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Author Topic: Any suggestions where to get entrance door modified?  (Read 2648 times)
belfert
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« on: November 20, 2006, 12:34:52 PM »

My Dina has an air operated door like a Setra or Van Hool where the whole door glides out instead of being hinged like an MCI/Prevost/GMC/Eagle.  It does not operate properly at this time and is basically a pain for a conversion even if it worked properly.

Does anybody have any ideas of a person or shop reasonably close to Minnesota that could convert the door to a hinged door?  I took the bus to one guy that was recommended and he wasn't real interested in taking it on.  I called another shop locally that does body work and restorations on buses and they wouldn't touch it for liability reasons.

I don't have metal fab skills which is why I need to pay to have this done.  I would probably ask Ross Carlisle and/or Bruce Knee to take a look at it, but I don't have enough time off to drive to Delaware any time soon.

Brian Elfert
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Ace
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006, 12:43:36 PM »

Brian first off, how much you looking to spend? Keep in mind, your asking to change the whole design from one to another! That means fabricating all new hardware, hinges, latches, seals etc.!

I'm not saying it can't be done but, whatever you do, is going to cost mucho due to the time invested not to mention materials needed!

Ace
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belfert
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006, 01:49:07 PM »

Brian first off, how much you looking to spend? Keep in mind, your asking to change the whole design from one to another! That means fabricating all new hardware, hinges, latches, seals etc.!

I am hoping not to spend more than a few thousand if the original door can be used.  If a new door has to be fabricated and the opening reframed, that would be mega bucks.  JD over at C&J Bus repair thought a good bodyman could do it for $1000, but the guy he recommended didn't have any real interest in doing the job.

Ross, BK, and myself (Ross mostly) adjusted the door somewhat at BK's rally, but it is out of adjustment almost as bad again.  I talked to the MCI/Dina service center in Chicago and they said it generally takes two days for them to adjust a Dina door.  I decided not to spend my money on service from them.  My friends and I might be able to eventually get the door adjusted, but I still have a door that is less than ideal for a bus conversion.

Brian Elfert
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David Anderson
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2006, 02:15:06 PM »

Ace is correct.  I priced a fabicated door for my eagle and it was about $1200 sans hinges, seals, and latch.  I ended up doing it myself using the old door halves and it didn't take much material, but it took a whole week to cut and fit, cut and fit.  It was very tedious and slow.   Stainless hinges are available at IBP, but that type system may not work on your Dina.  Call IBP and see if they have any hardware that would make you OEM door change to a swing type, eliminating the closure system you have now.

David
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2006, 03:59:33 PM »

If anyone wants an idea of how the entrance door on a Dina is mounted, it is very similiar to the mechanism on an RTS.  There is a photo of an RTS door on the busnut owner's thread.  I don't have a picture of the door mechanism on my Dina right now.

Brian Elfert
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tekebird
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2006, 05:44:29 PM »

Not understanding....the RTS has spit doors?

I recall someone saying in a previous post that they had a one piece door......ask them....or any of the setra or van hool owners with a one  piece door.




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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2006, 04:16:15 AM »

Not understanding....the RTS has spit doors?

I have a one piece door, but the mechanism that swings out the door on the RTS looks very much like what I have.  My entire door swings out like the RTS instead of being hinged.

Brian Elfert
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tekebird
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2006, 07:29:15 AM »

go to the rts yahoo group and see how those guys do thieir one peice doors.
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Dallas
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2006, 07:39:35 AM »

I'm not sure, and may be totally off the mark but I thuink brian is talking about how the doors act like the doors on a GulfstreamIV aircraft.

As they open the don't swing out, they come out flat and then slide to the sides.

Maybe a better simile would be the sliding side door on a Chevy or GMC van from the 70's and 80's.

Brian,
If I'm wrong, please don't hesitate to tell me... I have a pretty thick skin and can take it.
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TomC
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2006, 07:55:49 AM »

Just a suggestion- I have a transit, so looks were not at the top of my priorities, rather-being usuable.  I used both doors, and each door was a bi-fold typical transit door that I ended up not using.  What I did was to frame in the door with 1x3 ash and from that measurement had RV style foam core doors made.  While they are cheap, they have held up without much adjusting in the 11 years they have been in.  The big draw back is that they don't seal as tight as a pneumatically held bus door would so I do get wind noise at freeway speed.  I like them so much, that if they do wear out, I'll have replacement ones made rather than change the design.  You'd probably not like the look though since my bus has three very slight angles to the side and the door is straight.  But as you can tell, such imperfections don't bother me, compared to some of the other members on the board that just couldn't live with it.  Good Luck, TomC
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belfert
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2006, 08:00:11 AM »

I'm not sure, and may be totally off the mark but I thuink brian is talking about how the doors act like the doors on a GulfstreamIV aircraft.

