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Old 03-13-2018, 03:18 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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93 E350 Project

Hello all, been lurking this forum for sometime now. Obviously a great source of information and suggestions, so figured I would make my introduction so that I can get to picking some of your brains about my build and other related questions.

A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I picked up this 93 E350 bus. has 25 thousand on the odo, and while not perfect by a strech, seems to be mechanically sound (vouched by mechanic friend). has the 7.5 gas motor. I know that this age vechicle can be cause for concern with such low miles, and inactivity, but the non profit I bought it from seems to have been pretty good with regular mantience and seeing about it at their local shop. The reason they sold it was due to the backdoor being damaged, and not being able to get it certified for transporting children, so they decided to sell and purchase something newer.

Since it's been in our possession, I have ripped out all the seats, wood siding, and made a makeshift repair on the backdoor (That I will be returning to later on) and have started learning sketchup and playing with floor plan possibilities. The plywood floor needs to (mostly) be replaced, and upon inspection I have noticed that my bus does not have the metal floor underneath which seems to be more of the norm for most builds I have seen, so I am looking into how that will affect my build/insulation process. A year before selling, they paid to have some type of rain/weather proofing put on the roof of the bus, but I am still experincing some minor leaking, so that is one of my first goals before I get too ahead of myself framing anything out.

I have a ton of questions that I would greatly appreciate input on. But for now here are some pictures of my current progress.

My immediate goals:
Replace plywood floor
patch/repair any roof leaks
inspect/replace window gaskets
install roof vent
begin solar panel install

While I would like to see steady progress, I don't want to rush the build or have to do any short sighted backtracking. Sorry if this thread is sort of a jumbled rambling, it's 4am and the questions I need to ask aren't quick to come to mind. Thanks for having such a great resourceful community. Look forward to partcipating in the discussions of the forum.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:55 PM   #2
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How does one wear out a 24 year old bus by putting barely 1000 miles a year on one. I'd be concerned if that mileage is correct.
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:17 PM   #3
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plywood floor looks wet...like old consistent wet...sitting outside not moving for 20 years?...flood?...if wet, it's perfect for easy removal...concern would be rust on the under carriage...otherwise she looks like a nice ride...have fun.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
How does one wear out a 24 year old bus by putting barely 1000 miles a year on one. I'd be concerned if that mileage is correct.
Sorry im not sure what you mean by wear out? While the bus does have signs of wear, it seems pretty sound considering the age. All the information that has been presented to me on the bus backs up the ODO as correct. I did not get the impression anything was afoul. The bus runs great, shifts great, good compression etc.

The bus seems to be primarily used to shuffle kids around a small KY town. The 1st owner was a hotel that used it in similar ways. I think the mileage is legitimate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stone21 View Post
plywood floor looks wet...like old consistent wet...sitting outside not moving for 20 years?...flood?...if wet, it's perfect for easy removal...concern would be rust on the undercarriage...otherwise she looks like a nice ride...have fun.
I will say that the picture I posted was the worst example of the floor damage. It's placed right under where the most prevalent leak is located. The rear of the bus isn't near as bad but I am planning on replacing it all. There is surface rust on the undercarriage, but nothing that is a huge cause of concern at the moment. A 99 Silverado I had until recently showed much more signs of rust damage than this bus. I am also planning on removing as much undercarriage rust as possible using a sander. Most of the frame sanding I have done thus far has removed rust easy than anticipated.

I only paid $1600 for the bus, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the condition that it currently is in. With it only having the plywood layer of flooring, I was looking for input on rather using some sort of sheet metal to create a layer to place insulation between the underbelly and the plywood flooring would be a good idea?
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:14 PM   #5
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I can only reccomend marine grade plywood at least the thickness if not more than what you are pulling up.
Don't remember the name or brand but they also make plywood that has a layer of BISQUINE or layer of tar and rubber coating you can face down and tape the seams as you lay the cuts down.
Good luck
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:21 PM   #6
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Thank you for the suggestions Jolly, that sounds like it may be the way to go. I will start looking into that tonight.


Also, does anyone know if hitches and other things that fit this year E350 is somewhat compaitable with the bus? It left ford as an "RV prep pkg" so im confused on if I would run into issues when attempting to use parts for the e350 ecoline and such.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:31 PM   #7
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Probably the same chassis with beefier springs but a standard hitch should fit and there should already be bolt holes.
Anything E or F 350 should fit.
Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
Sorry im not sure what you mean by wear out? While the bus does have signs of wear, it seems pretty sound considering the age.

I may have been extreme in my description of "while not perfect by a strech"
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:04 PM   #9
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Hey everyone, making some progress on the tear out. At this point I'm probably going to do the first section I already have pulled out before moving to the back. Working on cleaning up the rails and getting the rust off, going well so far as its only surface rust and goop left over from adhesive.
After im done with that I'm planning on figuring out my floor insulation.

My current plan (would love input) is to a fix sheet metal along the rails, and creating a layer to put my insulation in, underneath the plywood. Does this seem like an effective way to proceed? If so, would I be better off with rigid foam or a spray in? Also worth mentioning I plan on another rigid layer above the plywood before the final flooring. Thanks for all the input so far and in the future!



