Author Topic: roof raising  (Read 7570 times)

Offline 82 MCI-9

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
roof raising
« on: June 06, 2006, 09:13:44 PM »
Getting ready to lift the roof on my bus 18"  on sunday anybody have any words of wisdom? If you have down this in the past.

Offline boogiethecat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 635
    • HeartMagic
Re: roof raising
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2006, 09:51:26 PM »
Don't know how your bus is constructed.  I just raised my Bluebird this weekend, and it worked the same as my Crown that I raised a few years back.
Most important, level the bus first!!!  :)

Roof raising thing is actually one of the easiest parts of converting a bus, at least that's been my experience.  Getting over the sphincter factor the first time is the hardest part.  Especially because of the way I do mine... I whack the rails between the windows at the halfway point, all except the front two and the back two. Then I  C-clamp a 24 inch piece of 1x1 thick walled tubing into the  (now cut) two supports just behind the front two, and the two just forward of the rear two.
Once those are C clamped above and below the cuts I cut the last 4 posts.  Now the roof is still pretty stable.  But then  I start jacking it up a few inches on the right front, then the left front, then the rears etc. by loosening a C clamp and jacking it up with a hydraulic cylinder or a bumper jack with an extension welded to it.  Working around and around a few inches at a time, eventually the entire roof is a foot up, supported only by those four whimpy little 1x1's and eight C clamps.  At that point I have to admit it's a bit spooky... you just wiggle the bus a tiny bit and that few thousand pound roof does the hula for you.  But as soon as it's up all the way I start welding more structural tubing into all the rest of the supports and pretty soon it's drivable again.  It all happens in about 30 minutes.
This time was fun 'cause I had a welding buddy show up and another friend too... he did the clamps, the welding buddy welded and I ran the hydraulic ram.  Made it a cinch!!!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2006, 09:54:14 PM by boogiethecat »
1962 Crown
San Diego, Ca

Offline bruceknee

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
Re: roof raising
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2006, 02:46:01 AM »
I agree with Gary. It was  easy to raise the roof. Just do it carefully.

Offline JackConrad

  • Orange Blossom Special II
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4448
  • 73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida
Re: roof raising
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2006, 03:57:52 AM »
18" seems like a big lift. Most of the raises I have seen range from 6 to 10 inches. What will your overall height be (including roof AC, Sat. antenna, ect.)?. I saw one MC-9 with a 12" raise. From the rear it looked out of proportion. We raised our MC-8  8".  I have a 102A3 at my place that had a 6" raise (so that 4' wide metal would work to skin where the windows were). Easier to check all aspects before cutting the roof loose.  As mentioned, securely block up the bus before cutting the roof loose.  Jack
Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
Arcadia, Florida, When we are home
http://s682.photobucket.com/albums/vv186/OBS-JC/

Offline FloridaCliff

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2459
  • "The Mighty GMC"
Re: roof raising
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2006, 06:54:13 AM »
Block the bus level

Use a plumb bob and set two control points at the front and rear.
 
This way you can make sure that everything is as lined up as it was when you started.

Jacks point on height and material cannot be overstated.

I had to buy 5' sheets to cover my sides as I needed 50" to do the job. 

They are very proud of special order metal.

There are alot of methods to raise it, I used 3/4 threaded rods that fed through some L brackets tacked to four frame pieces.

Raised it up in less than 30 minutes by myself.

Have Fun! ;D

Cliff



« Last Edit: June 07, 2006, 08:48:44 AM by FloridaCracker »
1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain

Offline boogiethecat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 635
    • HeartMagic
Re: roof raising
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 09:44:24 AM »
Here's some photos of my Bluebird roof raise two days ago.
The last photo is of the jack... simply a hydraulic cylinder with
a 2x2 tube bolted to it for extension, and a manual pump

For this bus I used four pieces of 1-1/4 heavy wall tubing held in with C clamps during the raise,
then welded in the same material to all the struts when the roof was up.
TOO MANY RIVETS! Yuck






1962 Crown
San Diego, Ca

Offline Nick Badame Refrig/ACC

  • 1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4968
  • Nick & Michelle Badame
    • Nick Badame Refrigeration LLC
Re: roof raising
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2006, 12:12:19 PM »
Hello 86 Orion,

I agree with the others. 18" seems very high, But I'm sure you have carefully thought it out.

