“A grinder and paint make me the welder I ain’t.”
The bus technically doesn’t have a passenger side sill plate. Way back when I first got the bus, you saw me [badly] weld a driver’s side outer sill on. I still have the inner sill to go on the driver’s side, but welding upside-down sucks so much that I’ve put it off. The bus clearly sat on the wet ground for awhile with no axles in place, because the only rust on the bus is right where it would have contacted the dirt. Rest of the body? Solid. Bottom 2-4 inches (in places)? Holy shit. Time to continue fixing that.
The sliding door seal is a square piece of rubber, that goes in four channels around the door opening. The bottom channel is actually a part of the sill plate, which had been MIA since I bought the thing:
That front jacking point isn’t looking too hot, either:
(I’ll have to fix that later, when money eventually pokes its head again. Maybe next tax season?)
The PO (previous owner) had already started on the passenger side. This is the piece near the rear passenger wheel. It looks riveted on, which scares me a bit, but nothing I can do about it right now.
Time to break out my freshly-purchased KLOKKERHOLM BAGSKAERM / KARROSSERISIDE, SIDEPLADE HOJKE!
Or, simply, RIGHT ROCKER PANEL, BUS
Now, the outer rocker panel, that holds the door seal and is the part that you see, is one solid piece. I only had to trim the end length a bit. The inner rocker panel, however, has to be trimmed and cut around where the frame rails intersect it. They sell pre-trimmed inner rocker pieces, but they generally cost more, and are difficult to find sometimes. Only the driver’s side was available trimmed when I purchased this metal, so I used it as a kind of “mirrored template” for the passenger side piece, and cut the corresponding holes out of the passenger side with an angle grinder. In this pictures, you can see both the inner (notched) and outer (smaller, straight) rocker pieces.
After a lot of fettling and bending and hammering, I have the outer one mocked up in place with a few sets of vice grips.
Okay, there’s about 2-3 hours missing here. I’ll describe what I did: I tacked the outer rocker panel on, hammered it into place a bit more, cut away some/most of the rotted inner rocker panel, test-fit and trimmed the inner panel some more (this was about a full hour of it), tacked the inner panel in place, and then finally spent about 45 minutes just tacking the pieces together with my shitty buzzbox welder and nonexistent welder skills. Somewhere in the middle, I broke an LED light bulb in my work light, and got UV-burns on my arms.
I think I’m going to need about 2…gallons of seam sealer. Prepare your souls for what you’re about to see.
Welders are magic. They allow me, a random average Joe off of the street, to transform metal, electricity, and time into a complete scrapheap, effortlessly. What a time to be alive!
Oh and then the sun fell and I finally fit the door seal, the whole reason for today’s adventure. But whatever.
The side door seal I fit today is a genuine German-made seal, that cost around $60-70. The seals I fit on the doors last weekend were aftermarket Brazilian door seals, which were $50 for the set of 2.
Buy the genuine German stuff. Sometimes — and I hate to say this — but the German-worshipping greybeards on TheSamba are right. Like a broken clock, but sometimes yes.