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Old 08-23-2014, 04:43 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Start of my "new" bus build

Hello converts! Im new to the forum and am about to embark on a RV conversion project that will eventually become a full time live in. I plan to keep things pretty up to date just for my own enjoyment of documentation as well as being able to pick the brains of all of you who have come before me. Have a great day.

Matt
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:49 AM   #2
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Have fun doing a tune up.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:00 AM   #3
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Leaks around the windows.
Floor rotted out. Most if not all are wood...
The drive train is like any other E-350 van.
Ford's brakes, front rotors almost always warp from excessive heat.

Have fun and post lots of picz......
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:52 AM   #4
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Being standard issue Ford engine & tranny, I can't imagine any average mechanic not being able to work on it. Might not have a lift for it but hey, that's what jackstands are for. Should not be an issue. That said, should they refuse, at least there is plenty of info available on the main components and given that what befuddles so many builders are the electrics involved...you should be way ahead of the game.

And...with a starting price of $0.00, you have way more wiggle room than most of us. Go for it!
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Look for a repair shop that does cars AND trucks. Getting the thing up in the air is the problem at most auto only shops. Nice thing about the Ford based buses is that parts are easily available at your local parts shop.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:21 AM   #6
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by SitkaConvert
Ford E-350 chassis.
I think I have that Chassis. I haven't done a thing but change out the gears in the transmission myself (I really should have come on here to bitch about it....gottdarned stick and staples!).

Wait, nevermind, mine's a GMC.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:44 AM   #7
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

For free it's worth it.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:26 PM   #8
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Re: Start of my "new" bus build

Well that first bus ended up being a no go. The transmission was shot and on top of the cost to repair.. There is no one on the island to do it. So.... On to the next one that fell into my lap. This is the true start to my new hobby. I signed paperwork on her yesterday and will be driving her home today. Commence "Rolling Gypsy"
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:33 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

This one has shiney wheel! Everything on the bus is do-able. And its high enough off the ground that you can roll underneath it when needed.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:55 PM   #10
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

So...do you plan on putting some bigger windows in that puppy?
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:30 PM   #11
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
So...do you plan on putting some bigger windows in that puppy?
Whatcha want? A 16 passenger Pacer?
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:25 AM   #12
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Re: Start of my "new" bus build

So this beauty used to be a studio for glass blowing, the odd metal door, where the wheel chair lift use to be, is a drop down area for ventilation. Im debating turning the back 5 feet into a garage/toy-hauler with a reinforced ramp. The BIG windows on the side are vendor windows and lift completely up. Im wondering if I can screen them, tint them, and turn them into a custom "awning" screened window area. If not, they will be sealed and covered from the inside. Whats great, is this beast is already stripped inside and ready to get worked on. I will hopefully be taking plenty of pictures along the way and will probably be asking lots of advice type questions. Thanks to anyone reading and helping along the way.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:26 AM   #13
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

The back 5 ft shop area is exactally how my bus is set up. Works for me-but I have a rear door instead of a side one.
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Old 09-12-2014, 02:17 PM   #14
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Re: Start of my "new" bus build

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36
The back 5 ft shop area is exactally how my bus is set up. Works for me-but I have a rear door instead of a side one.
Can I ask what that leaves you with for available living space?
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:52 PM   #15
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
Quote:
Originally Posted by SitkaConvert
Ford E-350 chassis.
I think I have that Chassis. I haven't done a thing but change out the gears in the transmission myself (I really should have come on here to bitch about it....gottdarned stick and staples!).

Wait, nevermind, mine's a GMC.
Which gears did you change out?
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:43 PM   #16
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by SitkaConvert
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36
The back 5 ft shop area is exactally how my bus is set up. Works for me-but I have a rear door instead of a side one.
Can I ask what that leaves you with for available living space?
On my bus it gives me 12 ft to the back of the front seats. (Your length may vary.)
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:45 PM   #17
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

Sounds like you are going to become a mechanic the way most of us do. Because we HAD to! The "Island of No Mechanics" sounds like a good place for a bus wrencher to be. The typical bus is really just a medium duty truck with a bus body on it. For instance my 1951 IHC/ Wayne schoolbus is just a 51 IHC L-160 with a Wayne bus body attached to the IHC chassis. The front end is exactly like any L series truck from that time. I was able to find an original IHC L series SERVICE manual on Ebay for about 70 bucks and it covers every nut and bolt and possible operation this machine could possibly require. Data such as lube points, fluids etc to engine and trans rebuilds and brake service. These were for pro mechanics and every vehicle owner should have a manual. You will learn a lot just reading it. Even if you are not doing the work yourself, a proper service manual will be very valuable to a mechanic that you may find to do your work for you. Plus it adds to the value of any machine to have the service manuals for it. I'm not talking about owners manual that's in everybodys glove box, but the factory SERVICE MANUAL. Many are reproduced for older vehicles. For newer stuff it might be something you download or have to print out. Information is vital to get any job done. Good luck with your bus.
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:30 PM   #18
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Re:Start of my "new" bus build

So I think with a "garage" I am going to be looking at right around 12 feet of living space. I am heavily debating it, just for the convenience of having that storage for the bike and things.

This is what she looks like with her window up. I am still thinking of screening in the opening, adding a couple support poles, and turning this into my awning/"screened porch". Not really sure how well that will work out, but its def on the drawing board. Any thoughts or ideas, for or against that, from some folks that have been around this lifestyle longer?
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:05 PM   #19
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Re: Looking for some insight on a "new" bus

You need the space--go for it!
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:07 AM   #20
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Re: Start of my "new" bus build

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt
You need the space--go for it!
Well Ol trunt...if you don't mind me asking for a little clarification. Are you saying go for it, as in build the garage? Or go for it, as in the screened in porch area?
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