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Old 02-17-2019, 01:54 PM   #1
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Having Serious Buyers Remorse. PLEASE HELP!!!

Hey Guys....

My wife and I bought a bus from NJ and I'm having serious remorse... I have begun demo on it but have paused due to concerns. One crossmember is rotted through and I know needs to be replaced which I'm okay with. Can anyone help me and tell me if this is a total bust? The swingarms seem to be covered in this muddy/oily material so I dug around. After investigation it looks like steel under there so maybe just a coating. There is flaking on the main frame but it looks to just be a coating as well. We need to get this conversion done fast so time is of the essence. Any and ALL help is greatly appreciated. Here is a link to check out the pictures....
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UV1...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-9P...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/11Dz...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1reZ...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/16FS...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oHJ...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eXc...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CzZ...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YxR...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lnj...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NWB...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h4n...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oMc...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gEA...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1inh...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OaZ...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eVL...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:56 PM   #2
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From what I see, the main frame looks to be in good shape. The crud covered suspension can be remedied with a careful pressure washing. Some of the floor joists/supports (they are not crossmembers, which is a frame component that does not extend the full width of the vehicle) are rusted and may need to be replaced. For the minor rust spots on the frame, clean and treat with rust converter and continue with your project.


If there were *MAJOR* rust flakes and chunks of metal separating from the frame, then I would be concerned.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:27 PM   #3
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Thank you for this... Seriously needed to hear. When replacing the floor supports***(thanks hahah) Is that something where I would need to cut through the floor or can I just cut out the rusted parts from below with a grinder and weld new steel in?
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
From what I see, the main frame looks to be in good shape.
I completely agree!

I think you're going to find that, the more you dig around, the more you will realize that things are nowhere nearly as bad as they first appear. I'm seeing a lot of surface rust on components that are very stout and that the rust is non-cancerous.

No reason for remorse at all.

I think it will make you feel better to familiarize yourself with the products put out by POR15, which stands for "Paint Over Rust."

www.por15.com
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:02 PM   #5
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Ahhh thank you. It's been an incredibly stressful few weeks. Do you think the order should be grinder with scrub head>por15>then rustoleum? What are your thoughts on OSPHO?
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:27 PM   #6
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Mine was about like that. I used an air needle Descaler to remove the old rust and paint. Then coated it with a rust stop then paint or undercoating.

An angle grinder with a flap disc works too. Use a 150 grit for heavy rust. 220 grit for lighter rust.

It was a lot of work but stopped the rust.


Bill
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:56 PM   #7
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Any thoughts towards using an encapsulator VS. converter? Can't figure out if I want to POR or OSPHO this thing. Feeling a lot better though, thanks a lot guys. This community is great!!!

Best,

Kevin
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:22 PM   #8
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Following as I have one of these busses, with a little less rust, but rust none-the-less that needs treatment.

I'm not as far along as you, and am just about to the floor rails. What was your formula for removing them? I'm looking for more options, but now I'm thinking removing the plywood, then run a sawsall with hacksaw blades under the L Track.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:39 PM   #9
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Chris... Those L-tracks were the bane of my existence for days and days. Tried cutting them with the grinder, drilling through the bolts, everything....

You're right on the money! Cut the plywood as close to the tracks as you can and run a sawzall underneath. I hammered a wedge in carefully before each bolt to give some upwards pressure so they pop when cut. I've been using the Lennox heavy steel blades and have used only 2 on 68' of collective bolts so far. HIGHLY recommend those blades.

Time and persistence my man, you got this!!!
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:59 PM   #10
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Just make sure you get those body mounts fixed. Looks like some may be rusted off altogether.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:00 PM   #11
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Bring that bus to us here at New England skoolies sir and we'll fix all of that rust like new ! And it wont cost you a arm and a leg we're a full service skoolie builder we do everything in house except mechanical and paint (we do spray Rustoleum if wanted) we have a painter we sub out to you have a choice between automotive paint or all-grip! Im a master woodworker boat carpenter / house and summer home carpenter im a metal fabricator we do custom sheet metal and stainless steel we can build a simple clean bus or we can build you a pop up 2 story bus with 5 slide outs we lift roofs too we pretty much can build anything your imagination comes up with!
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:52 PM   #12
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How do I fix them EastCoast? Ideally I'd like this conversion to last about 2 years and then do a better afterwards... Main goal here is travel and paying back student loans.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:44 PM   #13
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Chris... Those L-tracks were the bane of my existence for days and days. Tried cutting them with the grinder, drilling through the bolts, everything....

