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Old 02-06-2017, 10:49 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
Looked up Aerogel and it sounded pretty neat...but $900 for 40ft x 30' x 8mm roll? Wow that is pricey stuff.

I did some work this weekend with the help of my dad (mostly) and my girlfriend and her dad a little. We managed to get the seats out pretty quickly with an angle grinder and ratchet wrench for the bolts along the wall, then we separated the cushion from the metal. The wheelchair ramp we just cut off the bolts and let it drop out of the bus...a scrapper had our seats and ramp picked up in under an hour.

Then we got started on taking out the wood floor. Holy crap this is secured. We removed a bunch of the buckles and latches as well. I think we did an 1/8th of the bus before I had to go find a spot to park it for the week, which is at a Walmart between two RVs that have been sitting there for a long time

We did some sanding but it was too cold to get good paint on...not sure what I'll do yet because I need to paint it to get insurance and I want insurance asap.

Here are some pictures!



So next weekend I'll be continuing to remove the floor (any tips? We've just been using a crow bar...it is screwed in) and I want to paint the bus (just with primer for insurance) but we'll see how that goes
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:42 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
Building a Skoolie has it's obstacles. I've had a really hard time getting insurance. Most people say no. I've got a quote lined up with a company for $4800/year. Problem is, they won't give me a policy until I send them pictures of the bus with the yellow covered, seats removed, decals removed, and stop sign removed. Problem is, I need to get it home to do those things because I can't do it at the seller's lot. Problem is, I can't drive it home without insurance. Do you see the circular dependencies?

How did I solve this? Well, I got the bus delivered by the seller. He was a dealer and just used his dealer plates to drive the bus 2 hours to me. Then, I worked for a weekend with my dad (pictures above) - removed the seats at my in-laws, and did a little sanding in prep for painting. But, they could not let me keep the bus at their place. I drove it 3km uninsured (ssshh) to a place to keep it for the week. It's now sitting at Wal-mart between two other RVs that haven't moved in (what I think to be) weeks. I'm thinking if I can get it insured this weekend, then I'll "rough it" in the unfinished bus during weekdays whilst working a full-time job and do most of the work on weekends.
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:34 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oakland, Ca
Posts: 55
Chassis: Crown Supercoach
Engine: Detroit Diesel 6-71 Mid-ship
Rated Cap: 78
So I tried to post this once before but it got lost in the aether. Sorry if it double-posts!

Cool write-up about bike touring tent programing!

The best tool for ripping up the floor is a shingle scraper. Here's a g__gle image.

Depending on how aggravated you are, it might not be worth buying for a small area like yours. Is there a tool library in Toronto?

I don't know canada, but down here if you re-register as an RV, the insurance and DMV fees go down -- no exaggeration -- 90%.

As for mechanical: the 7.3 Powerstroke (aka the International d444e) is a pretty solid engine up to about 300K. To be ready to fix 95% of problems with this engine, make a kit of these three things:

Engine Oil: Oil is vital to all engines, but the d444e especially needs enough proper oil in the right weight for your climate. This is because in addition to lubrication, the engine oil in this engine opens the fuel injectors. Its a complicated but pretty reliable system called HEUI. Bottom line: a very common no-start is just that the engine oil is low! Always carry extra!

Maxi-Fuses: There is one in particular, under the driver's side battery, that goes out all the time. Number 20 I think. This one controls the fuel filter heater AND the fuel lift pump. Why? I don't know, it's dumb. But if you have a crank no-start, and the "wait to start" light doesn't come on, it's this fuse.

Crank Position Sensor: This is a cheap, vital sensor that fails all the time and will stop you dead even if you have fuel and compression. It's one hold-down bolt on the lower passenger-side front. Carry an extra and familiarize yourself with changing it before you're stranded. Easy roadside repair, or expensive tow and mechanic diagnostic.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:42 PM   #14
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,648
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Great stuff, but please...size your pix down to something that can be loaded in less than fifteen minutes before posting!
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:18 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
@Tango, Sorry. The pictures were a few mb's each, now they are closer to 200kb. I resized all of the images using ImageMagick on Fedora in one command (mogrify -resize 1024x1024 *.* for anyone interested). If only there was one for removing rivets.

@yeggs Nice post, thanks for writing it! That scrapper is EXACTLY what my dad thought would work well and we were looking for it in the Hamilton Tool Library (yes, we have a tool library! I got my angle grinder there, impact wrench (didn't use), air compressor (didn't use), paint sprayer (will use), and a light). Bought some cut off discs at Canadian Tire, and some gray spray-can primer. I also think I could get lower rates here if titled and insured as an RV...part of my issue has been needing to get insurance to drive it home from where I bought it (before it is a converted bus obviously) but maybe now I can hold out until I meet the minimum criteria for re-titling it then shop around for another quote. They'll need pictures and an appraisal probably but that can be done now.

...and that other info is invaluable. I haven't heard about that yet and I will definitely commit this to memory and get some oil, fuses, and a crank sensor. I did a bunch of research on the 6.0 after learning it can be a POS (but bulletproofed for $4k-10k) and that the 7.3 is a lot more reliable. I bought the 7.3 on more of a whim (was seeing two other busses, this one was already called for but I bought it on the spot because it met my needs perfectly) and haven't heard much other than it's better than the 6.0.

So, my awesome dad has been going to work on the bus in the Wal-mart parking lot this week in his spare time. Apparently a trucker came to see what was up and thought it was cool.

He just told me he managed to remove ALL of the wooden flooring (I think he used a crow bar)...that must have been some hard work, that floor is a PITA and I'm happy it's gone. Thanks dad! He has also bought a can of Tremclad gray primer to spot test it with a brush vs. our spray-can primer...he says he shows a lot better.

Here are some pictures, before the entire wood floor was removed, that he sent by email:




To remove the rest of the floor, he needed to remove the floor heater you see in the pictures. He shut off the valves underneath the bus and thinks it should be okay to drive. Any second opinions?





It was raining pretty heavily that day, so my dad spent some time looking for leaks. He only found one near the front passenger side:



Hopefully painting the roof helps seal this up (thinking of doing the roof with a white elastomeric paint for insulating properties), and that metal will probably come off so I'll look at sealing the interior with silicone before adding insulation.

That's all for now! Thanks for looking
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:01 AM   #16
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,648
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
"Only one leak"...??? You may have found a miracle bus! Looking good. Keep the pix coming.
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:55 AM   #17
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 492
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom +1
You should also carry a spare serpentine belt. They're cheap and easy to replace on the t444e if one breaks going down the road.

Easiest way to get the right belt is to take the one on the engine off and measure it to make sure you get the correct length...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
"Only one leak"...??? You may have found a miracle bus!
It probably just hasn't rained hard enough yet...
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 8,553
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
are the serp belts prone to break? I should also probably get one and toss it in the bus.. they come in a lkot of different lengths depending on options ordered..
-Christopher
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:05 PM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,668
I have never carried extra regular V-belts and I have never had a problem that kept me from getting home.

I always carry an extra serpentine belt because when they go everything stops.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:40 PM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 492
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom +1
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
are the serp belts prone to break?
-Christopher
Not necessarily, but as cowlitz said when one breaks you're dead in the water without another...
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