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Old 05-19-2016, 07:33 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by New2Skool View Post
I did not know that, thank you.
I did that group rate with my old department.
I bought a 2011 Crown Vic in 2010 made to suit.
Thought I was cool stuff, little did I know 2011 was the last production year before Ford switched to the "Mini" Taurus and "Dora" Explorer.

On a side note, Ford really threw in the towel in the Interceptor market when they discounted the Vics. Dodge upped the pressure with the Charger and Ford buckled. Rather than redesigning a new interceptor they wimped out.

The entire concept behind abandoning the Crown Vic was mileage based.
Trust me when I say, these Departments don't care about mileage.
It is performance based and a good portion of our fuel is burned idling.
If your Vic idled for 45 minutes or longer it would start farting water from the exhaust and as soon as you jumped in and took off to a call there would be a spray of water on the ground.

Sorry, I will have to talk to a fleet manager and see what I can do.
You would think some of the manufacturers would be willing to pump out a few partially completely buses every year.
These seems to be a limited market for new blank buses.
I would paid the extra for a brand new blank shell.

Services around here are limited being Northern Minnesota.
A lot of backyard mechanics and very specialized shops.
It is not an ideal area to buy or convert local buses given the massive amount of salt added to the roads every winter.

Thank you for the info.
I will look into all of it.

wow thats too wild.. it was a crown vic that I did such with... it turned out that when you ordered a car from a fleet catalog instead of the consumer showroom you could choose ANY and every option individually.. Loved it.. so I could buy a crown vic police interceptor and then add the bells and whistles to it without all the constraints of "packages".. I also got that car for way below what I couldve bought it at a dealer... granted our company (who paired with a municipality as a group).. typically bought 50-100 E-350s a year.. so ford took care of us..

as for the b ottom of the bus.. what I plan to do is simply remove the loosest rust, clean and then POR-15 it.. POR-15's nsame is 'Paint Over Rust'.. I have used it on classic car builds i did in the past.. and while not perfect it sure helped things out.

-Christopher
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:11 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by New2Skool View Post
How do I pre treat the undercarriage?

I called around when, I first got my bus to check into sand blasting.
Of the four semi local blasters, they all offered to sell me their equipment rather than pricing out the job.

Would I be better off flopping on my back with a grinder and doing what I can by hand or using a chemical treatment on the rust?

The rhino liner spray sounds easier, especially if I will be the one applying it.

One thought I had was to treat the undercarriage and then mount protectant sheet metal panels between the roadway / tires and the actual undercarriage.

Is that a good idea or excessive?
I've never been big on blasting. I've been prepping my chassis here and there by hand. Got about 1/4 of it done. Not too bad really.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:19 AM   #53
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I would just pressure wash it, spray a converter on it, wait a few days for it to cure, then spray undercoating on it with a spray gun. I think sheet metal would be over kill unless you are going to install something that needs protecting from road debris.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:26 AM   #54
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sheet metal might even trap moisture between the ribs and the floor and make things worse since the bus would have a tough time drying out...
-Christopher
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:40 AM   #55
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Good catch, I didn't even think about that point!
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:11 PM   #56
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That is a good idea Doc.
There is a heavy duty gas powered washer, I could use at work.
The washer is surprisingly powerful, lesson learned last year when I was helping the maintenance guys wash building and I blew the handicap markings off the pavement from 7 feet away.

The sheet metal idea does seem over board now, thank you gents.
I do plan to put a new sheet metal lining on the rear wheel wells since they are horrible.
I started doing rust removal and ended up cutting an entire section of wheel well and interior wall out.
The worst part is the level of rust on the exterior wall facing the interior.

I talked to a guy in the auto parts store who converted an old streamline trailer into a mobile bed and breakfast for rent. He sprayed a rust dissolver on the rusted areas after doing his best to remove the heavy stuff by hand. He attached a scrapper to the end of a pole and slide it down between layers and went to work.

He said it worked well overall, followed with a encap and he closed it up and started working on the rest.

I am excited, I bought a mini can of Bondo today to fill the several small holes in the hood section where the bus buddy mirrors and brackets were installed. It will be my first time using a body filler and it is an easy location to start. Chest level and hip level, if it doesn't work out, I have a back up plan in mind. Cover the entire sloped hood section with diamond plate.

I am concerned with cutting out floor sections for replacement. I will start in the very back for practice and make my mistakes from there. Then proceed forward.

Thanks for the help.
If I am doing anything wrong or if you have suggestions please feel free to tell me.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:31 PM   #57
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make sure it isn't chrome diamond plate. That reflection of the sun would suck! We had to wear special goggles on the flight deck of the Enterprise because we had sun above us AND sun below us!
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:37 PM   #58
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theres a reason they painted school bus hoods black in some areas..

but I must ask.. how come so many people here take off the school mirrors from their hood? I find they make things nice and easy when driving..
-Christopher
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:54 PM   #59
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Question The Big E

That is crazy cool Doc.
Yes, it would be checked or painted for appearance.

Caddy,
I liked the mirrors but once, I removed them the entire feel or attitude of the bus changed. That being said, I miss them for parking and overall visibility. I have been restoring one of the primary mirrors to remount on the drivers side since that is the only mirror required in my state. I am going to move it from four feet forward and two feet out and mount it directly to the body in front of the drivers side window.

With the bus buddy mirrors, mine mount to a 3/4ths tube. I removed the mirrors themselves, and ripped down the mounts. I will change the location and mounting bracket and reinstall at least one in the front bumper area but less three feet in your face location. The second, I turned vertically and am planning to mount it to the passenger side near the door.

Ok, now this is a serious concern.
The inside face of most of the exterior body panels are badly rusted.
The further I inspect the more I find, deeper and heavier.
I am now considering replacing the entire exterior body panels.
The panels behind the outside ribs are pretty much gone.
The bottoms are crumbling.
I have a rust bucket.
Detach the horizontal ribs, drill the rivets, pull off the exterior panels and replace with fresh sheets.

Has anyone done this before?
I Any suggestions or ideas?
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:16 PM   #60
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I think Nat did some pretty invasive rust tackling. I want to say he did something similar. But it really wouldn't be much different than skinning in your windows, except the rub rail, that is from what i understand, a major structural component of the bus.
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