A few more upgrades to the bus

I keep coming to the realization that this whole party bus thing is a constant work in progress.  Maybe one day I will be finished with all the work on it, but for now, I feel like every time I step foot in the bus, I notice something else that I need to add or make an adjustment to.  

This particular time that I worked on the bus, I added the following items:

  1. Exhaust fan in the roof of the bus
  2. New top to the cooler and trash can
  3. Additional interior handrail across roof

The exhaust fan is placed towards the front that actually sucks out the hot air in the bus and allows for more air flow.  Over the past few months, even with the A/C on, it still tends to get a little warm in the bus throughout the evening.  The addition of this fan will not only suck out the hot air, but can also be set up to blow in cooler air to the bus, which will continue to help keep the bus cooler.  

The new top to the cooler and trash can was added because I had heard from a few people that the top might not the be the safest thing on board.  The lids were a little heavy and when people would open and close them, they would slam shut and could've possibly hurt my passengers fingers if they were caught in there.  Also, the sides weren't the smoothest.  

So we wound up taking off the metal top and replacing it with a wooden one and wooden doors.  We were even able to wrap the top in the same black and neon green fabric that is used on the seats so it matches the color scheme inside the bus. 

Cool Bus Houston New Cooler & Trash Can top

The additional hand rail is actually something that was supposed to happen back when I first got the handrails installed back in the summer.  But for some reason, we couldnt find the right style of handrails.  

We also tightened up a few things around the bus like the car charger outlet by the radio console (it had popped out when I was unplugging something) and the connections to the rear view camera as I have noticed that it had been cutting in and out lately.  

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.