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Author Topic: Replacing metal tubing on a Eagle  (Read 2635 times)
Chariotdriver
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« on: July 28, 2008, 09:59:12 PM »

 We got the bus ramped up on some 12x12 timbers and this gives us plenty of room to crawl underneath.
 Front tires and rear drive tires are all on there own 12x12 timbers so we feel pretty safe under there.
 Is there any tricks of the trade in replacing some tubing under neath the bus?
 Ideas that have crossed our minds.
1. Should we make sure that the bus is level before adding tubing to the bottom to prevent it from torquing when driven off?
2. The smaller square tubing under the bus and running lengthwise is in bad need of being replaced.
    We plan on adding some other tubing next to it and then removing afterward.
3. In the front there is some rounding pieces of square tubing that holds the rounded aluminum in place and it need to be replaced. What is the proper way to get the aluminum off considering the rivets and then back on as it looks like these types of rivets are bucked from behind, do I just grind of the fronts to remove and then purchase some to replace?
4. Any reason that we should not use a pressure washer (Hot Water pressure washer) to clean it all off prior to working in the bus? There is quire a bit of oily and greasy mess on lots of pieces down there.
5. Anyone used stainless down there to keep this from happening again?
6. Looks like some of the dividers between the baggage doors need to be cut and replaced down at the bottom. So it looks like it needs to have the aluminum strips and gaskets replaced while I'm at it, any ideas  as where order?
Any other tips would be appreciated.
 Thanks,
 Phil
 
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Phil Webb
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 05:12:25 AM »

There is a great guy that used to frequent these boards that is doing much the same to his Eagle & is doing a fantastic job of documenting it. He even has made a CD to help others out. He has posted a bunch of pictures of his project (along with tons of bus rally pictures) here:

http://community.webshots.com/user/converter101/albums/least-recent

Good luck

Here is another:

http://www.busconverter101.com/

No, I don't get anything from this, except the satisfaction of helping show others where some information is.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 05:22:29 AM by kyle4501 » Logged

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Chariotdriver
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 05:25:43 AM »

 Thanks for sharing,..
 Phil
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Phil Webb
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 05:33:12 AM »

Phil,
I am not an Eagle guy, but as for powerwashers - Have at it!  Stay away from wiring.  As for rivets, you can grind them off or drill them out.  Either way, you want to preserve the original hole.  Harbor freight sells a reasonably priced pnumatic rivet gun.  I do recommend you use the search engine here about what type of rivets to use.  Good Luck!

Glenn
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Glenn Williams
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 05:43:17 AM »

There is a great guy that used to frequent these boards that is doing much the same to his Eagle & is doing a fantastic job of documenting it. He even has made a CD to help others out. He has posted a bunch of pictures of his project (along with tons of bus rally pictures) here:

http://http://community.webshots.com/user/converter101/albums/least-recent

Good luck

Here is another:

http://http://www.busconverter101.com/

No, I don't get anything from this, except the satisfaction of helping show others where some information is.


Anybody know what happened to Gary who originally posted this information? Have not seen him post for quite a while.

Richard
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2008, 05:47:31 AM »

Do a search on the board for Kysteve he has just about replace all of the tubing in his Eagle and doing a fantastic job.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2008, 05:59:40 AM »

Phil they use a special tool to remove the rivets with out damaging the siding  that you can buy from aircraft tool suppliers eBay has them also,use corten steel tubing to replace with , get the bus level and remove some of the weight from the wheels,bay door gaskets can be bought from Norris at Jefferson the aluminium strips are pop riveted on and most of the time clean up nice, you can buy any type rivet from Byler I use the shaved head when working on mine but again you need a shaver .   be careful and remember that the bottom out side rails carry most of the load on a Eagle     good luck.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 12:15:56 PM by luvrbus » Logged
HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2008, 06:23:34 AM »

Do a search on the board for Kysteve he has just about replace all of the tubing in his Eagle and doing a fantastic job.


I second that.  Touch base with Steve.  You can check out his blog and photos on what he is doing with his Eagle rebuild here:

http://ourbusconversion.blogspot.com/
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kyle4501
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2008, 07:11:43 AM »


Anybody know what happened to Gary who originally posted this information? Have not seen him post for quite a while.

