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Old 05-24-2018, 11:11 PM   #1
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Roof raise materials

Hey everybody! So, we bought the bus, drove the bus, cleaned the inside, drove the bus, removed the seats, drove the bus. I like to drive the bus! Anyway, I am definitely going to be raising the roof. The actual raising I am ok with. I have some questions about the materials people have used and what are the pros and cons of what you used.

First, what are people using for skinning material? I have read people using cold rolled, hot rolled, galvanized, galvaneal, etc.

Also what size sheet metal are you using, 8ft length, 10ft length?

What gauge or thickness?

What kind of rivets are you using (solid, open end, aluminum, metal, or stainless)?

Any other info on materials would be helpful also. Thanks in advance for the info.

Mike
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:06 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by bridg73988 View Post
Hey everybody! So, we bought the bus, drove the bus, cleaned the inside, drove the bus, removed the seats, drove the bus. I like to drive the bus! Anyway, I am definitely going to be raising the roof. The actual raising I am ok with. I have some questions about the materials people have used and what are the pros and cons of what you used.

First, what are people using for skinning material? I have read people using cold rolled, hot rolled, galvanized, galvaneal, etc.

Also what size sheet metal are you using, 8ft length, 10ft length?

What gauge or thickness?

What kind of rivets are you using (solid, open end, aluminum, metal, or stainless)?

Any other info on materials would be helpful also. Thanks in advance for the info.

Mike
I use 14 ga for the rib extensions. 18 ga for the body paneling. All hot rolled.

SS closed end pop rivets are my choice.

Hopefully your bus isn't a Thomas. They're the toughest to raise properly and have it look good.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for your input EastCoastCB, I see you help a lot of people on this forum and was hoping you would chime in. If I may ask, why did you choose hot rolled vs the others? Curious about your comment on Thomas being the hardest to raise, what's the trouble with them? Oh, and it is a 2000 Blue Bird All American rear engine.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input EastCoastCB, I see you help a lot of people on this forum and was hoping you would chime in. If I may ask, why did you choose hot rolled vs the others?
Its cheaper and the stuff I get is nice clean steel that's easy to work with.
I get 4x10's of 18ga hot rolled for 60-70 a sheet depending on steel prices.
I just don't see the need to spend more money. All the stuff I've laid down looked pretty good and no oil canning or any of that.
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bridg73988 View Post
Thanks for your input EastCoastCB, I see you help a lot of people on this forum and was hoping you would chime in. If I may ask, why did you choose hot rolled vs the others? Curious about your comment on Thomas being the hardest to raise, what's the trouble with them? Oh, and it is a 2000 Blue Bird All American rear engine.
The window section on a Thomas is not vertical like the lower wall, it leans at a 5į angle narrowing towards the top.
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:35 AM   #6
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My BB walls are straight but the back is at a slight angle towards the front. I was planning on cutting the rear at the transition from straight to angle and letting the angle section be with the raised part. As before, thanks for sharing your experience and "bus wisdom" here and in all your other posts.
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:47 PM   #7
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Ceiling Panels???

This post was helpful but I have a material in question that was not covered. We are nearing the roof raise portion of our conversion. During this planning stage my wife and I are researching different methods and materials to use.

We've seen a video where the interior ceiling panels were used to skin the exterior after a roof raise. We have a 01 IC RE AmTran. I can't find any information on what these panels are made of exactly and what gauge they may be. These are not acoustic panels and seem to be heavy duty enough once riveting or screwing them all over on the outside.
I have read about this possibly being 28G and a mixed metal primarily aluminum. This material supposedly expands and contracts with the changing elements/environment. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 1SkoolieNoob View Post
This post was helpful but I have a material in question that was not covered. We are nearing the roof raise portion of our conversion. During this planning stage my wife and I are researching different methods and materials to use.

