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Old 04-06-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Had a full size (11 window) 1989 international 7.3l, went to work on it after being parked for 4 yrs.. Long story short: the motor was locked up! Dick move ole bus.. Took all the good accessories off, scrapped it for cash and started looking for another.
Found it in two days! A 1992 international 7 window with wheelchair lift, auto tranny, with all the seats. Paid a lot more than I wanted to and for less windows than I wanted, but I could not pass up getting the exact same motor and I figure I can make just about anything work.
So, I am making myself pull the inner roof panels and insulate the pants off it. Never have done this with any other bus but I know how hot/cold it can get. Started to remove the side wire panels, no biggie: push up in hopes that they will slid up their intended tab and clear the upper window rails (I hope to reuse as much as possible) Bent one of them a bit, but it will push back to my satisfaction.
Now, took the angle grinder with cut off wheel to a few of the 200+ rivets in the roof.. UGH! Too loud besides being a pain. Then punched out the center shaft, and drilled with dipping the bit in old oil twice a rivet. At first it was going well, much better than the grinder. I got excited because it looked like we could reuse the panels after insulating! then had to change bits as it got dull after about 30 rivets. Went down in size first, then the rivets spun out.. Then up the original size and it was late.. Don't know if I am pushing too hard or what but they all spun out. Went to bed. Now I am going to lowes... See what the bits cost, blah, blah... Here are pics of the damage thus far:





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Old 04-06-2013, 07:58 PM   #2
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Check it out!!! 2 hours and a 3/4" cold chisel.. No better way to remove the 200+ steel rivets (kinda glad its a 7 window now) going to get insulation now and then just putting the panels back up to keep as much head room as possible AND we don't have to buy any thing!!
What rivet do you sudgest? aluminum ok?
What do we need to do to the floor to protect the underlayment for the floating floor? If paint and calk the hole are the answer, what is the least expensive paint I can get??????

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Old 04-06-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Steel & aluminum are two metals that will react unfavourably with each other. You should use steel rivet in steel material. But that's up to you. It's your bus and your decision. But I would suggest you research the steel and aluminum combo .
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Oh i see. Great feedback and thank you! I was sitting here waiting till the last minute before lowes closes to see what this awesome forum may have to say.. Would a harbor freight rivet gun be able to do the job ya think? It just grabs on to the shank right?
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Actually I have another question, I am confused to the science between insulation and condensation.. I used the 3/4" foam insulation on my aluminum camper-shell and I taped the unions where the insulation and the frame members met... and when we camp out with us two and the two dogs breathing all night, water droplet will form on the rails still exposed (it was like 20F degrees)... Should I not tape the unions? Does the air need to circulate or something? I'm guessing no tape and just fit the pieces tightly to the frame rails?
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:46 PM   #6
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Look up "thermal break". You need it.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Ok, I did a bunch of reading last night.. I'm understanding why the camper shell had visible condensation (the frame was directly exposed to the warm inner air.) Now do I need to insulate between the frame rails and the inner metal skin?? Maybe that blue foam in a roll for insulating between the bottom plate of a timber home and the concrete foundation? I would prefer not to of coarse. I am thinking of still using that high tech tape to seal the back side of the insulation/roof from hidden condensation.
After pouring through old threads I found the 2" foam will not flex with the roof. (its $25 a sheet). I am thinking I am going to use the foam board with the reflective stuff on the back (facing out) that it 3/4" and just do two layers (its just over $10 a sheet, so cheaper, woo!)
Would the frame rails transfer enough cold through the reused metal skin to form visible condensation?
I am contemplating using the metal only in the center few feet and then thin ply wood from there to the wire cover metal..


What else besides calking all the unions of the inner materials to prevent warm moist air from entering the abyss and causing hidden condensation... Will the wood prevent the transfer of cold from the frame rails? do I need to worry about my fasteners material? I really appreciate all the input.. Feel like Johny 5 here, NEED MORE INPUT. I can't sleep with this project on my mind, so much to consider!
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

So, got all the insulation done today! We did the blue underlay stuff (comes in an accordion of 50'x4' at $2 and the 3/4" reflective foam stuff ($13 a 4'x8' sheet) We still have to tape all the unions. I am going to be sure to tape the old rivet holes. I am thinking about maybe duck tape on the frame rails? as the fasteners pass through it I would imagine it may seal some? I really don't want to use construction glue (I don't know if they have it for metal or just wood) I am a messy person and would definitely get it all over the place but I figure that may be the best solution for the thermal break between the metal and the frame? and we didn't find the right size rivet at lowes to replace the old. Instead we got flush (not counter-sunk) self-tapping Phillips with extra wide heads to remount the metal.

