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Old 01-09-2022, 09:57 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 26
Roof Raise Bracket Help/Recommendations

Hey everyone,

Tackling the roof raise soon and I know there are countless different ways to create the brackets that are welded onto the frame for supporting the roof, or, simply purchasing some prefab ones for a much higher price from a skoolie website. Here is my plan and would like thoughts. All materials will be purchased at my local Menards and I will include links below to everything.

1. Remove pins from door hinges and separate into 2 pieces
2. Weld approximately 6" of square tubing to hinges
3. Thread 5/8" rod through square tubing on 1 newly created hinge bracket
4. Add in hex nuts and washers
5. Thread second hinge bracket up to meet the hex nuts and washers
6. Weld 2 hinge brackets with threaded rod, hex nuts, and washers to bus frame approximately 6" apart
7. Cut the bus in half and raise the roof

Materials I plan on buying.

Square Tubing: https://www.menards.com/main/hardwar...5798138&ipos=4

Door Hinges: https://www.menards.com/main/hardwar...4448887039.htm

Threaded Rod: https://www.menards.com/main/hardwar...4432422765.htm

Hex Nuts: https://www.menards.com/main/hardwar...8534115&ipos=1

Washers:https://www.menards.com/main/hardwar...8026099&ipos=3

Thoughts are appreciated! Seems like a cost effective and suitable way to accomplish this for a fraction of the price of a prefab bracket.

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Old 01-09-2022, 10:10 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,210
Hi Chris,

I, personally, would not trust 5/8th inch all thread rod...especially if you don't plan on using a lot of them. A 5/8th inch thread has closer to 1/2-inch of actual diameter "inside" the threads...at the bottom of the threads. A 5/8th course thread rod has .226 square inches of stress area. And those rods aren't hardened. I think you'll find that you can take a 36" 5/8th inch thread rod and bend it over your knee. And if you can bend it, the wind load on your bus roof certainly can.

We use 1-inch hardened rod. A 1-inch threaded rod has .6 square inches of stress ares. That's a significant difference in area, over the 5/8", and it's hardened.

I show our brackets in this video...it might give you some ideas. Hope it helps! https://youtu.be/uKNlJpC8QRg
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Old 01-09-2022, 12:16 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 26
Awesome video! That bracket system definitely looks overkill HAHA but well engineered for sure! How about bumping it up to a 3/4" rod? I found this threaded rod load chart here: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/l...ds-d_1341.html

Unless the material is different than zinc coated cold rolled steel, like the one I'm looking at, the load limit of a 3/4" rod is approximately 2700lbs. And if I had 4 of those (one in each corner of course) surely that would be sufficient. I'm not sure how much the roof weighs but it couldn't be that heavy could it? I've seen other posts on this site of people saying that most people over estimate the amount the roof weighs, which I'd rather be on the safer side of course, but also practical.
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Old 01-09-2022, 12:32 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,210
The roof on a bus certainly doesn't weigh as much as many assume...and it varies by length, of course. But I expect they're all under 1000 pounds. It isn't the weight that's as much an issue as potential side loading.

The link you referred to is for hangar rod. That 3/4-inch rod will support 2700 pounds under tension. Pulled down, if you will. But who knows how much it will support under compression? That will vary with the length of the unsupported rod. The longer the rod, the less resistant is will be to compressive forces before it buckles or bends over. And any side load, like wind or uneven jacking, will compound that.

I'm not saying your plan won't work, I'm just saying that I can't say it will either. I would guess that nobody here will be able to "approve" your plan because there are many unknown variables. How long will the unsupported length of the rod be? Is the bus going to be on perfectly level ground? What are the wind conditions? Don't take this wrong...I'm not criticizing your plan at all. I just want to help you think through all the variables and not misinterpret data (like that hangar chart). Ultimately, you'll need to decide what you think is safe. I hope that makes sense! Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt.
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Old 01-09-2022, 02:29 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 26
That all makes sense no worries! The bus is level on a concrete pad, or very close to level. When I decide to go for it I'm going to wait for a calm day so wind isn't a huge factor. It's going to be a 12inch roof raise so those rods shouldn't be extremely overextended without bracing. I'm not seeing any other types of rods at the hardware stores around so what exactly would be recommend? I see that their are different grades and I'm assuming it should be a steel rod of course. But what makes one stronger than another aside from the diameter of the rod?
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Old 01-09-2022, 03:06 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLifts View Post
But what makes one stronger than another aside from the diameter of the rod?
The make-up of the steel and the hardness vary with the intended purpose and strength needs. Grade A...the stuff at the home center...is low-carbon mild steel. The stuff I used in that video is B7 is a "medium-carbon alloy that's been quenched and tempered to reach it's higher strength" (quote taken from a threaded rod site I just looked up...because I don't remember the specifics of B7, but it's supposed to be similar to Grade 5 in bolts...I think).
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Old 01-09-2022, 03:18 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,149
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
Long things

