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Old 11-02-2017, 05:53 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mainland Mexico
Posts: 103
Year: 2006
Chassis: IC bus
Engine: VT365
Rated Cap: 35C24A
Mex Family Surf Bus

So I figure it is time to formally introduce our new and first school bus to convert now that we have officially made it from New York (where we bought the bus) to Mainland Mexico (where we live).

We will be converting our 6 window school bus into a part-time tiny home for our tiny family. Baby years are gone and this surfing couple is ready to get back on our surf search with our toddler in tow.

Finding a bus to meet our needs and Mexican importation regulations and on a time constraint was a challenge, but this one, the price, and the logistics just fell into place like it was meant to be.

Bus specs:

2006 IC corp/International 6-window 36C/24A passenger

6.0l vt365 engine
(I can sense the heads shaking, but with 105k miles on a short bus that had its uptime done at 7k miles we feel really good about it, and it made the 3,000 mile trip beautifully)

Great tires, low rust for NY, and in beautiful condition.

A steal at auction for 1,700 dollars with the same amount again in importation fees brings our bus total to 2400usd (well, plus travel costs, but thats the whole idea right?)

And of course it wouldn't be a formal introduction without a photo:



Here we are to put some faces to the bus... a little raggedy after 3000 miles but a rainbow homecoming... for real?




The Plan:

1) Create a quality, well thought out build as this will be our first owned home and we want it to be a comfortable, well-made home despite its size. We want something that is durable for our ocean-surf-and-dive lifestyle, well organized for clutter free space (hahaha, well as best as possible), and able to park wherever the adventure of the moment is.

2) Do it right the first time... again, hahaha!

About Us:

I (Ty) have been temporarily full time 'momming' after and in between a life as a diver and ocean adventure guide.
My partner (Jorge) is a web designer and programmer that works from wherever we are.
Our 2 1/2 year old son (Ecco) is the reason for a skoolie life since he pretty much told us to buy one.
We are a family of surfers (yes, even Ecco) on the search for waves and a simpler, freer, more earth-connected lifestyle.
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:53 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mainland Mexico
Posts: 103
Year: 2006
Chassis: IC bus
Engine: VT365
Rated Cap: 35C24A
And a huge thank you to everyone on this forum... many have been helping with specific questions and, of course, I have and continue to comb through many of the info and build threads. An invaluable resource for us first timers.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:01 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SE Florida
Posts: 906
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 65 pax
Welcome Ty, Jorge and Ecco! Iím looking forward to updates on your build!
Sandi
Full-time Skoolie dweller
www.thismidwifetravels.com


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:28 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 8,348
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
welcome and a great little bus!!!

dont worry about your VT-365, while some of them had issues, there are LOTS of them running round.. the VT-365 is de-tuned from the ford 6.0 so it doesnt have the head bolt issues experienced there.. the oil cooler and EGR cooler can be issues, however that bus has a diagnostic port and you can run a scan-screen and monitor your oil temperatures..

you also have a short bus, the VT-365 will power you along nicely in a shortie.. plus you have a lockup overdrive transmission.. that looks like an IC CE200 series you likely have an allison 2100 transmission in it.. thats good kit..

when you start driving it at hightway speeds in warm temperatures watch the temperature and listen for the fan to roar if you see the temp get up in that 210-215 range.

treat your VT-365 nicely and it will take you on many many happy adventures near and far!.. keep its fuel filter, air filter, and oil changed regularly.. Coolant health is ever importabt on these engines because of the small oil cooler and EGR cooler passages..

I JUST recently talked to a couple guys that run box trucks all over for a living..(they pulled them into a starbucks where my bus was sitting..) they each have their own.. one is 22 feet and the other is 28,, both 2006's one just blew up his VT-365.. oh.. at 425,000 miles!! and the other has between 250-300k I think he said and is still going strong.. they change their oil every 6000, and coolant every year.. fuel and air filters at 25,000 , both replaced their injectors at 175,000 miles as the trucks felt "lethargic" compared to what they were.. and it woke the engines back up..

