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Old 09-08-2017, 11:09 AM   #1
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Mixed Use Vehicle Conversion

Hello all,

We recently purchased a 1992 International 3700 bus formerly used as a bookmobile. We have some big plans for our big blue bus, and we hope the skoolie community can help us on our way.

She runs and drives well, and has less than 70k miles on her.

After purchasing it, we began to strip the interior. We were pleased to find it to be a solid frame for us to build upon, with a few quirks.

It has a leak in the air tank for airbrakes. We are looking at our options in terms of replacing it or repairing it. We brought the tank to a truck and bus salvage yard, they had not seen a tank with three bevels in it before, and weren't sure if we should invest a lot of effort into finding an identical model of air tank.

We will update this thread as we make progress on our bus. The attached photos are of the bus in its current condition, in addition to a model of what we'd like to see it looking like eventually. Should be interesting and fun!
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File Type: jpg MUV V2.jpg (78.8 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg BigBlueBus.jpg (155.2 KB, 18 views)
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:16 AM   #2
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Welcome !

I am converting a bookmobile, too. Am taking coffee break from painting it. Show us the interior ! Is it by OBS ?

I'd put a fitting on the bus air tank so i could use shop air to charge system while engine off- quieter.

bevels in air tank? usually, they are thick and tough- just clean them up and reuse. is it stripped? Can be welded? would be easiest to reuse.

I like the blue.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:53 PM   #3
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It is very, very rare for an air tank to leak (unless damaged). They are usually quite thick and resilient. Are you *SURE* it is the air tank itself and not something attached to it, or an attachment point? Most are steel and can possibly be welded if necessary.

What you appear to have is a fairly common 3-tank setup combined into one tank (one "wet" tank and 2 "dry" tanks). That said, air tanks are air tanks. Unless you have some manner of specific mounting that needs to be met, feel free to just replace with whatever you find. A similar tank, or 3 separate tanks, or whatever works. Just be sure to set it back up the same way - air from the compressor into the wet tank, air to everything else from the dry tanks. If I were going through all that effort, I would go on and make sure I had automatic drains on the tanks as well as manual drains.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:44 PM   #4
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does this bus have an air-ride rear suspension? they are notorious for springing leaks and causing your air to leak out in a matter of an hour or less down to say 30-40 PSI where the Protection valve cuts off....
-Christopher
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:43 PM   #5
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Yes, what Christopher said. Air *SYSTEMS* are notorious for developing dozens of tiny leaks all over the place, but the actual air tanks, very rarely. Considering there are dozens of moving things, seals, gaskets, and wear-and-tear points, it's no surprise air systems develop leaks. For this reason, the general allowable standards are no more than 2 PSI per minute with the engine off (parking brakes set) and 3 PSI per minute (parking brakes released). Some air leaks will be audible (and can even be felt) which makes pinpointing them a bit easier.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:46 PM   #6
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mix up a bottle of 1part DAWN dishwashing liquid to 3 parts water.. run the bus till you have full air pressure.. then shut it off and go spray every airline, tank, fitting, etc with the mixture.. when you see bubbles there is a leak...
-Christopher
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
mix up a bottle of 1part DAWN dishwashing liquid to 3 parts water.. run the bus till you have full air pressure.. then shut it off and go spray every airline, tank, fitting, etc with the mixture.. when you see bubbles there is a leak...
-Christopher
This is also useful for finding a tire air leak, too. Rims and valve stems can leak too but folks rarely think to check them.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:32 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your quick responses to our thread, we knew we could count on you!

Update from yesterday, our local salvage yard found a replacement for the tank. The one we had appeared to leak from where it sat on its hangers beneath the bus. I've included some photos of the hanger area. Next week we'll put the new tank on and see if there are other leaks.

As you can see in the interior photos, it's nearly a blank canvas at this point. We are in the process of removing the old / inefficient insulation from around the bus, and we're planning on replacing it with foam board insulation.

As an added bonus, we've been finding artifacts of our bus's past life while renovating its interior, including books, library cards, and more. Cramped quarters back in the day. Fascinating stuff to find!
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:59 AM   #9
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Air tank Adaptation

Hey all!

Looking for some advice! So we need to replace the air tank on the bus and have been lucky enough to find a new one that fits. However, not all of the connections are the same size. Any ideas on where to acquire adaptors/step downs so that the current lines can connect to the new air tank? I'm attaching some photos below.

We need:
(2) 1/2 to 3/8 stepdown
(1) 1/2 to 1/4 stepdown
(1) 1/2 to 1/2 elbow

*Black tank is old, grey is new
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 20170922_123407.jpg (180.9 KB, 2 views)
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanVantage View Post
Any ideas on where to acquire adaptors/step downs so that the current lines can connect to the new air tank? I'm attaching some photos below.
Air Brake fittings aren't from Lowes or Home Depot, although those will 'fit'. They had DOT written on them if they are legit brake fittings.

google gave me this
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