Posted By: Tango Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Mar 24 2011 09:02 PM
As is with an '80's 350 gas sucker. Hoping to mod with a little Cummins 4d torquer. A little interior redo to outfit as a combo camper & mobile workshop.

'46 Shorty Bus
Posted By: squeeze Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Mar 24 2011 09:58 PM
sweet lookin ride Tango, a welcome addition to the garage

Posted By: Rich'sToys Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Mar 25 2011 02:20 PM
Cool bus!!
Welcome to Stovebolt!
Posted By: Tango Updated Pix of '46... - Mon Apr 18 2011 07:55 PM
Hello All --- Well, I finally got a look at this darlin' up close & personal. And I am very happy to say, it is in better shape than I had even hoped for! Sure, , it needs a ton (or in this case...a ton & a half, since that's the chassis it's on) of work, but it is a great little starter platform. Very little rust with only a couple of small replacement patches needed next to the front fenders and one "wrinkle" next to the entry door. The latex house paint is peeling, but that's coming off anyway. Mechanically it is surprisingly solid. Recent brake rebuild, working parking brake (a big deal, actually) and a snazzy new custom, aluminum radiator. The 1980's vintage 350 motor runs great but will be (hopefully) replaced with a Cummins 4BTAA. The original 4-speed tranny sounds good but hoping for an Allison auto with 5 speeds. And speaking of speed, as with nearly all these old hill climbers and house movers, tops is maybe 55. If the Allison gears won't bring that up enough, then a new rearend will be in order.

And BTW...I am still in the process of looking for a reliable transport service to get it from Utah to Houston, so if anyone here has any recommendations, experience, horror stories...please...pass them along. That business is so BS intensive that it's as scary as it is annoying, so a personal reference will go a long ways with me.

I have just started laying out the interior as well as a couple of exterior mods. As you can see in the pix, it has already undergone some degree of conversion so I have a bit of a head-start there. Not much space to work with, but hey, not that much to build out either! If I can figure out how to do the drawings in Google Sketch, I'll post as I go.

Many thanks to everyone who makes this Board so very cool!

I have started an album here...
Tango's '46 Chevy Skoolie Project
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue May 03 2011 03:54 AM
Howdy All-- just added a couple of images created with Google SketchUp. Great little free program for rendering in real 3D. Took a couple of days to figure out the basics but I have to say, for anyone doing an RV floorplan...this is the trick set up. And like I said, free to boot. The pix are in an album I just started for the purpose of keeping up with this conversion project. I did finally find a transporter so my Shorty should be here mid-June. Then I can finally get going in the real world instead of just "virtual".

Here is the album...
Tango's '46 Chevy Shorty
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue May 03 2011 04:43 AM
coming along real good Tango. I like the wood stove, or is it gas? Nice project. I's say its KOOOL.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue May 03 2011 03:34 PM
Howdy Achip...the stove is a very nice little wood burner. Unfortunately, it will not work into the new floorplan in its' present location. I will definitely have to remove it to accommodate the bed, just hope I can find a spot for it somewhere else. Might come in handy if I ever decide to leave the Tropics and head North.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Fri May 20 2011 07:14 PM
Howdy All --- I just snagged a clean YOM (year of manufacture) Texas license plate for my '46. Hoo-yah! And I only need one. It seems Texas only issued single plates during WWII to save on metal.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu May 26 2011 03:49 PM
Still (anxiously) awaiting the arrival of my Shorty, but in the meantime, continue with planning. And besides all the books and literature I have been able to find on the 1-1/2 ton Chevy truck chassis, I have only ordered two parts so far. A repop of the front Chevy emblem (the original was heavily painted over)...and, the above mentioned license plate. Still on the hunt for a good 4BT Cummins engine and a 5 or 6 speed tranny. Good thing I'm in no rush, there is a lot to get done (and buy) before this dumplin' is ready for the road.

Given the very small interior I have to work with, I am now designing an enlarged roof-rack system and an extended rear bumper deck. Wondering if anyone has tried or built a slide-out style rear deck that can be extended when parked (?). Hey...if they can do it with whole bedrooms...why not a portable patio for enjoying Margaritas ?
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Mon May 30 2011 04:15 PM
Just a reminder that Memorial is about more than 75% off furniture sales.

Take a moment to remember those who paid for the freedoms you enjoy everyday in this country and say "Thank You" to those who paid full price on your behalf.

Every time I meet another Vet for the first time, I respond with "Thank you and Welcome Home". Try it. You might be surprised at how much it means to them. No matter how long it's been.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Wed Jul 06 2011 05:09 PM
Well, it looks like I am going to have to get to work soon. My bus should be here in about a week and...I just did a deal for a running Cummins 4BTAA and Allison 545 tranny to re-power this little darlin'. Anyone in the Houston area in the market for a good running Chevy 350?
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Wed Jul 06 2011 10:18 PM
Tango, glad to see its happening. Be sure to drink plenty of liquid in this hot weather. I know once you start you will not want to stop!!
I'd post the engine in the Parts for Sale in the Swap Meet. Surely someone would like to have it. Be sure to put a price on it.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Jul 07 2011 02:40 PM
Thanks Chip...will do, as soon as it gets yanked out.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sun Jul 24 2011 04:16 PM
My Cummins 4BTAA & Alison 545 combo arrived on Friday and I finally got a look. The tech at Diesel Specialists will do a full body scan for general condition, run it, then we are planning on a dyno check out. I want that puppy in top shape before the transplant. May flip the exhaust manifold & turbo since I have a lot more height than width under that old Chevy hood. Getting desperate to have my bus here though. Is there such a thing as a "reliable/no BS" transport service in this country?
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Wed Jul 27 2011 10:48 PM
Latest update...Finally found an owner/operator with the right gear and he is on his way to Utah to pick up my bus!!! Should be here in about a week or so. HooRah!
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Aug 04 2011 02:18 AM
Well, after dealing with transport broker bozos for two months I finally found a fully insured independent who got my bus here in short order and for a lot less than the so called "Pros". Great guy by the name of Okie Newton. He works out of Texas City near Houston, but pretty much covers the country. If anyone is looking for a hauler, I'll be more than happy to pass along his contact info.

Here are a few pix of "Bringing Home Baby"...

The Arrival

About to Offload

In the work bay

I immediately started gutting the interior, but with the heat index here way over 110 in the shade, I didn't last too long.

Let the fun begin...
Posted By: Bart Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Aug 04 2011 04:03 AM
Nice bus.
Posted By: Gmans 46 Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Aug 04 2011 04:12 AM
What a Kool Project, Can't wait to see the progress.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sun Aug 07 2011 08:03 PM
Just spent the last few days gutting the interior and checking things out. Below are a few pix as the rip out continues. The only serious rust I have found was right where I expected it...around the wheel wells. But the big surprise was that this Wayne body is 100% screwed together, inside and rivets! So far I've only had to grind a few, most have yielded to a hand impact driver. And the old galvanized floor is in rock-solid shape. Pretty amazing condition overall. Especially when you consider that at is old enough to qualify for Medicare!

And if anyone knows what (if any) colors were used on the Wayne body tag, I would appreciate the sharing. I want to try and restore it as well.

