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Dex is short for Disorient Express.
The Disorient Express is Disorient's fleet of mutant vehicles.
The Dex is the first module of the Disorient Express.
Dex2009 bm.jpg Dex inside bm2007.jpg
Orange dex.jpg IMG 0412.JPG Dex cuddlefish 2009.jpg

General Dex Information

Name: Disorient Dex
Purchased by Disorient in July 2005
Make: Harvester International
Year: 1985
Street legal
License number: 979UTJ Nevada
Fuel type: Biodiesel
Dimensions: 24' long, 7' wide, 10' high
Dex transformation (Summer 2005)
3D model of the Dex (Google SketchUp format): Media:Dex.skp
Dex on Facebook

Driving tips:
1. Start engine.
2. The annoying sound is normal. Wait a couple of minutes for pressure to build in the air break tanks. The annoying sound will stop when there is enough pressure and it is ok to drive.
3. Push the big black button towards located around center of the dashboard ALL THE WAY to be in driving mode. If you don't push all the way you will hear an air sound which is normal but you need to push all the way until the button snaps into position to be able to drive. You are not supposed to have your foot on the brake pedal when you do that.
4. Put in 1st gear, or reverse depending on the situation. The gear display is off by 1 so get used to it before getting on the road.
5. When you're done driving, put the gear in Neutral and pull the big black button all the way back towards you. This is the parking brake.
6. When you're done driving for the day, you must empty the air tank. To do this you gently push on the big black button until you hear no more air coming out. This will take a couple of minutes.

Practice 1-5 a couple of times before getting on the road. It is not difficult but it does require some adjustment from driving a vehicle without air brakes.

Cuddlefish (2009)


In 2009 the Dex becomes a glam Cuddlefish-inspired creature with inflatable horns and tails by AKAirways, 1000 Watts smile by Tejawe and lights by Leo Villareal. The speakers are hung outside starboard on a new L-shaped shelf fabricated and installed by Simas and crew. 3D model by KC.

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New starboard shelf

New 2009 Dex shelf for speakers
Dex shelf2009 top.jpg Dex shelf2009 pers1.jpg Shelf Sketch.gif

Shelf will be supported with heavy duty shelf brackets:

Pioneer Wagon (2008)

The DV8 DeX will be a covered pioneer wagon for the American Dream theme.
3002844179_1a4cfcdfc0.jpg 3003682686_93a906d2df.jpg


- Arcs formed from 1-1/2 In.(1 7/8" OD) Polyethylene Pipe (can be bend without any heating) mounted with u-bolts to DEX side posts.
- ability to use roof covering as daytime shade similar to an RV awning
- lighting truss mounted on the fascia above the lounge cut-outs. It can be ratchet-strapped or chained to the side of the roof rack where we normally mount the Small Sign
- some kind of wagon wheel representations
- not trailering a generator; mounting one on the front or rear of the DeX and perhaps another one on the roof
- perhaps creating simple barriers around the roof, with foam padding, covered by stapled cloth to create a chillspace and increase the people capacity

Images and Links

1-1/2 In. x 100 Ft. Polyethylene Pipe ($63.29/EA) will need 200'. U-bolt ( item #3043T81 or bigger depends on side post dimensions

3 arcs will be attached with u-bolts. For 2 in the front and one for the rear Simas will make a simple bolt on bracket.
DeX-pipe holder.gif Pipe Placement.jpg

We will need 6pcs 25' plastic pipe. As arcs at the rear & at the front will be mounted with brackets, place them on angle to give better wagon look. Proposed wheel design. What size? On the scale sketch 7'dia looks about right for me.
Wagon Scetch1.jpg Wheel 3D.jpg

Repairs needed

- Air brakes (Alarm of the compressed air tanks does not stop even when the tanks are full--tank is leaking and needs to be repaired/changed)
- Several lights are broken
- Alternate gas Tank needs to be emptied a bit (-=7=-)
- Alternate gas tank (or the line?) has a whole in it which need to be repaired (-=7=-)
- Internal lights need to be checked (-=7=-)
- Would be nice to have some type of small handle on the main door

Wayne's did good work for cheap in August 2007. For air brakes they recommended a truck stop just outside Reno going towards Wadsworth on the Interstate.


Repairs needed:
- Alarm of the compressed air tanks does not stop even when the tanks are full.

