Is a DT530 a punched DT466?
I vaguely recall hearing that someplace.
This is a calculated long-term investment in a vehicle.
It must be safe.
It must be reliable.
I am a cheapskate.
"How long you had this [incredulously, scratching at rust, waving away spider-webs]?"
"Does it smell moldy to you... but you are probably accustomed to smelling that, uh, 'fragrance' [grin, with 'palsy' elbow nudge]..."
"Now, nobody is saying your work is dodgy [look up, shake head at vague home-built area, sigh]..."
"Oh, geez, I just remembered those antique tires. I can meet you half-way... let's say twelve-hundred. I think that is fair to everybody... [move to horizontal area, start laying out twenties] is cash OK?"
Thirteen thousand dollars is idiocy.
I am a professional welder and fabricator.
I grew-up on a farm welding around my welder\fabricator grandfathers, I continued learning my trade as an aircraft A&P in the early-1970s.
I can tell a welder's skill from forty paces on a moonless night.
There is nothing wrong with a mediocre welder... except in a vehicle such as an aircraft or bus.
In that case, every strike must be perfect.
You are fussing with the engineering of a big hollow space.
Decades from now, every bump in the road will verify the 'professionalism' of the part-time diesel-mechanic.
Compare a bus interior to a metal boat interior.
On the boat, walls (bulkheads) are engineered to add rigidity, welded to the hull and welded to the ceiling and floor and every other darn thing you can reach.
Ten feet away, another bulkhead is welded in exactly the same way.
These rigid "mini-spaces' CONTRIBUTE to a complete rigid structure.
Raising a roof on a bus DECREASES rigidity... while simultaneously INCREASING the leverage on each component in the structure.
Can you reinforce a weak area?
Sure... and that transfers stress to the next weakest area.
I am not here to dissuade anybody from investing in anything.
But if your bus hurts somebody, will the seller come forward to accept responsibility?
Can the injured parties come at a part-time mechanic?
If I acquire something, I am solely responsible for its safe operation... because I verified its safe operation prior to taking delivery.
I have a lot of fun commenting on this forum as I share my experiences.
Safety is not joking material.
You ask my opinion:
* I would not take it if they paid me to take it.
For my safety and the safety of everybody sharing the road with me, I would need to re-do every modification from the original factory settings.
Not. Even. If. They. Paid. Me.
And on top of a raised roof, they want to add a deck... with more weight and more leverage!
On our 40' semi trailer conversion, our first modification was LOWERING the roof.
We removed about 18", then drilled through the original rivet holes to re-rivet the walls to the roof.
Exactly as the engineers designed it at the factory.
No welding on my end... because I did it exactly as the factory did it.
Here are some snaps:
I did this work in 2003 and a decade earlier.
We go through rugged country, bouncing up rough logger tracks and across deserts.
For our safety (mostly) and to not delay our caravans with break-downs (partly)... it must be the best in my capabilities.
And then, I get somebody competent to verify my work.
[ suddenly remembers to breathe ]