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Old 07-25-2021, 01:06 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Headliner keep or remove?

My Bluebird has a metal headliner with 1 3/4 inches of fiberglass insulation behind. What about leaving it in place and adding 3" of spray foam on top?



The headliner adds a lot of structure and so I'm wondering why not leave it?


Thoughts?


THANKS!
John

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Old 07-25-2021, 02:58 PM   #2
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I think that the sheet metal on a bus provides shear, including the headliner and it depends on the bus.

I have a Thomas Minotour with an aluminum skin. The outside is sparsely screwed. Only every other rib on the outside has screws. The inside is also every other, opposite rib, but on the inside it has a screw every two inches. So I concluded that the headliner is shear and decided to keep it.
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Old 07-25-2021, 04:04 PM   #3
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Many conversations about this already. If you want to take a deep dive, use the search function. Be warned: many of the threads about whether to remove or keep the stock ceiling get strangely confrontational. Apparently there are strong opinions on this topic.

If you're already leaning toward keeping the stock ceiling and you don't need the additional head room, then go for it. The fiberglass insulation isn't great, so adding additional insulation on the inside like you suggest is a good idea.

I removed the headliner and spray foamed. I'd do it again, but it was a ton of work. The aluminum headliner in my bus was really thin and only attached to every third rib, so I doubt removing it significantly reduced structural strength.
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Old 07-25-2021, 04:28 PM   #4
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Be warned: many of the threads about whether to remove or keep the stock ceiling get strangely confrontational.
Ha ha "strangely" - this is skoolie.net, we argue over everything.

One thing I like about this forum is that I'm almost never right about what position any particular user is going to take on a given subject. I always think I have people figured out and then I find out otherwise.

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Old 07-25-2021, 05:27 PM   #5
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Ha ha "strangely" - this is skoolie.net, we argue over everything.

One thing I like about this forum is that I'm almost never right about what position any particular user is going to take on a given subject. I always think I have people figured out and then I find out otherwise.

Aw, cmon man! We finish each otherís sentences!
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timeline View Post
My Bluebird has a metal headliner with 1 3/4 inches of fiberglass insulation behind. What about leaving it in place and adding 3" of spray foam on top?



The headliner adds a lot of structure and so I'm wondering why not leave it?


Thoughts?


THANKS!
John
It really doesn't add much structure- the wanderlodge is plenty stout and rollover rated and they have vinyl and pressboard headliners.
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:15 PM   #7
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Our AmTran has steel exterior and a steel "headliner". We're planning to drop the headliner and then reinstall it after we have it spray foamed. We figure that will retain the most headroom and structure while significantly improving the roof insulation.
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Old 07-25-2021, 11:06 PM   #8
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Ha ha "strangely" - this is skoolie.net, we argue over everything.
No we don't!
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:36 AM   #9
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No we don't!
Yes we do!
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
I think that the sheet metal on a bus provides shear, including the headliner and it depends on the bus.

I have a Thomas Minotour with an aluminum skin. The outside is sparsely screwed. Only every other rib on the outside has screws. The inside is also every other, opposite rib, but on the inside it has a screw every two inches. So I concluded that the headliner is shear and decided to keep it.

Thanks Danjo!
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejon7 View Post
Many conversations about this already. If you want to take a deep dive, use the search function. Be warned: many of the threads about whether to remove or keep the stock ceiling get strangely confrontational. Apparently there are strong opinions on this topic.

If you're already leaning toward keeping the stock ceiling and you don't need the additional head room, then go for it. The fiberglass insulation isn't great, so adding additional insulation on the inside like you suggest is a good idea.

I removed the headliner and spray foamed. I'd do it again, but it was a ton of work. The aluminum headliner in my bus was really thin and only attached to every third rib, so I doubt removing it significantly reduced structural strength.

Thanks Tejon!
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
It really doesn't add much structure- the wanderlodge is plenty stout and rollover rated and they have vinyl and pressboard headliners.