Pauly a very helpful guy from Sunshine Service (775-358-5486 did Dex lube, oil and filter service in 2006 for $201.14) recommends Wayne's Automotive for oil/lube change. Call Pauly for more info if needed.

Dex has an appointment for lube/oil service at Wayne's for Monday August 20th. Wayne's doesn't do air-breaks but will recommend a place.

Dex exterior

Puddle discussion: Mobile units

The Dex carries Disorient Signs, art installations and lounge to deep playa destinations during Burning Man 2007.

The right side of the Dex opens-up onto the Playa and carries the Small Sign. This 10-foot opening allows perceptual connections between inside and outside. A large step made of speakers allows guests to jump in and out of the lounge when the bus is stopped. DEXers also like to dance on that speaker stack.

Sat night.jpg Dex04pers01.jpg Dex04pers04.jpg

On its left side, the Dex carries three letters from the DISORIENT Sign.
Depending on which letters are added access to the gas tank and battery can be blocked. Jumper cables (leads) must be clamped and secured to the battery before putting the letters on. In addition, a large flexible tube with a large attached funnel must be secured to just outside of the gas tank entry valve so that when adding gas there is no issue with accessing the gas tank to add fuel and one only needs to open the tank and insert the tube.

IMG 0451.JPG Dex04pers03.jpg Dex04pers02.jpg

In 2005 and 2006, the last six letters of the Sign were installed in front of the DISORIENT camp. In 2007, those letters are installed on the new addition to the Disorient Express: the Rex.


A Firmament-inspired light sculpture is installed on the roof along with other sculptures/installations by members of Disorient including inflatables by Anakin Koenig. A rack is especially designed to securely hold those pieces. The bus is equiped with a comfortable DJ booth (in a private area in the front), Disorient's sound system and a public lounge in the back.

Dex artur.jpgSunrise.jpg

The Dex changes location several times during Burning Man but it is not meant to be a transportation unit like the Nautilus. It is a mobile installation that changes context. It is docked next to large-scale installation and gives Disorienters and Burners the opportunity to experience sculptures and the deep playa for extended periods of time. The Dex paired with selected playa installations creates a dramatic yet comfortable environment that includes dance floor, chill-out area and many art works by members of the Disorient collective. The body of the DISORIENT EXPRESS is covered with gold mylar.

Five5.jpg IMG 0415.JPG

Explore the deep playa in the comfort of your own puddle with the DISORIENT EXPRESS.

Dex Interior

Early drawings

Here is the inside of the Disorient Express deployed without outside additional snap-on modules.

Click to enlarge

When in travelling mode:
- the stage/stairs fold-up and close the large opening on the right side of the bus;
- the part of the circular sofa that is outside the volume of the bus on the left side collapses or slides-in;
- the dj booth slides back inside the volume of the bus.
The storage area in the back below the zero-gravity chair is accessible from the door (not shown on these drawings) at the back of the bus.
dex02pers02m.jpg dex02dj01m.jpg

The front of the bus is a private area with individual lockers for Disorienters. Dancing poles around the dj booth help the bus stay structurally sound.
dex02inside01m.jpg dex02deployedplan01m.jpg

Dex racks

Early drawings

There are modular racks on top of and under the Dex. The Sign and the snap-on modules will be attached to these racks.

dex03pers02m.jpg dex03pers01m.jpg
Click to enlarge

Both racks (above and under the vehicle) are built on the same principle. Each rack is made of three hollow metallic poles (6" x 4" section) that cover the entire length of the vehicle. Those poles are connected to each other and attached to strong metal beams that hold he body of the bus. Each pole has slots (every foot or so) on its sides, large enough to slide two 2x4 wooden studs next to each other.

The 2x4 studs of variable length (from 8' to 12') slide in and out of both sides of the vehicle allowing large and heavy equipment/artworks to be installed on top and on the sides of the vehicle.
dex03pers03m.jpg dex03pers04m.jpg

Possible finishes for the outside of the Dex:
- matte black (so the support disappears in the night and the attached artworks and the inside are more distinct)
- gold
- matte playa color (like the Borg containers)

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Dex related links

- Dex transformation
- Dex toolbox
- Dex version a1: early Dex plan
- DiGDi5: early Dex concept by RoBo and Spec
- Other Mutant Vehicles
- Re:Vault - asigurari auto