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Author Topic: Wall "studs" attachment  (Read 3221 times)
Tikvah
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« on: May 23, 2011, 05:28:43 PM »

About ready to prepare, or at least plan, the exterior wall framing for the conversion.  I understand running wires, insulating, and so on.  But, how do you typically fasten the wall "studs"?  Do you simply use self taping screws into the side sheet metal?  All I see inside the bus is the thin sheet metal.  Obviously there is some kind of structure behind it.  I don't expect to remove that sheet metal.  So, how and where do you fasten?
Second, How thick do you usually make the walls?
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 05:37:42 PM »

I didn't use anything on the exterior walls other than plywood over the walls.  A stud wall would just make the bus narrower than it already is.  Some busnuts place 1x2s on the walls to add more insulation.
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 06:00:11 PM »

Are those typos?  Exterior should be INTERIOR?  And by "studs" do you mean "firing strips"?

You must remove the metal skin inside the bus.  The framing ribs are often rotted of at the base/floor and must be replaced in part. You need to inspect the inside of the wall for rust etc.  Even if you studs are pristine you must insulate the wall and to do that the metal must be removed.  The metal sheets don't get reinstalled.  Plywood gets fixed to the wall with self tapping screws OR better is to attach firing strips to add 3/4 inch thickness to the wall so you can spray foam deeper. 

Visit Gumpydogs site for detailed instruction and pics and examples.  My best advice with that.

John
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Tikvah
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011, 06:39:00 PM »

Interesting.  I was told once, I don't remember by whom, to never remove the inner metal skin because that is a structural part of the integrity of the bus. 
Also, if I remove the inner skin, then use spray foam insulation, the foam will be pressed directly against the outer skin.  Is that right to do?

By the way, by "exterior" I mean something other than the inner partitions.  Firing strips (3/4") seem fine, although I had imagined 1-1/2".

Since I'm new to the forum, when I see:
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Visit Gumpydogs site for detailed instruction and pics and examples.
, How do I know where and how to find that?
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011, 06:58:27 PM »

Here you go....http://bus.gumpydog.com/
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2011, 06:59:15 PM »

several years ago I built a MCI 8 that I owned for 10 years. I removed the interior skin and foamed the space and put 3/8 plywood in place of original metal that was inside bus. I ran it many a mile and 10 years it did not sag or fall apart. I have talked to many others that have done the same. Really don't think those few 1/8 pop rivets have more structural value than the 3/8 plywood screwed to the wall structure.   The prevost I'm doing now had masonite 1/8 on it-It's gone now.   Bob
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 09:16:56 PM »

Tik,

You are absolutely correct.  Many, many people consider the inner skin on a MCI to be an integral component of the structure.  They believe, and rightly so, that removing the inner skin will weaken the total structure.  The point is that the weakening is not sufficient to cause a problem....on the MCI....so we have been told and has been demonstrated.  You need to remove it to do the requisite inspection of the underlying frame.  That isn't open to serious discussion.  Putting the skin back may or may not be required.  I don't think there are many that have done so and you are hearing from those that didn't that they have not experienced any problem.  be sure that if any of those guys even heard of a problem developing in a MCI that was attributed to the removal of the skin they would certainly have spoken up on the issue.  We do however strongly support trail blazers, every one here being one, so do it your own way and we will help in any way we can.

Whenever you get a term you don't understand you should go to the menu bar at the top of our page and click on search.  "GUMPYDOG" is a prime example.  There are others that have recorded a lot of their conversion work.  Lots of them.  But Gregs site has no peer that I have ever seen and I have been a member and enthusiastic supporter for many years.  Look up "skinner valve" for a starter.

Be well and happy and know that this is the home of helpful and fully supportive fellow bus Knuts.

