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Old 09-29-2015, 08:44 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
It's finally all falling into place !

So, after many years of deliberation, I'm pulling the trigger on my first bus build.

It's a paratransit rig, but I have logged over three hundred thousand miles behind the wheel of these rigs (in city traffic), so I am extremely familiar with the amount of space that they occupy and maneuverability, etc.

The rig itself is a 1997 ElDorado Aerotech 220 built on a Ford E-350 chassis. The rig is powered by the DT444E Navistar engine (I'm gonna have to get some IHC logos to replace the Fjord markings, lol.) And I am unsure of the transmission, although given the age I am assuming that it's the E40D.

I have lurked around here long enough to know how most of us feel about the "van" buses, but like I said, it's a starter bus. The next one will be a proper Skoolie.

I'm curious as to how to attach to the fiberglass panels. Roach, I may be looking for advice on this build. I've been through your entire build thread a few times, and it blows me away!


Anyhow, that's all I got for now.

Hank
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:11 PM   #2
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Posts: 53
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford E-350
What's wrong with "van" buses?
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:39 PM   #3
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Location: Moodus, Ct.
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Year: 1996
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Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
They work for me!
Yes-E4OD. (sorry)
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my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,962
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Lots of room there. You do it right and you'll never need to go to a bigger bus. I have a 22 footer and a 40 footer and the 22 footer is the hands down favorite--but then I'm not trying to full time in it.

OK, lets see some pics and hear what you have planned. Jack
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:15 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,572
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Some of us are a bit partial to the van buses.

Assuming your body is the same fiberglass sandwich as mine, you'll have no trouble attaching stuff with sheet metal screws. If I didn't drill my pilot holes large enough it was common to twist off the head of the screws.
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:58 AM   #6
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
Personally, I kinda like like the van buses, but I'm partial because I've logged so many miles in them over the years for work. One thing I've learned : Starcraft should be avoided like the plague. 50,000 miles and she was shaking herself to pieces ! My other rig was a single rear wheel E-350 with a Shepard Brothers Coach & Equipment chassis on her. She's retired now due to mileage and a warped (plastic) intake manifold, but the coach work is SOLID on that bus. I was going to bid on it when it went to auction, but I've always wanted a diesel so when the ElDo was found, I jumped on it.


Roach, how thick are your walls? Just trying to figure out how long the screws need to be.

I take delivery of her sometime next week, so I'll throw some pictures up. There will be another thread for the build, but it will be sporadic as I have many irons in the fire.
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:30 PM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,136
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Yes avoid the "starcrap".
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:43 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Marshfield, WI
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: El Dorado Aerotech 220
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:54 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,572
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDHenry6 View Post
Roach, how thick are your walls? Just trying to figure out how long the screws need to be.
There's no "meat" between the two skins so you only have to penetrate a few threads deep to get a good hold. It's a lot like screwing into sheet metal, and probably more secure.

The total wall thickness, at least in the side walls, is 1 3/16". The inner skin is 1/16" thick, the outer skin is 3/16" thick and there is a 15/16 gap between the two walls. There is some kind of cardboard-like corrugation between the two skins. Here's a shot of the cross section with the thinner inner skin facing forward. The pic below that is my water heater cut out.



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Old 10-01-2015, 08:42 PM   #10
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Interesting info Roach.

Nat
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