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Old 05-14-2016, 10:07 PM   #1
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
A bus is never done-wheel arch rebuild

When I first built my bus, I came across rusted out wheelwells. The 2-3" gap between the Ford wheel arches + the Champion box was filled--with spray foam. I'm sure it worked fine for years-but after a while it stays wet-and rusts everything out. I was able to chisel everything out and make a patch from the inside to seal things from the floor up-so I could start on the interior. I had this roll of plastic-pretty sure it was the sides to an above ground pool-nice thick stuff. I made a inner liner for the underside of the well-it worked awsome. I'll get to the underneath when I can...
has it really been 8 years?
Originally the metal from the floor down was thin-maybe 22 gauge-backed by spray foam. Heres a chunk.
The lower piece slides under one above-with screws in the rub rail holding it all together.

This is what was left to a piece of 1 1/2"x 2" tube that was at the back of the wheelwell-that the mudflap attaches to.
I made the new piece out of 18 gauge.
There is all kinds of open space between the frame + the outer body. I always wanted to make some underbody storage. Now was the time. So I bent up a box.

Its 22"x 28"x8"
I bought a door on ebay from an overstock camper place-for $8.00!

Its got 2 3/8" hangers on the back-and the box as a 1" lip catching the frame on the top-and new side piece all the way around. Its plenty solid.
I brushed Ace hardware Rust stop paint on plenty thick. I plan on wrapping the bus so I wasn't worried about looks.
I'll get more pics when I finish up tomorrow.
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:53 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,986
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
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Nice job on the box. Now that's the newest looking part.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:53 AM   #3
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 196
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
Awesome find on the door, and nice assembly for the box! Some day I will get to my storage box fabrication, just not this day.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:57 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,954
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
lookin good!! in the pic with the box mounted to the panel there is a nice trim there. . did you bend that in or is there something you used as trim pieces?

-Christopher
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:10 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Arizona via Baton Rouge
Posts: 640
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
Excellent fabrication skills! Even though the box is smaller, it will give much needed space!
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:12 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
lookin good!! in the pic with the box mounted to the panel there is a nice trim there. . did you bend that in or is there something you used as trim pieces?

-Christopher
I bent a 1" lip outwards on the box - and the lid had about the same sized trim around the outside. Confession time-I screwed up making the box. It was supposed to be made out of 2 pieces. We have an old 8 ft brake at work-which no one has really used. I bent the big piece first-and it kind rolled rather than bent. Once I saw the issue, I adjusted the brake-its now good to go. But I didn't want to scrap a 42x22" piece of steel. So a little trimming + it got a cap on one side. I seam sealed all the edges-betting it will be plenty water tight.
I wish I could have made the box larger-but thats all the room vertically-and thinking one step ahead-I wanted to leave access to the rear leaf spring hanger-I know I'm gonna have to change them-someday.
I made a new tighter fitting pool liner wheel arch. Siliconed the edges both sides. I'm sure its gotta keep 99% of any spray from getting in any of the areas that could possibly leak.
Trying to wrap up the job, I ran into a problem. I reused the rub rails, and was going to get new rubber. I couldn't find anything to match-so I went to reuse the old stuff. It was about 6" short! Its 20 years old + pretty stiff. It must have shrunk once unscrewed-and it was cold today. Got to wait for a sunny day + hope I can get it in place.
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