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Old 12-26-2020, 04:09 PM   #221
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
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Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Thanks Frochevy,


yes a big concern, We used bus seats with hip seatbelts, plenty of stuff flew thru the bus. The fridge door that has a lock on it busted open, the rear door got so twisted that that it opened up. This was only a side impact.. the front bumper is hardly bend.. A lot of self tapping screws got just ripped out of the metal because they were designed for shear and suddenly they got exposed to pull forces.
Looking at ethe bolts for the seats... 5 pieces 5/16" with backup plates ..to hold two kids in place.. That does not bode well for a bunch of drywall screws holding 2x4 together.

I left the inner roof panels and with a roll over they are essential in holding the roof up. They are stressed skin and together with many screws or rivets they form a nice box profile. A wood ceiling made of tongue and groove is not the equivalent of a stressed skin.


anyhow with so many skoolies being made there will be more accidents and no doubt we will see a couple of them show up on this site.


Johan
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:32 PM   #222
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Yesterday was a sunny day with still some snow on the ground.
The front door post was about 1/4 low but with a jack I was able to " straighten " that out. Now on to replacing the windshield.

Johan
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:00 PM   #223
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Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Still not happy with the straightness and strength of the passenger side a frame pillar. I will make an extra vertical column from the top of the A frame pillar to old door rocker panel.
Did some more tweaking and unbending and started putting self tappers in to keep all the pieces in place.

Found a couple of " vintage" marker lights with aluminum frame. Hope that will be able to take the bearing of branches better then the current cute cat eyes.
Wire brushed the corrosion of it.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:05 PM   #224
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Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
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In both our van buses I have found leaks around the windshield and that both buses did not have the original windshield.

I noticed that the passenger A pillar is not supported very well and I wonder if that could be a reason that the stresses on the windshield are higher then normal.

To make our 4*4 bus a bit better I decided to make a vertical post from the top of the A pillar to the top side of the rocker panel. Now I can use a 1*12 plank or better plywood to connect the door post and A pillar support together in a much stronger fashion.

Also cleaned up the RV door frame and installed a rain gutter above the door.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:18 PM   #225
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Makes me wonder if taking out the passenger door and not having a factory body pillar at the back of the cab causes a vibration that weakens the A Pillar over time .
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Old 01-15-2021, 02:03 PM   #226
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Hi Chris, that is what I think. Will find out soon enough if the windshield cracks after driving thru a pothole .
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:32 PM   #227
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It looks like our bus again. A last push against the back and the windshield is glued in.
Tomorrow some more RV door work.

Johan
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:42 PM   #228
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Following the rebuild has been inspiring. Windshields can be tricky from my limited experience. If itís a used windshield or even a new windshield there can be tiny unnoticeable micro chips or imperfections that might cause a crack. The installer can cause them. Or whomever removed the windshield.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:15 PM   #229
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Pretty freakin amazing that you can do all of this. In AWE!!!
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:15 PM   #230
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Sorry buster, can't take credit.. I had a professional install the window.. I wanted someone that could tell me if the frame fitted properly after me straightening with a forklift. Also there is a lot of specialized skill , tools and experience to installing a windshield..
These guys cut the remaining glue out, cleaned it, primed and then with a super consistent hand put an even bead along the frame..amazing to watch these guys work.
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Old 03-12-2021, 05:05 PM   #231
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The better weather is here and in between other projects I have worked a little on Elfie.
The back door was racked so I took the window out and used hydraulics and a hammer to get it in a better shape.

Wanted to take a closer look at the last aluminum crossmember and had to take the rear bumper of to get a clear view.

Going to install a class 5 rear hitch behind the bumper.

Also working on 19.5" rims. The goal is to mount 265/70-R19.5 tires so that the load rating is much higher then the gvwr of the bus and also to have the same size as on our larger bus Dory.
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Old 03-14-2021, 03:00 PM   #232
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Since most of the interior had to come out to straighten the body we decided to change the layout and get a shower/ bathroom... This bus is setup for 2 adults and 2 kids. Two dogs are crammed in there as well.

So I changed the driver to a swivel with quick remove so that it is easier to work on the engine with the doghouse of.

The forward looking seat moved on space up to make space for the shower. The backward looking seat got removed . The original folding table modified and enlarged.

Raised the skoolbus seat with a 2*4 so that adults can sit there as well.
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Old 03-14-2021, 04:20 PM   #233
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Chassis: GMC 4500
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Like Buster Junior, I too am in awe of your accomplishments in fixing the bus, and it is looking awesome!


