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Old 09-23-2019, 09:12 PM   #1
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Skinning bus to install RV windows - have a question

Getting ready to skin the sides of our 99 Thomas. Currently removing all the bus windows except for the drivers window (for now). We are also removing the screwed on vertical pieces between the windows. We will be using 18 ga sheet in various lengths from 7' - 12' that will be cut to size by a local metal fabricating business that has worked with us before.

The question is this - In the attached pic you can see there is a flat piece that is screwed to the top part of the rub rail with two rows of screws. The top of that piece is bent inwards and forms the bottom of the "window sill" for the bus windows which will no longer be there. There is not enough room between the top of that sill piece and the top row of screws to properly attach the bottom of the skin.

1. Does anyone know if those pieces are in any way structural?
2. Are they held in place by just the top row of screws with the bottom row
holding the rub rail?

I would like to remove them completely if they are not structural in some manner and run the bottom of the skin down where it ends. Not sure how easily those screws will come out, even with an electric impact driver.

Any thoughts, ideas or experiences would be appreciated!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:30 PM   #2
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Remove the extra piece and the top row of rivets on the rub rail. Cut your new metal to go behind the rub rail far enough for the top row of rivets or screws to hold.

Odd to see screws on an MPV, is the ceiling screws, or rivets? My Ryobi battery impact has no problem with those screws, if some are stubborn, whach the head with a hammer and they will come right out.
Look closely at how you will attach the metal at the top between the windows as there will be nothing there after removing the window.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response.
Both rows across the top of the rub rail are screws. The row at the bottom are closed head rivets. The ceiling is almost all screws, I think each row has about 5 or 6 rivets and the rest screws.
I plan on welding 1" square tubing across the top of each window to screw into. Will do the same around each RV window.
Sorta sounds like rivets may be a bit better than screws but closed head rivets sound like way too much work at my age!
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:10 AM   #4
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Buck rivets take 2 people. Screws work just as well. Every rivet I drilled out got replaced witha #10 panhead phillips screw. Same size as the rivet.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:12 AM   #5
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Buck rivets take 2 people. Screws work just as well. Every rivet I drilled out got replaced witha $10 panhead phillips screw. Same size as the rivet.
Sounds expensive. How many rivets we talkin?
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:16 AM   #6
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Sounds expensive. How many rivets we talkin?
Didn't have my glasses on when I typed that, missed by one key. There were 100's of rivets, thanks for saving me all that money.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dizzyman View Post
The question is this - In the attached pic you can see there is a flat piece that is screwed to the top part of the rub rail with two rows of screws. The top of that piece is bent inwards and forms the bottom of the "window sill" for the bus windows which will no longer be there. There is not enough room between the top of that sill piece and the top row of screws to properly attach the bottom of the skin.

The pieces actually wrap around the sill and are the top edge of inner wall. It is one piece of sheet metal. Remove the widows first. Then remove the top rail pieces, one per window. Once you remove the top rail pieces and the uprights on the outside of the windows, you can remove the inner wall. You will need to remove the screws that hold the wall section in place. The inner wall piece covers two windows.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:09 AM   #8
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I removed the rivets on the top and screws on the bottom section and installed 18 gauge sheeting. If I was to do it again, I would remove the bottom rail and reinstall once the sheeting is on. I would definitely remove the top rivets and reinstall using new rivets.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:25 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone, this is all very helpful information.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:27 AM   #10
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The pieces actually wrap around the sill and are the top edge of inner wall. It is one piece of sheet metal. Remove the widows first. Then remove the top rail pieces, one per window. Once you remove the top rail pieces and the uprights on the outside of the windows, you can remove the inner wall. You will need to remove the screws that hold the wall section in place. The inner wall piece covers two windows.
This is just what I needed to know, thank you!
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ism minerals View Post
I removed the rivets on the top and screws on the bottom section and installed 18 gauge sheeting. If I was to do it again, I would remove the bottom rail and reinstall once the sheeting is on. I would definitely remove the top rivets and reinstall using new rivets.
So you removed the drip rail rivets then replaced them?! That must have been a chore! I see you used "open" head rivets (sorry, I don't know the proper nomenclature). Any leakage issues with them?
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