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Old 09-08-2015, 06:18 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Year: 1997
Chassis: International 3800 AmTran (wish it was a TransAm)
Engine: DT466E
What might be holding the interior metal panels in?

Sorry if this has been answered - I searched the forums and could only find debates about whether or not to remove these panels in the first place.

Anyways, at the moment I am trying to remove the silver metal interior panels from my 1997 39' International Type C bus. I have either unscrewed or grinded off the stripped screws all visible hardware from the panels. I can lift up and easily fit my hand on the left, bottom, and right of these panels. The problem is, something is holding them in at the top.

See picture (not my bus - just some random picture I found on the internet):



  • Red arrows - this is where the panels are stuck at. I have tried hitting one from the top with a hammer and it doesn't budge. I can't see any rivets/other hardware that might be holding them in. The top inch and a half or so is hidden under this little lip that is underneath each window.
  • Blue Arrows: example of the lip that is holding them in. They are pointing to the top here because in this random picture I found it looks like the panels & that lip had been removed already.


What is left under this lip that is holding the panels in? Are they glued? Do I just have to remove that lip with the panel altogether or do I cut the top of the panels? I plan on scrapping these panels so I am not worried about damaging them. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:31 PM   #2
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Is your bus fully International, or is it an International chassis with a Thomas body?
Mine is a 1997 Thomas and I ended up cutting at that point since I had no desire to reuse the panels. I can't remember if they were pinched under the window sill, or bent around the angle iron below the sill. Either way, they weren't coming out without first dismantling the window frames.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:33 PM   #3
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Ah, I just saw in your profile that you have an AmTram. It's possible that they are built similar to Thomases in that respect, but I can't say for sure.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:34 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty View Post
Is your bus fully International, or is it an International chassis with a Thomas body?
Mine is a 1997 Thomas and I ended up cutting at that point since I had no desire to reuse the panels. I can't remember if they were pinched under the window sill, or bent around the angle iron below the sill. Either way, they weren't coming out without first dismantling the window frames.
I should have specified - mine is 1997 International 3800 with AmTran body. Good to know though. I don't want to dismantle the windows quite this early.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:22 PM   #5
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If it is like my 1997 AmTran Genesis, they are help on by a spot weld. The panels that I did remove, I used a thick putty knife and pounded through the welds from the top in between the inner and outer panels.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:51 PM   #6
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My AmTran was the same, use your angle grinder and cut them flush with the bottom of the window frame. Be careful not to cut too deep into the supports. Basically start at the end of a sheet and peel it away as your cutting that way you can tell when you've cut through the sheet.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:54 PM   #7
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And if you're going to use an angle grinder inside the bus protect those windows!
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:17 PM   #8
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Good advice Jazty. I doubt most folks realize those hot, metal "sparks" will pit glass instantly. And no...they won't buff out.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:19 PM   #9
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Alb I have just run into the same problem aswell and posted about it on my build.

I think that I am going to end up testing using an angle grinder and seeing if that works but if not just going to get a pair of air shears and then end up grinding them smooth.

Still looking for a better way but have yet to figure out one.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:01 PM   #10
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The details of four methods of removal can be found in this thread, in the last few pages.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/re...s-11820-4.html

I don't feel like typing it twice.

Nat
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:21 PM   #11
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Also not just the sparks from the grinder, but rather just a misplaced grinder itself will do wonders for those windows too.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:20 AM   #12
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And safety glasses.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:33 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: International 3800 AmTran (wish it was a TransAm)
Engine: DT466E
My Solution

I did what many have recommended and used a 4" angle grinder with a "cutting blade". I had a full-face shield, gloves, long pants, and hearing protection. I wish I had used long sleeves because now I have flecks of metal stuck in the crack of my elbow and it is botherin me lol. Pictures below:

I protected the windows from sparks with cardboard from a mini-fridge box:


I then used the angle grinder at about a 20 degree angle (pointed upward) to cut along the lower lip of the window. The flat edge of the cutter blade was using the lip as somewhat of a guide to help me cut straight and as close to the lip as possible. It was easy to cut 90% of it because there was only insulation behind it so I didn't have to worry about depth. On the supports you had to be just a little bit more careful but I didn't accidentally cut into any of them at all. The sparks did burn a bit of the fiberglass insulation which made it pretty smoky.




On my first panel, I did have 1 issue with cutting into part of the lip. This was solved by using the grinder at an angle rather than trying to keep the blade perfectly perpendicular. On other panels, there were a couple parts where I left some of the panel showing. These will be easy to trim up later. You can see these errors below:



All in all, pretty easy job. I only finished about 1/2 tonight. I imagine all of it together will have taken me about 2 hours. Let me know if you have questions.
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty View Post
And if you're going to use an angle grinder inside the bus protect those windows!
and your lungs!
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:15 AM   #15
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Good job.

I wear my leather welding jacket and apron when using a grinder.

The wrong long sleeves will catch fire. I have seen this more than once.

Nat
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:30 AM   #16
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Thank you Nat
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:47 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
and your lungs!
I wore a respirator when I gutted mine & completely plugged both cartridges,Literally could not draw another breath before changing them out.Also wore safety glasses & still managed to get a piece of metal in my eye
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu & Filo. T View Post
I wore a respirator when I gutted mine & completely plugged both cartridges,Literally could not draw another breath before changing them out.Also wore safety glasses & still managed to get a piece of metal in my eye
Sounds about right.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:38 AM   #19
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Hey I'm doing the same thing, do you have to remove the white panel below which has the lip? Or just leave that lip there and frame around?
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:25 AM   #20
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You will want to keep the chair rail. See Nat's post for more info: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/ab...tml#post121750
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