If you have concerns about threaded rods being long and wobbly….

What about using black pipe or tubing and use like a telescoping assembly. Use the pipe stuff to be the guide and locators. Use the threaded part for vertical movements and lifting force. If you go for 12” lift, then you may only 18” of rod for the lift.

I like the idea of hydraulic cylinders from engine lifts, “cherry picker”. And tubes as guides.

Lots of ways to get the job done depending on what you have available. I bet you could even use inner tubes as an air bag lift method.


William
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Old 01-09-2022, 04:26 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
If you have concerns about threaded rods being long and wobbly….

What about using black pipe or tubing and use like a telescoping assembly. Use the pipe stuff to be the guide and locators. Use the threaded part for vertical movements and lifting force. If you go for 12” lift, then you may only 18” of rod for the lift.

I like the idea of hydraulic cylinders from engine lifts, “cherry picker”. And tubes as guides.

Lots of ways to get the job done depending on what you have available. I bet you could even use inner tubes as an air bag lift method.


William
I thought about this as well but haven't seen many people do it so I didn't think it was necessary to spend the extra money on additional materials. But I believe you'd be look at something like this? I could use a 7/8" threaded rod to go through the 1" square tube welded to the brackets and additionally to pass through this additional tubing at the top and bottom of the brackets.

https://www.menards.com/main/hardwar...2774807&ipos=1

You would thread the bulk of the rod through the steel tube on top and bottom of the brackets for additional support in terms of buckling/ bending. I don't really see that being a common thing for most people doing roof raises but it couldn't hurt to be on a safer side. They utilize this concept with squat racks at my gym. The adjustable self-spotting bars are a solid piece of steel that can be pulled out of the rack and shoved through the appropriate holes at the front and back of the rack at the desired height. There is a separate steel tube that the bar goes through for additional bracing should a heavy load be dropped on the safety bar.
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Old 01-10-2022, 10:04 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 26
What do you guys think of this method? Bolting the roof raise brackets on instead of welding them? Would save a lot of time both with welding them on and removing them?

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Old 01-16-2022, 03:25 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 63
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Cummins 5.9 ISB
Roof Raise with 4 HF jacks

With the price of wood these days IDK if this would be cheaper, I had some laying around in the garden, but it worked wonderfully for my raise. I used 10' x 6"x 6" wood posts. I placed one on the window sills across the body then mounted some cheap scissors screw jacks rated at (~ 1500 lbs each) one at each corner front and back of the bus. Then placed another post on top of the jacks. These had recesses in them to prevent the jacks from slipping. It was super simple to do the lift, I could adjust very accurately the height at each corner. Here are A few pics.


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Old 01-16-2022, 03:31 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 63
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Cummins 5.9 ISB
Here are the pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20210417_132023.jpg (32.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210418_135344.jpg (46.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210419_172629.jpg (32.6 KB, 9 views)
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Old 01-17-2022, 01:32 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 26
I was able to source all of the steel at my local hardware supplier and found a local guy with 50 years welding experience who is charging me $50/ hour for welding. 3-4 hours should do the trick which is less than I would have spent on welding equipment myself. Not to mention the inexperience of never welding and relying on that for structural integrity. I guess I just got lucky. I'll post pictures this week as we go through the process.
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Old 01-17-2022, 03:54 PM   #13
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 141
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Blueburd
Chassis: International S1800
Engine: 9.0L International Diesel NA
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLifts View Post
What do you guys think of this method? Bolting the roof raise brackets on instead of welding them? Would save a lot of time both with welding them on and removing them?

Without wathing this video.... yes bolt them on with grade 5 or 8 3/8" bolts..... I think I told you this much in your other thread. Sounds like you moved away from the hinge plate idea.... GOOD!
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