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Old 06-29-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

first. i removed my front stairwell and replaced it with a generator after i welded in a box. also put a camper door on it so i could see out the top glass for the side view, and raise the bottom glass which is screened so the genset would always run cool if no one was close. it works very well.

second, unless you have some help, it will probably take longer than 6 weeks to do all that...

Third, a school bus is nothing more than a box truck built on a truck chassis.well... it is far stronger body. So raising the roof by 2 feet or so certainly wont hurt the chassis any, and that is what you are driving. You can raise the roof without a external a frame or crane, simply by building a 2x4 or similar support structure inside the empty shell and jacking the roof up. There are many ways to do this, and pictures on this and other bus conversion sites. just be sure to weld uprights back in place on the sides - depending on what window openings you need. You could even build a steel flat or slightly crowned top as you can get the steel in a roll from something like industrial steel.

Fourth, most rv's have the main entrance doors on the passenger side, and most emergency doors are on the drivers side, but i dont know what side you want double doors on, but i havent seen a rv with double doors. electricity and waste tank disposal is on drivers side.

fifth, it will be easy for you to fab up rear barn doors. or you can occasionally find commercial barn doors on old box truck boxes. i have one of those in my yard that i use for storage. But if you have a porch back there, you probably just want a regular door there..
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

first, since it ran, and then wont run after the wiring work on the emergency door, etc stuff,, it is probably that wiring. i hope you have it fixed by now. in my case, this last thomas bus, mine would not start after i unhooked some wiring in the panel that went to the stop sign, next, at the drivers side emergency door - and that required one wire to be grounded, and i think the other two connected together. and then there was the back window, which had 2 switches, one of which had to be open and the other closed. right now all of those wires are disconnected in mine - and it starts.

second, your bus will be kinda top heavy whilst driving around corners, you will certainly notice the difference between a stock height bus and a 13'6" one.

Just my opinion, but if i wanted a bus that was wood on the top half or something like that, i would use metal to frame the ribs and the structure in, and wood bolted to it. it would require thick wood for the exterior, not something like 1/2 in plywood, and when using plywood you need marine or at least exterior grade. Just remember that it will be heavy which means going slow around any corners, esp in wet conditions.

Personally, for a roof raise, i would cut the top off, and build a steel structure with a flat roof and skin it with 18 ga metal.
hope this helps.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Pretty sure there is a safety switch at the back door, if it is open the bus won't start. Since you removed the switch my guess is it left the wires in the open position ... kinda like the door is open.
To closed the circuit pigtail the wires together and see if that fixes it, if not nothing loss........
Best of luck with the bus.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

in my case, the back door has 2 switches, and all the wires have to be unhooked and taped off... one switch for open position, and a second for the closed position..
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
in my case, the back door has 2 switches, and all the wires have to be unhooked and taped off... one switch for open position, and a second for the closed position..
That makes sense, now guessing which is which will he fun, only 2 choices tho, 50% chance he'll get it right the first time....
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Also a fifty percent chance he will let all the smoke out--and since ther don't make replacement smoke anymore it would be wise to look up a wiring diagram before proceeding.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #7
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Open a free Photobucket account then PM me and I'll send you directions as to how to post your pics. Welcome aboard. Jack
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #8
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

If you have the pictures uploaded to photobucket
1)sign in to photobucket
2)move mouse over picture (drop down window will appear)
3)move mouse to IMG CODE and left click it will say "copied"
4)paste in the reply block here or; I normally open up note pad and past it there so I can do multiple pictures and write

Then I copy and paste whole thing into the reply box here and hit preview to make sure all is kosher...then hit submit...easy as pie
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:33 PM   #9
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

I'll help you out fellow schoolie owner.





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Old 09-06-2012, 02:07 PM   #10
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

I think it's going to look cool
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:35 PM   #11
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Looking good already.
Kids will have plenty of room in the loft.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:54 PM   #12
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorPark
@nat_ster,
THANKS SO MUCH. That was great. Thanks.

Hey for any and all of you that put new steel up on your sides. Did you go back to front and put caulk or butyl tape between your new steel before riveting??

Just trying to sort out this question. I know there are a million ways to build a skoolie - just looking for the good water tight method!
xxk
YES

I went down to Napa and got some automotive seam sealer. I put it between every layer of sheeting on the overlap. I also put a dab under every rivet before pushing them in. Then I put a dab on top of the rivet to seal the hole.

It go's on like hot tar, but drys firm. When I do my next one, I will use house grade acoustical sealant between the overlaps. It never drys, so it will stay water tight even if the bus panels shift.

Nat
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:35 AM   #13
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

I used this http://www.bylerrivet.com/products/i....aspx?pid=2384 and structural rivets to fasten the panels to the frame, also used it where the panels overlap.
I'd suggest using an air powered caulking gun and rivet gun. When I did the caulking it was cool out and I had trouble getting it out of the gun until I bought the air gun. There are about 1500 rivets in mine and I wouldn't have been able to pull all of those by hand. Might be possible for you younger folk.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:20 AM   #14
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

WOW --- looks mighty familiar. years ago I raised the roof on my old Bird by 19"...how far up is yours? And I wound up using a product from Sika between all the new rivet joints, just can't remember which one. But I do know that if you contact them they can give outstanding advice & direction as they make some of the finest adhesives & sealants on the planet. Ain't as cheap as no-name silicone seal on sale at a big box, but always worth the money.

http://usa.sika.com/

And I'd like to see more of that rear portion of the structure...looks interesting. Keep up the good work.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

hope u are going to put an air dam up in fornt ,because that air hitting that flat top will cut your mileage down, u may think not so but it will. look at one on a semi truck,it an air wing.not trying to sell u anything but i have two of them for sale.stanless steel,polish. i had one on my semi and one on my pickup for when i pull my fifth wheel.and they do work... hope this will help



i may put one on my bus although it not rise,,it will be in the back
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:53 PM   #16
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Not wanting or trying to stop a sell but the the air dam could be build into the bus skin itself..... kinda laid back from the roof above the windshield to the top of the raised portion....... kinda aerodynamic.... You would need to build some reinforcements to support it......
just food for thought
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #17
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorPark
really just want to have a drink with you guys and gals and find out why you made the choices you made and why....

off to the drawing board for now.
xkim
Why I do not have a bus I do keep the fridge stocked well with beer..... Skoolies are always welcome to stop by and drink 1 or 2 or......???
Also have a few bottles of stuff my golfing buddies call poison...... not very good to drink but the after effect sure kicks butt.....
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:45 PM   #18
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Don't forget that welding on galvinized metal WILL KILL YOU....make sure a fan is blowing fumes away...welding gas is basically "safe" but most of your buses factory metal will probably be coated in something you shouldn't breath....just a warning...have fun and be safe
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:55 PM   #19
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorPark
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000
by bansil Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:45 pm

Don't forget that welding on galvinized metal WILL KILL YOU....make sure a fan is blowing fumes away...welding gas is basically "safe" but most of your buses factory metal will probably be coated in something you shouldn't breath....just a warning...have fun and be safe

Thanks for the concern but they weren't welding on the galvanized but I do feel crappy. I have a terrible headache that is not going away. And in general I just feel off. But really who knows there are SO MANY chemicals with the paint and the welding etc.

DRINK MILK Milk will make that bad feeling go away. Don't know what it is but it works......
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:14 PM   #20
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Re: 1996 Blue Bird TC 2000

motorpark,,ill send u a picture of one of the air wings i have,,,pm me
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