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Author Topic: Am I crazy: Roof raise and fiberglassing?  (Read 5193 times)
belfert
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« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2010, 05:50:38 PM »

Brian,
   Just a suggestion, if you decide to do this this year, be sure to allow plenty of extra time, so you do not have to scramble at the last minute to get it done in time for your annual trip.  These kinda projects can easily take much longer than planned.  Jack

I've been thinking about that too.  I would probably start removing the interior around March 1st if I do this.  I have until mid Sept to finish it.  I have experience removing the interior and putting it back in and have a good idea on the time line for that.

I would probably start the major work around May 1st.  Would it be reasonable to expect a month to raise the roof, a month to reskin and fiberglass, and another month to reinstall windows and interior?

I am trying to see if there is any way possible I could use a building I know of to get a good jump start on this.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2010, 06:18:42 PM »

Brian
I cannot speak to the fiberglassing as my Prevost isn't fiberglass but the total time for a roof raise for me was 6 weeks from start to finish including removing windows, welding the wall studs,riveting the aluminum side panels and doing all the welding working by myself nights and weekends.
Now to welders, what Bevans says is correct about welder choice. I have had lots of experience with stick welding so when I decided to do the roof raise and knew I would not have 220 volt service in my shop, I looked at as many of the 110 volt wire welder units as I could. I found the Clark mig, available from Orschlends Farm and Ranch supply fit the bill for about $275. It is made well enough to weld 1/4" steel well and there is nothing that thick in buses, at least not my Prevost. It can be used with or without gas, is light enough you can carry it from one end of the bus to the other as you need to move along to make welds. The only drawback is that parts for it must company factory direct, they are very inexpensive by manufacturer standards but it takes a few days to get the parts. I tried several of the units from Miller 110 volt units from Lowes and was just never satisfied with the weld quality. Miller shoud have been a very good name but not sure if they make the unit or someone makes it for them. Your $300 unit sounds like a great unit but may create some portability issues for you unless you make/get some type of rolling stand.
Just some more thoughts. HTH

Rob
91 Prevost LeMirage XL
Missouri
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Sam 4106
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« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2010, 06:20:35 PM »

Hi belfert,
By now you should know from your own experience the the timeline you propose is unrealistic if you will be working part time, and probably even if you were working full time. This is not intended to discourage you. It is based on my own experience raising the roof on the Prevost we used to own.
Our MC8 was raised 13", by the previous owner, without any fiberglass work required. They did the raise from the bottom of the side window line and rear cap and above the windshield. The gap that was created between the bottom of the caps and the lower body was filled with framing and aluminum skin. Then the roof, with caps still attached, was lowered onto the new framing and skin and riveted on. That method may not work for you if the caps are attached to a fiberglass body. I have some pictures taken as the work was being done but I'm not smart enough to post them.
Good luck if you decide to do the roof raise. Sam MC8
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« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2010, 06:41:11 PM »

3 months is not enough time.  Period!

Personally, I would not do it again unless the bus was inside a shop.
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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2010, 07:15:11 PM »

It sounds like I should just forget about doing this and just live with what I have.  I actually have over four months to do the work, not three months, but even that could be cutting it close.

I live in Minnesota so I'm not ever going have six months or a year of warm weather to do this project.  Even if I had a year it would mean not using the bus for a year.  I don't know any place I could afford to rent a shop long term for something like this.

Not having a raised roof means I'm have to put some serious thinking into how to fix some issues with the bus as it is.  I may have to remove all of the spray foam on the ceiling to install conduits for wiring.  Right now I'm using flat boat cable for the roof airs, but that all has to come out and be replaced.  There is no flat cable alternative that is stranded and listed for RV use.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2010, 04:33:41 AM »

Brian,

No need to remove all the spray foam, just remove at your cut line, and cut a groove where you need to run wire and you can foam back over it.

Visit your local thrift store and fin an old electric carving Knife.  I'm not sure if the vibrating tools work on spray foam.   I would guess if it is firm enough.

the foam would make it a little more rigid to work with.

If you did do this,  could you rally the rocket firing crew?, seems with a building, planning, and extra tools, rent a welder or two.  A crew could could get this done quickly.  Have fiberglass ready etc.


If you have to do this alone, read back through your old post, especially right before the trip and see if you want this. Wink


I bet you could squeeze a couple saturdays out of them, especially while it is cold, and don't make them consecutive weekends and you'll get more response.

You would end up with a Buffva-iagilo Grin

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« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2010, 05:08:46 AM »

Right now I'm using flat boat cable for the roof airs, but that all has to come out and be replaced.  There is no flat cable alternative that is stranded and listed for RV use.

