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Old 11-15-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
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Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 234
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 3208TA Cat 250HP
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Roof raise: TMI !!

OK... Here we go, first post... Just bought a 1986 Blue Bird, All American, Rear Engine, 40ft. with a 3208TA Cat Engine. Air ride, auto-chains, and lots of non-rusted storage area. I rec'd ALL, and I mean ALL the maintenance records since new purchase in 86 by the school district. Complete with manuals and records of parts installed... a full 3 ring binder! So... I think I have what i need to a good start. I purchased from the guy who bought it directly from the district (2 yrs ago), and during his ownership, all seats were removed, rubber floor covering removed, and a variety of "stuff" was attained, such as; tanks ( grey, black and potable), windows (6 total), water heater, toilet, anyway... alot of stuff that I won't have to locate. So, yes, I feel I am off to a good start. Original Investment, $2500. So now that I am done bragging, hope not too soon, I have a question... or two ...
I have been reading information and gathering reference info from this website for about 6 months. I have decided to do a roof raise, about 12-18 inches', but before I proceed, has anyone used the ceiling metal for side fill? Or should I go purchase new (or other), and also, is there any reason I cannot leave the ceiling metal on, and fir over the top of it with my new insulation and cceiling wood material? It appears to be no rust or moisture from what I can see, and since I live on the east side of the state (WA), in a dry climate, do I need to worry so much about existing rust? Not trying to get out of work, just want to work smart. Also, I have decided to take it to a "real" mechanic before I get too far in order to verify I have a sound unit to begin with, especially motor. There seems to be almost "Too Much Info"(TMI) out there on roof raise, but not exactly what I need to know... so, please help if you can! Pic's are the drive home and the new resting spot for Rufus. Well, not much rest...
OK... let's get RUFUS off to a good start and use common sense on building a beautiful unit. The info from you guys here makes me feel like I am already part of a great community. (Rufus came from ; the name of the Pelican on the movie, 'Dolphin Ta'le")
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Greetings. I Don't have experience to answer your questions, only guesses and opinions, which I will keep to myself.

But I would suggest you move this and start a "Rufus" thread in "Skoolie Conversion Projects" instead of in "Everything Else." You will probably get more views and answers there. Or ask questions in "Conversion Discussion."

The fun begins!
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Thank you... but I like opinions and guesses as long as they are stated that way..
And good suggestion about "location" placement, but not sure how to 'move'...? Unless I just copy and paste?
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:11 AM   #4
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

why is it everytime some one get a bus,the first thing they want to do ? is cut the top and rise,, iam 6.3'' an have a lot of head room in my blue bird.and than they fine out it to top havey.and want to sell it and do it again....don't they know they are takeing strength away from the side's.when riseing....it is build that way for a reson.i also have ac in the top....so i say leave well eought alone....


oh.... that a nice looking bus and a good body on the early birds



keith
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:00 AM   #5
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Main reason to raise roof is for addition of bigger windows and more room for rear floor raise to cover wheel wells and addition of insulation to floor and ceiling... may become a "long-timer" in it? But it is built very well and stout... I love the front, that is my biggest hesitation, best way to do the face...
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:30 AM   #6
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

well if u use the transit bus window,they look like rv windows just shorter in high and on wheel wells you u build your cabints..i did my carriage with with spray on form,,,u don't how much it's makes the bus quit..i see u have belly bays,i use mine for black tank and hot water heater.i got 6 bays and than i add one more for the genrater....

just a few thought from a guy who has been building bus .from 75 on


also i found that the birds are well insolate
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:02 PM   #7
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith
well if u use the transit bus window,they look like rv windows just shorter in high and on wheel wells you u build your cabints..i did my carriage with with spray on form,,,u don't how much it's makes the bus quit..i see u have belly bays,i use mine for black tank and hot water heater.i got 6 bays and than i add one more for the genrater....

