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Old 05-14-2020, 11:26 AM   #881
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Thanks! I didn't get any of the normal cool bus stuff with my bus. No strobe lights and no kid-smacker on the bumper. I did get a spoiler so maybe I shouldn't complain.
The spoiler would be cool! I removed my kid smacker on the front bumper... (I like your technical term! Lol) I saved it and might try repurposing it for a automatic flag lift when tailgating Kansas State football games...

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Old 05-14-2020, 03:27 PM   #882
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Took a row of ceiling rivets out relatively easily with the help of an air hammer. After punching out the mandrels with the pointy chisel on the air hammer and starting each rivet head with a mallet and cold chisel, I was able to take the rivets off the rest of the way with the air hammer chisel. This pic shows how I cut out the ceiling panels around the ribs when I first got the bus last year. I thought I was going to use rockwool insulation and that the little remaining edges of ceiling panel would help hold it in. Little specks of metal embedded in my windows for nothing!

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Old 05-14-2020, 07:40 PM   #883
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Welded on a piece of 1.5" angle steel on the ceiling. This will give me an additional attachment point for me bulkhead wall and I'll also be hanging my bicycles from this. Once I put the original perforated ceiling back up here, I'll run some rivnuts through it for attachment points.

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Love me some weld-through primer.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:09 PM   #884
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I really gotta get me some weld-through primer as well!


I like the contrast of the rivets against the roof paint.


Rivethenge ... you be funny!
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:17 PM   #885
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Welding on attachment points for bulkhead wall

Got my $50 Craigslist chop saw for metal cutting set up, makes cutting lots of little metal things like this so much easier.

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I didn't want to run a full piece of 1.5" angle here like I did over on the other side to hold my bikes. After concocting this shorter piece with a welded-on tab to be bolted through the roof, I realized I should have just done another beam since it might be handy to have a strong point to attach to for shelves or something. But having fabricated it, I decided to just put it up.

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The bolt through the roof is basically just to keep it from vibrating like a tuning fork while I'm driving around without the bulkhead in place. I also welded a tab to the underside of the front-to-back beam, and welded a piece of 2" angle to the beam that holds the tops of the windows.

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Another piece of 2" angle welded to the chair rail. Ran out of wire and gas at the same time

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Just have to finish that one and weld on the three floor clips and I can start building the passenger side wall. I'm going to build the wall in three pieces, one left of the center door opening, one right of it, and a cross-piece that will form the top of the doorway. They'll be bolted to the attachment points and to each other.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:35 AM   #886
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Bulkhead window candidate

One of my concerns with my bulkhead wall is that I love the visibility I have out the sides and back when looking in the huge rear view mirror and I don't want that to be blocked. inhof009 gave me the four emergency exit windows from his bus and I've been trying to come up with some way to mount them in my bulkhead wall but the whole assembly is just too thick for it.

Tonight I tried disassembling one, and it turns out the part of the window that hinges open is just 1" thick, the exact same thickness as my bulkhead by complete accident (and it can be easily removed from the hinge and the larger outer frame). I'll be able to build a 23.5"x20" opening into the wall and set this into it. I'll still be able to see out the back through these and they'll provide additional light and ventilation in my living space.

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(The black smudge is me testing SEM self-etching primer to see how well it works. The windows in my bus were painted black from the factory but a number of them (especially the exit windows) had a lot of peeling paint (despite being aluminum) and I repaired them with this self-etching primer and rusto enamel, so I'm pretty sure these bare aluminum windows will be paintable also.)
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:53 AM   #887
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That was a fun little discovery.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:40 AM   #888
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That was a fun little discovery.
I guess my only fear is: is it a good idea to have glass windows right behind the driver and the passenger(s)? I'll have gussets welded to the corners of the window opening in my wall that will prevent the window unit itself from moving forward, but something striking the window from inside might break the glass.

Maybe I should build a solid bulkhead wall in front of the one with windows in it, to protect me from the glass.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:40 AM   #889
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I guess my only fear is: is it a good idea to have glass windows right behind the driver and the passenger(s)? I'll have gussets welded to the corners of the window opening in my wall that will prevent the window unit itself from moving forward, but something striking the window from inside might break the glass.

Maybe I should build a solid bulkhead wall in front of the one with windows in it, to protect me from the glass.
If it is a bus window or automotive window, it will just shatter into a million pieces like it's designed to do right? So no worries... For visibility I was worried about my bus and backing up (because I have 3 small kids) so I put a camera in. It wasn't too expensive and I'm really glad I did!
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:20 AM   #890
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If it is a bus window or automotive window, it will just shatter into a million pieces like it's designed to do right? So no worries... For visibility I was worried about my bus and backing up (because I have 3 small kids) so I put a camera in. It wasn't too expensive and I'm really glad I did!
I'm not sure the windows are safety glass. I stepped on one of my windows when I had it flat on the bus floor and it got a few radial cracks in an inner glass layer but not the million-pieces safety glass thing. Maybe that's just how safety glass acts when you step on it? In any event it's definitely laminated.

I'm also going to do the backup camera thing, but I don't find them to be quite as good as being able to turn my head and look directly at something. My lot is kind of a tight squeeze where I have to pass my back passenger side corner about a foot from a utility pole while backing in but it's easy to do when I can look directly at it.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:31 AM   #891
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Did you ever consider a wider bulk-head wall for insulating purposes?
Everyone talks about heating and cooling efficiencies and that would help both the cab and the passenger compartment behind the driver.