Richard

He is still active with his bus & rallies, generally living the good life.  Grin

He got tired of certain posters harassing him, so he left the boards to keep the crap from starting again.  Sad

So sad when one of the good guys gets chased off like that . . . . .
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2008, 07:15:01 AM »

Been there and done that.
The big job is to find a place to stop.  When I did mine, starting in 1986 I didn't know anything except there was lots of bad steel.  The Eagle is built with metric size steel, all I could get was standard sizes.  Had to make it work, not much of a problem.  
All of the advice here is good, lots of luck and keep looking for that stoping place.

Jack
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2008, 08:46:43 AM »

BTW, The more effort you put in at leveling the bus now, the easier things are later.  Cool

With the corrosion you mentioned, the frame may be a little out of square. Find something that should be parallel to the shop floor (bottom of windows?) Then start adding supports as needed to get her level. RailRoad screw jacks are helpfull here. 

Recheck the position often as settling of supports will add to the confusion  Wink
(This is where a laser level comes in handy.  Grin )
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2008, 09:36:30 AM »

 ;)Great questions!  I'll take #1,#4 and #5.  But first my qualifications.  I have a 1988 Neoplan an340 (truss frame like Eagles have) that has been highly modified (re-powered 60 series, raised roof, two 14' slide outs, re-framed main rails, new paint lock galv. skin, etc...
#1)  DEFINATLY level your coach, but not just in 4 places.  When you  cut out members, the strength of the truss design is ruined.  Everything becomes an unstable noodle! I leveled my coach (on a concrete slab with 14x14x14 blocks and shims) at all approved jacking spots for the frame. The roof is leveled, my floor slopes towards the front 2-1/2". Then I purchased 12 adjustable trailer leveling stands (trees).  I placed these at key tubing intersection points spread out under the bays.  Leveling the bus in 4 places was easy, adding twelve more adjustable stands was a cool breeze.  Side note: After I string-lined the floor and roof I found my bus had a pretty good belly in it, I had to gradually tension up on the adjustable stands to remove it. Even after adding all this support I found it necessary to only remove/replace ONE member at a time.  If the member was long (more than two intersection points) I would temporarily span the area just above or below the area and tack weld a temporary member in place .  Then I did my repair, and then removed the temporary member.
#4)  Wash everything you can when ever you can!  It still will be very dirty work.  If you don't clean it, it can be hard to stay motivated on greasy, grimy, rusty, dirty, _____ etc.
#5)  I had all of my tubing hot dipped galvanized (stainless was far to $$$).  I did use (as Neoplan did originally) type 304 SS sheet metal in all of the wheel wells.  Be sure to use Sikaflex 252 to seal ALL lap joints.  That will help with any future rusting.

I hope that helps, Tom
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kysteve
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2008, 12:02:44 PM »

Phil,

     You have gotten a lot of good advise here already.  I will second all, and by all means get Gary Labombard's CD and download all of it.  I reference it allmost daily and believe me I needed all the help I could get.  Gary's the Eagle guru as far as I am concerned.  He will help you to get the right info when he cant answer a ? for you.  Gary and I have become really good Friends building these Eagles and I could not have kept my head above water without him.  His links above are just good starters.  Go into the members area and look up his name and you will find links to his email.  I assure you he is reading all of this as we type.   

    All so look into Pat Bartlett's and Gumpy's site for good info too.

    It would help us all to identify the extent of your rust areas with a couple of photos

    Just fire away any ? and I am sure all of us here will help you get through your repairs.

    If you need anything just PM me or email me at sbg40503@yahoo.com

Thanks for the compliments guys  Wink ..........Ky Steve ............
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2008, 01:38:13 PM »

Depending on how bad your tubing is, you can also consider "double tubing" in the areas that need repair.  My definition of "double tubing" is to add a second tube adjacent to the existing tube.  That way, you don't have to cut the existing tubing out and end up with a bunch of butt welds.  You can weld along the seam of the two pieces of tubing.