Interior tear out
Windows have the original glass
Rusted wheel well rails
Wayne Body Tag
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Mon Aug 08 2011 06:20 PM
Tango, thanks for sharing some pics. I must congratulate you on your efforts to do a first class job. At least you have some "room" to move around in the bus!!! Thanks for keeping us posted and keep up the good work.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Mon Aug 08 2011 08:55 PM
Thanks AChip --- I figure anything under two years on this project will qualify for "miracle" status. This old gal deserves decent treatment and given her excellent condition, she should still be going strong long after I am gone. Long live Art Deco!
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue Aug 16 2011 03:27 PM
Made the run out to Diesel Specialists yesterday for the first look at my FleaBay engine assembled and running. It was the old "We got good news...& we got bad news" story.

Bad news first.

The turbo is toast. Ain't no "cheap fix". Then there is the exhaust manifold...rusted away to junk and has to go (not much of a surprise since it looked that way) . Next...the idler pulley needs replacing, then there is the fuel pump solenoid that still needs testing and a few other items to go on the shopping list.

So, the good news?

The basic engine (the really expensive stuff) appears very tight and solid. Zero blow-by, no smoke and tight compression. All in all, not too bad a day.

I want to get the engine & tranny as bullet proof as possible before the install. Example: New main seals are a piece of cake (and cheap) sitting on a work stand...but a real PITA (and $$$) after it's in. I'm in no rush to get it rolling as I have the entire bus to rebuild before launching anyway.

On with the show.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Wed Aug 17 2011 01:14 AM
BTW...How are pix added to the "Gallery"?
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Mon Aug 22 2011 04:33 AM
Just added some progress pix to my Flickr album. Tore out the lower interior sheet metal and will replace it with new + insulation...been welding up a couple of hundred old screw holes in the floor and building the new entry door frame. A couple of very small angles are complicating that process. It wasn't until I was fitting some 1-1/2" square tube in place that I even noticed the angles.

Posted By: Rich'sToys Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Wed Aug 24 2011 02:33 PM
I couldn't get into your link. It wanted me to sign in.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Aug 25 2011 03:49 AM
Hmmm...not sure what the sign in is about, it should be "public". Try this,
Tango's '46 Chevy Skoolie Album
then click on the "Tango's 1946 Chevy Skoolie Project" album. (?)
Posted By: Rich'sToys Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Aug 25 2011 01:37 PM
That worked. Looks like you're making good progress on that door. I'll be looking forward to seeing that completed.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Fri Dec 23 2011 11:28 PM
Still moving ahead (slowly). Gotta' do the work that pays for the fun stuff. Have sourced a variety of items including a big ol' aluminum fuel tank, a holding tank, giant chromed brass hinges for the door, replacement body spacers, new body sheet metal panels and some other odds 'n ends. Below is a pic of one of the vintage turn signals I just got off Ebay. Way better than the aftermarket plastic hockey pucks it came with.

Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sat Dec 24 2011 12:46 AM
Tango, you've made a lot of progress and continue to do so. Looking better and better. Good job.
Posted By: Sheridan Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sat Dec 24 2011 03:59 PM
This is one great project!!!
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Mon Dec 26 2011 03:22 AM
Thanks for the encouragement. Still a long ways to go and a lot to overcome but the folks here are inspiring. Onward!
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sat Jun 16 2012 12:17 AM
Howdy All --- been away for awhile (computer croaked) but just added a few more pix to the "progress" album. About ready to begin the engine & tranny transplant, which is gonna' be interesting. Trying to stuff a Cummins 4BTAA & Allison 6-speed auto into that Art Deco front end is going to be a challenge. In fact, if I can find a good custom builder in these parts, I will gladly pay for some expertise.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sat Jun 16 2012 03:28 AM
Tango, you've definitely come a long way. I don't think an engine problem will stop you know. I'm sure you will go from "can't to Can" !!
I have a friend that was told he couldn't put a mercede's disel in a 71 model truck. Well, he did. He chopped and cut and welded and in a few days he drove it around the block!

....this is interesting. Keep us posted.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Jun 21 2012 04:31 PM
Dangnabbit! I had a zero-mile, 2012 Allison 2200HS 6-speed auto lined up and a different salesman at the dealership sold it out from under me! Oh well, the Allison tech I'm, working said he found one with 100 miles on it. We'll see if this one makes it home. I really need to get started on the engine & tranny install.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Fri Aug 24 2012 07:06 PM
Just gave away the good running 350 Chevy today to make room for the Cummins 4BT. Gave it to a friend who runs the Art Car Museum here in exchange for some labor & installation assistance. The rebuilt diesel is ready for pickup. Still waiting to hear the price on a new Allison, double overdrive, six-speed tranny. Got a feeling it's gonna be scary. Will try and post some updated pix this weekend.

Meanwhile, for anyone not familiar with the Art Car thing here in Houston...

Art Car Museum

Ar Car Parade
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue Aug 28 2012 10:19 AM
New and slightly narrower intercooler arrived yesterday. Working out the piping is going to be interesting. Needs to be routed through the inner grill panels, into the wheel wells, then back into the engine compartment via the inner fender panels. Biggest concern is engine movement. These little Cummins "Paintshakers" are notorious for thrashing side to side on start-up & shutdown by several inches and can pull any fixed electrical, fuel or air lines loose as they do it. Even considering mounting a couple of shock absorbers to the motor to limit the movement. We'll see. The Chevy comes out this weekend...and then the fun begins.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Aug 30 2012 01:40 AM
Well Crap --- the new intercooler is actually wider than the stock set up. The angles are all wrong and won't work. Now to deal wit the dreaded "return" and get the right sized unit.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sat Sep 01 2012 05:24 PM
OK --- the 350 Chevy is out of the way. I just hope the hole that's left is big enough for the Cummins. Gonna' be tight, especially with the Allison six speed hanging off the back. BTW...I gave up on finding a used one and called Stewart & Stevenson to price a new one from the factory built to my specs. Guess what...the new one should actually be cheaper in the long run. By the time I bought a used (unknown) unit, had it gone through and set up to work with my two-wire motor, it would very likely have been at least a grand more! And the brand new unit will come fully tweaked from the factory set up exactly for my rig. S & S uses a computer modeling system called "iSCAAN" that analyzes tons of input (weight, drag coefficient, gearing, tire size, various road surfaces & on & on) then spits out a 17 page print out that predicts performance across the board. Even the fluid temperature at various RPM's in different gears. Best part is that my original personal calcs had indicated a need for something around 4.11 gears in the rear. Turns out my stock 5.43 gearing is perfect with the double overdrive so I won't have the ha$$le of swapping the whole rearend! Outstanding!

It will take a month to build but I still have a lot to do before I drop it in. Will get a few updated pix tomorrow.

Oh yeah...and if anyone is looking for a nice, tight original 4-speed tranny, I will be putting a note about it over in the classifieds shortly.

Posted By: Peggy M Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sun Sep 16 2012 04:37 PM

If you want to pitch your rolling classroom near the DC area, let us know. We are 90 minutes south ... but have family closer up. Plenty of Bolters in the Washington - Baltimore - Annapolis area.

The work you do looks awesome ... both the art and the truck! You head this way with the bus, we'll bring the gang!

Peggy M
Stovebolt HQ
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue Sep 18 2012 12:06 PM
Thanks for the invite & kind words Peggy --- can't wait to get this old girl rollin' and covering ground. I teach one of my classes near Nashville and I'm talking to some folks right now about starting up another in the Catskills. You'd be right on the route and I'd love to drop in and say Howdy.

