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Author Topic: Panel Replacement - '89 Prevost  (Read 1519 times)
theprince
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« on: May 11, 2010, 11:03:04 AM »

I got a little too close when stopping for fuel and now I get to repair two baggage doors and the small panel between them. I believe that the damage is confined to the outer panels only with the rub rail and does not affect any of structural parts. IBP has the replacement panels I need but I don't know much more. My questions start with -

1. How do I remover the existing panels?
2. The are currently held on by rivets. Do I drill the rivets or use something like an angle grinder?
3. How much of the door interior do I need to remove to remove the handles or can the handles remain in place?
4. Is IBP the best source for the panels?
5. Are the IBP panels pre-drilled for the rivets or do I need to drill them?
6. What type of rivets do I use to reattach the panels? What is the best source?
7. Will the panels need to be trimmed or will the fit well?

Any advice or ideas would be appreciated. I am sure I will have more questions as I get into the project.

Thanks
Eric

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robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2010, 12:36:15 PM »

did you get the upper door panels or both..they splice under the rub rail...if your not reusing pannel at all use a air chisel:if you don't have air use a grinder..the pannels from ibp are the most reasonable..prevost wants 550$ each for upper door pannel..where are you located?? i'm in sw Indiana..would help you if your close...Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
theprince
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 03:25:05 PM »

We are in WA State so I appreciate the offer of help but the distance is a little too far.

I have not ordered the panels yet. I am in a pre-planning stage. It has taken me a while to quit kicking myself for doing something so dumb.

I will look at pulling the rub rail to check if the panel is split and to take good measurements for IBP. I think I need to take off the interior of the door to access the nuts holding the rail. I won't have time to check it out until the weekend.

I have an air chisel so that is an option.

Thanks
Eric
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Ace
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 03:48:15 PM »

You should check E-Bay under Prevost Bus. There's always a guy selling new door panels on there for different models cheaper than the mfgr!
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Ace Rossi
Lakeland, Fl. 33810
Prevost H3-40
robertglines1
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 04:57:15 PM »

should be plastic plugs inside door panels pull out gives access to bolts that hold rub rail on...shouldn't have to remove door handle to replace skin..  I bought the lower pieces at my local sheet metal supplier for a small fraction of the cost...polished stainless...they cut to fit and I broke the edges...Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
Sam 4106
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2010, 05:38:20 PM »

Hi Eric,
You do not have to take off the rub rail to see if the lower panel is separate from the upper panel. Just look at the edge of the door with it open and you will see the joint. You may have to loosen the rub rail bolts to get the lower panel out. The panels from IBP can be ordered with the holes punched but the holes are under sized so you still have to drill them. I had a problem with some of the holes being off so if I were doing it I would order them without holes and drill them from the inside out. I thought the panels fit well so no trimming was required. IBP can supply the rivets and the rivet setting tool if you don't have one. I bought an air operated rivet gun from Harbor Freight for under $100 that worked well. You shouldn't have to remove the inner panels unless your bus has panels added by the converter.Don't beat yourself up too much for your boo-boo it happens to professional drivers too.
Good luck, Sam MC8
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1976 MCI-8TA with 8V92 DDEC II and Allison HT740
Skykingrob
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2010, 07:22:58 PM »

Hi Eric
I have a 91 LeMirage XL and replaced several lower panels that were dented by careless drivers before me so I have some experience with this.
I ordered mine from Steve at IBP, they are not cheap but cheaper unless you can find a local metal shop that can cut and do the brake bends. I did go with holes punched by IBP and as mentioned, they are undersized and some of mine were off location but not by enough to effect the appearance. I did not buy rivets from IBP, they are way high. I bought "Old style Prevost rivets" from Byler rivet in Dallas, Tx. They only had a limited supply at the time I ordered two years ago and I bought all they had. May have more now, don't know but if you need some and they don't have them, I have an excess and would sell at my cost to a fellow busnut. I would however, get the drill bit(s) from Byler as they have very sharp, high strength bits in 1/64" increments to make the fit just right. One bit is sufficent for 3-4 panels and can be sharpened if you have the experience. The panels mentioned on the E-place are usually for the H series. I have never seen any for the LeMirage but there may have been when I wasn't looking. My panels fit well but then I gave Steve specific measurements for them so they should have fit. I did replace the evaporator and condenser panels with new vented panels that work for my basement a/c units so I did some lower and upper panels.
Now to the panel, as has been mentioned, open the door and look at the side of the door, you will see the upper panel overlaps the lower panel behind the rub rail. Since you are not interested in saving the lower panels, just grind off the rivets or use your air chisel and be done with it. If for some reason you want to save them, then drill out the rivets. As has also been mentioned, when the door is open there are plastic round hole covers on the backside of the door on the inner panel. Remove those and it will expose the nuts holding the rub rail. You do not have to take the rub rails off if you don't want just loosen them enough to get the lower panel out. Like above, I bought an air riveter from Harbor Freight, but I replaced a number of things on my bus and so far have put in about 3K rivets, so I wanted/needed (?) an air riveter. Again, if you don't have many panels and don't plan other rivet replacement, just get a manual one and not go the $90 expense, saving $50 or so. You also do not have to take off the bay handles. The first replacement took me about an hour but by the 4th one, it was down to 20 minutes.
Hope this helps. More ?, just ask. This is one of those times when I can help as I have been there and done it.

Rob
91 Prevost LeMirage XL
Missouri
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Lin
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2010, 07:32:00 PM »

I spoke to a guy who had a mid-90's Wanderlodge that had two crushed bay doors.  He had the panels fabricated by a local shop for much less than buying them stock.  I saw both the before and after pictures (not including new paint).  The replacement looked fine. 
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You don't have to believe everything you think.
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2010, 08:24:20 PM »

Believe this is you may but on the Prevost H model's, the lower panels are actually thin plastic or thin fiberglass. They crack and break very easy and I damaged one once when I was in the woods. It just so happened that the previous owner (dealer/seller) had replaced this same panel only he replaced it with one that he had fabricated at a local sheet metal shop and then painted to match the bus. Well guess what? I did the same thing and the ONLY way you can tell I replaced it, is from the mis-matched paint. The fabricated panels are  made from aluminum and actually are better looking and stronger than the OEM's. When the time comes to do a RE-paint on the whole coach, which might come sooner than later, I might consider having all of the panels re-made! They simply are held in place with sika-flex adhesive!
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Ace Rossi
Lakeland, Fl. 33810
Prevost H3-40
theprince
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2010, 01:20:04 PM »

Thanks to all for your advice and encouragement. I will have some time this weekend so I will check things out and put together a plan for the next step. I will inventory exactly what I need and contact both IBP and my local sheet metal shop. I will talk to Blyer about Rivet options. They do not list "old style Prevost" but I will see if they have anything close. If I strike out I may take Rob up on his offer to sell some. I will order one or two of the bits and figure out the rivet tool.

I will let everybody know how it goes.

Thanks
Eric
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