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Old 01-23-2016, 06:36 PM   #21
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Nice Rack! --- (go where you want with that one)
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:39 PM   #22
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It is pretty windy out today but I managed to wrestle the rack up onto the bus by myself. Obviously the leg layout doesn't jive with the roof ribs and it sits a little high on the existing leg brackets.





I have the leg posts that mount to the truck rails that I am going to modify and re-weld into brackets that will work and let the rack sit a little lower on the roof. I only have 4 adjustable feet but I want to make at least 6 legs (8 ideally), so I'll have to get creative with the last few brackets.

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Old 01-24-2016, 02:30 PM   #23
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Good afternoon. Just catching up to you. They company I worked for bought several of those racks for new trucks in 2010 and the men that were only hauling ladders didn't have alot of issues but the men hauling pipe had to work on them. I don't know what you plan on the rack carrying but I would like to make some recomendation's based on experience while you are already modifying it.
Any factory joints need to be welded solid, for your application I would move the front legs to the front or add a set to of legs and at the base of the feet at a minimum drill or notch the base at a minimum to drain the tubing. Most of our racks have rusted out in this short time because the tube and sleeve were not sealed and the water had nowhere to go. The tubing collects condensate inside because of the daily change in temp and retains the water internally therefore all low points rust from the inside out. For me these were meant to be ladder racks not pipe racks? I was happy I had a new truck a new with a new rack and a week in I found the load rating on the rack wasn't what it looked like? I loaded a good bit of steel pipe and took off to work no problems until I got into the town idiot's (sorry traffic).either way to make an experience story short? I got into a bind with the rack and the load on it and didn't have a welding machine with me but I did have my torches and had just picked up my company uniforms from the cleaners for the week that had steel hangers so instead of welding I set on the side of the road and braised my rack back together. Not trying to scare you but weight wise these are ladder racks! 4 out of the 6 racks we bought in 2010 have been welded or replaced because i needed something heavy duty. The holes in the post will make your rack last a lot longer because it can drain but the weep holes are going to leave rust stains and I don't have a solution other a drain piping exposed that I wouldn't want. Anything steel on your roof over time is gonna cause rust stains unless it is religiously cleaned and painted? I am a steel worker and pipe fitter welder and haven't been able to decide on a solution for a roof rack I can't afford and haven't found any aluminum ones and I have ideas for a wooden one but I don't want any holes in my roof to attach. my company has several new trucks with rust stains and hours of work done on these racks. For the trucks that need them we went back to making what we needed but the only way to stop the rust was the men have to paint there rack every couple of years if we used oil based and every year with anything else. Haven't tried powder coating but that could be an option? Sorry the post was so long but I have had some time with that brand of racks and wanted to share but didn't Meen for everything about them to come out? Hope this helps
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:14 PM   #24
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I am actually in the process of welding the joints right now! I figured I should because with the removal of the existing legs I am removing the bolted bracing which kept the joints from twisting so I have to weld the joints solid now. I'm also welding on the removable back bar since I won't need to remove it at all once it's all in place. I'll definitely drill some weep holes if there aren't any. When we first moved the rack it seemed like it had about 20lbs of frozen water in there.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:20 PM   #25
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Okay now I have a question, or need to take a vote or whatever. The existing feet are actually about as wide as the frame ribs. Would there be any reason I can't just match the existing rivet spacing and install thru-bolts through the ribs? I was thinking about bolting just outside each rib and using spacers to not crush the roof sheeting when I snugged the bolts down, but I wonder if I might be able to just bolt through the frame. Anyone done this before?

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Old 01-24-2016, 03:42 PM   #26
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I'd go through the roof ribs just as it is. Sure, you might have to drill a few new holes or drill through some rivets, but the attachment will be strong.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:24 PM   #27
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Use something in between for water proofing even if it is some real good caulking. You have good ideas with spacers as needed. A piece of pipe cut to length over the bolt is the best spacer I have ever found. A million washers is probably stronger but not cheap and remember in a moving structure you want everything to at least wiggle a little. Something solid over road time twisting and flexing is gonna need attention and could create damage? Some good silicone caulk and a piece of pipe spacer will allow all to wiggle as needed. Not an engineer for anything and on my first conversion myself but a lot of commercial construction experience for the government has helped me make some decisions especially since I have been back into work done 50,40,30, and some I did 20 years ago. Structures move and create problems on anything that is solid.
We are building on a flexible platform so anything we do needs to have room to flex. Don't cut anything perfect. This is just my opinion use what you need and ignore the rest
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:19 PM   #28
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Nice bus Davo! Just catching up as well. I have a similar G-30, although mine is a 1990 with a 6.2L diesel. I had the same heater you have. I have disconnected it from the plumbing, but yet to remove it. The previous owner gutted mine and put a bed platform and shelving in. I have been intending to revamp it, but camped in it as is this past year. Your build is inspiring. Please keep up with the updates.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:58 PM   #29
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Okay for some reason I thought the ribs were like an I-section rather than more of a U-shaped hat channel, I guess I should have just popped a panel off and saw for myself, which I did right after I asked the question, oops!

Anyways, it looks like I'll be fine bolting straight through the center portion of the foot, through the rib, and install the washers and nuts on the inside. So now I have 4 adjustable feet on there now to get it up on the bus and fit, then I'll add 4 additional brackets in place later on before I load it at all, 8-3/8" bolts will be plenty, mostly I'll just have some luggage or my 2 kayaks that only weight about 75lbs. I do plan on using a teflon or rubber bearing pad under each foot.

