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Old 04-18-2019, 11:21 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 155
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Bus # 9906

Well I am making it official, the build is in progress!

Since I haven't decided on a name yet, I'll just call it Bus # 9906 as that is what it is already known as.

The bus was bought in Kentucky thru a Public Surplus auction. Paid a whopping $1475 for it! It was previously sold for more but the original buyer could not take delivery and it was relisted. Basically no one bid on it thinking that maybe there was a problem with it and maybe that why the previous buyer did not take delivery. Well lady luck was on my side!

Drove an extra car that I had from Miami to Louisville. Fuel cost me just under $100 bucks! Once there I gave the car to a niece of mine who was super happy since the family needed an extra car.
Believe in KARMA do you? Well when I picked up the bus it had a FULL TANK OF DIESEL !!!

Woo hoo !!! talk about saving some money! That tank of fuel got me from Louisville all the way to South Carolina where I fueled up again, cost me $180 bucks. Made it all the back to Miami with a 1/4 tank to spare!

The bus has a DT466E with an MD3060 trans with only 210k miles. Cruised up and down the mountains along the way 70MPH at about 2100 RPM. One of the future plans is to get that 6th gear unlocked!

In the very beginning of the trip the low oil pressure alarm sound like 4 times but motor never shut off. After some nerve rattling and finger biting and checking all the obvious, I could not find an apparent reason for the alarm to sound. When I rev's engine it clearly showed 50 psi oil pressure on the dash gauge and also on the rear engine gauge. Oil was clean with no signs of thinning (Diesel or coolant contamination) so I just decided to disconnect the alarm located under the steering wheel and away I went.

Oil pressure gauge never dropped! So i'm guessing Ill be replacing the oil pressure sensor on the engine block.

Rust, yes she has rust but heck, so do I! LOL

Cut, weld and paint...problem solved!

The immediate plans are clean, paint, roof raise and skins.
I have already sourced a wrecked 2017 travel trailer from which I am getting holding tanks, windows, fridge, stove, A/c and at the end I will convert that trailer to a utility trailer that I will pull with the bus for golf cart/UTV and other road trip supplies !

So on to some pics.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:25 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 155
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Demolition

We have all seen bus inside with seats so i'm gonna skip those pics and just show you what I have to work with right now.

Floor has rust but I am gonna cut, patch and paint the top and sandblast the bottom, spray with OSPHO and re-paint with a good epoxy primer to seal the bottom back up.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:32 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Damascus, OR
Posts: 606
Year: 2004
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e w/ 2000 Allison Trans
Rated Cap: 35
and so it begins! rust scares me but knowing you got a good deal is a great motivator! keep those progress pics coming!
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:32 AM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 155
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Demolition & prep

So all the windows are out, all those pesky rivets removed too.

I am now looking at the rear engine area, specifically the rear engine access covers for access to rear head and exhaust bolts.

I would like some feed back please from those who have already done a rear engine bus or from those who have done engine work on one.

I was thinking about re-framing the covers and making it more square. Yes I will sacrifice available inside space but what I'm considering is better engine access from the outside of the bus, especially to those bolts on the rear of the engine.

Not only that bus I am looking at the possibility of also housing the house batteries inside the engine compartment. Will save me valuable underbelly storage space !

Here are some pics...feedback please...
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:53 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,873
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Reminds me of the bus I got in Todd County KY.
Congrats
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:58 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 155
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Ok so after a dedicating the last few months towards helping a friend with their bus it is now time to get back to mine!

First thing on the long list of things to do, repair all 4 wheel wells and quite a bit of floor fixing too. OUCH...

so I am not a good welder at all but luckily no one will ever see the black tape and ty-wrap job that I am about to do.

Got me a miller 140 mig, used, some OSPHO and grinder wheels too...

First wheel if the front passenger...
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:01 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,305
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Good ol' wheel wells ... gotta love 'em (rust does)!
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:28 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,700
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
Ok so after a dedicating the last few months towards helping a friend with their bus it is now time to get back to mine!

First thing on the long list of things to do, repair all 4 wheel wells and quite a bit of floor fixing too. OUCH...

so I am not a good welder at all but luckily no one will ever see the black tape and ty-wrap job that I am about to do.

Got me a miller 140 mig, used, some OSPHO and grinder wheels too...

First wheel if the front passenger...
I have similar damage only worse and I'm going to have to rebuild the entire floor around the wheels wells (only rear for me, fortunately), about an 8-foot long section. I was impressed initially that the cross-member just behind the wheel that holds the mud flaps still had both flaps attached despite the ends being completely gone; but I just noticed this week that one of the flaps fell off in the last month or two, no idea where. It really was just holding on by the paint.

I'm a new welder myself but I had to do a lot of it to fix up my rusted-out rear end. One challenge with this stuff is that even after you ospho the rusted metal of the floor, it's difficult to coax that pitted stuff into a weld without burning holes completely through it (although often those burn holes are doing you a favor by exposing material that is thinner than you thought it was). A big tip (that I forget the source of) is that in addition to using low voltage and wire speed, push instead of pull.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:53 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 155
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Front wheel well repairs

So I spent the day today cutting out the bad sections of rust from both the front wheel wells.
At first I thought about just cutting out the bad and patching it back up with good metal (after remediating the rust that is).

After I cleaned up the areas cut out I had a second thought. I'm gonna remove ALL the sheet metal between the front wheels instead of just the bad parts.

After looking at it again I think that I can accomplish more this way.

As you can see from the pics, I not only need to replace Sheetmetal but also need to replace some supports. Especially between the front stairs and the front passenger wheel. It will probably be easier to replace complete supports rather than trying to patch in small pieces and then tryin to weld in uncomfortable corners.

Secondly, once the floor is out I plan to sandblast what I can, degrease and power wash and paint front springs and axle too. Then repaint the new floor supports with an epoxy primer and then apply undercoating.

Once I get this all done I'll use a large carboard template and try to replace this section of the floor with one whole sheet of metal rather than cutting in and welding it in piece by piece.


Seems like a lot of work but in the end I hope the extra effort will help the body go thru some more snow and rain without falling apart into pieces.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:03 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,305
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
I am thinking you will have absolutely no regrets rebuilding that area!
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:44 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 155
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
A quick update on the slow progress.

Got the floor cut out at both the front axle wheel wells.
Left the center section intact as it was in good shape.

3 generous applications of Ospho followed by some Rustoleum rusty metal primer.

Cut out 16ga patch panels and formed them into shape and have began the welding on the passenger side.
Took off the exterior skin to take care of some rust that was begining to rear it ugly head.

Driver side it next.
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