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Old 10-12-2020, 01:12 PM   #41
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North East
Posts: 141
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by peakbus View Post
Thanks for your detailed info. Looking good. This is truly the hard part of the build process. I have an '03 Girardin and while some of the details are different, some are similar. I Haven't removed my rear wall or ceiling as I chose to put in some furniture for summer trips. I plan to dig back in now that camping season is ending here in the North.

Looks like you have a super clean platform to start with. My plywood floor was saturated. Keep up the good work!

Hi peakbus,


Thank you for the words of encouagement. Lol...everyone thinks I am crazy in general, but they love what I am doing with the bus.



I have read your bus build posts over several times looking for info that would help me, as your bus is the closest, manufacturer-wise, I could find to mine. I loved the work you did on the floor.


I have not done much on the bus this past week. The weather has been off, and I am still awaiting insurance info, etc. A friend did come over with a German eraser tool and remove the remaining decals that I could not get off. That tool was amazing and less than 10 minutes had cleared away those stubborn decals.


Right now, I am torn whether or not I want to remove the ceiling, or just leave it there for now. The ceiling, removing the bus wiring, lift, insurance, and a paint job are my biggest hurtles right now. Just trying to deal with one thing at a time so I dont become overwhelmed and get discouraged.



The person I want and trust to decommission the electrical has not given me an answer yet. I have a back up person but I dont know them really well which affects my trust in their abilities. I also do not have the skills, knowledge, or confidence to do it myself.


When I get the chance I will.post more photos. Right now my tablet is acting up and I cannot use it to post.


Thanks again for your encouraging words, and have a great weekend (or Thanksgiving in Canada).


Clyn

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Old 10-12-2020, 03:29 PM   #42
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Having done some travel in my incomplete buses, I would highly recommend ceiling removal and new insulation. Sound like you plan to live in the bus. You will be more comfortable year-round installing new insulation in the ceiling. Cooler in summer, warmer- with less condensation in winter.

I have not gotten into my electrical yet, and I'm sure the newer buses have safety features that get ugly when you start to pull wire. In my last bus, along with many on the site, I start at the device(light, door, speaker) and trace the wires back to the source. I made a diagram of wires so if something went wrong while deleting, I could make repairs.

If you do instagram, there are a couple of Girardin builds to look at: @bus7five and @graniteramblers.
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:48 PM   #43
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peakbus View Post
Having done some travel in my incomplete buses, I would highly recommend ceiling removal and new insulation. Sound like you plan to live in the bus. You will be more comfortable year-round installing new insulation in the ceiling. Cooler in summer, warmer- with less condensation in winter.

I have not gotten into my electrical yet, and I'm sure the newer buses have safety features that get ugly when you start to pull wire. In my last bus, along with many on the site, I start at the device(light, door, speaker) and trace the wires back to the source. I made a diagram of wires so if something went wrong while deleting, I could make repairs.

If you do instagram, there are a couple of Girardin builds to look at: @bus7five and @graniteramblers.

Hi peakbus,


I somehow lost my response when I uploaded images...so I will start over...


Yes, I pretty much know my ceiling is coming out, just not looking forward to all the rivets and glue holding it in place. The wire chase wall is angled versus following the curve of the roof, and I would like to regain some of that space for upper cabinets.


As far as the electrical goes I have all of the wiring diagrams and they make sense to read of what goes where but me being me, I know I would get lost somewhere along the way in the engine compartment, fuse box etc., and then wind up in a mess. I would much rather pay and have someone I know and trust do the work and have it done correctly. Although with that said my first choice electrical guy did guide and mentor me to hook up and install the complete solar system in my van.


Thank you for sharing the two Girardin bus builds. I am not on instagram, but did manage to view several photos of both builds...both were very well done.


I have to run for now...a big mac and fries are waiting for me at my daughter's house. What's the big deal about a big mac and fries? When you live on an island with no fast food or chain stores and an hour long ferry ride one way to the mainland, you dont dally when family or friends bring junk food from off island


Thanks again and have a great evening!


Clyn
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Old 10-15-2020, 04:08 PM   #44
Skoolie
 
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Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
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Just a quick update and a few.photos..


As previously mentioned, I have not done much demo on the bus this past week. Today, I finally got the insurance wrapped up, and the policy will kick in next week 😀


My friend who brought over the awesome eraser wheel and removed the remaining decals on the bus, also brought me a used marine hatch. The hatch is in great condition and I certainly want to incorporate it into my build if possible.


This afternoon, I am looking at the ceiling. There are at least nine ceiling panels and they seem to be layered like shingles- with the lowest tier starting at the front of the bus. Like the back wall, each panel is glued and riveted to the next panel. So, each under panel is glued to the steel roof rib; then the next panel is glued on and then both panels are riveted to the roof rib.