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Old 04-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Wood against metal will still transfer cold. In some cases it will still transfer the cold enough to cause condensation. Foam tape, sill gasket, or any other type of foam material will give you that thermal break you need.

Do not use duct tape in construction. It will fail before long. Tuck tape, or any of the construction tech tapes are made for the job, and will last a vary long time.
Acoustical calking is messy tar like stuff that never dries, remains air tight, and flexible. Vary useful in sealing out drafts.

Thinner Styrofoam sheets will take the bend. 3/4" thick at the most. The thicker, the less the bend it will take before breaking.

A little Styrofoam go's a long way.

Nat

Posted for educational purposes only.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:05 PM   #10
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

okay, well I am glad I got something that I think will work (please god because I just did it).. It is pipe wrap tape ($8 for 30'). Very similar to both suggestions. I put it between the interior metal sheeting and the frame member. The metal was tough to get back up!! We could not get the rivets to line up proper while wrestling the larger sheets and driving the self-tappers was a chore. (best to pre-drill)
So about the wood to frame member contact.. I guess I will go ahead and use the foam tape under it too. At this point it is a forced move, and my wood is fairly thin.
Do school buses with the factory insulation accumulate condensation with the intended cargo? (a bunch of bodies breathing hot moisture)?
I hope to get the ceiling wood hung and old flooring tore up by thurs night... we will see. I was wanting to keep the rear heater. I have pulled those before and I think its not worth it. Besides, if the bus were to overheat or something horrible it would serve as a good heat sink. I intend to just cut the rubber at the factory shield in hopes that the floor looks as good as the roof did (no rust), paint it with the rustolium metal primer, calk the holes...floating laminate with the thin foam underlayment.(I always see half boxes on craigs list)

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:49 AM   #11
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

I wish I could come help you. I really enjoy the thought of helping others become Mobile.

I don't think school buses get warm enough inside to accumulate condensation when being used as a bus.

I didn't realize you were reinstalling the steel on the roof. If you can, find something other to sheet the roof with like thin ply wood. The steel is still going to pull cold through the rivets and screws. Not as bad, but will still likely develop condensation on the rivets and screws.

Here Is a diagram to help.


Note that the steel screws from the inside never touch the steel on the outside in the second illustration. They go into the wood only.

Hope this helps. Your insulating looks really good.

Nat
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:26 PM   #12
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Well, now I get it! Oops. I am going to be okay with visible condensation, at least more so than hidden! If I had done the furrow strips it would have been A LOT easier to reattach the original metal (i.e. no self-tapper or pre-drilling) Oh well, next time.
Today I painted the metal put in yesterday with an almond rustoleim. It is going to look great once the wood is up. I also removed the old flooring. It wasn't that difficult to my surprise. On the full size (carpenter body) the floor was a total nightmare. Had to get the big ole floor scraper and go to town for hours on the adhesive. This one (Bluebird body) it was up in half an hour. The rust is minimal and all appearing to be on the surface only. Got any loose stuff off with a stiff putty knife. Plan on wiping it down with low-odor mineral spirits and then the rustoleim metal primer.
Also, I did some reading and bought 15W-40 weight oil... said somewhere to use 10W-30 in <20*F??



ALSO: I tried asking the local wheelchair/mobility places in town and none of them were interested in the wheelchair lift. Said it was too heavy duty for most of their applications. If anyone has an interest or knows were to sell something of this caliber let me know.


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Old 04-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #13
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

It's rare to sell a wheelchair lift for anything other than scrap.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:59 PM   #14
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

I put that sucker on CL and took it out.. If there are no takers maybe I could take the metal to a welder in hopes of a min back porch and propane tank shelf. Has anyone ever used a smaller bench seat, from a van maybe, as a driver/navigator chair? The front stairs kinda turn towards the back, it may not be that awkward?
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

put on the back of the bus and use it as a lift,, thats what i do ,fix it that it will go into the receiver..
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:36 PM   #16
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Please post pics of the lift. I haven't seen one in person yet.