I hear more and more tales of people running VT-365s longer all the time.. enough so im not afriad to buy one..

yes there are those that failed.. getting a VT-365 hot is a certain death sentence.. and fan clutches are NOTORIOUS on navistar for going bad.. esp viscous ones..

when the temp alarm sounds on a VT, you dont"drive an extra couple miles to the exit"... you act according to why you think it may be hot.. sudden coolant loss you turn it off.. spot it in neutral and coast... loss of belt? ( your volt gauge will have dropped to 12 or below) - then same as above..

slow temp rise into the red? you slow down, open your heater valve and turn on every heater in the bus... get the temp down a bit and then you pull over and see why..

congreats on your new rig!!!!!
-Christopher
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:23 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Greater Houston, Tx.
Posts: 399
Welcome,
Your back story has me hooked, and I can't wait to watch your home being built, along with your surfing photos.
Tell Ecco, that we are waiting for his surfing pics. too.
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Old 11-03-2017, 06:42 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Mud Lake, Idaho
Posts: 42
Congrats on your successful trip back! What kind of mileage did you get on your trip? I am looking into picking up a a vt365/2000 Allison combo to put in an older 28 foot bus. Looking for better towing power and hopefully some mileage too.
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Old 11-03-2017, 06:50 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 8,348
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the VT365 isnt a power house.. im not sure id use it for a towing rig.. thats where the ford guys got into trouble with them was towing Heavy loads and getting the oil temperatures up High..

the folks with the high mileage on their box trucks never pull trailers.. nd they dont haul full loads at full throttle.. in a short bus i think its a fantastic combo , for a towing rig, i would want one of the higher Troque combos with an Inline 6, they seems to have much better brute force towing capabilities than the V8s do..
-Christopher
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:44 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mainland Mexico
Posts: 103
Year: 2006
Chassis: IC bus
Engine: VT365
Rated Cap: 35C24A
Quote:
Originally Posted by 84chevyguyid View Post
Congrats on your successful trip back! What kind of mileage did you get on your trip? I am looking into picking up a a vt365/2000 Allison combo to put in an older 28 foot bus. Looking for better towing power and hopefully some mileage too.
I know nothing about towing but can tell you that we got up to 12 hyw mpg and between 9-10 mixing it up with some stop and go city stuff... just the straight bus with all its seats, us 3, very heavy mattress, compost toilet (still in box) and basic camp gear.

We are thinking waaaay ahead... if we do a full south america trip, of possibly towing something small like a samurai to get us shopping and to offroad surf spots. What are your thoughts on something light like that, Christopher?

By the way, you have been a major player in our bus search and project this far with your wealth of knowlwedge... thanks again Christopher.

And thank you all for the warm welcome and all your shared info throughout the forum... i have been sneaking peaks at some of your project albums for months now.
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:56 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 21
congrats. I am still in the search of my perfect midsize bus. will enjoy seeing your progress.
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:49 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Mud Lake, Idaho
Posts: 42
Whats the inside length on your bus? Actually I think mine is 30 foot overall with about 24 feet inside. I will attach the floor plan, might give you some ideas for yours. As far as towing, I am looking at towing either my Geo Tracker or a two place trailer with a couple of 4 wheelers behind it. I have a big bus that started life as a city bus but it is too big to take a lot of places off road so thats why I want to upgrade the little guy. Its currently sporting a 392 gas motor with a 5 speed. We have been from Canada to Arizona, California coast to east Texas with it on different trips and it will get 9-10 mpg driving at 65. The problem is putting something behind it and it just doesnt have enough power to do the job. There is no extra length to the engine compartment so to put anything else under the hood would require cutting the firewall and putting a dog house inside. Motor considerations, what I have on hand, are a 6.5 chevy turbo diesel with a 4l80e trans and a 12 valve cummins with a 545 trans behind it. I can get the bus with the vt/allison for real cheap also. I havent done too much measuring so far but I think a v8 diesel will require a smaller dog house than the cummins. What to do...
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File Type: png floorplan.png (7.6 KB, 18 views)
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