Running the length of the interior roof I have two aluminum trim pieces...have yet to figure out how they are attached to the roof and panels.


And that folks is all I have this week....besides celebrating my birthday, and the hand specialist telling me my wrist has not healed yet.


Thanks for reading/listening. Have a great evening!


Clyn
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Old 10-16-2020, 02:31 PM   #45
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Posts: 141
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Well...I managed to get one ceiling panel off. The easiest part was removing the rivets and breaking all the glue seals. The challenge came with trying to remove the edge of the roof panel from the roof panel trim channel.


The two interior roof panel trim pieces run length-wise down the roof. These trim pieces have a channel running down each side and each roof panel is designed to hook into these channels. With next to no room for leverage to pop the the roof panel edge out of the channel made for a long afternoon.


With my daughter giving me a hand, about midway of having the panel out of the trim channel, we finally found the sweet spot where the rest of the roof panel totally popped out in one shot.


All I can say is...I hope the rest of the roof panels come out easier. Now, it time for a snack.


That is all I have for today. Have a great weekend!


Clyn
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Old 10-16-2020, 03:16 PM   #46
Skoolie
 
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Woohoo!! Second roof panel down. Heck of a lot easier than the first one!
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Old 10-16-2020, 04:11 PM   #47
Skoolie
 
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Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
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Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Here is a quick sneak peek at the roof vent over the drivers seat. As I understand it correctly this vent helps eliminate moisture that collects in the bus from snow on kids boots, and helps keep the windows clear, etc.


Except for a few dead bugs, nice, clean and dry!


My wrist is starting to hurt so I am calling it a night and heading home to cook supper.


Have a great weekend!


Clyn
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:10 PM   #48
Skoolie
 
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Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Today, I did not get much done on the bus. No sooner started and then had to leave for my GD 15th birthday party.


About 10 minutes after I returned to start working on the bus, my friend stopped by (the same friend that provided the marine hatch) and was kind enough to remove the Qztaint rails along the wall, and drill out a bunch of rivets on the roof and most of the stainless steel ones in the bus riibs. With my broken wrist I was not able to put enough pressure on the drill to remove those items.


The Qstraint rail was attached to a metal trim piece similar to the trim that runs along the roof. Once he removed the Qstraint rail, we found bolt sleeves with collars which are embedded into the trim piece and the vertical rib which runs the entire length of the bus. I just have to figure how to get them out so I can remove the metal trim piece.



Once he was finished and left, I removed another ceiling panel. So one third of the ceiling is down. I then decided to tackle the wall behind the drivers seat. The wall goes from the floor to the ceiling behind the drivers seat and also wraps around the side wall from the top of the chair rail, under the window trim and goes up and under the Qstraint trim.


I successfully removed all the plastic trim around the electrical panel and above the door as needed and then had access to the wall. It started to get dark before I finished the wall, so tomorrow I need to break a couple of glue bonds and jimmy the wall out without doing damage to the window.


That is it the update for today. Have a geat evening!


Clyn
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:46 AM   #49
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Wow! What a great start to your build!! I agree with others, what you are going through now is the hardest part of the build! And (for me) this part was the hardest to stay motivated through! Keep up the great work!! It looks like you have a very good bus to start with!!
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:17 PM   #50
Skoolie
 
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Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
I hope evdryone is having a great Sunday!


@Frochevy: Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. They go a long way and remind me that I am not insane for attempting this project.


I am so thankful that I managed to find a bus in such good shape. Quite honestly, I am not sure if I discovered the bus had major issues, if I w/could carry on and not get discouraged and give up. And that is simply because of my lack of knowledge, basic skill set, and being physically limited by my wrist.


As it is right now I know the demo is the most difficult part of the process; my motivation level is good, but I also know and understand the process is and will be slower going for me because of my wrist. So I do what I can without killing my wrist, and am thankful when family or friends stop by and lend a helping hand.


This morning, I finished ripping out the wall behind the drivers seat. My daughters boyfriend stopped by and made a dump run for me. I cleaned up my work space and put the pieces I am keeping in case I need them i.e.) some pieces of metal, plastic trim, etc. Then I had to have a coffee and a snack 'cause I skipped breakfast.


If possible, I would like to eliminate the need to deal with propane for heating and cooking. So after my snack break, I got up on the roof and measured the portion from the front of the roof hatch to ths front lip of the roof. The area is roughly 106 x 82(?) inches which could allow me to put 6 solar panels there sans the overhead drivers roof vent.


Got sidetracked while writing this post. The man who purchased the other bus identical to mine in the same sale sfopped by and we ended up chatting for a couple of hours. Needless to say, I did not get another roof panel out today. I may start it now and finish up tomorrow.


Before I start, I need a coffee...it is getting chilly out.


Have a great evening!


