A wise man once said, "Patience is a virtue"

It has now been 3 weeks since I dropped the bus off to get the interior customized.  They say it should be complete this week, so I'm crossing my fingers.  

One thing I have learned in this whole process, is that when you are dealing with another trade and they give you an estimated timeline for the job completion, go ahead and tack on another week to their estimation.  

I don't want to rush any of these trades that are working on the bus, because I want to make sure that the work they are doing is being done correctly.  But it is a little frustrating that it took 5 weeks for the engine to get fixed and now 3 weeks for the interior.  But like I said, patience is a virtue. 

While I have been waiting, patiently, for this work to finish, I have been taking care of a few other things in the meantime.  

  1.  I have confirmed where I will be getting the exterior of the bus painted.  The same company doing the interior renovation will actually be able to get the bus painted as well.  This will save me the hassle of moving to/from another location and they can just keep it at their shop to begin the paint job.
  2. I am also working on my DOT Certification.  There has been some paperwork and other items I've had to fill out that I wasn't aware of, but are essential to getting the bus up and running as a commercial business.  There are a few online forms and a couple of training sessions that I will need to complete to make sure I am in compliance of the necessary law and regulations.  
  3. Finalizing the design and order for some promotional items - ladies tank tops, koozies and of course, the sunglasses.  
  4. Continuing to get quotes on the graphics.  Now that I have decided to paint the exterior first, the quotes that I received initially from companies in regards to wrapping the full exterior of the bus, are no longer applicable.  I will need new quotes on just adding the graphics as if it were a decal.  For future buses, depending on the condition of the paint job, I should be able to get them wrapped.  

I am hoping to have some pictures of the newly renovated interior by next week that I can post on the site.  

More high's and low's...

This past week was one of highs and lows.  Lets start with the highs and get off on a good note.  

Step 1 of my cosmetic work was started and completed this week.  I converted the area that was originally set up as an ice well (the area that looked like a sink) to be used as a cooler and trash can.  Eric Gavina helped me with the framing and metal fabrication with his expert welding skills.   I dropped if off on Thursday afternoon and picked it up Saturday morning before I drove to College Station for an annual get together with buddies and the Texas A&M vs. Kentucky Men's Basketball game...which A&M won in OT on a basket at the buzzer!  Whoop!

Eric said he spent about 10 hours total on the bus.  Not only did he work on the steel frame inside the bus, but he was able to cut off the black steel grate that was attached to the hitch at the rear of the bus.  I was trying to remove it myself, but the key for the Master lock was broken off in the lock and therefore, I could not.  He removed it and replaced it in a way that if I wanted to remove it in the future, it wouldn't be an issue.  However, I don't think I will be doing that since I will need a place to hold the external generator for the air conditioning that will eventually be installed.  

Personally, I think it looks awesome!  

Now, on to the lows...

Like I mentioned in my previous post, the bus stalled on us as I drove some friends around town last Friday night, 2/12, and I wound up getting it started back up and parking it in front of my apartment. 

From that time, I had been in contact with a mobile mechanic who helped me previously with some maintenance and work on the brakes.  I thought he was going to be someone I could count on and use on  a regular basis.  

I was able to set up a meeting at the bus with him Tuesday morning and he confirmed his initial analysis that it was my fuel solenoid that was causing the issue.  I told him I wanted it fixed ASAP.  He called me later that afternoon to tell me that he needed to go back to the bus to get a part number so he could order a replacement.  

I have not heard from him since.  He wont return my calls or texts.  

The bus stills runs but the engine keeps stalling if it runs for an extended period of time.  I knew this before we left for College Station, TX Saturday morning.  

We left Houston at approx. 10:15am and pulled in to College Station around 11:15am.  We were making good time.   That is until I pulled up to the light at 2818 and Texas and the problem arose yet again.  The bus stalled as I was in the turn lane, so the only thing left to do at that point was to sit and wait for the engine to cool off.  

After waiting for about 45 min, the bus finally turned over and we were on the road again.  We headed to Northgate to meet our buddies for lunch and parked the bus for a few hours before I moved it to our hotel parking lot for the remainder of the evening.  

Sunday, the bus started up and we took off back to Houston.  I knew what was going to happen when I came to a light, so I wound up shifting in to Neutral and keeping my foot on the gas so the engine wouldn't idle.  This worked to perfection. 

I was able to drop my buddy off at his car after going through a couple of lights without the bus dying before finally arriving back at my office to leave it for the night.  It was timed perfect as I was trying to position the bus for final parking location, when, yes, you guessed it....the bus stalled.   

I've taken it to a new mechanic and am hoping to have the issue fixed over the next couple of days.  

I've also met with a company that solely does custom party bus renovations.  I am hoping that they can be a one-stop shop for all the items I am looking at adding on the bus - lighting, handrails, upholstery, etc.