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Old 03-08-2009, 12:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 3
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Ford
Chassis: Econoline E350 Minibus
Engine: 351W, V8
Rated Cap: 15
Introducing the Bolide Bus

Hi folks!

New guy here. You gotta love the internet for providing a short-bus forum! :)

I own a 1989 Ford Econoline E350 Minibus. When I acquired it, it already had some conversion work done. The wheelchair lift had been removed and the seats stripped out. I didn't like the previous conversion work, so I completely gutted the inside and started over. The wife and I plan on living in it almost full-time - travelling and boondocking for extended periods in remote areas around North America. For the last 5 years, we have been fulltime caregivers for my wife's father who is 88 and has Alzheimers. But now we are switching over our duties to my wife's older sister, and hitting the road in the bus. For financial reasons, the bus had been sitting on the back burner for many months. But now we have a loan approved and several grand is about to get socked into the bus conversion. In the next 2-3 months, here is what we will be adding to the bus -

1) at least 350 watts of solar panels on the roof, upwards to 500.
2) 2000-watt true-sine wave inverter and 3-stage float charger
3) sealed AGM battery bank with at least 2-days worth of amp hours
storage.
4) propane powered stove/oven
5) propane/12v mini-fridge
6) composting toliet
7) shower stall
8) on-demand propane hot water heater
9) 40-gallon grey water tank
10) 30 gallon fresh water tank
11) GPS, CB, shortwave, TV, DVD, cellular internet
12) 2 laptops
13) battery charging station
14) full size bed
15) fully-equipped weather station
16) roof and rear-view mounted webcams
17) weatherproof storage area for meteorite hunting gear (metal
detector, magnetic cane, etc)
18) weatherproof storage area for my sales/show booth materials.
19) roll-out awning and screened-in outdoor room
20) 1 happy meteorite fanatic and his wife and 1 small cat. ;)

As you can guess, I am an amateur astronomer and meteorite dealer, and I will be taking my business on the road - to offset travelling expenses. My business is internet-based, and it generates enough income to sustain the majority of our financial needs - so gasoline is not going to be a big concern.

More on the bus - it has 4 windows on one side and 3 on the side that had the wheelchair lift. It has an automatic transmission and runs on unleaded. The engine runs strong, tranny shifts good, no smoke, no knocking, doesn't burn oil, and the body is in great shape with almost no rust. I'll try to attach some photos. Some show the the bus as we first received it - very dirty inside and out. The later photos show the bus cleaned up and the inside has been primered.

The entire interior is going to be done in hardwood with a slate tile floor and accents. The inside ceiling is going to be done in exotic wood veneer strips. My wife is going to be in charge of the fabrics, which will have a decidely gypsy look. We unsure yet how we are going to paint the outside of the bus, and we are open to ideas. I was tossing around the idea of using hardwood to give the bus a "panel van" or woodie look.

Ok, I'll try the photos now...

Best regards,

MikeG
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Mike Gilmer
Houma Louisiana - Soon to be Central Florida
1989 Ford Econoline Minibus - V8, auto
Meteorite collector and dealer - www.galactic-stone.com
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 3
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Ford
Chassis: Econoline E350 Minibus
Engine: 351W, V8
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Introducing the Bolide Bus

Photos -

Dirty bus - http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj24 ... ty-bus.jpg

Dirty dirty bus - http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj24 ... -bus-3.jpg

Filthy bus - http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj24 ... -bus-3.jpg

Stripped down, before primer - http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj24 ... -bus-3.jpg

After many hours of cleaning and scrubbing - http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj24 ... -bus-2.jpg

It looks like a bus again! - http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj24 ... -bus-1.jpg

I have some more photos on the hard-drive somewhere, I will dig them up to post later.
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Mike Gilmer
Houma Louisiana - Soon to be Central Florida
1989 Ford Econoline Minibus - V8, auto
Meteorite collector and dealer - www.galactic-stone.com
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:20 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: CO
Posts: 9
Re: Introducing the Bolide Bus

hey bolide.....do u have any photos of ur finished bus? it would be awesome to c, especially w/ what u said u want to put in it.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:14 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Posts: 637
Year: 1981
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford B-600
Engine: Ford 370 Propane
Rated Cap: 48
Re: Introducing the Bolide Bus

Poor bus looks like it was neglected. Flat tire, graffitti inside, so sad. Looks better in the pics after you cleaned out the inside and cleaned the outside. How much more have you been able to do in the past month? We need more pics and updates.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:17 AM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 158
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Bluebird
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Introducing the Bolide Bus

Yikes, I don't blame you for starting over. That must be a pain in the butt having to rip up someone else's mess. I'm sure you were cursing them in your head as you were cleaning
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:35 PM   #6
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Location: Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 1,485
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: Ford
Engine: 7.3
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Re: Introducing the Bolide Bus

looks like it came 'outta tha hood' lol
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