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Old 07-28-2019, 10:56 AM   #1
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Shuttle bus window removal. I need help with how to patch holes.

Hello everyone,

I have a shuttle bus that I plan on removing 2 windows. This is a fiberglass body and need help with what to do with those holes once I do. I know on skoolies riveting in panels is the most common, but given my fiberglass body, using fiberglass to fill 36"x 30" holes seems like a huge task for someone who had never worked with fiberglass.

Thanks for any help.

The windows being removed are Able windows which I cannot find replacement parts for.

Also both windows will be near my bed, one of which is an emergency exit, but I have the wheel chair access at the feet of my bed.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:16 PM   #2
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Hello everyone,

I have a shuttle bus that I plan on removing 2 windows. This is a fiberglass body and need help with what to do with those holes once I do. I know on skoolies riveting in panels is the most common, but given my fiberglass body, using fiberglass to fill 36"x 30" holes seems like a huge task for someone who had never worked with fiberglass.

Thanks for any help.

The windows being removed are Able windows which I cannot find replacement parts for.

Also both windows will be near my bed, one of which is an emergency exit, but I have the wheel chair access at the feet of my bed.
fiber glass is quite easy really - pick up a book or even watch some videos - the technology goes back 1000's of years with the Chinese using silk and lacquer to make incredibly strong objects - the only difference between what they did and are still doing is that we use one or more types of fiber glass and resins to make our incredibly strong objects - it's simple matter of soaking the fibre glass in resin and forming it in place or in a mold, sand and paint ( and maybe using a bit of bondo here and there - if you have a chance of going to see how boats are made, it will take you ten minutes of watching and you will know exactly what to do - it's not rocket science
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:13 PM   #3
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The issue is that because they're vertical I don't know how to get it the fiberglass to stay without gravity winning.
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:19 PM   #4
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I would cover the opening from the inside with thin plywood (door skins) then coat the outside with resin. Then press the cloth into the resin and then finish wetting out the cloth with resin.
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:22 PM   #5
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The issue is that because they're vertical I don't know how to get it the fiberglass to stay without gravity winning.
lay it out on the flat - build it to the thickness you want, then trim to fit your opening - cut some cardboard as a template - set it in place and use some resin filled bands of fibre glass over the crack where they join to hold it all in place - on the exterior, fill any cracks with bondo ( shouldn't take much ), sand and paint to match
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:26 PM   #6
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I would cover the opening from the inside with thin plywood (door skins) then coat the outside with resin. Then press the cloth into the resin and then finish wetting out the cloth with resin.
Thank you. I'll trace the opening an fill it with plywood. I'll make sure I leave enough of a depression to allow 2-3 layers of fiberglass. I'll finish it with gel coat.

So, where's the best place to buy fiberglass materials from?
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:35 PM   #7
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Thank you. I'll trace the opening an fill it with plywood. I'll make sure I leave enough of a depression to allow 2-3 layers of fiberglass. I'll finish it with gel coat.

So, where's the best place to buy fiberglass materials from?
Kind of depends on where you are.......... Your profile says you are nowhere......

I get mine from Fiberglass Mart on Hwy 99 in Lynnwood.
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:46 PM   #8
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I would cover the opening from the inside with thin plywood (door skins) then coat the outside with resin. Then press the cloth into the resin and then finish wetting out the cloth with resin.
here's a video of building a sheet of fibre glass - you can make it any size you want - be sure to start with a well waxed very smooth surface because that surface is what the world is going to see

https://www.google.com/search?q=maki...D8fF-gS6750421
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:08 AM   #9
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Lay multiple layers and LOTS of resin. Each part of the fiberglass must be soaked or you will have dry pockets that are very weak, brittle, and allow water to penetrate into the voids. Also, WEAR GLOVES ... and perhaps a respirator.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:23 AM   #10
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Thanks for the great advice. I know fiberglass comes in different weights, so I will research which is most beneficial/forgiving. Is there a resin I should use?
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:33 AM   #11
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Check out Robert Branden shuttle bus on you tube. He used aluminium sheet metal and painted it white to match the fiberglass. Looks good. Guys sort of goofy but he does nice work.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:56 AM   #12
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Thanks for the great advice. I know fiberglass comes in different weights, so I will research which is most beneficial/forgiving. Is there a resin I should use?
your glass supplier will recommend the best one for you to use


