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Old 10-21-2017, 01:26 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Shedd, Oregon
Posts: 6
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: e450
Engine: 7.3 liter turbo
Rated Cap: 14
Oregon Shortie Adventure Bus

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I guess I wanted to get my conversion well underway before "putting it out there". Because, frankly, I was not sure if I could do it. I know pretty much nothing about electrical work, welding, or automotive mechanicing, BUT I enjoy projects that are just outside my capabilities, and my stubbornness usually carries me though! I'm a forester, a farm-wife, and mom. My passions in life have always been outdoors and adrenaline driven. I love raft guiding, mt biking, rock climbing, skiing, canyoneering and such. The whole point of this was to create a vehicle I could do these things from with the people I love. We usually work 12 hour days 7-days a week in the summer harvesting crops, so we do a lot of our camping when the weather is less than ideal, and for years I've fantasized about having a skoolie that's an "elk tent on wheels", but also a comfortable party bus set up for hitting wineries and brew pubs with friends.

So, this past April I finally purchased a 2003 E450, 7.3 diesel with a 2004 Thomas handicap short bus body. This photo is from its very last day at the Silver Falls school district here in Oregon.

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Old 10-21-2017, 03:43 PM   #2
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Johnny Mullet's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
That is a good engine. Nice sized bus too!
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:53 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Vashon, Washington
Posts: 57
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird / Microbird
Chassis: Chevy 3500
Engine: Chevy Vortec 6.0 gas
Rated Cap: 30
Nice shortie!
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:10 PM   #4
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Shedd, Oregon
Posts: 6
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: e450
Engine: 7.3 liter turbo
Rated Cap: 14
Thanks, super pleased to find a 7.3

First few things were to replace windshield wipers, remove remaining lettering (used a razor blade, well, actually 5 razor blades, and some mineral spirits), and clean it out. Found lots of Mexican candy wrappers, melted lollipops, exploded pens, broken ear buds, no treasures.

Also removed the "Zonar" RFID tags from everywhere, a few other safety things, camera mounts, and the crossing arm. Also removed the dome mirrors that extended out in front of the hood, although, I have to say I was torn about whether or not to remove them. I think the deal breaker was that while driving I caught myself gazing into them on multiple occasions, mesmerized by the unique point-of-view! Probably not helping my driving skills. I mean, I'm already blonde, and a woman, so that's two strikes against me . . . don't need more distractions. Trying to think of unique uses for them now that they're off the bus.

I have a friend who's a tractor mechanic and needed a new wheel chair lift for his church bus, so I gave it to him for free, and he uninstalled it and repaired a leaky wheel seal for a thank you! I actually had it on craigslist for a few days, had a few bites for a couple hundred bucks, but no follow through. I was glad to not have to uninstall it myself.

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Old 12-14-2017, 12:06 AM   #5
Peach Camp's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 43
Year: 1997
Rated Cap: 15 passenger
I bought my short bus from the Oregon Schools Surplus. I love it. I may catch up with you on a rafting trip.
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:10 AM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Washington
Posts: 14
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Chevy 1 ton dually
Engine: Chevy 350 4bbl
Cool shorty! Mine originally came from OR before going to a youth program in southeast WA. Still has (well had before I removed yesterday) the Oregon school bus rules on the overhead lol
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