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Old 03-28-2021, 07:07 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 23
FIDO, 2006 E450, Collins, 6.0

Purchased about two years ago. 5 window out of TX. Turns out was originally from Ohio with more rust than originally planned. Drove fine from TX to Fort Collins, CO. Headlight plugs were corroded resulting in only one headlight working. Figured that one out later. Met a very cool TX highway patrol officer in the middle of the night/middle of nowhere and ended up chatting for 20 minutes about converting buses until letting me go with a warning. Transmission cooling line was leaking and eventually used a bunch of hose clamps and fuel line to patch that and keep going.

The floor on these things consisted of 24 gage galvanized with 5/8 plywood over the top and then rubber flooring. The galvanized was more like a vapor barrier which was completely gone in several places resulting in rotting/disintegrating plywood. Took around a month a few hours a day to get the floor up. Then had to use a needle gun, grinders and wire wheels to grind all of the rust from the body frame, bus cross members and newly exposed truck frame. Laid down 18 ga galvanized across over the bus body cross members. Over that I ripped some 1"x1-1/2" across the cross members, over the sheet metal. 1" pink board was then laid down overlaid with 3/4 plywood.
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Old 03-28-2021, 09:06 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 651
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Well, at least you know it's pretty clean and well fixed. Now you can start putting things on top of that new floor.

Are you aware of the issues with the 6.0 engine? Sorry if I'm the bearer of some worry, yet it's better you know, than not know. If you don't know, research and you'll find that if they are left stock and not driven like an 18 y.o. would, likely to go for a good while. People who tried to build them up and push them soon found the engine had major issues. There's a solution, to "bullet proof" them. Basically resolve all the weak parts of the engine. Then, you'll be good for a long time.

It's funny, because a friend is thinking of converting, but not a school bus. We were searching the web and found a non-school E350 with a 6.0l in it in Florida. $4,500 with 77k miles. At that price and mileage, even if he put money into bulletproofing it, it would be such a long running vehicle that it would be worth it.

Look forward to seeing what you do with your bus.
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Old 03-29-2021, 07:33 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
Well, at least you know it's pretty clean and well fixed. Now you can start putting things on top of that new floor.

Are you aware of the issues with the 6.0 engine? Sorry if I'm the bearer of some worry, yet it's better you know, than not know. If you don't know, research and you'll find that if they are left stock and not driven like an 18 y.o. would, likely to go for a good while. People who tried to build them up and push them soon found the engine had major issues. There's a solution, to "bullet proof" them. Basically resolve all the weak parts of the engine. Then, you'll be good for a long time.

It's funny, because a friend is thinking of converting, but not a school bus. We were searching the web and found a non-school E350 with a 6.0l in it in Florida. $4,500 with 77k miles. At that price and mileage, even if he put money into bulletproofing it, it would be such a long running vehicle that it would be worth it.

Look forward to seeing what you do with your bus.
Thanks Steve. Yeah that 6.0 thing was a concern that I knew going in. It has 125K miles. My basic understanding is that the oil and coolant temps have to be within a 15 degrees. Since the conversion started haven't been able to get insured and do a run to check with a scan guage. Other than a faulty glow plug in number 8, Diesel shop gave it a clean bill of health. Plan on flushing the coolant system and installing a coolant filter, water pump and EGR Cooler (if close to 15 Degrees difference) from Bulletproof after the conversion.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:36 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 23
Window Covers and Roof Racks

Built roof rack supports and bolted to body using sikaflex. This particular model of Collins has the windows pretty low so I was able to run bolts on either side of the vertical bows above the windows. Sandwiched from the inside of the bows with 1/4" by 2" flat bar. The goal was to avoid bolting onto the top. Probably a little overkill but pretty solid.
Covered the windows with 18 ga galvanized and 1/4 rivets. Amazing how may spots the original windows were leaking. Eventually plan on adding smaller windows next to the dining table and above the bed. Removed the horizontal structural thingey under the windows and re-installed over the window cover using sikaflex and 1/4 rivets, 3/16 rivets. The key to this was use lots of sikaflex around each rivet inside and out. Had to replace several rivets on the bottom of the window cover due to leaking.
Added 2x4 pieces screwed to the sides of the bows on the inside allow for thicker insulation and to mititgate thermal bridging. Havelock Wool insulation comes later.
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