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Old 04-07-2019, 07:19 PM   #41
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Thanks. Yes it looks like leaks waiting to happen from the pictures. Next day I have some time, that'll be the project. Hopefully the flashers will be next from there!

Chris
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:28 AM   #42
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I have a small round vent that I assume does the same thing as yours does. I think I'll plan on removing it from my roof as well...
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:04 PM   #43
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Today I had a few hours, and made some good progress. I removed the air vent in the roof to start. It's all riveted on and sealed up, but I didn't get any pictures of that. But, the roof patching is finally done!!

I took the rest of my time today and took a crack at fiberglass for the first time ever. The left eyebrows were removed, the fiberglass ground down to remove the paint and filler that were already there, cleaned with Simple Green, then Acetone, and I was ready to fiberglass. I found that about 1/4 cup of resin is all I can work with at a time before it hardens up on me, so I mixed the resin a number of times. There's probably 6-7 layers of chopped strand mat in each hole, backed with packing tape from the rear. The next day I get, I'll see if I can level it out and if I need to build up any more (or just sand flat and be ready to paint). When I see if I did it right, the left side will get the same treatment.

The rear lights will probably just get a sheet of steel riveted over the holes, with some sealer in-between.

I posted elsewhere, but figured I can ask here as well. I was curious if anyone working on one of these busses has considered removing the front piece of the floor where it comes into the cut-away cab. I'd like to start the living space floor at the bus body, not where it is now. I don't think these channels have any structural value, as they don't seem to be attached in any significant manner to the cab, so I'm thinking I can cut them out. Any thoughts?

Chris
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:20 AM   #44
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I took the rest of my time today and took a crack at fiberglass for the first time ever. When I see if I did it right, the left side will get the same treatment.
Nice progress! Super curious how this turns out for you. Still trying to decide whether to go the fiberglass route or just cover with riveted steel as you mentioned. I've never used fiberglass or bondo myself, but will probably give it a go...my holes up top are much smaller than yours. Please keep us posted!
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:57 AM   #45
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Thanks! It was my first attempt. I think I let the fiberglass resin sit too long, or didn't put enough down, specifically on the second (left) patch, and seem to have air pockets visible. I hope to sand them flat tonight and see what I actually end up with. I have some body filler to level them, as well, if needed (another product I've never used before either). Hopefully more to come tonight or later this week!

From what I gather now, after the fact, one of the keys is when you lay on the chopped strand mat, make sure it's completely saturated with no whitening before putting on the next layer. A fiberglass roller came in immensely handy. See link below for one possible roller (that I'm using). For the holes I'm working with, the round or 2" long flat roller would probably have been easier.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007VQRHJS

Chris
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:07 PM   #46
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I seem to get only a half hour here, 45 minutes there, so progress is slow. However, I did sand down the fiberglass on both sides, and the first coat of Bondo has been applied and sanded. As you can see, I'm pretty bad (OK really bad) at getting a smooth surface, but I figured as much given my poor spackling ability. However, it's quick to apply and sand down, so I don't mind needing to put a couple coats on to get it more smooth.

Let me not bring too much attention to the fact that I forgot how much hardener to put into the fiberglass when I did the passenger side, and I thought it wasn't going to set up... yet it still worked out!

An auto body shop this is not! Anyway, I just added a second coat of Bondo after these pictures, and hopefully after sanding it after it dries (and the looming rainstorm passes), it should be pretty flat.

While I'm no expert (in fact far, FAR from it), I wouldn't hesitate for anyone to try the fiberglass and Bondo route to cover the holes in the front of the bus if they want it to look pretty decent, maybe even the rear of the bus. For me, though, on the rear I think I'll still just push the "Easy" button and skin over the holes.

Is there a preference to seam sealers to use for skinning over a vertical surface like the rear lights where there's no rain gutter or anything to keep the water off the seam?

Chris
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:44 PM   #47
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Skin them from inside and then just the flat hole needs bondoing
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:27 PM   #48
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I like that idea!! Now I'm wondering if VHB tape would work to help make the patch look like it was never there (no rivets or screw holes sticking out)...

Thanks for the idea!

Chris
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:30 PM   #49
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I like that idea!! Now I'm wondering if VHB tape would work to help make the patch look like it was never there (no rivets or screw holes sticking out)...

Thanks for the idea!

Chris
VHB would be too thick. I would use JB Weld or some other epoxy to secure the metal to the back side. At that point the holes don't really need anything else unless you want the circle gone
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:07 PM   #50
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The last month has been quite busy, so bus time has been almost nil. The flasher removal project has gone on hold for now, as I have a need to move some stuff in the bus next month. The focus is on getting the floor (or at least the sub-floor) in place for now.

Today I had most of the day to work on the bus, so I removed the remaining screws in the floor (which was a pain as these are the ones that weren't budging before when the plywood came up), did my best to get the last of the wood removed (splinters and whatnot glued to the floor, also not fun), cleaned the floor, and sprayed on the Ospho. I also removed the remaining bits of insulation from the ceiling, wire wheeled the ceiling rust, and put Ospho on that as well.

If all goes well, I should be able to paint the floor and the rusted ceiling panels this coming week! After that, patch the holes, and onto the floor's insulation and insulation of the subfloor. I'm thinking 1.5" foam followed by 3/4" T&G Advantek flooring. Let's see how the next few weeks treat me...

