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Old 02-20-2023, 11:09 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Western NY
Posts: 14
Year: 2009
Engine: 6.0 Powerstroke :(
Ford E450 6 window conversion

Hello,
I've started work on my 6 window cutaway van bus conversion into an RV.
I have no interest in the whole full time living so this will be a pretty basic conversion. I'm looking for a step up from the tent/car camping we have been doing.

My 18yr old Son and his friends were happy to help tear apart a school bus so this first weekend we got WAY more finished than I thought I would.

So far we have:
02/18/2023 > 02/19/2023
Removed all but the front two seats "only had to grind off 4 bolts"
Disassembled the seats to scavenge materials
Removed the side stop sign and front crossing bar
Removed the big mirror over the drivers seat
Got the rear door sliding deadbolt working
Removed the CB antenna and wiring that went to under driver seat

02/20/2023
I have Presidents day off so I'm continuing to work on the bus. I'm taking a break for lunch to post this.
so far I've gotten all 8 of the Bus stop lights removed.
Investigated closer with a very strong Hard Drive magnet and all of the Interior and Exterior body panels and Celling / roof are Aluminum. The Front and back are Fiberglass. The Rub rails, framing, Seat mounting bars, Rain gutters, and floor are steel. Oh and the majority of the bus is held together with screws.

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Old 02-20-2023, 11:19 AM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Western NY
Posts: 14
Year: 2009
Engine: 6.0 Powerstroke :(
I think I'm going to have to remove the rub rails when I do the painting.
The aluminum side panels above all the rub rails have lots of corrosion. few spots are even through holes.

How much structure do the rub-rails offer? do I really need to put them back on or can I just leave them off?



Thanks
Attached Thumbnails
RubRail_Corrosion.jpg   Aluminum Corrosion.jpg  
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Old 02-20-2023, 04:34 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,847
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
The corrosion in your pics looks like it's at the level of the floor. Usually buses rust from the inside out, so in all likelihood that's floor rust that has worked its way to the outside and the rub rail just happens to be there (i.e. the rub rail is not the cause of that corrosion). Very common to have that sort of damage in the vicinity of the wheel wells.

On larger buses the rub rails are essentially a safety feature that helps dissipate the energy of a collision over a large number of bows (aka "ribs" or "hat channels"), helping the bus body to stay intact and not cave inwards. So your bus wouldn't fall apart if you removed them, but you might be less safe in a crash. Not sure if they play quite the same role on smaller buses.

I had to remove and replace a three-foot-long section of rub rail on my bus which had been squashed in a previous accident. It was enough of a giant pain in the butt that I wouldn't dream of trying to remove them. I've seen a few buses where the owners removed them, though - looks very weird IMHO.
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Old 03-13-2023, 06:29 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Western NY
Posts: 14
Year: 2009
Engine: 6.0 Powerstroke :(
I've made a bunch of progress on the bus over the last 2 weeks.

I've managed to dig all the extra wiring out that went from under the dashboard down, around, and up to that big fuse/breaker panel over the drivers seat. I also pulled out that entire breaker panel as the only wires that didn't go through it were the ones i kept.

I also removed the "Vandal Lock" from the ignition wire so I can start the bus again.

I got the turbo working. Turned out to be a plugged MAP? sensor nipple
I got the heat working. They had the wrong blower door actuator installed and it wasn't even plugged in. Ordered and installed the correct part. BUT! it won't blow anywhere but defrost so I need to replace the vacuum line as well but that's something for later.
I remove the Heater in the back, removed the lines that ran to the engine and caped them off with some radiator blockoffs. I assume that's ok since each of the coolant lines had their own shutoff valve on them.

I've created some cardboard templates and picked up 3 sheets of plywood so I'm going to start on building out the bathroom first as that's where a lot of stuff is going to be located.

I dropped off some scrap steel and got my empty bus weighed. 9,200lbs empty. That leaves a lot of room with the 14,500gvwr

I've also just put it into a storage facility yesterday which already had an E450 5 window Skoolie there. I couldn't see inside it too well as the windows were REALLY tinted but from the driver window it looks mostly complete.

oh, and my Daughter has been recording some of what we have been doing. she really wanted to document this. The first few videos are going to be very scattered as we keep flipping around to all different things so they are not going to be very good.
Here is the first one I just uploaded yesterday
https://youtu.be/ab8hwCOWi3k
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Old 03-13-2023, 06:42 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 1,149
Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
'blowing only on defrost' is a very common Ford problem. When you figure it out, let me know.

Although my bus works fine, my F150 is still screwed up.
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Old 03-13-2023, 07:15 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Western NY
Posts: 14
Year: 2009
Engine: 6.0 Powerstroke :(
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
'blowing only on defrost' is a very common Ford problem. When you figure it out, let me know.

Although my bus works fine, my F150 is still screwed up.
This is what I plan on doing to fix the defrost only issue but I can't get in that area without removing the door opener lever support structure.
https://youtu.be/tZA9I98aKjc
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Old 03-13-2023, 08:55 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 1,149
Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
That video is very clever! Forget about getting all the way inside the engine compartment to replace the reservoir-just bypass the durned thing and put a replacement vacuum reservoir inside the cab.
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Old 03-19-2023, 05:38 PM   #8
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Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Oregon
Posts: 81
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ford E350
Engine: 6.0 power stroke Diesel Navistar EFI
Rated Cap: wife & 2 corgis
good little trick for future reference.
thank you

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