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Old 02-09-2017, 04:00 PM   #21
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There are also some "emergency" belt options out there...

Like this...
Emergency Fan Belt Repair Kit
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by slaughridge85 View Post
Not necessarily, but as cowlitz said when one breaks you're dead in the water without another...
Or something like a bearing in an alternator seizes up and the engine keeps on turning. Then the belt gets burnt/worn thru and breaks.
Or gets so hot before you realize what is happening belt also starts to burn.
Ask me how I know!
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:19 AM   #23
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...how do you know?
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:23 AM   #24
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Is the Serpentine belt the one I see under the air filter? How would I go about replacing that belt in the event of breakage?

Also...after another week(end) of work, the bus is 'half-primed' (was a rush job for insurance), the entire wood floor is out, and other accessories removed (lots of decals, mirrors, call dispatch antennae?, ). More painting was supposed to be done today but we have snow and freezing rain. I burnt my hand with the heat-gun because I am stupid and grabbed the tip whilst distracted in a conversation. Right now I am focusing on trying to get the bus to start again so I can bring it to it's parking lot for the week.

Gus won't start.mp4
Gus won't start 2.mp4
Some progress pictures to follow
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
I have never carried extra regular V-belts and I have never had a problem that kept me from getting home.

I always carry an extra serpentine belt because when they go everything stops.
Whenever I change out a serpentine belt, I put the old one behind the seat or somewhere in the vehicle out of the way. Its nice having a backup. Only ever had one issue with one from a faulty tensioner on a 4.3 Vortech. Been carrying a spare since.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:19 PM   #26
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thats a good idea to keep the old belt and run the new.. I think I'll do that... I ordered a new belt for RedByrd.. and to change it I have to take the A/C belt off so I got a new one of those too...

they claim those of us with T-444Es or DT-466E's should carry an IPR and an ICP sensor... those will stop you dead.. I shoul;d probably do that but I havent done that yet..

-Christopher
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:13 PM   #27
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Great progress so far on this little bus!
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:59 PM   #28
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Thanks! I'll post this weekend's updates when I am home. The bus is currently stuck though, I think I might have an open ended wire causing a short somewhere? I got a red light + buzzer warning and then later that day it went away when my battery died. Charged up the battery a bit and the light + buzzer is back. The bus is stuck at my in-laws (to their chagrin)...and it needs to be moved asap. I need to figure this issue out

I've been attempting to remove some of the ceiling rivets but they seem too tight to get at with my dulled air chisel. The side panels under the windows came off easy. One question though, what are people doing about the lower portion of the wall that the seats bolted into? It's thicker steel and is even attached behind the wheel well. I'm going to look at some other journals next chance I get...I never noticed this. I think to remove it I would have to remove the wheel well...but to get insulation behind it as-is seems like it would be a pita. I will have a picture coming soon (waiting to get home for time + resize photos) that better explains this.

Also the mat at the front of the bus is bolted underneath the rails that hold the 'door opener' box (the thing with buttons and the handle to open/close the door). Do people unbolt this and put it back, or just cut around it? I imagine I need to leave it in...and insulate around it too. Otherwise, the mount point would be higher and it would no longer line up with the door. Another thing I didn't notice when browsing other builds...now that I am building it myself all these little details are coming up

Does anyone know what the second battery is used for? Is it just a backup for the same purpose or does it run other electronics of the bus?
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:00 PM   #29
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Does anyone have some good reading resources to learn about my bus a bit more? I want to understand how the engine works, the electrical components, and these silly safety features.
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:11 PM   #30
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POWERSTROKEHELP.COM - The Information Source for Ford Power Stroke Diesel Owners & Mechanics is a HUGE resource on your engine / drivetrain
-Christopher
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:05 PM   #31
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Thanks..been looking through that and it does seem really helpful! I'll keep it open 24/7.

I found a picture of the mangled seats I never posted:


My dad got to start a bit of painting...it was rushed to get insurance by the weekend; a plan since scrapped. Now we're taking our time to do the whole thing (insurance only required the bottom half).




This is the side rail I was talking about...do most people leave this in and stuff insulation down it? It seems pretty integrated, and it's attached to the wheel well.


Wondering how to remove this mat and insulate this area...don't want to remove those bolts. Maybe I'll bury them in insulation?



When my dad was taking out the floor, these things also had to be removed...they are latches for the QStraint buckles, I think. These 2 (and 2 others) were impossible to remove with a wrench and we had to angle grind the washer off from underneath and pop the bolt out. One of them is right above the fuel tank...and still remains in the bus...to be removed...somehow..



My ceiling rivets are too hard to get under with my air chisel...hmm..