I really like that youput the drivers.seat on a swivel. I thought about doing that in my bus, but I have a fuse box under seat, so I don't think I can do a swivel.


Looking forward to seeing more!
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Old 03-14-2021, 08:25 PM   #234
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hi vineyardseashell,


Often wires to a fuse box come in from one side. Maybe the wire harness is under the carpet for a small distance. So you likely can move it from flat to vertical. It might nor interfere with the base of the swivel seat. Just take the seat and base out and check what is going on.

Making the driver seat a swivel creates a lot of precious space. I regret not doing it right away in the beginning.



Johan
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Old 03-15-2021, 07:43 PM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
hi vineyardseashell,


Often wires to a fuse box come in from one side. Maybe the wire harness is under the carpet for a small distance. So you likely can move it from flat to vertical. It might nor interfere with the base of the swivel seat. Just take the seat and base out and check what is going on.

Making the driver seat a swivel creates a lot of precious space. I regret not doing it right away in the beginning.



Johan

Thanks for the suggestion. I would never have thought of it. So I will take a look at the fuse box under the seat and where the wires come into it are located.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:24 PM   #236
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Only put the rv door in to keep the weather out. Today I shortened another part of the door and took a rusted section of the first step out. That gives me the possibility to insulate a little there as well. To reinforce the first step I laid a pressure treated plank board on the original steel step. In between the or and the steel I put a 1/4 layer of foam to prevent the chemical of the pt to attack the steel.. this plank had dried out over a long time.

To shorten the door was a lot of work to mimick the original construction.. almost there. Once the door and door frame are solid it will be easier to attach it properly to the bus door opening.

Also plasma torched the class v hitch in three pieces so that it will fit the econoline frame. I like the receiver opening to be in the bus bumper as to not effect my departure angle worse then it is already. In my case it looks like I should invert the hitch. The safety chain links are now on top. Not optimal but doable I think.

Johan
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Old 03-20-2021, 01:22 PM   #237
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Another thing I always wanted to do but kind of forgot..

The econoline cutaways have the cabin roof removed. Not sure how others are constructed / assembled but with this Thomas they did not pay a lot of attention to detail. The econoline top beam above the windshield is just an pressed profile.. the roof is cut away.. it would have been nice if they would have welder the remaining roof to the profile . Then it would have become a box and much stronger..
While the bed above the driver was still out it gave me better access. So pop rivetted every 3" or so to optimize the strength of the window frame..

Now I can go on to gluing the fiberglass front back to the remaining econoline roof.
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Old 03-21-2021, 05:22 PM   #238
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Year: 98
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Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Do not get the fiberglass sealed to the metal yet.
Bought loctite marine pl10 and will try a 1/4 thick bead.

Simultaneous working on 19.5 rims.
The e350 with single RW has a gvwr of 9600 lbs.
Sofar with the 4*4 and all I am weighing in at 8800 . With the additional mods , second fuel tank, bathroom, additional solar panel and rear hitch I expect to get close 9400. I like to have a lot extra on the tires.
With 19.5" that will be less of a problem..
Here the first rim.. I redrilled from 8*170MM to the 8*6.5" for the econoline. Tire is now 245/70R19.5. I like to upgrade to 265/70R19.5 . About a 34" tire. Will be interesting to see how the mog will work out with the harder / stiffer tires. Hope that my rear air suspension will keep the ride acceptable.

johan
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Old 03-22-2021, 03:44 PM   #239
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Year: 98
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Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Finally, some much needed progress. I do not like sealants. This marine adhesive sealant is pretty thick. Will see if it cleans up a little better later on.

Then I was able to put the upstairs bedroom back in. Our oldest, then 10 ,now 14 used to sleep there.

After the accident the passenger door metal support for messed up but the tube straightened out and I hammered a square piece of oak in there to reinforce the tubular ends. Stronger then it was before.

This is now setup for our youngest ,9.
She of course always wanted to be up there but had some reservations being a test case. Especially when I asked her to pull the cover up, her hand is still visible.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:58 PM   #240
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Year: 98
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Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
The emergency exit /skylight was damaged and some of the plastic cracked..
With a soldering iron I was able to "weld" the crack from both sides.. seemed strong. Removed the 6 kit...butyl..silicone..sikaflex..more silicone.. repair attempts from the school district shop...shoddy work. Earlier a different hatch had been installed and the outer aluminum skin was not reattached to the frame work.

Anyhow ...lots of rivets ..then sanding ..degreasing..and marine grade sealant.. will see how it holds up.

Another step forward.. at least it is better then it was before.

Johan
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