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Old 10-30-2020, 02:38 PM   #41
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Central California
Posts: 7
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: Ford E350 Girardin Minibus
dzl_

Keep an eye on PublicSurplus.com and auctions by West County Transportation. I bought my 2003 Ford E450/Girardin minibus from them.
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Old 10-30-2020, 02:40 PM   #42
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Location: Central California
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: Ford E350 Girardin Minibus
Peakbus,

Where did you get those beautiful white chairs?
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:25 AM   #43
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Location: Sandpoint, ID
Posts: 302
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird MB-IV
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3 Diesel
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Originally Posted by Rendeane View Post
Peakbus,

Where did you get those beautiful white chairs?

Hi Rendeane,

I bought the chairs from a woman who was converting a nice little Turtle Top shuttle bus. They're very comfy. I haven't replaced my driver's seat but am considering it.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:35 AM   #44
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Location: Sandpoint, ID
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird MB-IV
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3 Diesel
Rated Cap: 25
Back to the Grindstone

Well, it was a fun summer with 8 quick trips and 15 nights spent in Rosa Bus. I've been slowly getting back to bus work now that paid work has eased a bit. The first order of business was to remove the rear bed, and cover the couch and cabinet with plywood to prevent damage.
20201105_142926.jpg
After that I began pulling the end caps off and then the ceiling.

20201105_171649.jpg

20201107_161543.jpg

20201108_170202.jpg

As Vineyardseashell notes in her thread, Girardin uses a combination of stainless rivets and adhesive to attach the aluminum inner panels. I popped the center pins in with a pointed bit on an air chisel and then drilled the rivet heads loose. Some pins don't pop and require drilling out fully. I could then use a sharpened air chisel blade to pop the rivets loose and free the adhesive from the frames and other panels. Some came off quick and some- especially at corners- were challenging. I probably spent 2 hours getting the little piece off behind the driver's seat and the sidewall.
20201109_163541.jpg (oops-sideways photo)
As you can see, a leak above created a good bit of rust on some horizontal frames. One has a couple of rust holes. I will hit them with Ospho Rust converter and probably reinforce the badly damaged one.

It's hard to get motivated now that it's about 30 degrees out (and in the bus). A wee bit frustrating to have a diesel heater installed but not wired in completely. Once I finish the really dirty work and insulating, I may do some temporary wiring to get it running. Next up are 101 details to tackle before insulation: Wiring, blocking for interior finishes, sealing holes and leaks, installing tracks for the solar panel. I'd really like to get it spray foamed but need it to be warmer for some of these things. Trying to find a shop to park in for the next couple months.
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:57 AM   #45
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North East
Posts: 101
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Hi Peakbus,


Wow! That looks awesome! I see similar things, but your photos really show the differences between our buses.



I like how your bus has ribs going lengthwise along the roof. And, I'm just noticing, you don't have an emergency exit roof hatch.



Is that your bus' electrical panel above the drivers seat? If yes, it looks so less confusing than mine.


Curious as to how heavy your AC unit was. I intend to drop my the same way, but would rather have help on hand, as I anticipate the weight of the unit to be more than I can handle by myself.


I can't wait to see your next update!


Clyn
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:25 AM   #46
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3 Diesel
Rated Cap: 25
Hi Clyn,
Thanks. It was definitely helpful to see your demolition photos to get a sense of what I had in store. Similar in many ways.

That is one electrical panel. I just discovered another in the dash on the passenger side. I still haven't done any wire tracing. If it's anything like my old bus, the wires may be labeled along the length which makes tracing from the load back to the panel easier. If nothing else, they are color coded.

The A/C wasn't super heavy but you definitely want another pair of hands. I braced it in place with an adjustable prop while I unbolted it. After taking off the cover, 4 bolts hold it to the ceiling. You can see one of the nuts at the left side of the AC just below the ceiling.
20201106_125842.jpg
Then lowered it as much as I could. It will be awkward to work around but without disconnecting it, that's where it will stay.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:29 PM   #47
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North East
Posts: 101
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Hi.Peakbus,


Some of the other Girardins in our fleet have the electrical panel in the black box under where the glove box would be. In my bus the black box is a storage box.


Thanks for the heads up on the AC weight. I figured as much. My AC hose dont look like they will have much play for movement.


I took a quick glance at some of the wiring and it is labeled by text, numerically and color coded to the wiring diagrams I have.


I have to run for now. Thanks, and have a great day!
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:33 AM   #48
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Location: North East
Posts: 101
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird G5 HC
Chassis: GMC 4500
Engine: Vortex 6
Rated Cap: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vineyardseashell View Post
Hi.Peakbus,

I took a quick glance at some of the wiring and it is labeled by text, numerically and color coded to the wiring diagrams I have.

Here is a (fuzzy) image of how my wires are labeled.
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Old 11-13-2020, 12:08 PM   #49
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Posts: 302
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird MB-IV
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3 Diesel
Rated Cap: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vineyardseashell View Post
Here is a (fuzzy) image of how my wires are labeled.
Nice! Those are super helpful when going from one end of the bus to the other. Thanks for the Girardin # too. They are quite helpful. I actually got a wiring diagram from them earlier when I bought my bus. It should be a big help.
Have a great weekend!
Chris
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