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Old 10-04-2013, 03:34 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Oops I started this the other day on the wrong project side, so I decided to repost:
A little late to the game but finally decided to post some pics and info an my ongoing conversion. I bought this short little shuttle bus because it was a great deal and some friends were in a band needed some transportation and I needed something to tinker on, seemed like a sound investment and a win either way if things didn't work out with the band(it didn't). So here goes...I bought a 1996 Ford E-350 Goshen Coach 12 Passenger Shuttle Bus 5.8L Gas, that had served as an private Airport Jitney, and then was sold by it's owner to an adult daycare business, who after a few months and minor upgrades wasn't using it. So I found it on Craigslist here in Miami, like literally around the corner from me for $2000. And this started around the beginning of June 2013.

Outside:


Inside:
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:28 PM   #2
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

So about 2 weeks into the project(s)- I was installing some flooring in my home office. I decided to start removing the seats, took some time and elbow grease. Got halfway done and took a week off. Then finally got the other side up and then tore into the carpet and floor. Had to replace half the plywood. Wish I had remembered to take a picture of the floorless bus.



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Old 10-05-2013, 08:50 AM   #3
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

The floor didn't seem too bad, but there were some very boggy spots and some water damage. I had to reseal the Windows. So next I replaced some of the ceiling panels and sealed the roof. The bus part is all aluminum, minus the nose cap that is fiberglass, so I used a roof white caulking and then paint, around all the seams and screw strip. No more leaks. Wish I had taken pictures of the roof before I sealed it. Then I painted to walls, and started put up carpet on the ceiling and floor. I decided to use grey indoor/ outdoor carpet from Home Depot, it was cheap...now I realize, too cheap. I also started working on the front paneling, basically made a template from the old stuff, cut some Luan, and then covering w/ black marine grade vinyl.



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Old 10-05-2013, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

That gray HD carpet works fine-I got like 5 rolls of it in my bus. (I got regular carpet on the floor-the gray stuff everywhere else.)

I think you are going to be wishing you had a side or back door if you are going to be playing roadie with a bunch of band equipment.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:07 AM   #5
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Next on my list was more interior stuff. I bought a leather couch off of Craigslist for like $40, and quickly built a base for it and then shoved it through the back window, thankfully it an emergency window, easy flip up. I was going to build some bunks in the back, since it was a tour bus, but that plan was nixed, no trailer for gear yet, will be shoved in the back of the bus. So side paneling and lighting begins, used more Luan and vinyl, some pioneer speakers I had lying around, and led strips I bought off of eBay. Also wrapped the rear a/c with the same black vinyl, except I added some foam padding, so yah wouldn't wack your head too bad. Got the little tv stand from from WalMart for like $30. Didn't want to spend a whole lot for a tour bus, the additional house battery for the tv will be housed there.



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Old 10-05-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Quote:
Post by sdwarf36 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:01 am

That gray HD carpet works fine-I got like 5 rolls of it in my bus. (I got regular carpet on the floor-the gray stuff everywhere else.)

I think you are going to be wishing you had a side or back door if you are going to be playing roadie with a bunch of band equipment

Looks great on the ceiling but after a few months on the road the material was bunching up on the floor and like linting up...gonna put a better carpet down soon.
And luckily I was only investing, not traveling with the band, they lugged it in and out. The bus door at least was 29" wide, and I got rid of most of the safety bars for clearance.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:18 AM   #7
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Yah, so now in the timeline I have like 6 days to go before they head out, still need to finish wrapping the bus and painting the rest, find a spare tire, and button down the rest of the interior.


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Old 10-05-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Kinda wish I had taken more pictures...2 days to go, bus is wrapped, I painted the front and back w/ Rustoleum Oil Enamel paint in glass black, thin w/ acetone and rolled on, as I read online...worked pretty good.



Then it was time to load up...sort of.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:27 AM   #9
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

And a few picks from the road, as you can see I strapped the spare underneath the back, it's chained up as well. And they added more vinyl.


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Old 10-05-2013, 09:51 AM   #10
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

So I got it back a little over a month later...one new tire, water pump, broken glass, dead spare tire, and holes in my vinyl siding, where they decided to put in hooks...so I guess that means they need more storage...went to home depot...again, and bought some stock cabinets, trimmed to fit and shoved them up...moved the led strip and voilà! I also decided to cut out holes in the front where it was dead space, for more storage. I still need to add doors. Oh and I had to replace the tv and mount, my first attempt didn't hold up to the road.



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Old 10-05-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Couple more pics...cleans up nice. And now I have a power steering issue to resolve, but hey...it happens.


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Old 10-05-2013, 10:08 AM   #12
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

So after I replaced the power steering pump, high pressure hose, and then the power steering gear, I'm getting no response, so I decided to have the bus towed to the family mechanic down the street. And this happens...

The tow truck guy forgot to close the door as he winched the bus onto the flatbed, and the drivers door, hit the fence post and was cranked all the way back...ouch! Now mind you, the band was to start another leg of their tour the next day...yah not so much. Luckily the first part was a few warm up shows in central Florida...they could take the band Tahoe. On a brighter note, the steering issue was fixed, new Pittman arm, and the tow truck guy said he would take care of the damage, and he did...the very next day...

Introducing Frankenbus.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Tow trucks are insured. That fix is the responsibility of the towing company.

I had my fair share of mistakes while driving tow truck. However, the customer was always looked after.

Good luck

Nat
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #14
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Quote:
by nat_ster » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:59 pm

Tow trucks are insured. That fix is the responsibility of the towing company.

I had my fair share of mistakes while driving tow truck. However, the customer was always looked after.

Good luck

Nat

Yup, stuff happens, and he took care of it...and I got 2 new mirrors out of it.
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

So by the end of that weekend, the bus had been wrecked and fixed, I was planning to repaint the fender and door, so the guys could take it. Then egos prevailed and the band had a major blowout, and disbanded...again...for good. So I pulled my investment, cut my loses, and decided my next step...RV conversion time, for my family.

I started by buying a futon $40, to put in the back...


Then I decided it didn't quite fit right, so I took it apart and made a dinette...


The bases were attached w/ drawer slides to make a chaise...
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:36 PM   #16
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Okay, so after working out sleeping arrangement and engineering a interesting solution, I decided to start over on the inside, found an Ikea sectional that would work better for my layout, and started. I pulled the futons, couch, and platforms. Then built a new platform, to keep everything at the level of the wheel well.



Then built the rolling platform for the trundle part, pretty much extended the height...


Slides right back under...
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:01 PM   #17
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Had to move the table mounts and cork up the holes...oops. Oh and I found an awesome fixture- Avant mini kitchen for only $100...woot woot!

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Old 10-05-2013, 04:08 PM   #18
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Let's see now...still need to plumb and wire mini kitchen...that's later...umm, decided to add the vinyl and fabric to finish to couch, and start wrapping the mini kitchen.


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Old 10-05-2013, 04:14 PM   #19
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

Oh, I almost forgot, picked up some nice vinyl seats that can swivel...
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:18 PM   #20
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Re: My 1996 Ford E350 Goshen Coach Conversion Project

And here are some more pics of the interior, still need to find a dresser or buffet that fits the spot under the tv...


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