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Old 10-06-2020, 06:20 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: New York
Posts: 17
Year: 2002
Chassis: Bluebird
Rated Cap: 54 Passenger
What's with the windows?

Hello, new here - just bought my 2002 BlueBird 54 passenger, Birdie! She's a beaut and in great shape.

I've been reading and watching SO many videos, and will be starting demo this weekend. But I keep getting stuck on what to do with the windows.

It seems everyone takes all of them out to clean and reseal. I wasn't planning on removing any (I like how much light they let in and this bus is almost entirely held together by rivets), all the windows close with ease, and I haven't found any leaks thus far.

Is removing the windows absolutely necessary? Or is it a precaution to help extend their lives (in which case I'd rather do the work on a gutted bus than my home)? Is it worth doing if I plan to stay in cold/hot climates (NY, specifically)?

To this effect, I originally had read to use silicone caulk, but now I keep hearing to use Butyl tape. What are some experiences you've had?

Any help is GREATLY appreciated! I'm a 26 yo doing this by myself so it's already a bit of an intimidating project (plus, one budget, not two). Thanks so much!

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Old 10-06-2020, 07:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 895
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebekahZ View Post
Hello, new here - just bought my 2002 BlueBird 54 passenger, Birdie! She's a beaut and in great shape.

I've been reading and watching SO many videos, and will be starting demo this weekend. But I keep getting stuck on what to do with the windows.

It seems everyone takes all of them out to clean and reseal. I wasn't planning on removing any (I like how much light they let in and this bus is almost entirely held together by rivets), all the windows close with ease, and I haven't found any leaks thus far.

Is removing the windows absolutely necessary? Or is it a precaution to help extend their lives (in which case I'd rather do the work on a gutted bus than my home)? Is it worth doing if I plan to stay in cold/hot climates (NY, specifically)?

To this effect, I originally had read to use silicone caulk, but now I keep hearing to use Butyl tape. What are some experiences you've had?

Any help is GREATLY appreciated! I'm a 26 yo doing this by myself so it's already a bit of an intimidating project (plus, one budget, not two). Thanks so much!

As with any old thing, I have the urge to take everything apart clean and reseal, but that urge often leads to new problems... If there are no leaks and no problems maybe its best to just leave them (unless you will be building in such a way they will not be removable after the build is complete, then its a tougher decision).


I'm not speaking from experience, just musing.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:25 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Grayson County, VA
Posts: 1,429
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
If it ain't broke, no need to fix it. I'd leave them in if they're not leaking, and if they are leaking I'd recommend taping over the bottom seal where the glass meets the frame and see if that's where the water is coming in. We removed and sealed 20 windows, twice, before we found out the water was coming from that rubber gasket.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:25 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 7,011
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Are you sure your windows aren't leaking? You have the side panels off and insulation removed, and you've been through some heavy downpours? On my bus, some of my windows leak but only when the bus is parked on an angle (which causes water to pool in one of the corners of the windows).

If they're definitely not leaking anywhere, might as well leave them be.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:34 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 1,043
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Please, please, please do not use silicone or butyl tape on your windows, neither is the appropriate material for that application. Polyurethane sealant will work very well to reseal them if you chose to take them out. If your windows have never been removed and resealed I expect on your 18 year old bus there are going to be leaks to deal with. It is really not that difficult to remove them to get a good clean surface, I recently completed all mine including painting to fit in to my new color scheme. For me the trick was to only pull 6 at a time and complete those before pulling the next set of 6. Polyurethane is what glass shops use for car windows it adheres well, and can be painted when cured. Dap brand at Home Depot is under $10
Good luck with your work and ask all the questions you can. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-06-2020, 10:25 PM   #6
Traveling
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,302
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
Trouble is, there really is no way to know if a window leaks without removing it. Leaks will trickle down inside the walls and into the wood flooring, practically unnoticed until it rusts out your metal floor underneath.

If any and all leaks are not ferreted out and sealed / patched, your bus is guaranteed to leak, which promotes rust, rot, mold and worse. I myself have dealt with mold in an RV for some time and it gave me COPD-like symptoms.

I already knew I had severe asthma, but the mold made the asthma much worse to the point it mimicked Stage 3 COPD -- the worst kind before it takes you. I may have COPD anyway (having both is possible and I have other symptoms regardless), but the mold kept it stirred up constantly.

Take it from someone to whom it is a life-or-death difference. I know from experience, it is not fun and it is no joke. Don't skimp on this, it is not worth the risk to your health.
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:25 AM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,917
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
To me a lot depends on your purpose and conversion, if this is a weekend warrior minimal conversion you plan to use for fun camping trips and then parked under a tarp or carport the rest of the time then I say spray the bus with the hose and fix visible leaks.

If this is a full timer or going to be occupied a lot then I’d want to pull all the windows and re seal them. If you are planning on hitting the interior to insulate then it get much easier to check for leaks. If you have even a few I’d use that as a tale of things to come and redo them all
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:36 AM   #8
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Manitou Springs, CO
Posts: 219
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Ward
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65 passenger
I didn't discover any leaks until I took the side panels off and pulled up the floor. That was when I knew there was water on the wrong side of the window.
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