Archive for the ‘Cleaning’ Category

Carpet Cleaning

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Still waiting on brake repair but can’t let the world pass by while doing so. Thanksgiving Day and my family takes the evening meal together. What better opportunity to clean the preowned carpet that I want to install in the bus?

It was tricky running the Rug Doctor up and down those bumps up front, but well worth it.

I did three full passes over all of the large and small carpet scraps, got really tired of running in and out of the house to empty the extraction tank and mix more cleaning solution, and was still pouring fairly-dark grey water out of the tank after the third pass. But that’s enough; I’m done. The carpet is now rid of obvious dusty and dirty spots and is a uniform color and texture. It’s also further relaxing its bends from being rolled up in storage.

It’s 50F outside somewhere near here; it feels like 60F outside here in the still air; and it has to be 70F inside the bus with a clear sky and the sun shining down. The front door, back hatch, and all the windows are open and a breeze is blowing through to dry the carpet.

$25 to rent the machine, $6 for a bottle of pre-treatment spray that I don’t think really did anything over as large an area as I used it, and $13 for the jug of cleaning concentrate.

Now make a computer model of the floor of the bus and of all the carpet scraps so I can see how best to fit them in. And as soon as they’re dry, borrow my brother’s carpet seamer and start cutting them to fit and piecing them together.


Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Filthy rear area of schoolbus

Pick the grossest, nastiest, filthiest job you have available …

Scooba floor cleaner in aft starboard area of schoolbus

And give it to a robot.

Scooba floor cleaner in aft port area of schoolbus

Scooba ran like a champ for me all weekend, with the bus parked on the street in front of my house.

Scooba floor cleaner in aft port area of schoolbus

I’d go out every hour or so to check on it, empty the tank and refill cleaning solution, and/or change the battery. The dirty water I poured out was absolutely inky black.

Aft port area of schoolbus as cleaned by Scooba

I’m sure I could continue to get black water through many more cleaning cycles, but Scooba has done a very nice job of making the back end of the floor not look awful, with relatively little effort on my part.

Bathroom area of partially converted schoolbus

I did pitch in by hand with bathroom cleaner on the toilet and the tile floor.

Engine Cleaning

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Purple schoolbus pulled into shop for engine cleaning

After unloading the last removable items from the interior, I dropped the bus off at Hinz Motors to have the engine compartment pressure-washed. It’s easy to see that the brakes and power steering each have small leaks; but with so much gunk on everything, it wasn’t easy to see exactly where.

Greg only charged me $21.46. I think he should have asked more and I tried to tell him that, but it’s hard to argue with the guy holding the cash register. So to speak.

Bus engine compartment, passenger side, freshly washed

I think they did a bang-up job. I had no idea there were colors under the hood! Blue hoses, red cables, orange stars, green clovers …

Bus engine compartment, driver side, freshly washed

The leaking parts are nice and squeaky clean. Once everything’s completely dry, I’ll take it for a spin and see where the fluids show up.

$21.46 engine cleaning

A Day at the Dump: Goodbye, Furniture; Hello, Weight

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

It’s been a wet week, with particularly heavy rain and strong winds on Monday night. When I went to work on the paint Thursday, I saw that my 30-day tag was missing, having softened in the rain and torn off in the wind.

My wife and I looked all over the area and couldn’t find it, so I arranged to go in late to work Friday so I could go to the courthouse and get a replacement tag so I could go to the dump Saturday and get the bus weighed so I could go to the courthouse next week and title the bus with an accurate weight.

I just happened to have a little extra time Friday morning before the courthouse opened, so I dropped by my brother’s house to give him a heat gun he had asked for that it turns out he had already bought himself. (No problem; I expect I’ll be going through several in the near future.) And it also turns out he found my tag, saved it for me, and forgot to mention it. Thanks, bro! :-)

30-day tag on rear of schoolbus

I reaffixed it this morning, using washers to keep the paper from tearing off again.

Only One Leak???

It’s raining again. (Oh will my heart ever mend.)

Rain leaking into schoolbus driver's window

Found this on the console by the driver’s side window, and no other leaks. Of course, the bus still has enough filth and spills inside it’d be hard to spot more leaks right now; but if this is all there is, it seems pretty manageable.

To the Dump, to the Dump, to the Dump-Dump-Dump

Jonathan and I took the bus to the dump this morning to dispose of the worst couch and chair. I confess that there may have been slightly more celebratory rolling of furniture out of the back of the bus than was strictly necessary in order to get said furniture over to the big green dumpster.

We arrived early when there weren’t many other people at the dump yet — apparently the second load of the day — and the attendant seemed amused and chatted a while about my plans for the bus. Good conversation starter.

With Jonathan in the bus and me on the scale outside the bus, the total weight was 14,700 lbs. Figure 200 lbs each, so 14,300 lbs for the bus itself, including a full tank of gas (400 lbs) and no water (as far as I can tell) in the tanks.

Two different gals at the courthouse were looking up similar VINs for me and coming up with 7,200 lbs. I think they must have been looking at short buses. My family’s 1969 Ford Galaxie weighs 3500 lbs; I can see that a short bus could be two Galaxies and the long bus could be four.

More Cleaning

After returning from the dump, Jonathan and I unmounted and unloaded the cheap stereo speakers that were screwed to cabinets and walls, pulled out and discarded cheap speaker cable, and did general litter patrol. Big yellow bag for trash; small bags for recyclable plastic and metal. We left it ready to sweep and mop.

Forward view of schoolbus interior

Here’s the forward view through the back door, with the floor in its full grotesquerie. The bright windows you can see through are the ones we opened to get a cross-breeze. Most of the dome lights work; those that don’t appear to have bad bulbs rather than bad wiring.

Front half of schoolbus interior

Forward half of the bus. The cabinet on the right needs to go and make way for a passenger chair (with seatbelt); but it’s bolted down and we didn’t have the right tools with us. The sink cabinet on the left needs to be replaced with something a little nicer, but it’ll do for now.

Rearward view of schoolbus interior, back door open

The interior looking rearward from the front, with the back door open.

I haven’t figure out yet whether the cutout in the counter was for a stove or refrigerator. The gas line inside it doesn’t necessarily answer the question — I’m learning that RV refrigerators can run on gas (or 12VDC or 120VAC).

Rear interior of schoolbus, back door closed

The back end with the door closed.

Easy Window Repairs

Schoolbus window frames

While I was fetching a nut driver for the speaker mounts, Jonathan took apart a window frame. He had it back together by the time I returned; but apparently the two screws come out, the adjacent frames lift off, and the windows lift out.

That’s encouraging to think of the ease of replacing the glass in broken windows and the ease of (eventually) replacing the windows with something that seals better and has a double pane for better insulating value.


$7 dump fee
$7 total for getting rid of nasty furniture and weighing the bus