Updates on how the bus work is going:

December 12 2005

We woke up nice and early and drove to Cliff's dad's house where we ate a FANTASTIC breakfast. mmmmmmm, breakfast. the bacon was SO good, Brooking and I almost lapsed into tasting it.

After breakfast, we headed back to work on the bus. Cliff, Doug, and Rory worked on soldering together the heating coils for the vegetable oil. Doug had a FANTASTIC accomplishment of 47 solder joints without a leak. That's enough to give him plumber's certification.

Aekta, Crank, Dave, Hoffer, Brooking, and I worked on the inside of the bus in the morning. We painted the inside of the bus a yellow color called "torchlight" which is very, very pretty. it is quite the color, and you guys will love the cheery, happy feeling it invokes.

Just a little background, so everyone knows what is going on with the conversion. Vegetable oil has exactly the same combustable properties as diesel fuel... at 150 degrees F. So basically to convert the bus, we need to be able to filter the oil, have it in a separate holding tank, warm the holding tank to 150 degrees F, and then switch the fuel lines from diesel fuel to veggie fuel. We bought an old diesel fuel tank (known hereafter as Frank) and then starting cutting holes in it. We made a hole in the front big enough to slip some heating coils through. Then we made copper heating coils. Now, what is going to go IN the heating coils? The best way to heat up the oil is to use the engine coolant. In a bus, antifreeze flows through the engine and absorbs all the excess heat. Then this coolant is cycled through the radiator, where it lets off the ambient heat into the environment. What we are going to do instead is to run the coolant trhough the vegetable oil tank, before the radiator, so the heat is let off into the oil and heats it up. Simple yet effective.

Well, it turns out, in a bus, the heating system isn't just a hot air system like in cars. In the rear of our bus was a heater that ran on engine coolant. Meaning, before the coolant went to the radiator, it went back to the heater. So we just cut the heater out and hook the other two lines to the vegetable oil heating coils. AND there is even a switch on the bus to send the coolant though the heater, making our lives very easy. After finishing the heating system, we decided to call it a night. We headed in for a very tasty dinner, cooked by Rory, and then decided to go to the movies.

-Ariel
__________________________________
December 10, 2004

We woke up bright an early this morning at Cliff's house in Connecticut (where we're storing the bus until we can move it to campus), ready for a crazy day. For the first part of the day, we pulled out all kinds of crazy stuff from the bus, cut a bunch of metal out, and removed all the gross disgusting trash that was in the bus (think 10 years worth of 5th graders chewing gum and sticking it on the bus). Another group cut through the oil tank that we bought, and then starting make heating coils for the oil. In the afternoon, we cleaned the entire bus and then painted on a layer of primer. For dinner, we had a very interesting birthday cake in honor of my 22nd birthday. So, the bus is now clean and ready for painting tomorrow. We will be painting the interior of the bus "torchlight" yellow tomorrow, not the ugly mint green that all buses seem to be.

-Ariel
__________________________________