You're right on the money! Cut the plywood as close to the tracks as you can and run a sawzall underneath. I hammered a wedge in carefully before each bolt to give some upwards pressure so they pop when cut. I've been using the Lennox heavy steel blades and have used only 2 on 68' of collective bolts so far. HIGHLY recommend those blades.

Time and persistence my man, you got this!!!
Awesome, thanks! Iíll check into those blades when I get the plywood up.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinDarcy11 View Post
Any thoughts towards using an encapsulator VS. converter? Can't figure out if I want to POR or OSPHO this thing. Feeling a lot better though, thanks a lot guys. This community is great!!!

Best,

Kevin
If your using POR 15 it is best to use their "metal prep" which is the same as OSPHO. OSPHO by itself is only a rust coverter. It still need to be painted over. The ideal order of operations would be to first remove as much rust as you can with a grinder, wire wheel, flap wheel, or sand blaster ect. Then use automotive paint degreaser followed by "OSPHO" or "METAL PREP" if your using POR 15. Then paint with paint of your choice or POR 15.

I've had good luck with POR 15 but have read some people have had problems with it peeling. Whatever products you use make sure to follow all the directions and you should get good results.

Ted
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:49 AM   #15
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How do I fix them EastCoast? Ideally I'd like this conversion to last about 2 years and then do a better afterwards... Main goal here is travel and paying back student loans.
IDk, you'll need new metal and a few new body mounts. I'd be more concerned about those than any other rusted stuff.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:51 AM   #16
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Do you think it's dangerous to drive at this point??
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:20 AM   #17
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If you're thinking that that rust shown in the photos would make it unsafe to drive, not to worry. And this is what we've been saying. There is nothing there that is cancerous. The chassis is really thick metal (compared to sheet metal on the body) and it's just too thick for the rust to make any real incursion. So, unless the bus has other mechanical issues, (which I doubt) I wouldn't worry at all.

As a point of comparison, many bridges, towers and other structural steel creations are often left in their natural steel with no paints or rust preventatives. Then the rust covers the surface and that's that. Once the structure develops a good coat of rust, the metal becomes protected and the rust itself reaches a point where it makes no more progress.

In order to have rust, you need three things - metal, air (oxygen) and moisture. Remove any one of the three and the rusting process stops cold. Thus, once the rust develops to a certain point, the metal that hasn't rusted yet becomes protected from the air and water. This is the situation with the frame rails on your bus.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:31 AM   #18
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I've had good luck with POR 15 but have read some people have had problems with it peeling. Whatever products you use make sure to follow all the directions and you should get good results.
I completely agree with following the directions. I've used POR 15 a lot and I love it! You can paint over the rust with the POR 15 but it will be successful ONLY if the rust that is being covered is good and tightly bound to the metal. Rust that is flaky or loose in any way will cause the peeling problem with the POR 15. Therefore, if you decide to use POR 15, simply grind the dickens out of the rust with a cup brush on an angle grinder and get all the loose stuff off.

I learned about this stuff years ago when I used to swap out my inert gas tanks at the local welding supply. Those guys would take older rusty tanks and just wire brush them really well. Then they would paint them with POR 15 and that was the end of the problems.

At the time, I was running a lawncare/landscape business in Nashville and I started wire brushing my equipment trailers the same way - with a wire cup brush on an angle grinder. Then I would paint with POR 15 and WAM! NO MORE PROBLEMS with rust. In that application though, the POR 15 would dull out pretty fast because it didn't have any UV protection. I think the POR people have changed that now by offering a type that does have UV protection and maintains a nice gloss if that's important to you. It wasn't with me and my equipment trailers.

BTW, there are plenty of YouTube videos talking about POR 15.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:42 AM   #19
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Ahhhh!!! Can't thank you guys enough. This community and the advice/support you guys have given is immensely appreciated. Gonna be a lot of work but it's reassuring that it's not all for nothing!!
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:26 PM   #20
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Do you think it's dangerous to drive at this point??
No- but possibly dangerous to crash.
Like I said- I'd just make sure the body mounts get taken care of. The rest is more or less cosmetic.
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