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Old 09-02-2008, 10:57 PM   #21
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Re: Sheet metal over windows...

I used steel siding panels from a tool shed kit I bought years ago and never built. I attatched it with little self-tapping screws for steel stud framing. They worked very well. I used aluminum trim on the edges of the panels and caulked it all with silicone. It's pretty redneck but it's weathertight and strong.

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Old 09-12-2008, 08:18 PM   #22
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Re: Sheet metal over windows...

What are the pros and cons with covering the windows with aluminum?
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:32 PM   #23
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Re: Sheet metal over windows...

If you use thick enough material it might work. I used thin alum sheeting that I got at Lowes to skin mine, I had to do it TWICE and eventually used something else on the third attempt. Alum doesn't expand and contract at the same rate as the steel in the bus does. Additionally it flexes really easy, and since it's not supported from behind as it passes over the window area it'll rattle and "pop" as you go down the road. I think the expansion & contraction problem caused mine to buckle badly....BOTH TIMES!! If you used 1/4" thick stuff that might work better, but it would be very costly.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:31 PM   #24
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Re: Sheet metal over windows...

chuck; I think that if the windows are structural that they would be glued in with black schmooy like they use on automobile windshields, not a caulk or sealant but a true hi tech adhesive like polyurethane. or butyl rubber.
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:22 PM   #25
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Re: Sheet metal over windows...

Glue and sealant have nothing to do with the structural integrity of anything. The metal frames do that, they are held in with several screws each. Be that as it may, in the overall sense is that the window frames would help in a roll-over situation, that is to protect a bus load of little children...which you are not going to have onboard your bus (a couple of your own kids may be an exception).

To be honest, once you've removed a few windows and have seen the steel uprights that are between them, you'll find that for what you are using these buses for the roof and stuctural integrity will be just fine with or without the windows. I kept my windows in place for a couple of other reason, had nothing to do with integrity. For one I wanted to do as little work as possible, and it seemed to me removing something that I was covering over was just extra work. Additionally it seemed to me that would keep one more glass "wall" between me and the outside. I did add styrofoam sheets on the inside of the glass to help insulate the interior though...it may not be much but extra layers of anything help! Though I'm likely to never need them, I also have a 'supply' of replacement windows...though I'd have to dismantle a wall or two to get at them. Additionally, the scews in my bus were so embedded that you couldn't unscrew them, I'd have to cut the heads off of each one of them, something I didn't want to nor did I have time to do...

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:31 PM   #26
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Re: Sheet metal over windows...

Started sheeting my windows today. Using 26 ga (yeah I know, thin) from Lowes. Also using Smitty's idea of shingles on the upright columns... looking pretty good so far.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:52 PM   #27
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Re: Sheet metal over windows...

I had an interesting conversation with a body shop friend of mine this week about this same subject. He suggested I use an aluminum trim coil from Lowes/Home Depot. When I explained I had already tried that and told him of the rattle & pop noise it made, he suggested placing a small hole between window frames, and pointing the nozzle of a can of expanding foam through the hole and giving it a shot or two. That would support the back side of the aluminum and stop the rattle & popping noise. Sounds good, but I don't think it'll help in the expansion and contraction differences though... Just posted this as an FYI...
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You just might be a Redneck if...
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...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

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Old 06-08-2009, 03:22 PM   #28
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Re: Sheet metal over windows...

I see by your post, you've started skinning the windows already. But here's my thoughts and actions on my own bus. This was on a Ward body bus. I know there are different configurations.
I went with 20ga. 4x10 sheets. Cut them in half. Primed on both sides.
When I mounted them (starting at back) the top went under the rain gutter. On the bottom, I removed at the top rivets in the rail and pried the top away for enough gap to slide the sheet metal between the rail and the body. With the metal in, it dropped down to the bottom of the rail (approx. 3") this gave me enought room to slide the top under the rain gutter. (left the rain gutter rivets in)
From the inside, I used RV caulking on the posts where the original window were screwed to. On the outside, I caulked under the rain gutter.
Using vise grips, I pulled the sheet metal to the top, under the gutter. With the sheet metal held by vise grips, I applied 2 rivets to the center of each post. Then re-drilled the rail holes and re-riveted the rail, leaving the last several inches free for the next sheet of metal. I then went inside the bus and drilled holes in the top of the metal, into the rail gutter and riveted those. Then moved on to the next sheet. I over lapped the metal by 4", with the foreward section on top. After one complete side was done, I went back and drilled all the vertical posts and applied rivets on 3" centers. After all that was done, I caulked aroung the entire window frame from the inside.
Thats how I did it , right or wrong.
As far as structural integrity in the windows, I would say there is none. Aluminum frames, glass and a couple of screws don't provide any integrity. I would say it's all in the posts the windows were screwed to, and that top rail section on the outside.
Sumbody stop me!
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