach that historic advisory again! I’ll do that today… stay tuned for pics.
Most of you guys know I sell parts but not really. There are other GMC specialty shops that carry a much larger inventory of many parts… I keep the unique parts we use and also rely on those other dealers for the parts they see fit to offer…… it only helps us all but there are a few unique parts we deal with mainly because I want something I just can’t hand without doing it myself. Here’s one I’d like to tell you about….. our sensitized brake booster This is a later model booster than our 11″ original, you easily know this because the studs sticking out are metric thread.
This explanation may get a little drawn out so if you’re already late for work come back later
OK, there are 2 things going on here first, it’s a totally “remanufactured” booster meaning ALL of the interior component parts are new. Our original booster is missing some internal replacement parts as new. Not saying that’s bad at all, I just like to error on caution… I never use “rebuilt” parts if I can help it, I want “remanufactured” or just down right “new” but wait… who’s new part is it? In the 70’s, mechanics rebuilt parts…. there were complete gasket sets for everything, today it’s disposable… make spec but for how long and how well….. it’s how it’s done today. “If the OBDII computer says the part is bad replace it and lay back down!
It may suck but we have to adapt our lives and our machines or we will not be happy. lets use this as an example of a plethora of parts we now must consume to keep our coach on the road and out of a museum.
I want remanufactured parts, rebuilt parts like an alternator … and it’s not like the guy that rebuilds them is a bad guy….. but he dismantles the alternator….. cleans all the parts in some really fancy cleaning whatevers you and I will never duplicate, he finds the bad part, makes sure the rest of the parts aren’t looking too bad and he reassembles it. A good alternator rebuilder can do that in 5 minutes….. while you wait kinda thing. A remanufactured designation is supposed to mean all the wear parts would have been replaced …. there’s a big difference there and there can be a good difference in price!
You know, this is a whole other kettle of fish… lemme get back to the subject for today…. I’ll talk about our remanufactured sensitized booster later…….
So again we are hoping to deliver 2 coaches this week. With the Honda EV-6010 in…. exhaust goes on today, cool radio and wheel studs replaced, were on schedule to deliver this coach tomorrow
The Scott’s beauty goes up on the lift after that Honda exhaust is on (wish I had 2 lifts) to get a broken exhaust bolt out of a head. Wheels are here so that one too is on schedule for delivery. You can see the punch list taped to the door.
One important thing when you try and increase output is quality control. Had an old clamp go out on one last week….. hey I’m not too proud to say my guys made a mistake. It was caught and all old hose clamps are now thrown away…… don’t care WHAT they look like!
Gotta go, I have a wonky window to tint….. hey watch this…. hold my beer….. see ya tomorrow.