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Old 02-13-2017, 09:05 PM   #31
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
Thanks..been looking through that and it does seem really helpful! I'll keep it open 24/7.

I found a picture of the mangled seats I never posted:


My dad got to start a bit of painting...it was rushed to get insurance by the weekend; a plan since scrapped. Now we're taking our time to do the whole thing (insurance only required the bottom half).




This is the side rail I was talking about...do most people leave this in and stuff insulation down it? It seems pretty integrated, and it's attached to the wheel well.


Wondering how to remove this mat and insulate this area...don't want to remove those bolts. Maybe I'll bury them in insulation?



When my dad was taking out the floor, these things also had to be removed...they are latches for the QStraint buckles, I think. These 2 (and 2 others) were impossible to remove with a wrench and we had to angle grind the washer off from underneath and pop the bolt out. One of them is right above the fuel tank...and still remains in the bus...to be removed...somehow..



My ceiling rivets are too hard to get under with my air chisel...hmm..

And here's pretty much what Gus looks like after weekend 3! I broke him and he won't start, and burnt my hand...but we're getting closer, I think.
-Removed seats
-Removed wheelchair ramp
-Removed stop sign
-Removed bumper arm
-Removed plastic floor & wood floor
-Removed all but 1 Qstraint latches in the floor
-Sanded almost the whole bus
-Removed two front mirrors and 1 antennae
-Removed in floor heater
-Removed almost all of the decals
-Did 1 coat of primer of half of the bus
-Removed two side walls
-Broke him and killed the battery somehow and now he won't start


Should I make my pictures even smaller? They are 1024x1024.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:17 PM   #32
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
demolition!!!!
fun stuff!!
-Christopher
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:45 PM   #33
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
Power tools are fun

Such a change from typing code..I was angle grinding under the bus using sandpaper to shield my face. Don't tell mom.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:49 PM   #34
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Rattle

Dad is the MVP ! Earl Scheib has nothing on him and a few rattle cans.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:55 PM   #35
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by iProgramStuff View Post
Power tools are fun

Such a change from typing code..I was angle grinding under the bus using sandpaper to shield my face. Don't tell mom.

I agree!! for years I built HotRods to offset the brainiac of Coding with the coolness of mechanical-building..

now its school busses.. but you will find that doing this also helps you be sharp in code.. for me I have gotten lots of code ideas while turning wrenches and end up scribbling on paper or chalk ..
-Christopher
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:14 AM   #36
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Dad is the MVP ! Earl Scheib has nothing on him and a few rattle cans.
Right? Props to Dad. Without him this project would be going much slower, and it would essentially be just me on the project...he is keeping my morale up.

Him and this forum...don't know what I would do without either <3
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:38 AM   #37
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Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by iProgramStuff View Post
So, I bought a bus.

That was going to by my title but someone else took it...somewhere..

I bought it from a dealer and they are going to drive 2 hours to deliver it for me some time this week. This weekend I'll start by taking out the seats and handicap lift. Always looking for tips and suggestions.

It is a 2003 Ford E350 with a 7.3l engine and 226k miles. Seems like it is in good condition all around. Will get more pictures soon! It was $3500 (canadian dollars) plus about $500 in taxes.

Here's me and the bill of sale:
Congratulations, now the journey begins!
We bought a 1992 Chevrolet/Campbell short bus similar to yours and are preparing our conversion. A couple of things we undertook:
1. Get it mechanically right before doing anything beyond initial demolition/gutting. We spent about $3000 US for the bus with 131,000 miles and about that much in miscellaneous repairs/replacements before embarking on anything else.
2. Once you've got the seats out, I recommend pulling up the linoleum and plywood, going all the way down to the metal floor because you're likely to find rust and maybe some holes that will need to be addressed. I've wirebrushed all that I found to remove any loose material, then treated with Corroseal to stabilize the rust before installing new sheet metal (also primed) over the holes. I also used flexible gutter sealant to fill all the little screw holes. Afterward, I plan to go underneath to clean and apply undercoating.
3. That wheelchair lift is HEAVY, so make sure you've got help when you pull it out. Start with the cable connected to the battery, remove the breaker that is probably there in the compartment so you can pull the cable out through its hole. Be prepared to do a lot of crawling around underneath; ours snaked around the undercarriage and was connected everywhere with plastic wireties.

That's where we are in our efforts. Next step is to install hard foam insulation and new plywood in the floor. "And miles to go before I sleep."
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:02 PM   #38
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
Thanks Newbies, but we're about a week ahead of your post

I haven't taken it to a garage yet but I intend to soon...I need to get it safetied. We've got the plywood out, was a PITA because of the screws. My dad ended up finding them with a magnet, cutting the linoleum there, and using a screwdriver on the screw. Then the wood was easier to get out. We've yet to wire brush or do any prep to the floor - still gutting walls out and working on the exterior (and my no start problems).

Yeah, the wheelchair lifts are super heavy. Neither me or my dad are large men, but we do our best and usually make things work one way or another. Brains and understanding of physics usually helps. Anyways...people actually PULL those things out? We just let ours make a calculated fall and within an hour a scrapper picked it up where it lay.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:04 PM   #39
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,592
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Changing the serpentine belt is fairly easy. Remove the black plastic air filter assembly then pop the square drive part of a breaker bar into the tensioner on the passenger side of the engine to un-tension the belt. No need to remove the fan cowling.

I had to change one out when an idler wheel seized and broke on the highway one day. Here's some more info on the 7.3L:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f34/th...sel-10607.html
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:44 PM   #40
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 24
Good job! Yeah, I disconnected everything and then manhandled the lift single-handedly into a prone position and dragged it out onto the bed of my pickup truck, and from there pulled it out and stood it back up in my carport. I'm hoping someone, e.g., a disabled veterans group, will have a use for it, but we'll see.

The rust treatment was yesterday and today was spent cutting out sheet metal and priming it to cover the rusted out holes. I'm about halfway through that and hope to have the insulation and subfloor down by the end of the day tomorrow. Baby steps.
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