'03 Ford 7.3L Short Bus (out the gate and build)
Hello there fellow skoolies,
This is my first post on this site. I've been lurking for a couple of months and have been gleaning *so* much useful knowledge, ideas, and inspiration. Thank you all for being inspirations for our short bus project.
My partner and I live just outside of Austin on a small organic vegetable farm. Our tenure is coming to an end here, and I am in the middle of flailing and floundering about what to do with my life and purpose on this earth -- quite reluctant to go back to waiting tables or working in the service industry. Tired of the paying rent to be near where you work so you can earn income to pay rent to be near where you work to earn income to pay rent to be near where you work to earn income to pay rent.....the endless cycle. We want to travel for a little while before settling down and starting our own farm, so we started looking in to purchasing a van. We went to look at a van and the seller had a short bus for sale. It had a lot of problems, and was priced high considering all of the problems and the work that needed going in to it, but we liked the space and different construction opportunities that a short bus offered. The hunt was on for a better priced and in better condition short bus.
2003 Ford 7.3L, Thomas 5 window short bus. 160,000 miles. We were the winning bidders on PublicSurplus, Houston ISD was unloading several short buses with the 7.3L engine. The listings all indicated that the buses would need to be towed away. We bit the bullet and bid on a couple of buses, and won one of them. The bus needed a jump start, and we drover her back from Houston to Austin with no trouble at all.
Remove the huge amount of wiring and bells and whistles and alarms -- the bus has an alarm system that honks and screeches and yells whenever we turn the engine off. Take out the seats, pull up the floor, remove the ceiling panels. Apply anti-rust primer, insulate insulate insulate. Put in flooring and replace ceiling and panel the walls. Build bedroom, kitchen, sitting area, and eventually add a toilet. Solar panels, a roof rack, bike mounts, and a paint job are on the goals list but are de-prioritized for now.
I'll upload pictures to this thread throughout the build.