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Old 09-01-2021, 09:00 PM   #1
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IC08 - Build Thread

Hey all, welcome to the slightly awaited and (possibly) highly contentious build thread of my 2008 International FE300 72 passenger.

I'm a little late to the party, but I'm making more of an effort now to document the process. Currently have the roof up and am welding in the new framing. So we're skipping removing the original flooring, walls, ceiling panels and the seats. Angle grinder pretty much solved all that, and a really long prybar made quick work of the floor.

More to come
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:13 PM   #2
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Here's a look at the "mechanisms" I designed. It's simply the seat brackets that were attached to the frame underneath, along with a section of the square tubing that was in the metal frame of the bus seats.

The tubes were about 3/4" on the inside diameter and I used 36" long 3/4" thick threaded rods which fit snug inside with just enough wiggle room so that they could slide up and down without bouncing around left and right.

Took me a loooooong time to commit to this as I was paranoid of roof collapse, but the best advice I got from others (and I got it a lot) was its MUCH easier than it looks.

Most people seem to go with 4 so I made 6 of these just to be (paranoid) sure.

Also I secured them with some bolts that fit right into the original holes inside the brackets, as well as just a tidbit of weld to make me feel better.
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File Type: jpg roofmech2.jpg (327.9 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg roofmech3.jpg (423.8 KB, 25 views)
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:24 PM   #3
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Also done a few things here and there that I'm not sure if were really necessary or not.

I used a grinder with a wire wheel to clean up some of the rust underneath the original floor but there wasn't too much. Then I threw down some rustoleum to (probably) protect it for awhile until I can put a good oil pant down after the re-skin. I might have to remove all of this rustoleum later though, haven't figured that bit out yet but its kept most of the rust from popping through even though its been getting rained on at least a couple months.

For the seat-bolt holes some metal scraps and JB weld covered them up nicely but I had to strip the paint off first and repaint otherwise they would get kicked up while you were walking around.

That big square panel is actually some kind of hatch to access the top of the fuel tank, I'm not quite sure what for or how important it is. I just silicone'd it shut to keep sparks from getting down there.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:30 PM   #4
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Here's a shot of the front transition, let me know how crooked you think it is.

I'll probably only stress about it for the next few months, but no going back now.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:35 PM   #5
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I've thought that if I ever did a roof raise I'd do it the way you are, using threaded rod to do the lifting. At this point my plan is to walk around in the bus bent over, just like I've been doing most of my life in the world of short people.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:45 PM   #6
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I've thought that if I ever did a roof raise I'd do it the way you are, using threaded rod to do the lifting. At this point my plan is to walk around in the bus bent over, just like I've been doing most of my life in the world of short people.
We just make things short out of spite! Everybody knows tall people win at life.

I would probably be done by now and much happier if I hadn't decided to do the raise to be honest
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Old 09-01-2021, 10:26 PM   #7
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That big square panel is actually some kind of hatch to access the top of the fuel tank, I'm not quite sure what for or how important it is. I just silicone'd it shut to keep sparks from getting down there.
That hole is something a bus mech will cut so they can access the fuel sending unit so they can repair or replace it without having to drop the tank. It makes some sense to leave it as a non-permanent repair and build your subfloor over it with a way to easily access it again from above if you ever need to.
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Old 09-01-2021, 10:37 PM   #8
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That hole is something a bus mech will cut so they can access the fuel sending unit so they can repair or replace it without having to drop the tank. It makes some sense to leave it as a non-permanent repair and build your subfloor over it with a way to easily access it again from above if you ever need to.
Ahh I see, I was thinking of making a hatch or something to be able to get down there but I'm also pretty set on putting a raised floor in the back and putting my fresh/grey tanks under it. Might have to rethink that a bit now

The whole tank is probably going to get replaced too, there's a loose layer of either tar or just metal that comes off if you just grab it
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Old 09-01-2021, 10:44 PM   #9
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Ahh I see, I was thinking of making a hatch or something to be able to get down there but I'm also pretty set on putting a raised floor in the back and putting my fresh/grey tanks under it. Might have to rethink that a bit now

The whole tank is probably going to get replaced too, there's a loose layer of either tar or just metal that comes off if you just grab it
Sounds like just an undercoating or paint layer peeling off. Probably doesn't need replacing, just treatment with ospho and repainting perhaps.

The rusty underside of a bus often looks like it's "delaminating" (as it's sometimes described) catastrophically, but everything under there is just formed sheet metal or thicker stuff like the chassis rails, there's really nothing that could delaminate other than the paint or undercoating.

I noticed your bus comes from Akron. I grew up thereabouts.
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Old 09-01-2021, 10:56 PM   #10
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Sounds like just an undercoating or paint layer peeling off. Probably doesn't need replacing, just treatment with ospho and repainting perhaps.

