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Old 03-04-2019, 06:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: California
Posts: 5
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Ford
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3L V8 Diesel, Ford
What to do with fiberglass cap in front during roof raise

I recently pulled the trigger on finally doing a roof raise to my bus, but I've hit a bump in the road that I'm not quite sure how to navigate.

The majority of the bus' roof is made out of steel, so when we did the raise, we cut all around the steel section of the roof and raised it by 1.5ft. However, the front of the bus, that hangs over the driver's seat / passenger entry door, has a fiberglass cap that's now 1.5ft lower than the back section of the roof. In hindsight, I probably should have just cut all the way around and elevated the box containing the headlights and the fiberglass cap it's connected to, installing sheet metal in the new space I created, just like I did in the back. But, I'm more of a ready, fire, aim kind of guy, and I'm now enjoying the benefits of that approach...

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how to fix this, with a solution that allows me to keep the bus looking as normal as possible. When the project is all said and done, and after a new paint job, I'd love for the final result to look as close to a normal bus as possible, making it hard to tell that I raised the roof at all. Obviously it will look taller, so I get that it's not going to look completely original, but my goal is to not have this thing look like a super jury rigged contraption by the end of the project.

I called a fiberglass fabricator to get a quote for making a new cap, or adding to the existing one (Idea's 1 & 2 in attached pictures), but the cost to do so is considerably expensive: $4-8K, because they would have to create a mold from scratch.

I'm guessing that the best possible approach at this point would be to cut below the headlight box that sits above the windshield, weld some new supports, raise the box and cap by 1.5 feet, and then weld on new sheet metal to the new supports (Idea 3 in attached pictures). I've attached a screenshot of a bus I saw in an instagram video that appears to have done this. It's the pic of the bus doing donuts in the snow.

In any case, any insight into this project would be super appreciated!

Paul
Attached Images
File Type: png unnamed.png (526.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg unnamed-1.jpg (180.3 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg unnamed-2.jpg (166.1 KB, 16 views)
File Type: png unnamed-3.png (1.65 MB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg unnamed-4.jpg (259.1 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpeg FullSizeRender.jpg.jpeg (44.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Idea 3.jpg (271.9 KB, 14 views)
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fiberglass, roof, roof raise, welding

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