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Old 08-02-2012, 02:42 AM   #111
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

Today, I had new front gas shocks installed. Man, what a difference. I can't believe the original shocks were still on there. I know the worn shocks accelerated the front end wear. I also had the pressure protection valve replaced. Those new shocks really made the front of the bus smoother. I still have more work to be done on the suspension. One step at a time.

As far as the inside of the bus, I have been collecting items for the conversion. Some of the stuff I already had. I just needed to retrieve from storage. Progress on the bus has been slow due to work. I have some pics to add but I'm too tired right now.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:47 PM   #112
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

I've been working on the bus a little. Unfortunately work has kept me from doing much on the bus. I still need to finish the down and dirty RV conversion to get my plates. I changed my mind(go figure) about skinning the bus. I really wanted to keep all the windows because I like to see out and open them when I drive but they rattle and are DRIVING ME CRAZY(more crazy than usual). What gauge of sheetmetal should I use? I can get one sheet to do the whole side but I don't think that is very practical or feasible. I stopped and picked up samples of 16, 18 and 20 gauge. They are much thicker than I imagined and to think I wanted to use 14 gauge. So what do think about 18 gauge or is that still too thick. I'm going to use 12 foot sheets by 30 inches.

Next question is about windows. Where can they be found without spending an arm and a leg? I don't want to use home type windows.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:40 PM   #113
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

CC, if you want to use 12'X30" material you will probably need to use a temporary support rail under the length of the metal. That will make it easy to keep the roll goods straight while you attach it. Even with the rail you will have your hands full using that long a sheet. Unless the sheet is structural, I think 20 or even 22 gauge material would work. Either would be lighter weight to deal with. You might get less beer canning with the heavier material--who knows. My two cents worth, Jack
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:15 AM   #114
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

Hey Cal --- have to agree with Trunt...hanging that long a strip is tricky without a large crew and all the right equipment whether you weld or rivet. Avoiding "oil canning" is tough without preheating the metal which complicates matters even more, especially on larger sheets. As for thickness, I tend to go with whatever is closest to the original skin. In my case, that's about 16g. I'm closing off two smaller windows by riveting in separate covers for each. They are being bent to fit as we speak. Will use some seam sealant around the edges and back it with sound & thermal insulation.

Regarding "oil canning"...those are the wrinkles that form after applying the metal due to thermal expansion and/or contraction. The worst cases I've seen were where folks applied the sheetmetal in cold weather. First time it heated up, it expanded and since it was locked down and couldn't move, it distorted severely. I've been told by "experts" that any new sheetmetal needs to be heated to about 125 degrees while being applied to avoid this issue, but over heating can cause problems too. Too much heat while applying can literally tear the metal or pull rivets & welds loose if the metal shrinks back too much.

Don't mean to sound negative, but large scale skin jobs are quite tricky, even for experienced pros. Just do some more homework and only take on what you can handle for the most acceptable results. Good luck with it bud.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:57 PM   #115
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

I'm not doing the job myself. I have someone helping me. He has mucho experience with this stuff. The 12 foot section is the smaller section. I could have gotten it as on continuous sheet from one supplier. Like 25 feet long. That nonsense has been thrown out the window. The 12 footers are how they come as sheets as opposed to a roll. I can have them cut to any length. As far as oil canning, this stuff is pretty thick. I think the bus would deform before this stuff would. I can have it cut to any length. I think the sections on the bus are about 6 feet long. Maybe I'll do the same.

I've been looking for windows right now. We'll see what I can find.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:30 PM   #116
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

I'M LEGAL! I HAVE PLATES! WOOHOO!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #117
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
I'M LEGAL! I HAVE PLATES! WOOHOO!
Congratulations!!! feels good doesn't it?
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:37 AM   #118
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

Yeah. My temp was on the inside so it wouldn't get stolen, but its hard to see through the tinted glass. I was worried that I would get pulled over for no plates.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:45 AM   #119
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

Congrats on the plates.......... bout time, whats next?
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:42 AM   #120
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Re: 1997 AmTran International DT466

Rip everything back out. My wood floor is toast. I didn't want to do it until I had my plates. I need to make sure the bus is water tight from all directions then replace the floor.

Man,the DMV was busting my balls. Each person was coming up with something else. Doesn't matter anymore, it's done. This has been a slow process because I can't devote time as needed. It's OK, I'll get there. Not as fast as some of you, but fast enough.
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