As they open the don't swing out, they come out flat and then slide to the sides.

Dallas is right.  This is a good description of how they work.  I've talked to MCI/Dina about getting the door back in adjustment and they admit the design is poor and hard to keep in adjustment.  I'm sure the Gulfstream doors work much better.  Besides, you couldn't fly a plane if they door didn't close fully!

Brian Elfert
« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 08:14:10 AM by belfert » Logged
RJ
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2006, 09:19:42 AM »

Brian -

OK, this may sound a little outrageous, but maybe you need to take a jaunt over to your local airport that handles corporate aircraft.  Perhaps an A&P that works on Gulfstreams might be able to help you adjust the door on your Dina.

Just thinkin' a little outside the box. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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Ace
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2006, 11:20:19 AM »

Believe this or not but Prevost at one time issued busses with a door that went outward and then rearward as to slide the side  of the bus! You may want to check with them and see if anything they have will work OR since they had that design, maybe one of their tech guys can help you walk thru the process If you can't get it to a prevost shop!

Ace
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2006, 01:37:08 PM »

Brian,

I just got off the phone with Mark! The reason I hadn't been able to get in touch with him is he's been in Vegas at the big car show of the year for a week! & the dip s***s in his shop never gave him the msg. to call me! Anyway he's gonna come by tomarrow and look my door over somemore and get a renewed idea on what he's gonna have to do (we'll take plenty of pics & measurements just to be sure because the new owner of mine will be here Friday to pick it up!) & then I'll have him get in touch with you, with an estimate! We both agree that his estimate will be somewhat higher than what he realisticly thinks it will cost! But we both believe in making our customers happy by it costing NO MORE THAN QUOTED! We'd rather you be prepared to pay X amount and it either be X amount or lower when you come to pick it up, than to have you show up and start ho huming around about well this and that and well uh let's see it'll be X x 2 amount because of such-an-such! BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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belfert
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2006, 01:53:16 PM »

I really don't want to keep the current door mechanism if at all possible.  Yes, maybe I can get adjusted to work (for a while), but it is not ideal for RV use.  It requires the bus electrical to be on and there be more than 80 PSI of air in the system to operate.  Yes, I could rewire the selenoid to use the house batteries, but I still need a source of air.

I didn't realize how much of a problem the entrance door was going to be when I bought this particular bus.  I really, really like the torsion suspension and I'm not sure I would want a bus with air bags. 

Brian Elfert
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2006, 02:03:56 PM »

I really don't want to keep the current door mechanism if at all possible.  Yes, maybe I can get adjusted to work (for a while), but it is not ideal for RV use.  It requires the bus electrical to be on and there be more than 80 PSI of air in the system to operate.  Yes, I could rewire the selenoid to use the house batteries, but I still need a source of air.

I didn't realize how much of a problem the entrance door was going to be when I bought this particular bus.  I really, really like the torsion suspension and I'm not sure I would want a bus with air bags. 

Brian Elfert

Brian, Mark is planing to make it a hinged set up, but with a curved hinge assembly simular to what my door has and just make it simply swing out instead of all the little up/down and forward and back stuff! And also it would be operated manually! It's the best way he's figured out how to do it with out tearing it all out and building a new door and frame! Which he says he can do if that's what ya want, he's just trying to save ya $! He said shoot if ya wanna throw $ at it and make it super cool he can make it an automated tri-fold gull wing door! (tri-fold so you don't smack the $#!% out of everything that parks next to ya!) BK  Grin

PS. He said to tell ya he can do what ever it is you want, just how much $ do ya wanna spend? LOL ! He's just kidd'n, but at the same time he's serious too! There is nothing this ol' boy can't do giv'n the time and materials, and compensation when done! Like I said he's wanting to do a swing out style hinge simular to what we already have, but instead of the tie rod style connection at the door itself make it solid where the door swings out 90* instead of swing out and slide! Give us a little time to work it out! If needed we'll go borrow one of Bobby's Dina's for him to use for designing his set up! BK  Grin
« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 02:10:32 PM by Busted Knuckle » Logged

Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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Len Silva
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2006, 02:38:53 PM »

If I were designing a new door from scratch, I'd also try to make it easilly removable so as to have maximum entry room for furniture and appliances.  Just a thought FWIW.
Len
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captain ron
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2006, 02:49:05 PM »

Brian for all the money you have in that bus and all the money your still going to have to spend to finish it I believe I would  get the door adjusted properly and then use an auxilary onboard small compressor that you can buy for about $100 so you can air up every thing without even starting the bus. after looking at your door at BK's I believe you could get it working at a fractoin of the cost of modifying it. JMHO Captain Ron Grin
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TVDAD
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2006, 03:08:15 PM »

Two months ago in MAC mag the centerfold is a Neoplan the same or simular door. I notoice that he had hinged his I have yet to contact him if we can find him to  find out how he did it I believe we will be the winner.( I have a Neoplan Cityliner and am tying to the same)
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2006, 03:39:10 PM »

Beat me to the punch.