Thx

Nat
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:19 PM   #17
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that these lifts are not inexpensive to maintain. There are a lot of sensors on them that go out of adjustment and/or bad. The manufacturers charge a premium for them. I'm a transit administrator and I see the cost associated with lift systems every month. For instance, we have a lift system in a particular model bus that has two 12 volt light bulbs that illuminates the ramp. The light fixture is a design that will not allow the use of a typical 12v bulb, so we must buy the specialty bulb from the lift manufacturer. Its shape and lumen output preclude the use of any other bulb. That bulb costs us $20 each whereas a typical 12v bulb might cost us a couple bucks. And, the lifts aren't the easiest to troubleshoot, with some of them having IC boards that control everything. The newer they are, the more complex they seem to be. The typical lift capacity is usually around 600 - 800 pounds. The cost of purchasing and maintaining lifts was the main reason that the transit bus industry went to low floor buses, although there were other considerations as well. The ramps in low floor transit buses greatly reduced the maintenance cost of maintaining lift systems due to its design simplicity. But it cost the bus manufacturers millions to redesign the buses as low floor models. Due to the space available under low floor buses, special rear axles had to be designed that had a small pumpkin size. This axle was greatly complicated by requiring a sun gear at the end of each axle to get the right hub speed. As you might guess, this is a very expensive axle. The sun gear assembly costs about $2,000 for each side. Currently, the FTA is considering another redesign of the lift system by specifying a change to the max ramp angle allowable for the wheel chair ramp. This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about wheel chair lifts, but be aware that they can be expensive to maintain.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:40 AM   #18
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window



Here is the video we took of the lift before we removed it (click on image?, and there is another pic of it on page one of this thread).
Feels good just to get it out of the way! Looking at its pieces there is potential for a lot of reuse. Yeah, I doubt I will be able to sell it. Although, mine does not have a computer "brain" and appears very simple (thank god). I disconnected it from the battery and opened up the main panel and found a big ole solenoid and simple appearing switches. It only has one hydrologic and essentially does one movement. We pulled a few of the pins which was not necessary, so now it is a huge scissor wanting to take your fingers off. About that light... I'm about to go check out the unusual light we could not get off of the ceiling panel above the lift (just left it on the panel and unhooked the wires). I am willing to bet it is the light you are talking about...! (let ya know)
I got a bench seat really cheap from a junk yard. It is only 3'8" wide, so I think it will work well. We got some of the wood up on the ceiling last night. We used the 5mm hardwood ply board. It did not want to conform to the curve all that much but it worked! And, I think it will look great. There is a rippling pattern of the frame rails. I should have done furrow strips in general but most certainly where the union of the inner skins meet. BUT the wood follows the up and down waves of the metal perfectly.

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Old 04-13-2013, 10:33 PM   #19
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

Just want to put this out there if anyone has any ideas...
As you may have read previously: I have a 1992 7.3l non-turbo international 7 window carpenter.
So, we drove it home (it is was a 170 mile trip) and there were three vehicles always in this order: First = lil buck (slow Toyota pick-up, 55 max usually), Second= the bus, Third = Adam's truck (Mazda pick-up)..
When lil buck was going slowly (55mph) on an Ozark mountain down hill, and the bus had to let off the gas to slow and match pace with lil buck.. Adam got a huge plume of black, diesel smelling, smoke in the face. And, the bus got horrible gas mileage.
Question:
Is there a fuel return delivery problem, and fuel dumps out the exhaust??? The folks we bought it from had to change the fuel pump in the tank. It wouldn't stay running past the fuel dumped into the filters.
{also, very curious about the "throttle" pull... could it have been in the wrong position or something? When it is depressed it seems to be idling too low. And the guy we bought it from drove it with it completely pulled outward so it was left the same, i think.}
Thanks for the input, I'm a newbie when it comes to diesels that's for sure.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:37 PM   #20
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new 7 window

(the bus sat for a bit on the school lot, not in transit, before I got it)
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