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Old 10-21-2015, 07:29 PM   #1
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Big yellow toy hauler project underway!

I should be picking up the start of my project at the end of this week. (Theoretically...)

It is a 2000 AmTran, 72 passenger, FE bus with the extended "acoustic" ceiling and aluminum wheels. 215 hp DT466E, Allison 2000 push button trans, gearing apparently will do 60 in 4th (5 speed trans) so it should be good to go for long highway trips. It's got alot of miles on it (270k), but has a reman engine that apparently was in-framed at some point as well. Hopefully all is well in that department.

The plans are to basically cut the back door off and re-weld it further up so you have a short bus on a full bus frame. This leaves a place to park my Jeep on the back and yet still have a mini RV! I don't have pix yet, but I will when I pick it up.

I have a lot of questions about all the bazillion switches, service info, etc. Hopefully those who have done this before can help! I called the international dealer and they want $30 for the operators manual, $150 for the service manual, and $150 for the diagnostic manual. That's hard to swallow but I might have to. I plan on doing all fluids and filters when I get the bus before I go into anything else. (fuel filter, oil and filter change, coolant and coolant filter, air filter, transmission fluid and filter, rear diff fluid, etc.) Anyone have resources on those services?
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:36 PM   #2
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Welcome! --- Sounds like a fun toy hauler project. I've seen a couple that were similar but left the roof in place and just built a new rear wall. Makes a nice, shaded patio when the toy is away.

And do be careful pulling switches. Many of the buses are built with a dozen or so interlocks that will shut down the engine or prevent starting if a door or emergency exit is sensed as open. They can be a real beotch to track down.

And you might try Ebay for manuals. The 466 is a great motor but that "E" on the end makes it a lot trickier to deal with. A proper manual would be a great start.
And whatever else you do here...post some pix!
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:29 AM   #3
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Year: 1978
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Engine: 366 Chevy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tippyman View Post
It is a 2000 AmTran, 72 passenger, FE bus with the extended "acoustic" ceiling and aluminum wheels.
Is yours a dog-nose or flat-face bus?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tippyman View Post
The plans are to basically cut the back door off and re-weld it further up so you have a short bus on a full bus frame. This leaves a place to park my Jeep on the back and yet still have a mini RV! I don't have pix yet, but I will when I pick it up.
I hope you mean back wall not "back door." On mine, the previous owner cut off the back wall, added a dovetail, and built a new back wall that doubles as the ramp.





I built an interior wall between the garage and the house where I ended up with 16 feet for the RV section (makes every inch crucial). I intend to keep the car inside the bus over the winters and use the RV section as my man-cave during that time. I will be traveling in the warmer seasons to several racing venues and car show while living on-board.

The reason I asked about the dog-nose has to do with weight on the wheels. I have a dog-nose with an extended front bumper where I store all my heavy equipment, tools, and spare tire. This does not overload my front axle but brings some of the weight forward. I'm within a 2000 lbs of the capacity on my rear wheels when the car is loaded and it drives WAAYYY!!! different than when empty.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tippyman View Post
I have a lot of questions about all the bazillion switches, service info, etc. Hopefully those who have done this before can help! I called the international dealer and they want $30 for the operators manual, $150 for the service manual, and $150 for the diagnostic manual. That's hard to swallow but I might have to. I plan on doing all fluids and filters when I get the bus before I go into anything else. (fuel filter, oil and filter change, coolant and coolant filter, air filter, transmission fluid and filter, rear diff fluid, etc.) Anyone have resources on those services?
Those prices are about right and I'd recommend you decide soon if you want them. These manuals are getting harder to find every day.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:31 AM   #4
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It is a flat front. Actually the finished project should look like this:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/anyone-looking-for-a-toy-hauler-8893.html
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:15 PM   #5
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Picked up the bus today!

And... didn't make it home. Had an electrical problem. Driving along, all good to go, then the gauges/engine cut off... then back on... then off... then on for a few seconds, then off for a few seconds, etc etc. Right when I go to turn it into the guys driveway that I'm buying it from the thing goes completely and won't restart, blocking traffic. I directed traffic for about 10 minutes until the guy came back and pulled me off the road. We fiddled with it for a while to no avail. The bus won't crank and even if we jump the starter manually while the key is on, won't start.

Ugh. Is this what this whole skoolie thing is like?
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:35 AM   #6
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
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A lot can go awry real quickly buying a used school bus. My first bus was "free" and ended up costing me thousands and thousands of dollars in the few short months I owned it.
I do believe that luck is a huge factor with these things.

Just out of curiosity- is this a Craigslist bus?
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:55 AM   #7
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Just out of curiosity- is this a Craigslist bus?
Maryland auction bus re-sold on C.L., yeah.

The guy works for a diesel shop and they're gonna fix it and deliver it to me. It's in his fron yard now so he kinda has to lol.
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Old 11-14-2015, 12:19 PM   #8
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Bus is fixed and in my driveway! It was a little 16g wire running to a starter relay. There was a broken butt-connector. It was sitting in my driveway when I got home last night:



Got it parked in its new home for now:




She's got some nice aluminum wheels:




65 gallon fuel tank:



PA/Radio:



Interior:






View from my living room:



She's just over 35 ft. The local International dealer gave me the build sheet so I have all the specs of what's actually on it.

GVWR 31,000
423" OAL
72 Passenger, 78" Headroom
DT466 HT 215HP/225HP Peak 2400 RPM Gov
Allison MD-3060/CR 5-SPD Auto Trans
International N-190 19,000# Rear Axle 4.44 Ratio
Philips 120V/1250W Block Heater
Bendix Tu-Flo 550 Air Compressor
130 Amp 12V Alt.
Etc...
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:44 PM   #9
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Engine: dt466
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Excellent bus, man. Great drivetrain for sure.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:53 PM   #10
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Location: ...little north of Toronto Ontario
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: Freightshaker
Engine: 5.9 cummins 5 speed
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Good score!
Do you have enough threads sticking out on the front studs? Hard to tell from pic. Ministry here likes at least 2 - 3 threads past the nut. ...my $.02

...got any pics of your Jeep?
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