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Old 05-16-2020, 12:25 PM   #892
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Did you ever consider a wider bulk-head wall for insulating purposes?
Everyone talks about heating and cooling efficiencies and that would help both the cab and the passenger compartment behind the driver.


John
That's exactly why I'm doing this bulkhead wall, actually. The metal wall itself will be framed with 1"x1/8" flat bar and covered with expanded sheet (except for these two windows) and then on the back side of that I will (eventually) attach 2" XPS foam board and then 1/4" plywood to form the part of the wall inside the living space. Even the door will be essentially XPS foam attached to a metal frame.

A side benefit will be that the cab will be very easy to heat while driving, although last January I made a trip to Jersey when it was in the 20s and just the driver and stepwell heaters kept the bus nice and toasty ... despite having an 8'x8' hole in the floor in the back.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:42 PM   #893
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That's exactly why I'm doing this bulkhead wall, actually. The metal wall itself will be framed with 1"x1/8" flat bar and covered with expanded sheet (except for these two windows) and then on the back side of that I will (eventually) attach 2" XPS foam board and then 1/4" plywood to form the part of the wall inside the living space. Even the door will be essentially XPS foam attached to a metal frame.

A side benefit will be that the cab will be very easy to heat while driving, although last January I made a trip to Jersey when it was in the 20s and just the driver and stepwell heaters kept the bus nice and toasty ... despite having an 8'x8' hole in the floor in the back.
Since you are already planning on adding another 2" behind the metal wall, dont sweat it. Add the bracing needed to hold up the windows such that they are flush to the front. Then, there will be extra space where you will have to frame around them out to the 2" point of the back side of the wall.


If you are concerned about the glass, replace it with acrylic, like Lexan.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:43 PM   #894
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Funny thought ... if you get too hot inside the cab, you can open the window to the back!
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:04 PM   #895
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I guess my only fear is: is it a good idea to have glass windows right behind the driver and the passenger(s)? I'll have gussets welded to the corners of the window opening in my wall that will prevent the window unit itself from moving forward, but something striking the window from inside might break the glass.

Maybe I should build a solid bulkhead wall in front of the one with windows in it, to protect me from the glass.

replace the glass with polycarbonate
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:07 PM   #896
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If it is a bus window or automotive window, it will just shatter into a million pieces like it's designed to do right? So no worries... For visibility I was worried about my bus and backing up (because I have 3 small kids) so I put a camera in. It wasn't too expensive and I'm really glad I did!

I think that I would want it to stop whatever was making it shatter, so I would keep worrying.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:24 PM   #897
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That's exactly why I'm doing this bulkhead wall, actually. The metal wall itself will be framed with 1"x1/8" flat bar and covered with expanded sheet (except for these two windows) and then on the back side of that I will (eventually) attach 2" XPS foam board and then 1/4" plywood to form the part of the wall inside the living space. Even the door will be essentially XPS foam attached to a metal frame.

A side benefit will be that the cab will be very easy to heat while driving, although last January I made a trip to Jersey when it was in the 20s and just the driver and stepwell heaters kept the bus nice and toasty ... despite having an 8'x8' hole in the floor in the back.

2 ideas for insulation and visibility


1. An accordian style insulated/foam multi hinged room divider that extends out from the walls on both sides to the middlle. Extend the divider for insulation, put it back to the wall for visibility.


2, Back in the 70's, 80's when solar meant more than PV panels the see thru insulated wall was solved by building a hollow wall using 2 clear panels and blowing styrafoam beads into the hollow at night to insulate and sucking them back out with a vacuum cleaner during the day to allow the sun to shine thru. Many systems had a static cling problem with the beads though. Modern materials/techniques may have solved this problem.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:17 PM   #898
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2 ideas for insulation and visibility

1. An accordian style insulated/foam multi hinged room divider that extends out from the walls on both sides to the middlle. Extend the divider for insulation, put it back to the wall for visibility.

2, Back in the 70's, 80's when solar meant more than PV panels the see thru insulated wall was solved by building a hollow wall using 2 clear panels and blowing styrafoam beads into the hollow at night to insulate and sucking them back out with a vacuum cleaner during the day to allow the sun to shine thru. Many systems had a static cling problem with the beads though. Modern materials/techniques may have solved this problem.
Those are both interesting ideas.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:43 PM   #899
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Removed two windows from their frames and drilled out the red emergency latches, washed them thoroughly in my shower, wiped them down with mineral spirits and sanded them.

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Two coats of SEM self-etching primer. Weird stuff, has the consistency of watercolor paint and you kind of push it around on the metal. But it seems to soak in before hardening and it adheres very well as a base layer.

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Then three coats of black Rustoleum enamel from a spray can.

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Before and after (aka too lazy to do both this afternoon). Looks like the windows in my bus now, from a distance at least.

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Need to do a better job of taping over the plastic latches.

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Mostly came off by scraping with a screwdriver and then using q-tips with mineral spirits.

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Old 05-17-2020, 07:26 PM   #900
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Hmm, just occurred to me that my bulkhead door is going to be 25" wide and these windows are 23.25" wide, so I can build one into the door, too.
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