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Old 12-16-2021, 12:17 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Toledo OH
Posts: 271
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP-EF
Engine: Cat C7 + Allison MD3060
Thomas bus - how to attach "window delete" panels?

For all those Thomas owners out there, did you do any window "deletes"? If so, how did you do them? On my 2006 it looks like the window unit is about 1-1/8" thick, and because it's just "clamped" in on the sides I can't really just put a piece of sheet metal inside the window void, nor can I put one on the outside because of all the bends in the bus frame. I'm thinking of using a piece of metal with some sort of frame on the inside so I can just clamp it down like a regular window, thoughts?
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Old 12-16-2021, 02:19 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Jax Beach, FL
Posts: 56
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000 28ft
Engine: Cummins ISB 5.9 24v, MD3060
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Open to other suggestions as i need to do this as well. But i plan to use sheetmetal glued to XPS Foamboard or PVC Sheets glued to XPS Foamboard.
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Old 12-16-2021, 08:05 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Santa Fe
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 31 ft. HDX
Engine: CATC7
Rated Cap: 36,300 GVW
My plan is to have sheet metal "plugs" that would have a formed edge to replicate the dimensions of the removed window assembly. Basically it would have an edge bent up all the way around that is the thickness of the window. On the inside I'm thinking about a sound mat stuck to the metal and then rigid foam insulation.
If you want the window back you could just swap it back.
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Old 12-16-2021, 08:08 PM   #4
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Year: 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmythomas View Post
My plan is to have sheet metal "plugs" that would have a formed edge to replicate the dimensions of the removed window assembly. Basically it would have an edge bent up all the way around that is the thickness of the window. On the inside I'm thinking about a sound mat stuck to the metal and then rigid foam insulation.
If you want the window back you could just swap it back.

Yeah that’s the only way you could fit a panel into the factory window voids…basically curling the sides up and over to replicate a sort of U channel.

I saw some pictures on facebook today that reminded me to work smarter, not harder. I think I can still just skin over the outside of the window if I remove and replace the screws between the windows, cut corners at the top to fit around the sheet metal body bends, and get sheet metal that can slip underneath the existing rain gutter just a tad.
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Old 12-17-2021, 12:54 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Peru. IN
Posts: 39
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: NB18FD Oshkosh
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 18,500
What kind of structure is under that screwed on trim between the windows?

Myself. I would have a panel flanged on the top side. Notch the upper flange to go around any structure members between the windows. Leave the bottom edge a straight cut. Use that black trim piece under the windows as a line to hide with. I would use a panel bonding adhesive to secure everything. That leaves the panel with no screws to buckle the panel.
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Old 12-17-2021, 01:46 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipE View Post
What kind of structure is under that screwed on trim between the windows?

Myself. I would have a panel flanged on the top side. Notch the upper flange to go around any structure members between the windows. Leave the bottom edge a straight cut. Use that black trim piece under the windows as a line to hide with. I would use a panel bonding adhesive to secure everything. That leaves the panel with no screws to buckle the panel.

I had the same thought about a flanged (at the top) panel. Had not heard of panel bonding adhesives… I had figured I’d just use dynatron 550 behind the panel (to “glue” it on) and around the edges of the panel (to seal it), then maybe pop in some blind rivets along the edges? But I had also figured I would cut the panel to cover those existing screws between the windows so I could back out the screws, install the panel, then reinstall the screws to help hold it down.
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Old 12-17-2021, 01:54 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E HT 250HP - Md3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsoundman View Post


I saw some pictures on facebook today that reminded me to work smarter, not harder. I think I can still just skin over the outside of the window if I remove and replace the screws between the windows, cut corners at the top to fit around the sheet metal body bends, and get sheet metal that can slip underneath the existing rain gutter just a tad.
Yes, smarter not harder. I know, I did a roof raise by myself...never again!

A simpler way ? no cutting corners.
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Old 12-17-2021, 01:56 PM   #8
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Thomas bus - how to attach "window delete" panels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
I saw some pictures on facebook today that reminded me to work smarter, not harder. I think I can still just skin over the outside of the window if I remove and replace the screws between the windows, cut corners at the top to fit around the sheet metal body bends, and get sheet metal that can slip underneath the existing rain gutter just a tad.
Yes, smarter not harder. I know, I did a roof raise by myself...never again!

A simpler way ? no cutting corners.[/QUOTE]


That’s awesome! I didn’t realize those vertical pieces were just covers, I thought they were more structural.

(EDITed my reply to get rid of a dumb question once I reread the message.)
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Old 12-17-2021, 03:23 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Peru. IN
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: NB18FD Oshkosh
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 18,500
Is the piece between the widows just bolted in?

What kind of frame structure is between the windows?

How much space between the top of the window opening to the bottom of that roof panel edge above it?
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Old 12-17-2021, 03:51 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2015
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipE View Post
Is the piece between the widows just bolted in?

What kind of frame structure is between the windows?

How much space between the top of the window opening to the bottom of that roof panel edge above it?
In between the windows you will find the "Rib" structure of the bus.
Think of a ribcage of a whale, similar on the bus. The ribs make up the skeleton for attaching the body panels (skins).

It is usually made up of 16 ga metal and it is bent into what is called a "Hat channel".

Take a look at a stop sign pole and how it is formed, similar on school busses.

