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Old 09-22-2013, 08:50 AM   #1
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Wall and ceiling insulation?

Do most school busses have insulation in the walls and ceiling? Mine does and I was wondering because I see that some are tearing out the walls and ceiling to add insulation. I am thinking I will leave the ceiling as is and paint it and probably the walls too.

My bus is an 84 International Army bus.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:49 PM   #2
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

The inch thick yellow fiberglass bats they use in the wall and ceiling do more harm than good. It collects moisture, holds it, and causes rust. Its also wasted space that could be filled with Styrofoam.

In order to make the bus useable, no matter the climate hot or cold, you need a thermal break. No metal, or interior covering should contact the outer steel skin or ribs. It needs to be separated by a minimum 1.5 inches of Styrofoam. The more the better up to around 3 inches. After that it just becomes a unneeded expense.

Don't cut corners, or take shortcuts. Go down to the hardware store, get your self a 4 pound hammer, and a 1 inch wide, by 12 inch long cold chisel with a hand guard. Eat lots of protein, and learn to swing over your head. I can blast a 3/16 rivet off with two swings. It shouldn't take more than 5 each rivet. Do as many as you can till your arms get tired. Take a break, swing some more. I did the last one bit by bit over the last month.

After the first few hundred, you will get good at it. There are around a 1000 rivets in the ceiling and walls of a 40 ft Blue Bird Bus.

Good Luck

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Old 09-22-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

I mostly agree with what you are saying, IF that is indeed the way most buses are insulated. Waynes must be oddballs. My insulation is about 2.5-3 inches, and was crisp and clean, for the most part, with no rust caused by it. That's what I found in the walls, at least, and the insulation I could access in the ceiling all looked the same, hence my decision to leave it. The one exception I did find was around my wheel wells. I did find a little moisture there, so I replaced with extruded styrofoam.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:01 PM   #4
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

A Thomas bus had 2" of insulation. I did find mold under it.

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Old 09-22-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

Wow, that picture is very enlightening for me!!! Night and day difference. Mine looked more like regular insulation and was dry and clean (mostly).

Edit: I'm actually thinking mine may be 3 or a little over. That looks like half the thickness of mine. I think I need to stop giving advice on whether or not to remove insulation, lol...
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:52 PM   #6
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

I am more or less stuck at this very stage on my build. So I will pass my insight of my bus deconstruction.

1) if you have access to a air hammer and air compressor get you one... even a cheap one. I had the side walls of my bus done in 2 evenings ... probably a total of an hour in shearing off the rivet heads.
2) My 1983 ward had some chicken s batt insulation in the walls. Most of it had broken down and was a lot of dust. So use a mask. I did not find much rust but again I think this is a situation of where you live more than anything.

3) Thermal breaks are great but cant always happen. To me and this is my opinion... I think being air tight is the next best thing. Most buses has so many air leaks its not funny. So to me sealing up with some type of vapor seal is what I am planning. Then I will pack mine full of 3 inch poly iso insulation then... some type of wall material.....probably Luan.

I am really hoping this makes it more quiet and more comfortable. In the past I got a hip shot quote to have it spray foamed with close cell insulation and it was close to 1200.00. not going to happen cause I only paid 1300 for the bus?

But the best bit of advice I can over from my experience is get access to an air compressor and a air hammer.

Here is the first panel I pulled.....




Ill see if I can get a pic of its current state. I have the large 4x8 sheets of insulation in it so its kind of blocking the view.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

I think that, in the end, it's what you're comfortable doing. I'm aware of people that's pulled their insulation (YEE GADS, BAILEY! ) and I'm aware of people that hasn't. If your bus had holes drilled into the roof for luggage thingers (so technical Mel ) then you're probably going to need to pull it and replace it, since most of them hasn't been resealed properly and once insulation gets wet it's useless.

All the insulation in my bus will be yanked out and replaced with pink or blue board and reflectix, but then I'm over engineering the blighter like I would the boat.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

Bapos...I see you have a Ward as well and that at the top of your side panels it was appears to be spot welded together....tthats the way my sides seem to be put together...a couple of quick questions....did the air chisel break the weld or tear apart the metal?....are you going to cut the remnants of the welded seem (the part still attached below the window) off before you seal up wall?

I'm planning on tearing out the sides and the ceiling to reinsulate and reseal some of the openings....
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:56 PM   #9
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

West

Yes it is spot welded and no the air chisel didn't cause any damage other than to the rivets or the sheet metal I was taking off. The rivets were expected and I am sure they will need to be poked our hammered out.

There was a little bit of a ridge there at the top of where the sheet metal and the welded in window frame come together. I am not sure what will be needed. Im kind of leaving things along till I get the windows in. But I think I will either roll them down or maybe cut off the unneeded with an air cut off tool. Anything that will make it easy to slide in the polyiso in the sides and be able to tape them up with foil type tape.

My truck will be paid off this month so there will be almost 600.00 of money freed up so I am hoping to pick up and do some more work on the bus. Ill keep you posted.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:57 PM   #10
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Re: Wall and ceiling insulation?

I was just curious as to how you were going to handle that extra bit of metal. We started on removing those side panels this weekend and decided to use the angle grinder with cut off blade and cut just below the doubled up metal. I'm going to frame in around the windows so leaving that little bit of metal won't be a problem. I didn't want to cut it out, because it looked like it might be some window flashing. We'll have to see how it goes once we start to install the insulation.
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