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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: littlehouse on October 24, 2006, 03:37:02 PM

Title: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: littlehouse on October 24, 2006, 03:37:02 PM
Ok; I've been messing with this rust bucket now for about 6 mo. When I got it the seats, racks, bathroom
& all the metal panels inside where gone. I did NOT know the panels where structural, so I drove it from
eastern Neb. to Seattle Wa. Everything seems fine, but it has a lot of rust. So I plan to replace all the side
fraim & new sheet metal on the outside, covering from the stainless to the roof  and raise the roof 6 or 7 in.
Now the asphalt parking area slopes about 8 in. left to right so I used some very hard wood planks under
the passenger side tires to make the bus leavel.The air bags are flat and soft but it still moves when I walk
around. If I get some 6 in. sq. steel plates and put them under the jack points an block up to them very
snug will this hold the bus in place while I raise the roof. And do I have to block the eng. rail or is it part of
the main fraim. I'm working alone so I would like to get this right the first time.
      Any and all advice and comments will be greatly appreciated.
Ray with the littlehouse

Title: Re: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: Stan on October 25, 2006, 07:06:51 AM
You will need two rows of jacks. The engine cradle has to be supported at the rear. The front has to be supported at the front corners. The center part has to be supported  under the side rail under the bay doors.  For extra securitu put jacks under the front and rear bulkheads. Make sure you have adequate bearing area where you set the jack (both on the ground and under the bus).

If you live in an area where there are a lot of mobile homes, borrow or rent jacks the right height from the people who do the setups. I bought about two dozen for a buck a piece at a flea market and scrapped them when I was finished.

Title: Re: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: NJT5047 on October 25, 2006, 05:22:26 PM
Ray, keep in mind that when you cut the rear cap steel, the engine has no support.  Same is true of the front support above the windshield.   Neither the front or engine cradle will fall off, but they may droop, causing untold issues with installing new caps.
The bus engine cradle support is "cantilevered" and is held up by the steel above the engine.  An MC8 has no "frame" per se.
Stan explains how to support the bus. 
Removing the inner panels and driving a shell probably won't result in any issues.  If you plan to reuse them (they are structural components), hope they are numbered for correct replacement.  They are all different.  Anytime you remove a part or panel, label the thing so you know where it should be returned.  Even the side belt molding is not interchangeable. 
If they are not numbered, remember that the floor is several inches higher at the rear of the bus.  So the longest panels would begin in the front...longest edge to the front.  That way you can separate the LH and RH, and get a rough idea in what order to return them. 
Good Luck, JR

Title: Re: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: kwood on October 25, 2006, 10:11:54 PM
Hey Ray, 
Can't give much advice on blocking, but I do have a 79 MC9 and live up in Lynnwood.  We should get together some time if you like.

Kevin Wood

Title: Re: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: littlehouse on October 25, 2006, 11:14:31 PM
  Stan & JR
Thanks for all the info. But after looking at the parts book it seams that the main strangh is about floor leval where
front axle & rear axle are atached and if you blocked up under the storage bays that light fraim work would just
buckle. When I got my bus there where no panels left inside and so nothing to put back. No OTR air & driver
heater didn't work.When I pulled front heater out the stainless plate was loose. When I pulled on it, it came off.
There was NO fraim left from the dashboard down to the sq. stainless tube at the floor. A lot of the fraim under
the windows is gone,a lot the seat rails in the sides are gone. Nothing but that black sticky tape. I plan to build
a wood fraim from the ground up to under the sq. tube at the bottom of the roof [above the old windows ] and
cut the old metal fraim and slowly raise the roof [ no weight on bus ]. Put in new fraim and sheet metal outside.
With angle braces & gusets and a few new windows it should be stronger than the old side fraim.
I can see where I'll need to block up under the eng. rails but under the bays I'm not sure, am I missing something.
Please talk me through this a little bit.
  In need of more advice.   Thanks  Ray

Title: Re: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: littlehouse on October 25, 2006, 11:43:26 PM
  Hi Kevin
I must have been trying to type something when you sent your reply. I'm so slow at this that I get frustrated
and I hope I never upset any one with my lack of typing skills or wording.
And yes I'd love to get together and talk about my passion. And see what you've done or plan to do and show
you some of my krazy ideas. Like an elevator instead of stairs up front.
You are welcome contact me at granmajan@yahoo.com or call 425-251-5309 9a.m. till 6p.m. or 425-255-1571
Like to here from you
Ray with the littlehouse

Title: Re: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: Stan on October 26, 2006, 05:50:03 AM
littlehouse: There are many books published on re-framing and roof raising on buses. I gave you the best advice I could in a couple of paragraphs.

Briefly, if you have a bus with the framing all intact, and you cut off the roof, the bus will rise up in the middle because of the cantilevered weight overhanging the rear and front.

You say say that your framing is in bad condition so all bets are off as to what might happen. Certain;ly the bus will sag in the middle if you have the front and rear fully supported.

Note that I told you to have adequate bearing area both under and on top of the jacks. Railway ties are good support on the bottom. Large pieces of several layers of 3/4" plywood laminated  also works. Where you are lifting under the front and rear, use a piece of steel plate between the jack and the bus. The lower outside side rail is a major structural composent and must not be damaged by jacks. A full length 4" X 4" with steel plates between the wood and the  jack works well.

The object of all this is to support the bus, not raise it up. You want the bus to be level in all directions when you work on it. If it is necessary to aise it to get it level you have to distribute the weight on all the jacks that are doing the lifting.

Title: Re: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: littlehouse on October 27, 2006, 04:39:43 PM
Thanks Stan
I knew there was something I wasn't seen about this blocking thing. When you word it like you
did it makes sense even to me. I realy want to thank you for the help, and it looks like a good
time to do it your way.
  Ray with the littlehouse

Title: Re: blocking '77 MC8
Post by: jjrbus on October 27, 2006, 05:04:27 PM
I did not know they were structural panels inside! So I took them out and drove from NY to FL in a MCI5C with no appearant problems!