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Old 12-09-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Columbus, Indiana
Posts: 79
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DTA 360, Fuller 6-speed
Rated Cap: 53
1991 Thomas conversion

Much more info at my website, http://hstrial-wwills.homestead.com/index.html but here are a few pictures. It's done finished, of course--what ever is? But we use it. It's already had a major remodling from Navy type pipe berths to permanent ones. My gallery at my website has more on that.

I build boats and a lot of the techniques are applicable. I did an article at a truck enthusiast site here http://www.therangerstation.com/Maga..._measuring.htm that anyone afraid of tackling the ceiling contour in a bus would find useful. Much simpler and more accurate than several other methods I've seen applied.

Most bus projects never get past tearing the seats out and dreaming. We do thousand mile trips and frequently use it for multi family outings--hiking, picnics and Trick-or-Treating.




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Old 12-10-2009, 02:30 PM   #2
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Location: Columbus, Indiana
Posts: 79
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DTA 360, Fuller 6-speed
Rated Cap: 53
Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Welcome Will from another stuck in this god-forsaken state Nice work on the bus!

Smitty
Indiana is a good state. Rather be in Florida at this exact moment though. Thanks for the welcome.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:07 PM   #3
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Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

I really like the upper cabinets, how thick are the doors? tks
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:55 AM   #4
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International
Engine: DTA 360, Fuller 6-speed
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Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

The doors are 5mm Oakum or Luan--it's sometime called 1/4" but it's thinner than 1/4". They are framed with 3/4" pine strips.

Plans now are to get rid of the Sanipottie and install a Sealand Traveler. We had one in our Casita and the height, capacity and porcelin were all preferable to this little thing. I also want a roof rack. And we are moving a little closer to town and will be getting CNG heat so I will no longer be using a wood stove as I have for the past 12 years. I want to be able to plug the bus generator into the house so we can operate the electrical portion of the furnace with it for when the power goes out. It's been a big problem, having the power get knocked out by falling trees.

Long term, I would like to install air-ride suspension, insulate the ceiling and find an axle with 3.55s in it. I don't use first gear now. I would rather have to use first gear and have to switch between 5 and 6 occasionally. Right now I'm in 6th by 45mph and it will go 70mph--and I've driven all the way to South Carolina at that speed, but it's busy.

I love this motor. It's a pretty strong 185hp. I thought I would want a DT466, but those all redline at a lower rpm so I would actually be slower with one. But after I get new gearing, maybe a 210hp DT466...
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:42 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Year: 1991
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Engine: DTA 360, Fuller 6-speed
Rated Cap: 53
Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

A few more pictures of recent additions. I made a rear hitch/under-ride guard out of 2x4x3/8" tubing. I notched the bottom flange of the frame and welded it in solidly all around. The receiver part was scrounged from a '99 Chevy pickup. I had to cut off the exhaust, weld a 45 to point it at the outside corner and clamp on a new tip. On the front bumper of the bus, I cut a hole and welded in a 6" long receiver socket so we use a bike carrier up there.

We went to Gettysburg last week and took US 30 from around Breezewood, PA to Gettysburg. Mapquest recommended that or I wouldn't have done it. 8.5% and 9% grades with sharp turns. We did fine, though I was at 35mph in 4th on those hills. The brakes were fine though an exhuast brake would be a nice addition. We returned on I68, which is 100+ miles of 5% and 6% ups and downs. Safer, but still slow, though we could hold 5th gear and 45-50mph. Much worse than the mountains heading south. We hired a licensed guide who rode with us and gave us a 3-hour tour of the battlefields. An excellent way to go and well worth it.











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Old 07-21-2010, 11:28 PM   #6
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Posts: 79
Year: 1991
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Chassis: International
Engine: DTA 360, Fuller 6-speed
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Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

I added a stepvan jumpseat so I could have company on those long drives. I can only add three pictures so I can't show everything but the seat is from a stepvan parts website. I welded it to 4" x 1/4" channels that bolt through the floor with plates backing the bolts under the bus. It is at a 10-degree recline and I added bar steel angling up to the level of the seatbelt bracket. I figure the force in a wreck would be focused at the belt attachment points. The shoulder harness is attached the same way Thomas attached the driver's one, except I used 8 steel rivets instead of 4.

It fits me too--I tried it. You can put your feet up on the heater and it's a pretty comfortable seat. Leaning back makes all the difference.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg jump seat 1.JPG (78.7 KB, 1701 views)
File Type: jpg jump seat 2.JPG (84.0 KB, 1701 views)
File Type: jpg jump seat 3.JPG (93.6 KB, 1700 views)
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:51 AM   #7
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Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

looks great!

that jumpseat would have to be very securely fastened for me to ride on it! how did you mount the shoulder strap?
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:19 AM   #8
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International
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Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

Been a while since I've updated this thread. Lots of miles. We've got 3.73 gears now and can go fast, but need more horsepower now. That's coming. But we're also tired of the rear suspension beating us up. We've broken a fridge in the rear, the toilet get pummeled and leaks, the bike rack is bent, and we want to pull a small trailer, but I'm afraid it will be destroyed. Also, I'm sure a lot of the noise in the bus now that the engine is spinning a much lower rpm on the road comes from the axle vibration threw the leaf springs. After 3 years of wavering, I bought a Kelderman Air-Ride kit and I'm getting it tomorrow. I don't know exactly when I will install it--I think we have one more planned trip in the bus this year so it might be after that.

We've got a 4,500-mile 2-week trip planned next year--with 11 people on board, a pair of motorcycles, 11 bikes and a pop-up camper--somehow, all of it is coming along. I'm going to send the pump off to get built and install a bigger turbo--I want 300hp. I'm also going to install cruise control and an air-ride driver's seat. And finish lots of other little things I haven't gotten around to.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:57 PM   #9
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Location: MN
Posts: 732
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International 3800
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Rated Cap: 72
Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

Exact same plan as me in the hp dept. I have a DT466, but also aiming for 300hp. I just emailed Scheid's Diesel for a quote to get the pump recalibrated to flow enough for 300 hp, and I plan to install an HX40 Holset with a custom downpipe. Probably going to need to modify my doghouse, but that's ok I just need to get home (Saturday) so I can email them back the numbers off the pump. Have you gotten a quote yet? Just curious, I know it won't be cheap. I hear ya on the air ride...my springs will likely have to make due for some time, though.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:01 AM   #10
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International
Engine: DTA 360, Fuller 6-speed
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Re: 1991 Thomas conversion

No quote yet. I'm guessing I will spend $3,000 on power, but won't flinch until it hits $5,000. Just guessing $1,000 on the pump and $2,000 on the turbo. Why do you need to modify the doghouse? It's a turbo, not a windmill.

Air ride was the most important because the springs really beat us up. The gear change gave a lot more speed. But a lot more pounding, too. The Kelderman kit is on a pallet in the driveway now.
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