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Old 09-17-2014, 07:20 PM   #31
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Year: 1971
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3160
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Awww, you have a Max, too. Do you have a conversion thread? Would love to see what you have done.

Our bus' name is one big pun! The kids wanted to name him Maximus, after the horse in the movie Tangled. We had been studying Latin roots and plant and animal classifications. One night I was talking about his big, round, rear end and hubby popped out with "Gilligus Maxibus". It sounded official, so we kept it. He's our big, round, tough protector, that will carry us around the country.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:15 PM   #32
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Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Yep! I do! Here it is:

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=5982

In 24 or so months my daily driver will go up for auction from Katy ISD. I call her "Heavy Fuel". She's a 2000 Thomas Safe-t-liner with a Cat 3126 and a 643 tranny. Two small repairs and then she's perfect. Rebuilt engine @ 129K miles and runs like NEW. One rain leak in front on driver's side windshield, that's it. I have the inside scoop on when she goes to auction. So I'll be outbidding everyone else for her. Wife is excited about getting her too. We already have our floor plan ready to go. The Ford will be for my son to enjoy when he gets his driver's license. He'll help with Heavy. BTW, Heavy is named after the Dire Straits song (the video where Randy Quaid steals the show). I LOVE the British bus in the video! Soooo, that's why she's named Heavy Fuel. Plus she does run VERY cool, 165* after the rebuild, even in the Southern Texas heat, she stays at 165* no matter what. So long about Christmas of 2016 there will be a new thread for Heavy Fuel!
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:55 AM   #33
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Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Quote:
Originally Posted by GilligusMaxibus
Yeah, I've been following your thread. Nice lift!

We could do that. Hubby has the ability. He was a fabricator in the research and development department of a well known motor coach company. However, we decided we liked the look of the long line of tinted windows where you can't really tell if it is one you look out of, or not. And on the inside, I want to keep it as open and light as possible and those windows bring in a lot of light. Now we add another little wrinkle..... this silly old bus has character and feels alive ...not really, but you bus lovers know what I mean. We like the looks of the vintage school bus, and while we will definitely make it look as homey as possible inside, we want to also keep some of the old school bus character intact. Sooo, the plan to sheet the window holes and "RV it up", kinda went out the window when we met Max.
Marathon? I can't wait to see your finished bus.

I should have had more kids. Free labor is awesome. Congrats on the new bus.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:27 PM   #34
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 58
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3160
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Hey Everyone,

We need fenders for our fenderless beauty. I'm wondering if you all know of a resource or can give advise on how to find them locally.
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:49 PM   #35
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Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Not sure what you mean by "fenders", but...Blue Bird used to sell a flexible rubber doo-dad that fit inside the radius and hung out a couple of inches to catch mud (?) Probably a similar critter out there in Accessory Land somewhere. Can't remember what they are called.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:05 AM   #36
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Year: 1971
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Engine: Cat 3160
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Yes, I mean the rubber edges that go around the edge of the wheel wells, on the outside of the bus, above the tires.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:18 AM   #37
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Re: Gilligus Maxibus

It would appear as if you have found a great old Gillig.

I have spent many hours behind the wheel of one of just about that vintage. That American Seating driver's seat is one of the most comfortable bus driver seats ever. I would seriously consider recovering it before I looked into replacing it. You can spend lots of $$$ and not get anything nicer.

Yes those single sash windows will remove out the top with the removal of the screws at the top of the sash and tipping them in. BTDT more than a few times over the years.

Insulating the walls inside the window pocket will prevent the window from opening and presents the problem of how to seal the outside of the window to keep water from getting into the insulation. Unless you fix the windows in place I can't think of a way to do it.

The Cat 1160 is not a bad engine. With the automatic transmission it will do yeoman duty with very few problems. Always use a good heavy duty diesel engine oil that is not LE rated. The LE rated oil does not have the lubrication properties older engines require. Delo 400 15W-40 in the non-LE rated formula is one of the best unless you want to go with something upscale like Texas Refinery Corporation's (TRC) synthetic that comes with free engine oil analysis.

Do NOT pull the belts that drive the fan very tight. Replacing the bearings in the fan drive is not easy and not cheap--BTDT. The belts need to be snug enough the belts don't slip when. They don't need to be guitar string tight like the compressor and alternator belts.

One issue every Gillig rear engine bus I have ever known has is they tend to run hot. Adding an automatic transmission doesn't help, even if it came from the factory that way. Outside of re-engineering the radiator mount and shroud and putting in a much larger radiator in at an angle there isn't much you can do except slow down on the hills when it gets hot.

You need to keep the pH of the coolant as neutral as possible. In addition to making sure you have heat/cold protection the coolant also needs to have the coolant filter and filter charge changed on an annual basis. If you don't have a coolant filter then make sure you put the coolant additive in that reduces electrolysis. Regular coolant and good water will have the dissimilar metals inside your engine working against each other and have it dissolve from the inside out.

Be very careful you don't mess up the power steering pump. IIRC that has a Vickers pump and they are usually made of unobtanium.

Your Gillig like just about every other Type 'D' school bus and Class 7/8 truck of that vintage has air wiper motors. They are a pain where you sit down. There are electric motor retrofit kits available that you should consider when the wiper motors wear out. You will know when it is time when the wipers will no longer adjust to keep from going off of the windshield, they won't run unless the wipers are on full speed, or just quit working.

