Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-28-2021, 09:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
2000 E-450 Shuttle Bus

Hey everyone,
I am a mechanic at a ski resort in Lake Tahoe, think Snowcats and heavy equipment not chair lifts, and I managed to pick up one of the shuttle busses from the fleet due to a rotten plywood floor. I knew it was a little rough, but as you can see in the pictures it was a little rougher than I initially thought. No worries though, the project must go on.

Still currently in the gutting and fixing phase but I am hoping to have the bus ready for build out by the time the snow melts out. I only get 3 days a week to work on it so it is a tad slow going. Feel free to present ideas and suggestions!

The biggest project so far has been cutting out and paneling the cab floor. It was covered in a loose rubber mat and a lot of moisture got caught underneath and rotted a good portion of the floor. I cut out everything I deemed necessary and patched the holes. I definitely could have made it look nicer but this will be no show car, so it is absolutely function over form. Also, the only part of the rear floor frame with any rust was the front bar which I cut out and replaced.
Attached Thumbnails
PXL_20210114_171034620.jpg   PXL_20210114_171052677.jpg   PXL_20210114_171059586.jpg   PXL_20210122_002212095.jpg   PXL_20210203_170047441.jpg  

PXL_20210203_173423161.jpg   PXL_20210203_175955251.jpg   PXL_20210203_191950797.jpg   PXL_20210204_165636425.jpg   PXL_20210204_225534796.jpg  

PXL_20210223_191203309.jpg   PXL_20210223_220239416.jpg   PXL_20210224_214337846.jpg  

Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2021, 09:26 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
I messed up, this should be in the short bus conversion page but I put it here by mistake. Think I should move it?
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2021, 09:43 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
roach711's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,968
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
My driver's side floor had a few rust holes too but not that advanced. What are your plans for the beastie?
__________________
The Roach Motel
roach711 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2021, 10:23 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
Looking to be full time in it by beginning of winter 2021. Tahoe is starting to get really really expensive, as opposed to just the really expensive it was when I first moved here. I will hopefully using it a lot for weekend kayak and mountain bike trips around the area. I want to do a full bathroom, toilet inside the shower, and a nice simple buildout for just me and maybe a lady if the right one comes along.
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2021, 10:29 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
Been working on the bus quite regularly, just haven't had a milestone big enough to update on. Well that has all changed! I finally finished replacing the rotten floor and boy was it a job, though it did go relatively smoothly. I used 3/4in marine grade ply, which as we all know is crazy expensive, that I laid a coat of epoxy on to prep for the fiberglass. I ended up using 5 sheets of wood. I replaced the floor in sections. Due to the way the bus is constructed if you remove the entire floor in one shot there is very little to support the body of the bus. In fact, after removing the rear section of wood I ended up having to use an overhead hoist to left on the body to make room to slide the wood back under the walls. If anyone is thinking about tackling this job themselves, let me know... I may have a tip or two. Enjoy the photo dump!
Attached Thumbnails
PXL_20210203_170105448.jpg   PXL_20210401_213101418.jpg   PXL_20210414_214157139.jpg   PXL_20210415_230634257.jpg   PXL_20210421_184214423.jpg  

PXL_20210422_181641075.jpg   PXL_20210428_005308857.jpg   PXL_20210429_161825322.jpg  
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2021, 10:32 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
I am sorry about the image orientation... They all look right when I try to upload them and I have no idea how to decided what they are going to look like. Also, I forgot to mention I ended up using 1708 Biaxial fiberglass resin from U.S. Composites in Florida. They were super helpful over the phone helping me decide how much of everything I need and discussing application tactics for the job at hand.
Attached Thumbnails
PXL_20210414_184148314.jpg  
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2021, 09:02 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,349
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Nice work.
Many would have bailed on a project like this, but it really comes down to one's desire to get back on the road in whatever rig they end up with.
Especially if the "base" rig wasn't too expensive to start with.

Good luck on the finish, and post pics of the rest of your "restoration"...
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2021, 12:44 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
Yeah there were a few times throughout this process that I wondered if it was worth it, but luckily I am blessed to work in a shop that allows me to use a bay to work on the bus, plus a wealth of knowledge and people to bounce ideas off of. Not to mention the access to pretty much any tool I need and don't own.
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 08:56 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
I hung a black tank today...
Attached Thumbnails
PXL_20210514_170840680.jpg   PXL_20210514_220657993.jpg  
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 12:44 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 1,045
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Nice looking work there Dave.
Cheers
Oscar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2021, 04:12 AM   #11
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Goshen GCII
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
I have a 2000 E450 Shuttle Bus too and was thinking about peaking under the rubber mats this weekend to check for rust, though I don't feel any 'soft areas'. What should I expect to find under there? A sheet of plywood over metal? Can't tell from your posts if there is no metal, or if it was just rusted out by the time you got to it. Thanks for any insight you can provide
monicabrown11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2021, 10:40 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by monicabrown11 View Post
I have a 2000 E450 Shuttle Bus too and was thinking about peaking under the rubber mats this weekend to check for rust, though I don't feel any 'soft areas'. What should I expect to find under there? A sheet of plywood over metal? Can't tell from your posts if there is no metal, or if it was just rusted out by the time you got to it. Thanks for any insight you can provide
So, all of the busses I have worked on at the resort I work at have been a metal grid frame to support the weight of the floor and bus body. In my bus there was a layer of plastic on top of that frame, followed by 3/4in ply that was fiberglassed to the walls, and then the rubber mats on top of that for the interior. There was no sheet metal in the floor. My recommendation would be to slide underneath the bus and check out the floor framing. If there is no real rust, surface is easily treatable, AND if there are no apparent soft spots in the floor you may be good to go, but that isn't to say there aren't any issues. My wooden floor rotted out due to constant walking on it with snow covered ski boots. The rust that I had was all in the drivers area where the floor is still part of the e-450 van, if that makes any sense. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your bus decides whether you really need to pull up those interior mats. I plan to live in this full time so I had always planed on pulling the rubber and creating an insulated subfloor, though if I had planned on using for a weekend get away machine, and my floor hadn't been super rotted, I probably would have left the interior almost untouched and just built it out as is. I hope this has helped. My bus was constructed by Diamond coach company so all of my advice is specific to that, though I believe it is very similar to other manufacturers like Eldorado.
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2021, 10:21 PM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Goshen GCII
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
Awesome! Thanks for the tips! I took a look under there today and it looks like spray foam (see attached pic). So that's great news! I'll have to really reconsider ripping out the floors: yours looked like a ridiculous amount of work. I have some left over faux wood-board laminate flooring from a house remodel that I was considering putting in, but know it's not the best material for an area that will likely get wet.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_4921.jpg  
monicabrown11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2021, 11:21 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
It definitely was a ton of work. Though like I said earlier, it did go pretty smoothly. One thing to consider, I am now positive that the floor is perfect for at least the next 10 years. I am almost certain that the floor will now outlast the engine, so that is a thing. However, I did spend around $1500 replacing the floor to my standard. Lumber is incredibly expensive right now, and the fiberglass and resin was not cheap either.
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2021, 03:55 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Diamond
Chassis: E450
Engine: 7.3L
Did some more work
Attached Thumbnails
PXL_20210521_172950665.jpg  
Lasagna Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.