Brian,
   Most S&S manufacturers use romex to wire the ACs.  If properly anchored to prevent vibration, it will outlast you.  I am not familiar with "flat boat cable", but would romex work to replace it? 
    We have done as was already mentioned, cutting the foam, installing wire and re-foaming.  When we purchased the spray cans of foam, we found they sell 2 different foams. One expands more times, but does not get as hard. The other type expands less, but is harder when it sets up.  Both types were Great Stuff brand and purchased at our local Home Depot.  Jack
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« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2010, 06:54:16 AM »

Gumpy has a way of making a great point.........that is one thing i'd do all over.....build or rent a building and work inside!  

I purchased two items when I started my roof raise, a miller 175 mig and plasma arc!  both by the time I was finished paid for themselves!

Here are a few pictures of my roof raise:

The guide on the side kept the roof stable and inline....it took about 15 minutes raising the roof.....the getting ready took about 2 weeks.......the welding the raised section in 3 days!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 06:56:05 AM by muddog16 » Logged

Pat

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« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2010, 08:31:05 AM »

Brian, all I can say is if you really want it raised, take the time to do it now, before you go any further with the finishing. We have had to cool our jets a couple of times for things we wanted done, but really didnt want to  take the time required  to do it. We really wanted it usable on the road by now, but, at the same time, you only get one shot to get it the way you want it, so, it will take a little longer. Whatever you do, good luck with it, I am sure it will be nice.
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« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2010, 11:05:26 AM »

My main problem with time is having a deadline of mid September to be on the road again.  Considering my bus is outdoors in Minnesota I can't do a whole lot on a roof raise until April 15th at earliest.

I am going to have to live with things the way they are for this year and see if I can find a shop to work in for next fall and winter.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #40 on: February 06, 2010, 11:20:45 AM »

Brian,
   I spent right at 3 months completing the roof raise part of our project. This included stripping all windows, drip rails, trim, etc to get ready to do the actual raise.  Actual raise, once everything was set up and vertical framing was cut took about 1 hour. Then weeks to complete welding, installing new skin to cover window openings, caps, framing and installing new windows, priming & painting and re-installing drip rails, trim, etc.
   In spite of all the work involved, I am glad I did it. I was still working at the time, but I worked a 24 hour on duty/48 hour off duty schedule as a Paramedic/Firefighter, so I basically was able to work on ther coach 2 days out of every 3 days.  I am also glad I planned enough time to get it done without having to scramble to finish it. I have heard several people say they wish they had raised the roof, but I have never heard anyone say they wish they had not raised their roof.  Jack
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« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2010, 12:57:24 PM »

It's worth considering that you could be doing a lot of useful preparation work now, even if you don't actually start cutting metal on the bus until April (or even 2011). Once you've got the job planned out you can start on the obvious things like fabricating all the steel extension pieces you need, and buying and cutting to size the skin panels. Then there's a million other jobs to be done and parts to be collected - the weather may be cold and miserable but it's better to be running around town collecting boxes of rivets and tubes of Sikaflex now than to have to do these chores when the sun is shining but time is short and the bus is in a thousand pieces.

Jeremy

PS. Just for the sake of mentioning again something I have described before on the board:- the approach I took to raising my roof was somewhat different to most peoples' in that I left the bus sides completely untouched and made the raise in the roof beams themselves (where they joined the verticals), which meant I had no skinning or glazing work to do at all, just a gap to cover around the periphery of the roof. Because my bus has curved sides I covered the gap with some specially moulded fibreglass panels, but in your case some flat sheet (aluminium or whatever) would probably suffice.
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« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2010, 01:13:00 PM »

It's worth considering that you could be doing a lot of useful preparation work now, even if you don't actually start cutting metal on the bus until April (or even 2011). Once you've got the job planned out you can start on the obvious things like fabricating all the steel extension pieces you need, and buying and cutting to size the skin panels. Then there's a million other jobs to be done and parts to be collected - the weather may be cold and miserable but it's better to be running around town collecting boxes of rivets and tubes of Sikaflex now than to have to do these chores when the sun is shining but time is short and the bus is in a thousand pieces.

I would absolutely start collecting stuff before April if I did this.  I actually already bought some low profile roof top A/C units off Ebay.  I'll use those regardless if I raise the roof.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2010, 05:49:25 PM »

Brian here is a web site that may or may not be of assistance to U.  I raised the roof on my Eagle and have been super pleased with the results.  I wrote the article with the hopes it might assist another busnut should they be looking for some "How To".  Many busnuts helped me in many, many ways.

http://users.cwnet.com/thall/genelewis.htm

Gene
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« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2010, 05:43:36 PM »

I was kinda wavering back and forth on trying to do the roof raise this year even though I had initially decided not to do it this year.

Unless I can find a free shop to work in I will be waiting until next winter to do this.  I would simply be running too tight on money and probably time too for this year.  I can spend the next 9 months or so gather materials and cash for the project.

I may have a line on an inexpensive shop for next winter that would probably include use of a welder.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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