School Bus Conversion Resources

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Hoverlover 08-15-2016 12:04 AM

new here, just bought our shuttle bus to convert.
 
Hi Ya'll, just bought our new to us 1997 Ford E-450 Startrans shuttle bus with the 7.3 L powerstroke diesel. this is the First Diesel we have ever had, so this will be a learning as we go kind of deal. any an all advice on these Buses are welcome, please tell me the good and the bad. and things to look out for and known issues with this model Bus.

will be bringing the bus home tomorrow.
was going to post pics, but they are to large a file size, so guess I will have to resize them and post later.

we plan to use it to camp in, use as a bug out bus in case of bad hurricanes and to tow my Hovercraft with.
Tim.

BusFiend 08-15-2016 02:33 AM

Hi, Hoverlover! :welcome:

Have fun on your journey!

Hoverlover 08-15-2016 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BusFiend (Post 159042)
Hi, Hoverlover! :welcome:

Have fun on your journey!

Thanks, many years ago my Business Partner and I converted a full size school bus for him to live in for awhile, it was a fun build. looking forward to converting the Shuttle bus. we bring it home this afternoon, then I will be able to measure the inside more and start figuring how to set it up. going to start doing a lot of reading on here as see how others have done their buses.

leadsled01 08-15-2016 10:25 AM

I also have a 97 startrans. Mines a gasser. Great little shuttle seams to be built well. I use futon bunk beds for sleeping and lounging but my bus is very minimal and only used for ATV trips and the occasional nascar race or concert. Its a good tow vehicle. Welcome..

Hoverlover 08-15-2016 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by leadsled01 (Post 159072)
I also have a 97 startrans. Mines a gasser. Great little shuttle seams to be built well. I use futon bunk beds for sleeping and lounging but my bus is very minimal and only used for ATV trips and the occasional nascar race or concert. Its a good tow vehicle. Welcome..

what kind of mileage does does the gasser get? I almost bought one with the v-10, but found this one with the 7.3L turbo for $1,500 more. excited about driving it home today, about a 57 mile drive from Ocala Fl to Deleon Springs Fl.

cadillackid 08-15-2016 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoverlover (Post 159075)
what kind of mileage does does the gasser get? I almost bought one with the v-10, but found this one with the 7.3L turbo for $1,500 more. excited about driving it home today, about a 57 mile drive from Ocala Fl to Deleon Springs Fl.

I JUSTfinished a system upgrade in Ocala... down at my new place in st pete (with my bus).. will be driving it back to ohio at some point in the next few days.

-Christopher

Hoverlover 08-15-2016 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoverlover (Post 159035)
Hi Ya'll, just bought our new to us 1997 Ford E-450 Startrans shuttle bus with the 7.3 L powerstroke diesel. this is the First Diesel we have ever had, so this will be a learning as we go kind of deal. any an all advice on these Buses are welcome, please tell me the good and the bad. and things to look out for and known issues with this model Bus.

will be bringing the bus home tomorrow.
was going to post pics, but they are to large a file size, so guess I will have to resize them and post later.

we plan to use it to camp in, use as a bug out bus in case of bad hurricanes and to tow my Hovercraft with.
Tim.

well I just found out mine is a E-350 from the Vin # look up on parts. but I think it's going to do just fine.

any idea what fuel mileage I should get?

leadsled01 08-15-2016 01:08 PM

Well my gasser is just a 5.4L v8. This is the shortest , narrowest shuttle they make. Odometer is broke so not sure about the mileage. It actually tows pretty good if I keep it under 65. I won't get their fast but I will get their..
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoverlover (Post 159075)
what kind of mileage does does the gasser get? I almost bought one with the v-10, but found this one with the 7.3L turbo for $1,500 more. excited about driving it home today, about a 57 mile drive from Ocala Fl to Deleon Springs Fl.


sdwarf36 08-15-2016 04:53 PM

Since you're in flatlands-you'll get around 10-12mpg.