I'm also still on the lookout for a seat-belted passenger seat. I hope to scour the local junkyards in the next couple weeks as well!

Chris
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:47 PM   #51
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Progress! The front "landing" was removed, and the floor was prepped, Ospho-ed, and the first coat of primer is on! If all goes well, I may get the second coat on Thursday, and the subfloor over the weekend. Time and availability will tell...

Chris
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:53 PM   #52
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Looking great!!! Isn't it a good feeling when you get down to the bare floor and get a coating on getting rid of the rust... Seems like it took me a long time to get to that point, but when I did, it felt great!! Building a good foundation for your rolling house!!
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:57 PM   #53
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Yes, definitely! It's been a LONG time coming!

The one thing I noticed is that there's more rust and tiny holes than I thought on the passenger side of the bus. I'm planning to just take either a sheet from the ceiling and rivet to the floor to seal it up, or take one of the lower side panels and do the same. The lower side panels are galvanized, and the ceiling isn't. Does it matter which I use? Is one preferable? FWIW, the next layer is going to be 1" or 1.5" of rigid foam.

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Old 05-14-2019, 10:03 PM   #54
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What thickness is your floor? My floor was 26 ga and my ceiling panels were 22 ga. The floor was so thin you couldn't walk on it without it buckling...

The galvanized will resist rust longer than just a painted panel. My ceiling panels had a green primer on the top side and it looks like the same green coating used on my body panels. That coating resists rust pretty good too. I found this out when I removed one of the stiffener runs on the outside of the body and no rust on the inside of it. Maybe someone will chime in about which they prefer. If the galvanized coating is good, I'd say it would resist rust longer. Either way, use what you got, and seal it up good. If water gets in there, it'll hold it between the two panels and rust it out... Eventually. Just my opinion..
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:28 AM   #55
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Thanks for the insights. Yes my floor is the really flimsy galvanized sheet, just like yours. The ceiling panels had that green primer as well, just like yours. I've not had time to remove the side panels yet, and may not in my lack of much free time, so I may just use the ceiling panels. I took a quick look at it this morning before work, and there isn't as much swiss cheese as I thought I saw before painting, so that's good. I plan to goop on the seam sealer in all the tiny holes and patch over them so there shouldn't be any way for water to get in (the swiss cheese parts are relatively small and I should be able to fill them with just a few smaller patches). The next step is installing plastic plugs in all the chair rail holes, with a little seam sealer on each one to make sure there's no opportunity for water. I'll finally seal the edges and the seam between the two floor panels, and I suspect I'll be good to go for foam!
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:17 PM   #56
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It was another productive evening for the time I had. The rear panels inside were finally removed, the interlock for the deadbolt in the rear was removed, and the floor received its second coat of primer. Outside, I replaced a missing sway bar bushing, and removed all the vinyl lettering on the rear of the bus with a heat gun and scraper. From the back, I'm no longer a school bus!

With any luck, I'll be picking up subflooring materials on Saturday morning. If the weather is nice, I may remove more vinyl lettering tomorrow evening, as well. I'm trying to remove as much school bus evidence (other than the yellow for now) to attract less attention, but I realize until it's painted, it only goes so far...

Chris
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:31 AM   #57
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Its getting there!
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It was another productive evening for the time I had. The rear panels inside were finally removed, the interlock for the deadbolt in the rear was removed, and the floor received its second coat of primer. Outside, I replaced a missing sway bar bushing, and removed all the vinyl lettering on the rear of the bus with a heat gun and scraper. From the back, I'm no longer a school bus!

With any luck, I'll be picking up subflooring materials on Saturday morning. If the weather is nice, I may remove more vinyl lettering tomorrow evening, as well. I'm trying to remove as much school bus evidence (other than the yellow for now) to attract less attention, but I realize until it's painted, it only goes so far...

Chris
Did you confirm it'll still start, after disabling the interlock..?
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:22 AM   #58
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Did you confirm it'll still start, after disabling the interlock..?
Thankfully, yes! It turns out I just needed to jump one side of the switch to the other and eliminate the switch and related ground wire.

The reverse light/door open circuit on the other hand has eluded me and I've decided to keep it in. The buzzer portion of the circuit was eliminated though.

Chris
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:05 AM   #59
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Thankfully, yes! It turns out I just needed to jump one side of the switch to the other and eliminate the switch and related ground wire.

The reverse light/door open circuit on the other hand has eluded me and I've decided to keep it in. The buzzer portion of the circuit was eliminated though.

Chris
You doubtless know it makes life ever so much less stressful to confirm functionality, on a circuit-by-circuit basic.
The machete method of re-wiring is only good if you're one of those people who enjoy whiling away a day unsnarling a Gordian Knot of tangled twine...
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:07 AM   #60
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You doubtless know it makes life ever so much less stressful to confirm functionality, on a circuit-by-circuit basic.
The machete method of re-wiring is only good if you're one of those people who enjoy whiling away a day unsnarling a Gordian Knot of tangled twine...
Hahaha Yes I plan to leave the wiring in place and just disconnect what isn't needed. There's at least one necessary wire in each harness, it seems...

Chris
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