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Old 02-01-2010, 09:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lethbridge, AB, Canada
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Year: 1981
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford B-600
Engine: Ford 370 Propane
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Canadian Skoolie Project

I just found out that I have officially acquired a 1981 Ford chassis bus with a Bluebird body. It is an 8 window (48 passenger) bus that has been already been converted. It has a LARGE 3-way fridge, bunks, couch that pulls out to a queen size bed, counters, overhead storage, and many other fun things. What it does not have is insulation, flooring, running water, stove, sink, toilet, etc. It also needs to be painted because it still looks like a schoolbus!!! It has a Ford 370 engine that runs on good ole' clean burnin' propane, through a 5 speed transmission (I don't know what type of transmission, how do I find out?) I need to fix the speedometer as it doesn't work, but everything else is in good running condition. I got super lucky and found a brand new 600w inverter for $25 because it was a discontinued model. Eventually it will go in there somewhere. I have a plan for the layout but I don't know what CAD software to use to get it posted up here, anyone with experience with CAD? The best part is that I will no longer have to set up tents everytime I go anywhere and I can now tow my toys behind me since this unit has a hitch already! Pictures are coming...once the bus gets here next week...sooner if I can't wait!
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:33 PM   #2
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Location: vancouver island bc
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Year: 1965
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Chassis: chevy
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Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

another canuk bus welcome you may need some insulation depends where you are!
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:08 PM   #3
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Year: 1981
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford B-600
Engine: Ford 370 Propane
Rated Cap: 48
Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

As promised, here is a picture of the bus. I couldn't wait to get it to my house, I went for a drive and took some pics of it where it is. I will be bringing it home next week after the previous owners (my wife's parents) have time to get their camping gear out of it. They are currently driving to California to pick up a fifth wheel trailer. Now that is a long drive!
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Year: 1981
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford B-600
Engine: Ford 370 Propane
Rated Cap: 48
Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

Here is some pics of the bus as it sits. Notice the nice large refridgerator, it is the main reason I bought the bus. That and it's size, small enough to go many places, large enough to sleep a half dozen people.

Here is the counter on the port side behind the drivers seat...



Here is the BIG refridgerator. They used to keep four pails of ice cream in the freezer!



Here is a pic of the overhead storage above the fridge. Also seen is the bunk to the rear of the fridge.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:26 PM   #5
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Year: 1981
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Chassis: Ford B-600
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Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

More Pictures...


Here is a pic of the bunks...



Here is a pic of where the couch is on the starboard side, under all the gear. It is opposite the bunks...



This is where they usually had a folding table set up with a couple folding chairs. The area is used to hold the cooker and the outside table when travelling...
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:47 PM   #6
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Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

Welcome and thanks for posting the pictures...you are going to have a lot of fun from here on out!
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:43 PM   #7
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Year: 1981
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Chassis: Ford B-600
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Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

First things first, I gotta paint this bus. The previous owners have used it like this for the past 17 years, but they avoided campgrounds and stuck mostly to camping on crown land in the mountains. We were thinking white on the roof, medium grey as a main color along with light grey and then black checkerplate around the bottom from the lowest rub rail down. This would also allow me to easily add underbody storage bays behind the checkerplate. The bus has a hitch already installed for towing their quad trailer. This will come in handy for towing my two jet ski's to the lake. I am planning on tinting all the passenger windows, the bottom two door windows, and a strip across the top of the windshield in about a 5% limo style tint. Then I will paint all the window trim black. Do the individual windows come out separate from the frame or would I have to pull the whole frame to get them out? They are much easier to tint if I can get them out.



Also, does anyone know how to take these wheels off? I was thinking of painting the center part black and the outer ring silver. It would be a lot easier if I can separate the ring from the centers. I haven't worked on a truck this large before.

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Old 02-03-2010, 08:09 AM   #8
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Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

first off; welcome to schoolie

if you go to the index page you will find a search function, put in tire or wheel change and read the info that comes up, tires are dangerous and heavy work.

my suggestion would be to paint the wheel and hub one color and then jack the tire ub and spin the tire by hand while painting the outer ring with a brush, this will save you from having to touch up the paint after you install the tires.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:27 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Year: 1981
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford B-600
Engine: Ford 370 Propane
Rated Cap: 48
Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjespers
Your have Dayton Split-Rims (on the front) like me. Please Do Not attempt to remove them yourself. They are extreamly dangerous and have been known to kill.
Thanks for the warning. I had a feeling that I wouldn't be able to remove them myself. My dad warned me of split-rims many years ago, said a guy he knew lost his head while working on one, literally! I like the look of the hammered style paint and will probably do as you suggested and paint them by hand with a brush. Does the spray on hammered paint match up with the brush on style? I ask because I would also like to repaint the front grill and bumpers to match the wheels and I would prefer to spray these if possible. The rear tires are all brand new and it appears that they are not split-rims, but the front tires need to be replaced soon. Do they make non-split style wheels that I can put on the front that would match with the rear ones?
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:14 AM   #10
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Re: Canadian Skoolie Project

you have Dayton wheels, if you look closely you can see that this is a tube type 3 piece wheel, the inner flange and rim, an outer 1 piece flange or rim and a lock ring to retain it, with the proper knowledge and training once the wheel, lockring and flange are seated and the tires aired up the wheels are relatively safe. the rear wheels on your bus are the same as the front wheels, the inners mount on a taper just like the fronts do then their is a spacer ring and the outside wheel is turned around and mounted on the spokes, their is a tapered wedge and nut to center and clamp the inner and outer wheels to the hub.
Dayton "spoke wheels", Budd "stud pilot disc wheels, and hub pilot disc wheels are available either tube type "multi piece", or tubeless one piece assemblies.

The original split rim ''widowmakers'' haven't been made since the 40's, 2 pieces with the split centered between the flanges,
be aware that their are several types/makes of multipiece wheels available and that the parts are not compatable or interchangeable, if you don't have the ability to properly inspect and identify wheel parts, be considerate of your loved ones and the paramedics, leave your tire work to a professional
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