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Old 04-26-2020, 06:17 PM   #1
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Leveling Unistrut on the Roof

For those that have run a pair of Unistrut rails down the length of the bus, directly bolted to the roof, how did you level the two rails so that you can run a beam, solar panel, whatever across the two?

As it looks on my bus, the two rails will each need to be straightened about 5 degrees to get a level surface across the two.

So far the best bet I've found is pinion shims, aluminum shims that come in 2, 4, 6, and 8 degree variants. Not the cheapest option, but I'm hesitant to use composite construction shims up there where they'll be out in the weather.

Thoughts?

Chris
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Old 04-26-2020, 06:37 PM   #2
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Unistrut has a catalogue of parts available. Brackets of all kinds that could be used to change angles or set angles on the differing struts you use.

Just takes a bit of time to decide how to work them into your build.
Right angles and flattened right angles would work and everything is galvanized.
Just use appropriate spring nuts, bolts, lock-washers and flat washers and nuts and you should be able to build to your needs. 3/8 or 1/2" hardware, but some 1/3; might work in places too.
Draw it up and do a material list I would think. Extras come in handy down the road too.

My 2 cents,


John
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Old 04-26-2020, 06:42 PM   #3
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https://www.boltdepot.com/Product-De...hoCWtAQAvD_BwE

https://www.ebay.com/i/292466510283?...hoCJvEQAvD_BwE
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:39 PM   #4
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Thanks. I found both of these already. The bolts from the first link are twice the angle I need, unfortunately. The bolts from the second link have up to a 3-month lead time, from China, and given the state of things, I suppose that's questionable. The shims I'd need are only a dollar less than the pinion shims I found, and so I think the pinion shims are a better option as they're more material and likely easier to get delivered quicker. Seriously, though, thanks for checking these!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Unistrut has a catalogue of parts available. Brackets of all kinds that could be used to change angles or set angles on the differing struts you use.

Just takes a bit of time to decide how to work them into your build.
Right angles and flattened right angles would work and everything is galvanized.
Just use appropriate spring nuts, bolts, lock-washers and flat washers and nuts and you should be able to build to your needs. 3/8 or 1/2" hardware, but some 1/3; might work in places too.
Draw it up and do a material list I would think. Extras come in handy down the road too.

My 2 cents,

John
Thanks! I've scoured the Unistrut catalog, and given the angle I need to make up, there's no pre-made angle that would work. If I used the hinged part, the cost would be prohibitive, unfortunately. Thanks for making me go double-check though! I missed some of those parts the last time I checked.

I think I'll move forward with the pinion shims between the bus roof and Unistrut. Thanks again all who checked! Time to order more parts... seems like the story of my life with this bus! haha



Chris
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:57 PM   #5
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Yeesh, I ordered a bunch of bolt hardware from Amazon a few days ago, and then realized that it's all coming from a bunch of different sellers and some of it isn't arriving until the middle of May. Just ordered everything else from bolt depot and it was super easy and it's all coming in a few days. I've used bolt depot before, even - I don't know what made me try Amazon.
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:58 PM   #6
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Yeah, Bolt Depot is great! I'm ordering most of my hardware there, especially the stainless.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:10 PM   #7
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:13 PM   #8
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@farok, thank you so much for this question. It's an answer to me.

I've spent months debating myself on various options for this very purpose. I wasn't aware of the pinion shims you mentioned, and so far, they look like the best bet to me (discounting price). I see they make steel versions as well.
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
@farok, thank you so much for this question. It's an answer to me.

I've spent months debating myself on various options for this very purpose. I wasn't aware of the pinion shims you mentioned, and so far, they look like the best bet to me (discounting price). I see they make steel versions as well.
Thanks! I was able to find the shims I need at $4.50 and so ordered them this evening. Hopefully they'll be what I'm looking for. They're a bit oversized, so this should help cushion the unistrut, at something like 2.5" x 4" each.
https://zoneoffroad.com/zone-offroad...ng-shims/u3001

I suspect they have other sizes as well.

Chris
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