And here's pretty much what Gus looks like after weekend 3! I broke him and he won't start, and burnt my hand...but we're getting closer, I think.
-Removed seats
-Removed wheelchair ramp
-Removed stop sign
-Removed bumper arm
-Removed plastic floor & wood floor
-Removed all but 1 Qstraint latches in the floor
-Sanded almost the whole bus
-Removed two front mirrors and 1 antennae
-Removed in floor heater
-Removed almost all of the decals
-Did 1 coat of primer of half of the bus
-Removed two side walls
-Broke him and killed the battery somehow and now he won't start


Should I make my pictures even smaller? They are 1024x1024.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:17 PM   #32
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demolition!!!!
fun stuff!!
-Christopher
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:45 PM   #33
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Power tools are fun

Such a change from typing code..I was angle grinding under the bus using sandpaper to shield my face. Don't tell mom.
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:49 PM   #34
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Rattle

Dad is the MVP ! Earl Scheib has nothing on him and a few rattle cans.
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:55 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iProgramStuff View Post
Power tools are fun

Such a change from typing code..I was angle grinding under the bus using sandpaper to shield my face. Don't tell mom.

I agree!! for years I built HotRods to offset the brainiac of Coding with the coolness of mechanical-building..

now its school busses.. but you will find that doing this also helps you be sharp in code.. for me I have gotten lots of code ideas while turning wrenches and end up scribbling on paper or chalk ..
-Christopher
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:14 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Dad is the MVP ! Earl Scheib has nothing on him and a few rattle cans.
Right? Props to Dad. Without him this project would be going much slower, and it would essentially be just me on the project...he is keeping my morale up.

Him and this forum...don't know what I would do without either <3
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:38 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iProgramStuff View Post
So, I bought a bus.

That was going to by my title but someone else took it...somewhere..

I bought it from a dealer and they are going to drive 2 hours to deliver it for me some time this week. This weekend I'll start by taking out the seats and handicap lift. Always looking for tips and suggestions.

It is a 2003 Ford E350 with a 7.3l engine and 226k miles. Seems like it is in good condition all around. Will get more pictures soon! It was $3500 (canadian dollars) plus about $500 in taxes.

Here's me and the bill of sale:
Congratulations, now the journey begins!
We bought a 1992 Chevrolet/Campbell short bus similar to yours and are preparing our conversion. A couple of things we undertook:
1. Get it mechanically right before doing anything beyond initial demolition/gutting. We spent about $3000 US for the bus with 131,000 miles and about that much in miscellaneous repairs/replacements before embarking on anything else.
2. Once you've got the seats out, I recommend pulling up the linoleum and plywood, going all the way down to the metal floor because you're likely to find rust and maybe some holes that will need to be addressed. I've wirebrushed all that I found to remove any loose material, then treated with Corroseal to stabilize the rust before installing new sheet metal (also primed) over the holes. I also used flexible gutter sealant to fill all the little screw holes. Afterward, I plan to go underneath to clean and apply undercoating.
3. That wheelchair lift is HEAVY, so make sure you've got help when you pull it out. Start with the cable connected to the battery, remove the breaker that is probably there in the compartment so you can pull the cable out through its hole. Be prepared to do a lot of crawling around underneath; ours snaked around the undercarriage and was connected everywhere with plastic wireties.

That's where we are in our efforts. Next step is to install hard foam insulation and new plywood in the floor. "And miles to go before I sleep."
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:02 PM   #38
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Thanks Newbies, but we're about a week ahead of your post

I haven't taken it to a garage yet but I intend to soon...I need to get it safetied. We've got the plywood out, was a PITA because of the screws. My dad ended up finding them with a magnet, cutting the linoleum there, and using a screwdriver on the screw. Then the wood was easier to get out. We've yet to wire brush or do any prep to the floor - still gutting walls out and working on the exterior (and my no start problems).

Yeah, the wheelchair lifts are super heavy. Neither me or my dad are large men, but we do our best and usually make things work one way or another. Brains and understanding of physics usually helps. Anyways...people actually PULL those things out? We just let ours make a calculated fall and within an hour a scrapper picked it up where it lay.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:04 PM   #39
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Changing the serpentine belt is fairly easy. Remove the black plastic air filter assembly then pop the square drive part of a breaker bar into the tensioner on the passenger side of the engine to un-tension the belt. No need to remove the fan cowling.

I had to change one out when an idler wheel seized and broke on the highway one day. Here's some more info on the 7.3L:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f34/th...sel-10607.html
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:44 PM   #40
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Good job! Yeah, I disconnected everything and then manhandled the lift single-handedly into a prone position and dragged it out onto the bed of my pickup truck, and from there pulled it out and stood it back up in my carport. I'm hoping someone, e.g., a disabled veterans group, will have a use for it, but we'll see.

The rust treatment was yesterday and today was spent cutting out sheet metal and priming it to cover the rusted out holes. I'm about halfway through that and hope to have the insulation and subfloor down by the end of the day tomorrow. Baby steps.
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