The rusty underside of a bus often looks like it's "delaminating" (as it's sometimes described) catastrophically, but everything under there is just formed sheet metal or thicker stuff like the chassis rails, there's really nothing that could delaminate other than the paint or undercoating.

I noticed your bus comes from Akron. I grew up thereabouts.
That makes me feel a bit better, when I was down there last it was just raining down on the ground and I was getting a little worried. I've got a gallon or so of rust converter just dreading spending a whole day under the bus in a rust cloud

I don't get out of state much but I'll never forget the trip the hills were beautiful. I live in literal flat-land
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Old 09-01-2021, 11:00 PM   #11
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That makes me feel a bit better, when I was down there last it was just raining down on the ground and I was getting a little worried. I've got a gallon or so of rust converter just dreading spending a whole day under the bus in a rust cloud
Ha ha "a whole day"! I've spent weeks under my bus and it's still mostly rust down there.
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Old 09-01-2021, 11:31 PM   #12
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Ha ha "a whole day"! I've spent weeks under my bus and it's still mostly rust down there.
lol even better! I was lurking at Bus'n'it's forum and just jaw dropped at his under storage, "how did he get it so clean?!?!"

Oh yeah, he doesn't live in the midwest

Have you had to replace any of your floor framing? the ones that run side to side

EDIT: I just found your build thread, holy cow man!
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Old 09-02-2021, 12:41 AM   #13
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lol even better! I was lurking at Bus'n'it's forum and just jaw dropped at his under storage, "how did he get it so clean?!?!"

Oh yeah, he doesn't live in the midwest

Have you had to replace any of your floor framing? the ones that run side to side

EDIT: I just found your build thread, holy cow man!
Yea, you should spend some time looking at other build threads, there's a lot of information there for the taking -- some even useful. If you look at mine you'll see one way of cutting 7' off the rear of your bus . . . maybe not the RIGHT way, but a way.
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Old 09-02-2021, 05:52 AM   #14
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Have you had to replace any of your floor framing? the ones that run side to side

EDIT: I just found your build thread, holy cow man!
Ha ha yeah, I had to do a little floor replacing.
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Old 09-02-2021, 06:32 AM   #15
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I've thought that if I ever did a roof raise I'd do it the way you are, using threaded rod to do the lifting.
Same here. I also like this approach of starting the roof lift a little ways back. Probably it hearkens back to the iconic SceniCruisers and GM Buffalos. Any thoughts yet on how you'll accomplish the transition between the two roof heights? Flush vertical is easiest but unsightly and anti-aerodynamic. An aerodynamic taper is sweet but involves more than a little patience and geometry.
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:20 AM   #16
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I helped on ECCB's roof raise and that threaded rod approach was a CHAMP! the raise was straightforward and levelling was made easy and there was enough protrustion in the rods that the roof didnt sway or swing.. having hat channel made up ahead makes it easy to clamp everything in place until you can weld or bolt it..



I know the transition piece is hard to make but I like the raise behind the cab just to not have issues with the driver area, windshield, or bus door if its being kept.
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Old 09-02-2021, 09:00 AM   #17
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Same here. I also like this approach of starting the roof lift a little ways back. Probably it hearkens back to the iconic SceniCruisers and GM Buffalos.
Buffalo all the way. Hah I had to look the GM bus up, never heard of it before, then I thought "why do they call it a buffalo?"

As for actually pulling it off though, time will tell.
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Old 09-02-2021, 09:13 AM   #18
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I helped on ECCB's roof raise and that threaded rod approach was a CHAMP! the raise was straightforward and levelling was made easy and there was enough protrustion in the rods that the roof didnt sway or swing.. having hat channel made up ahead makes it easy to clamp everything in place until you can weld or bolt it..



I know the transition piece is hard to make but I like the raise behind the cab just to not have issues with the driver area, windshield, or bus door if its being kept.
I REALLY regret not going the extra mile to get custom channels, I think skoolie.com has exactly what I need for the international specifically. I've just already spent a bunch on tubes and angles and it would probably not be easy to repurpose later in the build

Hopefully I can salvage enough 20 gauge from my interior ceilings for the transition, if I make it multiple pieces it might make up for my lack of experience.
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Old 09-02-2021, 10:04 AM   #19
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supposedly the reason you posted is exactly how the buffalo got its name.. just like the "fishbowl" got its name for its Aquarium like driver area
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Old 09-02-2021, 10:22 AM   #20
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I REALLY regret not going the extra mile to get custom channels, I think skoolie.com has exactly what I need for the international specifically. I've just already spent a bunch on tubes and angles and it would probably not be easy to repurpose later in the build

Hopefully I can salvage enough 20 gauge from my interior ceilings for the transition, if I make it multiple pieces it might make up for my lack of experience.
I have hat and C channel for the International, you're just too far away to make it worth your while.
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