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Old 11-23-2019, 08:14 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Bus 54 conversion

Brought the bus home last Sunday, well not exactly home. Doing the build at a relative's house about 30 minutes north of me. Went out this morning for day 1 of the conversion. Made good progress considering I was alone most of the day. Managed to get all the seats out, all the seat bolts ground off and punched through, got all the screws out of the side panels under the windows, AND got the back 1/3rd of the rubber/plywood floor up. Should be able to complete the floor removal tomorrow. Hoping to get some OSPHO for next weekend.

Ultimate plans for this bus include a 12" roof raise, as well as relocating the entry stairs/door. LONG road ahead, only going to be able to put in about 4-5 days a month on the build.
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:33 PM   #2
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Wow, at the rate you're going you should be done by February!
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:45 PM   #3
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Wow, at the rate you're going you should be done by February!
Jack
HA! I wish. With the holidays coming up, Indiana weather, and club volleyball season starting in January (I ref tournaments on the weekends) I won't have that many available weekends until spring. Its not exactly an ideal time of year for a roof raise anyway though.
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Old 11-24-2019, 07:13 PM   #4
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Day 2 brought more demo. Got the remainder of the rubber and plywood removed. Removed all the lower wall panels, and all ceiling panels except for the one above the driver area. All wall and ceiling insulation removed. Not bad for 2 days, especially working solo. Bus would not start this morning, but after an hour on the battery charger it fired right up. I suspect that starting it up 3 times yesterday drained them down.
I do have significant rust damage around the wheel wells, everywhere else is minor surface rust. Have a gallon of Ospho being delivered this week. Once I Ospho everything I'll figure out how to replace/repair the areas around the wheel wells.
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Old 11-24-2019, 07:41 PM   #5
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Great progress.

You might want to disconnect your batteries and take them to an auto parts shop to be tested. Most likely they're old and near death, and it's best to be proactive on the batteries so as not to end up stuck somewhere.

Edit: also, your wheel wells don't look too bad at all, but you might want to get under the bus and see if any of the rusting in that area affected the exhaust pipe where it runs under the floor and over the rear axle. It's pretty difficult to access so it is likely not to have ever been replaced, and may have some holes in it. My exhaust in that area had numerous holes and needed to be cut out and replaced.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:24 PM   #6
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Great progress.

You might want to disconnect your batteries and take them to an auto parts shop to be tested. Most likely they're old and near death, and it's best to be proactive on the batteries so as not to end up stuck somewhere.

