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Old 03-30-2019, 03:53 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Central Washington
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Year: 1988
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Faith & Taylor's Dream Chaser

Well here we go! This will be our diary for the build and we welcome any insight you all might have.
Our first order of business is settling on the bus that we are lined up to purchase. It is a 1988 Ford B700. We are trying to figure out what the transmission and engine are based on their ID numbers... any advise for that?

The bus costs $800 and it hasn't been out on any long trips (or even short trips) for about 9 years but it has been well maintained by my uncle. He took the seats out. It might need new tires as it is 30 years old.. we are still checking what age the tires are.. so thats an additional 2-3k. It will need a new battery asap as well..another 200 and then a fluid flush...another 200. So potentially 3-4k for the bus just to get it in good condition. It runs and drives great, 270k miles, no rust that we can see anywhere, not too much blue smoke, and all the seats are out already. Forgot to mention that it has a 6'5" floor to ceiling height! There are air brakes as well.

We will use the bus as our primary living when we move down to California so we will be insulating it pretty well to withstand heat.

We are super excited for this!...and nervous! But now is the time to learn and make mistakes.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:30 PM   #2
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I know people with that bus and to be honest its mediocre at best. Nothing horribly wrong with em other than they're low powered and sort of an odd duck.
Its probably the ford/new holland engine with an allison 545.
You're out there where the truly awesome buses are. I'd shoot for a top of the line bus. Look for a Cummins, International, or Cat.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:33 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Thanks for your advise! We are doing our best to look. We aren't looking to travel a lot in it, just get it from point A to point B and keep it there for awhile. I see a few buses for sale in the area going for 4k on craigslist.. not sure if it's worth it.
And I just called a guy and found tires for only $175 ea including install...so that's looking good.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:47 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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If I post the serial number of the engine and transmission would someone be able to help me figure out what they are? Or is that a bad idea....

Thanks,



Faith
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Old 03-30-2019, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterose764 View Post
If I post the serial number of the engine and transmission would someone be able to help me figure out what they are? Or is that a bad idea....

Thanks,



Faith
The VIN # will be able to get you more info on what it is.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:35 PM   #6
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I just don't know if it's safe to post that... <---- *Noob Alert*
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by whiterose764 View Post
I just don't know if it's safe to post that... <---- *Noob Alert*
No issues with posting it. Member here can use it and search manufactures websites to find specific build details.
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Old 03-31-2019, 01:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by whiterose764 View Post
I just don't know if it's safe to post that... <---- *Noob Alert*
What are your concerns about posting a VIN#?
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Old 03-31-2019, 01:37 PM   #9
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My 86 ford B700 has the non turbo 8.2 and the 545.
Seems like that was pretty standard in the 80's.
I would try to figure out the rear gear ratio cause that's how ford limited road speed in that era.
I don't know when the 8.2 went to the turbo version but the first few years weren't pretty because there weren't enough head bolts to keep the heads from warping with the turbo, horsies upgrade and most mechanics that know how to work on them are retired and the younger mechanics that even have an inkling of how to work on them don't want to touch them.
Mainly because of the fuel rail,engine governor set up adjustment pain in the but procedure and specialty tools and knowledge to get it correct. Good motors if well maintained.
Non turbo average 175-190 HP.
Turbo is up to 250-hp.
Good luck
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:27 AM   #10
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Well we’ve got some figured out now! We bought the bus for $600. It will need new tires which I found all 6 for under 1k at a local tire shop. It needs a new battery and fluids so another $400+ is expected. We have a Ford 7.8L I6 motor in great condition considering it’s age!

It rained pretty hard the past two days and discovered one leak coming from the back door where the sealant gave in. We will patch that up. We’ve ripped up the rubber flooring and some of the old plywood. When we are done with that we will take out the windows and re-seal them and take off the side wall paneling as ours wraps under the window sill. When we put the windows back in and test for leaks, only after it passes the test will we put in the subfloor.
Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do for the ceiling as we will insulte it and put up new material. What do people usually use on the interior roof material? Please attach any relevant threads that you know about!
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:13 AM   #11
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Them old "B's" are tanks.... Sometimes they tend to be a touch fussy to get going but once going....... Unstoppable.

Welcome to the site
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:13 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
Them old "B's" are tanks.... Sometimes they tend to be a touch fussy to get going but once going....... Unstoppable.

