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mattbus 05-02-2016 06:25 PM

Buster the '05 Ford E450
Hello all, first time poster here.

So I dove head first in a couple months ago and purchased a bus, and now that the weather is starting to improve here in upstate New York I'm ready to get going on my conversion. I was looking for something fairly small, for one because it will likely just be me or me and one other person traveling, but also because I have relatively limited driveway space living in the city. Also I just really like the idea of having everything in a nice compact space, I'm kind of a minimalist. I settled on a 2005 Ford E450 Bluebird 24 capacity short bus, and couldn't be happier with the size/style etc! The inside was pretty clean, although the undercarriage is admittedly pretty rusty... but to be expected living in an area salty winter roads. That being said if I had to purchase again, I'd look for something with a little less rust. The interior floors are in pretty great shape though.

Anyways, here are the goods.

And here is how Buster is looking as of today...

So as you can see the seats, flooring, rear heater, wall panels, stop sign and door mechanism have been removed. Up next is the ceiling...

Robin97396 05-02-2016 07:09 PM

Nice shorty Dude. It's not often one can say that to another guy.

scootie 05-03-2016 08:08 PM

what are you going to replace the ceiling with once gone? I ask b/c I see those bus bodies on the road, but have not seen the inside of one till just now. The curves on the sides are really hard curves. what can bent that tight?

mattbus 05-04-2016 07:26 AM

@Robin97396 Haha, thanks.

@scootie I was thinking tongue and groove boards, the 4" stuff definitely wouldn't work but I think 2" would do the trick. Alternatively, I've seen some thin/really flexible wood paneling type stuff that would probably work as well. Here's a link, but I have no experience with it.

I love this body type on my bus, but it's definitely going to make the ceiling a bit more tricky.

Scooternj 05-04-2016 08:16 AM

Another thing you could do is angle the curves out and use them as a cable chase for overhead lighting, speakers, etc.

Robin97396 05-04-2016 10:08 AM

Why has shag carpeting fallen out of vogue?

dgorila1 05-04-2016 12:51 PM

What size engine do you have and did you buy from a dealer or private individual? I'm eager to see how your build progresses since an E450 is what I am planning on buying and converting.

Docsgsxr 05-04-2016 03:15 PM


Originally Posted by Scooternj (Post 146355)
Another thing you could do is angle the curves out and use them as a cable chase for overhead lighting, speakers, etc.

I was thinking the same thing, cables one side, A/C duct on the other.

mattbus 05-04-2016 05:49 PM

@Scooternj @Docsgsxr Angle out the curves is definitely an option, it would probably make things a bit easier, in addition to giving that extra space for the cable routing. I really like the curve aesthetic though, so I guess I'll see how complicated it ends up being.

@Robin97396 Shag carpet... plan b, ha.

@dgorila1 I bought it from Don Brown Bus Sales in Johnstown, NY. Definitely recommend them, they have a huge selection Don Brown Bus Sales, Inc - Home. Honestly I don't know much about the engine, it's an International 6.0L DIT diesel which I believe is a Power Stroke model?

Now a couple questions for everyone.

I'm clipping out the wires for the heater, stop sign, dash fan, etc. Is it fine to just put wire butts (terminal connectors) on the ends I cut off and leave them? It'd be handy to have them for potential future use, and also not have to trace them all the way back to the source/disconnect them. I don't know a ton about electrical so I don't want to leave any chance for shorts or anything like that.

And rivets... I've read a ton about removing the ceiling panels, people drilling them out, using a pry bar, etc. and honestly none of those options are working out very well. I'd prefer to drill them out, but even an expensive cobalt drill bit is dull after just a couple rivets. Anyways advice on drill bits for the job?

cadillackid 05-04-2016 06:06 PM

you likely dont want to clip all the wires for your dashboard heaters.. you are going to need those and the dashboard Air-Con for when you are driving.

whenever I cut wires I crimp terminating splices on the ends and then I pull the fuse for that item fro mthe fuse box..

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