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Old 04-17-2017, 04:54 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 186
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
Big Cam Crowns and Gilligs usually had 290 HP in schoolbus trim, but those engines can easily make a lot more than that. One member of CCJ had a Hewlett-Packard demonstrator Crown with a 375 HP Big Cam, and he said it easily buried the needle of his 80 MPH speedo! The turbo inline 6-71 Detroit makes 270 HP at (I think) 2300 RPM, but obviously with much less torque than a big Cummins. My friend's Gillig tandem with a Big Cam romps up almost anything at speeds my 277 HP 6V92 can't come close to matching, but he has over 200 lb/ft more torque than me. That's the difference between 9 liters and 14 liters. Size matters!

John
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:55 PM   #12
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Glencoe, Ca
Posts: 8
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Crown
Engine: 855ci Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Crowns do not have parallel straight sides. The windows angle in slightly, making it a challenge to raise the roof on a Crown without making look like a dog's dinner. You can't just chop through the vertical posts between the windows and insert extensions there, like you can with lesser brands of bus. Some folk have raised the roof of Crowns, but it's a LOT of work to do it right.

I'm thinking that maybe a bus, Crown or otherwise, may not be the best choice for what you need. How about a reefer box truck - good ground clearance for light off-roading, already insulated, high roof, lot's of interior space for the length, and still room to hang storage boxes underneath. It's not a Crown, but it may work better for you. Maybe a rural fire department personnel transport - 4WD, higher ground clearance, and probably made to the highest standards for a public-service contract?

I would hate to see a beautiful Crown tandem turned into a weird-looking mongrel with a cropped tail. If you did that, the enforcers from the Crown Coach Junkies forum may put a price on your head!

John
At the time when I got the bus my life was a lot different and this bus met all my needs but lots of things have changed so I'm planning on making the bus change to those new needs. I like the idea of the custom length especially with the long wheelbase. If I had an extra $10k i'd go get a unimog and start from there. This is what I have to work with and I have lots of time and gusto for this project right now so I'll see where it takes me. I'll stick with the plan for now unless the Crown Junkies wanna donate me a Unimog.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:59 PM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 8,765
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
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Originally Posted by Chevydude01 View Post
[QUOTE

One question. You mentioned that the district you bought your bus from had several other Crowns. Are they available? It would be nice to know if they can be purchased so they could be kept from being cut up by a fire department.

Best wishes with your project!

Dave

I too would be very interested in obtaining a tandem. Bliss got a nice one with the big cam. I want one.[/QUOTE]

I want one!!! Sign me up for one with the 855!!!!!
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:59 PM   #14
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Glencoe, Ca
Posts: 8
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Crown
Engine: 855ci Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Big Cam Crowns and Gilligs usually had 290 HP in schoolbus trim, but those engines can easily make a lot more than that. One member of CCJ had a Hewlett-Packard demonstrator Crown with a 375 HP Big Cam, and he said it buried the needle of his 80 MPH speedo! The turbo inline 6-71 Detroit makes 270 HP at (I think) 2300 RPM, but obviously with much less torque than a big Cummins. My friend's Gillig tandem with a Big Cam romps up almost anything at speeds my 277 HP bus can't come close to matching, but he has over 200 lb/ft more torque than me.

John
I have yet to look into ramping up the engine yet but glad to know that! My bus says 270 HP on the panel next to the drivers seat.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:27 PM   #15
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Gonvick MN
Posts: 237
Year: 1975
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3208t/10 speed transmission
Quote:
Originally Posted by EndLisBliss View Post
Hello!!!

Long time listener…first time..poster. I'll be documenting my 1980 Crown conversion here and on my instagram page @EndLineCreations.

First off thanks for all the kind people here who have dedicated their time and energy posting such valuable information. I've been on the site for about two years after considering the skoolie route instead of a trailer(I lived in a trailer for a couple years in the Cleveland Nation Forrest in Orange County before moving back up to Northern California). I've learned a good deal from the various threads but I know I'll be learning a lot more once things really start going. Before this website and others I had no knowledge of skoolies so I am very excited to learn from this build.

