Bus work

MP&C

Member
Well I thought we were done spraying yellow paint when the welding cart was complete, but I guess it's been long overdue. It's been quite a while that we've seen any bus repairs, but one got the side skirt panel mangled up enough that the county's transportation dept took it out of service. It was raining so I didn't get pictures of the bus today, so I'll have to get that in a few days.

Picked up some stainless #12 screws and Kyle media blasted the heads for adhesion for paint...


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SPI Epoxy primer mixed as sealer...


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Some BASF Urethane applied...


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The rub strip at the bottom of the skirt panel was pretty mangled as well, the new comes in a stock 10' length, so it will need to be cut to size and drilled prior to black paint. We also have a brace behind the skirt that was pushed back a ways, it will need to be pulled out and re-welded. More to come...
 

MP&C

Member
Now for the rub strip.. It was cut to size and holes drilled per the original. (had to straighten it a bit to transfer the holes) Here's the SPI epoxy:


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....and the black urethane..


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Should get all the parts put back together tomorrow, all ready for inspection..
 

mitch_04

Learnin'
Not gonna lie, I did not expect you to do this kind of work. Doesn't exactly line up with the other things you've shown us! Is this the kind of work that affords you to build the "fun cars"?
 

MP&C

Member
Actually the buses belong to a buddy of mine, and he got me started working on them when the "incidents" started taking out the luggage compartment doors. It typically would peel away at the outer flange of the luggage compartment which would require a bit of fabrication work.. Here's one from 3-1/2 years ago where someone ran into the side of the bus. Guess it wasn't bright enough to see... It peeled back the front flange of two of the storage compartments. We typically cut out the old and make a new flange. Adding one on top would tighten up the door gap and risk paint rubbing, so this has been the "fix" to repair such blunders...... We typically have averaged about two buses a year, but they've been doing pretty good lately, it's been a good year since we've seen any. With about 20 buses in his fleet, they have been doing real good!


The next bus showed up tonight. The insurance company finally accepted responsibility for their insured (who ran directly into the side of a BIG YELLOW BUS) so we are finally OK to fix it. .....after 3-1/2 weeks. And I get people asking me why I don't do insurance work....:rolleyes:

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With a booth only large enough for a car, the trick is to make all the repair pieces so they can be bolted or riveted on. The front flanges of the luggage boxes seen above will be cut out to the inside bend, and a repair piece made to replace it. This will allow us to keep the original door gaps, instead of covering the damaged piece altogether and having the gaps tighten.

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The area where the name is located was left rather wavy, and since that panel goes all the way up to and under the windows, we will cut it behind the rub strip just above and make a replacement for the lower section only.

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Where we left off in the disassembly this evening, more disecting tomorrow...

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Parts painted Friday afternoon....

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Re-assembly Saturday night/Sunday morning....

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All ready for school tomorrow....
 

MP&C

Member
These big yellow vehicles must be hard to see...


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Here's what we had to contend with on the bus. Some can opener effect going on....


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After cutting some of the mangled mess out of the way.........


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......we saw that the bottom structural member was not going to cooperate. The horizontal section behind the weld tear at the top used to be vertical... So to save some time, we'll cut this out and make a replacement. This is 16 ga, and is there to keep vehicles out of the passenger compartment. It did it's job, so let's put in a new one to restore the integrity..


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Here the bottom flange is pushed in over an inch..


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Here's the replacement we made up..


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Comparison....


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All trimmed, we'll get the replacement panel formed and fitted Tuesday..


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Spare parts...


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MP&C

Member
Well our bus side panel is just shy of 8' long and about 24" wide. We did a light pass on the wheeling machine just enough to break the grain, figured it would have less chance of waves that way... We found out real quick that 8' is a bit long, so some 1x2's were pony-clamped under the outside edges to provide a bit of support. We tried to make a pass through the bead roller for the stepped flange at the bottom, with less than stellar results, a bit wavy up and down. Good thing we had the other half of the sheet. More wheeling, and used the offset / step dies in the Lennox Tru-Edge.


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Given our challenges with the long panels, we had to call in reinforcements. Regardless of the late hour that Scott's attire suggests, it was only 8 at night!


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Linear slides really came in handy, nice straight detail this go round..


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Comparing the bend relief above the rear bumper ear...


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welding of the lower structural member on the bus repair...


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.....and underneath it is tied to the floor cross members


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Added the frame around the fuel door, this helps prevent the side panel from flopping around as the fuel door is pushed closed..


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Next we'll get all the holes pre-drilled for the skirting and start prepping for paint..
 

MP&C

Member
The braces for behind the lower skirt were mangled pretty well, had to untwist the pretzels to get accurate measurements..


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Getting all the holes prepped...


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Welding in the new braces..


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All the pieces of the puzzle... Well, almost..


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only one more piece to make for the bus, we need a cap to join together two pieces of rub rail....


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Bent up some 18 ga on the Baileigh magnetic brake...


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Then for the highly technical stuff, bent the rest using vise grips to clamp it in place and a dead blow to incrementally tap the ears around...


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Continued to use the hammer to tap it around, then tightened up the radius on this die/post dolly


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We'll get some paint on the bus parts tomorrow..
 

MP&C

Member
Got some paint on the bus parts ....


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For the hardware, we media blast the heads and then paint directly with the urethane. Found that too much build (primer plus paint) and the topcoat seems to chip during install. With no primer, the abraded surface helps out TREMENDOUSLY.


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While spraying parts, I made a couple trips over to the bus location with the spray gun... in between coats, to get some primer on the bare steel we put in... SPI epoxy on the structural components..


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.....and some epoxy AND yellow added to the nice scraped up lower corner..


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Coming together...


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Rivets were media blasted and urethane only, just like the screws. This shows how well the paint holds up to the installation "abuse"...


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Done!


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