And many thanks for all the hard work that makes this such a great forum & gathering place. It has been a terrific source of both inspiration and hard to find information. Just outstanding. Can't imagine what rebuilding this rig would be like without it and the many fine folks who gather here. Thank you.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Thu Sep 20 2012 10:56 AM
The Adventure Continues...
Just discovered that my ring & pinion are NOT the 5.43 I was told they were, but rather the #@!&% 6.17. Oh great...back to the drawing board.

Dropped off several projects at the local sheetmetal shop including a big ol' odd shaped box that will go in the big ol' hole I cut in the roof. It will eventually house the A/C as well as form the base for part of the roof deck.

Put a bunch of new pix on my Flickr Album for any who've never seen a vintage school bus with a "moonroof".
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Sun Sep 30 2012 10:11 PM
Spent the last couple of days patching the wheel wells. Like a lot of older rigs, they were rusted through in a number of places. Discovered that welding fresh metal onto old, thin, nearly rusted through stuff is a bear. Dialing my mig down low helped but it was still a royal PITA trying to avoid blowouts. Hope the rest of the metal repair work goes better. There's still a lot to do.
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue Oct 09 2012 10:19 AM
Picked up several pieces from the sheetmetal shop and have begun installing the A/C housing in the rear of the roof. Had to reinforce all around the big hole I cut since the upper portion of the A/C box will also serve as the base for part of the roof deck and needs to be very solid. Also had a couple of window deletes fabbed and got my entry door frame skinned. Unfortunately, the welding they did on it appears to have warped it slightly out of shape so now I'll have to make some critical "adjustments". The shape is so complex (thanks to a lot of little compound curves) that it was a bear to build. The older buses don't seem to have any straight lines or right angles. As I told a friend..."I don't need an RV builder to assist me, what I need is a master ship builder builder".

Some new pix on my Flickr album here...

Tango's '46 Chevy School Bus Build
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue Oct 09 2012 07:22 PM
Yango, that was a big project you jumped on but I must say your doing a good job. Thats one you can be proud of for a looong time. Glad to see your making progress.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Oct 10 2012 09:45 AM
Thanks Chip --- Of course, here I am going into the 14th month of this project and still no end in sight. Well...maybe just a little light off in the distance. The engine is ready but I'm waiting on a tranny to be built from scratch and still no luck finding the right rear end. Little things like that. All we can do is to keep on chipping away at all the "little things" and eventually (if we live long enough) they will all get done and we can then move on down the road in what we have built. That's the prize we have to keep our eyes on. But hey...if it was easy, everyone would be driving vintage Stovebolts, right?
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Oct 10 2012 10:56 AM
...right, and Only 14 months on a project like yours? Wow, you are getting it done.... I've been on my panel for 6 years. LOL You will get it done.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Oct 16 2012 03:59 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Chip --- I'll take all I can get. And of course I do accept that like "re-doing an old house" old vehicle is never really "finished". But I am anxious to hear it run and get it rolling. I used to build 2-stroke formula motorcycle racing engines pretty much from the ground up and there is nothing quite like the feeling when a bunch of inanimate metal you've pieced together comes to life. Looking forward to that thrill with this old girl.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Oct 25 2012 10:38 AM
Just plunked down a huge chunk of change for a brand new, factory built Allison tranny (gulp!). After a year of passing on what few 6-speeds I could find I bit the bullet. It's a 2200MH, double overdrive, 6-speed auto with a parking pawl. As it turns out, probably only about a grand more than what I figured rebuilding some unknown used unit to my specs would likely run. Still a lot to pull together to make it work, but at least that's one more major item to cross off the "must-do" list.

Anybody happen to have a transmission wiring harness from an International truck with a 1000/2000 series Gen 4 Allison laying around?
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Oct 30 2012 05:20 PM
Just got my drivers door window from Peninsula Glass in place. Odd angles and measures made the cut-out a nail biter. Looks square and simple but was neither. Added a couple of pix to the progress album below. Still need to get the skin on the interior, mount the hinges and a few other things, but at least it constitutes SOME progress.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Oct 30 2012 05:28 PM
...... I can't help but chuckle when you said it was a "nail biter". I can truly relate. Had to recut both of my side windows on my panel because the guy but them to "square" the first time and my side windows would only roll up half way.....I simply told him to "follow the pattern". Oh well, I bit my nails and finally got them in the second time smile

Thanks for the updates. Keep them coming.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Nov 01 2012 12:37 PM
"Measure twice...cut three times?"

Makin' big ol' holes in expensive metal can make a strong man cringe.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Nov 04 2012 11:29 PM
Got the rear duct for the A/C finished up today except for paint (still a long ways off). Modeled it after a rear engine duct on a '30's era transit bus I saw years ago. Just liked the Art Deco, industrial look of it. Was a royal pain to put together but I like the way it turned out. New pix now in the Flickr album.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Nov 22 2012 11:42 AM
Hot-Ziggity! --- my new Allison 2200MH tranny arrived! It will be on it's way shortly to the shop that will be mating it to the Cummins 4BT in a week or so...then the fun begins. Stuffing that package into my chassis will likely be...interesting. Gotta find a whole new steering gear set up as the original is inside the frame rails and, short of a miracle, will probably be in the way. Looking for a late model power steering set up from a 1.5 ton or maybe a bread van (P20/P30). Any suggestions?
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Dec 05 2012 10:16 AM
Drove out to take a look at some possible gears last weekend. Fellow had a 1.5 T flatbed sitting in front of his house that his wife is using as a rose arbor. Long story short...still no 5.43 gears. The ring & pinion turned out to be another set of the "Optional" 6.14:1 gears. Too bad, as they were in great shape. Beginning to believe that just about everyone who bought a Chevy truck from '41 to early '47 opted for the Optional granny gears as that is all I've seen during the past year of searching.

Is there really any such thing as 5.43 gears...or are they up there with the Easter Bunny & Santa?

The hunt continues.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Dec 16 2012 10:15 AM
Will finally pick up my new Allison 6-speed on Monday! From Stewart & Stevenson, it goes out to Diesel Specialists to be mounted onto the Cummins 4BTAA. Then the fun begins. I have a feeling stuffing all that metal into my narrow Art Deco front end is going to get...uh...interesting.

Still on the hunt for the mythical 5.43 ring & pinion set.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Dec 16 2012 09:34 PM
Tango, there should be a song made up about "tango's expos on shorty the bus"

...and, as all songs have an ending I'm sure Shorty will have one to. Thanks for keeping us updated.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Dec 16 2012 09:56 PM
Hey Chip --- just wish the ending was in sight! Got to visit the old girl today for the first time in a wonder this is taking so long.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Feb 17 2013 02:01 PM
Well Howdy --- After more than a year of thinking that the Big Bolt Chevy trucks came standard with a 5.43 rear end and had the "option" of a 6.17...I just discovered it is the other way around! That is contrary to what I had heard and been told (online & off). No wonder I have had no luck finding that particular ring & pinion set.

I finally got my hands on a real '42 to '46 Chevy truck manual and it clearly states that it is the 5.43 that was the optional equipment.

I may be stuck with what I have or have to do a Frankenstein transplant on the whole center section.

