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Old 10-21-2019, 05:03 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by mmoore6856 View Post
dot rules do not allow any drilling or welding on frame flanges. the top and bottom part.
Darn, the RE Internationals in my area have a ton of frame rot specifically just under the door on the top flange. Was kinda hoping I could cut out the bad spot and reinforce the area. Oh well.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:26 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truthseeker4449 View Post
Darn, the RE Internationals in my area have a ton of frame rot specifically just under the door on the top flange. Was kinda hoping I could cut out the bad spot and reinforce the area. Oh well.


I think frames can be welded using very specific methods done by a welder ticketed to do those kind of repairs - other wise frame extensions would never be allowed
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:00 AM   #43
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Darn, the RE Internationals in my area have a ton of frame rot specifically just under the door on the top flange. Was kinda hoping I could cut out the bad spot and reinforce the area. Oh well.
Do you have any pictures of this rust? My bus is (was) as badly-rusted as they come (from fifteen years near Buffalo), but the chassis rails have only minor surface rust. A bus with chassis rails rusted through in any spot would only be suitable for the crusher. You might be seeing something other than the chassis rails.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:03 AM   #44
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I have welded frames, including lengthening frames, all successful. I have been welding for many years. Was welding new engine mounts in a locomotive this weekend.

Have to say frame rust is not good, and unless it is in one area only I would not mess with it. Not talking about surface rust but real rust.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:28 PM   #45
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As long as the weld did not penetrate through the angle iron and into the underlying frame, heat from the neighboring weld will not effect the frame channel. You will know when you lift the angle iron frame up to finish it. You might want to weld the bottom, grind it flat and put a softener between it and the frame for the final installation.
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:57 PM   #46
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Do you have any pictures of this rust? My bus is (was) as badly-rusted as they come (from fifteen years near Buffalo), but the chassis rails have only minor surface rust. A bus with chassis rails rusted through in any spot would only be suitable for the crusher. You might be seeing something other than the chassis rails.
Not yet, but I'm going back to the yard tomorrow to look at a last couple buses and I already intended to snap some pictures to see if my boss, who was a welder at one point for an major airline, might know anything about repairing it.

Basically the support beam for the stairwell and where it's attached to the upper flange has swollen three times its original thickness. Based on testimony from a couple different county mechanics, this is extremely common on RE Internationals. The older Amtrans still in service with my county appear not to suffer as bad, but still rust in the exact same spot.
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:29 PM   #47
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These pictures are from a 2005 RE300, #575. My error, this bracket attaches to the bottom flange not the top.






It's really a shame because otherwise this bus has low miles, high roof, AC, full-length, and a 210HP DT466 mated to a MD3060


This is 2004 Trans Am #24 that's otherwise spotless with even lower miles, luggage bays, and a 170HP T444E with a MD3060.

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Old 10-22-2019, 04:42 PM   #48
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[QUOTE=Truthseeker4449;355219]


This is 2004 Trans Am #24 that's otherwise spotless with even lower miles, luggage bays, and a 170HP T444E with a MD3060.




International Am Tran?
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:38 PM   #49
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Ah I guess I might have it confused somewhat.

Salvage Yard Photo Link
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...pMdEJVQXRIMzZn

Honestly the frame damage aside, I couldn't ask for a cleaner bus, it looks like a brand new bus underneath save for that one spot.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:00 PM   #50
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I would want to see more of the frame going to the rear. This might actually be repairable. May not be cheap to do properly though.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:18 PM   #51
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The rest of the frame is fine, minimal scale. Really under the door is the only bad spot anywhere. I'd say I can go get more pictures but I think the yard staff is starting to get fed up that I haven't committed to buying a bus yet after 4 visits. Planning to test drive a couple buses next week and I get the feeling it'll be either we buy a bus that day or we never go back.

