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Old 12-04-2022, 06:23 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
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Question Double Decker Bus welding question?

I think I am finally able to post pictures on here. We are working on our Double Decker Bus and the previous owner cut out a large portion on the top floor. Our guess is he was taller than us and wanted walking room. We want to rebuild it and we think we will have to re-weld these steel beams.

My question is where would we find replacement beams, not just replacements, but with a similar arc to the original ones.

Would we be able to weld these on or would we just have to figure out a different way to build the upper floor?

If you wanna check out our progress look us up on Instagram Double_Decked_Out

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Old 12-04-2022, 06:28 PM   #2
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Talking Adding photos

I think I attached the photos wrong, or I am still not allowed to do it. I'm gonna try again haha.
Attached Thumbnails
20221204_105658.jpg   20221204_130721.jpg  
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Old 12-04-2022, 08:00 PM   #3
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To get your pics rotated/oriented correctly, try converting them to PNG format in an image editor (and making sure they're rotated correctly) before uploading them.
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Old 12-05-2022, 10:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_Decked_Out View Post
If you wanna check out our progress look us up on Instagram Double_Decked_Out
Note there is also 'doubledeckedout' no spaces which is a different double decker build out there on Instagram.
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Old 12-05-2022, 12:48 PM   #5
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DDO.....never seen anything like that but it looks like 2 channels with spacers welded in-between and a plate on the bottom would get you pretty close. Or 2 unequal sided angles welded to a plate would work also. Since you aren't welding on main frame rails I think any regular welding would work well. You'll have to cut some of that plywood back to get to the place to weld. You could also weld a couple pieces of flat stock on both sides to make a box for re-enforcement in-case your welding skills or machine are lacking. Leave about an 1/8" gap on both ends when you get ready to tack them in place, that way you will approach a 100% penetration weld......putting in all the metal needed to match the original strength of that shape. If you don't trust your butt welding fabricate the pieces and tack weld them in place and get a professional to weld them in place for you. Piece of cake really.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:06 PM   #6
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ECW (Eastern Coach Works) in Lowestoft, the body maker of your VR, went out of business some years ago, so finding new upper floor ribs is impossible now. Maybe a scrappie in England that's still dismantling ECW-bodied VRs could cut out some ribs for you, but by now most ex-PSV VRs have probably been scrapped, and any survivors now are likely to be preserved or converted and hence not a source of ribs.

In England I rode many a happy mile in Eastern Counties' VRs like yours! Are you still using the Gardner, or have you converted to a Detroit? (Which Detroit?) Does your bus have the 5-speed SCG semi-auto gearbox?

John
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Old 12-10-2022, 05:14 PM   #7
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Where in Indiana are you?
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Old 12-11-2022, 10:11 AM   #8
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box steel would work but cut it to overlp never but weld
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Old 12-11-2022, 10:55 AM   #9
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Actually channel would work
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Old 12-11-2022, 11:24 AM   #10
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Those beams are probably more about holding the sides of the bus together in case of an accident than about supporting the weight of the people on the upper deck. If you don't care about structural integrity in an accident (which would be the case if everybody is up front in forward-facing seats with three-point belts, which is a good idea anyway for safety), it looks like you could easily rebuild the cutaway floor with wood 2x6s. And this would restore at least some of the lost structural integrity although certainly not all of it.
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Old 12-11-2022, 11:53 AM   #11
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Like John mentioned, you're unlikely to find any steel which matches that profile...but the suggestions to use either rectangular box or channel are both good options. Your bus has been around for a while without those ribs in place, so it's pretty clear they're not super important to the structural integrity of the bus. I, personally, wouldn't hesitate to find some channel or box and weld those across...and I disagree with the "never butt weld" suggestion, unless there's something I'm missing (or we're going to assume the welding isn't done right). This isn't a vehicle's primary frame rail, where you might need bird's mouth or fish tail or diamond or angled cuts and reinforcing plates because of cantilevered forces. A well-done butt weld, which would be a strong as the parent metal, would work fine for these cross rails which are supported at each end.

As to the other part of your question...the arc. There are several ways to put a bow/arc into the material you will install. There are brute force methods, like a press or putting each end on blocks and lowering a weight (your bus?) on the to center. And a large enough roller can also do that. Both of these, though, might cause kinks or uneven bends. My suggestion for putting a nice bow in the box tubing would be to run a weld bead on the "bottom" side. That will cause the box tubing to arc nicely and pretty evenly. You many need to play with the length of the bead, and the number of beads, to get the bow you want...but once you figure one out, it's going to be pretty consistent. This would work with the C channel, too.
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Old 12-11-2022, 04:36 PM   #12
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There is one other method, but it will be labor intensive - remove an existing, intact rib, and take it to a metal shop to have several more made. Probably the only way you're going to get actual replacement rails.
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