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Old 03-20-2018, 10:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L (Navistar T444E)
2003 Ford E450, 7.3L, 5 Window Shorty

I finally got a bus! So pumped to have it and get going on the work. As the title says it's a 2003 Ford E450 5-window short bus with the 7.3L engine. Interior is 14' long, 7'6" wide and 73" from bare floor to ceiling ribs. The previous owner already stripped out the seats and 95% of the floor, walls and ceiling. Still working to figure out a layout I want but where do you all recommend I start? Step 1 for sure will be to finished cleaning out the inside so it's ready to move forward but after that should I focus on treating the frame and all under the bus or save that for later and get the inside rolling? I know I have some rust to treat on the floor and then paint on a protective layer then insulate/subfloor.

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Old 03-20-2018, 11:13 AM   #2
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Depends on how tall you are.... If it were me, take care of the basics first. Make sure you have any and all rust stopped / fixed, mechanical issues fixed, and then move on...

The next thing I would be planning on is a roof raise. Not a huge one, but absolutely give that thing at least 1' more headroom. After that, start working the rest of it.... Insulate, flooring, ceiling etc...
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:05 PM   #3
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nice looking bus! i dont see any rust that looks earth shattering! looks like you have a great slate to start with.. appears its a higher headroom model too.
-Christopher
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:22 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L (Navistar T444E)
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
nice looking bus! i dont see any rust that looks earth shattering! looks like you have a great slate to start with.. appears its a higher headroom model too.
-Christopher
Thanks! Rust isn't bad at all, just enough to sand and paint. Frame is about the same with a little more, obviously. It has about 6' headroom. Not too short, not much to spare though

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Old 03-20-2018, 10:58 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Shedd, Oregon
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: e450
Engine: 7.3 liter turbo
Rated Cap: 14
Nice! I have the exact same bus, and I LOVE it. Not too big, not too small. it can fit in a regular parking spot which is soooo nice once you're out and about.
My 7.3 has 220k miles on it now, and running strong.

Good luck!
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:00 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: Ford E450
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Originally Posted by Oregon shortie View Post
Nice! I have the exact same bus, and I LOVE it. Not too big, not too small. it can fit in a regular parking spot which is soooo nice once you're out and about.
My 7.3 has 220k miles on it now, and running strong.

Good luck!
Basically the same! 216,000 on mine! I can't wait to get everything rolling with it!

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Old 03-26-2018, 12:39 PM   #7
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Year: 1996
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Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel
Dude... amazing find, that's like the perfect size and engine combo. Are you gonna lift the roof at all, or just keep it as is?
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Old 03-26-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: Ford E450
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Dude... amazing find, that's like the perfect size and engine combo. Are you gonna lift the roof at all, or just keep it as is?
Just keeping it as is. It'll be a little low for my height when it's finished but I weighed the pros/cons and it won. The whole idea for me is to be in a small space to make me want to be outside anyway

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Old 03-26-2018, 05:57 PM   #9
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Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
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Check your state laws. They may require you to paint over the school bus yellow.
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:03 PM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Posts: 45
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L (Navistar T444E)
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Check your state laws. They may require you to paint over the school bus yellow.
Oh, on that part it's changing. The body is staying as is, is what I meant. No roof raise. Of course inside changing completely, outside will get a painting. Color is undecided

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