Maybe chisel out the really rotten spots, spray tons of rust converter on it and it'll hopefully hold up for 10 years with minimal salt exposure?
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:49 PM   #52
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10 years without any more salt might be doable if coated with rust converter. This one is hard to judge well without seeing it in person, or better photos. It does appear this is in front of the front axle? If so I would be less worried about it.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:54 PM   #53
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Since this is a rear engine bus the front frame is not supporting the engine, so that is another plus. In the google photos it sure looks clean and nice otherwise, I can see why you are interested in it.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:11 PM   #54
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Actually the bus with the nasty rot is not the one I linked to. That would be this bus #575, which I think would be more ideal because it's a High Roof with a DT466/MD3060

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...t0VU16RHlGQXV3

The really clean bus (#24) is pretty minor but is deformed a little. I think my picture makes it look worse than it is. But yeah because the affected part is not heavy load bearing being under the front door, I'm hoping we can get by. I might need to check with a VA state inspector though to make sure it wouldn't fail on the deformation. I'm going to make a post in my little intro thread laying out the buses I'm seriously considering.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:27 PM   #55
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Maybe chisel out the really rotten spots, spray tons of rust converter on it and it'll hopefully hold up for 10 years with minimal salt exposure?
The underside of my bus is rusted out like this, and when I removed my seats I got a bunch of angle steel brackets that were part of the seat bolting on the underside and are as rusty as the rest of the underside, so I've been able to do a number of experiments on dealing with the rust (the brackets are basically a 6"x6" square of 1/8" steel bent 90 degrees down the middle and despite being extremely rusty have not lost much of their original thickness).

The best so far has been to scrape off any loose bits and then ospho (phosphoric acid) multiple times until the rust is all gone, then wash completely, and then two coats of POR-15 and a coat of rustoleum enamel. This has hardened into something that is really difficult even to scratch and nearly impossible to scrape off the metal.

POR-15 is pretty expensive, though, so I wouldn't do this on anything but a smaller area (like yours). For me, the next best thing in terms of cheaper and less time-consuming is to scrape off the loose rust and wash thouroughly, then two coats of rustoleum rusty metal primer and two coats of rustoleum enamel (and no ospho). This leaves a coating almost as hard to get off as the POR-15 one, but it does leave some rust incorporated into the coating.

My current plan is to use the second approach on the underside of my bus, using yellow rustoleum enamel, which I think will reveal to me any locations that are continuing to rust, which I will then give the more thorough ospho-and-POR-15 treatment.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:45 PM   #56
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These pictures are from a 2005 RE300, #575. My error, this bracket attaches to the bottom flange not the top.
Ah, I see after looking at this again that I wasn't perceiving it properly. This is something that I have going in a number of places on the underside of my bus, and it's the main thing I'm concerned about. My chassis rails are rusted but the surface rust does not penetrate very far anywhere and it is still basically a solid piece of metal. The cross-members connecting the chassis rails are the same way and basically OK.

But, there seem to be places where major structural thingies were bolted to the rails or the cross-members with a thinner piece of metal (or some other material) between them, and this thinner piece has corroded and swelled in place. It may be that this layer of metal in between has become essentially a gasket of rust, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to deal with it.

In your pics, the swelling seems to have produced enough pressure to actually bend the flange of the chassis rail (if I'm seeing this correctly, maybe I'm not). I'm not surprised, since the ends of my rear bumper have been bent outwards a bit because of this. Cue Huey Lewis and "The Power of Rust".

I'm thinking that I will just remove any of this loose rust material that is sticking out, then paint the connecting metal parts and also the edges of this rusty stuff to whatever extent is possible, then try to use seam sealer to coat this stuff as well as possible. The idea would be to seal it up and prevent any water from contacting it and allowing the rusting process to continue, but I admit it's questionable how effective this would be, and it could be very counter-productive if it instead traps water against this stuff.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:49 PM   #57
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just buy a rust free bus!!!
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:57 PM   #58
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Yes the rust jacking is unfortunately severe enough to bend the frame rail, it's most notable where it's bolted together. But with your guy's input I feel less scared of it now and curious what I can do to mitigate it.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:07 PM   #59
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i was referring to the dot having the authority to inspect motorhomes. they can and (rarely) do. i have seen a few in weight stations getting checked.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:30 PM   #60
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Not trying to pick on anyone, but for the newbs reading along-
Just MY opinion but I'd totaly NEVER buy a bus with that kinda frame rust. If I bought one far from home and discovered that I'd flip in on Facebook and move on.
I see you're the kind who makes lemonade so I understand. Just thought I'd point out that is some serious rust. That frame rail is TOAST.
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