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Old 05-25-2015, 12:26 AM   #111
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Great pics.

Good to see progress.

Nat
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:29 PM   #112
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I've been dreadfully.. dreadful about (at least) two things: progress on the bus, and pictures of said lack-of-progress. Having mentioned on a few other threads that I've scraped the tar off the roof of this bus, it's time to post evidence ("pictures or it never happened," blah blah! ).

Here you have one section of the roof after insulation was removed and loose bits brushed away.


Same section, after hot scraping:


This pile of tar junk came from three such roof sections (I think it was just three..):


Finally, most of the process all in one frame:


In text form: I used the 3" metal putty knife shown above, plus the heat gun and buckets of elbow grease, to scrape off as much tar as possible. There's kind of a "sweet spot" with the heat at which the tar becomes soft and scrapes off fairly easily, but then it takes more time to get the next area heated to that point. It took 15-20 minutes per section of roof, except for a session I did in full sun 1-3 pm on a day of above 100 F temperatures. Those sections took "just" 10-15 minutes each. Overall I estimate there were 8-10 hours of work in this step.

After the scraping was all finished I wiped the residue with naphtha. It soiled the rags pretty quickly, and I settled into a two-rag process that worked fairly well. The first rag was soaked with naphtha and was used to wipe down an area. While still wet, the second (less dirty) rag was used to wipe off as much as possible. When the second rag became soiled to the point that it didn't wipe clean very well anymore, the rags were rotated: the first (wet) one was discarded, the second (dry-ish) one became the new wet rag, and a fresh clean rag took on the second-pass role. This step was much faster, probably under 2 hours.

Yet to be done is one more pass with naphtha. In the picture one can see there's still some residue in the top-left corner; I think a second pass like the first should get it pretty clean. Later will come a step of pressure washing (FINALLY!) and maybe de-wax/de-grease prep step before I have foam sprayed on...

I tried MEK, acetone, xylene, and naphtha. All dissolved the tar, but MEK and acetone flash off WAY too fast to be useful. Xylene was kinda OK, but naphtha just worked better. It is commonly found in the paint department at hardware stores and might be labeled "VM&P Naphtha" (varnish makers & painters) or maybe just Naphtha.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:03 PM   #113
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Great documentation of a nasty (but mostly necessary) task. Thank you!
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:05 AM   #114
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Seems like so much work to remove that gunk! Yikes!
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:23 AM   #115
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Great tech.

Nat
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:21 AM   #116
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I'm going through the same process. Lots of work, but well worth it for spray foaming successfully!
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:21 PM   #117
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Finally, more progress! The raise is so close I can taste it. Or maybe that's the taste of cutting dust..

First, an interesting picture from the tail of the bus. I had not realized before I began tearing the outer skin from the shell that the area covering the engine is cantilevered. It doesn't bear on the bus frame at all. Instead, there's a post and beam arrangement in the wall to hold up the engine compartment and the back end of the roof. It necessitated a change in plans for the raise in that area, but it'll still work out fine I think. This photo shows where I made cuts to leave the post and beam arrangement behind while raising the remainder of the wall. Note the 2x4 tucked under the back end to support it while the roof and walls are away.


Now.. it's time to solicit some advice. First, here's an area where a window is to be deleted. In order to support the sheet metal that will cover this space, and to add additional structure for supporting the roof, I'd like to install new rib material where the green line is drawn. I have sufficient channel material to remove (fully replace) that cripple below the sill. Should I remove the sill and run a "trimmer" or "jack stud" from the floor up to the bottom of the header? I assume removal of the header is a Bad Idea. But what about the sill -- is it important to keep? Does a regular skoolie body, ie one that does not have large windows as mine does, have a sill like this between every rib? I could remove the sill, install the new rib, then make two smaller sills from the one and install them in the gap between the new rib and the existing ribs to either side..


Next question. This one's a bit complicated to explain. The concept here is that the front door is to be deleted, and I'd like to shift the front-most window to occupy the space where the door was. So I'd move the header and sill forward (and the sill upward; the base of the windows is to be a few inches higher from the floor) and will have to make modifications to the rib structure. Effectively I'll be cutting off the factory ribs and un-cutting those that were cut at the factory. The big question is how to make the connection of the new rib to the old where there's very little room to overlap them.


Another question on that one is what about the wheel well? The new rib would be bearing there, and I'm realizing now that doesn't seem like such a good idea. Maybe I have to install a horizontal beam here to carry the load out beyond the ends of the wheel well? I didn't think this window move thing through very well before allowing my heart to get set on it.

One possibility, rather than cutting the rib that has side material and extending the one that doesn't, is that I disassemble this part of the roof too so that I can shuffle the order of the ribs. Let me tell you how much that sounds like fun...
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:42 PM   #118
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The wheel well rib is supported at the bottom by the chair rail on most buses.

Also the rub rails spread the load to other ribs with more rivets into the chair rail. They serve as horizontal supports.

Nat
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:51 AM   #119
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Progress has been slow -- I keep getting drawn into other projects, and the poor bus just sits there neglected. The roof is raised and hat channels halfway secured. Pictures "coming soon."

For now my mind is on getting the new exterior skin sheet metal ordered. The biggest hang-up with that is figuring out the windows. In particular the bunk bed windows are challenging because there are 6 of them. Of course I want them all to match, and don't want to pay $300 each piece...

These bunk windows will be kind of small, maybe 9-12 inches high and around 20 inches wide. It'd be all frame and no glass if they had any kind of slide mechanism for opening, so I'm thinking along the lines of fixed flat glass like that used for automotive rear quarter glass. Hopefully that'll keep the price down too. Having never installed such a window myself I went youtubing and found Looks easy enough.

But how to form that inset flange in the sheet metal? Its depth needs to be about the thickness of the glass plus adhesive so that the finished window is roughly flush to the body. I think I could make a template from MDF and hammer form the sheet to form the first bend, going inward. The metal in the corners would have to stretch. But then I have to fold it back into a plane parallel to the rest of the sheet. Hammer form again? Now those newly-stretched corners have to be shrunk so the metal lays flat with no wrinkles. This sounds daunting because I've never formed metal like this before.

Does anybody have any ideas to share for the forming of this lip/flange/whatever-it's-called in steel sheet to accept a quarter window?
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:58 PM   #120
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From windows I've done, the rubber trim has the groove for the glass + the groove for the body right along the middle-you can just put it over the sheetmetal. The window + trim may stick out 1/4"-but thats about it. This is doing standard flat glass on a flat panel-any shape or form in a Land Rover or other cars have that lip formed by a 500 ton press.
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