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Old 08-13-2015, 04:34 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Waldorf, MD 20603
Posts: 25
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E V8 7.3L
Lustique Lounge on Wheels

Hello all,

Very excited today to know that I'll get my bus back tomorrow. It's been almost a month since purchasing my 2001 International 3800 7.3L Diesel bus. It has 160K miles on it. Maryland law requires us to remove the flashing lights, stop sign and change the paint color just to register the bus so to speed up the process I opened my pockets and let Maaco paint the bus for me.

Spent about 2 1/2 hours at the MVA getting temporary tags yesterday so I'm thrilled to be done with that. Next on the to do list is the dreaded Maryland inspection. I have a friend that is a Maryland DOT officer who came by one evening and inspected the bus for me and deemed it a really good bus. To my understanding though, no matter what, I'm going to pay a toll at the inspection station. Ugghh

I actually purchased 6 brand new tires for the bus about 2 weeks ago so I'll be taking about an hour drive to Lexington Park, MD to get the tires put on before going through inspection. Hopefully they don't find much wrong with the bus.

We're converting our bus to a lounge on wheels. Adding a bathroom, wood floors, paneling, AC unit on the top AND possibly a electric fireplace that we had originally purchased for our home. My wife's idea but there's plenty of homework for me to do to find out if it's even possible and if so, what are the dangers if any. We're also making custom seats and throwing a few other goodies on the bus. Stay tuned

All and all I'm very excited about my new toy and project. Looking forward to sharing the conversion and getting input.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:50 PM   #2
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Location: Frederick Maryland
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I live here in Maryland too. The inspection was not bad at all. Remove the seats so they know it is not going to be used as a bus or the inspection can be bad. All the safety features will have to work. Otherwise it is a basic inspection, tires, breaks and lights. How much did Maaco charge, looking to get my bus painted. I used house paint to get past inspection.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:01 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Waldorf, MD 20603
Posts: 25
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E V8 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey View Post
I live here in Maryland too. The inspection was not bad at all. Remove the seats so they know it is not going to be used as a bus or the inspection can be bad. All the safety features will have to work. Otherwise it is a basic inspection, tires, breaks and lights. How much did Maaco charge, looking to get my bus painted. I used house paint to get past inspection.
The seats have been removed so no worries there. I purchased the new tires because I could visibly see that they wouldn't pass. We'll make sure all of the lights are working before we go so the only thing left is the brakes. Keeping my fingers crossed.

The only Maaco in the area that had a bay big enough was in College Park, MD. He quoted me $3500 but I got him down to $3000. That's really good considering he removed my lights and covered the holes with sheet metal before painting it.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:43 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Waldorf, MD 20603
Posts: 25
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E V8 7.3L
Feels good to have my bus registered and plates on it. I was able to take the bus to a tire shop to get new tires for it. It was about an hour drive from my house so it was a pretty good ride down. I noticed when I took the bus to the paint shop a few weeks ago that my left front wheel was wobbling. I assumed that it was because of a worn tire so I was excited to get the new tires on. Initially when I started back out for home I immediately felt the difference in how it drove and felt relieved that the issue had been corrected. That didn't last long, I started feeling it again, not as strong as before but I could feel that the wheel still had some play in it. A friend of mine said that maybe the ball bearing was loose? I'm hoping that it's nothing major. I have to replace one of my brake lights, a parking light and a few marker lights today and I'll be taking her to get inspected tomorrow morning or Wednesday.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:46 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Waldorf, MD 20603
Posts: 25
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E V8 7.3L
Spent a few ours Saturday morning and almost all day yesterday taking the floors up on the bus. After seeing many of you all post pictures of rust on your bus floor I was definitely interested in knowing what was under mine. This is my first bus and first experience doing anything remotely close to this and what I've learned so far is "do not buy a handicap bus". LOL The tracks that they installed to hold the seats and belts are giving us problems. We tried locking the nut and screwing them out with an allen socket but it wouldn't work. I spent about an hour underneath the bus cutting some of the nuts off and we were able to get one of them loose. I left to run to the store and came back to find out that a neighbor had stopped by and showed my friend how we should do it. He simply took a nail and cleaned the head of the screw. Took a hammer and tapped the allen socket in the hole, placed a screwdriver on the socket, one person held the nut with a pair of pliers and the darn screw came out without a problem. Well I'll be D_____!!

We still have quite a few to take out as you can tell but hopefully this method works best. Any other suggestions are appreciated. I also found the rust I was looking for. What's the best way to treat it??
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,163
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Wire wheel it, ospho it, shoot some Rusty Metal Primer on it.
Keep up the great work!
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:26 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Waldorf, MD 20603
Posts: 25
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E V8 7.3L
Well we finally finished getting the flooring up but not without my first incident. I was underneath the bus leaning over the rear tires (I'm 6"-4" so there wasn't a lot of room to begin with) cutting some screws when this one decided to jump into my coveralls. I saw it and felt it when it entered through my open collar. I quickly shook it down away from my neck and chest and thought I was making progress being able to quickly pass it down to my pants leg. Low and behold, my knee pads are on over-top of my coveralls. With little to no room to move under the bus I fought to get my knee pads off as quickly as possible but not quick enough. I survived and will forever have the scars to remind me. Not to be defeated, I put some burn creme on and went back to work and conquered my first bus floor demolition. If I ever see another bus with tracks I'll be sure to run the other way.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:44 AM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,163
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Oh man... wow that's a good bit of burn.
There's a green gel that lots of welders keep handy. Its not just the normal aloe stuff. I forget what it is but it will instantly take away the pain of a bad burn.

Gnarly pic, thanks for posting. Makes for a good safety reminder.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:52 AM   #9
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scars are cool, I would change the story to fit the current scenario
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:56 PM   #10
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Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever. So will the memory of your bus build.
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