Your Friend,

John
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2011, 09:56:23 AM »

Tik,

You are absolutely correct.  Many, many people consider the inner skin on a MCI to be an integral component of the structure.  They believe, and rightly so, that removing the inner skin will weaken the total structure.  The point is that the weakening is not sufficient to cause a problem....on the MCI....so we have been told and has been demonstrated.  Your Friend,

John

  On my MCI 5B I'm now down to the inner metal sheet (skin) that is riveted to the frame tubing and have removed one panel (right front over right front wheel) after drilling out seemingly 100 rivets. Almost every rivet was loose and spun, and/or showed signs of working (smoking rivets). However, it also appears that particular panel had been off before. If I find anymore of this as I work my way through, it would seem those inner panels are much more structural than suggested/surmised. And if I find more loose rivets in the other panels, they are going back in with additional rivets. In fact ive already more or less decided thats what I'll do.

  As an aside, I was working at an airport when a Cessna 210 with retracts came in for an annual. I was down on the floor and used the prop as a handle to get up, when I heard a clunk. As soon as I let go, I heard an opposing clunk, the telltale sound of oil canning. That plane had had the nose wheel collapse some years before and had extensive structural repair to the nose and firewall, and showed a lot of smoking rivets. I brought it to everyones attention, we had half a dozen guys including anIA looking it over, they all concluded it was safe but that float kit wouldnt be a bad idea. I had a lot of confidence in those guys and their opinions, but I wouldnt ever wanted to go up in that airplane

  Metal structures like Buses and airplanes and cars do flex. Stiffening, while seeming the best approach, can have the opposite effect one might think, making the structure so stiff it fails through fracture. Contrastingly, taking out stiffeners, without some kind of engineering to determine the reduced strength and flex, can also have harmfull effects. In this case it may be best to take the oath of Doctors to heart, to wit " first, do no harm." That many have done things to structures and not seen failures is not exactly the best way to answer the question. But on the other hand, sometimes its all we have to go by. Buses are so much more overbuilt than an airplane, considering the intended use, most are unlikely to ever see problems no matter how they go about alterations. As weve seen so often in aircraft, engineering doesnt always pan out as expected, and too often with catostrophic results.

  No rust found in the tubing though, so far.......
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2011, 11:47:27 AM »

what are smoking rivets?
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2011, 12:48:12 PM »

what are smoking rivets?

  When rivets loosen up in aluminum they get dirty oxidation around them, like black soot running off of them. Sometimes on aircraft youll see whole sections or rows of rivets with little rings of black around the heads. Especially in high stress areas like wing spars, firewall, landing gear boxes, empenage.

  On an MCI with stainless skin and rivets I dont know if you would ever see it. But a Bus is built like a tank and wouldnt ever flex like an airplane.
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2011, 12:51:00 PM »

 A better description.

  http://www.mechanicsupport.com/smoking_rivet.html
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Jriddle
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2011, 08:28:40 AM »

All will have to decide for themselves on removing those interior panels. I choose to remove mine and am very glade I did. I had no rust issues and was able to clean everything to MY standards. I removed floor also. I added cross bracing in the wall in place of the panels. I used foam kits to put foam back into the walls. I used 1"x3/4" pine boards on the metal ribs. Then I put 1/2" pink board on top of the foam. This did two things for me I have extra insulation and allowed me to put wires into the wall. On top of all this I put 1/2' plywood. We have not noticed any problem with the structure of the bus.

In a different post someone mentioned doing it right. I don't really know what is right for others but have my own ideas for myself. I would like to have some of the time back that I have spent converting my bus but it is nice to drive down the road and have people look at the work that has been done thus far. I would not sleep at night if I left the walls and floor intact knowing what I know now about the crude that lurks in those walls and floor.

MY Take

John
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John Riddle
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2011, 08:42:45 AM »

Here are few more pictures. you can see crude to clean to geting almost done.

John
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2011, 09:28:56 AM »

John,

Great job on the spray foam.  Great fitting on the foam board.  Great pics and I hope you are putting together a "Home Page like Gumpy dog".

Why didn't you install the firing strips first and spray foam to their depth?

