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The Rebuilding Of A Flxible Clipper

This is the story of the rebuilding of a Flxible Clipper - the later model, called the Visicoach, in fact. (Clippers had many small windows, Visicoaches have mostly larger ones, but of course, fewer. The last of the Clippers - the Starliners, also had (usually) baggage compartments under the floor, and a bump in the roof to accomodate the necessarily higher floor above these.)

Sxy Flxy

Soon after we brought our bus home, he became known as "Sxy Flxy" - the lines of the Clippers inspire this name, which will instantly be understood by most readers.

This is the latest and last incarnation of my pages dealing with the rebirth of ol' SxFlx. It is not complete, at the time of this writing, early March of '05, but I'll be finishing it over the next few months. Meantime, if you're interested, check back occasionally as the project progresses.
Flxi wasn't too Sxy when we brought him home. He was almost 100% rust-free - otherwise I wouldn't have touched him - but his paint was badly chipped everywhere.
There wasn't a spot the size of a jar lid that didn't have a major chip under God knows how many coats of paint. He'd have to come down to bare metal. The last paint application had been a brush-on of exterior latex housepaint. Oh well, it had provided good protection, anyway! What wasn't latex on the inside was Tremclad(TM) "Rust" paint, polka-dotted with rust spots spotting through everywhere. Somebody apparently thought that "rust paint" was how you control rust, and slathered it over the previous factory paint, rust spots and all. It was obvious that his last years of usefulness were as a stationary "motorhome," or more aptly, "trailer," since it soon became apparent that the partially-dismantled Detroit 4-71 diesel had died in service - one cylinder liner had cracked and broken all the way around at the transfer ports. The inside was essentially gutted at this point - some later owner had begun restoration and given up. So the job was going to be:
Seen Better Days!

  • A complete re-power

  • A complete re-conversion of the interior back to motorhome

  • A complete refinish of the exterior - from bare metal outward

  • Replacement of the old "split-rim" wheels and their tires with modern drop-center tubeless rims and 22-inch radials

But the essential chassis was in very sound condition, and these lightweight, rear-engine, highway bussses, perfectly sized for a family of 2 (with animals, of course!), are in high demand, and we couldn't wait to get started on bringing Sxy Flxy back up to snuff!

The Stages

Obviously, the work was going to have to be done in stages. Here are links to descriptions of each stage: