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Old 03-25-2018, 07:33 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
Liesel the Diesel - Sixteen going on seventeen.

We bought our shuttle bus back in October '17, so I have several months of work/posts to catch up on. It's a 2001 E450 Eldorado Aerotech conversion. We had been shopping for several months before that - Looking for a shuttle with more head room, a passenger/co-pilot seat, the 7.3L diesel engine, and a southern bus with no rust. We found ours thru Ebay, it was located in New Orleans (we're in Wisconsin). So we flew down and met up with the seller, completed the transaction, and began the 950 mile drive home.

There were some challenges along the drive home, such as - no blower fan or heat, no passenger side seat belt, crappy wiper blades, and a very leaky A/C unit on the roof. We did what we could to make the best of the situation. Stopped at Walmart and picked up a small heater to plug into our inverter, a ratchet tie down strap for a seat belt, socks to keep warm, and a big tote under the leaking A/C. Otherwise a fairly uneventful long drive home.

That is the beginning of the story. More to follow.

Steve and Raina
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Old 03-25-2018, 07:42 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,410
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Nice bus and good quick thinking on your part re heat and leaks. I especially like the seat belt solution--most would just have said WTF and done without.

Keep the pics coming as it didn't happen if there aren't any pics! Jack
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:26 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
One of the first areas that we tackled was the cab. We removed the passenger seat, which was barely held down with 2 lag screws. Also removed the drivers seat and rubber floor mat. We began cleanup of the cab floor (that had minimal rust). Primed and painted the floor, then installed a sound deadener mat. Made a paper template and cut out a new rubber floor mat.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:39 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
More front cab floor photos.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:25 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by srponies View Post
More front cab floor photos.
That's a great looking floor mats...ratchet strap for a seat belt...lol...you might be a redneck...as long as no quick escape is needed; :thumbs up:

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Old 03-26-2018, 06:10 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
Ratchet strap seat belt was important to my wife. It gave some feeling of security while riding in this new to us 15k# rig for 950 miles.

The aftermarket rooftop a/c unit was a problem that we had to take care of asap. Besides leaking like crazy, the interior trim panel was competing with my forehead for space in the center aisle. We didn't want to leave a tarp over the bus to stop the rain from coming in the ceiling, so we removed the unit in order to cover the hole. We lowered the unit down 2 ladders leaning against the bus using ropes and 4 people.
We found that the unit had really been improperly installed. It was not properly supported on the fiberglass roof. It left the roof sunken and wavy in several areas. Water had also been getting into the cardboard honeycomb support between the fiberglass layers and had deteriorated much of it around the a/c hole.
Then we cleaned up the roof around the hole, and I screwed down a temporary cover (rubbermaid tote lid).
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:29 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
11/18/17 We took a trip to the local pic-n-pull junk yard to find some misc interior pieces including a nicer set of seats. We were in luck to find several Ford vans and removed a matching set of cloth seats from one. Also scored some stepwells, a nice engine doghouse console, seat belts, misc plastic trim and some engine a/c brackets. They charged us $52 for the pair of seats, and $40 for everything else. Great pricing that day.

We took the seats to a local detailer and he did a great job of cleaning them up for $25. A bit of elbow grease to clean up the plastic trim and everything came out nicely.

Steve
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:57 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by srponies View Post
11/18/17 We took a trip to the local pic-n-pull junk yard to find some misc interior pieces including a nicer set of seats. We were in luck to find several Ford vans and removed a matching set of cloth seats from one. Also scored some stepwells, a nice engine doghouse console, seat belts, misc plastic trim and some engine a/c brackets. They charged us $52 for the pair of seats, and $40 for everything else. Great pricing that day.

We took the seats to a local detailer and he did a great job of cleaning them up for $25. A bit of elbow grease to clean up the plastic trim and everything came out nicely.

Steve
Awesome picks...I meant no offense...I'm still smiling about the ratchet strap...

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Old 03-26-2018, 08:49 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
No worries at all.... We had an interesting conversation at the store deciding on an alternative for a seat belt - rope, bungee cord, ratchet strap, etc. And the fact that the passenger seat rocked back and forth didn't help calm the nerves.


11/25/17 Rear brakes... When we were within the last 50 miles of our maiden journey home, we began to hear the brakes squeaking. It definitely changed how we approached intersections for the last part of the trip. We were lucky to have made it home without the pistons popping out of the rear caliper. So, it was time for a rear brake job. New rotors, calipers, pads and hardware.


Steve
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:34 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 50
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
11/29/17 We had removed the seats and at this point began removing the rubber flooring. Found a lot of water damage on the plywood as well as holes thru the floor in some areas.

We knew that the rear window was leaking, so we removed it. We also removed the rear wall covering. We positioned 1x4s within the fiberglass shell surrounding the window to provide some support. Then we resealed and installed the window.

Steve
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