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Old 12-24-2017, 02:54 AM   #1
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Unhappy Help! Stumped by indestructible green adhesive

I want to do a roof raise on my 2003 Thomas rear engine. In order for that to happen, I need to remove the external skin panels from the ribs/pillars between the windows. On my bus, these panels are held on by screws, so I thought it'd be smooth sailing, but it turns out there's also a layer of some green adhesive/epoxy holding them onto the ribs. This stuff does not want to let go!! I got one of them free after much hammering and prying and cursing, but I nearly ruined the second one and had to give up. Is anyone familiar with this green stuff? It's very hard and solid, not gooey or sticky, and amazingly resilient. Any magic tricks to make it budge? I bet I'm not the only mid-aughts Thomas owner who's tried to do a roof raise...
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:16 AM   #2
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You can try what I did:

I used the air chisel- just lay flat against the panel and BRRRrrrrzzzzt ! It was apart. I re-profiled my chisel edge to be single bevel.

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Old 12-24-2017, 11:24 AM   #3
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What angle did you attack it from? I tried hammering a flat pry bar (essentially a big chisel blade) between the panel and the rib from below, which worked okay on the first panel (left it a tiny bit bent), but failed the second time (bent the panel more severely and didn't break the adhesive).
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Old 12-24-2017, 11:31 AM   #4
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Try a heat gun. Worth a shot.
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Old 12-24-2017, 12:09 PM   #5
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Try a heat gun. Worth a shot.
I see what you did there.
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Old 12-25-2017, 01:04 AM   #6
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Hmm, now I'm realizing that this is complicated even more by Thomas' signature slanted windows.... I would pretty much have to do the rib extensions *below* the windows, where the ribs are vertical, meaning I'd also have to at least partially remove the whole outer paneling on the sides of the bus....

Edit: Perhaps I could accomplish it by just unscrewing the top of the panels + rub rail and then cutting the ribs very very carefully without actually moving the panels... Need to investigate more in the daytime.
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:16 AM   #7
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Or just add on to the roof...

1e2cb887b9968bfaf9df791aa7c4eec0--converted-bus-bus-house.jpg
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Old 12-25-2017, 10:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cromulence police View Post
What angle did you attack it from? I tried hammering a flat pry bar (essentially a big chisel blade) between the panel and the rib from below, which worked okay on the first panel (left it a tiny bit bent), but failed the second time (bent the panel more severely and didn't break the adhesive).
angle- air chisel starts into seam at 45 degrees, then lays flatter against panel.

Air chisel is the key word- hundreds of beats per second. It slides the blade between the sheets.

Try hammering putty knife.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:35 AM   #9
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Or just add on to the roof...

Attachment 18043
That's what I'm talking about. Hook up that steering linkage so the whole thing can be driven from the VW.

No caffine necessary.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:37 AM   #10
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That's what I'm talking about. Hook up that steering linkage so the whole thing can be driven from the VW.

No caffine necessary.
You'd get a prime seat for that low bridge
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:54 AM   #11
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Details, details. We may need a few overpasses made into drawbridges.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:28 PM   #12
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11 FOOT 8 - The Canopener Bridge
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:46 PM   #13
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I think that truck did a wheelie while the top was crumpling. It's nice how it was shot from so many convenient angles.

We have one tighter than that, also because of a railway bridge in a major rail artery. Some of the parts of our country's infrastructure are just silly. It's like the government doesn't expect to continue living here.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I think that truck did a wheelie while the top was crumpling. It's nice how it was shot from so many convenient angles.

We have one tighter than that, also because of a railway bridge in a major rail artery. Some of the parts of our country's infrastructure are just silly. It's like the government doesn't expect to continue living here.
I'm impressed they even have a digital sign that senses your height and lights up OVER HEIGHT MUST TURN before you get to the intersection and it functioned correctly. I hope he got an appropriate running red light ticket after they viewed the video.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:11 PM   #15
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Or just add on to the roof...

Attachment 18043
Is the VW just used as a bedroom?
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Old 12-27-2017, 01:58 PM   #16
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Happy to see that 11 Foot 8 made it into the thread. It's one of my favorites!
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:09 PM   #17
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Anyone ever figure out what this stuff is?
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:13 PM   #18
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Anyone ever figure out what this stuff is?
It's a panel adhesive to aide in structural integrity and vibration control.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:14 PM   #19
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Whatever it is, it's amazing.



I would love to have a list of the exact chemical components that went into our buses manufacture. In particular, the window sealant & that green stuff. No matter how many times we've removed and replaced our windows during deconstruction, they refuse to leak. The always-flexible sealant re-seals with perfection every time. And the green stuff...


What was left on the body panels stayed there when we painted the floor. It got prepped just like the steel did. It had better adhesion to the metal than the paint could ever hope to!
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