The bus has been pretty good over the past week or so, it starts up on the button and apart from a little bit of a flat spot when cold is running pretty good. I readjusted the choke by aligning the (rather small) mark on the choke element housing with the mark on the carburettor, this has made a massive difference but there is still a bit of hesitation when pulling away. This disappears when warm so I'm guessing that I've still got a little tweaking to do.
MelleMel did a fantastic job of cleaning up the interior, the bus looks like new, there's no more grime on the dash, and the interior trim now looks like you could eat your dinner off of it, which is pretty cool. As Mel says, at least you know that the only grime in the bus is your own.
This past weekend I spent some time getting the interior finished off. I removed everything from the inside and set about wire brushing the floor before giving it a coat of enamel paint to stop any further corrosion. The floor is in really good condition with only some light surface rust adjacent to the door where it has a leaky door seal. I've got a new seal to fit up although I haven't done this yet.
With the floor painted I could finally move on to actually getting the interior fitted up. The first stage was to cover the front of the rear seat. I'd bought some industrial style cord carpet from Bunnings for this. It's the hard wearing stuff and is a pretty non offensive plain grey colour. We did consider various outrageous colour schemes but decided grey was the go as it matched the rest of the interior.
The carpet was stuck using a standard spray on contact adhesive, this holds everything down really well but due to the foam backing on the carpet is not particularly forgiving if you don't get it right first time. Some help is definitely recommended when doing the large areas.
I covered the sloping part of the rear luggage area directly sticking the carpet to it, this effectively covers the area under the seat, the rest of the area comprises of two further panels - one each for the main floor and rear luggage areas. With the area under the seat glued in place I refitted the rear seat.
When I made the rear seat base I opted to add a bottom panel to it, this has a couple of advantages, firstly it hides the floor and provides a nice smooth bottom to the area under the seat which means less chance of losing small stuff that you drop under there (I'm sure every bus owner will relate to this), it also strengthens up the entire rear seat assembly and provides an easy means of fixing the seat to the floor. My bus was originally a microbus so it has the floor fixings in place for the rear seats, in fact the original hold down bolts were still in the slots when I removed the rear seat. I simply added two suitably positioned holes in the seat base and then used the existing hold down bolts with some nice new nylocks to hold everything in place. This makes me feel a whole lot better about using the rear seat in transit.
To cover the floor areas I opted to use a 6mm MDF for the main floor and a 3mm MDF for the rear luggage area. The MDF is important as otherwise you will get a ribbed effect in the carpet as it forms to the floor panel profile. The 6mm in the main cargo area is necessary as it has to deal with the weight of a family walking on it. The main cargo area was pretty simple to make up by simply taking measurements of the remaining floor area after fitting the rear seat, I opted to bring the panel out to within 20mm of the edge of door opening. I also cut it to follow the profile of the edge of the opening. The rear area was simply a case of using the existing board but modifying it so that it was full width with no opening for the spare wheel. (the original panel was only 3/4 width).
I also covered the rear side panels in the cargo area. Normally these would be covered in a black or grey vinyl but I opted to use the same carpet as the floor. This also allowed me to reuse the existing panels, which were a little too damaged for recovering in vinyl, the carpet is much more forgiving and covers many of the dents and blemishes without issue.