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Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

This is a public forum. This forum will be a place to show your Project Eagle and updates on progress you have made. Please make one thread with your project and put all updates in the same thread. Sorry... Eagles only.
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

Hello hello! I’ve been lurking on this and the BCM forums for the past few years sucking up information and figured it was time to contribute something in the hope that it might be helpful or interesting. Time to start our project thread. 

Basic details:
  • 1968 Silver Eagle M01 #7420
  • Detroit Series 60
  • Eaton 10 Speed Autoshift (2nd gen)
  • Raised roof w side aisle
  • Wrico 13kw genset and a bunch of Victron energy gear
  • Originally converted by Burl and Ione Goff out of Deer Park, Washington in the early 80s. Christened “GOOF-N-OFF II” Re-powered with the S60 and Autoshift sometime in 2000-2002. Purchased and remodeled by Rob and Mandy MARTINSON in Summer of 2020
How it looks today
How it looks today
I’m adding several posts below with some of the timeline over the past few years to catch up to today. I’ll do my best to keep it clustered together where it makes sense. Onward….
--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

How we got it and why, distance learning!

My wife and I are in our 40s with 4 kids between us between 11 and 14. Early on in 2020 when the pandemic was just getting started and lockdowns were in place, we talked about taking the opportunity to take the kids on an epic road trip. 

I’ve always been interested in commercial bus conversions  although only in passing and previously had an older gas powered 35’ Winnebago. I love the industrial quality of buses and although I hadn’t yet driven one, I knew they were designed for stacking miles unlike traditional fiberglass RVs. One of our neighbors has an Eagle and I had seen it on a few occasions driving past although didn’t know what it was at the time I really loved the look. 

Anyway, late 2020 we received a notice from the kids schools that the school year would start out with distance learning from home. Time to turn this into an opportunity, so we decided to start looking for something we could take the kids on a month-long distance learning trip. They’d be on laptops all day long anyway, might as will be on the road seeing some cool stuff. 

Only a week or two in, and a craigslist ad popped up for this 1968 eagle, and it was only a few miles from us. 
Craigslist Ad
Craigslist Ad
The bus was owned by Burl and And Ione Goff. They had run a charter bus company out of Spokane Washington years before. Burl retired in 1979 and converted this bus sometime in the mid-80s originally. He re-powered the bus with a series 60 and Eaton auto shift in 2000 or 2002. 

Original Conversion
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Burl and Ione spent many years and tens of thousands of miles and lots of adventures on the bus while they owned it. They spent summers in here in Washington and winters in Arizona and were an active part of the Eagle Community. I’d love to hear of any other bus nuts that met or were friends with them over the years. 
--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

Initial state of things...

When we went to see the bus, it had been sitting for somewhere between 2 to 4 years since last regularly used. The interior and exterior were kept clean, and although there were several incomplete tasks still in progress It was completely clear that the bus was well loved. Burl was in his 90s and wasn’t getting around well anymore. He had many stories about the bus but as things happen when you’re approaching a century, a lot of the details weren’t as clear as they once were. At some point in the previous few years he had started projects that weren’t quite finished. The clutch was unhooked. I think in an effort to put a new master cylinder in. Some areas of plumbing under the bus were dismantled, being repaired or re-routed. Although the interior lights came on, there were several wiring faults and many areas of the underside were a nest. It needed a lot of work, but we were up for it. 

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--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

Bringing it home. 

After visiting several times and talking at length, we made a deal. Although we could see it was a hard decision for them, I think Burl and Ione were happy to see someone take interest that they felt would be able to handle the project and revive things. 

Since the bus wasn’t moving under its own power we had to make some decisions about how to proceed. I’m a handy guy, I have a large shop and a lot of tools and mechanical projects don’t intimidate me. That said, trying to diagnose and repair a project of this size in an unknown state several miles away from home wasnt going to be ideal. We decided to have the bus towed to our place. Once we got to the house, the tow truck driver didn’t want to pull the bus over to our shop, which is about 600 ft away from the house. He was concerned about lack of turning space even though we assured him there was plenty. Frustrating, but whatever. We unhooked the bus at the top of the driveway and coasted down into the valley between the house and shop. Then, keeping the bus running for steering and brakes, towed it up the hill to the front of the shop with my Tundra. It was a bit of a sketchy process, but we made it. Finally, the bus is home!
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At the shop!
At the shop!