Did you drill the ribs and inject foam to hold down internal convection air?

Thanks for sharing your work.

John
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2011, 10:04:10 AM »

John Thanks
Not sure about the web site like Craig has. I use his web site all the time though. I didn't spray the foam to full depth because I didn't  have the full vision of the project till it was at hand. (I planned as I went.) In hindsite that would have been better. Cost and my location is a factor also. I did put some foam in bus metal structure but not a perfect 100%. I am working on getting the roof done now. I have to say it will look good but I have made mistakes and will have to live with them. (I don't do this for a living and I am developing new skills) I wonder if we all should have our Heads examined for taking on a projects like these. My bus hit my driveway in December of 2007 for the first time.


John
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John Riddle
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2011, 11:28:54 AM »

John,

Could you share some info about your spray foam adventure, please?  It looks like you didn't spray the center section of the roof.  And, the depth of the foam is what.... 1.5 inches?  What kind of outfit did your foam spraying and where did they do it and what did it cost?  Did you make a comparative estimate between spray and board?

I managed to get 4.5 inches in the overhead of a S&S and with the windows sealed and 1.5 in the walls that thing is like a thermos bottle.  Get all you can in your overhead space as the roof is the main are for heat loss and the windows aren't far behind.  Did you install double pane and E rejection windows? 

You being in Nevada and all brings that stuff vividly to mind.  Did you insulate your water bay yet?  How about the overhead in all the bays to get some floor insulation?  Even tiny holes in the front are monster air leaks with the bus moving and almost nothing can cool or heat the front with leaks....stuff you already know I'm sure but worth carping about given the number times it comes up.  Unfortunately, with buses already built.  Look at the buses with roof airs built over the drivers seat to augment bus drivers air in some cases.

Again, your workmanship looks way above par and better than I could do at least.  Thanks for sharing.

John
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2011, 12:12:00 PM »

John

I used foam kits I purchased on the internet. I used about two full kits and had one that didn't work very well. (Long costly story) These kits run around 5 to 6 hundred. By using these you can plan as you go. When you have it hired done  you need to have all the stuff done in the walls before hand. I didn't use insulated windows. I figure I can install at a later date if I find it necessary. I insulated the box my water tanks are installed in but have not insulated bay yet. I put 1 1/2" of insulation in the floor. I used fire resistant blanket in the bedroom and foam board in the rest of the floor. This has made my headroom less but we are vertically challenge people.

John
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2011, 12:14:10 PM »

Two More
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2011, 12:38:01 PM »

John

I am doing the ceiling now. It will have about 2" of foam. I found it hard to spray around all my wires and tyring not to over fill the space too much. ( less mess trimming) Some areas have more than two inches and others a little less but more than 1 1/2".
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2011, 01:29:55 PM »

John,


I had some reservations about how you would pull this off and what the outcome would be.  No more.  You are an inventive and talented designer and craftsman.  Yours is a superb job as far as I can tell.  Congratulations!

The key word in this adventure is ALWAYS plan plan plan and plan some more.  They put the floor down without much thought other than underlayments and insulation but from there they want the builder to know what he will be doing way out down the road in the future.  What I see most do is put masking tape on the floor to outline isles and appliances and built ins.  Then they mock up the cabinets and everything in three D with cardboard.  Finally they lock themselves in the bus for a few days to REALLY eval how everything works.  Little exaggeration there LOL.  But close to the truth.  You seem to have started building first.  That it is working out so very well for you I assume that you have an intellect that considers and remembers all alternatives and decisions and design.  Great work.  And thanks for sharing your adventure and proving "To each his own" once again.

John
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« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2011, 12:11:00 PM »

Ahoy, BusFolk,

One thing not mentioned is the importance of trying to avoid having (exposed)fasteners inside which go into the metal structure of the bus.  Thermal problems --  with the cold fastener condensing moisture, and wetting the plywood. 

