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Old 04-16-2015, 10:39 AM   #441
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Best bet to avoid "oil canning" on sheet metal is to heat it up to about 125 degrees then tack it quickly all around. You can use a torch but an electric heat gun works fine and doesn't make any soot. Watched a body guy years ago use the heat lamps in his paint baking booth to get the same results.

Unless it is quarter inch plate, just about any sheet metal will buckle like crazy once it warms up if attached cold.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:00 PM   #442
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Nothing you do with a heat gun or pre heating will make any difference due to how fast the panels cool once you remove the heat source.

Painting them black, and install them on a hot sunny day with no wind. The sun will keep the heat even and hot while you rivet them on, starting from the center of the sheet, working your way outward.

Unless it's 1/4 plate or thicker, the sheets just cool to fast.

Stand at the side of your bus with a inferred heat gun. Take a reading when the sun is shining, and keep the gun on the same spot. Watch as the wind blows, the temp will cool almost instantly. Same with a cloud covering the sun a few seconds.

You would need a bank of 30 heat lamps to get the same heat the sun provides for free.

Having a metal shop press a few ribs that mimic the rub rails into the new panels will also reduce the amount of buckling, add strength, and give the new metal a more original look.

Nat
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:03 PM   #443
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Nothing you do with a heat gun or pre heating will make any difference due to how fast the panels cool once you remove the heat source.

Painting them black, and install them on a hot sunny day with no wind. The sun will keep the heat even and hot while you rivet them on, starting from the center of the sheet, working your way outward.

Unless it's 1/4 plate or thicker, the sheets just cool to fast.

Stand at the side of your bus with a inferred heat gun. Take a reading when the sun is shining, and keep the gun on the same spot. Watch as the wind blows, the temp will cool almost instantly. Same with a cloud covering the sun a few seconds.

You would need a bank of 30 heat lamps to get the same heat the sun provides for free.

Nat

All good in theory but try this at winter in Canada.... It is like Seattle weather...

Where I live it is not really cold but we have no sun for months..... rain rain rain..... working under tarp is my reality so far.... as soon as bus is ready I can try sun tricks when go down to Mexico.....
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Here is my conversion thread:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/98-bluebird-tc2000-conversion-2-feet-roof-raise-3-slideouts-9728.html
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:14 PM   #444
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I need sun to live.

Nice and sunny hot here today.

We are at 22 C.

Nat
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:35 PM   #445
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Get the boulderfly kit. It's worth it.

You'll realize that not only can you use it to drive rivets into all sorts of new projects you didn't think about earlier, but it's fantastic for plenishing out dents and damage in body work as well.

For example, I used it to fix the severely creased bay door on the right side of the bus. In about a half hour with the plenishing hammer attachment on it I was able to hammer everything back into shape, and needed only a very thin skim of body filler to even out some scratches and gouges in the sheet metal.

It's a great tool.

I used about ~1400 rivets in total, most of them were the smaller 3/8"? I think... I'll have to check later. Anyway, they were basically the same size as the rivets that bluebird used on the roof to rib attachments.

I also picked up a couple hundred monster 1/4" rivets to re-attach the rub rail. Those got a little painful to install after a while.

Make sure you have a good bucking friend, you'll get the process down quick "ready ready go" or the bucker pushing on the rivet tail to indicate ready. I think after about the first 50 we were good. My bucking buddy went to school and was applying to work at Boeing, where they drive a lot of rivets.

I didn't bother with heating of the metal at all. There are some oil can tendencies in the metal, but I don't really care. Once the insulation was installed to hold things in place nothing moves.

I believe picking a fastening pattern is more important than any heating or pre-treatment that you're going to do.

For me, I treated the metal as if I was attempting to hang stiff fabric or paper onto a frame. I attached temporarily in the middle of the sheet first, then down, then out alternating left and right side.

One more edit: I attached all the sheet metal to the ribs with an insulating layer of acrylic tape. This does a couple things:

* I could literally "peel and stick" a 4x10 sheet of 20 gauge sheet steel to the side of the bus. Do not underestimate the power of acrylic tape adhesive.

* It provides a thermal break between the skin and the ribs.

* It significantly reduces abrasion of the protective paint coating on the metal between rib and sheet, since I elected to not use galvanized sheet.

* It keeps moisture out, since the tape body consists of a closed cell foam material.

* It is "squishy", and absorbs vibration and noise. Also, note the callout after this list.

The callout:

This is important, and is based on prior experience I have making this sort of stuff. Every rivet "dimple" that occurred when driving over the top of the tape strip causes a small amount of shrinkage of the sheet metal. By using the pattern below - I call it "drip and skip" - you drip down, but skip ahead one rivet then drive between, it causes the sheet metal to shrink and pull together with every driven rivet.

If you're brave, you could try a shrinking disc on the bubbled panels if you have them and they're noticeable enough. I'm not brave enough to do that, nor did I need to.

