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Old 07-23-2010, 10:30 PM   #1
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Year: 1990
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Chassis: Super Coach II, 36 Ft. RE
Engine: Cat 3208T, MT643
Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

And so it begins.

I bought a 1990 Crown Super Coach II at the Stokes Auction in Gig Harbor, WA last Saturday, 07/17/2010. Overall length 36FT, usable interior length is 29' 7", as measured from the back of the driver seat to the front of the upper engine shelf. It sports a rear Cat 3208T engine, Allison MT643 Transmission, 110K miles. Tires look pretty new. Here's how it looked while sitting at the auction site:





For about two or three months prior to making the purchase I was busily preparing a parking spot at the side of our house, which involved many loads of fill, hard physical labor, and landscaping. I wanted an attractive site to park it with RV electrical hookup. The electrical is the final piece of that puzzle and will be completed next week with the help of a friend from work.

I took the bus down to Power Shifts Northwest in Woodinville today, to have the Tranny checked out. It got a little hot on the drive home on Sunday, with the gauge climbing to 230 degrees F, thereby setting off the temperature alarm. So Harry's going to troubleshoot that tomorrow. This gave me an opportunity to take some photos of my landscaping handiwork for your viewing pleasure. You likey?









The bus' engine seems solid, the tranny shifts perfectly. Aside from the temperature issue there's only one other major problem to address: The listing to starboard. I need to find a reputable shop that won't gouge me, who has experience working on bus air suspensions. One or more of the airbags may need replacing, or maybe lines, or seals or a combination. I think the front leaf spring may be suspect too, or else why would the front be leaning the same amount as the rear?

Anyone know of a good air suspension shop in the Kirkland, Washington area?
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

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Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:05 PM   #2
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Year: 1990
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Engine: Cat 3208T, MT643
Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

John,
I'd love to go to BGW, if I can get away. Pretty far to bring the bus though. Is it held in Southern California?

As for my conversion plans, here's a brief rundown.
I'll be doing the conversion as a self-contained boondocker, plus 30 amp shore power when available. This means large holding tanks, hopefully 200 or 300 gallons fresh water. Ideally, the furnace, water heater and genset will be diesel/WVO powered like the engine (Frybrid conversion). I'll still need a small propane tank for the range though. I'd like the fridge to be an apartment sized household model, and independantly powered with it's own solar + battery power loop. To keep roof holes to a minimum I'm thinking an underfloor ducted AC setup. I also want a washer and dryer, and compact dishwasher in the kitchen. A microwave goes without saying, of course. I'll probably set up a master bedroom with under bed fresh water tank in the rear of the bus, although I'll need to counterweight that forward of the axle with something else, say, batteries or WVO tank. If there's room, I'm planning a double bunk along one wall, with storage or the bathroom opposite. There's lots of room underneath the floor, so I'll be installing as much infrastructure as possible there: holding tanks, batteries, furnace, genset, water heater, etc. I also want to enclose anything that will hold water in insulation with the furnace ducting heat through the enclosure. This will allow year-round use, even in the mountains when we go skiing. With the ceiling center hight at 6' 4", I dont think I need a roof raise, but only if I don't build up the floor more than an inch. This means under floor insulation, probably spray foam covered with undercoating. I may also build one or two small slideouts: one for the couch and maybe one for a closet in the master bedroom. Since the bed will probably have the FWT under it, it makes more sense to move the closet than the bed. The ceiling panels are riveted so I'll be leaving those alone, although I may cover it with a thin insulative layer, maybe commercial adhesive carpet or something.

But, I also want to be able to finish it during my lifetime, so we'll see how it goes.
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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Year: 1990
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Engine: Cat 3208T, MT643
Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

John,
Bummer on the furlough, dude. It always seems that you either have money but no time, or the opposite: time but no money.

I'm blessed in that our household has two incomes, plus my budget for the bus will come out of what's left of my inheritance. So with careful planning and shopping, money shouldn't be the issue. But I'll have to carefully budget my time!
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:48 AM   #4
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Welcome and congrats on your new bus...that model Crown is a nice vehicle.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:43 AM   #5
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Nice looking bus...

I'm in the Puyallup/Graham area... We've been looking at buses for a bit...

This should be a really cool project for you...

I'll be keeping an eye on your build...

Congrats...
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:57 AM   #6
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

locutus reminds me of tng..{ star trek the next generation} it was picards borg name + insert skoolie resistance is futile quote here+.. anywho welcome and grats on the purchase
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:23 PM   #7
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Super Coach II, 36 Ft. RE
Engine: Cat 3208T, MT643
Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

I got the bus back from Power Shift's Northwest yesteday. Just a basic tranny service: new fluid and filters. No indication of anything wrong internally. However, I'm concerned about the 230 degree (F) cruising temperature and resultant warning alarm. This happened about 20 minutes into the freeway drive home from the auction site.

Harry (at PSN) says I probably need a larger tranny cooler. But his estimate is in the neighborhood of $600-$700 (plus tax). Of course I balk at the idea of spending almost half as much for this as I did for the whole bus!

Any ideas for a cheaper retrofit or other fix? (For example, perhaps I could rig 2 or 3 smaller, cheaper coolers in series to have the same effect as one larger one.)

Harry did pinpoint the suspension leak problem, in one of the levelers. He suggested replacing both. I'll probably have that done at Moe's Truck Repair in Kirkland in the near future. Depends on the cost whether I have them do it or attempt it myself. At any rate this MUST be done before I start the conversion (other than demolition) because I need a plumb and level bus body for construction, or else all the partitions, bunks cabinets, etc, will be out of plumb.

One other point that came up at PSN: the hydraulic radiator fan is always on when the engine is running. This is a modification that was done at some point to keep the engine temperature cooler, and explains why it took 20 minutes for the engine temperature gauge to reach 180 degrees. If I do a WVO conversion I may have to change it back so that the engine reaches full operating temperature sooner, so as to bring the WVO up to useable temperature sooner as well. The Frybrid system uses engine coolant heat exchangers to heat the WVO to 160 degrees before switching from diesel to WVO.
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:28 PM   #8
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

I wouldn't worry to much about being plumb and level for your build. Refrence to the floor. Build some big 3x4x5 triangles to square things up.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:40 PM   #9
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Year: 1990
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

POWER ON!

Yesterday I completed the Power and cable hookup. It includes both 30 amp and 20 amp service, plus coaxial TV cable.









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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:42 PM   #10
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

I love that idea! I've done something similar at the farm. However, I did not think about the cable tv. I smell another project coming on....
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