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Old 09-15-2020, 02:52 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
1999 E-350 Texas Build Thread

Howdy ! I've been browsing the forums and internet for a while searching for the perfect bus and believe I finally found it! We purchased her 2 weeks ago from Winona, TX. We bought from an old bus driver for the district that bought it directly from the district (who bought new). Including all service records 2005+. The owner bought to convert into a weekend camper like us but life got in the way. It has sat on her farm the past few years only being driven periodically ! It is approx 20 ft long with 12ft from driver seat to rear of bus.

1999 E-350 7.3L powerstroke
140k miles
4 window w/ handicap lift.

First thing I did was change the oil!

So far we have removed seats, floor (no rust really!), sealed holes, removed side panels. (lift was already gone !) I will post some of the progress in a reply below. Planning to paint the floor tonight and work on sealing the roof before I put down the floor. I do not plan on removing the ceiling.

Ultimate plan is to turn into a little weekender / road trip camper to go on trips throughout the year and explore the USA.


Here is a pic of her in my driveway!

You can follow along on instagram @texasbusadventure or TikTok @usa_tx
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:57 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
Here is a corny video I made to follow our progress! Thanks for checking out and I welcome any advice !

Biggest issue currently is AC is not blowing cold, and trying to figure out how to have a safe seat for my gf to sit in while we drive...
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:03 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,700
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
welcome,
where do you live at in texas?
i know winona, grew up in kilgore and my dad helped start organize and run Liberty City
volunteer fire department.
wont have to worry about to much rust if that bus has lived around there all its life.
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:28 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
Small world ! I'm in DFW so just a few hour drive. There was very little rust!
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:30 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,386
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
my texas bus has no rust either.. great place to buy a bus..



the A/C system is similar to a car system.. im guessing you have a dashboard control and a little Carrier unit hanging in the back..



too bad you werent a month earlier, i was down in Houston / san antonio / DFW area.. (ironically on an A/C shakedown trip to test whether my complete system could handle TX in early august and not choke)..



one of the first things to do is make sure all your fuses are good.. the A/C may have a fuse or circuit breaker main near the battery.. but will have its own relay / fuse panel localted sometimes in the back of the bus, othertimes underneath near the skirt condensor..



if all that checks out then time to put gauges on it and see ifthe refrigerant has leaked out..
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:26 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
As cadillackkid said, You need a seat of gauges to see whaT'S UP WITH THE a/c
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Old 09-23-2020, 02:54 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
Work has been slow on the bus this week due to bad weather and I'm stuck working on it in my driveway !

I was able to get the floor holes sealed and painted with some black rustoleum. I also picked up some 1/2 inch rigid foam board and 1/2 inch plywood for my subfloor.

I removed all the decals from the bus. I used a rubber wheel off amazon, it worked pretty good!

I removed an old CB antenna that was leaking bad on roof and patched with some sheet steel , adhesive, and self tapping screws. I also tried to save my emergency hatch but it was so rotted it just fell apart. I am picking up some steel to cover tomorrow. Eventually I'll probably put a fan in this spot.

THE BAD: Passenger front wheel hub was smoking pretty bad when I got back from home depot. I think caliper might be stuck. Will remove and inspect this weekend. I will go ahead and replace front brakes.

Here is another video update!
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:54 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
Was able to remove the emergency hatch and patch over with some steel from the local metal shop. Also removed an old vent top and patched over that.

Removed the old caulk from windows and resealed.

Going to work on the floor this weekend. I have 1/2 rigid foam board and 1/2 inch plywood. Coming along slowly but surely !
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:21 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,852
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
DFW, huh? Hurst here. Welcome to the community, neighbor.
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Old 10-05-2020, 03:51 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
Got the subfloor installed Saturday !

We went with 1/2 inch rigid foam and 1/2 sanded plywood. It feels nice and study. Used suck construction adhesive and some wood to metal screws. Feels good !

Sunday I worked on the front brakes. Took off the calipers and cleaned and greased. Also replaced the pads.
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:59 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
Work has been slow lately due to work and DR visits. Was able to get the bus walls framed with some 2x2s. Also bought 2x4s to build bed frame. Hope to start this sometime this week/weekend.

Had an issue with bus dying while driving back from Home Depot. I had just changed fuel filter a few days before and it was my first time driving. I'm hoping it was just something small. Started right back up and let it run in my driveway for a bit no issues. My battery light is on so I need to clean connections. Might be a bad alternator. We will see !
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Old 01-06-2021, 04:52 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
Hi friends !

I have not posted in a while ... We got a lot of work done this past week as we have had some sunny warm weather here in Texas.

Bus walls were completed.

Queen bed frame was done.

Vinyl flooring installed.

Kitchen cabinets painted and installed

Framed pantry/closet.

Working on painting/sealing roof with Henry tropicool in next week or so. Will also work on building our couch.

QUESTION : Can I legally keep my bus yellow in Texas ? It is titled as a commercial van.

Thanks !
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg DDDC2646-18F9-41F1-A7FB-5241DC3AA218.jpg (264.6 KB, 18 views)
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:48 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
Got some more work done this weekend!

Finished most of the pantry. Including the door and staining. Need to finish the top to make flush with ceiling.

I decided against having a sofa. I will have a folding table/counter top in it's place. We will use this to eat and work. It will fold down flush with wall for extra space. Thinking of having some sort of bean. bag to sit on if we want.

Got Henrys tropicool for roof. Have 2 small leaks I need to seal.

Dropping off bus in 2 weeks for a general look over and service to make sure it is road worthy.

Still need to get inspected so I can get it registered.

Does anyone know if I can do this while the bus is yellow in Texas ? It is titled as a commercial van.



Here are a few pics. We got our first snow of the season last week. Melted within a day though :P
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File Type: jpg IMG_0781.jpg (529.8 KB, 4 views)
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Old 04-15-2021, 11:28 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: TX
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3 L Powerstroke
So I have not got to get any work done on the bus. It has been in the shop since February

Nothing major wrong just wanted a tune up, brake work, etc. Unfortunately with covid and a big ice storm my mechanic has fallen behind. I am giving him until end of month if not started and finished I'm gonna take the bus back and find someone else.
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