Ah well...

Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Feb 17 2013 02:38 PM
Tango, hang in there man. There is LOTS of chapters in a good book. Keep writing and then one day you'll reach the end...... Thanks for checking in.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Feb 17 2013 04:18 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Chip --- I should be wrapping up my current commission project by mid-March and then have a little bit of the Summer to get back to work on the old gal. My engine & tranny are mated and waiting to be picked up but right now I don't have the time to sleep let alone work on anything else.

But soon...
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat Jul 13 2013 07:45 PM
Howdy All --- seems like forever since I've had time to work on the bus or do any fun waste time here on the Bolt.

I do have the engine & tranny together but had to build a hoist before I could do anything else. They have been hanging on it for a couple of months now with no movement and with my current schedule, will stay that way until at least late September. Makin' me nuts! I gotta' back to it soon before the tranny fluid all drys up. Hell...MY fluids are all dryin' up too!
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Aug 04 2013 11:45 PM
Well Folks --- once again I've found a way to avoid working on the bus. I'm off to France for a month in the morning but will try to catch the forum when I can find a connection. Hopefully I will have the Fall & Winter left to get something done on my baby before she gives up on me completely.

Keep on keepin' on guys & gals.

Bon soire mon amies.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Aug 05 2013 09:28 PM
Happy Trails, Tango. We'll be here when you get back or when you need us. Enjoy the trip.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Oct 07 2013 12:26 AM
Howdy All --- Finally back stateside but been so busy playing catchup I've only been able to drop in on the old girl once. Lining up some help on the engine/tranny installation right now. Stuffing all that machinery inside this little front end is going to be...interesting. Hope to get back on this project shortly.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Oct 14 2013 04:42 PM
Minor progress --- Found the power steering gearbox I've been looking for. Came out of an '03 Isuzu NPR. My original manual box fits inside the frame rails and has to go to make room for the Cummins & Allison so I've been on the hunt for one that mounts outside the rails and would be compatible with the Cummins hydraulic pump (1500psi) and this unit does both. Thinking about going back and getting the whole steering column which would make for a simpler conversion but would like to keep the original Chevy truck wheel...somehow.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Oct 25 2013 03:40 PM
Did indeed go back for the whole steering column (minus turn signals). Looks like it might be a pretty good fit and will start working out how to hook it all up soon. Had originally planned on moving the driver position about 6" to the left since it was nearly in the center of the bus and this arrangement will put it just about where I wanted it.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Nov 07 2013 10:46 PM
Made a little progress on the engine/tranny install. Finally got a couple of friends over to help position the 1,000+ pounds with an A-Frame (it really does take 3 people). Got it far enough in to see what all has to move or be adapted. Marked and cut away some of the firewall so that the next "fitting" should allow for something close to final positioning. The oil filter definitely has to go elsewhere but I already have the Cummins plate to mount a "remote" filter. Just need to get the related parts and a couple of hoses fabbed.

Wish I'd had time to snap a couple of pix but the "helpers" were on a short fuse and had to beat it outta' there. Will try to update my album soon though.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Nov 08 2013 02:32 AM
Hang in there Tango, it will all be worth it. I promise!!

Don't forget the pics when you can.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Dec 05 2013 01:57 AM
Doing a little "body work" while waiting on the engine helpers. Test fitting the replacement body panels. One exterior panel will have a hatch to access the holding tank. I just got the SS hinge in the mail today and will fab the rest of it soon. Here's a qwik pic...


Also fitting the interior skin but no pix yet.

Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed May 07 2014 12:12 AM
Still at it and still behind --- just test fitted new rear panels I had fabbed at a local shop. The original wheel openings never did look right and were so small I can't imagine how anyone could change a tire. Here are a coupl'a "before & after" pix...


Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue May 27 2014 10:40 PM
Hope to pick up my new rear end before the week is out. Found a Chevy 3500, Dana 80 HD duallie but the gearing was too low. Swapped out the 5.13 set for a 4.30 R&P. Has huge disks and the same lug circle & pattern as the '46 but my rims will need to have the center hole machined out just a bit to fit properly. Since these are center piloted, the machining has to be pretty much spot on. I will get some pix when we offload it.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed May 28 2014 02:05 AM
Tango, what a journey you've been on. It WILL be very rewarding. Atta boy, stay at it.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Jun 20 2014 11:12 PM
Thanks AChip --- finally got to visit the old gal for the first time in a couple of months. Now have the new rear axle re-geared and on site, working on body panels & window frames and she is all leveled up so we can start wrangling the engine & tranny into place. There are 9 or 10 new pix at the bottom of my album page on Flickr...

Tango's Skoolie on Flickr
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Sep 22 2014 08:22 PM
Guess it's about time for an update --- Been a while since I've gotten back here but some, small progress has been made. Now have the rear axle ready to mount after battling Chevrolet over...lug nuts. They couldn't find their a$$es with either hand as far as parts. Without a VIN, they couldn't even look up the model of their own truck! Finally got the VIN from the wrecking yard only to discover that Chevy wants $10 bucks apiece for frikkin lug nuts! NAPA...$2.39 each.

Been a real battle prepping everything necessary to hang the new side body panels. They will be welded in place, so I had to make sure that everything in between the inner & outer walls was right first. Wound up having to cut and remake the rear window frames and in the process discovered I cannot keep/use the original windows. More time & bucks. Will be ordering aluminum frame bus type windows from Peninsula Glass. Did a lot of insulating using a NASA spin-off product by HyTech. Micro ceramic beads you mix in with paint. I have seen it in action on a tin roof and was blown away by how effectively it cut heat transmission. What you mostly see in the pix is an added layer of the shiny, foil faced, bubble wrap insulating material that is over the ceramic coating. Hoping between the two to help out the A/C & heater.

Engine & tranny are STILL awaiting a visit from a Cummins Diesel tech to do some consulting before I stuff it in and find out later that XXXX needed to be somewhere else. Have one lined up to drop by next week. Hopefully.

Also now have brand new front springs courtesy of Eaton Detroit. It was way too easy. Called and told'em I need them for a 1946 Chevy school bus and got ready for the usual 30 minute explanation drill. The gal who answered the phone never skipped a beat..."What tonnage & wheelbase, Hon?" They even had all the hanging hardware to go with them as well as giving me an extra 300 pounds of grunt to compensate for the weight of the Cummins. Best service I have gotten anywhere in the last 20 years! Maybe 50.

Any how, there are some new pix in my Flckr Album for anyone who likes that sort of thing. Take a peek here...

Tango's 46" Chevy Skoolie
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Sep 22 2014 09:44 PM
Progress is progress, Tango. I looked back at all your pictures and you HAVE come a long way. We're all in your corner and it looks like things are coming together. You'll be riding soon.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Sep 23 2014 12:37 AM
Thanks Chip --- I sure hope so. When I look at what "Ol Trunt" pulled off in four years on his '35 school bus it makes my efforts look simple by comparison. Don't know if you have seen it or not, but you can take a look here...

'35 skoolie

Very trick!
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Sep 23 2014 02:37 AM
Tango, thanks for the link. I had not seen this before. Double WOW is about all I can say. Man, you guys have all the talent.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Sep 23 2014 03:35 PM
Jack is definitely a master builder. He has restored or modified quite a few rigs over the years as near as I can tell and everything I've seen of his has been first class.

