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Author Topic: Stop me before I do something really stupid  (Read 3322 times)
Tikvah
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« on: June 09, 2011, 12:59:15 PM »

I'm making my final decisions for the material for the skin of my coach.  I think I'm going with 16 ga cold roll steel.  I'll be skinning from the bottom of the window line to the roof, tucking the top and bottom edge behind the existing trim strips.
So, I went to my local metal supply and he offered me a deal on some Aluminum Diamond Plate.  His suggestion is to use the diamond plate from the top of the baggage doors to the drip rail above the windows.  I said that would be ridiculous and expensive. 
Well, maybe ridiculous, but when you consider that it would never be painted, and always shinny, it doesn't seem so expensive.  Incredibly cool?  Well, that's a matter of opinion. 
So, I came home with a sample section, set it on top of the trim above the baggage bays... and well, not such a ridiculous idea.   It certainly would be different.  My wife said the shine would cause accidents. 

What do you guys think?  Feel free to weigh in with opinions, that's what I'm asking for. 
My first thought is that it could look too commercial and not "first class".  However, that might not be true.  They're using that stuff for everything now days, and it looks pretty sharp.

Thoughts?  Other suggestions?
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2011, 01:05:26 PM »

Well, if you do that the bus won't look like every other RV out there!  I wouldn't use that, but then I wouldn't use cold rolled steel either.  I would use Alumalite sign material.  I have a sheet of  that in a shop, it would be perfect.  I think gumpy used it on his bus.

http://www.sterlingpromotions.ca/Alumalite_Signboard.html

The checker plate aluminium comes in a ton of thicknesses, finishes, etc.  I thought you were afraid of corrosion with aluminium, anyway?

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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Tikvah
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2011, 01:09:37 PM »

I'm assuming that the Alumalite/signboard material is out of my price range.
Yes, you're right.  I was steering away from aluminum because of the corrosion, but my biggest fear with aluminum is the warping from heat.  I just don't have a facility where I can evenly heat huge sheets of aluminum. 

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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 02:09:12 PM »

Mearly my opinion. I wouldnt do it. It would be to much.
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Tikvah
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2011, 02:57:34 PM »

The nice thing about opinions is we all have one, and no matter how many we give away... we still have one.
So, bring them on.... give me your opinion - it won't cost you anything.
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2011, 03:32:08 PM »

I used something similar to the Alumalite.  It is the same stuff Gumpy used.  It cost me about $400 to cover the windows on the entire bus.  The material is thin aluminum on each side with a plastic core.  It won't get wavy since it is not solid aluminum.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 03:48:15 PM »

 Alumalite waves it is good for up to around 120 degrees which is not much with sun hitting it here in AZ they use Alucobond it stands more heat up to 175 degrees

good luck
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 04:11:18 PM »

What I actually used is Alucobond.  No issues with waves after five years.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Scott Bennett
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 04:16:12 PM »

FWIW, We used aluminum. Your original coach skin from the stainless up to the windows is aluminum. It corrodes a bit, but not in such a major way that your sides will fall off next year  Shocked Truth be told, since we didn't want super wavy sides, we went with 1/8" think aluminum. Solid, thick, and yes, a bit pricey and a pain to pre-drill every hole for the rivets...but it looks good. Cost around $1000. Here's a pic with the sheets actually overlapping each other:


« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 08:10:41 AM by Nick Badame Refrig. Co. » Logged

Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 04:26:50 PM »

Looks good but me I could not stand to have all those rivets I am a smooth sides one piece no waves type guy lol I did have some hand painted rivets to blend the aluminum siding into the paint job

good luck
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 04:34:57 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Tikvah
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2011, 06:21:04 PM »

I live about a million miles from civilization.  Where would I find Alucobond?
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2011, 06:34:20 PM »

I would do some serious research before using a product like Alucobond or any other of the laminate type aluminum for siding the product is made mostly for signs and signs don't move 

good luck
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 06:42:41 PM »

I did the side of my bus with aluminum.  It really wasn't that hard to stretch the material.  I used a propane weed torch that I bought from northern tool to heat the aluminum to 200 degrees.  The corrosion issue should only be a problem where the steel structure meets the aluminum.  I used 10 mil plastic tape to insulate the steel from the aluminum.  So far(5 years) no problems.  
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Steven
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2011, 04:03:27 AM »

I used .125 aluminum to skin over the few windows I had removed.  It is a little heavy but easy to work with.  I also used a sealant/adhesive on all metal to metal contact wheter it be to steel or aluminum.  Worked great for me.
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Brandon Stewart - Martinez, GA
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2011, 05:39:57 AM »

Hi Tikvah,  I used 16ga steel. I thought it worked out great. take care.
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DEMOMAN
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2011, 10:08:43 AM »

I went to a bus rally in Florida about three years ago and there was a Busnut that had a lot of Diamond Plate inside and outside of his coach.  It looked pretty cool and it wasn't too much.  He had some other cool things set up inside too like either air or electric cylinders to move beds and such around.  I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was neat.  I will see if I can find some pics of it for you.

DEMOMAN
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Like I don't have enough unfinished projects! Undecided

Eric
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gus
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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2011, 02:45:49 PM »

Why cover windows at all, never could understand that??

It just makes a beautiful bus look like all the other S&S going down the road.

A bus on the outside and an RV on the inside is as good as it gets!!
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PD4107-152
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rampeyboy
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« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2011, 05:36:07 PM »

I just checked my rear window blank a minute ago. It was covered in light weight (.020 I think 3003) aluminum last year, maybe August or September. It has not wrinkled yet. Could be though because it's not flat. It almost has a compound curve. I will say the 3003 can corrode easily, so paint it, prime it, or alodine it ASAP. Next time I think I will use 6061 or 2024.

