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Old 04-06-2023, 03:36 PM   #41
Almost There
Retired Roughneck's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Oregon
Posts: 92
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ford E350
Engine: 6.0 power stroke Diesel Navistar EFI
Rated Cap: wife & 2 corgis
lookin good ��

life is short, travel, camp & enjoy!
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Old 11-13-2023, 02:10 PM   #42
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 32
This is not dead, I have just been working on other projects but started working on this again in September. I finished resealing the 5 windows on the driver's side, and now I am working on the 5 on the passenger's side. There was corrosion in the aluminum siding around the windows, so I cleaned it all up and gave it a coat of paint with a white marine paint. I also painted the frame sections that are in between the windows with POR-15, I ran out of time when painting last year and knew these windows were coming out again so I made it a problem for future Zach (who is me now). All the painting is done on the passenger side too now. I used butyl tape to seal the windows, and I use an adhesive backed closed cell foam strip for making up differences in thickness of the panels that go between the windows. I also had to use foam on the inside frames for the windows as these are what tension the windows to the body, there used to be an interior skin that added thickness to add tension to the windows, but I am going to build my inner skin over the window frames so I can have a little extra insulation. Therefore some foam tape in place of the inner skin that gets sandwiched provides extra tension to the windows against the outer skin. I am also remaking one of the aluminum panels as it is badly corroded with many holes in it. I gotta get a piece of aluminum sheet for that. I have been bad about taking pics but I will take pics as I wrap up these 5 windows to show the process. It is a lot of fiddly detail work in getting these sealed properly, but these windows leaked like crazy in the bus originally and this led to the massive rot in the walls that I had to fix and do not want to fix again, so doing a better job than the factory is a must.

Once the windows are done I can pull out the temporary floor and finish up a little welding, gotta finish the wheel wells, add steel angle between all beams to give the floor a place to bolt to, weld caps on the floor beams and seam seal them, and finish up a little welding on the cab where it meets beam #1. Oh and repair the steel on the lowest step at the bus entrance, and weld a frame for the rear platform. Just a little bit of welding lol.

After that it is floor and finally interior time. My daily driver (330,000 mile 2002 WRX) blowing up on me constantly has really taken a lot of time away from this project (and my other projects), so I finally bought a reliable little 2009 Honda Fit with a 5 speed. Trying to get to the point of doing interior by December, so going ham this month on the above items. I don't think it should take me too too long to accomplish everything
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Old 11-19-2023, 07:18 AM   #43
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 2,489
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford 1998 e350 4x4 7.3 2 mercedes 2004
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Impressive amount of work. Hope it does not get to cold for you to work. Did you seal the cross member tubing at the end so that no.moisture gets back inside.

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Old 11-20-2023, 01:53 PM   #44
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 32
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Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Impressive amount of work. Hope it does not get to cold for you to work. Did you seal the cross member tubing at the end so that no.moisture gets back inside.
Funny you should ask as I have just began doing this. The plan is to drill a hole or two in each crossmember with a rubber plug, and pour used motor oil into each beam once or twice a year. Should do a really good job to prevent any rusting from the inside out!

Here are some updates, I left the last two windows for a show and tell on my process.

Note the white paint around each of the missing windows spots. I used an eraser wheel on a drill to remove all the old adhesive, then some red scotchbrite to clean up the area and any corrosion, followed by a wiping of acetone on a rag before brushing on a white marine paint. It was thick enough to fill in the majority of pitting from the corrosion. I also POR-15'd all the metal sections between the windows as I had run out of time and left these. Also note the two black strips of foam on the metal sections between the windows, this was used to take up space that wood on the back of the aluminum panel that goes there used to have. I used this foam anywhere that wood was missing from the back of the aluminum paneling throughout the bus around the windows so that they have a nice seal with no low spots.

The aluminum panel missing behind the door was in bad shape. I also need to repair the side skirts, and make some new wheel wells, so I bought a huge 4'x8' sheet of 0.063" aluminum which was a little sketchy to transport...

Here is the old and new panel side by side. Took a decent amount of prep to bring the surfaces to a rough enough texture to be painted. The side facing outwards got the white marine paint. There are so many holes though the original panel, it was the worst one on the bus by far:

And the side facing inwards got a self etching primer, and a couple strips of gorilla tape where the aluminum would be up against the metal frame:

The windows all got scraped of old sealing foam, and then acetone and rag over and over until they were perfectly clean:

I put two foam pads at the bottom of the window to help it center and not sit way far down, it is hard to readjust the window after the butyl starts to stick to the walls. Doing this in the cold was actually easier than when I did other windows when it was warmer. Also on the bottom lip I ran a piece of foam all the way across, as this seemed to be the area that got the least compressive forces on the butyl tape when the inner window rings were installed.

And then I did three pads on each of the three remaining sides to help pull the window in tight. Should prove some shock absorption/anti rattle benefits as well. Hopefully it holds up over time and does not compression set too bad, but I will be making the lowest wall section easily removable to inspect for leaky windows.

I used blue painters tape to hold the center aluminum sections in place, they all got repainted, and then installed the windows with another person. I then trimmed the excess butyl putty, you can see here it is only trimmed on part of the window. Also note the new aluminum panel is also installed.

Here they are all 12 windows fully installed and sealed woo. Took wayyyyy longer than I thought it would.

Then I cut, ground a bevel, and wirebrushed the weld zones for some beam end caps. These are 1/8" steel.

Here is a beam uncapped, a very light layer of surface rust inside the first few inches:

Capped and welded:

I finished eight of the beams by the end of the day when I ran out of welding gas, and painted them with POR-15, here are the first six done

I will finish up the rest soon, weld in angle iron between all the beams for the floor, and weld up the wheel well fames. I grabbed gas and more mild steel wire this morning. Then I gotta replace the battery and re-register this thing so I can drive it to pick up all the interior materials.
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Old 11-21-2023, 01:36 PM   #45
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 238
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Nice project! I'm tuning in to watch your progress.
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