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Old 03-03-2024, 02:48 PM   #41
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWNJ View Post
Nice bus. Whats your mpg? My duramax gets 15 on avg. I had a pickup with a vortex in the early 2000s and didnt have any problems with it. IDK if I would buy a diesel again since they're so much crap attached to it and it's almost impossible for me to work on it. My work truck w the chevy 350 in it is the complete opposite, plenty of roof to access everything. It's a strong engine, just a pain to get to things.

Where in NJ did you buy it? Mine was located in Wall, NJ.
I got 7-8 mpg on the highway doing, on average, 65 mph. I think I could get 10 mpg doing 55 mph. Diesels def get better gas mileage but like you said they’re a pain to work on. My biggest concern with my LS V8 is more to do with the van chassis than it is the engine. Van chassis have smaller engine compartments that a pickup so accessibility might be difficult.

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Old 03-03-2024, 02:56 PM   #42
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Seat Removal

Removing the seats was no easy task. They were very rusty, especially near the front. For the front few the sawzall was needed to cut the legs off to remove the seats. This made enough work space to grind the heads off the bolts using an angle grinder. I hammered the headless bolts down through the floor and swept them up off the ground.
Next up, the wheel chair lift.
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Old 03-03-2024, 07:59 PM   #43
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Northeast
Posts: 59
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Thomas Built Buses
Chassis: Ford E-450 cutaway
Engine: 6.0 Power Stroke diesel
Rated Cap: GVWR 14,050
Looks good!

Those aluminum T tracks are going to be a pain - they're usually bolted through as well. I ended up plunge sawing one side off with a circular saw to get access to the bolts for a cutting wheel.
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Old 03-03-2024, 08:51 PM   #44
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaHare View Post
Looks good!

Those aluminum T tracks are going to be a pain - they're usually bolted through as well. I ended up plunge sawing one side off with a circular saw to get access to the bolts for a cutting wheel.
I’m not looking forward to it. The wheel chair lift and the floor are the last two big hurdles from a demo perspective. I’ve been told by multiple people those tracks are a huge pain. I think the angle grinder and circular saw are gonna be best.
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Old 03-03-2024, 08:56 PM   #45
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWNJ View Post
Nice bus. Whats your mpg? My duramax gets 15 on avg. I had a pickup with a vortex in the early 2000s and didnt have any problems with it. IDK if I would buy a diesel again since they're so much crap attached to it and it's almost impossible for me to work on it. My work truck w the chevy 350 in it is the complete opposite, plenty of roof to access everything. It's a strong engine, just a pain to get to things.

Where in NJ did you buy it? Mine was located in Wall, NJ.
I bought it in Plainfield NJ. Drove it home 7 hrs with no issues. Other than a ticket for no registration lol 🤦🏼*♂️
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Old 03-04-2024, 06:14 AM   #46
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Northeast
Posts: 59
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Thomas Built Buses
Chassis: Ford E-450 cutaway
Engine: 6.0 Power Stroke diesel
Rated Cap: GVWR 14,050
Here was my technique on the t tracks:

(have to say it - GOOD eye protection - and a firm grip/slow feed on the saw)

Middle photo: Plunge cut with a circular saw inside the track, just outside the heads of the bolts. Put the blade flush with the outside edge of the circular scallops. The aluminum cuts easily. Use a crappy blade - you will nick a few bolt heads which are not.

Right photo: Pry out the outside track lip, which should lift out of the routed plywood.

Pry up/break off the plywood to that cut line (not shown, but the part with the blue tape).

You can now get an 1/8" cutoff disc on your angle grinder under the aluminum and cut off the bolts under the track. It will smoke a bit as you go into the plywood....
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Old 03-09-2024, 04:23 PM   #47
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Wheelchair Lift Removal

The wheelchair lift came out much easier than the seats. Both were bolted through the floor but the nuts & bolts werenít as rusty on the lift. The bus has big mud flaps and I wonder if those helped mitigate the rust by keeping moisture and debris off the fasteners. Either way this was a heavy beast and could easily get away from you if youíre not careful.
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Old 03-15-2024, 01:35 AM   #48
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2023
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Posts: 36
Year: 2013
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500
Engine: 6.0L GM Vortec
Progress looking good! My wheelchair lift was easy too. I had four people help me lay it down on a deck and I gave it away for free. Some of my seats were challenging too but not as bad as yours. I don't have the floor tracks in mine. I still have two seatbelt bolts in the floor though from stubborn bolts even though all my demo is complete. Will start a build thread soon to document progress as I prepare for my build!

Keeping it going!
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Old 03-15-2024, 11:54 PM   #49
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buyzen View Post
Progress looking good! My wheelchair lift was easy too. I had four people help me lay it down on a deck and I gave it away for free. Some of my seats were challenging too but not as bad as yours. I don't have the floor tracks in mine. I still have two seatbelt bolts in the floor though from stubborn bolts even though all my demo is complete. Will start a build thread soon to document progress as I prepare for my build!

