I started the roof seams with the original Polyurethane we used to caulk the floors. I love that stuff. I used my finger to fill the gaps after I placed the bead to give it a big thick layer. I noticed a few screws that may have needed some caulk, so I just did those too. I also brought corroseal with me, just in case there were any rust spots that needed tending to.
I ended up coming back up to the roof after getting more caulk and sealing all of the rusty screws I found as well as other screws where we saw water coming in at from inside of the bus. We had to stand in the bus while it was pouring rain to really see where everything was coming in at, then we sealed it.
Sealing the side seams and anywhere else that appeared to need a fresh coat of caulk was really the task to accomplish here. So, Crab started on one side of the bus with our original Polyurethane choice (the type used for the floor holes) after a quick resupply from HD. I started on the opposite side with a smaller tube of it, and then had to switch to the 2 in 1 polyurethane after I ran out. I call this Frankenstein/ChittyBang because she really looks funky right now. HAHA!
Now we are just waiting for it to rain so we can see how well we did!! We can definitely test it with a hose, but a real hard rain is definitely more realistic. I feel confident we fixed our leak problem!! All we need to do now to finish up our pre-build work is to do a quick clean out and one more coat of rustoleum on the floor to ensure we did not scuff up the paint while working on it.
Next week we will be buying the floor framing boards, insulation, and plywood! I can not wait!!
STAGE 11: Remove Windows/Side Panels & Insulation, Re-Seal and Replace Windows
Part 2-Day 2
The next day I was certain we would not get to complete our project because of the rain. The Universe was looking out for us though because by 3 PM it was clearing up. So, we all got to work on other side of ChittyBang!
We removed the windows successfully! The guys started in on the side panels, while I worked on cleaning and scraping the windows.
The Panels were removed much more smoothly on Day 2 🙂 We got everything smoothed out on the frames, the insulation totally removed, the windows cleaned and scraped…now for the last stretch!
We also put some caulk on the screws/rivots that were on the walls under the windows to make sure no water was coming in from here. Some insulation was wet, so we needed to be sure there was little chance of any more leaks. We are not professional bus renovators, so we do what makes sense to us as we do it. I want ChittyBang as leak proofed as possible 🙂
We are finally done with demo!!!
Now onto foaming, and re-sealing the roof and side seams!!
Check out how we decided to start this whole project:
STAGE 11: Remove Windows/Side Panels & Insulation, Re-Seal and Replace Windows
After much deliberation, we decided that removing the side panels and resealing all of the windows was the best route for us to take instead of starting the floor framing. A few reasons we decided to are:
1. We found some leaks and knew the windows were partly to blame.
2. If there were leaks, how far into the insulation under the panel did it get? Needed to know this answer.
3. We gained a couple of inches by taking them out and replacing it with better insulation and wall paneling, rather than just building over it.
4. We already demo’ed an entire bus, why stop here?
5. Windows are expensive to replace. And we would need a lot of windows. So, resealing seemed wise for us until we can replace some.
6. I needed to know that this bus had no leaks or hidden rust damage. That is just a personal preference.
In Texas (and most of the US), the last few weeks have given out a lot of rain. This prevented us from moving forward in the next step of our project because we had to remove the windows to complete it. Finally, we had a break in the weather one afternoon and some help from our Missouri friend, JB, and his dog, Dex, so we decided to go head first and figure this beast out.
Windows out, screws out…..now how to detach the tops???
We also used the metal brush on a drill (used for removing rust) to remove the left over fiberglass remnants.
We also scraped the old caulk off of the sides of the window frames on the bus to give the new seal its best shot.
Well, I can’t be standing around all day taking pictures so…meanwhile outside of ChittyBang….
The Product Used:
For the next part we had a pretty good system going. Crab was on a step ladder outside with some LocTite 2 in 1, and JB and I were inside re-sealing each window. Then the window was place back into its frame.
Stage 3 of Operation Chitty Bang was finishing up the prior day’s floor demo and tearing out some lights/speakers/panels that run along the top sides of the interior. This was the day we actually removed the heaters (did a little research on skoolie.net for heater help) and looped the coolant hoses under the bus.
We finished the side panel removal where the speakers and lights were. This also exposed the fiberglass insulation that was underneath and under the roof. That project will prove to be a little more difficult than anticipated…
The hoses for the heaters went through a hole between the floor and behind the driver’s seat (something we will need to seal soon!). So we followed the lines under the bus and “looped” them the only way that seemed possible by cutting the hoses much shorter, and reclamping them to the pump they were connected to. I am sure we can take out more of the hoses and maybe even that pump, but that will be a project when we are with our diesel mechanic friend!
We let the bus run for about 20 minutes after we looped it and refilled the coolant to make sure all of the gauges stayed in the green, and no codes came up on the scan gauge reader. This helped us to be sure we did it right:)
Nuts and Bolts, Nuts and Bolts, We Got Lots of Screws!!
Yes, we are totally keeping all of these treasures because you know how it goes on a homestead. You can always re-use it!! Even if it’s broke, you can still try to fix it or use it in some other way. Or you sell it and make some money off of it:)
The day Crab made it back home it was late in the day, but I still could not help myself. We took out 10 bus seats and called it quits for the day. LOL. Some people I have seen do these renovations have had to cut the seats out because the bolts were so rusted, or for preference I guess. Our bolts were easy enough…I had to be under the bus reaching through metal slats, axles, tanks, and other greasy grimey stuff to hold each floor bolt’s washer while Crab unscrewed it from the top with our hand drill. Needless to say, I definitely had the nastiest job. But I did it with pride, and with only one busted knuckle!
We also took the flooring out on one side, starting with the rubber mats, and then the plywood. Surprisingly for a 16 year old bus, the plywood was still in pretty good shape! The other side of the flooring had the heaters on top, which also had hoses of coolant attached to them. We ended up cutting the wrong line to remove the heaters, and antifreeze started pouring out. Mistake #1. No biggie though. We read (after the coolant was emptied lol) that you can loop the heater hose if you want to remove them, which we did. One worked and the other did not, and I Want to find something more energy efficient since our ultimate goal is to use 100% solar power, with a plug in option and an option to charge our house batteries with the bus engine.
Removing the flooring was probably one of the easiest tasks, despite the heaters on one side. All of our boards were in pretty good shape except for a back corner section where some screws rusted and stayed in the floor. We had to grind those down, but that was pretty fast anyway. Well, Day 1 was definitely exhausting, but we got a lot of progress done!