What I am wondering now (because one bad idea leads to another, of course) is if the bolts I got were long enough to be able to put plate brackets on the inside I can hang a hammock from...we'll see!

For now I'm still welding up the frame. I had to run to HD to get another spool of wire. It's just now starting to get dark so if I can get the welds cleaned and painted and get the rack up on the roof I'll bolt it down tomorrow! My welder duty cycle was up so I had time to run in and post.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:49 PM   #30
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I'd suggest a good layer of Seam Sealer under the brackets around the bolts. Even a tiny opening can channel a lot of water into unwanted places at highway speed.
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:08 PM   #31
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I had a momentary dilemma about whether or not I should wait to install the rack until after painting the bus, and I ended up going ahead and drilling the holes and loosely bolting the rack down to keep it from flying away. I figured I would scratch the paint all to hell if I tried putting the rack up after I painted the bus (I did scratch some paint off of the rack), so I am just going to have to paint around it since it is up there. I still need to get the bearing pads and also some rubber washers for the inside.

I think I ended up lowering it about 3" overall with the leg re-work. Looks great. What's nice about the adjustable feet is (besides making it easier to wiggle everything in to place) that I can totally un-bolt and remove the rack and not have to compromise the seal through the roof because the feet brackets will remain!







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Old 01-25-2016, 02:29 PM   #32
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That last picture just says, "HEAD INJURY" all over it
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:27 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puggy View Post
That last picture just says, "HEAD INJURY" all over it
Yeah definitely got long enough bolts!
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:37 PM   #34
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OUCH! Get some of those rebar dunce caps to cover those bolts. Either that, or cut them back considerably.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:10 PM   #35
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First coat down on the bus, used Majic tractor enamel from Tractor supply, with only half the recommended hardener it went down well with foam rollers but was a major pain trying to cut in with a paint brush. I'm going to apply second coat tomorrow and then really thin it down to do the finish work.
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:35 PM   #36
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I did a 98 Ford/Collins very similar to your bus but with diesel. I got 10-15 mpg but never drove that fast, usually under 65. Here's a link to my build. I have many more photos if you are interested. http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/th...bus-10330.html

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Old 01-31-2016, 06:49 PM   #37
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Got the second coat on today, plus did a lot of trim work. The easiest way, instead of masking off everything, was to just over paint the trim and have a rag handy to swipe the over paint off in a straight line. Worked easy since it's oil base.

I think I had about 5 people stop by today while I was painting and say how cool and fun this looks. A few cars passing by even slowed down to look at it more.

I'm going to probably order some type of decals, like mountains or ocean waves or something to add some flair. I want to do one of those RV state decal window things but I can't seem to find one small enough, I might custom make one on a license plate sized piece of metal to mount on the right license plate spot.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:09 PM   #38
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I did some more touch ups and drove around the lake by my house today. While I was out taking this picture a couple drove up and asked about it and expressed their interest in buying it off of me if I was going to sell it, as they thought it would be great for their youth paddle sports program, to be able to hook up a trailer full of kayaks and paddleboards and haul the kids to places around the lake and riversports area to paddle around. I gave them my business card and told them if they were still interested to check back with me in May to see if I am going to sell the bus or move to phase 2 renovations, which I probably will because I want to at least do a beach road trip in this thing before I possibly sell it. That means I'll need to keep the seat though if I take them out of the bus.

I took some time trying to fix the horn and wipers, before I spent the money getting a new wiper motor I wanted to make absolutely sure that the motor/circuit board was bad. I chased the wires, made sure connections were solid, tested the voltage and everything looked good, so I just turned the wiper switch on and went to the front and wiggled the wipers arms and sure enough, after some effort, the motor broke free of it's frozen state and began working again. I guess the wipers weren't used in a long long time. The washer fluid pump works too, except there is a crack in the line right under the cowl so I need to get some new hose and replace that to get the fluid to spray where it is supposed to.

After that, I noticed that the horn/dm spot was missing its fuse, so I plugged one in and immediately the bus buzzer started going off. Well, that explains why they removed that fuse! I just cut the wire to the buzzer since it was not sensing all of the doors and windows were closed, and I wire-nut closed it off to prevent it from making contact with anything, and then found that the horn actually did work with the fuse plugged in. Unfortunately, I came out later on to find that the bus battery was drained, meaning that capping the end of the wire wasn't good enough of a solution and the control box was still trying to send voltage to the buzzer and it was slow draining the battery somehow, most likely through the control box itself so I need to find out what else I should unplug, cap off. For now, I'm happy that the horn circuit works and I'll just only plug the fuse in when I'm going to drive the bus (just have to remember to take it out when I'm done until I fix the issue!)

So at that, the only remaining issues are that I need to replace the slightly squeaky belt (and obtain a new spare) and get the tv and wall mount installed to complete the entertainment system. Once that is done, the Phase 1 bachelor party conversion will be complete!
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:36 PM   #39
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Looking sharp! Really like the rack. Can't wait to get our's on.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:34 AM   #40
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Midbus
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Your paint looks awesome man! I hope ours turns out half as good.

I'm super jealous of that roof rack. Definitely going to consider building one on ours when we get start working on insulating the roof.
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