just a few thought from a guy who has been building bus .from 75 on


also i found that the birds are well insolate
Spray on foam under the bus?? Never thought of that...hmmm.
Transit windows available where? Looke for some online, nothing but new ones...
Good tips Keith!
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:17 PM   #8
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thommassey
... I love the front, that is my biggest hesitation, best way to do the face...
I really like the busses with roof raises where the front stays at it's original level and there is a sloped transition to the rest of the roof which is raised. It prevents you from having that huge Frankenstein forehead look to the bus, and I imagine it must be a little more aerodynamic. Here is an example of what I'm talking about: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=9275&start=45
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:16 PM   #9
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
Quote:
Originally Posted by thommassey
... I love the front, that is my biggest hesitation, best way to do the face...
It prevents you from having that huge Frankenstein forehead look to the bus, and I imagine it must be a little more aerodynamic. Here is an example of what I'm talking about: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=9275&start=45
Yes, something in that order... but I don't want to keep the windows, unless removing them and replacing them will not help in heat retention, which i assume it will.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:37 AM   #10
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith
why is it everytime some one get a bus,the first thing they want to do ? is cut the top and rise,, iam 6.3'' an have a lot of head room in my blue bird.and than they fine out it to top havey.and want to sell it and do it again....don't they know they are takeing strength away from the side's.when riseing....it is build that way for a reson.i also have ac in the top....so i say leave well eought alone....


oh.... that a nice looking bus and a good body on the early birds



keith
Do you have a center aisle floorplan? I like the jogs I saw in a few... more privacy for the stateroom (if you have guests).
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:08 PM   #11
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Quote:
Do you have a center aisle floorplan? I like the jogs I saw in a few... more privacy for the stateroom (if you have guests).
Mine's pretty open, when I want privacy I just have the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders over one at a time instead of all at once...
Actually, I don't have any aisle, but if I were going to do one with an aisle I'd think seriously about a full side aisle, like an old English railroad car, at least like the ones you see in old movies

To each their own, but I'm with Keith - it's where my DIY meets my WTF - seems like everybody jumps on the roof raise bandwagon right away - like him I'm 6'3" and have plenty of room - but again everybody wants something different, that's why the skoolie in the first place ...
I just t saw that first bus picture and thought - dang, that's a fine looking unit, a great start and then read about the roof raise and the line from 'Coming To America' sprung to mind .- "Damn shame what they did to that dog..."

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!

Tom
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:44 PM   #12
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wtd
Quote:
but if I were going to do one with an aisle I'd think seriously about a full side aisle, like an old English railroad car, at least like the ones you see in old movies

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!

Tom

No worry about weight distribution on these buse I ASSume?
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:37 PM   #13
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

No worry about weight distribution on these buse I ASSume?

It wouldn't occur to me that it would matter, but I'm far from an expert.
I had pretty simple thoughts when it came to weights on my bus - imagine the bus still had seats then turn the stuff into bodies. So your question would be ''what if your bus was half full and they all sat on the same side?'
Probably nothing untoward. Just to clean that up a little - half full = 36 seats ( or however many) x 150 pounds each = 4500 pounds, and looking around here in the cabin, at all my stuff and imagining it all in a big pile, I wouldn't imagine the pile would weight more than 2 tons.

You could probably get some heartburn calculating it down to the pound if you get into that sort of thing, but personally I wouldn't put a lotta thought into it.

Tom
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:49 AM   #14
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wtd
No worry about weight distribution on these buse I ASSume?

You could probably get some heartburn calculating it down to the pound if you get into that sort of thing, but personally I wouldn't put a lotta thought into it.

Tom
Not planning to, lol... I am gonna try to post a rough draft of my floor plan later.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:12 AM   #15
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

Since I am not aising the roof, I moved my htread to "Conversion Projects"... Hope to see you there!
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:58 AM   #16
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Re: Roof raise: TMI !!

If you are gonna raise the roof, don't use the top pieces for side fill... Just go out and buy the 18 ga steel sheets, or a roll if you have the ability to put it on right. I would just cut it off and scrap it, because then one could remove windows and use square tubing for uprights and roof, and then skin it, etc. If you don't know how coach busses are constructed go to busconversions.com and look at some of the pictures. It isn't rocket science, but having a helper makes the job go really fast.

As for the bus being top heavy... well, it is a bit more noticeable in the corners at speed... at least it was in the last coach bus i converted, so i just slowed down a bit more for them.
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