fiber glassing is sort of a reverse process - normal construction suggests that the finish is what is put on last - with fiber glass, your finish coat is the first coat you apply - that's why you apply the gel coat over a smooth surface - the more perfect that surface is, the more perfect your finished product will be - replacing a bus window might require a filler between layers of fiber glass - a thin layer of foam board might work well - perhaps two layers of resined glass over the gel coat, then a layer of foam board, then 2 layers of resined glass - trying to get a glass smooth surface by applying the gel coat last creates a tremendous amount of work and time involved
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:14 PM   #13
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As mentioned before, the "outter" or finished surface must be as smooth as possible and well waxed. The use of a mold release may be needed. The resin has a habit of getting into any surface blemish making it next to impossible to release the fiberglass from the surface.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:19 AM   #14
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As mentioned before, the "outter" or finished surface must be as smooth as possible and well waxed. The use of a mold release may be needed. The resin has a habit of getting into any surface blemish making it next to impossible to release the fiberglass from the surface.


I've been thinking a bit about how best I would deal with filling in a window opening in a fiberglass body, and came up with this idea - cover the window with a very well waxed piece of metal, be it aluminum, steel, or an old painted sign - hold it in place firmly with easy to remove clecos, then from inside the bus, spray the gelcoat and lay the layers of glass and filler until the correct thickness is achieved - pull out the clecos, patch the tiny holes left from the clecos with body filler and touch up the spots with the gelcoat - if the metal was installed so it fit snugly and the colour of the gel coat matched well, there should be virtually no sign of a patched window opening left to see from the outside
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:50 PM   #15
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We had three windows that would be covered by closets and the shower. Rather than removing the windows I painted out the glass on the inside and sealed the glass real well with automotive caulk. I used some paint meant for glass that I bought at a craft store. It's a two step process - you paint on a bonding coat first then the color coat over that. Unless you're fairly close to the bus the windows all look the same. Two of the windows in the picture are blacked out.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:45 PM   #16
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Check out Robert Branden shuttle bus on you tube. He used aluminium sheet metal and painted it white to match the fiberglass. Looks good. Guys sort of goofy but he does nice work.
Leadsled, thank you. I will be riveting 1/16" aluminum over the external openings and filling the space with R-Max insulation cut to fit snug. Then I'll panel the inside.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:47 AM   #17
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Leadsled, thank you. I will be riveting 1/16" aluminum over the external openings and filling the space with R-Max insulation cut to fit snug. Then I'll panel the inside.
sure looks easier than building a fiberglass insert
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:24 AM   #18
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So much easier. I used a jig saw to cut R-Max 1" R6 insulation. Now I need to source the aluminum sheet, cut it, silicone and rivet it. Bonus, the sheets of R-Max 1" where damaged, so I got 50% off
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:41 AM   #19
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I've been thinking a bit about how best I would deal with filling in a window opening in a fiberglass body, and came up with this idea - cover the window with a very well waxed piece of metal, be it aluminum, steel, or an old painted sign - hold it in place firmly with easy to remove clecos, then from inside the bus, spray the gelcoat and lay the layers of glass and filler until the correct thickness is achieved - pull out the clecos, patch the tiny holes left from the clecos with body filler and touch up the spots with the gelcoat - if the metal was installed so it fit snugly and the colour of the gel coat matched well, there should be virtually no sign of a patched window opening left to see from the outside
I’d add to this to back the aluminum sheet with very flat plywood or MDF from the outside so it keeps its shape and doesn’t bow out.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:12 AM   #20
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I’d add to this to back the aluminum sheet with very flat plywood or MDF from the outside so it keeps its shape and doesn’t bow out.
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