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Old 02-05-2015, 07:07 PM   #61
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Are you doing anything in particular to avoid the "oil-can" wave/wrinkle effect when the summer sun comes around?
Good question, I'm glad you asked.

Being this work was done months ago, I sometimes forget the little details and experiences.

Being late in the fall, I chose the hottest day I could. I hung the panels at the top from two points, and allowed the sun to heat them to the point of hot to the touch. Then bolted them on.

A week later I painted on black primer. The sun came out and heated the now black panels. To my surprise, my panels were not as tight as I thought they were. Being 14 ga, the wrinkles were minimal, but they were there. Even my residential door started to drag a bit from the expanded metal.

Now, based on this experience, I would prime the panels black before bolting or riveting them on. This would have caused the sun the expand them to the maximum, before securing them to the ribs.

This would be highly effective in hotter climates, and if painting your bus a lighter color, the black will expand the steel more than the lighter, final color will.

Steel cools to fast for any artificial heating to be effective. Riveting and bolting is no fast process. Therefore I believe that using a black primer, and the heat of the sun to be the most effective method for the fellow skoolie owner.

Hope this helps others avoid wrinkles.

Nat

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Old 02-07-2015, 10:35 AM   #62
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Interior strapping.

The entire interior will be strapped with 2 layers of 3/4 fir plywood, ripped into 3.5 strips, every 16 inches, starting from the floor up. All joints will be staggered, first layer is bolted or screwed to every support rib by 2 bolts each. Second strip of plywood is glued using PL premium to the first layer, then clamped, and screwed to hold till the glue dries.

This creates a 1.5 inch by 3.5 inch strap that is far tougher than any single 2x4.

To find where to drill the clearance holes, I held the second layer against the bolts in the first layer, smacked with 4 pound hammer to create dent, then flip over and drill. This way none of my bolts stick out of the second layer of plywood.








Top row of strapping is also attached using the #12 self tapping screws.
You can also see the glue between the layers.





First layer over the windows on the passenger side.





Gob of glue where each bolt or screw head will sit, and a line down the center.





Only the top and bottom row of strapping get the #12 self tapping screws. All other rows get the 1/4 inch bolts.

In this pic you can see I tightened the bolts till they pulled into the first layer at least half way.



These bolts under the window I tightened till they pulled flush into the fist layer of plywood.





Nat
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:50 AM   #63
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
A rainy, wet, cold day was on us, so we decided to frame the vaulted ceiling.

So I marked out a bunch of pieces of 3/4 fir plywood to cut for the top truss plates.





And started installing all the pieces I cut.



You can see the string line down the center of the ceiling.



Every top truss plate is attached to the ceiling rib by four, #12 self tapping screws. each 2x4 rafter gets glued and screwed with 2 wood screws each. This is repeated on the other side.



This end of the 2x4 rafter is cut perfectly to fit the curve of the metal support rib, and gently hammered into place. Finished by a self tapping screw, and two wood screw each side.





You can see the perfect curved cut where the 2x4 meets the steel support rib. I cut them with a cordless 20 volt Dewalt skill saw.















Nat
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:52 AM   #64
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Posts: 1,208
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800 International
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wow that's a lot work going on, I can really see you passing the $30 grand mark. I was wondering if you all ready have your bus registered in your name? and if not will you need a safety inspection? I know here in Ontario with that much modifications you would need a body shop inspection as well as a mechanical, and seeing your windows are residential they wouldn't pass here, but maybe where you are.
Just wondering,
gbstewart
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:01 AM   #65
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I attached the door hinges to the bus with flush 1/4 bolts, and epoxy.



Three bolts each through the rib. The epoxy will stop the bolts from ever moving.

The hinges look like hell, but get hidden under a piece of trim.



I start sealing the corners of the door frame with epoxy. This will take a few coats and some sanding.

First coat.





I roughly cut out the hole for the door knob where the striker plate would normally install.



I still need to finish it with the die grinder.



Installed the door hardware.







$125



Nat
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:08 AM   #66
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Here you can see a bunch of pieces of red tape over the rivet holes in the roof ribs. We are filling the ribs full of spray foam. This will eliminate any more condensation from forming in them.



After converting the rust, painting, then filling the ribs with foam. You can see the spray foam coming out of the rivet holes. No rust should continue.





Nat
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:30 AM   #67
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I was going to try to leave the fuse box and all this wiring alone, Trim it down, and work around it.

Trimmed down.



You can see the latch.








The way the bus was made, there was plywood and rust hidden by this mess. So it all had to go.
Not much space, and glass and other thing everywhere to get damaged, I didn't want to use a grinder. So I used the chisel and 4 pound hammer.









From the outside.



All taken loose.



All out. Just removing the last of the plywood and rubber.





I cut this lip of metal out so I can fill it back in with some angle.



Cleaning up the last of the jagged metal.



Cutting the plywood out from under the steering column.