Me...I don't have his skill set, so I'm just schlepping through as best I can. I do seem to learn something new every time I work on mine. Just not always somethin' I necessarily wanted to learn.

Example...all the new metal I have fabbed is hot rolled steel. I learned two things about the mill scale that comes on all hot roll. 1. It has to come off before welding or painting. 2. It is a royal PITA to remove!

Spent three hours and wore out myself and nearly every flap disk I had just trying to clean up a little section about 18" x 24". Went online last night and discovered that Muriatic acid is about the only way to get it off without spending three hours per square foot and breaking the bank. have to have access to plenty of water to flush off the acid before it eats everything. The crappy shop I'm working in has zero water so now I need to build some kind of portable tank just to lug H20.

"If it isn't one thing it's another my little Rosannadanna."

PS...if anyone here knows an easier way to clean off mill scale...I am very open to any suggestions.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat Sep 27 2014 03:51 PM
Follow up on removing mill scale...

In case anyone else out there runs into the same issue regarding the removal of mill scale from hot rolled steel, there is a solution. A chemical solution...Muriatic acid. Did some homework online, tried it out and it works like gangbusters. Still need to polish off the residue but it softens the crud enough that a stripping pad makes light work of it. Was a real life saver for me as I have some really big areas that I am replacing with new steel.

Just give the stuff the respect it deserves and take all the necessary precautions when using it. Long rubber gloves, eye protection, lots of ventilation.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Oct 28 2014 11:17 PM
More minor movement --- Now have my new front leaf springs and working on new shock towers. As with everything else on this beastie...having fits locating shocks. May have some on the way that will work but won't know till they get here.

Also dropped the old rear axle and am in the process of cojoling the new Dana 80 to take its' place. New rear springs on the way for it too which will also require re-locating the spring perches out about 3/4 in. on each side. The fun just never ends!

Tango's '46 Skoolie Project

Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Jan 23 2015 12:25 AM
Howdy All - Been a while but I have made some minor progress. New springs are in front & rear and the Dana 80HD axle is now hung. Added a 3 degree wedge to try and get the drive angle close but won't really know until I start putting the driveshaft together. Also gathered up 6 new 19.5" rims and tires to go all around. Had to make adapters so that the front rims would fit, but that was easy enough.

I gave up on pickling the cold-rolled steel with acid. Every time I'd paint some on, the wind would change. Not pleasant stuff to breathe so I broke down and had the remaining body panels sand blasted and primed. I just applied a couple of coats of latex paint with 25% of the HyTech ceramic beads on both sides of the interior panels to help with insulation. They will also get a layer of the silver "bubble wrap" insulation as well. The outer panels will get two coats but only on the inside surface.

Still have not stabbed the engine and tranny in but I have added an aluminum accessory bracket to handle mounting an A/C compressor and relocate the new alternater. A 250 amp monster that should handle just about anything I want to run off of it. It also relocates the water inlet & outlet. Still having fits locating a driveline brake that will fit my Allison 2200MH trans so if anyone has one laying around...?

I hope to have the front disk brake kit from Randy Domeck in the next week or so. Once that kit is installed at least I'll be able to take it off the jackstands for the first time in many months.

There are some updated pix in my Flickr album here...


Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Jan 23 2015 02:43 AM
Tango, looked through your photo's....again, and wow, there's been a ton of work going on. Keep pecking at it, it will get done and you'll stand back and think....did I really do this" smile
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Jan 23 2015 04:02 AM
Hey Chip...I will be thrilled if I am still capable of standing up by the time this thing is road ready!
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Feb 09 2015 04:29 AM
FINALLY!!! --- set the engine & tranny in place on Saturday with the help of a few ArtCar Museum techs. Fitting this "little" Cummins 4BT was one heck of a squeeze. Even more so than expected. It had to sit back almost six inches further than I thought it might (now nearly 30" back from the original engines position). Big engine + narrow Art Deco frame = PITA to fit! But then, how many "mid-engine" '46 school buses can be out there?

We spent the whole day nudging, grinding, measuring & cutting away more firewall but it is now in place and properly aligned (I hope). Now have part of one engine mount tacked in place and can begin the other this coming week. Randy Domeck front disk kits should be here soon. Yee-haw!

Advice to's OK to start building bus from scratch. Just get started before your well into your sixties. I just turned 70 on Groundhogs Day and still have a long ways to go. You do the math.

There are a few new pix up on my now ancient album.

New Pix
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Feb 11 2015 02:01 PM
Tango, age has nothing to do with it...well, maybe a little smile

If it was easy everyone would have a bus....but hey, watching you work away makes me feel like I do have a bus!
Your looking good. The light is on at the end of the tunnel just don't take your eye off of it. It is not a train.

Thanks for the update....and Happy belated Birthday wishes.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Feb 23 2015 06:58 PM
Well...the engine & tranny package are now fully secured in place instead of just hanging from the hoist. Took some assistance to get everything measured and located but we managed to get the engine & trans mounts cut & welded without too much drama. Took a few "in & outs" but they are DONE.

Starting work on the driveshaft, parking brake and front brake system now.

At this rate, should have no problem getting it on the road in time for the next big Millennial celebration.

Gonna' party like it's 2099!

Latest pix are on the Flickr Link below.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat Mar 21 2015 08:39 PM
Not much to show for the past couple of months --- Been going in circles locating what few NOS parts there are to be had as well as spending a bundle at machine shops making parts that don't otherwise exist. Had an insane time with just front wheel bearings. No interchange anywhere for the larger inner bearings and the only replacements for the outers came in at $250 bucks apiece! Which I thought was insane until I saw the exact same Timkins on a macinery company website for...get this...$675.00 each! Replacement parts for the #@!%# Space Shuttle are probably cheaper. Especially now that they are all grounded.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Apr 15 2015 03:05 AM
At last,the bus is back on the ground! --- Just completed installing the front disk brake kit that was made for a 2 ton. And it is Mongo all the way. International big rig disks, Ford F350 calipers. Pretty sure it will haul this little rig down. Took a fair amount of "adjusting" including grinding maybe a quarter inch off the inner edge of the calipers to make'em fit inside the new 19.5" rims, but at least that part is done. Now have to build the rest of the brake system, which includes a whole new firewall to hang things from. Then there is the hydroboost/master and pedals and brake lines, but hey...nobody sold me on this being simple.

Lots of new pix in my Flickr album.

Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Apr 16 2015 04:46 PM
Tango, I clicked on the link but it says "address no valid".
Maybe its on my end??
But as you say...... ONWARD. Every step gets you one foot closer to being finished!
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Apr 16 2015 06:57 PM
Hmmmm...Thanks Chip. For whatever reason, the link is not going where it is directed. Only the "http//" part shows up in the address window.

But...if you copy and paste it it works. Must have something to do with how things are working on the Stovebolt site (?).

The link at the bottom of the page is still working even though the addy is the same. Who knows? All this Internet stuff is actually driven by Voodoo so anything can happen.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri May 15 2015 07:38 PM
More minor stuff --- After several frustrating months, I finally managed to get all the parts I need to mount a real, mechanical park brake on the back end of my Allison 2200. Went round & round just trying to get make/model/year info, then went thru the usual "we gotta have a VIN number" crap with a dozen different parts houses. Finally got one Chevy counterman who could actually look up the parts without said VIN. Hallelujah! Dropped off some cash and they should be "on the truck" shortly.