So far all I have done is got the Crown towed in front of my shop from the local school yard and began taking out the seats(I got the bus last year but have been busy with other projects-sawmill-that will come into play later). I grew up in the area(lot of small towns-my town is pop. 189) so I know a handful of the bus drivers when I road the bus and played sports growing up with the supervisor's son. I feel good about the information they gave me about the bus and got to meet the mechanics and talk with them a few times at length. There was 4 Crowns to choose from and this was the best of the bunch so I signed the papers and here we are.

Specs: Cummins 855ci turbo diesel, Allison transmission, 3 axles, 40' long, ~457k miles(240kish on the rebuild).

~The reason it got towed home was it was sitting for the past 6 years in need of a head gasket. That's number one on the fix list so I can have the bus mobile and see what else needs tuning and fixing before I start cutting and gutting. I have a friend that is a diesel mechanic that will be helping me with that aspect of the build.


Now onto the fun and interesting part.
Conversion Thoughts
1. Roof Raise-this is something that I want done right after the bus is running. I'm a little over 6'1" with my shoes on and won't have much space after insulation and flooring. I saw a 12" crown roof raise documented online so that is the plan. I'm not really afraid of this one bit. I'm a compentant metal fabricator and my father puts up skyscrapers for a living so a 12" roof raise isn't anything serious to him.

2. Take out 11' and the 3rd axle-this area I don't feel so sure about as this thought just came up in the last couple weeks. My real plan for this bus was to build it slow(I live in a tipi now so don't need housing) and make it real nice to sell to pay for a shorter bus with good ground clearance but after looking at how things could line up I think this could work. This also saves me the need to get a class B driving license. Please feel free to give me any warnings here but here are some of mine.

*I am concerned about the-air brakes, locking mechanism for the axles and suspension.
*I am not too worried about the muffler, emergency exit, or gas tank as they can be moved to new locations.

3. Custom Milled Interior-I built a bandsaw style sawmill specifically so I can mill up my own custom counters, table, bed frame, siding, floors, etc. on the bus. I have access to big oak trees, cedar, dug fir and blue stained pine at my disposal. My mill can cut up to 43" wide x 4" thick and unlimited length so sky is the limit.

4. Open Floor Plan-No walls will be had. I'll put in a shower that swings open when you open the emergency exit door and will serve as a composting toilet area as well.

5. When you first walk into the bus it will have a log cabin feel and as you exit the kitchen I'm going to have big windows to the floor so it feels as though you are stepping out into the forrest with carved logs serving as seats and log couch. Thinking of doing a wrap for the roof to get the outdoor feel flowing.

6. Undecided on what color to paint the bus but that is fine as it will be one of the last steps of the build. Could consider doing a wrap.
WOW!!!
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:02 PM   #16
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2
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Originally Posted by EndLisBliss View Post

Looks like they are trying to get grant money for them now. They were driving them last school year but new regulations happened so they would've had to get a new exhaust system which wasn't worth it since they won't be able to drive them in 2018(for more than 1,000 miles a year). I just lucked out on getting mine in time. I think they are going to keep a couple for themselves as back up vehicles.

270 hp will be nice
Yeah, that figures. Glad you were able to get yours. Please keep us posted on whether they are able to get grants for the remaining ones or not. If not, it would be great to get those sold off to Crown enthusiasts.

Dave
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:04 PM   #17
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 8,765
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
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Originally Posted by cascade crown View Post
Yeah, that figures. Glad you were able to get yours. Please keep us posted on whether they are able to get grants for the remaining ones or not. If not, it would be great to get those sold off to Crown enthusiasts.

Dave
Send some out here to the east!
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:20 PM   #18
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Glencoe, Ca
Posts: 8
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Crown
Engine: 855ci Cummins
So been working on taking out the rubber on top of the floor to get access to the side panels. It has been pretty simple and easy so far. I have an angle grinder and a dye grinder to take out the rivets and there are a lot(roughly 2,562).

I've been posting ~1 min videos of the build on instagram @endlinetraining so follow or check it out if you are interested in the build. I'm just eating lunch and will post some videos later when I'm in town to pick up new leaf springs for my 82 CJ7 to go spring over the axle for added lift. I'm having friends come over to strip the inside of the bus and remove all the covering for the seats.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:13 PM   #19
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Glencoe, Ca
Posts: 8
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Crown
Engine: 855ci Cummins
Here's a 1 minute video from working on taking out the floor.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BTIczqiAqKN/
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