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Old 03-22-2020, 04:20 AM   #1
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: So Cal high desert
Posts: 71
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 6.8 V10
Rated Cap: 19
1 bus in hand 1 in head

Hello all! I just posted my first in the COVID-19 thread as that seems to be a very current topic our world is facing before I could do this proper into to myself. Sorry about that won't happen again.



So, like the title says, I am pursuing 2 project busses:
1. In hand: 1946?? Chevy truck Wayne body bus. Joint skoolie project with longtime friend. Stalled project as it still sits at the yard we got it from because it needs tires to roll onto a lowboy while the split rim Chevy Big Bolt wheels are Stupid Dangerous and one piece wheels in this pattern are made from unobtainum. Seller is the scrap metal collecting desert rat type that has philosophical discussions with his cat and isn't entirely sure my buddy and I are not Government Agents out to steal his lucky charms.
Youtube walkaround video:


2. In head: toy hauler wanted. I am thinking ~40' FE flatnose with ~6.5' ceiling. Rear cap neatly sliced off and hinged for rear garage door and vehicle ramp setup. I am torn between school bus and shuttle bus. The school bus is silly strong if interior room is available (at least 14' rear garage length or slightly more) while the shuttle already has the room and some have the potty already. Co-pilot door/seat a definite + if possible. Garage takes up lots of feet in back so I am studying the other toy hauler threads this board is hosting, I have already learned I had some terrible ideas I won't be trying as others have already BTDT. Thanks in advance for saving me lots of time/trouble Skoolie!



Meanwhile, the dune buggy is UFO (Unbelieveably Fun Object) and this bus idea would be the mothership. For the buggy types out there, she is a replica of an EMPI Imp made by Unique Supply in the 2000s before the economy tanked the business. It's an exact copy of the 2nd generation Imp body first made circa 1970. They sold several hundred of these bodies in that decade and are still available today from a fella in Michigan IIRC. Because of the roof cage at about 6' the taller ceiling is wanted.


Thanks for reading!
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
The 46ish will be a fun project. You may do well to read through Tango's build.
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/4...orty-6539.html


Warning, it has over 4000 posts.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:17 AM   #3
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Location: Virginia
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Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Neat project. About the rims, I am going to say that most everyone is afraid of them, but they are not that dangerous, yes they need to be handled with care but the outright fear is just that. From a practical standpoint running an antique tire size makes it hard to get replacements on the road. Is this more of a restoration or are you planning a modern drivetrain? If a modern drivetrain then use a differant axle with modern wheels. If you want to stick with the old Chevy wheels and axle I believe Stockton wheel service can take you old rims and replace the outer part with a tubeless rim while keeping the center portion original. They are in California.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
The 46ish will be a fun project. You may do well to read through Tango's build.
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/4...orty-6539.html


Warning, it has over 4000 posts.

Thanks for the reply! Yep I saw Tango's thread over a year ago and I have been thru *most* of it. My buddy likes the shorty bus and he wanted to cut our 46 down to that length but I am trying to keep this length.....it feels kinda like closet space, you never have enough. Our hats are off to Tango for his work, the cockpit is smaller than newer wider busses and all that firewall sheetmetal work for the 4BT swap must have been challenging!
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:23 AM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: So Cal high desert
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Year: 2003
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Engine: 6.8 V10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
Neat project. About the rims, I am going to say that most everyone is afraid of them, but they are not that dangerous, yes they need to be handled with care but the outright fear is just that. From a practical standpoint running an antique tire size makes it hard to get replacements on the road. Is this more of a restoration or are you planning a modern drivetrain? If a modern drivetrain then use a differant axle with modern wheels. If you want to stick with the old Chevy wheels and axle I believe Stockton wheel service can take you old rims and replace the outer part with a tubeless rim while keeping the center portion original. They are in California.

