Sally Forth Brave Warrior.
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the march hare - project - page iii
I rarely, if ever, have a complete plan.

I was pretty certain that I had it right, but admittedly had
resigned myself to the possibility that I might venture a
bit too far onto thin ice, and that with any one cut
through the structure, that the coachwork would spread
away from the frame - or slip from the shoring - and
render my beloved bus a forty foot lawn banana beyond
repair.

Regardless, sometimes a bloke just has to pucker up
and double down.

The structural chair rails - about to be removed in three
foot increments - visible from below in this shot.
Rear wheel tubs removed.

They're actually in decent shape and I intend to reuse
them.
That's a frightening amount of bus being supported on
carbohydrate foam sticks.
A cross section of the original factory supporting
construction method.

Bent 16 gauge floor plates riveted to a 3/16" L bracket
with a doubling plate. The coachwork supported by
distributed loading across the plates.
The current plan is to distribute the coachwork across
thirteen 2" x 2" x 0.25" mild square structural tubes
supporting longitudinal 2" x 4" x 0.125" rectangular tube
which is then welded to the roof bows and stagger
riveted to the exterior sheet metal.

So what's our theta-beta-omicron modulus over Pi
coefficient of neatly trimmed boffin bearded I don't know
what the fuck I'm doing and can't show my work math?

Suffice, it's a hell of a lot stronger than it was originally.

Enough by my hillbilly calculation - which involved
drawing a unicorn with boobs in a notebook - to negate
the necessity of structural floor plate altogether.

I'll decide what to with that data when i get there.
It's that day. The day where more metal goes in than
comes out.

Tooling costs have jumped to a whopping $265 with the
Mastercraft drill press  and a Princess Auto one inch
step bit.
Again, with no actual plan yet.

I mulled the idea of positive through frame fastening, but
eventually decided to go with the original equipment
manufacturer's method of clamping, reusing the factory
clamps and bushings. Presumably twenty six grade eight
1/2" bolts are sufficient to fasten a bus body to a truck
frame.
Almost certainly. Regardless, blow me..

Have I mentioned that the 'Hare will have hatches
to deploy killer robots located beneath the floor
on either side behind the rear axle?

Although I hadn't originally expected to cut this
deeply, there is something to be said for having a
blank canvas at the end of the day.

My horrible parents would presumably, had they
still been alive, have looked upon this project with
the same disdain that they reserved for my
childhood propensity for taking the clocks and
radios that I would find in the trash apart.

Because every parent's worse nightmare is
having a child who acquires their own free toys,
spends hours quietly playing with them, and
learns things in the process.

But I digress.
Something wrong with that boy.
I very well may have been able to piece and patch
the bus together without totally gutting her, and
there was admittedly a certain impulsive desire to
expedite the interior workshop build (I haven't had
a work bench in four years), not to mention the
desire to simply drive her around. Miles per gallon
be damned.

However,
temet nosce.

My poor tortured brain would likely have ruptured
knowing that the repairs were anything less than
in
my opinion perfect. I'm more than slightly OCD
in such regards.

As well, there would be the likelihood of having to
revisit heavy repairs later, when I may not be quite
as physically capable.

And so finalizing the decision to completely
re-engineer the structure seemed the only logical
course of action.

Beyond the structural floor replacement I have yet
to put plans to drawings, note book doodles aside
- but I definitely have ideas and a vision.

The stronger and more rigid cross-members will
allow for the entire side skirting to be removed
and various sized "belly boxes" installed along the
exterior length of the underbody.

I can assure you that I wasn't joshing about under
slung bays with pneumatically actuated
deployment ramps housing killer robots, but also
space for the generators, batteries, HVAC,
compressed shop air, tethered welding and
cutting, and various other bits required for a self
contained mobile fix absolutely anything anywhere
shop.

This will be my hobby center, but it will also be my
retirement exit strategy.

Long after I'm considered old and useless by
industry, stroking out or asshole cancer
notwithstanding, The March Hare will ensure that
the cupboards will be full of more than pull tab
cans of Whiskas.

In the interim, I have hopes that footage of the
build project will be interesting enough, and to
enough people, to eventually support a YouTube
channel series covering the build..
Last updated Jan 4, 2019.