Edit: also, your wheel wells don't look too bad at all, but you might want to get under the bus and see if any of the rusting in that area affected the exhaust pipe where it runs under the floor and over the rear axle. It's pretty difficult to access so it is likely not to have ever been replaced, and may have some holes in it. My exhaust in that area had numerous holes and needed to be cut out and replaced.
Thanks. The wheel wells themselves are pretty good, save for the bottom 1/2" or so. The floor around them is in bad shape though. Nothing I can't fix though.
The batteries are actually pretty new, stickers on them (3 of them) say 6/19. I think just starting the bus 3 times just to idle and get some heat while working drained them just enough to not start. maybe
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:04 PM   #7
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Day 3 of the project, i was able to get the interior wall skin off of the back wall, and the ceiling over the driver's area pulled out so all the wall and ceiling panels are out. Took all the seat frames and interior metal to the scrapyard (2 trips) and made $22.40. Cut out the extra rusty areas around the wheel wells, ran flapper wheel over the entire floor, cleaned up and coated entire floor with Ospho. Also managed to remove stop sign and crossing arm. All in all a good day, just forgot to take pictures. Also had some help, as the brother-in-law got started fabricating angle brackets and metal floor patches for tomorrow.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:50 PM   #8
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Got the rust sanded down and converted with ospho (phosphoric acid). Cut out metal around the wheel wells where the rust was really bad. We'll be welding in patches there. I had hoped to get coat of primer on the floor today but it's just too wet outside and I've got a couple leaky windows. Eventually going to be replacing all of the windows but with the leaks right now I can't keep the floor dry. Will have to return on a dry day to complete floor prep. Got the safety interlock from the back door disconnected as well.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:26 PM   #9
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This all looks familiar somehow. Where is the fuel pipe on your bus? I don't see the metal cover like there is in my bus, behind the passenger side wheel well.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:36 PM   #10
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This all looks familiar somehow. Where is the fuel pipe on your bus? I don't see the metal cover like there is in my bus, behind the passenger side wheel well.
Its on the passenger side up towards the front. Metal cover is off temporarily, but i don't think you can see the hole in any of these pics. It will go back on after painting the floor, and that access point will be under a couch in the final layout.
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:42 PM   #11
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Tore apart the dashboard, going to rebuild it with wood soon. Got the metal floor primed, just have one more section to patch . Got the rubber treads off the stairs, now we have to decide if we are relocating the stairs or keeping them in the original location. The wife put several hours in removing the reflective tape along the sides. Also cut out a small section of hat channel between the windows so i can get some pieces made for the roof raise. Also bought a new (but slightly dented) Lippert RV door for a heck of a good price.
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:17 PM   #12
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I have hat channel raise kits for the International. Look for it in the classifieds if interested.
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:05 PM   #13
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Didn't "work" on the bus today, but acquired a TON of things we're going to need. Took a trip to Ickes RV Surplus and bought 9 slightly used RV windows at $20 each, and 2 captains chairs. The chairs aren't a matching set, but are close enough in color that they will still look good. Just need to modify the existing driver's seat mount for my new seat, and modify the used swivel base I picked up to accept the copilot seat. Also did some online shopping and purchased a Maxxair vent fan, 2 pieces of 3/16 polycarbonate and lots of parts/pieces to turn them into skylights (1 will be operable/escape hatch). Also have all the tube steel and angle on order for the roof raise/stair relocation--will pick it all up on Monday.
Planning on getting started tomorrow on trying to remove the stairs. . .
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:24 PM   #14
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Got the old stairs completely removed, cut out the flooring and chair rail where the new stairs will go, finalized our floorplan, and started removing rivets on the outside in preparation for the roof raise. Hope to complete all prep work for the raise next weekend, and start the roof raise next Monday.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:26 PM   #15
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I love that last picture. It gives a whole new meaning to "dropping the kids off at school" You're moving right along with your build--looks good.
Jack
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:02 PM   #16
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Got a fair amount of work done today, despite a late start and early quitting time. Removed the door and all its components, removed all windows except driver's slider, welded up roof raise guides, and got maybe 30% of the rivets removed in preparation for the roof raise. Hoping to get the remainder of the rivets removed tomorrow and complete all prep so that Monday i can raise the roof.
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:04 PM   #17
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Pics from today
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:34 PM   #18
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My helper didn't show up today, so i worked solo (as i have all but 1 day so far). Took out the driver's seat, removed all rivets needed for the roof raise (still a butt- ton to remove before i skin the sides). I got my all thread lift guides welded in place, and added bolts as a secondary measure. Also built 2x4 "scaffold" as a backup/safety precaution, as well as bolted some 24" pieces of tube stock in 4 sections of hat channel to help keep the lifted section aligned. Made the cut through the roof above the driver's area. Tomorrow i'll cut the remainder of the hat channel and begin the raising. Should be up 12-14" by lunchtime, then i figure another day and a half bolting and welding the tube extensions. . .wish i had some help!
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Old 12-22-2019, 06:10 PM   #19
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When I do my raise I will dedicate 4 gear wrenches for quicker raising.
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:06 PM   #20
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When I do my raise I will dedicate 4 gear wrenches for quicker raising.
Not this size, but if you can find this style that'd be ideal -- these type don't have to be "flipped over" to reverse direction -- you just switch the pawl on the side.
Make it very easy for one person to do the raise and fine tune the lift.
https://www.mactools.com/en-us/Air-C...g-Box-Wrenches
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