I’m glad you found us. This blog is about the building and enjoyment of our 1968 Silver Eagle. Our journey started in 2003, celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year. We have made many changes along the way and encourage you to surf around and check it out.
I had to hurry and copy some threads from my Project page on the Eagles International website, start this blog and make some quick changes. It appears that their website will be headed to the graveyard in the sky soon, so I needed to save as much as possible.
Feel free to leave me a comment as we embark on this new blog.
After several years with no trim, it finally happened. I found some 1/16″ x 1 1/2″ flat aluminum stock at the local Bible Hardware store. A lot of measuring and drilling but it really came out great. I have about 85′ to go to wrap the bus. The OEM trim I removed was so beat up it had to go.
I’ve been spending the last several weeks using a DA sander to sand both sides and doing some body work on the rear. It’s getting there. I’m taking my time to get the prep work done to my satisfaction. She sure looks all beat up in this shot.
I’m glad I have a place to do all of this work. Don’t have to worry about waking up the neighbors!
We are getting closer to finalize the main color along with some trim colors. I still have some sanding to do over the next few days, then I can start masking it off and preparing to spray it in sections. I will do the curved section of the roof on both sides first, then cover it up with plastic. I left about a 5′ section in the middle from the front cap to the rear cap that will get a fresh coat of roof coating after the bus is painted.
Removal of Roof Coating on Curved Portion of Roof
I have spent the last two weeks removing the elastomeric rubberized roof coating from the curved portion of the roof. I applied it back in 2004, so it’s been on for 10 years. I’ll say one thing about the product, it’s hard to remove! I’m leaving about a 6′ wide strip down the center, front to rear. I’ll re coat that after the bus is painted. I used a heat gun and a wide scraper to carefully peel it off. I did have to use my orbital sander with 60 grit on the rear cap roof. It wouldn’t scrape very easily for some reason. It also took about two or three previous layers of paint. I had thought about removing it down to the bare aluminum, but I might just sand it before I apply the sealer primer. The primer that is there is in pretty good shape. I do know there are several coats of paint/primer underneath.
This is going to be a long process getting it ready. I’ll have to use a D/A sander with 320 to scratch up the blue I put on 7 years ago. I have lots of time and it’s a good project to keep me busy for a while.
The weather has decided to finally cooperate! The freezing cold has left and it has been replaced with some very nice weather. The high today is supposed to be around 76°.
I have started to prep the coach for paint and removed the patio awning yesterday. That was a job for two people but there is only one of me. I got it done and didn’t bend or break anything! It took a couple of hours, but it’s off the bus.
I have had this voltage problem for quite some time and thought I would address it this past Thursday. In doing some troubleshooting I determined that the regulator is the problem as I could not make any adjustments at the potentiometer. I just happen to have a spare one that I have been carrying around ever since I’ve had the coach. Not knowing what condition is was in I took a gamble and installed it. The circuit board looked completely different although the model numbers are the same. I’m happy to report that the voltage remained at a steady 13.84, with no load or a load on the system. I was very happy with the result as the head lights are so much brighter and the turn signal is much faster. Finally we now have constant correct charging voltage.
Here is the a photo of the two regulators. The old one is on the right.
I thought I would post a couple of pictures showing what our bus looked like when the Dixie Echoes had it and also what it looked like when I bought it. Also included is what it looks like now
This what it looked like when the Dixie Echoes owned it. They purchased it new in 1968.
The picture is not the best as it was scanned from my purchase page on eBay back in 2003.
This is pretty much what it looks like today. A few things are different, removed the satellite dome and changed the front grill to original. This was taken in Albany, TX in front of the county courthouse.
I hope the next transformation will bring a better, more appropriate look.
I installed a set of air bag frames to help support the bus over the rear axle. I tested it at 40 psi on a 300 mile trip and could not believe how much better the old gal rides. They are tied to a simple regulator for now. I do plan to install separate valves for leveling at a later date. One side is a little higher than the other, which is the way it was before I tackled this job.
Next project is to add a gauge to my hydraulic jack so I can set up the suspension properly.
It raised the rear of the coach approximately 2 “, which was my goal.
I’m sure there is a better way to do this project, it’s just my way of what I did.
Another shot showing some Per Lux 36A Fog Lights I installed today. I found these on eBay for an unbelievable price! I had thought about cutting holes in the bumper, then thought about it again and decided to mount them in front. I just hated to cut it.
Most of you remember what the front grill looked like along with the rectangle headlights. It really has grated on me over the years. While we were in Texas and visiting Al Moreno, he knew of a guy that had an 01. We drove over and talked the owner into selling me the grill, corners and headlights. Well I finally got it all installed!
We won’t be winning any awards for points at any concours d’elegance shows, but it sure looks better to me!
Now to cut in some holes for the Per Lux fog lights I got!
Well now, Life is Great!
This is a short video of the first test run of the new motor. Everything went better than I expected. It turned over about 5 times then lit up. Great oil pressure and best part of all, no smoke or leaks!
Transmission shifted into reverse, neutral and drive. Had to fill the pumps. Will do a cold/hot check later. It wanted to move. I had my foot on the brake and shifted back and forth. It was trying to move it the correct direction. Yeah!
Click on pic for short video.
The last piece of this project. I hope to fire it up tomorrow if it’s not raining!
No room for the old muffler’s. Went with straight pipe instead. I’ll post a video when I fire it up. Waiting on the last part of this project, the drive line. Potter Webster is making a complete new one. My old one was not rebuild-able, and I’m not taking any chances.