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Old 01-09-2016, 10:23 AM   #401
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Hey Roach, great build and a lot of information. Thanks for taking the time to help others. I just made another run thru your build thread and for some reason, I didn't see your fridge/ice box. did I just miss it? Any pictures of that set up? Thanks, Joe.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:39 PM   #402
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Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
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We're just using an ancient Coleman cooler so far. Originally we looked at one of the Dometic Coolfreeze powered coolers but the old cooler has been working fine for our weekend trips up to the family camp.

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Old 01-09-2016, 03:41 PM   #403
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Thanks. Guess that's why I didn't see it. ...
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:37 PM   #404
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Thanks so much for walking us through your build today! It's great in pictures but even better in person. Can't wait to find a bus and get started ourselves.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:32 AM   #405
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,514
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
It was fun meeting you guys too! I looked at a few teardrop trailer builds after you'd mentioned building your own. They look like fun projects.
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:56 PM   #406
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well that was three hours of my life well spent
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Old 06-29-2016, 03:59 PM   #407
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,514
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Update on our Anderson 4000 Series storm door.

Our Anderson 4000 Series Full View storm door has been mounted now for 4 years and the hinges are getting more than a bit loose. The door is meant to be used on a house, not a bus that bucks and bounces down the road so the plastic inserts in the hinges have worn to the place that the hinge assembly needs to be replaced. Fortunately, the whole hinge trim piece is still available from Anderson for about $60 shipped.

The door has laminated glass just like a windshield and is a heavy beast so it tends to bounce when the bus does. My first sign early on that I'd need to limit the door motion was a bent door latch. I added a piece of PVC lumber to the top of the door opening so the door didn't have much room to move upward and since then haven't had any more problems with the latch bending. If I had added a similar piece to the sill I probably wouldn't be replacing the hinge trim now.

We also noticed that when we'd hit a bump in the road the top of the door would flop in and out at the latch side. To fix that I cut some pieces of FRP edge trim and glued them over the inside of the latch holes to tighten them up, paying particular attention to the upper of the three door latches.

The stock door sweep rubber fins wore out pretty quickly so I added a more robust sweep from Home Depot that gives some support and cushion to the bottom of the door and does a better job of keeping out the weather. The aluminum sweep trim piece is attached to the door frame by two small screws that allow the sweep to be pushed up when bumped so I inserted some wood shims between the sweep and the door frame to keep the sweep in place.

Would I use the same door again? Yes, I would. The door itself is well built and the laminated glass is very durable. The three-point lock is quite secure and I have great confidence in it. Parts are easily available and seem reasonably priced.

Here's the door



The upper latch plate with my plastic anti-rattle shims




The upper limiter pad. You can see the mark where the door is hitting it when it bounces.



And the lower pad. The new sweep rubber rests on this pad when the door is closed.



The original door sweep trim with a Home Depot add on sweep. The wood shim keeps the gap between the sweep trim and the door from closing up when the door bounces on the lower pad.


Here's the FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) edge trim piece I glued over the latch plate edges.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:11 PM   #408
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A very useful documentary. These rigs sure do jump around--I know I'm always re tightening things I'd never have thought would work loose. Jack
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:43 PM   #409
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
We've had to do some unplanned maintenance on Roachie this year. On the way home from our first camping trip a fuel line cracked and was pumping out a bunch of fuel. Replacing it was quite an adventure in that cramped engine compartment and required the removal of the turbocharger and also a massive squirrel nest in the engine valley. I took out the better part of a 5 gallon bucket worth of fuel soaked grass and peanut shells. That squirrel has to be pretty bummed.

When putting the turbo back in I saw that the donut seals in the up pipes (exhaust pipes running from the exhaust manifolds up to the turbo inlet) were leaking, which is common on this engine. The leaky pipes were replaced with an aftermarket "bellows" set that seals nicely and now I can hear the turbo whistle and the engine seems to be quieter and more peppy.

Since we've had the bus we've felt a vibration between 30 to 40 mph. I dealt with it by not driving at those speeds if I could help it. A previous shop replaced front end ball joints and two tie rod ends but the problem remained. This year the vibration got worse so I had the drive shaft universal joints and center bearing replaced. Now it drives silky smooth.

Even with most of the front end replaced it felt like the front wheels were "hunting" on some surfaces, particularly on the new concrete roads with anti-hydroplaning cuts. I had the last tie rod end replaced when the U-joints were being done and finally the steering feels stable.
.
Finally, last year the ABS warning light came on but I ignored it. On our latest trip the red brake warning light also came on. I couldn't find any leaks and the fluid level didn't change so we got home just fine, but I took it into Ford and they found one of the wheel speed sensors had failed.

I'm running out of things to repair on this beast.

We also did some work up at the family camp. The old shelter was getting a bit rickety so we built a new one.



The out house had been in place for about 10 years and was getting pretty full. We considered digging a new hole and moving the outhouse but ultimately decided to dig out the original pit. We were expecting a smelly mess but what we dug out was completely odorless and looked more like dirt than dung. It was a crappy job but someone had to do it.




On our last trip the kids got bored and decided to give us all a spa day. Here is my little niece Charlotte giving me a new doo and later a shampoo/facial which I desperately needed after a long, sweaty 4th of July weekend. Am I stylin' or what?




Here's Charlotte again with campfire ash on her face doing the zombie thing.

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Old 07-13-2016, 10:21 PM   #410
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My daughter sent me a pic of "that zombie thing" they do now-a-days

I could probably think of better things to do in college

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