I was fortunate that my existing tubing was good enough that the "double tubing" method worked well.  I show that process in a couple of places on my project pages listed in my signature.

In Gary's case, the tubing was so bad that he had no choice but to replace a bunch of it.

MIG welding can be very deceiving.  You can get a good looking weld that has poor penetration.  If you are not proficient at it, work with someone who can help you get good welds.  You can make MIG welds on  some "dirty" metal, but I guarantee that the weld will be inferior.  You must clean up the metal and make sure all oil is removed, as that will add carbon to the weld and make it weaker.

Just some thoughts.

Jim
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 01:40:04 PM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 04:51:35 PM »

Gary and Steve are the Eagle guys when it comes to replacing chassis steel, they both have been through their Eagles, these old buses all rust!  Looking at both sites will give you the trouble spots on Eagles and also give you plently of idea's about correcting them!   
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2008, 06:02:39 PM »

I have always wondered why nobody internally oils the new tubes to prevent new rust. I know some one doing an Eagle and his new tubes are already bleeding rust. What I would do is drill a small hole (one I could rivet shut) and spray fog some rust stop type oil inside each tube after welding. This is common practice on steel tube airplanes. When the tube is welded all of the forming oils are burned off of it.
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2008, 06:04:21 PM »

 Looks like lots of great info here!
 Thanks,
  I bought about 750.00 of mild steel today, yikes!
 The plan is/was ( let me know if there is a problem with this) to put a level across the "long round shafts" that run forward from the rear axle to make sure the bus is level Port to Starboard.
 The we could shoot some lasers at a line of rivets to make sure it is level front to back. Is this okay?
 I guess this leveling is to make sure that when it is brought back down the new tubing is not put in a twist.
 We bought some 2" square tubing to run 4 lengths front to back and have them tie into the same tubing across from side to side. We were going to jack up the metal pieces at the front and the back and tack it in temporarily then place the 4 pieces running front to back and weld them into the front and back pieces.
  Pull it all down and weld the tops and then prime it also.
 We also bought some 4" flat to "go over" the flats that are between the luggage bay areas.
 
 This is the biggest part to accomplish as the other pieces are not that bad.
 There is some previous repairs on the tag axle on the drivers side where someone welded in some gussets to prevent some cracking. The plan was for us to take some 3/16 plate and place it over the entire piece and weld it to try to keep the metal from cracking again.
 Also some other simple fixes.
 My brother and also another guy are some very experienced welders doing work on large boats that catch  those crabs you see on Discovery Channel. 
 We're also using a stick welder as the Mig looks like a no no.
 Any pointers before we plug in the welding machine. 
 
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Phil Webb
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2008, 06:46:58 PM »

Phil they use a special tool to remove the rivets with out damaging the siding  that you can buy from aircraft tool suppliers eBay has them also,use corten steel tubing to replace with , get the bus level and remove some of the weight from the wheels,bay door gaskets can be bought from Norris at Jefferson the aluminium strips are pop riveted on and most of the time clean up nice, you can buy any type rivet from Byler I use the shaved head when working on mine but again you need a shaver .   be careful and remember that the bottom out side rails carry most of the load on a Eagle     good luck.
   I did call Byler today to buy some rivets, but did not know the length to ask for.
 Is there a standard length for the skin?
 
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Phil Webb
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kysteve
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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2008, 07:06:13 PM »

Phil, 

    Pull back on the raines a bit.  The round tubes you speak of?  I am not certain here what you speak of, my guess is you mean the torsalistic tubes or the link that connects the boggie spring to the drive spring.  At any rate there is no way to be sure that they are parallel to the floor of the bus.  Throw the level in the garage as it aint going to do you any good anyway.  The bus wont care if its level or not.  The main thing to be concerned with is that there is absolutly no twist in the bus.  I need a little more info on what you are working on there.  Is this a converted bus, seated, or just a shell?