Shrinking disc example:

Sorry for the crappy mspaint picture, but here's the order in which I use to fasten a panel that lets me use gravity to keep ripples and oil can to a minimum:



Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
I finally sat down for a few hours for the marathon read through your thread. You're doing really nice work. The "structure recalibration modules" put a smile on my face. I'm almost to the recalibration point on mine, and still weighing options on lift and guide mechanism.

With a few hundred rivets under your belt now, how did you feel about that Boulderfly 747 rivet gun and bucking bars kit you linked to earlier? I've been waffling over whether to get just the rivet sets to use with my Harbor Freight air hammer/chisel, or whether to also get the (presumed) better hammer with this kit. Which rivet head shape did you use with this? I can't tell from the current Amazon listing whether its sets are for round, truss, etc.

Also wondering whether you did anything to stretch the exterior metal as you fastened/applied it so it won't warp in the summer heat..?
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:19 PM   #446
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The last thing I expected to see on this forum was Unimog!
this is one that I owned for a while

here is a little video on how to shift all of the gears
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:51 PM   #447
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Very cool.
Thats something I've always wanted.

Mmmmmmmm Portal axles...
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:05 PM   #448
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Thanks for the rivet and sheet-hanging details. 1400 rivets?! Ohhh boy..

Question/clarification on the structure recalibration modules: I'm having a little trouble discerning what's what in the photos, but comparing between pre-lift and post-lift here's what I think I see: an outer tube welded at the bottom of the window and midway up the window, an inner tube welded just above the window, a threaded rod fixed in position (and prevented from rotating?) at the top end. Lift is achieved by turning the mid-window nut and the threaded rod operates in compression. Is that all correct? What size rod is it -- looks like 1/2"?
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:26 PM   #449
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Yep, the rod is 1/2" simple mild steel rod. The telescoping pipe is sort of loose fitting, but not too loose - just enough to keep some rigidity in things.

I also welded a thin strip of flat bar (maybe 1/2" wide or slightly smaller) from left to right - one a couple ribs back from the front of the roof section, and the other a few ribs forward from the back of the roof section.

They did take up some tension load when everything got cut, and kept the roof from splaying out.

When I performed the lifting operation, I wasn't perfectly level - maybe 2-3 degrees uphill, but pretty much flat left to right. I used a combination of equally measured new structure attached, large load sling ratchet straps, and tape measures from key corners to yank everything back into the correct squareness.

At least for me with the RE 40' bluebird, the entire rear face of the bus tipped out about a quarter inch, so I had to jack up the rear body of the bus and pull it in with straps internally to get it back into square.

If I were to build a more robust version of the lifter, I would prefer to put that threaded rod in tension instead of compression, here's why:

I rationalized the rod in compression by thinking if things started binding on the lift it would start bowing. The reality is that putting threaded rod (unless it is sized more appropriately) in compression is dangerous.

Now, the reason I still elected to put the rod in compression is simply that I am cheap. I would have needed nearly double the length of threaded rod to put it in tension instead of compression in order to get the lift (18 inches) that I needed. It would have been safer, however.

To build a lift with the rod in tension, you would want to create a "tower" from tube attached to the lower section (the bus body), and then threaded rod that is attached to the top of the tower.

You would use the threaded rod to lift up a "car" riding on the threaded rod attached from the lowest section of the roof side (where you cut the rib) up high enough to achieve your lift.

Now that I think of it, the other reason I went the way I did was that I actually used the existing bolts that attach the horizontal runners to the ribs on the bluebird body to attach my elevator strut things. I didn't want big welds to the ribs, just bolt.





Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Thanks for the rivet and sheet-hanging details. 1400 rivets?! Ohhh boy..

Question/clarification on the structure recalibration modules: I'm having a little trouble discerning what's what in the photos, but comparing between pre-lift and post-lift here's what I think I see: an outer tube welded at the bottom of the window and midway up the window, an inner tube welded just above the window, a threaded rod fixed in position (and prevented from rotating?) at the top end. Lift is achieved by turning the mid-window nut and the threaded rod operates in compression. Is that all correct? What size rod is it -- looks like 1/2"?
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:28 PM   #450
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Looks like an ex-case mog judging from the rops bar. Cool to see the rear slide window on it.

Does the snow blower get much action?

Quote:
Originally Posted by c_hasbeen View Post
The last thing I expected to see on this forum was Unimog!
this is one that I owned for a while

here is a little video on how to shift all of the gears
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:02 PM   #451
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Or just use scaffold jacks to lift the roof like I did.

Nothing to build, Safe, and scaffold can be rented anywhere.

Nat
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:33 PM   #452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Or just use scaffold jacks to lift the roof like I did.