And...just in case anyone else is looking for a mechanical driveline park brake to fit an Allison 1000 or 2200...they can be found on...

2008/2009 GM Medium Truck Kodiak C4500 & C5500

NOTE: The same unit is also on other trucks, I just stopped hunting when I found these.

Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Jun 15 2015 08:57 PM
Just determined that now I need to cut out the main frame crossmember in order to mount the park brake. Dropped off plans for a bolt in replacement at my local metal shop as I can't make precision bends in the 2" schedule 40 pipe I spec'd.

Also building a new firewall where the old dash was with a small doghouse to enclose the rear of the engine. Next big challenges are putting together a steering column & box as well as the pedals, booster and master for the brakes. More fun to follow.

As usual...latest pix are in my Flickr album.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Jun 16 2015 02:59 AM
Still following you Tango. Keep up the good work. You will git-r-done!
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat Jun 20 2015 04:57 AM
Thanks Chip...I'll just keep "Chipping" at it.

Picked up the steel for a rear deck today and will be playing with that until my crossmember, firewall & doghouse come back from the laundry.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Oct 15 2015 03:08 PM
Been a while but yes...I am still at it.
Had to machine a flange for the exhaust side of the turbo but now have a stainless downpipe fabbed , ceramic coated, wrapped and mounted. Also had to machine a bung so that I can run my turbo return line directly into the oil pan. Have the drain line hooked up to the turbo but still need to drop the pan and weld in the bung.

Managed to cut & paste a less rusty/damaged section of louvers into one of my inner fenders. Next came the steering system. I now have the gearbox & column from an '03 Isuzu NPR mounted. Next is connecting the two and working out the drag link and such.

Lots more little stuff with plenty of update pix in my Flickr Album. Just gotta' keep movin'.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Nov 30 2015 06:13 PM was nearly a month and a half since I last saw this old gal but I am back in town and back to work on it. Just dropped some pieces off at my local machine shop. Need them to make a splined shaft so I can hook my steering column up to the Isuzu gearbox. Turns out cutting custom splines is tricky...and expensive. Will get some pix when it comes back. Plenty of other "little stuff" to keep me busy. Just gotta keep moving.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Jan 11 2016 11:04 PM
Still pokin' it with a stick --- now have a battery box for my "house" batteries as well as a new drop down spare tire holder. Most of the remaining custom made steering parts will be picked up tomorrow (hopefully) but there is still plenty to do before this old gal is road ready. I am also just now ready to try and mount a replacement main frame crossmember. It is necessary in order to make room for the driveline park brake that mounts on the back of the Allison tranny.

New pix of bits and pieces are in my Flickr album for anyone interested.
Posted By: Themoneypit Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Jan 19 2016 07:02 AM
WOOOOW, This is too cool! I'm definitely going to follow along for the rest of the ride on this one smile Incredible work so far, keep it up!
Posted By: Dusty Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Jan 19 2016 08:02 AM
Stunning work Tango , that's an awesome project , thanks for all the updates. smile
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat Jan 23 2016 06:45 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys --- The steering system has really been a bear so far and I'm still working on it. Mating the original '46 axle components to an '03 Isuzu NPR gearbox and column calls of fabbing a bunch of bits and pieces. Tried twice to order a steering column support bearing from one of the big, online hot rod suppliers and both were crap. Wouldn't swivel and did not fit the advertised OD size.

Just mounted by spare tire carrier (most of it) and the new box for my house batteries.
There are some fairly fresh pix in the Flickr Album below.


Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Mar 07 2016 04:58 PM
One Big Hurdle Out of the Way --- Have been working for the past couple of months on fabricating and installing a replacement for my frames main crossmember. The original was located where the new park brake had to fit on the back of the Allison 6-speed. To say it was a chore is a major understatement. It was also nerve wracking. In fact, I left the old one in place until the new one was completely installed for fear that cutting it might lead to some major movement that I could never correct.

The plan called for fabbing and bolting two C-channels that fit inside the original frame...then welding the actual crossmember to them going from side to side. I opted for bolting the C-channels to the frame with eight, grade 8, 1/2" flange bolts to avoid overheating the old metal, which I have been told can lead to cracking. MUCH more work, but I don't want to risk this old gal breaking in two.

I now have to build another crossmember to replace the front engine mount brace that was cut out long ago by whoever installed the 350 Chevy V-8 that was in this rig when I found it (the new engine is a little Cummins 4BT).

I posted some pix in my Flickr Album below for anyone so interested.

Meanwhile...the saga continues.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Mar 15 2016 10:07 PM
Still at it! --- just got back from the local driveline shop where I have been working up specs for a custom driveshaft. The first thing I learned is...they ain't cheap! Nearly a grand to have it built from scratch. It will have to be a two-piece shaft with a carrier bearing since it is a bit long to go with a single. A little more complex to fab for and install, but least it will be in line with everything else on this rig. Complicated & expensive.

My new spare tire carrier is ready to mount now. Had to work it and the hoist mechanism out before I can finish the new rear deck. There's a couple of pix in my album below.

Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Mar 16 2016 01:32 AM
Tango, don't mean to tease you but I sure wish you lived close by. I work part time for Carolina Driveline and could sure help you out big time.
click on product line up...and then Restoration and you'll get a shot of my pickup and panel. Tom and Jennifer are great folks and been doing it a long time. I've know them for almost 20 year.

Glad to see your still chipping...uh, I mean HAMMERING away on this thing. Lots of folks get inspiration from you.

Keep on trucking brother....ONWARD and FORWARD!
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Mar 16 2016 03:45 PM
Howdy Chip --- Thanks for the encouragement. And Ya...I wish you were closer too! This drive train work is all new territory for me and might as well be voodoo. I could definitely use some expert guidance. The shop I am using here has a great reputation and has been around about as long as your shop (since '78) but the ballpark does seem high..."just under a grand". Of course, this is all 100% from scratch.

And that is one mighty sweet pair you have there. I am especially a sucker for panels. Had a '66 Dodge Town Wagon I drove for 17 years and put nearly 400K miles on. Could not wear out that little slant six. Still ran like a top and I never should have sold it.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Apr 13 2016 04:24 PM
Still putzing around with the drivetrain. Turns out I had to make a major adjustment to the pinion 13 degrees! Wound up welding two shims together and will weld them both directly onto the spring perches as soon as my new U-bolts arrive (they needed to be an inch longer). Will post some pix shortly.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Apr 24 2016 03:56 PM
YeeHaw! --- Finally have my driveline & rear axle all lined up and bolted in place. Had to fab ginormous pinion angle shims (13 degrees!) to get it right but now the jackshaft & rear angle are right according to Spicer specs.

STILL waiting on my local machine shop to finish up their work on some engine & steering components but have been told (once again)..."sometime next week"). We'll see.

As usual, there are some update pix in my Flickr Album below.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu May 05 2016 08:42 PM
Well, after getting "next week" for about a month, I finally have one of the critical items back. Just installed the fancy,schmancy accessory bracket from Duiser Offroad/Jonesy's. It is a billet aluminum mount for the Aalt plus an A/C compressor on a Cummins 4BT. Pretty trick but I still had to perform major mods for it all to fit my narrow '46 frame. Tried a test fit with both the alt & A/C and everything fits. Tighly...but it fits.

