Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-05-2021, 01:30 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
T8rTotr - Rock crawler hauler

A total newbie to buses but not fabrication work, have a Toyota rock crawler I've taken from bone stock to well, not stock over the last several years.

Bought this in June of last year:

2001 E450 w/ 7.3 Diesel Cutaway converted into a 15 passenger Shuttle bus, 215k miles.

Was a total rusted out POS but was cheap, real cheap and included a good motor, good frame and fairly good fiberglass shell. Pretty much everything else was garbage.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1173.jpg (150.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1170.jpg (166.2 KB, 10 views)

cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 01:36 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
Started pretty much straight away in late June 2020 by tearing out the floors and framework underneath. Frankly, i was shocked how poorly built this thing was by the coach company.


i hate sideways pictures. Sorry but must be platform as i dont have this problem with other forums. will try to fix


edit - think i git it

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20200623_185621.jpg (444.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 20200624_141929.jpg (248.8 KB, 7 views)
cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 01:43 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
so started in late June 2020 ripping out the floors and framework underneath. Frankly I was shocked at to how poorly this thing was built.







cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 02:52 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,141
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Good looking shuttle from pics, so hopefully rust hasn't gotten too deep into the chassis or supporting structure? (not sure why rear bumper is missing?)

Many times the plywood flooring rots in shuttles, and creates body "sag" as a result. Yours looks fairly straight from the pics, but up close shots might show different conditions?

Good luck on your conversion, and post more pics if you can...
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 03:10 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
Is it just me or what? Getting frustrated as I've put up another post or 2 just to have them up and disappear. UGH!

Anyway, a couple of pics of the mess.




cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 03:18 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
so moving on.

Massively disappointed with how poorly these things are built. The coach company built out the frame work using 2x2 sq. tube and left it bare metal/unpainted. Then threw down a thing plastic liner on top iof that and then bare 3/4" plywood on top. I mean I get it, it's a labor and materials savings against the usable life of the vehicle but it allowed for total rot of the steel and the wood.

Took me 2-3 weeks to rip out the rust from the drivers seat back.


cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 03:23 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
Then, to build a new foundation... Absolutely nothing was salvageable from the original frame so 200 Ft of new 2x2 sq tube was thrown down, welded and painted this time.


EDIT: to hopefully resolve vanishing posts


Found under the floor and ripped it all out.













cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 03:25 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
wow, 4 posts now just up and vanished... Too bad
cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 05:46 PM   #9
Site Team
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Posts: 262
Hey OP, your original posts were in the moderation queue because of your low total post count. I've approved them all now, and you should be good to go. DM me or report a post if you have more trouble.
Polarweasel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 05:58 PM   #10
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Seattle, wa
Posts: 2
While a disappointing base to start with, you now can truly visualize and plan tanks, plumbing and electrical.
ephines is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2021, 07:25 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
BeNimble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 863
Year: 1999
Pretty bad rust! but as rust goes, nice fix, and now you have a full flat floor.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 08:07 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
sorry guys, didn't know posts would be held but i get it.


anyway, moving on.


Is there such a thing as good rust? Got it gone from the driver seat back and replaced, laid down 3/4 ply water sealed and screwed down.





cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 08:10 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
time to move onto the front

It was bad, real bad.










cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 08:35 AM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 775
That is a huge job...but you're doing nice work and the end result is going to be something you know inside and out (literally) and in which you can have confidence. There's a lot to be said for that. Mad props, as the hip kids say nowadays.
rossvtaylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 08:51 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
Thanks. On with construction and done with destruction

New rocker welded in place, thankfully Ford rocker panels are cheap and fit reasonably well.

Floor pans were a different story, I only found 1 place that sold them but they were both out of stock and enormously expensive so I picked up sheet of 18G and went to work.










cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 08:57 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
Satisfied with the progress on the drivers side I needed to get on with the entry, it was a total disaster like the drivers side but not good pics.


I just ripped it out and rebuilt it





cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 09:14 AM   #17
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,141
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Nice work.
Not a job for the feint of heart though!

You'll have a solid platform to build off in no time.
Hopefully you'll be using this in some far away places than where it came from, otherwise you could be doing it all over again in 8~10 years?
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 09:27 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
Looking for suggestions here.

One of the issues I had (and still do) is where the fiberglass shell meets the sheet metal above the windshield. The frame flexes so much (thanks FORD) that the shell pulls away from the cab, this joint had been leaking so bad that the sheet metal above the frame was rusted through and virtually gone.

To help rectify the problem I cut away the old decayed sheet metal and replaced with new, then (not shown) I created some 3/16 tabs welded on the inside and through-bolted with 3/8x16 carriage head bolts, you can see the bolt heads in one of the pics.

This issue still persists, the body filler does not flex at all which then cracks and the joint leaks again. So now in lieu of body filler I'm thinking a more flexible material such as paintable silicon (or other) and then throw a light bar in front to disguise the repair.

any thoughts on a permanent repair?














cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 11:15 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 20
one more update while the request for ideas brews a little

Finally time to get on with the real reason this thing exists. Wall & ceiling paneling going up, queen bed framed and shower wall starting to be framed in.



cruzrfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2021, 06:35 PM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 475
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Blue Bird All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 adults and two pigeons
Wow, I am impressed! Wanna come to AZ and help me on my bus fabrications?!! I wouldn't worry about the bolts at the cap. its a bus and it looks the part. I do like the idea of a light bar. Go with that and perhaps use the bolts as a method of holding the light bar tabs. Seriously, You are talented and very skilled at what you do.
__________________
--Simon


Found my Bus at AAAbus in Phx!
Bus'n it is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.