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Old 06-27-2018, 11:30 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Godfrey ON
Posts: 15
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TCF
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
How much can I cut?

So my Blue Bird TCF is a basket case. Not easy to find a clean bus in the rust belt.

The steel floor is toast, as well two of every three floor support crossmembers.

Every third - gusseted to the body - is quite thick, and so still sound.

My intention is to gut it from the inside out and replace all of the rotted members (2 x 0.100 square structural tube), and steel floor.

Ambitious I know.

I'm worried about removing too much structure though, and having the coach fold up or sag.

Are the lower inner longitudinal wall channels (where the ouboard side of the seats mount) structural??

I only have to worry about static loads - the bus will not move once the work is started.

Has anyone here ever gone this deep?

In your opinion, will the bus support itself on those "every third" crossmembers?

Does anyone have an exploded view of the coachwork?

I'm not far enough in yet to have even determined how the steel floor is secured to the walls.

Jim.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:57 AM   #2
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
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Yes, the chair rail boxes are structural. 3rd cross member should hold it fine while you make repairs on the others. I would use outside supports under the bus also.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Vicious View Post
Are the lower inner longitudinal wall channels (where the ouboard side of the seats mount) structural??

Does anyone have an exploded view of the coachwork?
I've done a roof raise on my 2000 Blue Bird. I went into it much deeper than any other I've seen here on skoolie; some of the pictures starting here might count as "exploded view." The skins are fully removed from both sides of the wall (only the exterior roof metal was left intact). You'll be able to see how the horizontal C channels in the wall fit into the hat channel wall/roof structure, and how these attach to the Z-shape "chair rail" which then sits on the floor.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:25 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Godfrey ON
Posts: 15
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TCF
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Thank you Gents.

She's worse than I thought!

A bit of exploratory poking after removing the sub reveals what you refer to as the z angle also toast.

Pic of rotted Z rail (upper), full length x member (left), and 2'3 x member.looking down through floor.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/attach...1&d=1530141547

Another view:
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/attach...1&d=1530141802

How it appears the body is assembled:
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/attach...1&d=1530141881

A possible solution?
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/attach...1&d=1530141881

Perhaps the last photo more of my thought process as I tear into her and find things worse and worse. Still trying to come up with an inside out fix rather than disassembling an entire bus from the skin inward.

One issue I'm going to have here is shoring to the ground for any length of period - I'm on Shield muskeg, and the seasons will heave and sink the ground. Any support will have to be in relation to the chassis.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:50 AM   #5
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Bluebird has a great vid on YT about how their buses are built. That's how I learned about chair rails and why they shouldn't be cut out. It may answer some of your questions.
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:16 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Godfrey ON
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Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TCF
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Just watched it - ugh .. perhaps answers that I didn't want to hear.

Well, at the end of the day I have a bus - It's not sound enough to run, and not like I can send it back. I'm either going to learn (To quote Mark Twain - A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.) or end up with a Cummins powered go cart and a whole lot of extra scrap metal.

Jim.
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:36 PM   #7
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Location: Central MN
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3TA
Maybe time to cut losses and start over?
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:32 PM   #8
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Maybe time to cut losses and start over?
Not without a couple of swings at the ball first .. at worst, experience gained if i have to start with another body.
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:06 PM   #9
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Engine: 8.3TA
Notice that I did not say quit. You have a great attitude!
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:32 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Godfrey ON
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Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TCF
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Thank you.

Been around the bench long enough to know that I'm in for 15 rounds with Sonny Liston, but i've got some left in me yet.

My first order of business will be logistics if you will.

Set aside space, build some A frames to store tarped body panels, lots of pictures and annotations so things go back where they were and I'm not scratching my heat in the summer of 2020, lol.

52 weekends in a year, 1040 working hours. Stubborn like a mule.

Jim.
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