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Old 04-14-2020, 06:58 AM   #41
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I have to second Native and say I think you need to take up the seat and the seat platform as part of this repair. What we can see of the platform (the back and a bit of the floor underneath it and the underside) indicates substantial rust damage. I don't think your seat is about to rip itself loose or anything, but it's at a level where you'd have to do something about it eventually, and now is a good time since it will expose the floor underneath and give you better clearance for building the replacement floor over the new hole.

I wasn't going to remove my seat but I ended up doing that a couple of days ago and I'm very glad I did. It exposed a lot of rust that I wouldn't have been able to get to otherwise, and I was able to get some airline slack underneath, so I was able to tip the chair over and lay it down without cutting the airline (which is the biggest PITA part of removing your seat).
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:03 AM   #42
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I have to second Native and say I think you need to take up the seat and the seat platform as part of this repair. What we can see of the platform (the back and a bit of the floor underneath it and the underside) indicates substantial rust damage. I don't think your seat is about to rip itself loose or anything, but it's at a level where you'd have to do something about it eventually, and now is a good time since it will expose the floor underneath and give you better clearance for building the replacement floor over the new hole.

I wasn't going to remove my seat but I ended up doing that a couple of days ago and I'm very glad I did. It exposed a lot of rust that I wouldn't have been able to get to otherwise, and I was able to get some airline slack underneath, so I was able to tip the chair over and lay it down without cutting the airline (which is the biggest PITA part of removing your seat).


Curse you taking sides! Haha.
Iíll have a very good look at it tomorrow currently battling my wheel arches. Not the easiest of task I can say!
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:07 AM   #43
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So here's my proposed plans if you guys could weigh it that be great...

Attachment 43206

Im unsure if to replaced exactly what I took out. What I took out was a bit box section which was roughly 60mm tall & 30mm wide that sat against the original floor which bent around.

I dont know if I should replace it with a box section and U channel then floor into the middle of that and weld. Then continue the flooring from there

Or option two just replace with one big box section 60x60 then floor to the middle, weld, continue flooring...Thoughts?
Sorry, I don't really understand your plan from the pic or from your description. I think for an opening like this, your easiest approach would be to weld in beams (of whatever material you choose) in roughly the same places as what was originally there, then put sheet metal on top, maybe plug-welded to your new beams underneath and stitched to the edges of the original floor. Then rely on seam-sealer to make everything watertight.

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NEXT is my wheel arch issue....

Attachment 43202

So that's rusted around the wheel arch but also between the external and internal skin the actual wheel arch has fell through... So Im purposing to cut the lot out fix the wheel arch and replace back in...
You're going to cut that whole section out and rebuild it? That seems unnecessary - the rounded seam may have some rust on it, but I can't tell from your pictures if it's rusted all the way through (it seems like rust-through would be unlikely to happen at the top of the rounded part).
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:09 AM   #44
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You are there and can feel/see the construction/support, I am not there and can not. If you feel it will work as-is, then go for it. The support to the rear of the bottom of the platform does seem to be missing some metal, so a little refurbishment is in order.


I must be misunderstanding. You are going to raise the floor up to the top of the platform? Just the entry, right?


On the wheel wells, I also lowered them. Before I put on the wheel well, I put in new flooring:


Attachment 43259


I used the wheel well in the final product, only it was cut down a bit:


Attachment 43260
How have I never seen your wheel well job before? Why don't you have a build thread, man? Looks fantastic, nice work.
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:28 AM   #45
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Sorry, I don't really understand your plan from the pic or from your description. I think for an opening like this, your easiest approach would be to weld in beams (of whatever material you choose) in roughly the same places as what was originally there, then put sheet metal on top, maybe plug-welded to your new beams underneath and stitched to the edges of the original floor. Then rely on seam-sealer to make everything watertight.



You're going to cut that whole section out and rebuild it? That seems unnecessary - the rounded seam may have some rust on it, but I can't tell from your pictures if it's rusted all the way through (it seems like rust-through would be unlikely to happen at the top of the rounded part).


Yeh cutting the lot out as between the inside and outside skin the whole wheel arch has fallen through!

I can count see my wheels from inside the bus 🤷*♂️
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:33 AM   #46
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Yeh cutting the lot out as between the inside and outside skin the whole wheel arch has fallen through!

I can count see my wheels from inside the bus 🤷*♂️
I feel you, dog: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/attac...1&d=1571618682
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:36 AM   #47
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Haha Iím using your build for reference!
Just seems to be the easier way. A lot of the mud flap support have gone to.

Will post photos tonight!
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:43 AM   #48
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Wow -- welcome from across the pond!

Looks like we've got the same FS65 chassis...

Your pix of the driver seat area are what I'm about to be getting into -- I suspect my rot is even a little worse than yours so thanks for leading the way.
Biggest difference between yours and Natives busses compared to mine is mine doesn't have air-brakes, or air suspension -- subsequently my hydraulic ABS controller is just forward of the battery box area on the frame rail -- it will be in harms way regarding the welding I'll have to do to repair the area -- not sure how I'm going to work around all that yet...
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Old 04-14-2020, 03:41 PM   #49
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I see ... a simple replacement. That will work fine.





Thank you. It does not affect the ride. I have air suspension. With the air gone from the air springs, the frame sits on the axle stops. This gives the lowest clearance. I then put a jig made from 2x4's and 3/4" boards which wrapped around the wheel to provide at least 3 inches (7.6cm) clearance from the lowest point to the wheel well. I cut the wheel well down to maintain this distance.
Attachment 43261


Once it was all done, this is the difference between the driver and passenger sides:
Attachment 43262


Once the floor is put in, there will be only about 12 inches (30.5cm) of wheel well above the floor and it will stick up less than 2 inches (5cm).



