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Old 03-25-2019, 09:41 AM   #1
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The Dream Express - 6 Window Midbus

Hello everyone! Very excited to finally join the club and have my own build thread. Me and Fiance picked up this bad boy In Connecticut and drove it 1700 miles back to Louisiana where we will be converting it into a super adventure mobile. We got it on auction for $2500 and it was about $400 for gas. We will probably only be working on it during the weekends, and this is where we will keep track and ask questions, because we have about a million.

Here she is



First on the list is changing the oil and check the EGR valve to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced. We got a check engine light on the way home for EGR flow insufficient, it went away, and the mechanic for the school we got the bus from said that the EGR valves will get gunked up and get sticky, so we want to get that fixed quick. After that, we need to reseal the van front where it connects to the back, as its leaking pretty badly. If anyone has any suggestions on which sealer to use/tips, we would love to hear it.

Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:48 AM   #2
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Congrats on the new bus! This is a great site! I'm working on building a short bus right now and everyone on here has been great!!
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:00 AM   #3
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My belief is that if metal is involved, use urethane body or window sealer. NAPA near me has it, made by 3M.
Otherwise (fiberglass, plastic, glass, etc.) an exterior grade silicone based sealant for home windows, etc., found at Home Depot, should be fine.
Enjoy skoolie life. Aloha!
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mountain Gnome View Post
My belief is that if metal is involved, use urethane body or window sealer. NAPA near me has it, made by 3M.
Otherwise (fiberglass, plastic, glass, etc.) an exterior grade silicone based sealant for home windows, etc., found at Home Depot, should be fine.
Enjoy skoolie life. Aloha!
Gotcha. Will do this. Any tips for getting the old stuff off? The Mechanics kinda caked it on there, would like to just start fresh
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:15 AM   #5
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Any tips for getting the old stuff off? The Mechanics kinda caked it on there,...
Let me know when yo find out. Elbow grease!
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:40 AM   #6
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Gotcha. Will do this. Any tips for getting the old stuff off? The Mechanics kinda caked it on there, would like to just start fresh
The old stuff should be scraped away or use a wire wheel on a drill.
Everyone's got their preference for sealers.
I'd use auto seam sealer on the sides and lap sealant up top.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:52 AM   #7
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Farok on the five chime build used a grinder and brush to remove his sealant on the roof seam. Might take a look at his build thread. Looks like he did a great job!

I have used a wheel brush mounted on 4.5" grinder many times. I would recommend good gloves and sleeves along with eye protection even face shield if you've never operated one. They can catch real easy (especially the stiff braided ones) I've used them for years for rust removal on projects. I've had one catch on a disc brake backer plates and walk up my arm so be careful if you go this route. I now wear sleeves also when using that setup.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frochevy View Post
Farok on the five chime build used a grinder and brush to remove his sealant on the roof seam. Might take a look at his build thread. Looks like he did a great job!

I have used a wheel brush mounted on 4.5" grinder many times. I would recommend good gloves and sleeves along with eye protection even face shield if you've never operated one. They can catch real easy (especially the stiff braided ones) I've used them for years for rust removal on projects. I've had one catch on a disc brake backer plates and walk up my arm so be careful if you go this route. I now wear sleeves also when using that setup.
Gotcha. Will check his out. Looks like a wire brush will be the way to go
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:24 PM   #9
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Definitely use good protection with a grinder with wire wheel attachment. I don't use one often, but when I do, I use thick insulated work pants and an insulated work jacket, face shield, and good gloves, as a wire wheel spinning at 12,000 RPM is not something you want in contact with you, and anything flying from it you don't want near your face.

Chris
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:26 PM   #10
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Definitely use good protection with a grinder with wire wheel attachment. I don't use one often, but when I do, I use thick insulated work pants and an insulated work jacket, face shield, and good gloves, as a wire wheel spinning at 12,000 RPM is not something you want in contact with you, and anything flying from it you don't want near your face.

Chris
I wouldnt have thought of that. I appreciate the advice
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:01 PM   #11
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If it is caked on thick, use a skrewdriver or gasket scraper (found at autoparts stores) to get the chunks off first. Back it up with a small hammer (be gentle on fiberglass!) Then wire-wheel. I use a cheap-o welding face mask (with the dark-tinted window flap open) and take a t-shirt and use it to cover my hair and ears - turn it upside down and put your head through the neckhole so it wraps around your forehead, above your ears, and down to the back-bottom of your hairline, and flip the whole shirt back from there. The arms flop down and cover ears. Mask goes on after that. The dusty-stuff that flies around in the air from grinding off sealant, or using erasure wheels on drills to take off stickers or reflective tape etc., gets everywhere.
When the sealant is in a deep groove, wire wheels don't fit in there. That is where you fight with it. I failed to remove all the old stuff from the 3/16" gap between the fiberglass end-cap and the metal roof on my bus, after trying for 2 days. The thin layer of new sealant I fear won't last long, and I'll be going back in a few years. But the weather sucked so bad, I just needed to move forward when I got a good day once a week...
I met a guy last year who used a wire wheel without eye protection. A wire came loose and speared his eyeball. Yes, he is now blind in that eye.. No he wasn't too bright in general.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Gnome View Post
If it is caked on thick, use a skrewdriver or gasket scraper (found at autoparts stores) to get the chunks off first. Back it up with a small hammer (be gentle on fiberglass!) Then wire-wheel. I use a cheap-o welding face mask (with the dark-tinted window flap open) and take a t-shirt and use it to cover my hair and ears - turn it upside down and put your head through the neckhole so it wraps around your forehead, above your ears, and down to the back-bottom of your hairline, and flip the whole shirt back from there. The arms flop down and cover ears. Mask goes on after that. The dusty-stuff that flies around in the air from grinding off sealant, or using erasure wheels on drills to take off stickers or reflective tape etc., gets everywhere.
When the sealant is in a deep groove, wire wheels don't fit in there. That is where you fight with it. I failed to remove all the old stuff from the 3/16" gap between the fiberglass end-cap and the metal roof on my bus, after trying for 2 days. The thin layer of new sealant I fear won't last long, and I'll be going back in a few years. But the weather sucked so bad, I just needed to move forward when I got a good day once a week...
I met a guy last year who used a wire wheel without eye protection. A wire came loose and speared his eyeball. Yes, he is now blind in that eye.. No he wasn't too bright in general.
Dang. I'm glad i put something on here. Didnt even think about any protection. So its looking like I need to get in there with a screwdriver, then wire wheel, and seal it all up. Seems easy enough. Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:23 PM   #13
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I found that when it comes to scale rust on the floor if you just whack the spots with a hammer they will pop the scale off. You can strike it decently without denting the floor.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:42 PM   #14
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I wouldnt have thought of that. I appreciate the advice
One other note I didn't mention earlier but Chris touched on it. Rpm. Check the rpm of your grinder and make sure your wheel is rated for at least that or more!

This goes for any attachments on anything spinning... Whether it's an air motor, or electric grinder etc. Make sure the attachment is rated for more than you'll be spinning it. If you spin something too fast, they can and will fly apart. This is where a face shield and glasses can save you.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:03 AM   #15
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I know I said it was only a weekend thing but I was too excited to not work on it at all, so I went out and started removing the wheelchair seatbelts, the above driver paneling so I can find where those pesky leaks are coming from, and started modeling a very rough idea of the floor plan.







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