I am now wrapping up building a new draglink made up from pieces of my original Chevy parts and the new '03 Isuzu NPR power steering system. Hope to have it all together either this weekend or early next week. Hmmm..."next week"...where have I heard that before.

There are a few new pix of this nonsense on my Flickr Album.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri May 06 2016 02:48 AM
Looking good. You are definitely doing the Tango. Thanks for the updates. You are an inspiration to us all.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri May 06 2016 11:21 PM
Thanks Chip...but I am wondering...what is the record for the longest build thread on this site? Not a title I set to claim.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat May 07 2016 12:09 AM
Tango, I spent 5 years on the helpless 37 pickup and I spent a little over 6 years on the basket case 52panel. I'm sure there are many that took longer than that. I enjoyed ever frustration and refused to let them beat me!
Posted By: tclederman Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat May 07 2016 12:21 AM
It took me 9 years "actively" working on my Suburban (after it sat idle for about 20 years)

9 years so far on my COE (everything is ready to be bolted back on).

Longer than that so far on my pickup, but it sat 6-8 years and still needs much body/paint work.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat May 07 2016 04:55 PM
Thanks Guys. That was NOT a record I was hoping to beat. Probably have at least another year and a half to go but getting closer every day. This is obviously not a game for folks wanting instant gratification. Patience and perseverance seem to be the watchwords for rebuilding old iron. And like Chip, I have to admit, I enjoy the heck out of (just about) every little challenge.

Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed May 25 2016 03:06 PM
Spent a couple of days running fuel lines (supply & return). Hope to have my new dual fuel filter system arrive today. Diesel fuel has gotten dirtier and worse in the past few years so I am taking extra precautions including a separate water separator. I think I pretty much have my steering wrapped up except for hydraulics and a little work on the dash end. Nice to finally be able to turn the wheels after nearly three years. Still scrounging around for a remote oil filter system. Can't crank the engine until that's in place, but at least I'm moving in that direction.

As usual...a few new pix in my Flickr album.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu May 26 2016 01:18 AM
Tango, is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel? It may be faint but I believe I do see one...don't you?
Thanks for the updates. Keep on trucking brother. We're all on your side.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu May 26 2016 05:32 PM
Gracias Chip --- Also just got my fancy, schmancy Allison shifter which will let me proceed with working out the dash & firewall situation. Gotta just keep plugging away at it.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Sep 11 2016 04:44 PM
Howdy Troops. Been a while but I am still at it. Lost a couple of months work time due to having a big art project and teaching but managed to get a few things done. Here's a few updates...

Had to fab an extension for the steering shaft.

Looks like it all might fit.

Added more heat shielding to the downpipe off the turbo.

Pieced together a brake pedal.

Cleaned up and primed my inner fenders.

Built a spare tire carrier. It now cranks down.

Re-routed my turbo oil return line directly into the pan to make room for other stuff.

Built an all new main crossbrace for the frame (to clear the new driveline brake).

Got the new all stainless exhaust hung

Have to take another break here soon as I need to relocate my shop & bus. Not looking forward to the move but it will be a much better working situation. Just gotta keep at it.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Sep 12 2016 02:10 AM
For a guy who "lost a couple months" you have certainly made up lost time! Thanks for the update.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Nov 18 2016 05:47 PM
Once again I lost a couple of months. This time to relocating the bus and my entire shop. Good news is that it is a much better workplace. Having to build out storage racks and a big workbench, but should be able to get back to work in a couple of weeks. Will try and update with a couple of pix shortly.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Nov 22 2016 04:17 PM
Meanwhile, back at the Ranch House...

Thought I'd toss this out in case any of you old pros have some ideas or sources that might help solve a minor dilemma.

I am out of room under this old pointy nosed hood and need a large area air filter so the little Cummins I installed can breathe properly. My idea is to find or build a miniature version of the large, cowl mounted air filter canisters like you see on big rigs (there is a pic below). Would really like stainless or aluminum, but I'm not set up to fab or weld either metal. Any suggestions for a qualified builder of similar parts? NOT need the light bar

Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue Nov 22 2016 11:54 PM
Tango, glad to see your still whittling away on the project.

...while Stovebolt doesn't like "double posting" I'd recommend that you ask this same question in the HiPo forum or maybe even the Paint and Body where some fabricators may take notice. I don't think anyone will mind!
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat Nov 26 2016 04:43 PM
Hey thanks Chip...great idea. Hope it doesn't offend anyone, just lookin for some ideas.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Dec 08 2016 12:16 AM I got the move done, built some walls, shelves and a workbench and now I am finally back to working on the bus! The new space is great but relocating everything was a royal PITA...and expensive.

Going at the bus from several angles. Cut out more rusty metal and made room for an electrical box at the same time. Giving the floor a final going over and getting it down to clean metal by removing 70 year old asphalt and welding up a few more holes I have found. Then doing some more work on the dash/firewall and steering.

There are are a couple of pix of my attempt at body work and the hole for the electrical stuff on the album page below.

Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Dec 21 2016 09:35 PM
Added a few pix to the album below of work done after the big move. Cut some big holes out then filled'em back in...removed some paint and put more back on...and added a bit more insulation.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Jan 19 2017 06:04 PM
Still pluggin' away. Got all the rust replaced with new panels on the rear, built in a through-wall box for my electrical (house) panel, some interior walls and I'm now installing the mount for a set of freshwater tanks. As always...pix on Flickr below.
Posted By: Dusty Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Jan 20 2017 04:01 AM
Great project smile thanks for the update .
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Jan 20 2017 04:05 AM
Tango, thanks for the update. For a while I thought you had slipped out the back door smile Progress is progress. Keep on trucking brother.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Jan 23 2017 02:15 AM
Thanks guys. That's the plan...just keep pluggin' away. More to follow.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Feb 16 2017 01:40 AM
Been doing a work all over the bus lately. Hoppin inside and out. Got some much needed sheetmetal that allowed me to start constructing the dash/firewall and mounting some of the stuff that will go through it. Steering, brakes, stuff like that. Added some sheet metal outside and some marine ply inside.

Posted some more pix in the Flickr album. Back to work.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Mar 16 2017 01:36 AM
A few new updates. Made some progress on the footwell part of the new firewall along with working out the throttle & the TPS for the tranny. Pix in the Flickr album.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon May 22 2017 04:41 PM
Been sorting out the bits and pieces of a remote Hydroboost brake system. It is activated by a small (3/4") Wilwood clutch master. Don't really care for the extra plumbing required but there is simply not enough room under the hood to direct mount a conventional master.

A few pix of this Frankenbrake system in the album below.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue May 23 2017 02:59 AM
Thanks for the update, Tango. Your still one of my hero's!!
Isn't it wonderful how one modification leads to one...then another..and another. Or as my grandfather said, if it isn't one thing its sixteen!!
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed May 24 2017 11:01 PM
Got that right Chip, but in my case...more like 16,000!
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Tue May 30 2017 04:38 AM
Made some progress on the brake system. It's more complicated than I would like but given the space restrictions, not a lot of choices.

