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Old 08-31-2009, 08:31 PM   #1
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Bike For The Light Skoolie

I live on the road about 8 months out of the year. i run a non-profit called Bike For The Light. I bicycle across the country and speak to teens about reaching out and making a difference in the world, whether through missions projects or humanitarian efforts. Also speak at a lot of schools to get teens excited to make a difference in their community. In the last cross country tour me and my driver lived for 8 months in a 19' toyota rv. just way too small so i decided to get something bigger. i hate the idea of a big posh rv. just not my style. i saw one of you guys' videos on youtube of your conversion and was sold. i knew its what i was supposed to do.

since we are a non-profit, i dont have much money. so my bus was donated. i know everyone wants diesels but, i wanted gas and a ford engine. i used to have a van with a very similar engine and know how to work on it, so this bus is perfect. so i started my conversion this week. have tons of plans, and plan on laying them out for all of you to see here. i also promise to post as many pics as i can. i know thats what i like to see. haha. here it goes.


so here is my bus. she will get named later. actually gonna have a contest on the website to name her:



she is a pretty bird....well not pretty....but in my eyes she is gorgeous. haha.



bought an air drill from harbor freight today before i started. lots of people think their tools are horrible, but i have had good luck with them. and the $14 i spent on this paid for itself within the first ten minutes.



removed the sheet metal above the windows today. that drill made short work of about 200 screws. just a matter of a few minutes. incredible having that kind of power.



started scraping the rubber runner up the center. was going to remove seats, but really need someone with me. didnt want to stop working, so i went to town on that runner. was a lot easier than i expected. the big scraper was definitely worth the money too.




one of the things i was worried about was where i would do the conversion. finally found a guy that supports my organization. he owns a company that makes gift cards for places like walmart, best buy, and target, among others. he is letting me park the bus in a locked up yard with power and bathrooms as long as i need. even gave me keys to the place. what a blessing.



today i went in and they showed me around as they were making target christmas gift cards. by the way...they showed me a card they are making for best buy for christmas. its a gift card with tiny led's in it on the christmas tree on the front. same thickness as normal cards, no bumps for the lights or the battery. lights will last over a year. incredible. here is some of the target cards they were running today.



after the break in the air conditioning (it is wicked hot here in florida for a conversion), i went back to finish tearing up the rubber runner.



getting the rubber floor runner removed felt great. the best part was how good the floor looked underneath. i had not felt any soft spots anywhere, but still, you never know. i dont have it all up, so who knows, but down the center....i saw only a few small spots of surface rust. nothing that a steel brush and some rustoleum cant handle. if this is what the rest of the floor is like, i am a happy man.



so for day one of the conversion i am happy. got all the sheet metal out from the curve above the windows. got the rubber runner up off the center. and broke loose all the seat bolts. tomorrow i have someone coming to help me finish removing all the seats. im excited. tons more to go.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:11 PM   #2
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

haha...well i gotta finish the bus first.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:05 PM   #3
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

Welcome to the forums & nice bus Johnny!

I met Johnny today, he drove an hour to visit & check out Buster! What a great guy! We spent the better part of 3 hours talking buses & everything related amongst many other things. We will be catching up again on his tour next year when he (hopefully ) visits us in New Mexico. He has alot of unique ideas for his bus that will help everyone here on the board.
Thanks for your helpful input Johnny & we look forward to seeing the progress on your ideas & your bus! Great cause you are involved with...