Thanks for the reply! We need to move the bus to another storage place but we don't want to sink the money needed into getting tires for these old wheels since we don't have plans to run the old drivetrain. We could probably winch the bus onto a lowboy but getting it back off a trailer will be another issue.

This bus was built before highways and we are more interested in keeping up with traffic than crawling down back roads. Modern drivetrain swap is the rough plan.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:25 AM   #6
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Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO pilot View Post
Thanks for the reply! We need to move the bus to another storage place but we don't want to sink the money needed into getting tires for these old wheels since we don't have plans to run the old drivetrain. We could probably winch the bus onto a lowboy but getting it back off a trailer will be another issue.

This bus was built before highways and we are more interested in keeping up with traffic than crawling down back roads. Modern drivetrain swap is the rough plan.
Wheel dollies?
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:30 AM   #7
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Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
My bus was hauled home on a lowboy. To get it off I used my dodge truck in low range with a long tow bar to pull it off. The bar gave me a way to stop it, instead of using a chain which would let it roll into me. A tow dolly may well be good to have as well. No telling if there are stuck brakes
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Old 12-21-2020, 12:19 AM   #8
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Well I have an update and it seemed more appropriate to post here instead of starting a new thread. Remember I said 2 buses, 1 in hand and 1 in head? Well now I have 2 in hand, the ~1946ish Chevy/Wayne somewhere in the background and this shuttle, a 2003 Ford E450 V10 gasser. Champion body I think but not sure.

Background story is good for a cautionary tale for those wanting to buy from government auctions. This bus (and a 2000 E450 7.3 diesel sistership) was being auctioned by a government organization near me and a friend of mine wanted to bid on them. He knew I have been researching buses and asked me what he should bid as he was kinda smitten by both of them. Minimum bid was set at $600. Spoiler: we spent a hell of a lot more than that! I told him I would not go over 1200 for either bus. The auction ends and I hear thru another friend of mine someone bought both buses for twice the next highest bid. I waited for the call and sure enough my friend bought both buses on a 3199 bid each. The next highest bids were 1800 each. Ok........so what to do. To the auction officials credit, they did allow my friend a one time chance to back out. Did I want one? Um.....ok.....but that means paying the full bid. Choke. Gasp. Gag. After thinking it over I decided to go for it ($$$) and see what happens.

The good:
19 passenger/~25? footer
69xxx original miles
Near me
6.8 V10 gas engine I like
Has tow hitch receiver - could Toad my buggy on my trailer instead of building garage in back of bus like I wanted

The bad:
NO co-pilot seat
Smaller than I wanted
Sitting for about a year - mice hotel
Known to have a shake at 45mph - Ford apparently had a batch of crooked wheels around this time and this bus probably has 1 or 2
Early 4R100 transmission - known to have problems. My 2000 F250 pickup has this same transmission and it needed a rebuild at 130xxx miles.

So thats my update for now. I will start an approprite thread after paperwork is settled and my partner and I are going thru that now. We are in California.......pray for us......
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Old 12-21-2020, 12:25 AM   #9
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That one is a bit more boring than the 1946, but a lot more practical.
Price is not bad in todays market.
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Old 12-21-2020, 02:54 AM   #10
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Posts: 19
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Freightliner
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
That 46 is absolutely dope. I’m going to have to watch for that build
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2002 Freightliner FS65 30í
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Old 12-22-2020, 02:43 PM   #11
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 6.8 V10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2mchprssr View Post
That 46 is absolutely dope. I’m going to have to watch for that build
The 46(?) has become my Mission Impossible bus. The property its sitting on is getting heat from the county to "clean up the mess" (scrap yard with several desireable vehicles) and my build partner and I cant get good enough tires on it to move it to safer storage. We don't want to buy new tires just for it to sit for a few years so its sits while life goes on for now.

Edit: I am researching a solution but I don't have anything yet, I *think* we can bolt up late 1990s/early 2000s Chevy/GMC 3500 HD wheels but its not resolved yet
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