Installed a remote hydroboost master cylinder from Vanco in CA. It is actuated by a little 3/4" clutch master (that's all there was room for in the engine bay). Had to fab and install a large bracket to hang it on the fishplate and still need to plumb the whole system but at least making some significant progress. Will get back on the engine seriously in a couple of weeks.

New pix in the album.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Jun 12 2017 06:37 PM
Spent a fair amount of time putting together a fold down rear deck on the bus. It will be home to my Honda generator and spare tire carrier. All the metal work is done and all it needs is some Trex decking (fake wood) on top. However, I will wait until other work on her rear end is done for that part. Meanwhile, it will all come off and set in a corner for a while.

Fresh pix in the Flickr Album below...
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Jul 16 2017 01:25 AM
Still at it --- Have decking on the floor, installed the remote hydroboost operated off a clutch master and have begun pulling 110 wiring. And given my lack of electrical savvy, I will be getting with a real electrician on Monday to see if any of it will work.

As always, a few update pix are in the Flickr album.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Jul 16 2017 03:27 AM
Hmm, two months since I checked in and wow, you just keep right on trucking. Evidently your running on energizer batteries. I'll add you to my "hero" list.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Jul 16 2017 01:32 PM
Howdy Chip. I have found that one of the few advantages of being old is the ability to take the heat. Been sweltering work in a metal building with no ventilation at 100 or so degrees and the usual Houston 99% Humidity. Now the cold??? That's a whole different deal. My joints all lock up. So I have to hustle before our two weeks of "Winter" set in.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Aug 07 2017 12:11 AM
FINALLY...I got an Allison tech over to check out some fabbing/cobbling details on the transmission and he thinks they just might work. Had to make an adapter to fit on the Cummins throttle lever so I could hook up the Allison's TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). Also had concerns about how best (and where) to mount the TCM (Transmission Control Module). Have them solidly in place now and really hoping I don't have to relocate anything. Spent part of today securing all the fancy, new wiring harness stuff.

Made some headway in the cooling department as well. Had to make a custom charge air cooler (CAC) and radiator package in order for it all to fit into that narrow, Art Deco nose but it came out pretty nice I must say. least it's shiny. Still waiting on a bunch of plumbing hardware to hook up the CAC. All coming from China (SURPRISE) so no telling when or if it will get here.

Pix in the Flickr Album as usual

Just gotta' keep at it.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sat Aug 12 2017 06:45 PM
Engine & Tranny Progress ---- Finally made some brackets and now have my transmission control module & throttle position sensor installed on the firewall. Also began fitting the tubes to & from my intercooler. Still waiting on the silicone couplings for the tubing but hoping they get here soon...from China, of course.

A few new pix in the album.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Aug 13 2017 01:58 AM
Tango, you make my projects look easy! I've admire your patience and perseverance for some time. I'm thinking it would have been nice if a couple neighborhood young guys took the time to learn some skills from you or maybe a school kids out early to work.
You sure know your stuff and my hats off to ya. Great work.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Aug 13 2017 02:35 PM
Thanks Chip --- But I don't know how good a teacher I'd make since I'm learnin' all this as I go myself. If I could pass anything on to kids today, it would be an unbounded sense of curiosity combined with the willingness to do the work necessary to figure things out. Easy answers aren't nearly as much fun.
Posted By: EdPruss Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Sun Aug 20 2017 03:23 AM

Did you ever get your air cleaner location worked out?

Posted By: GreggE Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Tue Aug 22 2017 03:56 PM
That thing is Sweeeeeeet. Great Job
Posted By: Tango Re: Updated Pix of '46... - Fri Aug 25 2017 08:48 PM
Thanks Gregg. Just saw that beauty you put together. Absolutely perfect for what you are doing. Sweeeet!

Ed --- Still putzing around with the air cleaner thing. Have not found a unit that will adapt well. Saw a home built over on a 4x4 forum made out of cake pans and rivets that really kicked it. Just might steal his idea. But the flow rate has to be right and it has to seal up properly, so fabbing one can be tricky. AT least the one I saw was made for a 3.9 Cummins, so the filter should be right. The builder is one seriously talented dude. I wound up reading his entire build thread.

Here is the "cake pan" conversion...
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Aug 03 2018 08:20 PM
Howdy All --- been a while but I'm still at it. Just finished prepping my window openings for new glass that will go in tomorrow. Lots of little stuff done here and there including getting my E Brake and tranny cables hooked up. All custom made $tuff of course. As pix in my Flickr Album.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Aug 13 2018 02:20 PM
Got Glass! --- All new Low E glass all around and you can even see through it! Quite a change from the old, chipped, frosty stuff. Been (slowly) working at stripping the paint from the roof and rain gutters on this thing using wire brushes on my 4-1/2 and 7" grinders. A major PITA since some moron decided water based latex house paint was a brilliant idea. It was not. The multiple layers are a bear to get off (where it isn't already flaking off) and where it is off (surprise!) rust. Water on metal is never a good idea. Even Detroit is having fits with the new EPA friendly, water based primers. Been going through wire brushes at an alarming rate. Stuff wont sand (plugs it up)...flap disks eat too much metal...and stripper pads are expensive and get chewed up quickly with all the exposed nuts, bolts and screws on this relic. Still having to use a little liquid stripper here and there but trying to keep it to a minimum. Hate that stuff and typically burn the crap out of myself with it not to mention what it does to your lungs.

Oh well, back to work.
Posted By: Rustoholic Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Aug 13 2018 03:57 PM
Have you tried soda blasting the paint off? The baking soda removes paint but does not harm the metal below.

I haven't used it, but I don't restore stuff either. ;-)

Cheers, Dean
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Mon Aug 13 2018 05:04 PM
I have heard really bad things about soda blasting from a few hard core builders. It gets into every nook & cranny and is next to impossible to remove so that when the paint goes does not reach the metal. It holds moisture like crazy and starts rusting those areas badly. There are other media that are better/safer but I can't relocate the bus at this time to a facility big enough to handle it anyway.
Posted By: Rustoholic Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Aug 15 2018 06:15 PM
Here's a blurb about plastic bead blasting that might be a viable option: VCCA forum post about plastic bead blasting

Cheers, Dean
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Wed Aug 15 2018 10:37 PM
Plastic beads have gotten really good reviews with the builders I know around here. Just wish I could move this monster to a facility that does it.
Posted By: Achipmunk Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Thu Aug 16 2018 03:00 AM
When I was doing my panel I ask a company about doing it in plastic and they wanted BIG bucks. I was sick at the time and basically had only part of one side to go so I took it to them just to see what it would do. I ask the guy to also hit the inside where I would be painting. They later called and told me it was ready and I owed them $545. This was around 2012. I took a good friend with me to talk to the OWNER of the place and walked out with a bill of $250....more like it.

Since that time I have a 5 gal bucket of the plastic just like what they used and saving it for something sensitive. Most everything I have needs fine sand blasting. I will have to find it but I do promise you one thing.....if you have any rust what so ever plastic will NOT take it off. Just paint.

just fyi f rom my perspective.
Posted By: Tango Re: Tango's '46 Shorty Bus - Fri Aug 17 2018 03:57 PM
Sounds pretty much like what I heard. The guys I talked to wanted a really low impact on the metal (a couple had nightmare stories of blasters wrecking body parts) and didn't mind coming back and dealing with light rust on their own. I am having to do the same even after wire brushing the garbage latex off.
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