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Old 01-27-2018, 10:56 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Home Sweet Home

After 5 years of thinking about building a tiny home and 1 year of lurking this site I finally bought a shuttle bus Yesterday.

It's 1995 Ford E350 with a rebuilt Gas 5.8L 351 Windsor motor and an Eldorado shell with 221,334 miles.






It has a lot of miles! But really low rust. It has had an engine rebuild and regular maintenance as it has been a church bus in the south most of it's life.

I was wanting to get one with the 7.3l diesel as I understand it is the best but I found this around the corner for $2300 and I bit.

My question is how did I do!?

My plan is to live in it full time, I'm probably not going to be touring across the country but I would like it to be mobile so I can move around to wherever life takes me.

I tried searching the forum and could not find much on this engine so that worries me. I know it's not diesel but is this considered a good gas engine?
What should I look out for? As I live in Arkansas we do not have emission regulations so i was planning on removing some of that to let the engine breath a little more.

It has a slow engine oil leak and possibly transmission and it seems to have a high idle.
Also does anybody have an idea on expected MPG I was hoping for 10mpg not so sure anymore.

I'm a bit overwhelm and very excited.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:28 AM   #2
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Congratulations !!!

I like your shuttle- it will be a great little home.

I think the biggest issue I see with that vehicle design is water getting in the gutter area. Seal that well before working on the interior.

Get planning !
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:20 PM   #3
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Nice looking shuttle. Been looking for one but with both front doors in tact. That looks a little longer than some here. Any idea what the length from back of driver seat to rear wall on that one is?
Doug
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue hole View Post
After 5 years of thinking about building a tiny home and 1 year of lurking this site I finally bought a shuttle bus Yesterday.

It's 1995 Ford E350 with a rebuilt Gas 5.8L 351 Windsor motor and an Eldorado shell with 221,334 miles.






It has a lot of miles! But really low rust. It has had an engine rebuild and regular maintenance as it has been a church bus in the south most of it's life.

I was wanting to get one with the 7.3l diesel as I understand it is the best but I found this around the corner for $2300 and I bit.

My question is how did I do!?

My plan is to live in it full time, I'm probably not going to be touring across the country but I would like it to be mobile so I can move around to wherever life takes me.

I tried searching the forum and could not find much on this engine so that worries me. I know it's not diesel but is this considered a good gas engine?
What should I look out for? As I live in Arkansas we do not have emission regulations so i was planning on removing some of that to let the engine breath a little more.

It has a slow engine oil leak and possibly transmission and it seems to have a high idle.
Also does anybody have an idea on expected MPG I was hoping for 10mpg not so sure anymore.

I'm a bit overwhelm and very excited.
Once upon a time the 351 was the beast...they were in LTDs, cop cars, trucks,etc...if you have overheating issues change the water pump...great project vehicle

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Old 01-27-2018, 03:37 PM   #5
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Welcome, and nice bus.

The 351 windsor is a workhorse. I have one in a ford pickup here. In pickups they usually come in the trucks that have dual fuel tanks. I don't mean two different types of fuel. I mean two large gas tanks, because the 351 windsor is a thirsty engine. That's likely why the church decided to get rid of it, not to mention being over 200k on a gas engine. It should work fine if you don't plan to drive great distances.

Considering how high prices are on shorty buses lately, you did well. It is quite likely we would have attempted to change your mind about going gas if you had come here earlier, but some people are simply more comfortable with gas engines for a number of reasons. We don't discriminate against gas engines. It is a workhorse.
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:32 PM   #6
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I believe it is 14.5" behind the seat and 7.5" wide.

Anybody have any recommendations on gutting this thing?

How much do I take it down to?

Any proper order of operations or just pretty much unscrew and pull.

It rained last night and I am noticing some damp areas and some water damage. Best way to repair the water damage?

I will upload photos later.
Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:17 PM   #7
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Nice score!

The first thing is to remove all the passenger seats. You really can't proceed until that's done.

Next, determine how many side windows you REALLY need. Once the excess windows are removed/covered up, proceed with wiring. After wires are routed, INSULATE heavily. It DOES get cold inside these beasts.