Clyn
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:32 PM   #51
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Reading your post about working with your wrist reminded me I did a lot of the ceiling removal and other demo work on my original (Mesa) bus in a walking cast after breaking my ankle. Things go slower but progress is made.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:23 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peakbus View Post
Reading your post about working with your wrist reminded me I did a lot of the ceiling removal and other demo work on my original (Mesa) bus in a walking cast after breaking my ankle. Things go slower but progress is made.

Slow going is fine with me, as I learn more about my bus everyday. But on the other hand it does bite somewhat, as I had hoped to be further along by now in the demo process, that and I broke my wrist back in May...but all in good time. One motto I live life by is: patience is waiting for reality to catch up with my imagination.


Have a great evening!


Clyn
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Old 10-19-2020, 04:59 PM   #53
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Today, I managed to remove another third of the ceiling as well as the angled wall on the passenger side between the ceiling and the top of the windows.


The first piece of the passenger side ceiling at the rear of the bus gave me a hard time, but not as bad as the very first piece I removed the other day. I unfolded the hc lift so I had more space to use while trying to break the glud seal along the ceiling trim.


The second and third pieces of ceiling came down without too much difficulty.


The hardest part of today was removing the angled wall. Once I removed the remaining ss rivets in the ribs, I them had to bend the wall downwards and use the chisel to break the glue seal which ran the entire length of the wall.

All of the insulation I have found in the ceilng is dry and in like new condition.


I am happy that whole side is out.


It is starting to get dark, so I am going to pack up and head home for supper.


Have a great evening!


Clyn
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:19 AM   #54
Skoolie
 
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Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Hi Everyone


I havs not had a chance to work on the bus over the past week as other things in life took priority.


Today, I am looking to remove the remaining ceiling panels and trim going down the center of the bus. I dropped the roof hatch frame and will drop the ac unit when help arrives. In the meantime, I am looking to see how the roof pieces are installed so I can correctly remove them.


I see that there is are square metal boxes that run length of the bus bsfween the bus ribs. I do not think that they are structural as they appear to be just siliconed in place...but I could be wrong.


Under the roof trim and between the hatch is another flat metal piece, and I am trying to figure out how this piece ties into those metal boxes....


Looking at the interior roof pieces at the front of the bus, I am trying to decide whether or not to remove the upper wall in the drivers area.


Peeking thru the screw holes into that front area, I see that there is quite a bit of space that could be utilized for some lighter weight items.




Also trying to decide whether or not to use the hole in the outer wall o the drivers side (where ths stop panel sign is), to put my shore power exterior plug.


Other than the above, not much going on... Returning my shore power 10 amp battery charger to Amazon for a 15 amp one and tryng to exercise patience for Wednesday to get here when my Bluetti AC 200 arrives.


Hope you are enjoying a great weekend!


Clyn
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:24 AM   #55
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Hi Everyone,


Just a quick update today...


Removing the center ceiling panels is kicking my butt. The two trim pieces have a bolt in every cross rib coming down into them. I am having a difficult time getting enough leverage to have the ceiling panel pop out of the trim channel a big so I can get a chisel or bar to reach the next rib and break the glue seal and continue moving down the length of the panel.


So, I have decided to give the roof panels and myself a break and move onto another small project. That project was to remove the little wall between the windows and the lift door. It came out really easy. There was one rivet below the plywood floor ho!ding the bottom of the wall which only took a minute to pop the head off of.


My daughter's BF works for a lumber company and is bringing some rigid insulation over so I can start insulating the walls as the temps are dropping each day.


Thanks, and have a great weekend!


Clyn
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:36 PM   #56
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North East
Posts: 141
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Hi again,


Just another quick update, thougnts and a question...


The insu!ation in tne lower walls is going good. The first foam board I had to remove due to the side turn signal light wires. So my thoughts on this area and any others with wiring is to place half a foam board on the side witnout wiring and then stuff some of the yelllow insulation I saved into the otner half of the cavity. I don't think I have ever seen a video or explaination of how otners have insulated around the wires in the lower walls.


The narrow pieces of left over foam board on the floor are the perfect size to fit the cavity above the windows. Not sure how that happened, but I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.


I have gotten a good look at the wall trim over the windows where the wheel chair seat belt track was...it too has a square metal box behind it that is siliconed to the wall. The metal collars in the trim do not pentrate the metal box behind. But I do suspect that trim piece, like the roof trim, has a bolt coming thru the steel rib into it. So J am not sure how I am going to get that trim off the wall. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?


My next thoughts also are about more insulation on the lower walls. I am not sure what others have done in their buses, but I am thinking of adding another layer of foam insulation to cover the entire lower wall including the chair rail, so everything will be flush with the doors and rubber seals when the wall covering goes up.


