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Old 04-25-2018, 06:59 PM   #1
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Year: 1993
Chassis: Thomasbuilt
Engine: 5.9 L
1993 Ford Thomas Skoolie conversion

Hey guys iíve been following the Skoolie forums for about the past year now and have been wanting to do a conversion for the past couple years for extended road trips. My wife and I were especially inspired after our month long road trip to the southwest last summer. Well my buddy and I decided to work on one and I finally found her. Sheís a 1993 Ford Thomasbuilt with 5 windows, 2 roof hatches, and a 6í4Ē roof. Iím going to try and keep a detailed build log the best I can for others reference.
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:02 PM   #2
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Location: NorCal
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
That is a GOOD looking bus! Great find, I wish I had that kind of headroom! Looking forward to your updates!
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:06 PM   #3
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Year: 1993
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Began the gut today but going to have to come back with an angle grinder for a lot of these nuts and screws. Luckily the owner before had already started the gut. Also, both of the hatches are broken and need replacement. Anyone know of a good replacement? The openings are 23.5x23.5.
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:08 PM   #4
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Coachwork: Girardin
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Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
May I humbly suggest reorienting your photos before posting them?
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:23 PM   #5
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Year: 1996
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Following this cool build!
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:49 PM   #6
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Year: 1993
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May I humbly suggest reorienting your photos before posting them?
Ya I didn't know they would come up like that when I put up the post from my phone haha.
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:45 PM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: pensacola fl
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas Vista 7window
Chassis: 3600
Engine: T444E
Nice! I'm starting on mine over in Pensacola
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Old 04-28-2018, 03:12 PM   #8
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas Body
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12 valve
Nice Bus! I'm in Tallahassee and just purchased a 7 window. (I'll make a build thread once I picker her up and get started)

Let's do a North FL meet up one of these days when we get the rigs up and running!
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:54 AM   #9
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Nice Bus! I'm in Tallahassee and just purchased a 7 window. (I'll make a build thread once I picker her up and get started)

Let's do a North FL meet up one of these days when we get the rigs up and running!
Sounds like a plan! We plan on using ours for surf/snow too. Plenty of surf in Jax and we normally go to the blue ridge mountains for snow, but I would like to take this thing out west for a snowboarding trip.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:56 AM   #10
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My buddy and I began some demo last night and got all the flooring up including angle grinding down all the screws and bolt with the exception of up by the driver seat. Only took 3 hours which wasn’t too bad. Pics to come
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Old 04-29-2018, 02:39 PM   #11
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Here are some pics of the demo so far. A couple of questions though... The pic that has the broom pointing to a hole is where I believe the heat from the engine came out because there was just a casing with vents from that. Do people normally reroute this somewhere to still get heat? Iím not even too sure how the heat is controlled but there is a valve by the Left door of the driver. Also, the picture with the hole by the stairs is an access for the fuel tank I believe. Is it alright to cover this up with flooring, cabinets, etc.? Or will I be shooting myself in the foot if I need to access later? It looks like there is room to access it from the outside of the bus. Also, any ideas for cleaning the rust will be appreciated before we put down a rust converter.

Sorry the pics are out of wack. I realized that itís because I took pictures ďtallĒ instead of ďwideĒ and it can only be wide so it shoots it that way
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:01 AM   #12
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Engine: T444e w/ 2000 Allison Trans
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That access hole is for fuel related stuff. I took a picture of mine with measurements before I cover it up. if I really need to get in it. I can cut my floor up. hope for the best, but prepping for the worst.

Read a lot of other build threads and see what folks do about the rust. I have an Oregon bus that was completely rust free (Thank you Skoolie God).

It looks like the previous owner already deleted the heater. I made my delete by looping them end to end.

Nice bus. What is the history (it is blue). Where did you pick it up? Price? Good luck.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:47 AM   #13
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That access hole is for fuel related stuff. I took a picture of mine with measurements before I cover it up. if I really need to get in it. I can cut my floor up. hope for the best, but prepping for the worst.

Read a lot of other build threads and see what folks do about the rust. I have an Oregon bus that was completely rust free (Thank you Skoolie God).

It looks like the previous owner already deleted the heater. I made my delete by looping them end to end.

Nice bus. What is the history (it is blue). Where did you pick it up? Price? Good luck.
Good idea Rovobay. Iíll take a picture with measurements just in case we need it.

We got the bus for $2100 in Jacksonville,FL from a guy who had purchased it thinking that he would convert it but never did, before that it was owned by a church, before that something else (there is red between the yellow and blue), and before that a school bus I imagine.

