Removing whale fin on W900

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by Hanadarko, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Hanadarko

    Hanadarko Independent Owner/Operator

    Oct 1, 2009
    I appreciate it...with luck..I will get this.
    The grindings are gonna make a mess on the inside, but I have no mattress right now and I might be able to have my wife hold the shop-vac next to the dremel tool. At least cut down on some of the metal dust.
  2. Brickman

    Brickman Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 17, 2006
    I'd use some kind of sealer with the nuts/bolts install. Not just dab some on top, I'd have it incorporated in the process of tightening things down.

    I've been the victim of waking up in the night to a lovely rain storm outside, and a nasty drip of water into my face. Not my idea of fun!
    Hanadarko Thanks this.
  3. walleye

    walleye Road Train Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    Land of Cheese
    It sounds to me like it might be easier and cheaper to just paint the whale tail,...
  4. Hanadarko

    Hanadarko Independent Owner/Operator

    Oct 1, 2009
    Well it's done...fin is off.

  5. Gears

    Gears Trucker Forum STAFF - Gone, But Not Forgotten.

    Aug 20, 2009
    Oh crap.... put it back on!!!!!


    Looks great. How did you wind up taking it off?
  6. jaysolomon

    jaysolomon Light Load Member

    Sep 17, 2010
    Looks good... See it wasn't that hard after all :)
  7. billandlori

    billandlori Medium Load Member

    Looks much better!! Now the wiring.....

  8. The Challenger

    The Challenger Kinghunter

    Dec 22, 2007
    East Central FL
    Looking good JD. Did you find little earthlings in the nest??? J/K. So what kind of ladder did you use???

  9. Hanadarko

    Hanadarko Independent Owner/Operator

    Oct 1, 2009
    It was quite the chore. I used a 16' extension ladder I had to buy Thursday..
    Here is what I did:

    1. Remove all entire sleeper roof headliner, side pieces and back pieces. Removed front sleeper panel (holds the speakers). It all had to be removed to remove the headliner.
    2. Using a Dremel tool, I ground out/removed the 8 huck bolts on the inside of the sleeper roof. What a #### mess.
    3. Got up on the ladder and removed 3 more rivets on each side. The underside huck bolts are NOT visible on those. No way to reach them on the inside. They are in a 'canal' within the fiberglass roof.
    4. Dam fin still didnt come off. Found all of the metal support structure was GLUED down as well. Gently pried each area a little bit until the entire assembly was free and tossed the #!#% thing right off the roof and onto the concrete.
    5. Cleaned up the 8 holes and used plastic pop-rivets (slightly bigger for a snug fit) with a soft rubber washer under. For the rivets on the top I had to grind, I simply reground them flush and used silicone to 'top' them off on each hole, for now.
    6. Vacuumed and used an air gun and got rid of the entire mess inside the cab/sleeper and then reassembled the entire sleeper.

    What next?
    I will have someone professionally install the clearance lights I purchased (matches the cab clearance lights) as you cannot get to many of the mount areas. I suspect huck bolts will be needed here once again. They can then drill as needed and run me the wiring out of each 'canal'. Before taking it somewhere I will gut the sleeper again and then bring it home to finish the wiring and install some Fiberglass insulation behind and above all of these panels. I also plan on finding a body shop to glass/seal/finish the holes I patched. Since I wasn't sure when I would get to this, I put everything back together for the time being.

    No, no birds were in the nest. The nest was rather old it seems and had fallen apart.

    In retrospect, I might have opted to grind off the rivets on the OUTSIDE or just take it in somewhere and let someone else do this. But it all worked out and there isnt any metal dust shavings in the truck. I would have really liked to have the lights installed yesterday but ran out of time and ideas for mounting.
  10. Gears

    Gears Trucker Forum STAFF - Gone, But Not Forgotten.

    Aug 20, 2009
    Wow...that was a pretty involved process. A whole day's worth too. Looks much better. Since you're going to be pulling a flat, I suppose you didn't need the darn thing. Looking forward to the process of putting the lights up there. You'll have to take plenty of pictures of that!

    Good job!
  • Draft saved Draft deleted