How would I work this out for me?? I mean id be happy to loose just 2inchs off them! How much did you loose in total? Would love to do this just concerned that it may effect the bus or the bus my bottom out?
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:57 AM   #50
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How would I work this out for me?? I mean id be happy to loose just 2inchs off them! How much did you loose in total? Would love to do this just concerned that it may effect the bus or the bus my bottom out?
I honestly can not remember how much the wheel well was dropped. Either 8 inches (20.5cm) or 10 inches (22.5cm). I have pictures that I can scan through that have measurements. I'll do that in a bit.


I used the 2x4 jig to make sure I had enough clearance to handle chains if needed. You may be able to have the same drop, if you want.


I'l get back with the measurements in a bit, I hope.
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:11 AM   #51
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You're going to cut that whole section out and rebuild it? That seems unnecessary - the rounded seam may have some rust on it, but I can't tell from your pictures if it's rusted all the way through (it seems like rust-through would be unlikely to happen at the top of the rounded part).
My wells looked much like SamDee's did on the top. They were rusted through along the wheel well and wall joint.

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How have I never seen your wheel well job before? Why don't you have a build thread, man? Looks fantastic, nice work.
Thank you very much. I know I have posted the wheel well pictures somewhere on this site. I'll see if I can find it.

My own build thread? I have a hard enough time keeping up with all the posts in this forum (I am a slow reader, just ask my wife) ... let alone my own! LOL !


To be frank, I had so much work to doi to get The Beast in shape for hauling our household goods I simply took photos and moved on to the next task. As you know, it takes a lot of time and energy to keep up a fine build thread like you have done. I believe I simply did not want the pressure of maintaining the posts. Now that The Beast is in use as it was intended to be used for its first phase (a moving van), I am reconsidering it.
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:21 AM   #52
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Here is the thread I believe I am remembering:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/c...lls-25695.html


...and of course, your thread is a good read on the subject of lowering the wheel wells:


https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/h...lls-26124.html
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:26 AM   #53
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...and of course, your thread is a good read on the subject of lowering the wheel wells:

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/h...lls-26124.html
That is a blast from the past, I'd forgotten all about that thread. I remember the disheartening feeling of having everybody weigh in on how badly rusted the bus was.

It's also funny to remember that at the time I was afraid to even go under the bus for fear of it collapsing on me.
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:29 AM   #54
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My wells looked much like SamDee's did on the top. They were rusted through along the wheel well and wall joint.
Rust is so weirdly variable. On mine, that seam between the top of the well and the chair rail was completely un-rusted.
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:37 AM   #55
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How would I work this out for me?? I mean id be happy to loose just 2inchs off them! How much did you loose in total? Would love to do this just concerned that it may effect the bus or the bus my bottom out?
ol' trunt and T-Bolt have both squashed their wells down to 2" total height, and it seems to be working fine for them without any bottoming out. I'm still curious as to why buses seem to have so much excess room in their wheel wells, but I guess it's to allow larger wheels/tires or chains etc. and for ease of maintenance, plus on a school bus they're covered with a seat inside so they're not as obtrusive as for a vehicle that needs a flat floor.

I would have flattened mine, but with my layout they're not really in the way of anything inside, and you do have the cosmetic issue of the flattened part being visible from the outside in the external well arch.
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:01 PM   #56
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Hey guys, So we've taking the big leap and imported a 2006 Thomas Freightliner from NY to here in sunny ol England....

We've began stripping the all the seats, all the floors and the sheet metal under the windows! My biggest concern is some serious amount of corrosion around the back of the drivers seat and the rear wheel arch.. Im very hands on being a carpenter so I'm going to patch them myself.
This is the first bit of welding iv ever done.

Can anyone advise on wtf to do? How much to cut back etc?? Ill attach some pictures. Hoping to use 16gauge.
I donít know what or where you got that from, but with shipping cost included I think you got played!
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:14 PM   #57
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I donít know what or where you got that from, but with shipping cost included I think you got played!

Thanks mate!! Sure helps.
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:02 AM   #58
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I am at a loss as to what that post was all about!
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:10 AM   #59
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Wheel Well Clearance

I am still looking for those pictures where I had recorded the measurements of the wheel wells. In the meantime, here is a video I shot of the wheel well area as the air springs filled up. It demonstrates the amount of clearance gained during the fill. I think I have another video from the outside. If I do, I'll post it.


The video is taken looking at the driver side wheel well from inside with the wheel well removed. The curve you see is the wheel curve on the outside skin. The wheel well sat well above that curve. The curve starts at about 2 inches (5cm) above the top of the wheel.


Please ignore the background music, it was what was playing at the time.


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Old 04-16-2020, 02:25 AM   #60
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I am still looking for those pictures where I had recorded the measurements of the wheel wells. In the meantime, here is a video I shot of the wheel well area as the air springs filled up. It demonstrates the amount of clearance gained during the fill. I think I have another video from the outside. If I do, I'll post it.


The video is taken looking at the driver side wheel well from inside with the wheel well removed. The curve you see is the wheel curve on the outside skin. The wheel well sat well above that curve. The curve starts at about 2 inches (5cm) above the top of the wheel.


Please ignore the background music, it was what was playing at the time.



Thatís really interesting! How do I get my air suspension to raise up and down?! Iím at a point now where I need to decide to lower them or not! As Iv cut one out for major repairs and now going back to the bus today to decide if I should cut the other one out or just offer mild repairs to it and fix the one I did cut out back in its original place after the repairs!!

Thoughts?!
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