As far as top and bottom spacing, I do not have an exact measurement but if I had to guess, maybe 1/2" on top, under the drip rail.

On the bottom I would bring it flush to the top of the rub rail.

How school busses are made videos

Part 1 -

Part 2 -
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Old 12-18-2021, 11:15 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Peru. IN
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: NB18FD Oshkosh
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 18,500
Thanks for the videos ewo1. That helped on knowing the design.

The trim between the windows. I would remove them. Drill the holes out larger. Then plug weld them back into position. Remove that upper step where it goes over the upper window frame. You might want to shorten those a little also. Have the top edge below the line where the new panel would contact across the bus framework.

I have a sneeky feeling that the bus frame channel is not closed off under that trim piece. So you would need to close it in to look like the upper window molding to make your new panel fit properly. I hope I am wrong.

I would plug weld the new panel in at the top. Drill the flange on it. I would do a plug weld about every 1" to 1.5". Then use automotive seam sealer to seal it from the outside.

The bottom of the panel. I would slide it under that upper trim piece. Remove as many rivets as need to pry it out enough.

I wouldn't go under 16 gauge for this panel. Anything thinner you might get beer can effect.
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Old 12-18-2021, 03:34 PM   #12
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
Posts: 339
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
I skinned 2 windows on each side of my bus. I removed all of the screws that would have prevented the sheet metal from laying flat against the bus along with the lower screws in the rain gutter. Cleaned the surfaces, jammed the sheet metal up under the rain gutter and attached with self drilling screws. Sealed with seam sealer. Because 1) I am not good with metal work and 2) I tightened the screws in the wrong order, I ended up with a ripple in the metal, right side really bad, left side is ok. I may end up re-doing the right side. I plan to paint the metal when the weather permits (next May?)

There are pics and further details in my build thread, "Don's Conversion 2.0".
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Old 12-18-2021, 04:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnYardCamp View Post
I skinned 2 windows on each side of my bus. I removed all of the screws that would have prevented the sheet metal from laying flat against the bus along with the lower screws in the rain gutter. Cleaned the surfaces, jammed the sheet metal up under the rain gutter and attached with self drilling screws. Sealed with seam sealer. Because 1) I am not good with metal work and 2) I tightened the screws in the wrong order, I ended up with a ripple in the metal, right side really bad, left side is ok. I may end up re-doing the right side. I plan to paint the metal when the weather permits (next May?)

There are pics and further details in my build thread, "Don's Conversion 2.0".
I’ll look up your pics later, thanks! What gauge steel did you use? Sounds like I would want to go one gauge heavier.
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Old 12-18-2021, 06:13 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
Posts: 339
Year: 2005
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Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
I used 24 ga. galvanized. If you plan to weld it, you probably don't want galvanized.
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Old 12-22-2021, 04:34 PM   #15
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Location: mid Mo.
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Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
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It's been 16 years ago but I think I remember, bent some 18ga with three edges bent back and the top bent forward, a half inch or more works, tack weld the edges on the inside and caulk, seal, what ever you want to do for a seal. Leave outside trim as caulk will make most of it dis-appear anyway. Go look at my bus but I don't have much detail on my windows.

By the way I made screens w frames just for the upper windows and silicon-ed them in, a light press fit, you have to cut them out, them buggers are in to stay. sportyrick
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Old 12-22-2021, 05:43 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsoundman View Post
For all those Thomas owners out there, did you do any window "deletes"? If so, how did you do them? On my 2006 it looks like the window unit is about 1-1/8" thick, and because it's just "clamped" in on the sides I can't really just put a piece of sheet metal inside the window void, nor can I put one on the outside because of all the bends in the bus frame. I'm thinking of using a piece of metal with some sort of frame on the inside so I can just clamp it down like a regular window, thoughts?
I have a Collins. After removal of the windows I removed the exterior bumper below windows and riveted a 4” wide piece of sheet metal at the top of each window frame. Then riveted sheet metal cover over multiple windows sandwiched between the old bumper and body and to the top of the metal added to at top of window.
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Old 12-27-2021, 02:51 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Triad, North Carolina
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Purchase window inserts

There is a company here in NC that custom makes inserts and other stuff for skoolie builds.


https://www.skoolie.com/shop
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Old 01-02-2022, 08:39 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Toledo OH
Posts: 271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
Yes, smarter not harder. I know, I did a roof raise by myself...never again!

A simpler way ? no cutting corners.

Jumping back to this, I noticed that you suggest I remove the screws below the window. Should I reinstall them afterward? I'm not really sure what they would be holding up, I assume one row of them would be to hold the body panel to the body frame underneath the window but I'm not sure what the second row would be. We're looking at doing 3 windows in a row on one side using one big panel, and 5 windows in a row on the other side, so trying to line up all of those screw holes does not look like a fun time to me...
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Old 01-05-2022, 11:19 AM   #19
Bus Nut
 
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More thinking on this topic...

I have 5 windows in a row to delete on one side, and 3 on the other. I was initially planning to get one big sheet of metal to cover all 5 windows, but now I'm thinking that would be an absolute nightmare to try and line up all those screw holes. I'm worried that even with a template, I'd get a fraction of an inch off, then the rest of the holes would start to skew.

Would it make more sense to just do 5 separate panels instead? Seems like it would be easier to handle as well.
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