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Old 07-30-2017, 02:25 PM   #1
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How do I remove Blue Bird interior panels?

In the process of doing my conversion, I wish to remove some of the interior panels in my bus, specifically the ones just above the windows which I assume are used for housing wiring. They appear to be screwed on. I removed all the visible screws for the one above the driver's seat and it comes loose, but it still attached at the top somehow. The ceiling panels are riveted. How do I remove these without damage? I may wish to reinstall them just as they came out.

Secondly, the front panel above the windshield. The bottom is screwed in place fairly obviously, the top I am unsure. There are screws visible on the ceiling panel but nothing for the front panel. Am I correct in thinking that removing these will allow removal of the front inside panel?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:38 PM   #2
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As I recall that piece of metal above the windows is trapped by the top of the windows.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:05 PM   #3
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I just did mine. The ceiling panel fit into a one inch groove on each transition piece from ceiling to window. Removing the window trim may allow you to pull down on the transition piece and keep your ceiling panels fastened. I removed my ceiling panels first and pulled them up and out of the groove. Then pulled the transition piece up and out of the window trim.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:50 AM   #4
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Each panel is held in by 2 to 3 screws I know this because I just removed mine and reinstalled them re-installation is not fun
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:18 AM   #5
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Also just did mine last week. There is a fold in the sheet metal that the ceiling panel fits into. I just gave mine a really good yank and they came down. I'm NOT reusing my so when the other end hit the floor, I was more worried about my paint than the panel being bent. If you're putting them back up I would suggest having someone hold the other end.

Zoom in and you can see the fold.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/quaP8h9vVWMe7IVX2


Can't seem to get it to post here4 from Google Drive or FB.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/JtUU1qfAcLOK5AIV2


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Old 07-31-2017, 09:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Secondly, the front panel above the windshield. The bottom is screwed in place fairly obviously, the top I am unsure. There are screws visible on the ceiling panel but nothing for the front panel. Am I correct in thinking that removing these will allow removal of the front inside panel?
As I recall that wall piece between the windshield and the ceiling goes on first. It has little inch-long tabs folded 90 degrees so they're flush with the ceiling metal, and screws went vertically through the ceiling into those tabs. Yes those screws would have to be removed, but probably the front-most section of ceiling also will have to be removed in order to get that above-the-windshield "wall" panel out.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:32 AM   #7
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I'm a visual learner myself, so I thought this might help...

Your ceiling panels fit inside this lip (pictured). I had some issues getting mine complete by myself, but with a partner and a plan - you're good to go.


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Old 08-01-2017, 09:02 PM   #8
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Thanks for the answers. Got both out. The side piece above the driver's window just needed a little 'gentle persuasion'. The one above the windshield needed a second pair of hands - that thing's heavy! ... at least for one person who is trying to guide it around and removing a bunch of wires (which was one reason for removing it in the first place).
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
In the process of doing my conversion, I wish to remove some of the interior panels in my bus, specifically the ones just above the windows which I assume are used for housing wiring. They appear to be screwed on. I removed all the visible screws for the one above the driver's seat and it comes loose, but it still attached at the top somehow. The ceiling panels are riveted. How do I remove these without damage? I may wish to reinstall them just as they came out.

Secondly, the front panel above the windshield. The bottom is screwed in place fairly obviously, the top I am unsure. There are screws visible on the ceiling panel but nothing for the front panel. Am I correct in thinking that removing these will allow removal of the front inside panel?

Thanks in advance.
If you want to remove the ceiling panels and reuse them/ re rivet them on, the only way to get them down without destroying the holes the rivets go into is to drill each rivet. Start with a center punch and Mark the center of each rivet, then drill using a 3/32" drill bit just the depth of the rivet head. Follow that with a 3/16" bit to the same depth. Chisel the head of the rivet off with a cold chisel or air chisel and drive the remaining part of the rivet through with a drift punch. This is the only/ most efficient way to be able to reuse the rivet holes.

Does it sound like a major p.i.t.a? It's not that hard, just time consuming. I'm in the process of drilling all of the rivets above and below the windows on my my 40' Amtran in order to do a full roof raise.

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Old 08-03-2017, 08:43 AM   #10
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Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcustom View Post
If you want to remove the ceiling panels and reuse them/ re rivet them on, the only way to get them down without destroying the holes the rivets go into is to drill each rivet. Start with a center punch and Mark the center of each rivet, then drill using a 3/32" drill bit just the depth of the rivet head. Follow that with a 3/16" bit to the same depth. Chisel the head of the rivet off with a cold chisel or air chisel and drive the remaining part of the rivet through with a drift punch. This is the only/ most efficient way to be able to reuse the rivet holes.

Does it sound like a major p.i.t.a? It's not that hard, just time consuming. I'm in the process of drilling all of the rivets above and below the windows on my my 40' Amtran in order to do a full roof raise.
I'm not reusing my ceiling panels but I think the holes in the ribs are just fine. Haven't stared at them too closely tho.

Using that air chisel, use the punch bit instead of drilling. I wasted an hour drilling then it occurred to me the 3 pack came with a punch. Put the punch in the drill and hit it with the flapper wheel to make the diameter the same as the rivet for a longer distance. You can probably buy a chisel to the exact diameter but again I don't much care for my application.

It is SOOOO much faster than drilling. The air chisel is a Horrible Freight special. $30 I think for the "fancy" one. They had another that was under $20 IIRC. The chisel set is a Home Depot special; $17.98. Probably $12 more and the same set as Horrible Freight but different day, different location so ... I bought decent drill bits while at H.D.; one 3/16ths and one 11/64ths.

If you aren't using the air chisel, you're burning time. My 15 gallon compressor runs constant with the actual chisel bit but does fairly good with just the punch. I'll do a row or two of pin pushing then switch to cutting the heads off then switch back. The "right way" to do it would be to buy two air guns and just swap back and forth since they are so cheap.
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