We've seen a video where the interior ceiling panels were used to skin the exterior after a roof raise. We have a 01 IC RE AmTran. I can't find any information on what these panels are made of exactly and what gauge they may be. These are not acoustic panels and seem to be heavy duty enough once riveting or screwing them all over on the outside.
I have read about this possibly being 28G and a mixed metal primarily aluminum. This material supposedly expands and contracts with the changing elements/environment. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Its 20 ga mild steel.
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Old 05-26-2020, 03:40 PM   #9
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Its 20 ga mild steel.



Thanks for the quick reply EastCoastCB! How were you able to come across this info?

It seems like this could be a good option for skinning the exterior at 20ga, just as long as it's painted/treated to prevent any oxidation. Plus the fact that we have much readily available to be cut as needed. I saw that you went with 18ga on your skins. Do you think 20ga would be sufficient enough and can you think of any negative outcomes for using this as an exterior skin?
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Old 05-26-2020, 04:42 PM   #10
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Thanks for the quick reply EastCoastCB! How were you able to come across this info?

It seems like this could be a good option for skinning the exterior at 20ga, just as long as it's painted/treated to prevent any oxidation. Plus the fact that we have much readily available to be cut as needed. I saw that you went with 18ga on your skins. Do you think 20ga would be sufficient enough and can you think of any negative outcomes for using this as an exterior skin?
Everyone kept speculating so I asked Thomas. Other users chimed in and AFAIK IC's are 20ga. My amtran was 20ga. Pretty sure BB's too, but I can't remember.
20 is fine. If you want to know for sure you can get a gauge for metal thickness, or a caliper.

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Old 05-26-2020, 05:51 PM   #11
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My 2003 IC used 20 ga. (perforated) for the ceiling panels.
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Old 05-26-2020, 08:31 PM   #12
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My 2003 IC used 20 ga. (perforated) for the ceiling panels.
As did mine. Those all went to the scrap yard as the perforated sheets are pretty much useless. Although i wish i had saved one to use for ventilation in my mini split outdoor storage bay
For my raise i used 18 gauge galvanized 4x10 sheets for the skins, with 3/16" steel pop rivets (some 1/4", but most were 3/16") I used 18 gauge for the roof transition piece
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Old 05-26-2020, 10:14 PM   #13
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My ceiling was 20gauge perforated. Not even an option for skinning. I bought 18 gauge new for our roof raise.
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:39 AM   #14
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I am almost done with my roof raise and used 14ga for rib extensions and 18ga for skins and roof transition. Also decided on stainless closed end blind rivets, most are 3/16 but some are 1/4. This combination has been working great, thanks for the advice EastCoastCB!
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:16 AM   #15
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Where are ya'll getting rivits from? I found this place on line but the prices seem a bit high.

https://www.bestmaterials.com/detail.aspx?ID=17686
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:21 AM   #16
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https://www.rivetsonline.com/

Way cheaper than your link ($22 for 100 vs. $48 for 100).
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:33 AM   #17
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hansonrivet.com They weren't the cheapest but had the varying sizes and quantities of stainless closed end rivets I wanted in stock when I needed them.
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:56 AM   #18
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So, what's a good quantity to get? 250, 500, 1000? I want plenty, but don't want to end up with more left over than I actually used.
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Everyone kept speculating so I asked Thomas. Other users chimed in and AFAIK IC's are 20ga. My amtran was 20ga. Pretty sure BB's too, but I can't remember.
20 is fine. If you want to know for sure you can get a gauge for metal thickness, or a caliper.


Thank you EastCoastCB. I was planning on getting calipers to measure it however our panels are textured not perforated (acoustic panels) and I didn't know how accurate the measurement would be. Sounds Like I will keep these panels for the skins and possibly the roof transition and go with 14ga for the extensions. Still need to decide on the rivet material and size or possibly screws???

Glad to hear you're almost done with the raise OP. Can you post some pics?
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:51 PM   #20
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I will post some pics soon. When I ordered my rivets price per piece got better as quantity went up, to the degree that some quantity increases resulted in a lot more rivets for not a bunch more money.
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