Thanks EastCoast


This steel headliner is attached with around 50 rivets per rib, it's meteorite impact rated...
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:37 AM   #13
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Hey TimeLine, after my brief argument comment...based on a bit of Monty Python memories...I should properly respond to your question. Personally, if the roof structure is sound and there's factory insulation in there (in good shape) we've got no opposition to adding stringers to the interior skin and putting additional insulation there. This does require a bit of investigation, to see if the existing insulation seems sound...like removing light fixtures or speakers and poking around a bit.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamSkoolie View Post
Our AmTran has steel exterior and a steel "headliner". We're planning to drop the headliner and then reinstall it after we have it spray foamed. We figure that will retain the most headroom and structure while significantly improving the roof insulation.

Thanks HamSkoolie that sounds like a ton of work, but it's a great idea I would not have thought of.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:42 AM   #15
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Wading in to the fray once again! The closest we have come to documented evidence that the headliner provides structural support was from a case a few years ago where Blue Bird failed the stress test that school buses are subjected to because the attachment of their roof panels was found to be slightly weaker than the mandated standard. Blue Bird argued (unsuccessfully) that this was not really a problem because the additional strength provided by the headliner panels compensated for this weakness of the roof panels.

So it's probably correct to say that yes, the headliner does provide a degree of additional structural support, but it is not structural support that is considered necessary by the (already very high) safety standards applied to school buses. So everybody is right! Except those utter fools who remove both the headliner and the roof panels.

It's also worth mentioning that most (maybe) skoolie builders remove the headliners and nobody has ever run into problems because of it.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Hey TimeLine, after my brief argument comment...based on a bit of Monty Python memories...I should properly respond to your question. Personally, if the roof structure is sound and there's factory insulation in there (in good shape) we've got no opposition to adding stringers to the interior skin and putting additional insulation there. This does require a bit of investigation, to see if the existing insulation seems sound...like removing light fixtures or speakers and poking around a bit.

Hi RossyT



Removed the back headliner the insulation is in good condition. Doing a 12" roof raise and have decided to keep the headliner and add furring strips and foam.


Favorite Python line "That's Parkinson from accounting, Don't do it Parky!"

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Thanks!
John
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:01 AM   #17
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So everybody is right! Except those utter fools who remove both the headliner and the roof panels.
.




Thanks Musicgenesis



Going to leave them in place in this case, thanks for your input!

John
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timeline View Post
Hi RossyT



Removed the back headliner the insulation is in good condition. Doing a 12" roof raise and have decided to keep the headliner and add furring strips and foam.


Favorite Python line "That's Parkinson from accounting, Don't do it Parky!"

.
Thanks!
John
A 12" roof raise changes the equation a bit. I'm no expert, but it seems reasonable that even on a stock bus, the window area is more likely to be the weakest point as opposed to the arched ceiling. In my bus, there are 2x as many arched roof ribs as window supports. By adding 12" to that window area, I think you're further cementing that as the weakest point. Since you're already going to significantly alter the original structure, does the headliner really matter any more? Or is it now just a few hundred pounds of unnecessary weight, 12" higher than it used to be?
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:07 PM   #19
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Thanks EastCoast


This steel headliner is attached with around 50 rivets per rib, it's meteorite impact rated...

OUCH..... ours bus came with screws throughout. Walls, window surrounds, headliner. Square drive bits and a dewalt cordless impact wrench. Still a ton of work to get them all out but hella easier than rivets.
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:05 PM   #20
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Thanks EastCoast


This steel headliner is attached with around 50 rivets per rib, it's meteorite impact rated...
I had a Ward/AmTran I pulled the ceilings on. 40 footer Ward Senator- was the predecessor of the Genesis. Had the FULL rivets treatment. Once I got them down I never dreamed of putting them back. I like the Luan or tongue in groove ceilings.
My Thomas meets the same federal standards with FAR less screws and no rivets, and only a 20 gauge perforated headliner.
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