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Old 11-11-2019, 07:20 PM   #1
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Moving side handicap door

My build is coming along and the way my interior is going to be designed it will basically render the side handicap door at least half-way blocked. I was toying with the idea of moving it to the middle of the bus where I'll be able to open it fully and walk straight out of my living room, and then welding new supports and re-skinning over the old door hole.

Is this a really stupid idea? Has anyone done this before? Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:25 PM   #2
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No. But take lots of pictures. I'm interested
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:40 PM   #3
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I removed mine. Would not have been a big deal to move, just carefully remove the assembly.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:13 PM   #4
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I removed mine. Would not have been a big deal to move, just carefully remove the assembly.
You mentioned possibly selling it to me. About 80% sure I don't want to do that kind of work, but 20% sure I would like the results if I did.

Let me know if you actually still have it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:33 PM   #5
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Moving the side door is doable but it might be a bit more complicated than you think. Side doors necessitate a cutout in the chair rail at the base of the wall, so they usually have an elaborate header-type structure around the door that compensates structurally for this cutout (so the door + header takes up two gaps between ribs).

You could move this whole structure to a new location (and splint the chair rail cutout in the old opening along with covering the opening with sheet metal), or just move the door, but in that case you'd need to leave the chair rail intact across the new door opening - which could lead to some nasty face-planting.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:59 PM   #6
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I removed mine. Would not have been a big deal to move, just carefully remove the assembly.

Have you any pictures of what you did to reinforce the opening?
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:01 PM   #7
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Moving the side door is doable but it might be a bit more complicated than you think. Side doors necessitate a cutout in the chair rail at the base of the wall, so they usually have an elaborate header-type structure around the door that compensates structurally for this cutout (so the door + header takes up two gaps between ribs).

You could move this whole structure to a new location (and splint the chair rail cutout in the old opening along with covering the opening with sheet metal), or just move the door, but in that case you'd need to leave the chair rail intact across the new door opening - which could lead to some nasty face-planting.
Yeah that was my biggest concern. I would have to cut through the chair rail and I don't want to compromise the structural integrity of the bus. I think I kind of have to do it though with the way I want my interior to work.

Just bought my first welder today and am going to get to practicing tomorrow. If it's as easy at it looks I'm going to start my raise next week.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:00 AM   #8
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Yeah that was my biggest concern. I would have to cut through the chair rail and I don't want to compromise the structural integrity of the bus. I think I kind of have to do it though with the way I want my interior to work.

Just bought my first welder today and am going to get to practicing tomorrow. If it's as easy at it looks I'm going to start my raise next week.
How thick is your floor insulation going to be? I actually just bolted a piece of 3" angle steel across the base of my side door (for different reasons than you); my subfloor is going to be 3" also (2" of insulation, 3/4" plywood and vinyl flooring) so it won't be a trip hazard.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:29 AM   #9
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I am not much of a metal worker. Looking at the structure around emergency exit in my Bluebird, I would not attempt to reproduce that structure without some good help.

I deleted mine.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:03 PM   #10
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Have you any pictures of what you did to reinforce the opening?
It's not all that difficult. The door has 2 side jambs and a header that just need to be relocated. Cutting sections of chair rail is not a big deal, they do it on every bus. The BB coach is a school bus with half the ribs. School bus is built overkill for child safety. Whatever chair rail you cut out, weld it back in the old door hole. Steve, you don't need to reproduce the structure, use the same pieces when you move the door.

I'm pretty sure that door went to salvage.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:50 PM   #11
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Just bought my first welder today and am going to get to practicing tomorrow. If it's as easy at it looks I'm going to start my raise next week.
I admire your spirit. I'd personally be hesitant to learn to weld on major structural components of a bus.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:54 PM   #12
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I admire your spirit. I'd personally be hesitant to learn to weld on major structural components of a bus.
That's what I was thinking but honestly the alternative is drive it somewhere or have someone drive down to me and pay them a lot of money to do it for me. I got my Hobart set up today and after 30 minutes of fiddling with the controls I got a decent bead and I welded together two flat pieces of 1/4" steel that I couldn't break apart slamming it into the concrete so I think with a little more practice I'll be confident. Everything I've done in my life has been trial by fire and it's turned out fine so far.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:09 PM   #13
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That's what I was thinking but honestly the alternative is drive it somewhere or have someone drive down to me and pay them a lot of money to do it for me. I got my Hobart set up today and after 30 minutes of fiddling with the controls I got a decent bead and I welded together two flat pieces of 1/4" steel that I couldn't break apart slamming it into the concrete so I think with a little more practice I'll be confident. Everything I've done in my life has been trial by fire and it's turned out fine so far.

I was sincere in my admiration. Not saying it can't be done. Just that I wouldn't have the guts to try it ;)

What Hobart did you get? I REALLY want a 210 MVP
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:11 PM   #14
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I was sincere in my admiration. Not saying it can't be done. Just that I wouldn't have the guts to try it ;)

What Hobart did you get? I REALLY want a 210 MVP


Oh no I appreciate it. I got the 140 handler. I don't have a 230 hookup at my house so I'm stuck with 115. I think it's fine for the thickness I need for the bus.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:17 PM   #15
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If you're welding 1/4", I'd say it's plenty.
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:02 AM   #16
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Oh no I appreciate it. I got the 140 handler. I don't have a 230 hookup at my house so I'm stuck with 115. I think it's fine for the thickness I need for the bus.
The 140 is a great little welder. I have one and its been a great tool.
Moving or deleting an emergency door like Marcs is one thing but an actual WC door could be quite a bit of work. On 2 of my WC buses there was a whole frame and extra bodywork on the exterior around the WC door.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:25 AM   #17
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The 140 is a great little welder. I have one and its been a great tool.

Are there any jobs w/ your buses you have not being able to tackle with it, ECCB?
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:37 AM   #18
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Oh no I appreciate it. I got the 140 handler. I don't have a 230 hookup at my house so I'm stuck with 115. I think it's fine for the thickness I need for the bus.
Your welder should have a chart on the inside of the door that shows voltage settings and wire size for a given metal thickness. My 110V mig machine has nothing for 1/4" - the closest it comes is max voltage and 0.035 wire for 3/16.

It might be a good idea to post some of your welds to a welding forum to get some feedback and tips. I've done this and it's been very helpful as a beginner.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:46 PM   #19
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IMG_20191113_114412.jpgSounds like a good idea. Here are the beads I ran today after watching a bunch of videos last night. I feel pretty good about them.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:50 PM   #20
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Attachment 39266Sounds like a good idea. Here are the beads I ran today after watching a bunch of videos last night. I feel pretty good about them.



Did you use a chipping hammer when running those beads?



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