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Old 07-29-2019, 09:40 AM   #21
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Biggest Little City
Posts: 31
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Yah, they wanted to send out the big tow truck but when I told them it was the equivilant of a E450 RV they sent out the normal truck. Driver told me that he's even put shorties on a bed and towed em that way no problem. The best part of the tow was that it was covered through our AMA membership which covers towing for our entire family.

I'm still working on the plans for electrical. Right now just been running generators with an extension cord. I'm not very good at the whole electrical thing so will need to do more research and figure out exactly what to put in. I've seen some good threads on here, but any advice is welcome. I was pretty proud of myself for installing these LED markers over the weekend:



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Old 07-30-2019, 12:15 AM   #22
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,004
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
So cool ... you have an indoor work area!


Congratulations on getting the LED marker lights in place and working.
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:50 PM   #23
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Biggest Little City
Posts: 31
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Made some progress this weekend, got all the overhead lights removed and patched up all the holes in the fiberglass. Was definately a bit nervous, but in the end it was pretty easy. Lots of good videos on youtube about fiberglass repair/hole patching. Basic process was to remove lights and eye lids, sand off glue.



Then for the small screw holes I used a Dremel to chamfer the edges, mixed up some epoxy with lots of filler to a peanut butter consistency so it wouldn't run and puttied up the holes.




For the bigger holes, I sanded an oval around them approximately half the thickness of original fiberglass and 12 times the diameter. Then used 4-5 layers of chopped fiberglass mat in shrinking size to build the patch. Waiting for it to dry then I can sand it smooth.







Getting closer to paint!

I have a couple of screw holes in the metal body panels any advice on the best way to fill them?
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:24 PM   #24
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Biggest Little City
Posts: 31
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Prepping the bus for paint is quite a bit of work. Didn't help that I had a little get off on the dirt bike ended up busting my wrist and tearing a muscle in my side . Anyways, now that the cast is off and I can move a bit better I've been back to making some progress, currently in sanding hell:



I'm thinking about using the Majik cammo paint anyone on here have any experience with using it on their bus? Never painted a bus (or a car) before, so should be interesting. I've got a line on a 30g compressor and guns so plan to spray it. Hoping to get it to look good from about 20 feet. Any tips, advice welcome.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:46 PM   #25
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,208
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Good on you for having AAA.

I learned the importance of roadside assistance recently. I broke down seven miles out of Yakima. I got towed back to Yakima for the bargain price of $541.

It was Friday afternoon and after numerous calls to find a shop to work on it we got towed back to town and got a motel room.

Towing, parts, labor and lodging cost totaled around $2500...... Because of a failed wheel bearing.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:22 PM   #26
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Biggest Little City
Posts: 31
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
cost totaled around $2500...... Because of a failed wheel bearing.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:08 PM   #27
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wamego Ks
Posts: 347
Year: 2007
Chassis: Collins
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
Wow I really like the build! I bookmarked your LED headlights you installed... I might have to out those in mine. What led marker lights are you using?
__________________
Just getting started on short bus build...
2007 Collins (Chevy Express 3500)
LMM Duramax Diesel 4L85E Transmission
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:02 PM   #28
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Biggest Little City
Posts: 31
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frochevy View Post
Wow I really like the build! I bookmarked your LED headlights you installed... I might have to out those in mine. What led marker lights are you using?
Sorry for the delayed response, somehow I unsubscribed to my own build thread. Got the LEDs at Super Bright LED

Product code for Reds:

RMPC-R-LP: Red Pigtail

link to website
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:46 AM   #29
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Biggest Little City
Posts: 31
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Painting is complete





This was a much bigger job than I had expected, probably 100 hours. I'll try to outline the steps I took incase anyone cares. In the end I ended up going with a sprayable bed liner from Raptor for a few reasons. I liked the idea of the texture as I didn't have to worry about runs, drips etc. It's has some UV protection and acts like a sealer too so hopefully will last and keep roof leak free. Anyways here are the steps I took:

- Remove decals
- Remove top flashers and eyelids
- Patch fiberglass holes
- Sand fiberglass patches smooth
- Remove front mirror holders
- Patch holes in fender from mirror holders
- Patch holes in body from stop sign
- Sand entire surface of bus to scratch surface
- Wash bus really well
- Clean bus with wax and grease remover
- Mask off windows, doors, lights, etc
- Prime bare metal
- 3 coats of base color (light tan)
- Allow to dry for 5 days
- Sand bumpers
- Scuff lower surface for two tone
- Clean bumpers
- Tape and mask off upper section and etc
- Prime bumpers
- 2 coats of black for lower section

I think that covers it. Now I can say I have painted a bus and I don't wish to paint another. However I am very happy with the result, think it looks great, hope it holds up.
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:42 AM   #30
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,004
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
It does look great!


You missed a bit of tape ... on the driver side bumper.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:21 AM   #31
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
Posts: 567
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Startrans
Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
Rated Cap: 12
I love raptor liner. Your bus looks great. I just spent 20 hours waxing my bus, should have went with raptor.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:16 AM   #32
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
greenhorn to forum. just digging thru forum and gathering. your bus is whats lurking in my mind, except not gas motos for me, im thinking ebikes, same idea. great find on bus, love the idea, love to see it unfold, best wishes, best of luck, happy building.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:02 AM   #33
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Biggest Little City
Posts: 31
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Thanks, the garage is great cause you can throw anything in there. Took the family camping last summer and fit 4 regular bikes in there and all our camping gear.

I've not had any time or $ lately to continue the build. But need to get a heat source in it before the middle of March, so will be diving back in here soon. Think I've decided to go with a propex propane heater and 29gal tank mounted under the rear. In order to complete the heater install I will also need to get my battery setup dialed in.
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:59 AM   #34
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Tabernacle, NJ
Posts: 25
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thor
Chassis: E450
Engine: Ford 7.3L
Awesome build so far.

I'm picking up a bus today if all goes well. It's a 2003 E450 7.3L but not a School bus :-/. Its a paratransit. I've been looking off and on for years and just can't get a good deal on the right school bus at the right time so I'm kind of settling. It has every feature I wanted though.

Sorry for the mini thread jack but I'll be using mine for street bikes, vacations and track days etc. I won't be planning anything quite as nice as yours at first but def love the ideas your giving me.
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