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Old 04-17-2015, 02:46 AM   #81
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If I were you, I'd try taking it apart from the inside until I can see the outside skin, then make a decision about how to disassemble further from there.

Is there a particular reason you want to remove the fiberglass cap?

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Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Trying to figure out how to break the sealant/adhesive that is between this fiberglass rear cap and the sheet metal -- with minimal damage to the fiberglass so it can be re-used.

A friend suggested... oh, what did he call it... a "buzzy cutter," I think. Also known as "oscillating multi-tool." Maybe that vibrating blade could slide between the metal and fiberglass..? Surely it would shave some fiberglass off the back side, but maybe not too much... Any thoughts about this or another approach?
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:02 AM   #82
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they need to take cap off to raise the roof
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:41 AM   #83
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Even I would not remove that fiberglass cap.

Find another way.

Nat
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:05 AM   #84
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I'd like to replace the sheet metal all the way to the rear corner -- and it laps under that fiberglass. There will be a horizontal cut all the way through the fiberglass on each side of the rear window so the upper and lower sections can part for the roof raise. I'll be learning how to do fiberglass in order to extend at the cut location and also shrink the rear window opening.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:18 AM   #85
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Itch,itch,scratch,scratch! --- I'll take welder burns over working with fiberglass any day. Good luck with it. Maybe a custom fitted Tyvec body suit is in order.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:14 PM   #86
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If what you're talking about is a "Fein multi-tool" then I absolutely swear by them. They were the tool of choice with all the fiberglass work I used to do. You use a 3" cut-off blade on them. You can definitely "shave" fiberglass with them by taking cuts at a very shallow angle - it was like a wood plane but for fiberglass. Or you could get a nice straight cut right through. And you can hold it against your hand and not cut yourself.

For cutting BETWEEN things it's not quite as straightforward. Believe it or not, a good tool for that is actually a hacksaw blade held in your hand. You take long passes along the joint line and it shaves more than you realize out of the joint. 20-30 passes can make a surprisingly deep cut. Note that you're cutting with basically just one tooth here - sort of shaving out the adhesive from the joint. If the adhesive is rigid, this often works fairly well.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:49 PM   #87
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Yeah it looks like that Fein multi-tool is the same kind of thing. So if I'm being honest with myself, it'd be a fun tool to have but this particular step might not be the right excuse for buying one!

Actually this morning I started thinking about a hacksaw blade too. It looks like I might need to reach into the lap joint about 3" deep. Holding a blade with no frame is a pain, though, and blades are cheap enough.. I think I'll make a little frame and weld it to one side of the blade to make a very flush cutting tool. Being hand operated it'll be easier to avoid ruining anything in the blink of an eye.
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:27 AM   #88
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For the MOAR PICTURES crowd:


The panels on either side of the engine are all that's left of the exterior sides. Yay! My dad thinks we should should take it out for a ride in skeleton form. It'd be.. interesting. Not going to do it, but it's fun to think about the funny looks we'd capture if we did that with a camera rolling.


After a long day of work Saturday I went to work on the front fiberglass cap. Soon I remembered a bundle of these composite shims sitting on the shelf. I first thought of it just for keeping the gap open so the adhesive wouldn't re-bond to itself while I'm trying to get the rest of the part off. It actually worked very well to work the gasket scraper along for an inch or two, then put another shim in -- in hindsight it's obvious that the shim helps stretch the joint open, which makes it much easier to drive the gasket scraper in to tear the now-stretched glue. There's still a long way to go, but it's a start at least.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:39 AM   #89
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Good to see a pic of the whole bus. Now I understand why you need to remove the fiberglass cap.

Great to see another member digging as deep as I did on my bus.

Be care full jacking it up / moving it around with the skin removed. The body will shift and break structural fasteners.

I'm seeing a bit of this on mine.

Nat
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:46 AM   #90
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Nat is absolutely right --- because the sheet metal skin is "wrapped" onto the framework of the ribs as it is riveted, it is naturally under quite a bit of stress. When the ribs are cut free, it wants to go back to another shape. It is important to stabilize both the lower and the upper cut-free portions to prevent misalignment when re-attaching as well as movement resulting from the release of that tension. While it does make for a lot of ducking & maneuvering during the raise and re-attachment, tack welding or bolting cross member braces on both sides of the cut line is important. Adding longitudinal support should be considered as well. Occasionally, someone will get lucky and get by without this step, but those who aren't so lucky wind up dealing with a nightmarish task when it comes time to reassemble the two elements.

Just my two cents, but I heeded that advice when I raised my old BB 19" and it went back together flawlessly.
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