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Old 10-16-2016, 05:00 PM   #11
Almost There
warewolff's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: NY
Posts: 82
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
So we are still stripping the interior and prepping for paint. There were quite a few holes left from removing the stop sign, mirrors we won't use ... and the vinyl decals proved a real challenge to remove.

I power washed the entire lower exterior of the bus yesterday, everything from the windows down. There was a lot of gunk that I just couldn't remove scrubbing. One added benefit to doing this was that I was able to completely remove all of the vinyl lettering and reflective tape. It left a lot of stubborn and sticky layer underneath, though.

We ended up using an adhesive remover from Autozone to remove all of the residue and peeled it off with a spackle knife. It all looked clean after about an hours worth of work.

We continued prepping with a 5" orbital sander from Harbor Freight and used both 110 and 200 grit sand paper depending on the area.

Meanwhile, I was having a tough time removing some of the stripped/stuck screws to get the rubber up inside. I ended up taking out the angle grinder with a sanding pad and was able to get most of them out. I'm still having a little trouble removing the stripped screws from the walkway itself and have resorted to grinding right down to the rubber to remove them. It's been time-consuming, though.

We did run into some snags.

First, while grinding the rivets off the wall, I found a beautiful fiberglass layer underneath. It looks to be in perfect condition:

Additionally, that piece of sheet metal in the picture wraps underneath the window and underneath the exterior of the bus. The only way to remove it is to cut it out. I already fouled up the caulking on the bottom frame of the rear two windows by trying to tear it out and can see light seeping through from the outside. I'll have to repair that. For now, though, I'm at a total loss.

After seeing how clean it looks, it seems like an awful lot of work to remove perfectly good insulation only to foul up the windows in the process. I'm considering closing my work up and leaving all the insulation as it is. I'd then add ANOTHER layer of foam insulation over it, framed in wood. It would shave off the width of our bus from 7'6" to ~7' even, but I'd imagine it'd be really cozy inside. Additionally, it will give us a small windowsill (and a nice frame to put in temporary window insulation over the winter). Thoughts on this?

Lastly, I finally got that pesky heater loose in the back. When I started to remove one of the hoses it looks to be filled with engine coolant. What is the proper way to get this thing out and seal it off correctly?

A big thank you to all for the feedback. What are everyone's thoughts on leaving the wall the way it is? Most of the builds I see remove the walls completely but we got lucky with a truly rust-free and mold-free bus...
Roads? Where we're going, we don't need ... roads.
warewolff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 05:28 PM   #12
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 52
For the walls it depends on the climate you intend on parking in and if you are going full time or like us, as a weekend RV. The biggest heat loss is going to be out the windows. Lots of single pane glass with aluminum frames. The heat is going to be sucked out through those more than anything else in the bus. So, if you are keeping the windows, the walls will be just fine. Adding some to the inside should work, that is my plan.
Some on here go all out, pull the ceiling, walls, floor, etc. and spray in foam, add RV double pane windows and really make it insulated. All good things. Others don't and just overcome the heat loss with more BTUs. Your budget, location, and plans will determine what you need to do. But, I would say if you don't plan to remove the windows and replace with something a lot better, adding a ton of insulation other places will have some, but limited effect.
As for the heater, follow the hoses to the front of the bus where they hook to the front heater. You can by-pass then there. Just make sure that you keep the coolant flowing in a loop, in to the front heater and then back out. I pulled the hose going to the rear heaters and routed it into the front heater. It will be easy once you get a good look at the front heater.
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:29 PM   #13
AlleyCat67's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 195
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
That one section of insulation did look really good.... but just because it was good there doesn't mean it will be the same everywhere.

I would open it all up and check it... if it's all good there's no reason not to just leave it in place... screw the sheet metal back into place and proceed with your plan to frame over it. But if you find a bad section, you'll want to rip that out and replace it... foam board, spray fill, what have you.
My bus - Jasmine
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:51 PM   #14
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 2,513
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the hoses go to the bergstrom heater drive console.. you SHOULD be able to get them cut loose there.. your bus will fill very quickly with coolant as all the heaters are full of it... I had drained my coolant system already because i knew i was gutting out the driver heaters.. in your case im not sure the best way to go to keep from flooding out the bus with coolant.. you cal close the valves but theres still a lot of coolant inside the front units...

as for the rear hoses.. there will be hose clamps right at the out let of the driver heater.. you can undo those.. or you can cut the lines there and cap the hoses.. im not sure what your plans are for rear heat on the road.. whether you will want to put that unit back in or not..

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