Hello all, new to the board here. Have done a ton of reading but not very much posting.
Recently discovered the cheapness of shuttle buses and bought one to replace my aging 1996 E-250 motovan. It was struggling to tow my boat and didn't have all the creature comforts I wanted. Was looking at newer high top vans and had a bit of sticker shock. Was looking at having to spend $5-8k to get everything I wanted. Then I stumbled upon a bus. Won a 1999 E450 Star Trans on ebay for $2k. Guy said it was in "great condition" and ready to be driven home. Long story short, I drove 9 hours one way to IL to find an in-operable bus. Did not stop, broken brake lines. Drove 9 hours home very salty.
After looking at a few more buses in the $2k range, I realized that I would have to spend a bit more to get something workable. Found my 2001 E450 StarTrans on craigslist. It has 151k miles on the body & engine. Engine is the 7.3 turbo diesel. Mostly everything works, and it has very little rust when compared to the other buses I looked at. If you read all of this, you deserve to see some pictures:
As of right now, all I've done is taken 1 seat out, and after I did that I discovered that the other seat in the same row is a folder, so I folded it up. The side door is 1" too narrow to fit a quad in there (grrr) so I'm not sure if I'm going to cut the side of the bus or not.
I bought a tri-fold harbor freight ramp that I had planned on bolting to a hinge on the floor, but the thing is just so flimsy. I'm afraid to walk on it:
Anyways, plans for the bus right now in order of importance:
Fix the dash blower (its either the motor, relay, or control.. will troubleshoot once it's not freezing outside)
Convert the power bus door to an RV style entry door
Build a wall to separate the 'garage' area from the living area. One gripe about this thing is its SO LOUD inside while driving down the highway. My van had a partition wall and it was like driving a truck at that point, very quiet inside.
If I get crazy.. remove the wheelchair side entry door, cut and frame the opening 2" wider, and install an enclosed trailer style fold down ramp door.
If anyone has any input on how to frame up the inside I'm all ears. I've seen it done with steel and wood on here, not sure which is the better option. I've seen people take down the entire roof skin and I'm not sure if I need to do that. I almost think I should because my interior lights aren't working properly (switch is always lit up no matter what, and lights are always on inside no matter what. previous owner pulled all the bulbs out so I wasn't aware)
Thanks for looking! Updates will come as it gets warmer outside. I just have no place to park this thing inside ;/