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Old 04-25-2015, 01:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Stairwell rebuild

Well the bus has been on the road for 5 years-and of course its never really finished. The next thing on the list is start fixing the rust. The stairs had a bodgy repair before me-and the lower step would oil can when on it.

I'm going to need to come up with some new stair tread-any suggestions?

I was worried about removing the doors. There was always too much slop in the linkage for the doors-so I did a couple of things I knew I'd later regret. I drilled + pinned one of them (but not all the way thru because of a bad angle for drilling-and the other one I tack weld the shaft the the linkage. So I had to undo these crappy repairs before I could even start getting the doors off. Once the rubber weather shield was removed, you could see the bottom mount-2 bolts on a bracket-countersunk and rusted to hell. Out comes the die grinder. Then removed snap rings + the bronze bushing slide off ans the door comes off.
I punched some holes at the corners of the stairs big enough to get a sawzall started. It took a while but I got most of the stairs off-just a lip where couldn't get closer.
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Old 04-25-2015, 01:25 AM   #2
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This was the stairs. The repair was just dropped over a very rotted out section.

Of course you always find more trouble. Road spray had rotten all the low hanging metal. And any gap from the original Ford parts + what Champion weld ed in was filled with water holding spray foam. (Which Champ uses almost as a structural member.)
So now I have to determine how far I have to cut everything back-enough to get rid of the rot but have something to weld to.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:44 AM   #3
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If I remember correctly, I used 1 x1 x 1/8 angle and 1/8 sheet metal,

That looks like a way NOT fun project
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:40 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
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Sorry to see the rust has gotten to you to.

Looking forward to more pics.

Nat
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:54 AM   #5
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Pictures of finished stairs??

Hey there! I am in the process of converting my bus and have run into a similar problem. My stairs crumbled beneath me this weekend and I'll need to rebuild. I'd love to see a finished picture of your stairs. What material did you end up using? You can see my stairs here:
Post 4 - Floor and Wheel Chair Lift ´╗┐Removal - Hoophouse
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:14 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Forgot I didn't update this. And it looks like I only shot 2 more pics.

I had my local sheet metal shop cut and bent me up some 16 gauge. I had 2 new side pieces cut. that way I could get up to the good metal. This gave me a nice surface to weld the stairs to. The stair section was 2 steps + two (vertical) backs. The bottom is attached to a section of 1.5" square tubing. There was plenty of clean metal to weld to-it was plenty strong.
I found something good to put down as flooring. Tractor supply 3/8" rubber mat. RB Rubber Multi-Mat Rolled Rubber, 3/8 in. Thick, Sold by the Foot - For Life Out Here There is edge moulding on the edges-and I glued rubber to the vertical sides. (the break line in the pic for rubber to paint is the door line.)
One season into use everything is working fine.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:06 AM   #7
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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
Bookmarked, because my stairs are actual crap.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:50 PM   #8
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Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I won't be rebuilding the stairs on mine.

I moved the door to mid ship, and will stairs that fold out from the belly bin under the door.

This gains me 9 square feet of floor space.

I just hate the idea of wasting that space.

Nat
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