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Old 09-24-2019, 08:30 PM   #1
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Our new/first Skoolie - 2004 Thomas FE Flat front

Hi all. Today marks the official start of our conversion. I found the bus in PA, but it came from an Air Force base in Texas. Itís got 28k miles and under 3k hours. No rust! We paid a premium for it compared to what most here have paid, but I wanted a solid platform to build our travel vehicle upon.

Itís so nice to finally have it here at home. I can now solidify plans and strategy.
Let the fun begin!
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:59 AM   #2
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Sounds like you have a solid platform to build. Congratulations.


More pictures?
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:11 AM   #3
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I’m gonna snap some before pics today and get them posted here ASAP!
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:12 AM   #4
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Interior before

Hereís a shot of the interior this morning.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:14 AM   #5
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Interior - No Seats

Here’s the interior at noon!

I highly recommend Milwaukee’s ‘Torch’metal blades. I used them on the Hackzall.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:21 AM   #6
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The bus

Here are some picks of the exterior.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustynyc View Post
Hereís the interior at noon!

I highly recommend Milwaukeeís ĎTorchímetal blades. I used them on the Hackzall.
Whatís likely to be beneath the rubber floor? Will it be the subfloor? Iím not sure I need to uncover it. Other than a compromised subfloor, are there any reasons to remove the rubber? I intend to foam atop it.

Also, has anyone cut out their seats and just left the bolt brackets in under the foam?

On this bus, they are so near the middle, that itís highly unlikely theyíll interfere with anything that needs to go through the original subfloor. Please let me know if Iím missing anything I should consider further.

Thanks all!

Dusty
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:52 AM   #8
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Folks typically remove the rubber and plywood subfloor to examine and repair the steel below. Plywood is a magnet for moisture, and even buses outside the "rust belt" have had rusted floor steel that's better to take care of when you can as a result.

Depending on your use and how long you plan to keep it, you may or may not want to go through this, but now's the time to do so!

Chris
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:53 AM   #9
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By the way, nice bus!
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:15 PM   #10
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If you don’t want to remove the entire floor you could cut some pieces out of the plywood to see if there’s rust to fix. You’ll need to be really careful not to cut the steel. I used one of the oscillating multi tools. From the photos I’ve seen, around the wheel wells would be a good place to check.

If all looks good, glue the pieces back in their holes and you’re good to go.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:01 PM   #11
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Nice looking bus.

I think you did well buying from the Air Force base. That is one application that I believe the low miles.

I look forward to seeing your build.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:26 PM   #12
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Nice looking bus.

I think you did well buying from the Air Force base. That is one application that I believe the low miles.

I look forward to seeing your build.
Thanks Steve. I appreciate that.
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:10 AM   #13
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The air Force sure did take care of that bus! The seats looked NEW. I hope you are going to find a good home for them.


As for the floor, the suggestion of sampling is a decent one, if you sample from the right spots. Personally, I would take it all out. An important place to look is in front of and behid the wheel wells. Also, at the top of the entry stairs and the back door.
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
If you donít want to remove the entire floor you could cut some pieces out of the plywood to see if thereís rust to fix. Youíll need to be really careful not to cut the steel. I used one of the oscillating multi tools. From the photos Iíve seen, around the wheel wells would be a good place to check.

If all looks good, glue the pieces back in their holes and youíre good to go.
Seems like a solid approach. Iíll explore a few areas to make a determination as to whether or not the floor needs to come out to dress rust.

Thank you!
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
The air Force sure did take care of that bus! The seats looked NEW. I hope you are going to find a good home for them.


As for the floor, the suggestion of sampling is a decent one, if you sample from the right spots. Personally, I would take it all out. An important place to look is in front of and behid the wheel wells. Also, at the top of the entry stairs and the back door.
The back door is good. No rust at all. Iím gonna clean up that area treat with Por 15 and repaint.

The stairs are coming out because Iím moving the entrance door to the 4th window from the front. Iíll fabricate a storage compartment in their place and am thinking of moving the starting batteries there.

Iíll carefully examine the wheel wells as you and others suggest.

Thank you!
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:51 AM   #16
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Free bus seats

Somebody mentioned the seats. I found them to be uncomfortable, dirty and unusable. Iíd hoped to use the metal framing in future projects, but found the components to be too small to harvest for general use. Thatís when I decided to cut them out. The attachment feet have been severed from the framing structure. The seats are headed to the dump.

If anyone has an interest in them (free) and lives near Putnam County NY (I know itís not really upstate) message me for more info. Theyíll be gone, either way, by Oct 10, 2019.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:01 AM   #17
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those are some nice seats.. are they useable or are the frames cut-up? meaning were they unbolted or the legs cut off?
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:20 AM   #18
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Legs cut at the floor.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:28 AM   #19
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This morning the a/c ducts, evaporator covers and wire chases were removed.
Iíve got to get the a/c system discharged so I can get the evaporators out. The bus cannot be driven on the roads, and donít see anyone nearby on Craigslist.

Can I call any HVAC tech or do they have to be automotive?
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustynyc View Post
This morning the a/c ducts, evaporator covers and wire chases were removed.
Iíve got to get the a/c system discharged so I can get the evaporators out. The bus cannot be driven on the roads, and donít see anyone nearby on Craigslist.

Can I call any HVAC tech or do they have to be automotive?
OH NOOO !!!!

That is the one feature missing on my bus.... If mine had ducted a/c I would consider it perfect...

It pains me to see folks removing road air... But, that is why we are all here. To build what we want individualy and not be stuck with what some guy in Elkhart thinks we need.
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