A New Place To Call Home For Our Bus

Welcome!

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.

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Paint Prep Thoughts

I thought I would share some information that I hope is helpful. I sanded the entire bus with 320 grit using a DA sander. I bought the sandpaper at Harbor Freight, trying to save a few bucks. The last batch I got from my paint supplier here in Abilene. The cost was a little over double for the same count, 100 on a roll. They are PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) discs. My experience was this. I should have used them from the beginning. They last over 5 times longer and don’t plug up. End result, better finish in much less time. The box shows holes in them, mine was a solid pad, therefore no holes. I guess they use the same picture on all of their sanding products.

wpid-img_20140703_102628988.jpg 320 Sanding Disc

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Front is Finished

I was able to polish the mirrors and install them along with painting the wiper arms a satin black. She is starting to look like an Eagle now!

Front is complete

We had a very severe hail storm on Thursday evening that did significant damage to parts of Abilene. Hail as large as a tennis ball were reported. Parts of Abilene just got rain, we got hail! I’m estimating that this stone was much larger as we didn’t arrive home until 45 minutes after the storm had left the area. Can you imagine the damage it can cause, Wow!

Hail size

 

We did incur some to the bus. Several dents on the roof, barely seen from the ground. Roof marker light destroyed along with a marker light lens on the rear cap, our front and middle A/C shroud did not survive. They were very old and brittle, they will get replaced. I fixed the marker lights, will leave the dents alone for now, may not even worry about it.

I tried to clean off the silicone from a previous owners installation and failed, broke 3 or 4 light assemblies in the process.

 

Why anybody would do this is beyond me.

Why anybody would do this is beyond me.

I did install new side marker lights/turn signals, both sides. I chose Grote LED’s to improve the functionality and brightness of them.

Grote LED

Here they are in action. I had one license plate light out, it has been replaced so all lights are operational! Yay!

 

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Some Before and After Shots

It’s time to compare the before and after shots of our Eagle. We are very pleased with the outcome after many, many hours of work. There are a few things not finished, mirrors polished and installed, awning attached and final detail.

It looks completely different than when I first purchased it back in 2003. A huge difference than when The Dixie Echoes owned it. I’ll try to put together more before and after pics, at a later date, from my archives to show the transformation.

All beat up

All beat up

A new look

A new look

All naked and ugly

All naked and ugly

All pretty now

All pretty now

Butt Ugly

Butt Ugly

Much Better

Much Better

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Bye Bye Blue……..

What a day yesterday! I got everything masked and covered to prep for primer. I decided to go ahead and prime both sides and the front. It was a long day! I had to cover the freshly painted white on the roof, finished masking for the second time the passenger side windows. The first set got blown off last week during a storm. Painting in the great outdoors has it’s downsides here in West Texas. I pulled the front windscreen lock strip so I could get fresh paint under the seal. I used Windex to clean the rubber so the tape would adhere to the surface.

I moved the scaffold around the bus three times yesterday. That is a chore on gravel and an uneven surface, I was pooped!

Here is a couple of shots, one of me painting the last section of blue and the other is me mixing up a batch of primer. Becky took these as she was my helper. She got the visor ready for primer and helped with the air hose while I moved around the bus.

I will spray the final white today and then start unwrapping the bus. We are anxious to see the final result!

Mad Scientist Bye Bye Blue

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Cheap Bus Wrap and White Roof

I finished wrapping the bus, front and rear, so I could tackle the roof. I sprayed primer and two coats of white. It came our great! A perfect day to “Git Er Done”!

Tomorrow is supposed to be nice also, very little wind and temps in the low 80′s. We’ll see what’s next!

I should have picked a smaller project, huh!

wpid-img_20140514_145629807.jpg

Curved roof is now white.

Curved roof is now white.

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Sprayed Olympic White Yesterday

I was finally able to spray the rear of the bus with primer and Olympic White paint yesterday. It came out better than expected, nice and shiny. I am so happy as this is the first time the rear of the bus has had paint on it since I stripped it 7 years ago. I am relieved that the original 01 tail light holes came out so good. I had to do some repair work to cover them up. The previous party that did the work used cardboard and bondo to do the patch work. This time we welded aluminum pieces in and did it correctly. I’m also showing the Model 10 window on the passenger side. They will really add in the appearance to the overall look. The most challenging part of preparing yesterday was fighting the wind trying to secure the plastic to protect the coach from any over spray.

I really wanted to continue with priming and painting the curved roof today, but the temps stayed in the lower 60′s. Hopefully tomorrow that will get done.

Silver Eagle Model 10 Windows

Silver Eagle Model 10 Windows

Rear Cap Driver Side

Rear Cap Driver Side

Rear Cap

Rear Cap

Rear Cap Passenger Side

Rear Cap Passenger Side

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Blue and Red is Finished

Yesterday was a beautiful day for painting. Temps were in the low 70′s and the wind was very calm. I layed the red on the front and passenger side and it came out very good. Now that the striping is finished I can cover it up in a day or so and start priming and spraying on the white. I’ll do it in sections due to the size of the project. We’re getting closer!

Here is what the blue and red looks like against all of the ugly paper, plastic and masking tape.

Blue and Red Metallic Striping

Blue and Red Metallic Striping

This shows what it looks like up close

This shows what it looks like up close

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Paint Update

I was finally able to spray some paint yesterday. It’s been a long time coming, but worth all of the work. We also were able to find some front side windows off of a parted out Silver Eagle Model 10 to replace the original ones. These are so much nicer, tinted and tilt out from the bottom. It will add a new dimension to the appearance of the coach.

I hope to add a red metallic stripe centered in the blue today. It might not happen though, we had a severe storm last night with very high winds. I’m sure the paper covering the coach took a hit. We’ll see what it looks like at daylight.

Here are some pics to show the progress.

 

Blue Metallic on Banding

Blue Metallic on Banding

New Windows from a Model 10 Eagle

New Windows from a Model 10 Eagle

Primer Time

Primer Time

 

Rear Panel

Rear Panel

 

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Getting Sanded and Banded………..

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.

Front Banding Left Side Finished

Front Banding Start

 

Front Banding Complete

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.

Bus Side

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.

 

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Paint Prep Work

Roof Coat Removal

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.

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