Nothing to build, Safe, and scaffold can be rented anywhere.
Been thinking about that, too. My dad has two pairs of 6 ft scaffold and two screw jacks, and for some reason I also have one screw jack but no scaffold to go with it, so I'd need to rent five more. Not sure how much vertical travel they have though. It's really a tough call. I also have two pairs of cheap light-duty scaffold which I wouldn't use for doing the lift, but may set up inside to catch the roof should it fall.

aaronsb, I was headed down a similar path thinking about modifying the design you pictured, and it was primarily driven by a desire to get the threaded rod into a tension arrangement. Here's what I came up with (thanks to PDBreske for encouraging us all to give SketchUp a whirl!). The threaded rod has to be longer than the required lift by at least the thickness of two nuts, a washer, and the two brackets -- maybe an inch and some change? I drew this with 1" tube for the guide post, 1.25" for the trolleys (each 14 ga/0.083" wall) and an 18" by 3/4" threaded rod, but of course it can scale.


The upper nut is welded to the rod, so the roof goes up when the upper nut is turned. With a hex socket to electric drill adapter, in theory.
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:13 PM   #453
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You only need two scaffold frames and 4 jacks.

Scaffold is more than strong enough. It's made to stack to unreal heights.

All the pics are in my thread.



Using the threaded rod lifters has only one advantage over the scaffold. I was constantly climbing through the scaffold moving around the bus. Lifting from the pillars with the threaded rod leaves the interior wide open to move around.

The roof is not nearly as heavy as you think.

Nat
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:19 PM   #454
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I raised my 40' BB with a single barn jack that I moved from corner to corner. Of course I had some "guides" tacked in place, but my ex and I took it up 19" in a few hours.

Nat is right, the roof is big but not really that heavy.
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:23 PM   #455
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I like the design you put there, it seems like it would work great. Something to consider on your choice of height recalibration tool is accuracy afforded by different mechanisms. With the jacks bolted to both ends on four corners, I had very precise control of the height.

Scaffold jacks work for this too, if attached in a secure way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Been thinking about that, too. My dad has two pairs of 6 ft scaffold and two screw jacks, and for some reason I also have one screw jack but no scaffold to go with it, so I'd need to rent five more. Not sure how much vertical travel they have though. It's really a tough call. I also have two pairs of cheap light-duty scaffold which I wouldn't use for doing the lift, but may set up inside to catch the roof should it fall.

aaronsb, I was headed down a similar path thinking about modifying the design you pictured, and it was primarily driven by a desire to get the threaded rod into a tension arrangement. Here's what I came up with (thanks to PDBreske for encouraging us all to give SketchUp a whirl!). The threaded rod has to be longer than the required lift by at least the thickness of two nuts, a washer, and the two brackets -- maybe an inch and some change? I drew this with 1" tube for the guide post, 1.25" for the trolleys (each 14 ga/0.083" wall) and an 18" by 3/4" threaded rod, but of course it can scale.


The upper nut is welded to the rod, so the roof goes up when the upper nut is turned. With a hex socket to electric drill adapter, in theory.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:02 PM   #456
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I am new around here, but I wanted to take a minute to compliment the excellent work you've done so far. She's looking great! I really like how you are using the metal framework. I'll be passing that tip along to my hubby! Well done, and I can't wait to see how she turns out!
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:15 AM   #457
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I'm a little surprised I don't see more fiberglass used. Is it because of the difficulty in working with it, cost, or something else? Fiberglass would never oil-can or buckle in this way.

Another option would be to take a lesson out of the RV industry's book: a layered sheet. An 1/8" or 1/4" sheet of H45 or H100 would add a huge amount of rigidity to a sheet of aluminum or galv. and you can just bond them together with adhesives. They're both reasonably cheap, you can still attach with rivets (just need a longer one, and use normal break rivets, not high-strength), and you get an unexpected but maybe cool advantage: it's a lot harder to dent. It's also a thermal break.

It's not free but the thinnest sheets might only add a couple hundred bucks. I'm seriously considering this route myself - if I do, I'll report back here on the results.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:58 AM   #458
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One concern I have about using the threaded rod method.

If the weld attaching the threaded rod lifter to the hat Chanel breaks, the roof falls on you.

Using the scaffold jack method, there is nothing that can break, so the roof can't fall.

If using the threaded rod lifters, I would still have something else there to keep it from crushing you in a worst case scenario.

I also used my new hat chanels splices to guide the roof up strait. I slid them over the vertical support rib hat chanels that I cut, and clamped them only on the bottom, below the cut. This forced the roof to stay strait as it slowly raised.

As the roof went up inch by inch, I would also raise the hat chanel splices, always reclamping below the cut line. This way if the roof fell, the new hat chanel splices would take the full weight of the roof.

On the right you can see the blue camp holding the bottom of the new hat chanel.



Nat
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:18 PM   #459
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I has to dig around for a photo, I did not take many when lifting because I was too excited to get it back together.

You can see how the jacks sat and the strap holding the halves together.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:26 PM   #460
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Sorry man, but that looks scarey as hell.

You have no safety measures in place to keep that roof from crushing you.

The entire roofs weight is being held by the few small welds where the lifters attach to the ribs.

Even a simple 2x4 frame would have been better than nothing.

Remember fellow skoolies, even when we get excited, we still need to keep working safely.

Nat
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