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Old 04-05-2018, 12:41 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
Alternatives to sheetmetal under floor.

We are lowering the center aisle floor in our shuttle. I have welded in new framing and am ready to cover it. The initial thought was to use sheetmetal, then foam board and then plywood. I am wondering about using any alternatives to the sheet metal - like FRP panels. If the function is primarily protection from the elements, and not structural, can other sheets/panels work? The aisle is 34" across and 10' overall length. I priced out a piece of 36"x10' 16 ga sheetmetal at $174. Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:30 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 1,397
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Great job, I think you are the first who actually did this. Can you post some more pictures. I have a similar thing in mind with our econoline bus. I am going to keep the original aluminum floor and drop it down. Remove the plywood an drop in 1 to 1/1/2" foam.
It looks like your floor beams are very substantial.

looking forward to more,
good luck,

later J
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:24 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
Here are a few more photos from the floor drop. We are dropping the floor from the side door entry and down the center aisle. We are gaining 5" of headroom. The framing that I used for structure is 3" C- channel, 1/4" wall thickness. I welded in the new pieces before cutting out the original rectangular (3"x1.5") frame across the aisle.
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:16 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 1,397
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
excellent. thank you, So your bus had already a high floor and no wheel wells inside. Would it not been pretty easy to drop the whole floor and make wheel wells?
I am also curious how your body is attached to your frame. It looks like a 1/2' steel plate / angle that lays on top of the original frame?
Our big bus Dory has wood floors. Not sure but I assume marine grade plywood with coatings.
I like this a lot more then raising the roof.

Thanks J
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:40 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
Correct that the bus already had a high floor with no wheelwells. It had an underfloor wheelchair lift, that fit within two channels above the shuttle frame.

In order for me to drop the entire floor I would have needed to cut every framing member where they are welded to the outside wall channel. As well as remove the (2) 4" risers under each frame crossmember.

The entire shuttle frame rests/welded on (2) 5" wide C channels above the truck frame. They are attached to the truck frame with long bolts and have 4" diameter body bushings between the truck frame and the shuttle frame.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:05 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
Well I just spoke to a neighbor that works at an HVAC shop. I am going to get a sheet of galvanized sheet metal from them. It is a thinner gauge (24), but that shouldn't matter under the floor. They said that I can use their metal bender/brake also, which should be helpful.
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