Nat
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:31 AM   #68
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I now have room to work, this sheet metal in front of the drivers feet needs to go.





This is the base of the steering column. It's full of wired on the inside.
Carefully cutting.



Using a chisel to peel out the sheet metal firewall.





Overview.



Home stretch. Almost all out.



Brake peddle removed.



All out.





Door closed.



Carefully removed and waiting to be broken down into needed and spare parts.



More stuff for the scrap pile.





Nat
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:37 AM   #69
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart View Post
wow that's a lot work going on, I can really see you passing the $30 grand mark. I was wondering if you all ready have your bus registered in your name? and if not will you need a safety inspection? I know here in Ontario with that much modifications you would need a body shop inspection as well as a mechanical, and seeing your windows are residential they wouldn't pass here, but maybe where you are.
Just wondering,
gbstewart
It sure is a ton of work. The pics I show don't come close to showing how long things take.

I made sure to register and insure the bus before I started. My agent is very slack with details.

I'm glad Alberta has not started elected the same system as Ontario.

Nat
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:39 PM   #70
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Southern Ohio
Posts: 51
You Sir are Awesome! I love this bus! I wish we were were neighbors so I could join in the fun. Of course I moved to get away from snow and winter so that's not going to happen unless your coming stateside ;)
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:44 PM   #71
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetfarm View Post
You Sir are Awesome! I love this bus! I wish we were were neighbors so I could join in the fun. Of course I moved to get away from snow and winter so that's not going to happen unless your coming stateside ;)
Thanks for the kind words. I would love to have help, and I would love to help others build their own. However, no one local shares the same interest.

Nat
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:59 PM   #72
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
A bit more trimming under the drivers seat. Now it will match the other side.





Trimming out the drivers window opening so the window will fit. The opening was a 1/4 inch to short, I had to cut a 1/4 inch off the rub rail at the bottom of the window.



I installed a piece of bungee cord as a door stop to keep the wind from tearing it off the hinges.



We got one last warm sunny day, so I got after bolting the new side panels.



I snapped chock lines to keep the bolts in line. I also used to much seam seal between the panels, causing bulging. With winter fast aproching, I rushed this step. Far from the best job I could have done, but it will have to do.



Top row of bolts not in yet.



All these bolts also hold the rib extensions together.



Bulging caused by too much seam seal.



Nat
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:03 PM   #73
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I used por 15's metal ready as a etching agent for the galvanized metal.



You can see the color difference.





And I etched under the door.





Nat
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:04 PM   #74
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Posts: 701
Year: 1995
Engine: DT408
Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
However, no one local shares the same interest.

Nat
I hear you. Lots of folks interested in what one is building but mostly this can be a solitary craft other than one's immediate family. That's OK though, can't think of a better project for a couple than to build their home or dream. I have 2 friends who want to do this themselves but live in other parts of the country. Their projects might end up here at some point to build but probably after I'm mostly done with the structural work on mine.
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:08 PM   #75
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
A shot from the front through the future windshield opening. The center vertical bar shows how much bigger the new windshield will be.







I started finishing the strapping around a few of the windows to see how it would work out.



Nat
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:12 PM   #76
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,431
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I love the piles of bus refuse. I have a few of those too.
EXCELLENT build thread.
And I'd definitely help you if you were here in the sunshine state!
I know the feeling though. Good, or ANY, help can be hard to come by. I can't even entice friends with beer these days!
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:21 PM   #77
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I was feeling like wrecking something, so I turned to demolition.

Time to get rid of all this rusty exhaust pipe out from under the bus.



I cut the stainless steel band with my 4 pound hammer and chisel.



You can see all the dirt and rust stuck on the side of the fuel tank mount.





Smashing it out with the hammer and chisel.





Nat
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:32 PM   #78
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Thx fellow skoolies.

More pics are uploading for tomorrow.

Nat
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:08 PM   #79
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,635
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
A shot from the front through the future windshield opening. The center vertical bar shows how much bigger the new windshield will be.
The anticipation is killing me! When I read your proposal to install a taller windshield rather than the traditional "tall forehead" or mid-roof rise, I thought it was a great idea and added it to my mind's picture of my own project.

Yesterday I was out and passed a Safelite location (they're an auto glass chain in the US, nationwide I think) so I went in to inquire. Let me just say the lady there was not one of those "help the customer even if I can't help him" types.. As soon as I'd said I wanted a windshield for a bus she said "we don't do buses." "Well then suppose it was a motorhome," I said, and she replied that they don't like doing motorhomes.

In any case all she could tell me is that she can order glass from the manufacturer by application, or by the "bug" code printed on the original glass, but certainly not anything custom. So I'm wondering how you propose to (or already did) close yours up. I'm praying you won't install a wide sliding patio door panel hung sideways!
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:10 PM   #80
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,431
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I'm wondering what Nat is gonna do for a gasket for that. I'm really looking forward to seeing it done.
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