Thanks for the details on the endcaps. I've read in a few places they're not really supposed to be messed with. When looking at it closely, I see a number of things that tell me someone has gone through some thought on them:
* Rib spar connection bolts at the front and rear are brazed so the threads won't come undone
* Front rib is doubled up
* A ton of bucked rivets connecting the skin to the cap
* Deep draw stamping to lend the sheet metal considerable strength
All of those are why I am considering the sloped rear end. When you mentioned adding a new rear cap, you gave me an idea I'm going to work on. I'll leave the end cap and rib, as well as a small stub of the original roof. Then I can rivet on a small roof extension on the lifted section, getting me flush with the rear wall, and instead of a full rib, I'll cut a sheet panel in the same arch and connect it together for the rear end. Then I can just rivet the bottom of that to the end cap.
Possibly clear as mud, when I have a moment I'll sketch it out. Anyway, thanks for the brainstorm!
Originally Posted by Tango
Hey Aaron --- Aesthetics being a personal thing, the straight back look can be accomplished without cutting the rear cap. I did it on the 40' Blue Bird I built years ago. I was advised by a BB engineer never to cut or modify either of the original caps due to the major role they play in overall structural integrity. The answer was to simply cut & fit a new rib section onto what was there then just skin the difference. Another option is to get a second rear cap and attach it to the new rib if you want a nice, smooth rolled edge back there. The space in between the new & old roofs was used to house an A/C unit that fed directly into a center duct providing cool air the length of the bus. It also left a surprising amount of valuable weather-proof storage space on either side of the A/C.
Mine was raised 19" BTW and the full sized ribs were purchased directly from the manufacturer.
Also...skinning a "straight-back" is simple. Getting a good fit on an angled back is a bear to pull off without it looking lumpy.