Jonathan, Dara & Nia
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:33 AM   #4
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

thanks jonathan for the time. had a blast hanging out in buster. cant wait to come out and spend some time off the grid with you guys in nm. beautiful country up there.

i got a ton done on the bus yesterday and today. all the seats are now out.



the one thing i have been more scared of is removing them and the rubber floor. i have just read so many horror stories. im not sure if i am just lucky or blessed, but my seats were really no big deal. had the air drill up top with my dad, and me below with just a open end wrench. went down the line. a few were a little stuck and took 15 or 20 seconds, but other than that it was cake. had all the floor bolts removed and the rail bolts out, and the seats stacked up in storage in under 3 hours. went great.


today i started removing the rubber off the floor. not too bad, spent a couple hours today and got about 3/4 of it gone. floor still looks really great. just a little surface rust, nothing a steel brush and some rustoleum wont take care of. i was gonna ask about removing the floor heater.



i have read about peoples heaters that have coolant lines running down them, and i really didnt feel like dealing with that. but i decided to pull off the shroud around it, and saw that mine was only a air duct leading to the blower. so i pulled it, and cut the power feed to the blower. was a 3 minute job. but i do still have a question. there is a hole where the duct work came out from the box left of the driver. what should i do with that? would a simple piece of wood seal it up fine? or am i gonna have hot air shootin out of everywhere there now? not sure.

i didnt take any more photos, but will tomorrow of the cleaned floor. also, going to pick up a bunch of finished birch ply and some cabinets and counters. all donated. gotta love it. i will post pics of the new goodies tomorrow too.
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

Hey Welcome Johnny, glad you found your way over here. And if you ever feel inclined to take your bus up North (all the way to Northern BC) I'll arrange the church and kids for one of your sessions.
Happy converting and God bless.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

You need to install some headers and daul exhaust on that thing... I have a chevy gas in mine and when I put on the daul exhaust that thing came to life. I don't know yet what it did for milage but I know it helped.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirbystud
You need to install some headers and daul exhaust on that thing... I have a chevy gas in mine and when I put on the daul exhaust that thing came to life. I don't know yet what it did for milage but I know it helped.
haha...would love to do that. all depends on money. cuz i dont have much. trying to do this conversion on the cheap, while still making it as nice as i can. did they really give you that much of a boost in speed? like off the line or top speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG-BIRD
My kinda guy (like lots of pictures).
Where in FL do you live? Good luck with the project, it looks like you are off to a very good start!
i hate looking at conversion threads with no pic's. gotta have pics. most of us on here are guys, and we are visual. haha. i live in lakeland (between orlando and tampa). the project is really going well so far. im trying to power through it pretty fast. hopefully this time next month ill be about done.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:25 PM   #8
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

Dude, nice progress already! Got the "hard" part done (even tho you didn't seem to have to stuggle with it like most when removing the seats). Keep the photos coming. Think you can finish the beast in a month or so?
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:31 PM   #9
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Dude, nice progress already! Got the "hard" part done (even tho you didn't seem to have to stuggle with it like most when removing the seats). Keep the photos coming. Think you can finish the beast in a month or so?
Thanks man....I actually am trying to finish it in a month....at least the interior. Paint may take a bit longer. I mean I am doing an abnormal paint job. Haha. So today was not a work day. Well not exactly a work day. My girlfriend is a pediatric audiologist. She just started working for a new private practice. They did a complete remodel of the office before starting. The ENT doctor that is running the practice gave me all of the leftovers. So today I went over to Tampa and picked up a ton of freebie's. Here was the booty collected:

Some really really nice carpet. A ton of it. Prob enough to do the bus twice. Haha



Some incredible baseboard. All the wood they gave me is pre-stained to match. This stuff is gorgeous.



A ton of birch plywood. This stuff is 3/4 inch finish wood. All pre-stained to match the baseboard. Gonna use it to cover the outsides and tops of the cabinets.



Got a ton of cabinets. 2 full size, and 3 smaller drawer cabinets. Gonna use em for kitchen, entertainment, and a desk.




Got a couple countertops. These were installed, then uninstalled, so I have to clean off some glue and stuff. But hey....its free and quality stuff.



So all in all, today was a great haul. Also picked up a great deadbolt lock for the rear door. Tomorrow I start painting the ceiling I think. Unless something else sticks out that I would rather do. Haha.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Re: Bike For The Light Skoolie

WOW...you weren't kidding when you said you got a great hookup! I could use some of that carpet (hint-hint)... VERY nice score Johnny!
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