With that thought in mind, does one add a 2x4 or a 2x2 under the windows for building out purposes?


Thanks everyone. Have a great evening!


Clyn
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:05 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vineyardseashell View Post
Hi again,


Just another quick update, thougnts and a question...


The insu!ation in tne lower walls is going good. The first foam board I had to remove due to the side turn signal light wires. So my thoughts on this area and any others with wiring is to place half a foam board on the side witnout wiring and then stuff some of the yelllow insulation I saved into the otner half of the cavity. I don't think I have ever seen a video or explaination of how otners have insulated around the wires in the lower walls.


The narrow pieces of left over foam board on the floor are the perfect size to fit the cavity above the windows. Not sure how that happened, but I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.


I have gotten a good look at the wall trim over the windows where the wheel chair seat belt track was...it too has a square metal box behind it that is siliconed to the wall. The metal collars in the trim do not pentrate the metal box behind. But I do suspect that trim piece, like the roof trim, has a bolt coming thru the steel rib into it. So J am not sure how I am going to get that trim off the wall. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?


My next thoughts also are about more insulation on the lower walls. I am not sure what others have done in their buses, but I am thinking of adding another layer of foam insulation to cover the entire lower wall including the chair rail, so everything will be flush with the doors and rubber seals when the wall covering goes up.


With that thought in mind, does one add a 2x4 or a 2x2 under the windows for building out purposes?


Thanks everyone. Have a great evening!


Clyn
Hello Clyn
I used a combination of ridged and spray foam, the ridged on flat areas to try and save on spray foam cost. Ridged was trimmed short and glued on to prevent the spray from forcing it out as it expanded and allowing the spray gun tip to get down behind the chair rail into the wall panel. After spraying down in to the lower wall and around the ridged foam the whole panel was covered to create a good seal. Regarding the area below the chair rail, yes I added ridged foam there as well before panelling went on, a 2x2 trimmed down and screwed to the floor to capture the panelling at the bottom. image.jpg
Hope that wrist is healing well and glad to see you're moving forward at a great pace.
Cheers Oscar
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:44 PM   #58
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Hello Clyn I used a combination of ridged and spray foam, the ridged on flat areas to try and save on spray foam cost. Ridged was trimmed short and glued on to prevent the spray from forcing it out as it expanded and allowing the spray gun tip to get down behind the chair rail into the wall panel. After spraying down in to the lower wall and around the ridged foam the whole panel was covered to create a good seal. Regarding the area below the chair rail, yes I added ridged foam there as well before panelling went on, a 2x2 trimmed down and screwed to the floor to capture the panelling at the bottom. Attachment 50570
Hope that wrist is healing well and glad to see you're moving forward at a great pace.
Cheers Oscar

Hi Oscar,


So far, it looks like I am doing things right. I glued on the foam, and once it is all in and dry, I was going to use spray foam (like Great Stuff), to seal around each foam piece and fill in any cracks between the foam pieces.


Today, I only had one piece of foam that needed to be braced against the wall. I didn't have anything heavy, so I leaned the ladder up against it. Because I am doing stuff in the bus lot, I am discrete and keep everything contained inside the bus.


I like the idea of a 2x2 over a 2x4. I want to keep the overall weight down. The bus averaged 9.3 mpg over its life picking up kids, doing the stop and go. Albeit, we have country roads and a max speed limit of 45mph on the island, I am hoping that while driving off island on the highways at better speeds, I can slightly improve that gas mileage despite basically toting a house on the chassis.


And, just a footnote: I had to chuckle as I saw all the typos while reading my quoted text. Just for the record, you can always tell when I am using my cell/tablet- I cannot type/text on either with long fingernails.


Thanks for sharing what you did on your bus build Oscar.



Have a great evening!


Clyn
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:16 AM   #59
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Hi Clyn,
I haven't gotten to insulation the ceiling or ends yet in this bus, but in my 1st one, I used rigid in the back wall. I used one piece under and one piece above the wiring, but depending on the configuration you could go side by side around it. I cut little grooves where needed to accomodate wires too.
It's weird that there is no way to remove those trim pieces on the ceiling. Seems like they would have gone on last to hold the ceiling in. Luckily my 2003 doesn't have those. I should begin my ceiling strip soon so I'll know when I'm in for.
Best of luck!
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Old 11-01-2020, 02:12 AM   #60
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 794
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
I used the froth pack 200 spray foam kit to fill the lower walls and completely cover the ridged foam pieces under the windows. This kit is available from the big box stores, here in Canada it was $299. One kit was enough to cover everthing and after finishing, the bus was much quieter driving and there was a lot less hollowness and tin rattle noise in the bus. You may find that the Great Stuff cans don't go very far as they are not designed for large expansion, they are for sealing up door and window installations and don't expand the same rate as the two part kits do.
Cheers
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