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Old 07-27-2019, 01:01 PM   #1
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Need advice on sidewall removal

I'd like to understand what our options are regarding the removal of the galvanized side-panels in our bus, what are the disadvantages or advantages of one method over another, and what post-removal building requirements go along with each method. From what I've seen, people either:

1) Cut off the side panels directly beneath the lower window frames, as close as they can get

2) Cut off the side panels 2 to 6" or so below the window frames,

3) Remove the windows and then the galvanized sheets in their entirety.

Can someone tell me why we should choose one method over another, and what we need to do after our chosen method to build under and around the windows cleanly?

FYI - pictures of our bus & inner panels (still in place, but with all screws removed) are in our instagram link in our profile -> about - > home page.
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:11 PM   #2
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I chose to frame and insulate outside the walls and leave them there so any unknown leaks would not destroy my wood.
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:09 PM   #3
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I used electric shears to cut it off as close to the window as possible. Removing the windows will reveal those sheets are spot welded at the top about 20 times, it's easier to cut the panel, than remove all the spot welds. Advantage to doing it this way will give you the option of 3" of insulation without delteling any buildable floor space. Some use a cutoff wheel on a angle grinder. Leaves too much metal shavings.
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I used electric shears to cut it off as close to the window as possible. Removing the windows will reveal those sheets are spot welded at the top about 20 times, it's easier to cut the panel, than remove all the spot welds. Advantage to doing it this way will give you the option of 3" of insulation without delteling any buildable floor space. Some use a cutoff wheel on a angle grinder. Leaves too much metal shavings.

Thanks Marc. Yep... that's what we just did. Removed a window and saw exactly what you're describing. So those are welds? I couldn't figure out how they were attached. We saw the multiple (dimples), but they were so flush with the skirting and the window sill that they looked more like circular discolorations than anything else. You had to look really hard just to notice them. Must be machine welds, I assume?
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:29 PM   #5
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I chose to frame and insulate outside the walls and leave them there so any unknown leaks would not destroy my wood.
Could you expand on that further, Johnny? I'm not really getting how leaving them in place would make a difference if you had a leak.
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:37 PM   #6
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Could you expand on that further, Johnny? I'm not really getting how leaving them in place would make a difference if you had a leak.
If you had an exterior leak, it would leak into the empty channel and not get into any framing you may have on the other side of the metal panel. Insulating in there helps keep water from hitting the surface of the wood. Trick is to thoroughly check your bus for leaks when it is gutted. With as much heavy rain as we've had lately I was pleasnatly surprised to see not water getting in in the heaviest of downpours.
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Old 07-27-2019, 05:03 PM   #7
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If you had an exterior leak, it would leak into the empty channel and not get into any framing you may have on the other side of the metal panel.
I could be misunderstanding what you and Johnny are saying.

Like you said, that outer skirt is welded to the inner wall of the channel supporting the bottom of the window like 20 times (per window). It's so tightly bonded to that channel that it's essentially one solid piece. At least with our bus, it's so tightly bonded that I had to look real close to realize there was a seam between the two. So it seems to me that if water was to find its way into that channel, it would be just as likely flow over the outside of the galvanized skirting as behind it. More likely to flow over it from what I can see.

I feel like I'm missing something. I just don't know what it is.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:06 PM   #8
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I could be misunderstanding what you and Johnny are saying.

Like you said, that outer skirt is welded to the inner wall of the channel supporting the bottom of the window like 20 times (per window). It's so tightly bonded to that channel that it's essentially one solid piece. At least with our bus, it's so tightly bonded that I had to look real close to realize there was a seam between the two. So it seems to me that if water was to find its way into that channel, it would be just as likely flow over the outside of the galvanized skirting as behind it. More likely to flow over it from what I can see.

I feel like I'm missing something. I just don't know what it is.
If there were a hole somewhere in the outer skin it would concern me. IMHO it's not something I'm worried about enought to lose 3" of floor space.
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