Try to use firring strips which can fasten either on top, or onto the sides of the structure, and then screw your plywood onto the strips.  Then the thermal path is avoided.  They don't need to stand out at all (by hanging them on the side) if you want to maximize space.  (On my Eagle-01) I firred out 3/4" on the sides, but in the bedroom, my 1/4" overhead plywood is screwed directly to the steel structure, and I do have condensation.

I'd suggest inside, a layer of visquine (sp?) as the last thing inside your plywood.  That way, you will help to keep the humidity level in the space between the plywood and the structure and skin lower.  Some ventilation into that space would even help  --- ie  --- a bit of bleed from your air compressor (if you have a compressor air dryer).  Would not be hard to do on a new build. 

These bus conversions last a LOOONG time, and anything you do to make them last is important.

Enjoy   /s/   Bob     
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2011, 02:05:53 PM »

i'd use tyvek if i was gonna visquine something...just a tad stronger
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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2011, 02:45:07 PM »

  One thing not mentioned is the importance of trying to avoid having (exposed)fasteners inside which go into the metal structure of the bus.  Thermal problems --  with the cold fastener condensing moisture, and wetting the plywood. 

  Or stay south during the cold winter months, which would have the additional effect of keeping the Bus out of salt. Win win situation Grin

  Im more concerned about the outer skin sweating against the insulation. And filling the frame tubes with expanding foam, is it possible this could lead to internal corrosion, perhaps rapidly? I have this fear of it being to a Bus, what fiberglass was to wood boats built before 1960.

  
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« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2011, 02:30:09 PM »

Art

Good comment about about the condensation between the shell and vapor barrier. You don't want to create a dew point that will rot the shell. You really have to be careful how you handle that application. Visqueen or something plastic does not breathe and can make the situation worse.

Mike
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« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2011, 07:55:39 PM »

I have seen pics of  conversion up in the icy north where there were 'ice blossoms" or ?Buds" or "Flowers" all over the interior walls where ever there was a screw UNDERNEATH the paneling that was glued on the studs.  I thought it would make sense to sink the heads of the fasteners down a 1/4 inch.  That comment about screwing the fir strips to a separate board the was attached to the side of the rib was a gem.  I sue never had that take the short trip "cross my mind".  Thanks for that.   fully expect to never be anywhere where the temp might fall to 20 below.  Never!  But every little bit helps and a reduction in thermal conductivity yields comfort and fuel every time and forever.  Thanks for that tip.

John
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« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2011, 08:05:44 PM »

   The only real rust ive found inside the wall was where some moron drilled holes to hang a sign on the outside. Water got in, soaked the fiberglass, and the constant wetness put some rot on one of the diagonals. Im not finding any issues anywhere else.

   Im going to take my time studying before I decide what kind of insulation to go with. Lower R values would win out over the potential for rust, rot, and mold.
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« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2011, 08:35:07 PM »

I have seen pics of  conversion up in the icy north where there were 'ice blossoms" or ?Buds" or "Flowers" all over the interior walls where ever there was a screw UNDERNEATH the paneling that was glued on the studs.  John


  Thats a harse environment John, and there isnt any way to stop that effect 100%. Its happening inside the metal walls everywhere too. I was just back up in Minnesota for our sons wedding, and we noticed another establishment we frequented was gone, tore down for something else going in. And somewhere along the way it dawned on my how very few buildings last more than 50 years up there without the foundation cracking and busting up. I used to marvel (frown actually) how the tools inside my tool cabinet would frost up and sweat when I turned up the heat after it had been sub zero. Or why I found water drips on cars in the garage (roofing nails that come through the sheathing, they frost, sweat,drip). The only way to prevent that kind of sweating and condensation is to stay out of that extreme climate. If you lived up North a while, sooner or later you would see your sliding patio freeze shut, from the frost that forms along the track and on the metal handle. Its just got to get good and cold and stay that way a while. Then the ice melts and stains the wood and carpet, rots the floor, makes linoleum peel up, etc..
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