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Old 03-15-2017, 11:23 AM   #1
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93 Thomas unconventional roof raise?

Hey there. As I was ripping these seats out last night, I was brainstorming something to do with all the tubular steel from the seat frames. I also want to raise my roof, but leave my windows alone for the most part. My idea is to turn the seat frames on edge to create an 18" or so lift, then a 3' slope, then but up to a big rectangle welded out of something. I figure 10 seat frames per side, so I can build a 30' roof structure on the ground, hoist it up onto the existing roof, fasten it, skin it, then cut it out inside the bus to reveal my new roof. How ridiculous is this idea if anyone care to chime in??
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:05 PM   #2
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Cool ! Can you sketch your idea and post a picture to help us see what your visi9n is?
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:31 PM   #3
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The picture I'm getting from what you said is you want to use the seat frames to basically build a gable roof over the bus, then remove the original bus roof and ceiling?

I too would need to wait for clarification to understand you better.

The seat frames are a lot of steel in total and it would be good to use them for something. It sounds like you're making good progress so far.
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:42 PM   #4
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Yes a gabled roof

Here is a highly detailed technical blueprint
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:21 PM   #5
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You'll have to do something unconventional, a THomas has a slight angle in at the bottom of the windows.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:27 PM   #6
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If you're planning on cutting the ribs when removing the original roof you'd loose a lot of strength in the structure of your vehicle. It all depends on what you want to use it for. I've seen buses made into greenhouses.

My thoughts about replacing the roof are why reinvent the wheel, especially if your current roof doesn't leak. I don't mean to discourage you, because anything is possible, but it's highly likely a replacement roof would leak considerably. That issue is dealt with in the most prescribed method for roof raises on this site.

If you can do something new and it works we all learn from it.
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:37 PM   #7
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I made a back seat rest and rack for my snowmobile out of some of the metal from my seats too. Lol. Use em' if you got em'.

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Old 03-18-2017, 06:12 PM   #8
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
You'll have to do something unconventional, a THomas has a slight angle in at the bottom of the windows.
Are you saing the ribs bend inward? I never noticed. Now I want to find out.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:15 PM   #9
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At the bottom of the Thomas window line there is a *6 incline on each side of the bus going to the roof. IF you do a roof raise, do it at or BELOW the bottom window line.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:50 PM   #10
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It's my remodeling background and my "need"?to repurpose that is beckoning this idea. I got all the seat frames "harvested " last night. I don't have my own welding setup yet, so I might send this one out, however I really want welding stuff so I may pick some stuff up. Burlking is gracing me with his removed windows so I will have upper windows in the bump up. I'm not so worried about water leaking, yet, and I intend to layer new sheeting up the addition with a 4"-6" overlap, like shingling a roof, and seam seal as I go. There's a great sheet metal place in my neighborhood that will sell me a 4'x10' 20ga sheet of galvanized for around $50, and they can do all the brake work I need on it.
Any suggestions where to find good riveting tools/materials?
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:33 PM   #11
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Some people have been using harbor freight riveters.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:18 PM   #12
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Do I want 1/4" x 1/2" rivets for outer skin?
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:52 PM   #13
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I didn't know they made 1/2" rivets. If it's a choice between the two I'd say 1/4", but then I've not done any riveting yet. There are several people that have recently done riveting with actual experience in their threads but I don't remember who it was.
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:39 PM   #14
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I used 3/16 rivets with a pneumatic air riveter. get yours from wherever you can find it, those all do the same function so don't get fancy.

IF I were to do it again...id skip pop rivet type and go with solid steel bucked rivets. I have only seen this done though, never did it myself. its not bad for the sides but if you use them but if they are on top where rain might drop, you will need to do a ton of caulking.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:11 AM   #15
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So would that be a 2 man rivet job with the bucking bar operator inside the bus?
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koreed View Post
So would that be a 2 man rivet job with the bucking bar operator inside the bus?
Never mind. I found the answer to be yes. It is a 2 man job.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:12 AM   #17
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I used self tapping screws and there holding great. you pop rivet guys are nutts
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:38 AM   #18
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I have 1/4" and 3/16" rivets on mine.
You'll need at least some blind rivets as there are places on a bus you can't get a bucking bar behind.
Closed-end blind rivets are what you'll want for exterior pop rivets.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:02 AM   #19
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I like the idea and looks of diner train cars, could you use mini bus roofs, I believe they are less wide , cut those and save some construction time?
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:02 AM   #20
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The technical term is...a "Trolley Top". Very popular solution in very early camp cars/RV's as well as actual trolleys.
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