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Old 03-19-2018, 09:26 PM   #10
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Sounds good to me.

Sheet metal under those ribs, fill the voids with sprayfoam and sheet over with ply.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:09 PM   #11
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Can anyone shed some light on the rear heater unit? The overhead AC unit, as well as both heat/ac in the front seem to work great but I haven't had much luck with the rear heater. It seems to get slightly hot to the touch, but I've had no luck with getting the fan to kick on. Is it worth fixing? Or should I just rip it out and use an alternative? It's a huge bulky unit, and obviously limited in it's uses (and that's if I can get it working again). My inital research seems to point that repairing these units (such as the blower fan) can get expensive quickly, maybe that money would be better spent on a different unit?
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
Or should I just rip it out and use an alternative? It's a huge bulky unit, and obviously limited in it's uses

I am taking mine out and putting the space to use for something more practical. I personally have no reason to heat the rear area of the bus while driving.



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Old 04-06-2018, 12:35 PM   #13
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Should be a valve under the bus that will open and allow coolant to heat the exchanger. I assume you found and turned on the blower motor? I read a lot of threads where people take the rear heaters out but I think that's a big mistake if you are ever in temperatures below 50 degrees you will need that rear heater.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
Can anyone shed some light on the rear heater unit? The overhead AC unit, as well as both heat/ac in the front seem to work great but I haven't had much luck with the rear heater. It seems to get slightly hot to the touch, but I've had no luck with getting the fan to kick on. Is it worth fixing? Or should I just rip it out and use an alternative? It's a huge bulky unit, and obviously limited in it's uses (and that's if I can get it working again). My inital research seems to point that repairing these units (such as the blower fan) can get expensive quickly, maybe that money would be better spent on a different unit?
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:37 AM   #14
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You can find a replacement that is smaller but just as strong from jegs.

http://www.jegs.com/p/JEGS-Performan...97917/10002/-1

Under $200
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled01 View Post
Should be a valve under the bus that will open and allow coolant to heat the exchanger. I assume you found and turned on the blower motor? I read a lot of threads where people take the rear heaters out but I think that's a big mistake if you are ever in temperatures below 50 degrees you will need that rear heater.
I haven't heard of this valve, im about to go see if I can locate it. I haven't been able to get the blower motor to react at all. Thanks for the info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjakitty View Post
You can find a replacement that is smaller but just as strong from jegs.

http://www.jegs.com/p/JEGS-Performan...97917/10002/-1

Under $200
Thank you for the link, these look like some good alternatives if I need to go that route.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:03 PM   #16
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On another note, I am looking at alternatives to the sheet metal I was intending to use to make an insulation layer under my plywood. Am I putting too much thought into material type? I intended on using sheet metal, but after looking at costs im looking at other options.
Would the groves in something like this be cause for concern?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/8-ft-Cor...3513/202092961

Or even something more simple like this?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/72-in-x-...3672/202771364

If a thin sheet metal would be the best suited for the job, I am not opposed to going that route. But if something more economical is also suitable I think I would do the cheaper method. Thanks for the input so far, much appreciated.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
On another note, I am looking at alternatives to the sheet metal I was intending to use to make an insulation layer under my plywood. Am I putting too much thought into material type? I intended on using sheet metal, but after looking at costs im looking at other options.
Would the groves in something like this be cause for concern?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/8-ft-Cor...3513/202092961

Or even something more simple like this?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/72-in-x-...3672/202771364

If a thin sheet metal would be the best suited for the job, I am not opposed to going that route. But if something more economical is also suitable I think I would do the cheaper method. Thanks for the input so far, much appreciated.
What?

Metal is a conductor, not an insulator.

Most people put foam board under the plywood. Why would you want to re-invent that?
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:54 PM   #18
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What?

Metal is a conductor, not an insulator.

Most people put foam board under the plywood. Why would you want to re-invent that?
I'm not using metal as an insulator. On the 1st page of this thread we were discussing creating a layer to lay foam insulation on. Under the plywood in my bus there is no metal flooring, it's just the frame rails. So in essence im looking to create an additional layer inbetween the rails to put a layer of foam insulation before laying the new plywood flooring.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
I'm not using metal as an insulator. On the 1st page of this thread we were discussing creating a layer to lay foam insulation on. Under the plywood in my bus there is no metal flooring, it's just the frame rails. So in essence im looking to create an additional layer inbetween the rails to put a layer of foam insulation before laying the new plywood flooring.
Ahhh ...

I would have a metal floor welded in.

You don't need much thickness, 18-gauge would be just fine. Seal it underneath, prime it on top then go ahead and insulate and add plywood as normal.

Sample prices ....

An 8 x 4 sheet of 1008 steel is currently running around $75

If that's too much you could put a ply floor in, add insulation and ply on top. Coaches have plywood floors, it would be fine for your bus.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:13 PM   #20
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Any suggestions on sourcing the sheet metal? Lowe’s and home depot only offer like 3’x3’ sheets
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