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Old 06-11-2024, 01:23 PM   #1
New Member
Haze_Gray's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 1
New Build , New Problem

Hey everyone,
This is my first post here and also my first bus build, so please bear with me. So, the background on this project is the bus is a 2000 Chevy 3500 Shuttle bus with about 110,000 miles on it, it has the Vortec V-8 Gas engine in it. The plus sides of the bus is first the price, a Friend of mine got the Bus for free two years ago. A Co-Worker of hers had bought the bus thinking to turn it into a skoolie but the bus sat for five years. The Co-workerís husband saw this and eventually bought an RV for her. It was around this point the Co-work turned to my friend and said Iím not going to use it; would you like it. She said yes, but then didnít have the money or the time to convert the bus at that point. So recently her and I were talking and I was like what if I help you build it and she enthusiastically said yes. So, the other good thing the bus has is that despite sitting for almost seven years the bus is in good mechanical shape. The engine runs well and does not have any oil leaks, it has new breaks and tires ,and the suspension is in good condition. So, itís a good bus with good bones.
So now the bad, and that can be summed up in one wordÖRUST. Its got a rust problem. There is about a 8 inch section of one of the floor supporting members that is rusted out and will need to be cut out and replaced. But the floor and its associated supporting members isnít the issue, I know how to weld and most of is surface rust so a wiz wheel and some pour 15 can fix that part. But what I donít know how to tackle is the bus had a leak at some point. I am pretty sure its fixed now but I need to confirm that. But when it did happen it rotted out some of the interior wood panels on the right hand side of the bus from the floor about an 1/8 of the way up. In one photo you can see daylight just behind the right-side wheel well from a rotten wooden panel. How do I fix the interior wood panels on the side of the bus. The bus already has foam sprayed on the inside of it so I cant tell how those panels are connected. Do I have to take off the exterior of the bus to get at this and replace the wood, or can I do it from the inside?
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Old 06-11-2024, 02:27 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
ewo1's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Central Tx.
Posts: 2,179
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E HT 250HP - Md3060
I would tear out all the interior wood from the walls and start scraping everything out of the way until you find clean healthy material again.

The outside skin should all be one piece, no rivets or panels to remove. so NO, you'll probably have to work from the inside/underneath.

Once you got it all cleaned out you will get a better picture of how to go forward. There are no shortcuts to doing it right.
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Old 06-12-2024, 01:00 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
nikitis's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,119
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 29
This is the phase I'm at now. I've luckily had no rust on the inside floor on mine, and only a tiny bit on the upper frame ribs. I grounded those out, and used an etching primer on it to stop the rust spread. Now it's rust free, and solid, but I want to do under the bus as there's a small spot with rust on the underside.

I can't get to it yet (I can but there's holes in my floor and I don't want to pressure wash it clean from underneath and wetting areas of the bus inside. )

I ordered, and it should come in today these GM/Ford plastic rivets and silicone caulking to use under the rivets to plug up most of the holes in my floor so I can then pressure wash under it really well.

Then once cleaned, I plan to use self-etching primer underneath and paint with an oil based enamel on the underside of the floor. Setting my bus up to last another 60 years.

But the ultimate point is i'm trying to make is while yes it's a lot of work, it'll be worth it in the end, and you just gotta tear it all apart and fix it at the core or it will spread and haunt you later.
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