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Old 05-07-2018, 09:30 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Metal Flooring

Hello all! We recently acquired a 2000 Chevy Bluebird bus with a CAT 3126 engine. Demo is underway, seats out, paneling and insulation out (death of a thousand rivets), and most of the floor is out. My question is - has anyone removed the metal flooring in its entirety and riveted new sheet metal to the underside of the frame/rails? In theory we could then put the subflooring in without loosing near as much headroom. Thoughts????
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:08 AM   #2
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Sounds like a lot of work for no benefit to me. How do you figure that taking up the sheet metal and replacing it with sheet metal is going to save you headroom?

FWIW, this conversation should be moved to "Conversion General Discussions."
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:26 AM   #3
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Replacing it to the underside of the frame/rails would give you roughly 2-3 extra inches to work with.
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BusWhackers View Post
Replacing it to the underside of the frame/rails would give you roughly 2-3 extra inches to work with.
So your plan would involve taking up the sheet metal, installing new metal from below and insulating the depth and cavity between the frame rails and then installing the subfloor over that? Just trying to be sure I'm understanding. Attached is a crude drawing of what I THINK you're describing versus what the SOP is.
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File Type: jpg Insulation.JPG (26.9 KB, 21 views)
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:05 PM   #5
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Exactly! I haven't been able to find much (if any) information on this method. Wondering if its feasible/worth it. Not sure if any moving parts would be in the way, if the exhaust would cause too much heat transfer, or if we would even have enough room to work. Let alone what it would take to remove the metal already in place, not exactly sure how its attached (if its welded, ugh...maybe more effort than its worth). Also, someone told me I need to move this thread, not sure how to do that.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:15 PM   #6
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It would be easier to lift the body from the frame, spray foam the underside then add a coat of bedliner to seal it.

That's pretty much what the manufacturers did when they built bookmobiles, blood-bank buses, etc.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:40 PM   #7
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Exactly! I haven't been able to find much (if any) information on this method. Wondering if its feasible/worth it. Not sure if any moving parts would be in the way, if the exhaust would cause too much heat transfer, or if we would even have enough room to work. Let alone what it would take to remove the metal already in place, not exactly sure how its attached (if its welded, ugh...maybe more effort than its worth). Also, someone told me I need to move this thread, not sure how to do that.
I'm certainly no expert, but I think this would be way more effort than it's worth. The steel skin to the frame rails would conduct quite a bit of thermal energy and it would go right into the screws/plywood subflooring, so you'd want a bridge between the outer skin and the frame rails or between the subfloor and the rails, so that'd be height lost, too. On my bus we also have electrical and coolant lines and such running between the rails that would end up having to be relocated.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:47 PM   #8
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I don't think you can move a thread. I would guess that this is an admin-only sort of thing. OTOH, we're in the right place to get the admin's attention!

My comment was meant in more of an "FYI - next time you should do it like this" fashion.
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Old 05-08-2018, 01:14 PM   #9
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Thank you so much to everyone! I am very impressed by your quick responses and thoughtful analysis of our theoretical endeavor. We are trying to devise creative ways to create more head room without doing a lift which would ultimately degrade the integrity of the frame.
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Old 05-08-2018, 01:16 PM   #10
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Thank you for the heads up, I will take more care in future postings!
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:26 PM   #11
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Thank you so much to everyone! I am very impressed by your quick responses and thoughtful analysis of our theoretical endeavor. We are trying to devise creative ways to create more head room without doing a lift which would ultimately degrade the integrity of the frame.
Raising the roof doesn't at all damage the frame's integrity. The body and frame are separate things. And done with any proper care and planning the body isn't degraded in any appreciable way.
I've thoroughly tested it. Ask Velocopedic if his bus has any frame or body issues, and it went 1200 miles without even the skins.
Its easy and takes a couple weekends. Way easier than re-inventing the bus floor.
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:44 PM   #12
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Raising the roof doesn't at all damage the frame's integrity. The body and frame are separate things. And done with any proper care and planning the body isn't degraded in any appreciable way.
I've thoroughly tested it. Ask Velocopedic if his bus has any frame or body issues, and it went 1200 miles without even the skins.
Its easy and takes a couple weekends. Way easier than re-inventing the bus floor.
Thanks for knowledge! Please excuse my ignorance, but would this also require us to replace or re-frame the windows? We only wanted to salvage a few inches, and raising the roof just sounds like such a daunting task (and somehow lowering the floor didn't hahaha).
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for knowledge! Please excuse my ignorance, but would this also require us to replace or re-frame the windows? We only wanted to salvage a few inches, and raising the roof just sounds like such a daunting task (and somehow lowering the floor didn't hahaha).
Cut below the windows and you can leave them as is. They'll leak just like they did before the roof raise! lol
I only raised mine 10" and it really was nice. Even at 8" its a HUGE difference.
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:00 PM   #14
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oh wow, what a novel idea! did you cut below the windows?
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:20 PM   #15
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oh wow, what a novel idea! did you cut below the windows?
No- I wanted insulation and RV grade windows. I'm not a fan of school bus windows. Not at all. They just leak and break too much.

Ended up selling the bus after the raise and that's what the current owner is doing.
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:33 PM   #16
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oh wow, what a novel idea! did you cut below the windows?
If you want to re-use the school bus windows, and many do for all sorts of reasons, it's perfectly feasible even if you cut through the window spaces.

If you raise the roof, you really want to raise the windows as well. In a bus they are designed to look through while sitting on a bus seat. In an RV, most of them are too low, especially with the roof raised.

Once you have the hat-channels repaired and extended, all you need do is weld in a piece of angle to form a new lower lip for the bottom of the window to sit on. If you want them in a mid-position, you would need a new upper and lower lip.

It's the same process for fitting RV windows. You frame them where you want them, then cut the new outer skin to match. Use a hole saw that matches the corner radii, and a jigsaw to join up the holes.
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:58 PM   #17
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At 04/05/2018 srponies with an F450 lowered the floor between the frame rails. It creates a walking alley. That is what I want to do on our e350 bus conversion.

good luck, later J
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:36 PM   #18
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Metal floor

dONT EVEN THINK IT!!!
The metal on the floor is much better than any metal you can find. Even if itís rusty it will still be stronger. Just put a wire wheel on your angle grinder and clean it up. Fiberglass and spots that rusted through. Why do you want a sub floor? Get industrial lanoleum that looks like wood and enough of the industrial glue to level any low spots. Insulate from underneath (this will help protect from rust (wire brush underneath first). Most of these things thermal weakness is the windows not the floor, if I could do it again, I would have spent the extra 6-7k to have a welder lift the roof for headroom and install insulated windows. Also remove any windows that will be closed inside the walls, they will become a condensation : mold problem if you donít.
Also most of these things are connected to the frame by the chassis floor making your idea very dangerous and most likely not possible unless you are ready to spend 10k to have someone who can do it right.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:01 PM   #19
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Superken, Not sure who you are responding to but for me I am thinking it and I am going to do it as well..

Later J
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