Welcome to the site



Yes good news! We've got new tires, oil, filters, and a good check up and the mechanics look solid. We are good to roll!
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:55 AM   #13
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Recap! 2 Weeks In

2 weeks ago we bought our bus!

We took out the flooring and the leftover seats. Sanded down the floor and treated what little rust spots there were. Next used the grinder to get the walls below the windows off and took out the fiber glass. Then we took out the windows and scraped them all off and re sealed them and put them all back in except for two. We painted the floor with rust preventative paint. Taylor is partly done with removing the ceiling. We are considering keeping the ceiling because they are perforated metal panels which is good for airflow around the insulation and keeping it dry.
We have bought the materials for the subfloor. We settled on 1" polyiso rigid foam insulation (the highest grade of rigid foam, and not quite twice the price and the lowest. R-6 value.) and 1/2" plywood and a lot of liquid nails.

Next steps are finishing taking out the perforated ceiling panels and pressure washing them and then spray painting them white if we plan to keep them. Next we need to finalize the floor plan, electrical and plumbing plans so we can act accordingly when installing the insulation for the sub flooring and walls.

We are still deciding if it's worth spending 3x as much for spray foam just for the ceiling, or putting in the work to cut the rigid foam properly (keeping a moisture barrier). It will be at least $500 to just do the roof in spray foam (2" = R-13ish) as compared to rigid foam (2" = R-12) which would only be around max $200. I should note that our bus is tight. The fiberglass in both the walls and ceiling were in really good condition and only had two windows that I noticed had water when it rained hard.

Oh! We also got the title and registration done!


General Floor Plan description from front to back:
Driver area will be blocked with a wall about 1-2' behind the driver seat for a garage/driving area.
Behind the wall will be the master bed and connected will be small closets and bookshelf.
Then will be the toilet and shower combo. Little hallway on the other side of that. Then The countertops start and the kitchen. The sink will be on the shower wall. The propane stove and oven on the other side with the propane fridge. Countertops between these areas. The left rear emergency exit will be converted into the main entrance. (looking for advice on how to best make this comfortable getting in and out)
From the emergency exit/front door and to the back of the bus will be the living area. We just plan on having a fold out couch on one side with storage underneath and some open space for lounging on pillows and sheep skin rugs.

We are building a custom hardwood table top that folds up with hairpin legs to hang on the wall when not in use. (As seen in Tio Aventura's Bus) In addition one part of a countertop will act as a bar/table for ease. LOVE this idea because we can take the table outside as it won't be permanently attached to a wall. We will have nice wood fold up chairs too. (thank God for yard sales ya'll)

Need suggestions for:

ceiling air conditioner
Emergency side door converted into front door
Any other wisdom nuggets ya'll may have
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by whiterose764 View Post
The left rear emergency exit will be converted into the main entrance. (looking for advice on how to best make this comfortable getting in and out)

Need suggestions for:

Emergency side door converted into front door

As far as making this emergency door an entrance/exit door ...


57485105_343745002936871_2637900923870904320_n.jpg


The real problem is going to be the head clearance from the floor to the top of the door. However, if there is a stair well there, it is easy. I suspect there is no stairwell. So my suggestion would be to add a stairwell down to the bottom of the skirt.
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:12 AM   #15
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That font size is hard on the eyes!
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:02 AM   #16
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That font size is hard on the eyes!
Is that my post you are referring to?


I see no difference in any fonts on this thread.


P.S. I did not change the font, so if it were my post, it happened accidentally.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
Is that my post you are referring to?


I see no difference in any fonts on this thread.


P.S. I did not change the font, so if it were my post, it happened accidentally.
Not you, Whiterose put theirs into a tiny font I can barely read even with my spectacles on.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Not you, Whiterose put theirs into a tiny font I can barely read even with my spectacles on.

Sorry to hear that. My machine is displaying it the same size. LOL I usually have to enlarge the screen anyway. My eyes are not what they used to be.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:43 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Hmm sorry that the font is small! I didn’t change it on purpose, must have happened when I pasted the text in from my word doc. I can’t edit it now. Maybe you can try zooming in?
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:43 AM   #20
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Hmm sorry that the font is small! I didnít change it on purpose, must have happened when I pasted the text in from my word doc. I canít edit it now. Maybe you can try zooming in?
No biggie, its just hard to read. Makes sense that you pasted it.
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