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Old 04-21-2015, 11:00 PM   #11
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I was super happy to have a bus that pre-dated roof hatches. Butyl rubber is great stuff.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:50 AM   #12
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Maryland / Boulder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
IMO I don't feel roof hatches are needed for a privet conversion. I will be sealing mine with a sheet of steel.

Nat
I kept mine because I wanted to keep a few items to retain the novelty of it having been a school bus and that is one of them. It is nice to pop them up for ventilation as well, I built some rigs out of computer fans to pull a bit of air through.

FWIW I have had no issues with the silicone. None of it has leaked or come loose. My uncle installs frameless shower doors for a living (silicone around the sides of each door) and I used the brand he did, some RTV stuff, which is real high quality and is supposed to last 10+ years. I will agree it is a pain to get off though.

I agree with Tango on the seam sealer. I want to say the seam sealer I used (auto parts store stuff) WAS affected by UV and you had to paint over it, which added a step and is why I went with silicone. I used seam sealer on the holes in the floor + rivets and it worked great. He is right, it is super tough, but if you get it somewhere you don't want it (metal surface or whatever) it is easy to scrape off. Though I have some pants that I got some globs of it on well over a year ago that I wear and wash regularly and there are just as many globs, haha. Based on these suggestions, when I do another conversion, I would go with seam sealer, just make sure it is UV resistant.

Piersg, did you want school bus type hatches or just any old hatch? You can get just any old hatch off ebay pretty cheap. But school ones are harder to find and are expensive when you do find them.

Case in point:

SMART Hatch - School Bus Parts - A Parts Warehouse (great site btw for oddball parts)

School Bus Emergency Roof Hatch Transpec Saftey Vents Transpec | eBay

Here is an alternative that I believe is the same size as a bus hatch but not quite the same: Roof Vent Escape Hatch White Lid Metal Frame RV Bus Heng's 66621 C2 | eBay

(I bought my 46 gallon tanks from this seller).

I got replacement roof hatches from wmkbailey (where did he go?) because he steel'd over his and his were replaced a few years prior to him buying it. Also that lucky sum'b has a like-new engine in his bus but that is another story. I sealed my roof hatches with urethane seam sealer (like Tango suggests with the windows) and I have zero leaks on my bus currently. Though if I did I doubt I'd know because of the way I did the ceiling panels

Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:59 AM   #13
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Miami
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Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches View Post
I kept mine because I wanted to keep a few items to retain the novelty of it having been a school bus and that is one of them. It is nice to pop them up for ventilation as well, I built some rigs out of computer fans to pull a bit of air through.

FWIW I have had no issues with the silicone. None of it has leaked or come loose. My uncle installs frameless shower doors for a living (silicone around the sides of each door) and I used the brand he did, some RTV stuff, which is real high quality and is supposed to last 10+ years. I will agree it is a pain to get off though.

I agree with Tango on the seam sealer. I want to say the seam sealer I used (auto parts store stuff) WAS affected by UV and you had to paint over it, which added a step and is why I went with silicone. I used seam sealer on the holes in the floor + rivets and it worked great. He is right, it is super tough, but if you get it somewhere you don't want it (metal surface or whatever) it is easy to scrape off. Though I have some pants that I got some globs of it on well over a year ago that I wear and wash regularly and there are just as many globs, haha. Based on these suggestions, when I do another conversion, I would go with seam sealer, just make sure it is UV resistant.

Piersg, did you want school bus type hatches or just any old hatch? You can get just any old hatch off ebay pretty cheap. But school ones are harder to find and are expensive when you do find them.

Case in point:

SMART Hatch - School Bus Parts - A Parts Warehouse (great site btw for oddball parts)

School Bus Emergency Roof Hatch Transpec Saftey Vents Transpec | eBay

Here is an alternative that I believe is the same size as a bus hatch but not quite the same: Roof Vent Escape Hatch White Lid Metal Frame RV Bus Heng's 66621 C2 | eBay

(I bought my 46 gallon tanks from this seller).

I got replacement roof hatches from wmkbailey (where did he go?) because he steel'd over his and his were replaced a few years prior to him buying it. Also that lucky sum'b has a like-new engine in his bus but that is another story. I sealed my roof hatches with urethane seam sealer (like Tango suggests with the windows) and I have zero leaks on my bus currently. Though if I did I doubt I'd know because of the way I did the ceiling panels

Good luck!
Thanks for the links. For now I'm going to patch up the roof hatch, but I will eventually replace it down the road, I need to save my pennies for paint and insulation now! Like you, I want to keep the hatches for the look, and I like being able to pop it open for ventilation or to get up on the roof easily.

I'm following your build with a lot of interest, can't wait to see how your underbody storage turns out!

We have very similar buses, I think mine has an extra row and a mechanical Cat 3116 instead of a 3126.

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Old 04-23-2015, 09:09 AM   #14
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I love a bus with palm trees in the shot!
I get homesick where there aren't palms. Nice bus and photo!
We have so many floridians on here, I'm gonna have to have a get together SOON.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:54 AM   #15
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3M is just one of a number of good brands. If you have access to an auto paint & body supply shop...they will probably have several brands & types.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:07 PM   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Cleaning surfaces with rubbing alcohol before applying silicone will be the difference between it bonding, and not sticking at all.

The more vinegar smell the silicone has, the better the quality of the silicone.

I learned this from a old friend years ago. He and I renovated many bathrooms and kitchens together.

Nat
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:54 PM   #17
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I love a bus with palm trees in the shot!
I get homesick where there aren't palms. Nice bus and photo!
We have so many floridians on here, I'm gonna have to have a get together SOON.
Thanks! Once the bus is semi done we will be using it to camp up in Central Florida, maybe we can get together then.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:55 PM   #18
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
3M is just one of a number of good brands. If you have access to an auto paint & body supply shop...they will probably have several brands & types.
I will definitely check out an Auto parts supplier, thanks!
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:56 PM   #19
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Miami
Posts: 167
Year: 1998
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Engine: CAT 3116
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Cleaning surfaces with rubbing alcohol before applying silicone will be the difference between it bonding, and not sticking at all.

The more vinegar smell the silicone has, the better the quality of the silicone.

I learned this from a old friend years ago. He and I renovated many bathrooms and kitchens together.

Nat
Thats good to know. Do you need to use rubbing alcohol, or can denatured alcohol also be used?

EDITED: I'm a dumbass, rubbing alcohol is denatured alcohol...
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:00 PM   #20
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Maryland / Boulder
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Engine: CAT 3126b Rotella-Chugger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piersg View Post
Thats good to know. Do you need to use rubbing alcohol, or can denatured alcohol also be used?

EDITED: I'm a dumbass, rubbing alcohol is denatured alcohol...
Yep. That must be why mine held then, haha. And the silicone smelled like you were huffing a bottle of white vinegar.
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