There was a metal vent coming from that heater hole which we removed. I was just wondering if anyone re routed it to maintain its use or just sealed it up. I imagine heat would be nice if you could control the output.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:09 AM   #14
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Engine: 5.9 L
Sorry for the delay in posts, but Iíve been trying to figure out what the best way is to proceed with the build and had some questions which Iím hoping to get some help with 😁 Also, I ran into a couple of issues including having to tear down part of my fence to move the shorty into the backyard due to city laws and the second was that the title I received had a different vin than the bus... apparently the person that had sold the bus had sold two of them and given the wrong title to each person... always check the vin!

So the issues...
1) none of the windows open because the tabs are broken... not sure if there is anyway to fix this, but Iím guessing I need to write them off so I was thinking about keeping the two emergency windows (the 3rd/5 on each side) and paneling over the rest on the outside to provide more insulation. Iím probably going to put a skylight for the back hatch and already got a Maxx fan for the front hatch which I think combined with the light from the front of the bus shouldnít make it feel too stuffy (the back will be paneled over because the bed will be horizontal and lifted so that the back emergency door will be for garage access under the bed)... is paneling over the windows on the outside my best option? Any problem with keeping the windows in place with paneling over and insulation on the inside?

2) I want to remove the AC unit in the back because I donít think itís going to provide a whole lot of function and I would just prefer to not have it over the bed unless I can run it off of the deep cycle batteries (ideas???). So if that isnít an option, how do I go about disconnecting it? It looks like it has its own independent fan system in the back with just the power running back to it.

3) I also realized that Iím going to have to remove some and probably all of the roof panels due to leaks. My roof has a vent on the top which has leaked into the bus for who knows how long. What is the purpose of this vent??? I think Iím going to have to weld a sheet over the top of it and remove the panel and insulation. Any ideas/preferences for a new ceiling?

4) I posted some pictures of the from since I removed the seat ( any ideas for new seat?). The front of the bus was hot as balls when I was driving it home and Iím not sure if it was because the heater valve was open (see next post) or if it was because the front is so poorly insulated from the engine. I would like to build some storage in the front closer to the door, but does anyone have some good ideas for insulating this front better so that it isnít so hot while driving?

5)I think my last obstacle for now is figuring out what to do with ďthisĒ referring to what look like heater lines running to the inside of the bus but theyíre capped off. I want to remove the whole unit and put in new switches, but Iím fuessing I should keep the metal casing around those hoses? Iím not sure what the valve is for shutting off, maybe the heat from inside the bus? Any information in this would be greatly appreciated and if I can completely seal it off or if I need to leave an opening for it to vent.

I appreciate all help and would like to have a game plan for these issues before I proceed. Iím kind of analytical in that way for better or worse!
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:10 AM   #15
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3) I also realized that I’m going to have to remove some and probably all of the roof panels due to leaks. My roof has a vent on the top which has leaked into the bus for who knows how long. What is the purpose of this vent??? I think I’m going to have to weld a sheet over the top of it and remove the panel and insulation. Any ideas/preferences for a new ceiling?

Paint the roof white with rustoleum and cooler bus whiles sitting Plus i think quite a few of those leaks will go away with a cot of paint or two. Paint over that fent as well. Paint stopped all my leaks.. I have read you can getwindow parts off EBAY and get your vent seals from MIDWEST BUS.
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:16 PM   #16
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Year: 1993
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Versatile,
We do plan on painting the roof white and I’ll definitely look into rustoleum. I’ve used it before for other projects and it’s good stuff. Is there a specific type I should use for the roof? The leak was only coming from the broken escape hatches and that roof vent and was weeping into the fiberglass so I think we are just going to take off all the panels and fiberglass and put new insulation and ceiling in. Any suggestion as to insulation type or ceiling material? I like the tongue and groove look and think it would look nice painted white and maybe spray foam for insulation? I like rigid insulation boards, but don’t know how it would do with the curve of the roof.
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:33 PM   #17
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Versatile,
We do plan on painting the roof white and Iíll definitely look into rustoleum. Iíve used it before for other projects and itís good stuff. Is there a specific type I should use for the roof? The leak was only coming from the broken escape hatches and that roof vent and was weeping into the fiberglass so I think we are just going to take off all the panels and fiberglass and put new insulation and ceiling in. Any suggestion as to insulation type or ceiling material? I like the tongue and groove look and think it would look nice painted white and maybe spray foam for insulation? I like rigid insulation boards, but donít know how it would do with the curve of the roof.
Spray foam is probably the nicest option, but very pricey. You can get 2" of rigid board between the ribs. You can multi layer 1/2" board, gluing the layers. There are roof specify paints that have cooling properties built in. I would not rely on paint to seal any leaks.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:48 PM   #18
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Spray foam is probably the nicest option, but very pricey. You can get 2" of rigid board between the ribs. You can multi layer 1/2" board, gluing the layers. There are roof specify paints that have cooling properties built in. I would not rely on paint to seal any leaks.
Just paining the roof white is worth the money. Playing whackamole with leaks is a bummer. Heavy with the rustoleum and you have found a friend. UNTIL you can do better. You get 2 for the money.
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