Boyce
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Boyce Rampey
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Tikvah
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2011, 06:27:53 PM »

6061 Aluminum was my original intention, then I started leaning more toward using 16 ga. cold roll steel.  Now, I'm undecided.  Tomorrow I will have all my supports in place (I hope) and I need to make a decision soon.

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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
NEO/Russ
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« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2011, 06:56:21 PM »

Well, maybe ridiculous, but when you consider that it would never be painted, and always shinny, it doesn't seem so expensive.  Thoughts?  Other suggestions?

My company produces tens of thousands of ALDP (aluminum diamond plate) trailer fenders every year.  We sell to boat trailer, utility trailer, cargo trailer, etc. companies who produce the compete trailer.  I would stay away from it.  It scratches very easy, lot's of things stain it and it dulls in a year or two (more where there are certain chemicals in the air).  It can be shined, but you'll be doing it a lot.

Yes i agree it would be unique, but it sure would take a lot of elbow grease to maintain.

Russ
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Well no longer a bus nut, but over the years I learned a lot here and still come back to see what I can apply to the conversion of my KW T2000 for hauling my Teton fifth wheeler.
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« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2011, 12:38:13 PM »

I used .080 5052 alloy to skin over the windows.
I believe this is the same alloy used by I.B.P for
aluminium body skins.

  dvrasor
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2011, 07:40:44 PM »

Why cover windows at all, never could understand that??

It just makes a beautiful bus look like all the other S&S going down the road.

A bus on the outside and an RV on the inside is as good as it gets!!

Gus,

It's mostly because it's very difficult to keep the coach warm or cool with so many single pane windows. They are large too so this compounds the climate control problem. Some people remove the seats and move in...easy, but in the long run it's a bummer.
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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2011, 07:47:08 PM »

Another negative vote on the aluminum deck plate. It will look like crap down the road. Go with the steel and don't try to reinvent the wheel. Aluminum skins will also require special primer which adds to the cost. Folks that have "been there, done that" have spoken. Sometimes cheapest, easiest, and best looking can all be the same. Look at me for example!! Grin Grin
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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2011, 08:14:52 PM »

Scott,

You can always block the insides of windows with some type of good insulation and even cover it over with some type of wall cover. This will preserve the great original look and sure is a lot less work. This allows you to change your mind late on if necessary without a lot of undoing.

What you don't want to do is cover too many windows and make the interior too dark. This is a common failing of most S&S factory designs. My 4104 had a bunch of windows painted black inside when I got it. I got tired of this dark effect and scraped all the black paint off, a real pain of a job, but the results were great. It made the interior much more cheerful.

Not the least of which it sure saves a bunch of outside metal work that may or may not look very good. I've seen some pretty good looking ones but a whole bunch of real messes.

I just wish my 4107 still had all the original windows and hump in front but it was such a good buy I couldn't pass it up.
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2011, 12:21:02 PM »

Out of the box here!!! Make the bay doors to look like drawers, then put a big Craftsman, Kobalt, etc. sign on it. Look like a huge custom tool box!! Would not be another one anywhere!!
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robertglines1
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2011, 01:34:21 PM »

There is no rite or wrong in bus building. Just because I like less windows or more windows or steel or alum it is my choice. I f we all Liked the same things we would be driving identical vehicles married to identical wives etc. everything is a trade off. Just because the big boys use a product doesn't mean it's the only way . If you decide on Alum I would observe to help control waving maybe a good thick helping of insulation and a light color paint to help control quick temp changes.Happy bussing  Bob.
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2011, 01:52:48 PM »

Bob,

I fully agree with you, to each his own. What I am trying to say is that once the metal work is done there is no easy way back if one changes his mind. If only the window interiors are covered it is much easier and just as effective insulation wise.

Also, conversions with original exteriors are rare anymore and some of them need to be saved.

My 4107 looks so much like a S&S that most people don't have a clue it is a bus. On the other hand the 4104 has  a completely original exterior. Guess which one gets the most compliments and comments? Even my own daughter said "the 4104 is much classier" when I drove up to her house in the 4107!

I bought it mostly for the Sheppard power steering, the beautiful condition and the bargain price. The Allison AT was just a bonus but not a necessity. The 4104 power boost steering was killing me after long drives, I'm an old wimp and can't take it anymore!!
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PD4107-152
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2011, 05:01:31 AM »

  Agree on most points, rolling toolbox, etc.. But please, nobody start making a "woody" out of a Bus.
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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2011, 05:10:54 AM »

Too late! Grin
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If you are not living on the edge, then you're takin' up too much space!!!
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« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2011, 05:53:52 AM »

To late Paul a guy around Eugene has a GM 4107 woody actually it is pretty neat I'll see if I can dig some photos up for you


good luck
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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2011, 06:43:04 PM »

If it can be done someone will do it even without PhotoShop!!
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PD4107-152
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2011, 05:43:32 AM »

Gus makes some good points on keeping the original windows in place...I might have considered it if mine were all the same tint (they were all sorts of colors  Undecided) and since we raised the roof 9 inches, that pretty much kills saving the glass. But you're right, it's much darker in here than it is in a fully glassed coach. Btw, FWIW, our coach is a "woody" on the interior....  Smiley
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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2011, 01:32:39 PM »

Many of the windows on my 4104 are different colors and some are cracked, that just gives it personality! There are some small dents and scratches too, but they just add to the character.

After all, this isn't a new S&S and I sure wouldn't want it any other way.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
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