Hoverlover 08-15-2016 09:31 PM

Well, we just got back home with the Bus. Almost did not make it thank god i carrier a Fire extinguisher. when we took it for a test drive, we smelled wood burning. since the guy had just replace some of the floor we thought it was saw dust on the pipes. about 15 miles out, I see flames and sparks coming out from under the engine cover and I am on a bridge, no place to pull over doing 55 m.p.h. I get to the bottom of the bridge and there was a r.v. park . I pull in pop the hood and can see flames at the back of the engine. I hit it with the Fire Extinguisher and get the fire out. I open the engine cover to find what was left of a burning bird or squirrels nest. Thankfully a camp saw me and after we pulled more of the nest out, we follow him to his camping spot where he had an air compressor and we blew off the rest of the engine. the rest of the trip home was fine. but had a turn signal out and i am not sure if I had it in over drive or what ever that button on the shift was for, but it was on the whole drive back.

anyway glad to be home and not burning on the side of the road 40 miles from home.

Brad_SwiftFur 08-16-2016 12:10 AM

And that is why we do thorough pre-trip inspections, folks.

Hoverlover 08-16-2016 07:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur (Post 159195)
And that is why we do thorough pre-trip inspections, folks.

yeah the seller told me he had checked it over before we went to pick it up. Since this guy had just replaced some of the flooring,I plan to remove the flooring and look under it to make sure nothing else is out of place and everything is secure under it. after getting back on the road, it drove and ran great. but man is it noisy inside.

cadillackid 08-16-2016 11:06 AM

Busses tend to be noisy inside... I go back and forth listening to the cool diesel engine sound and my JBL Xtreme bluetooth speaker... it will ROCK a bus!

-Christopher

Hoverlover 08-16-2016 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cadillackid (Post 159230)
Busses tend to be noisy inside... I go back and forth listening to the cool diesel engine sound and my JBL Xtreme bluetooth speaker... it will ROCK a bus!

-Christopher

yeah that Turbo sure screams at about 55 m.p.h. this bus has a stereo in it, but I don't think it is hooked up. will learn more today while i have more time to look it over. the day we went to look at it a thunder storm came up so it was kind of dark inside. now i have a nice sunny day to look things over and start fixing things.

As they say now the real fun begins.. :)

roach711 08-16-2016 04:05 PM

On my 2000 e-450, the button on the end of the shift lever cancels the overdrive.

This spring I took a huge squirrel nest out of mine too, though mine didn't catch fire. Check the seals on your up pipes and down pipe (the exhaust pipes going into and out of the turbocharger). Those seals are known to leak over time. That may also be the source of some of the noise.

Hoverlover 08-16-2016 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roach711 (Post 159261)
On my 2000 e-450, the button on the end of the shift lever cancels the overdrive.

This spring I took a huge squirrel nest out of mine too, though mine didn't catch fire. Check the seals on your up pipes and down pipe (the exhaust pipes going into and out of the turbocharger). Those seals are known to leak over time. That may also be the source of some of the noise.

Ok thanks I will check those, I am totally new to fords and these Buses.
any idea what the box is that has the digital display on it that sits on the engine cover, has up and down arrows.
mine is not plugged in.

Found out today those wheel chairs lifts are heavy when they come out of the door on top of you. when I opened the side doors it just started coming down out of the door to the ground, I did get it back in with the manual pump. the power unit may not even have power to it as it did not do any thing.
glad I am fast enough to jump out of the way..lol

Tootalltechie 08-16-2016 08:31 PM

Welcome to Skoolie.net from Northern British Columbia.

Sent from my SM-G530W using Tapatalk

roach711 08-16-2016 08:38 PM

Your mystery panel may be a controller for an engine heater. Post some pics and we may be able to identify it.

Hoverlover 08-16-2016 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roach711 (Post 159292)
Your mystery panel may be a controller for an engine heater. Post some pics and we may be able to identify it.

I will have to see if I can adjust the setting on my camera some how, when I tried to post pics, it said file to large.

I did find out why my wheel chair lift was not working. the Relay under the hood was not getting power, i by passed it and the lift worked until the crappy plastic line to the cylinder blew off. stupid design, it had the line held onto a fitting with a plastic zip tie. so will have to work on the Tomorrow. hope it don't rain tonight as the side doors are wide open. then again a little rain might help wash it out...lol

Hoverlover 08-16-2016 09:03 PM

the little box that says Ford on it with the buttons. well of course the upload failed.


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