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Old 10-08-2018, 12:03 AM   #1
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Can you raise roof without cutting out windows?

I'm currently considering doing a roof raise, however I'd like to avoid taking out the windows to do so.

I see that everyone does their roof raises by taking out the windows, cutting the metal studs in between each window in half and then jacking up the roof. The problem with this method, in my opinion (and this is with zero understanding of structural integrity of the bus), is that it requires you to fill in the windows with new sheet metal once you're done raising it. Part of the attractiveness of converting a school bus (rather then a sprinter) is the windows in my opinion. While they suck for insulation purposes, I love the light they let in, and it sounds expensive as hell to have to cut out new windows slots from the new sheet metal and install either pre-fab or retro fit windows. So, in a perfect world, I'd ideally be able to do a roof raise AND keep the original windows.

Here's what I'm thinking: Can I simply remove the rivets that hold the roof to the body of the bus (or cut it off entirely, if that is not possible) and add 1-2ft of new sheet metal above the windows? In this scenario, I would extend the metal studs that run from the floor, up to the windows, so that they go as high as the new sheet metal would stand. That way it has something secure to weld onto. From there, I would rivet the roof back onto the new siding.

Does any of that sound feasible? I'm shooting from the hip here. It's completely theoretical idea, with zero understanding for engineering and whether or not this would be structurally sound.

Sincerely appreciate any thoughts on this.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:06 AM   #2
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look we all do it that way for a reason however you can put your windows back in as long as you put back the original flanging if you go high enough you could double them up put 2 windows instead of one in each opening but trust me when i say this you will have one hell of a mess if you do it any differently unless you're a crackerjack sheet metal fabricator / welder look any job is as difficult as you make it keep to the kiss method and 2% rule and youll be just fine

ps 2% rule: you have to be 2% smarter than the equipment youre trying to operate
the k.i.s.s. method is: keep. it. simple. stupid.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:39 AM   #3
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Another approach is to simply make your horizontal cut below the windows and just jack the whole upper portion up. Windows and all. Also puts the windows closer to "eye-level" when done.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:43 AM   #4
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Another idea I have seen done and would love to do but its a bit above my pay-grade. in short you raise the entire bus bus disconnecting the metal from the floor, raising it and reattaching it.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:59 AM   #5
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Another approach is to simply make your horizontal cut below the windows and just jack the whole upper portion up. Windows and all. Also puts the windows closer to "eye-level" when done.
Great idea! Was wondering about this as well. I think this is my best bet, given Smokey Pipe Dream's advice above.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:00 AM   #6
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That definitely is a cool idea, but I don't have the time, skill or money for that unfortunately.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Smokey's pipe dream View Post
look we all do it that way for a reason however you can put your windows back in as long as you put back the original flanging if you go high enough you could double them up put 2 windows instead of one in each opening but trust me when i say this you will have one hell of a mess if you do it any differently unless you're a crackerjack sheet metal fabricator / welder look any job is as difficult as you make it keep to the kiss method and 2% rule and youll be just fine

ps 2% rule: you have to be 2% smarter than the equipment youre trying to operate
the k.i.s.s. method is: keep. it. simple. stupid.
i.e.: do not reinvent the wheel it is round with a center point it goes round and round so its good enough!

Do you think this is possible? vvv

"Another approach is to simply make your horizontal cut below the windows and just jack the whole upper portion up. Windows and all. Also puts the windows closer to "eye-level" when done."

Or am I going to run into the same issue, where now I have to put a 1-2 foot piece of new sheet metal below the windows, which could be equally as difficult as the original idea of putting the strip of sheet metal above the windows...
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:17 AM   #8
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Having raised the roof on 2 buses
one 45 years ago (I don't remember much of that one for various reasons) and one about 3 or 4 months ago I personally see no reason to keep skoolie windows they leak, transfer cold and turn your bus into a greenhouse but if you are inclined to keep them then I would as suggested remove the 80 million rivets under the windows on the rub rails saw the roof off under the windows and lift the roof windows and all, of course that will be much heavier than a standard roof raise so my advice would be to remove the windows first raise the roof do the welding and grinding and rust prevention first then reinstall the windows where they can be resealed properly then they will be a the right height for an adult unless one of those 2' or3' lifts are anticipated in which case the windows in the middle would be more appropriate and triple the effort.



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Old 10-08-2018, 10:19 AM   #9
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If you raise the roof it will have to be filled with something or else it is going to be quite windy in there. Gene
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:59 PM   #10
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I found this on the Skoolie Nation facebook page and might answer your question....

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I don't usually cross-pollenate things I find in other groups, especially Skoolie Steve's, but today he shared something too good not to share. Of course, it turned into a **** show, which is why I tune in in the first place.

Imagine a roof raise without removing the windows or cutting a single rib...

The builder here removed the rivets attaching the walls to the floor, raised the whole body, and reinstalled the rivets, which lined right up. 15" gained. You'd need to add new lower skirting and the supports for it, but this has to be the most brilliant method I've seen yet.
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:33 PM   #11
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I'm having a hard time comprehending this. If the floor is deriveted from the walls, the walls are still secured to the ribs up the sides. How are the ribs attached at the base that would allow this? How does the body separate from the chassis? How do you raise the ribs to the higher roof without cutting them? A better side pic would answer a lot.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaron415 View Post
Do you think this is possible? vvv

"Another approach is to simply make your horizontal cut below the windows and just jack the whole upper portion up. Windows and all. Also puts the windows closer to "eye-level" when done."

Or am I going to run into the same issue, where now I have to put a 1-2 foot piece of new sheet metal below the windows, which could be equally as difficult as the original idea of putting the strip of sheet metal above the windows...
Here's a raise below the windows.
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File Type: jpg 12 inch raise3.jpg (126.2 KB, 36 views)
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:32 AM   #13
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Mr Mullet...brilliant idea. Don't need it but that is what I would follow.
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
If the floor is deriveted from the walls, the walls are still secured to the ribs up the sides. How are the ribs attached at the base that would allow this? How does the body separate from the chassis? How do you raise the ribs to the higher roof without cutting them? A better side pic would answer a lot.
Surely it'll vary from one body make to another, but in the case of my Blue Bird, most of the ribs are held to the chair rail by four 1/4" rivets. That's it. There were a few places where sections of chair rail are spliced in the same place as a rib; these places were fixed with about 10 rivets.

If one removes all those rail-to-rib rivets, as well as the rivets holding the outer skin in the skirt area, then the entire wall and roof assembly can be lifted off the floor as one. In my case I had fully stripped the sheet metal off the inside and outside of the walls because I wanted to replace it all, but the raise could have been done with that all intact.
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:59 PM   #15
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:20 AM   #16
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IMHO, saving school bus windows is like keeping the rust holes for their "patina".
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:23 AM   #17
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What's holding the body to the frame?
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:02 PM   #18
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Watch "Two Nerds and a Bus" on YouTube. They do a roof raise below the window by cutting below the windows. Need to do a better job sealing as they had leak issues in the wall. I think if one did a roof raise in their style, one would want to remove the upper rub rail, cut there, and use it to cover the upper seam of the new sheet metal.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:05 PM   #19
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What's holding the body to the frame?
Yeah that is super interesting. I'd love to know more details on their methods.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:22 AM   #20
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I cut below my windows. But only because I realized that at the bottom of my windows the my bus actually tapers in. I think taking windows out and cutting the ribs there gives you a lot more room to cut. If you cut below the windows you either have to cut through the sheet metal or remove some extra rivets pry the sheet metal away from the rib a little and cut really carefully.
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