I would not install an additional fuel tank. That should have a 60-gallon fuel tank at the smallest and could be as large as 120-gallons with 75-gallon the most common. 60-gallons at the worst fuel mileage would still give you well in excess of 400 miles on a tank.

When you start rebuilding the floor and rear seat/shelf area do not forget to leave access to areas under the floor. At the minimum you need one over the fuel tank to access the sender unit, one at the back to access the top of the transmission, and one in the rear seat/shelf area to access the engine compartment. There are some parts to the engine that if you don't have access from the inside the only other way to work on it would be to remove the engine.

Laying out the floor plan with tape is a great idea. Mocking up walls with cardboard is also a good idea. Taking it out camping for a weekend to try out the floor plan to see if it works is also a very good idea.

A friend of mine spent a lot of time and $$$ converting a bus only to have to reconfigure the floor plan after it was all completed. He discovered that what worked on a CAD 3-D model did not actually work when it was built out of wood and metal.

When I shut my bus business down I had a Crown left over that would have made a great candidate for conversion. I realized that when my daughter was born that she would most likely be graduating from med school before I ever got it completed. So I sold it and purchased a good tow vehicle and an Avion travel trailer.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:39 AM   #38
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Re: Gilligus Maxibus

One last thought that occurs to me is in regards to tires.

Until your conversion is completed and you are actually going to be going out on the road I would say just let the tires rot.

When it comes time to hit the road, unless you see yourself putting on in excess of 100K miles per year go with the relatively inexpensive Chinese knock off tires.

Don't try to save $$$ purchasing recaps of any kind. They will fail and sometimes much more dramatically. Recaps are okay on a truck or a trailer that does not have full fenders. When they explode on a truck or trailer there is rarely much in the way for the pieces to beat up and destroy. A friend of mine had a recap do $11,000.00 damage to his motorcoach. That kind of damage is not worth saving a few hundred $$$ to purchase virgin tires instead of recaps.

I noticed you already have tubeless tires. That is a big step up over the OEM split rim with tubes.

You may want to spend a few $$$ more and purchase 24.5" wheels. The 11X24.5 is the same height as a 12X22.5 but the cost is much lower. You can purchase a new 11X24.5 with a good used steel wheel for less than what a new 12X22.5 tire will cost. The 11X24.5 has the same weight rating as the 12X22.5. You do NOT and will NOT ever need 315's. If you have 11X22.5 tires going to the 11X24.5 will give you about 5 MPH more on the highway with just a little bit of loss for pulling ability on hills.

Don't bother looking for any good used tires. Ever since tire prices started going up 5-years ago the market for good used tires has gone way up as well. Where I used to be able to find good used tires for less than $150.00 per tire that just doesn't happen any longer. I wasn't about to spend 80% of the cost of a new tire on a tire that was less than 50% tread.

I would not carry a spare tire and wheel. Not only are they heavy and take up a lot of space, if you do good tire maintenance you should never have a problem unless you run over something. And unless you carry the tools necessary to do a flat repair on the side of the road you will need to call a road service truck anyway.

The black rubber extensions you were asking about are known as fenderettes. They are available by the mile and cut by the foot. The same material is used for flat top fender Crowns as round fender Crowns. It rolls out flat and can be formed to fit any shape fender. It is best done on hot summer days and not cold winter days unless you can get inside a nice warm shop.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:17 AM   #39
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 58
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3160
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Wow, wow, wow, Mr. Cowlitzcoach...that is information that we could not buy anywhere! Thank you so much.

One thing we discovered this week is that we have a CAT 3208, instead of the 1160 like we were told. Do you have any insight on that? Any peculiarities of the 3208 that we should know about?

We have tried very hard not to have to change the windows. We love them, but insulation is a necessity and we cannot do it without a huge outlay of time, energy and money. So, we are looking at replacing many of the windows and adding steel blanks to the areas where the windows aren't needed.

Again, we so appreciate the time you spent to share all of that information with us.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:18 PM   #40
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Re: Gilligus Maxibus

The big difference between the 1160 and the 3208 is the injection pump. The 1160 is fairly easy to work on without any sort of special tool, the 3208 not so much.

If you ever have problems with the fuel system it would be best to leave it to someone who knows Cat engines and the 3208 in particular. Not every diesel mechanic will have knowledge and experience with the 3208 which could be an expensive lesson for you to pay him to learn.

The pistons were cast in an oval shape that were supposed to round out when they warmed up. The problem in school bus service is school buses run and shut off so often that they rarely ever warmed the pistons up enough to round out. As a consequence they would wear the cylinders in an oval shape. Which is why so many of them when they got old became hard to start, would smoke like a misquito fogger all the time, and would burn oil.

If your engine starts easily and smokes very little except for on hard accelaration then you have a pretty good engine.

I have no suggestion for you in regards to insulatiing other that to suggest leaving the factory side walls in place add some furring strips and to frame up an area in which hard board insulation can be placed. You will lose a couple of inches of width but I can't think of any way in which you can retain the windows and insulate the same space between the inside and outside skin.
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