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Old 10-04-2015, 10:13 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Marshfield, WI
Posts: 26
Year: 1997
Coachwork: El Dorado Aerotech 220
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Hank's 97' ElDorado

Greetings all. Some of you have undoubtedly read and/or commented in my first thread; this will be the build thread. My rig is finally home.
I will repost some of the original pics and some new one as we do work on the bus.

Here she is sitting at the dealer's lot.

Rear shot of the crusty door:

The odometer when it pulled into the driveway:

Sitting in her new home:

The cockpit :

Pilot's chair is a bit worn, but still comfy ( sitting in it, at least the verdict is still out on driving comfort) :

Seats deployed:

Seats stowed:

The interior view of the crusty rear door. I managed to get the mechanism to work, but that damned door wouldn't budge ! I may wind up leaving it in place and just cutting out the rust.


I did a little work and freed the wheelchair securement straps and wheelchair safety belts out of the floor tracks. These are going to require some serious wire wheel action to clean up!

There are actually many more straps than the picture reveals.


That's all I have for now !



Hank
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:55 AM   #2
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This picture is a little scary.

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Old 10-09-2015, 12:09 PM   #3
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
With oxidation that bad on the exterior metal...I gotta' wonder what it looks like underneath. So...how are the frame and sub assemblies?
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:53 PM   #4
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This is a good starter bus but you shouldn't invest a ton of money and time. You have some major cancer. I am not trying to dash your hopes. Use this as a practice bus to figure stuff out until you find a rust free bus. I bought an E350 from Albany, NY. Man did that thing have rust. Every bolt I tried to undo broke. It was very frustrating.
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Old 10-11-2015, 01:03 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Marshfield, WI
Posts: 26
Year: 1997
Coachwork: El Dorado Aerotech 220
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
I agree. The rear door is a complete write off, it's rusted the whole way through on that corner. I'm still debating if I want to pull it and build a new one, or just hose the crap out of the exposed are with rust converter and insulate over top of it, treating it as a wall. So far, I'm leaning towards leaving the door in place.

The frame on her is solid, and most of the undercarriage is pretty good. There are a few spots on the underside of the floor that puzzle me. It looks like there are places that had metal under the plywood, and also places where just bare plywood is exposed, but it's a clear cut shape, not like a section of steel rotted away. I don't know why some sections would have a steel floor and others wouldn't, but I am just operating under the assumption that it originally had a steel floor and the rot got to it.

I'm not quite sure how to handle that part. Maybe just buy a case or two of spray-on bedliner and hose the undercarriage? The interior bus floor I am leaving in place, perhaps insulating over top of it so I can apply a smoother floor finish. ( When not in her chair, the Mrs. walks on her knees; the grooved bus floor would be painful.)

One weird thing that I did noticed: in the entry stairs the bottom step appears to be made of either aluminum or stainless, and has a coolant loop ran through it. My guess is an anti-icing device. I've never seen that before, and thought it was clever.

I did some poking around in the wiring during the week and have gotten the interior lighting working. I followed Roach's lead and ordered a bunch of L.E.D. 1156 bulbs from the Bay of E to replace the interior lamps, I want to retrofit all of the lighting on the exterior to L.E.D. also. My hope is that the less of a load we put on the prohibitively expensive Penntex Alternator, the longer it will last.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:38 AM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Lisle,IL
Posts: 40
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: R
Looks a lot like my Eldorado bus. My floor is all plywood and I am going to have to replace cross beams. Northern Midwest winters and salt are hard on floors.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:34 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Marshfield, WI
Posts: 26
Year: 1997
Coachwork: El Dorado Aerotech 220
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarygary View Post
Looks a lot like my Eldorado bus. My floor is all plywood and I am going to have to replace cross beams. Northern Midwest winters and salt are hard on floors.
I wonder if they were part of the same fleet? My bus originally came from Illinois. I found some documentation and business cards indicating that it was part of a public transit system.

It must have been sold off at some oint and then a church in Fon-DuLac WI bought it. From there it had at least two other owners before passing into my hands. Researching your bus is kind of like an archaeological expedition in your back yard; you get dirty, you find neat stuff, and lot of booby traps !
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:16 PM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Lisle,IL
Posts: 40
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: R
Mine was in a fleet in Minnesota, then sold to a guy in Dekalb and used as the drunk bus at Northern Illinois University. Husky Shuttle!
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:16 AM   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Marshfield, WI
Posts: 26
Year: 1997
Coachwork: El Dorado Aerotech 220
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Hey, gang. I'm just throwing a quick update out here. I managed to score a Dometic fridge ( propane/110VAC), a propane range with 12VDC hood, a two basin stainless steel sink, a 30 Amp shore power line and breaker, and a 120VAC-12VDC converter/ battery charger from a 1980-ish stick and staple for $65 from C-List!

I also managed to get two like-new captain's chairs and a rear bench/ fold out bed for $30. . . .in Rockford,IL. So, my Fire School partner and I cannonballed down there after work one day and got them. We spent $60 in gas ( drove the minivan) for a total investment of $90 for what I figure was $300 in seats.

I got some tools, too tat I needed for the conversion. I hope to get photos up today of seat removal.

Roach, when you get time, could you send me some info on your bifold door replacemnt? It's time for these to go bye-bye. They're bolted together from the inside because the mechanism is FUBAR. Thanks in advance.

That's all I have for now,
Hank
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:02 AM   #10
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Lisle,IL
Posts: 40
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: R
I guess I'm going to have to check out the Rockford Craig's list! Only about an hour ride for me. Thinking about doing a ski trip up north this winter., maybe cascade or Devils head. Where you located up there?
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