..........Kentucky Steve........
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 07:07:50 PM by kysteve » Logged
Chariotdriver
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2008, 07:14:00 PM »

Phil, 

    Pull back on the raines a bit.  The round tubes you speak of?  I am not certain here what you speak of, my guess is you mean the torsalistic tubes or the link that connects the boggie spring to the drive spring.  At any rate there is no way to be sure that they are parallel to the floor of the bus.  Throw the level in the garage as it aint going to do you any good anyway.  The bus wont care if its level or not.  The main thing to be concerned with is that there is absolutly no twist in the bus.  I need a little more info on what you are working on there.  Is this a converted bus, seated, or just a shell?


..........Kentucky Steve........
Converted bus, day coach.
   I was trying to make a post correcting that statement as I caught it too late.
 I now realize that the lower axles etc have nothing to do with the floor of the coach being level.
   Could I take some shots with a transit to get the numbers on the lower baggage bay floor at the 4 opposite corners to make sure it is level?
 Any other ideas as to where to compare numbers besides this area?
 
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Phil Webb
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kysteve
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2008, 07:26:32 PM »

Sorry Phil, I am still winding down from working on our Eagle tonight.  Yes use your level.  I suggest a four foot level or better.  Level the bottom of the first cross member (front bulkhead) and Level across the engine cradle at the rear of the bus.  Once these two are level (that is drivers side to passenger side) then you will be sure to have the "twist" out of your frame.  You do not have to level the bus front to rear.  Once you have the Twist outta the bus, then, throw the level in the garage Wink and measure to get parallel points off of the floor or bulkheads.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2008, 07:38:43 PM »

The main purpose of getting it level before you start is that is is easier to put the new parts in the right place to start with. The closer everything is to plumb, level, & square, the easier later tasks will be.

Sort of like building a house, if the foundation isn't right, it is that much harder to get the floors & walls right. & if the walls & floors aren't right . .  .   .

I agree with Steve about the measuring, But if you level it front to rear in addition to sideways, you will be able to use the level as an additional check before the parts are fully welded.   Sometimes I get dyslexic with the tape measure numbers & the extra check helps.  Cool


Mig welding is just as good as any, OR just as bad as any. It all depends on the quality of the work & technique. I use my mig for most everything & haven't had any problems with weld failures.

If you slow down a little & don't burn thru, you ain't welding hot enough!  Grin

The problem is moisture will get sucked inside the tubing eventually . . . . Will it be in 2 years, or 50? ? ? I'd consider spray foaming inside the tubes to keep the air out . . . .
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kysteve
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2008, 07:55:23 PM »

Kyle, 
   
     I forget sometimes that everyone isn't doing a frame repair project that last a couple of years...lol....  I have not worried about leveling front to rear as I am working on asphalt pavement and didn't want to rely on the bus not settling on its ageing wooden blocks.  I have also been spoiled by not having any skin or baffling on the bus and can rely on a good eye across two members to double check myself.  I forget how hard it would be to measure up to the floor to check the bottom of the baggage bay joist through two layers of floor skin and all the other "stuff" in the way.  Wink


  ......Kentucky Steve............
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Chariotdriver
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2008, 08:30:57 PM »

Sorry Phil, I am still winding down from working on our Eagle tonight.  Yes use your level.  I suggest a four foot level or better.  Level the bottom of the first cross member (front bulkhead) and Level across the engine cradle at the rear of the bus.  Once these two are level (that is drivers side to passenger side) then you will be sure to have the "twist" out of your frame.  You do not have to level the bus front to rear.  Once you have the Twist outta the bus, then, throw the level in the garage Wink and measure to get parallel points off of the floor or bulkheads.
So If I level the front lower bulkhead, where all 4 long tubes are welded into, then level the Engine cradle, the baggage compartment flooring will follow and be level also as measured from the four furtherest points in the baggage floor?
 Makes sense to me, hope I understood this correctly.
 Thanks,
 Phil
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Phil Webb
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2008, 08:50:36 PM »

I would suspect that really good welders could use a stick machine.  I am pretty fair, and would not attempt to use stick, since the tubing is fairly thin wall. 

Please don't read into my comments that MIG is bad.  It is VERY GOOD in the hands of someone who KNOWS what they are doing. 

However, MIG beads can look good, but not be worth of hoot.  The real trick is to get the "bacon sizzling" sound, have very clean metal, and know how to look for penetration (a good MIG book will give you some good visual guides).

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
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