Keeping it going!
Glad to hear it. I game my lift to a metal scraper. The likelihood of someone actually paying anything for it is slim so I was happy to get rid of it.
I’d love to see how your build progresses please be sure to post some pics.
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Old 04-20-2024, 06:46 AM   #50
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Rear Heater Removal

Removing the rear heater was pretty easy. The 4 bolts securing it to the floor were not rusted in place and came out without issue. The coolant lines were stuck on the inlet/outlet of the heater and needed to be cut to remove. I bought a simple heater bypass kit on Amazon. I bought one with aluminum fittings opposed to plastic in hopes it will last forever. I was going to reuse the original hose clamps but they were so backed with dirt and road grime I opted for a couple new ones. Clearly the heater leaked or created condensation which created a bit of a rust hole in the floor I’ll need to patch but could be worse. Thanks for following the build.
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Old 04-20-2024, 05:15 PM   #51
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 491
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdrew93 View Post
Removing the rear heater was pretty easy. The 4 bolts securing it to the floor were not rusted in place and came out without issue. The coolant lines were stuck on the inlet/outlet of the heater and needed to be cut to remove. I bought a simple heater bypass kit on Amazon. I bought one with aluminum fittings opposed to plastic in hopes it will last forever. I was going to reuse the original hose clamps but they were so backed with dirt and road grime I opted for a couple new ones. Clearly the heater leaked or created condensation which created a bit of a rust hole in the floor Iíll need to patch but could be worse. Thanks for following the build.

It won't last forever unless all the other metal in your cooling system is also aluminum. It's called "galvanic corrosion", and it will corrode and eat up the aluminum in your system unless you've got some zinc to use as a sacrificial anode somewhere else. That said, it will likely last for 20-30 years, but your hoses likely won't.
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Old 04-21-2024, 05:31 AM   #52
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albatross View Post
It won't last forever unless all the other metal in your cooling system is also aluminum. It's called "galvanic corrosion", and it will corrode and eat up the aluminum in your system unless you've got some zinc to use as a sacrificial anode somewhere else. That said, it will likely last for 20-30 years, but your hoses likely won't.
No, I suppose nothing lasts forever. Thanks for your input. I guess my point was that aluminum will significantly outlast plastic and considering the costs of replacement and ease of repair I’d be happy to get 5-10+ years out of it.
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Old 04-21-2024, 06:45 PM   #53
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: So Cal high desert
Posts: 162
Year: 63&5
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: HPO
Engine: Cummins 220
Rated Cap: 1
Cool bus! I like to follow shorty builds for ideas. Heck if I can ever get my big project done I might have to find my own shorty.

Keep it up!
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Old 05-12-2024, 07:37 AM   #54
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Northeast
Posts: 59
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Thomas Built Buses
Chassis: Ford E-450 cutaway
Engine: 6.0 Power Stroke diesel
Rated Cap: GVWR 14,050
I wouldn't worry about the fittings in this case. Galvanic corrosion requires the two dissimilar metals to be in electrical contact with each other. Your fittings are not in contact with anything but the hose.
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Old 05-19-2024, 04:25 PM   #55
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaHare View Post
I wouldn't worry about the fittings in this case. Galvanic corrosion requires the two dissimilar metals to be in electrical contact with each other. Your fittings are not in contact with anything but the hose.
Ya I agree, shouldn’t be an issue. It also easy accessible whenever it does need servicing.
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Old 05-19-2024, 04:33 PM   #56
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Wall & Ceiling Demo.

The sheet metal panels came off pretty easy. A few hundred screws but none too rusty to back out. Once the screws were out a hammer and flat bar broke them free of the old adhesive and peeled away from the coachwork without too much effort. Most all of the insulation was clean and free of mold or mildew. A good indicator thereís isnít any major leaks in the roof or walls.
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Old 06-09-2024, 08:18 PM   #57
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Demo: Subfloor

I used a circular saw set to 3/4Ē depth to make some preliminary cuts. This allowed me to remove the plywood with the rubber mats still attached saving a step. This method also made the plywood more manageable to remove in smaller sections. Thereís a little more rust than I bargained for but not more than I can handle. Next up, cutting out the rust.
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Old 06-10-2024, 09:01 AM   #58
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,236
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
I may be missing it but I dont see any rust worthy of being cut out.
Jack
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Old 06-11-2024, 10:25 PM   #59
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
I may be missing it but I dont see any rust worthy of being cut out.
Jack
The worst of it is under the windows on the passenger side, which is covered up by the sheet metal panels. You can see a couple spots that are rusted entirely through the floor, near the gas tank access hole and again in another photo under where the wheelchair lift was
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Old 06-11-2024, 10:35 PM   #60
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 40
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Demo: Cutting Out the Rust

The majority of the rust was on the passenger side under the windows. Luckily, were floor panels overlapped one another they hadnít rusted completely through whereas other places that were only single layer thickness had rusted entirely through, and thatís where I made my cuts. Next up, rust mitigation and patch panels.
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