Lofty Motorhome Project


Hi All, This thread will be used to document progress on the Lofty bus to motorhome conversion project.
Lofty is a 1989 Scania bus that is 12.5 metres long and 4.1 metres high with the passenger area extending above the head of the driver to the front of the vehicle. The body type is called Apollo and was built by PMC in Adelaide.



In the past week we have removed vinyl from the internal runway and rear stairs. This revealed some damaged ply underneath and some rust on the framework so we are in the process of sanding the frame and replacing the marine ply. (The orange areas in the image are adhesive).

Mike has been getting familiar with the existing bus electrics and removing redundant wiring.



In the past week Mike has continued to remove a lot of redundant wiring, rejoined bad joints and has finished up connecting the indicators and lights as well as tracing a problem that had previously been bypassed.

The floorboards upstairs have been removed to expose a part of the bus that needed to be accessible. This has aided in removing redundant air-conditioning and heater hoses.

Most recently we have also removed lino and carpet from the front stairs and cab. We also removed floorboards in the cab to get access to air-conditioning and heater hoses.



In the past week, we have removed heater hoses and the heater box and fitted the front seats in the drivers cabin. Lofty is currently at the mechanic to get some suspension work done.


Lofty is now back at HSBNE. We have been liaising with the certifier about seat mounting and have started stripping the cab back and grinding adhesive off the walls. We are continuing working underneath the floors to get as much done as we can while we have access to this area.



(Mike Morrison) #8

The last few weeks have been spent on bus mechanical, more issues are found that have to be dealt with:
The radiator was not great so got removed, the inter-cooler had to come out with it. The radiator was re-cored, the the inter-cooler tested. Unfortunately the inter-cooler had many hidden holes in it so will have to be replaced.
With the radiator and shroud gone, this gives more access to the turbo side of the engine so the oil return line was resealed (leaking), and the mess it left cleaned up. Another leak on the other side of the engine at the power steering pump and air compressor was fixed. Again unfortunately the air compressor had excessive play in the bearings so it is being service exchanged.
Boost pipes for the turbo have been away being powder coated, work continues with wiring and cleaning the under-body.

The inter-cooler after removing,

The cooling fins on the radiator were very corroded, The patch to the lower left was made by running my fingers down the fins.

The radiator after re-core and before painting.

Turbo side of engine.

(Mike Morrison) #9

Hi folks,
Well it has been some while since a log, I will make a few logs over the next few days to catch up to where we are at.

Progress has been made with the inter-cooler and radiator now mounted. Boost pipes and radiator pipes have been blasted and powder coated, new silicone joiners for both.
The cowls were painted and re fitted using nutserts rather than pop rivets.

The frame work got buffed and painted

We had leaks inside, mostly front and rear. We got Pheonix Glass to reseal the windows, they did a fantastic job. Apparently this is a 5 year maintenance job for city buses.

A new electrical cabinet is currently being installed to tidy wiring, intake system still needs reinstated.

(Mike Morrison) #10

So, I fabricated a new bumper for the bus, the old one was rusty and also had repairs.
I got 2 channel pressings from my sheety, butt welded them and then notched the ends to suit the profile from the bus. I bent the ends around and trimmed to suit.
The rear of the bus is not flat but curved, so some heating and cooling was done on the flange to contract the flange and create a curve. All went well and the bumper is currently getting powder coated.


Since the last build log there has been several areas where progress has been made.

Mike found rust in the intake port to the air filter so he fabricated a new air intake section which fits onto the filter.

Mike has reached a milestone dealing with the electrical circuits, getting rid of unnecessary wiring and fitting an electrical box.


We have been liasing with certifiers about the seat rails and Mike has welded in extra support to mount the seats that we have on rails for upstairs.

Since the old horns were broken I decided to 3d print a horn for the bus. We tried it out and the sound was like a big boat horn which was much better than the squark that it made without the horn. Mike discovered that is was weak around the neck so we have inserted a aluminium sleeve inside the end near the thread which has made it much stronger.

Mike has cut out a lot of the floor above the cab. This is to provide extra head room in the cab as the front will be a couch which can have less space underneath so the height isnt required upstairs for this part of the bus. It took over 40 cut off disks to achieve this. Once completed Mike has cut and welded a frame to go beneath the couch. 2018-10-09_16h08_38

And here is a photo of the bumper, powder coated and complete with safety stickers.2018-10-09_16h16_02


We have spent most of the last month working on the cab section of the bus. We found out that the air suspension seats require tie downs to have points to be secured to behind each seat. Mike has welded in steel channel and plate to create these points. The assessor was happy with his work and we now have compliance plates for all of our vehicle seats.
We have spent a bit of time preparing for carpet in the cab section. This is an image of a 3d printed piece to provide a pleasing shape for the carpet to adhere to. AJ helped by chamfering the timber.
We had an expert do the initial part of the carpeting and Mike watched his working methods and has picked up some techniques. I cant tell who did which part just by looking.
I cleaned up the extrusions and Mike added a channel underneath for LED downlights.