 
--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

Getting it back on the road 

We spent the first couple of weeks digging through the bus and trying to track down basic items to get it rolling again. There were a bunch of various air leaks as Burl had previously started working on some project on the air system and many lines were unhooked or temporarily plugged, so we had to track down connections there. Although the bus started and appeared to run great, the clutch was non-functioning as I mentioned previously. Being an Autoshift conversion, obviously none of that was factory so I had to dig in and learn what was built and how it was intended to function. There were several different master cylinders unhooked and laying in the front spare area near the fabricated clutch linkage and the slave cylinder was unhooked with the hydraulic line loosely zip tied up near the driveline which was also half disconnected. After a fair amount of reading and trial and error, I was able to track down a new, like master cylinder and get everything reconnected and correctly bled (bleeding 35ft of hydraulic line with a rise and a drop is a fun process). After getting air correctly plumbed to the autoshift splitter, we were off and running. Success!
Clutch linkage
Clutch linkage
Having taken the bus on a few 2 mile loops around our area, it was time to get it out on the freeway for a short shakedown run. We decided to run down to Spangle, Wa which is a quick 12 miles from us down the highway.  Everything seems to be working well. Bus runs great. Seems to be shifting normally. Stops well. Steers well. Out on the highway it tracks well clipping along at 60-65. About 7 miles down the road after hammering it up a long slight incline, we completely lose power. Lights are on, still have power steering so I know it hasn’t died completely but pedal is dead. We roll to a stop  safely to the side of the highway and it shuts down. After a few hours of debugging and eventually killing the batteries, we give up for the night, lock up the bus and call in a ride home. After returning in the morning, charging batteries off of a portable generator and another few hours of tracing things we found a blown fuse in the main harness to the ECU. Once I replaced that, it fired up immediately and we brought it back home. Several more test drives went well and although I was concerned with the potential cause of the blown ECU fuse, everything seemed normal and we didn’t find anything specifically wrong to cause it (more on this later). 
Stranded on the side of the highway. Oh well!
Stranded on the side of the highway. Oh well!
Just a blown fuse...easy fix
Just a blown fuse...easy fix
 
--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

Remodel and trip planning

Now that we had a working, driving, converted bus, we started to outline our plans for a remodel. We wanted to take a 4 to 6000 mile trip over the period of three or four weeks before the end of the year. We would be traveling with four kids and a dog and needed things to be reliable and comfortable. Trip usage would consist of overnight stays between destinations in relatives' driveways , KOA or RV areas, road side rest stops and the occasional Walmart parking lot.

Interior

Basic plans for our remodel included a significant cleanup and change to interior. The woodwork that they had done was nice but, I’m not a huge fan of 80s/90s golden oak styles.  I know some of you folks are, maybe its a generational thing. Sorry! We also needed to figure out how to sleep 4 kids in the front area without a major restructure.
Oak trim coming out!
Oak trim coming out!
Building benches and painting cabinets
Building benches and painting cabinets
Test fitting the new sink
Test fitting the new sink
Staining countertop blocks
Staining countertop blocks
Almost there, countertops and flooring done!
Almost there, countertops and flooring done!
--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

Basement

After being in use for 30 years since the last build, there was a lot of cleanup to be done. The basement floor was made of plywood and had soaked up miles and years of dust, dirt, diesel and other grime and needed to come out. On top of that, a lot of the basement steel had areas of pretty bad internal rot and rust. I spent a week chopping and welding to get things back up to snuff. I decided to use FRP for the floor and it turned out well and should last a good few decades although I may refactor some of this again in the future.
Rot...
Rot...
More rot....
More rot....
Cutting, welding and patching
Cutting, welding and patching
One piece down
One piece down
There we go!
There we go!
--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

Electrical

Electrical needed a LOT of work. Essentially we rewired as much as we possibly could of the house circuits. We added a bunch of Victron gear, a bank of  LIFEPO batteries and a new Wrico 13.5 generator. The folks over at Wrico as well as the crew at amsolar were awesome helping with all of my questions about what, where, how and why.
Yuk.
Yuk.
New generator
New generator
Tapping the tank
Tapping the tank
Test fit
Test fit
Cooling
Cooling
Go Victron!
Go Victron!

 
--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
User avatar
beltguy
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2563
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:39 am
FMCA #: F246286
Bus Model: 1985 Eagle 10 with Series 60 and Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission (SOLD)
Location: Evergreen, CO
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by beltguy »

Hi Rob. 

Just a quick post to thank you so much for starting a great project thread.   You have done a great job so far and we look forward to seeing more details.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission SOLD
2005 Dodge 2500 with 5.9 Cummins and 6 speed manual 2014 Passport 26 foot trailer
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net NOTE this email box is only for general correspondence and not technical advice
rob.martinson
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:24 am
Bus Model: 68 Eagle 01
Contact:

Re: Martinson's 1968 Eagle 01 #7420

Post by rob.martinson »

beltguy wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 8:58 am Hi Rob. 

Just a quick post to thank you so much for starting a great project thread.   You have done a great job so far and we look forward to seeing more details.

Jim
 
Thanks Jim. I’ve spent many hours reading through your posts and your personal website. Given that I ended up with the same power train that you converted to, I’ve learned much from the discussion. Appreciate all the time you have contributed over the years. 
--
Rob Martinson
1968 Eagle 01 #7420
@themartinsonshop
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