Was Miss August, 1992 Neoplan Cityliner. He used a piano hinge on the lower half of the door. I am looking at trying the same on both doors of my '91 Cityliner.
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2006, 03:51:23 PM »

TVDAD,
What year? Where are you? Any photos?

Neoplan owners (well one anyway) everywhere want to know. Grin

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belfert
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2006, 04:06:11 PM »

Beat me to the punch.

Was Miss August, 1992 Neoplan Cityliner. He used a piano hinge on the lower half of the door. I am looking at trying the same on both doors of my '91 Cityliner.

My Dina angles in slightly at the bottom of the windows.  Thus, the door is not flat.  It would be real easy to throw on a piano hinge if the door was flat.

I've only seen one Neoplan up close and I don't recall if the sides are perfectly straight or not.

Brian Elfert
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belfert
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2006, 04:11:29 PM »

PS. He said to tell ya he can do what ever it is you want, just how much $ do ya wanna spend? LOL ! He's just kidd'n, but at the same time he's serious too! There is nothing this ol' boy can't do giv'n the time and materials, and compensation when done! Like I said he's wanting to do a swing out style hinge simular to what we already have, but instead of the tie rod style connection at the door itself make it solid where the door swings out 90* instead of swing out and slide! Give us a little time to work it out! If needed we'll go borrow one of Bobby's Dina's for him to use for designing his set up! BK  Grin

I would really like to use the existing door if possible to save on $.  I know a new fabricated door would not be cheap.

I was going to suggest that Mark look at one of Bobby's Dinas, but you covered that.  If I find someone locally, I will try to get this done now.  If I have to travel, I'll probably wait until spring.

Brian Ekfert
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Ross
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« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2006, 06:23:58 PM »

Brian...Using the original door may not save you any money.  There's not really enough door around the glass to attach a hinge.  Making a new door may be less time consuming than trying to build a hinge system for your existing door.  You would have to hinge it below the window which means an elaborate latch system to pull in the top of the door when closed since there won't be any hinge there.

The reason the door is going out of adjustment is because the actuator arms are slipping on the motor shaft.  You need to get it adusted then drill and pin those actuator arms so they can't slip.  Properly adjusted, your door will work fine.  You could also just convert the air motor to electric.  There are a couple of ways that could be done.

Ross
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2006, 06:56:34 AM »

Brian...Using the original door may not save you any money.  There's not really enough door around the glass to attach a hinge.  Making a new door may be less time consuming than trying to build a hinge system for your existing door.  You would have to hinge it below the window which means an elaborate latch system to pull in the top of the door when closed since there won't be any hinge there. Ross

Ross you've hit the nail on the head which is exactly why Mark coudn't use the hnges he had ! Not enough area, and also the door is built so flimsy it wouldn't have enough strength. Mark said he thinks it would probably be easier & cheaper to start over since the existing door is built to be light weight and has the wedge lock/latches which hold it closed tightly when closed. Like you also pointed out by the time he modified it to where it would close tight at the top, and hinge also he probably could start from scratch and do a better job cheaper! BK  Grin
PS. He said the name of his shop ain't Burger King, but he'll still do it your way if that's what ya want ! As long as he gets paid in the end, he'll do it your way somebody elses way or the right way ( LOL supposedly his way).
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
Ace
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2006, 08:39:31 AM »

Something to consider when thinking about keeping the top of the door latched is a vertical pin that comes out of the top of the door and into the door frame. My H3 is that way and I'm sure it could be done similar. It could be made where as the side latch closes it pushes the pin upward at the same time and holds the upper part of the door closed tightly. Mine is air/electric but probably could be adapted to be manual and work the same way!

Ace
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belfert
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2006, 08:52:52 AM »

I want to get this done right, which may mean a new door.  The estimates for a new door from places I've been so far are $5,000 and up.

It looks like I will be fixing the current door and mechanism instead of getting a new door made.  A trip to Chicago to the MCI service center might be in my future although I really don't want to spend another dime on the current door and mechanism.  The first thing I will need to do is rebuild the air motor that moves the door in/out as the seals are shot.

MCI/Dina readily admit the door design is bad.  The F3500 that is also a Dina design used a smaller door to reduce problems.  I'm hoping if I can get the door adjusted to work just once that it will be easier to keep adjusted.  The door has never work as long as I've had the bus.

Brian Elfert
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