If your 18" raise is what works than, my only additional advice is increase the size of your windows to coincide with the higher walls!

This way it will look like your roof was made that tall from the factory. I think large walls and small windows don't make sence!

Hope this helps-
Nick-

Whatever it takes!-GITIT DONE! 
Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
Master Mason- Cannon Lodge #104
https://www.facebook.com/atlanticcustomcoach
www.atlanticcustomcoach.com

Offline FloridaCliff

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2459
  • "The Mighty GMC"
Re: roof raising
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2006, 12:48:41 PM »
Nicks comment reminded me of something.

Put your windows up as high as possible.

The factory windows were made for great viewing while sitting (They are down lower) , but you want to be able to look out

when your standing too without having to bend down. (Credit to Fred Hobe)

Check out a couple buses without a roof raise and you will see what I mean.

Cliff

1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain

Offline coachcrazy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 57
Re: roof raising
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2006, 01:22:06 PM »
if 18" is what you want go for it. Just to share my own .02, as i  have been looking at as many pictures of converted coaches trying to get idea's for my own future project.  I see many buses with what i think is raises that are just too tall and make the bus look extremely awkward.  If you look at some of the buses in the pics from the businusa convention i think youll see what i mean but in the end it all comes down to "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

Jeff

Offline DrivingMissLazy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2634
Re: roof raising
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2006, 02:08:39 PM »
I have to disagree with Cliff because I have BTDT.

I did not do the conversion on DML but one of the biggest gripes my wife had was the placement of the windows. I guess it really matters whether you are going to spend your time standing or sitting. We preferred to sit while relaxing, watching TV, reading, eating or anything else that did not require standing.  

While seated, neither my wife or I could see out the windows to the picnic table area or anything remotely close to the coach. We did have a great view of the tree tops and clouds however. Even while driving, nobody could look out the side windows at the passing scenery. They could only see out front thru the windshield. The windows were just too dang high to see out of.

We did have big Penninsula windows, but they should have been 8 inches lower. In other words the 8 inch lift should have been done above the windows, not below.

Richard

Nicks comment reminded me of something.

Put your windows up as high as possible.

The factory windows were made for great viewing while sitting (They are down lower) , but you want to be able to look out

when your standing too without having to bend down. (Credit to Fred Hobe)

Check out a couple buses without a roof raise and you will see what I mean.

Cliff


« Last Edit: June 07, 2006, 02:11:33 PM by Driving MissLazy »
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride

Offline FloridaCliff

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2459
  • "The Mighty GMC"
Re: roof raising
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2006, 04:14:26 PM »
Richard,

I think you have misunderstood my reply.

"The factory windows were made for great viewing while sitting (They are down lower) , but you want to be able to look out

when your standing too without having to bend down. (Credit to Fred Hobe)"


I want too be able to do both, sitting or standing. And I can. ;D



Cliff




1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain

Offline DrivingMissLazy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2634
Re: roof raising
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2006, 05:05:34 PM »
Cliff,
OK, I understand. I think the key words here are Factory Windows. . I do not know how big they were, but the replacements were not tall enough to see out of down at the edge of the awning area. In fact the awning was a problem because all you could see was the awning if it was up. I would strongly recommend that someone contemplating a window change or re-location that they take a lawn char inside the coach and sit down and then decide where the bottom of the window should be. Based on my experience, I would rather be able to see out sitting down, even if it restricted my view while standing. Course, as an old man I would rather be sitting than standing. LOL
Richard

Richard,

I think you have misunderstood my reply.

"The factory windows were made for great viewing while sitting (They are down lower) , but you want to be able to look out

when your standing too without having to bend down. (Credit to Fred Hobe)"


I want too be able to do both, sitting or standing. And I can. ;D



Cliff





Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride

Offline 82 MCI-9

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
Re: roof raising
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2006, 05:28:38 PM »
I havent had time to read every ones reply but this is a 86 orion transit bus low floor. Iam only at about 10 feet  right now so it wont even hit the height of a mci. Iam going this height to raise the floor and to have a little bit more head room. hieght right now it is 6'4". I'll get back on latter to discuss more. Thanks to all of you for your oppinoins it is greatly apperciated.