Then, and only then, will you work on the layout. Bed comes first, followed closely by water and sanitation. I recommend a composting toilet. That way, you'll only have to consider fresh and grey water tanks.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue hole View Post

It rained last night and I am noticing some damp areas and some water damage. Best way to repair the water damage?
There is more damage than you can see. You will have to tear-out the affected areas- inner walls, usually. Where the fiberglass roof meets the sidewall is where you need to look closely.

I had a V-10 gas shuttle and was very happy with it (gas engine).

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Old 01-27-2018, 10:38 PM   #9
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Day One

Day One.






Got some progress today.
Not bad for a first day.

Here is some of the worst water damage I've uncovered so far.





How do I remove this heater and A/c unit in the back?



Felt less overwhelmed working on it, like yeah I can do this.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:32 PM   #10
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Yeah, you can do that. All you got to do is try, right? A couple hundred hours of practice would polish up these new bus skills, but you usually only have a day or two to get good at whatever is on the menu for the day. It's the oddest sense of accomplishment as you complete tasks.

I haven't found a piece of ancient gum for a long time now. I've gone below the level where sticky fingerprints could stick. No more errant rivet heads either.
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:38 AM   #11
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Nice day 1! Cant wait to see what u plan.
Doug
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:56 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Day 2



The hold up now is this Rear A/C And Rear Heater.

How do I go about doing this? Can I? and should I?

I did a little research and some people were saying that sometimes they share the same compressor and I might have to take it to an A/C guy to shut it off.

anybody have any guidance?
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue hole View Post
Day 2



The hold up now is this Rear A/C And Rear Heater.

How do I go about doing this? Can I? and should I?

I did a little research and some people were saying that sometimes they share the same compressor and I might have to take it to an A/C guy to shut it off.

anybody have any guidance?
Yes it's a split evaporater system I believe...preferably you'd want to have the refrigerate recovered by a shop

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Old 04-02-2018, 03:47 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hi! I need some help

Work on the bus has slowed down lately and I need some help getting it going again. Iíve ran into a couple things that I am unsure of and need some assistance on.
First of all the bus leaks horribly. I have left buckets in there that end up with a half inch to Inch of water quickly from just a few rains. I believe the vinyl trim needs to be replaced but I do not know how and I cannot find any guides or where to buy trim like this. What else can I do to seal this fiberglass shell up including the windows?

Second the plywood needs to be replaced in several areas on the floor. What is he preferred method to cut and replace just the bad sections or to replace the whole paneled section of plywood, also the edges seem to have some fiberglass overlap, is this okay to cut?

Third of all there is an area that I am not sure how to gut, it is the front section near the door and it has to windows that are recessed into the wall, Iím guess I need to remove the windows to gut the inside then seal them back in later?

Fourth of all on this rear heater how do I remove it? Do I just take it out then get a piece of copper to recirculate the coolent underneath?












[IMG][/IMG]
Thanks
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:02 PM   #15
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SOP is to remove all of the wood subfloor, if there is corrosion or rust under any of it, chances are there is more you can't see until you remove all the wood.
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:04 PM   #16
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You need to figure out if the fiberglass body has a frame that it is attached to it before removing the wood floor. It does need to come out and be replaced. If you're not confident in sealing those windows. I would consult an automotive or RV glass installer before resealing them.

The break in these black seals are supposed to be at the bottom of the windows and have a connector piece to stop water from flowing into the crack.

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Old 04-02-2018, 09:26 PM   #17
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Someday for me....

What an incredible step of faith. And you are now living the dream as we speak. Way to go!!!

~Peg
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:12 AM   #18
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#4 you are correct. Just loop the coolant line so it continues to flow, don't let all the coolant drain unless its due for maintenance.
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Old 04-03-2018, 03:01 PM   #19
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If the roof itself is leaking... seal the seams and paint the roof with an elastomeric roof coating.

If windows are leaking, pop them out and reseal them.

For the floor... cut out the bad sections and replace.. then go over the entire floor with insulation board and subfloor (after leaks are fixed).
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:07 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Unexpected turn. I have to move out of my abusive alcoholic fathers houses fast! as soon as I can. Okay so what do I use to seal up the seams? and on the windows do I use butyl tape? I’ve searched on the forum but I can’t find anything and I need to get this thing to livable wokable condition quick. Gonna put this all on my credit card since I’m low on money so If someone will tell me what to buy I will, I just need to move fast,
Thanks!
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