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Old 07-29-2019, 12:15 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: St. Charles County Missouri
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 35
MOe the 97 international bluebird

Hello all, my wife and I bought our 97 international 6 window bus in May of 2019. We plan on using this as a weekend/ national park traveling bus. My wife came up with the name MOe which is short for Missouri explorer. We are the 3rd owners of the bus. We bought it from a church that was using it for their youth ministry. They owned it for about 10 years. The bus was already painted white so that elemited one job to start with. We will end up painting it sometime in the future but for now it will remain white.
I will try to keep this thread up to date. Which currently should not be to hard as I am doing mechanical repairs to make sure we don't have any trouble later down the road.

===Here is what has been done so far.===
New front shocks
Repaired/ replaced exhaust system
All seats removed
Floor stripped to metal
Roof and wallpanels removed
Insulation removed
Floor wire brushed to remove rust and a heavy coat of coroseal to convert rust
Rear clearance lights replaced with LEDs to help stop some leaks
Currently in the process of replacing king pins

Also when removing parts I am removing rust and painting the parts to avoid future rust
I have some pictures in my albums if you want to have a look.

Feel free to ask questions, offer advice or give constructive criticism.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20190427_172434.jpg (181.9 KB, 12 views)
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1997 Bluebird IH 3800 6 window T444e
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/m...ird-28058.html
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Old 08-01-2019, 01:35 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: St. Charles County Missouri
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 35
We have all the rust on the floor converted and plan on cutting out some of the bigger areas this weekend and replace with new steel. I decided to use the panel epoxy. It is a bit more expensive I guess but I figure my wife can help this way as I have not taught her how to weld yet.

I am also going to be replacing the rear door seal since it has a leak. I sanded the door frame to remove some light rust from where the paint has been rubbed off over the years. I am keep the door open for a couple of days to make sure the paint is completely dry.

There are still a few small leaks mostly the neoprene seals around the upper warning lights. I might replace them with some LEDs in the back and wire them up as blinkers and break lights.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20190720_171033.jpg (253.6 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 20190720_171011.jpg (180.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 20190720_170953.jpg (165.3 KB, 9 views)
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1997 Bluebird IH 3800 6 window T444e
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:01 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: St. Charles County Missouri
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: 3800
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So it has been a while since I posted here in my build thread. So this is going to be a bit long Sorry.

Here is what has been done since the last post.

We have removed 5 windows and resealed them to make sure there are no leaks around them (8 more to go). I sealed between the bus and the rear light cover, this stopped the leaks around the upper flasher lights until I decide if I will convert to LED blinker and break light.

The big project was replacing the floor support behind the wheel well. It was pretty much gone since we live in the rust belt. I used 2 1/5 square tube for the replacement.
When bolting the new support to the supports on the side skirts I found that standard were not the best choice as one snapped when I was tightening the other side so I upgraded to grade 5 bolts.

While I was underneath the bus I hit it with a wire brush to remove the loose rust and old under coating. I then sprayed it with some rustoleum rust converter and some new undercoating. I still has some more to do. It seems most of the heavy rust is behind the rear wheels, I am guessing that is from the salt spray from winter driving.

I cut out some of the rust in front of the wheel well inside and out and welded in some new metal. I plan on throwing some bondo over the outside this week before if gets much colder.

I also finally welded in the larger floor panels that had rusted through.

I started to remove the stairs to repair the bottom stair but could not figure out how to get the front part to come off. (I have a thread opened looking for ideas on what I am missing http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/st...lp-28992.html# )
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 20191013_152249.jpg (134.9 KB, 5 views)
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1997 Bluebird IH 3800 6 window T444e
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:04 AM   #4
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Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 35
A few more pictures of progress
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20191009_193949.jpg (119.5 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 20191009_183423.jpg (146.5 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 20191013_143850.jpg (175.2 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 20191009_194041.jpg (193.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 20191008_205150.jpg (109.7 KB, 5 views)
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:33 PM   #5
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Looking good! Keep at it.
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:56 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks, I am hoping to get the last bit of welding done today and get ready to insulate the floor with spay foam on Sunday since it is almost the last warm day we will have in Missouri for a while. Then plywood and a drivers seat added back in.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:52 AM   #7
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Sweet, another Missouri build.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:18 AM   #8
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@MacC What part of MO are you in?
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1997 Bluebird IH 3800 6 window T444e
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:46 AM   #9
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Last night I was able to get the other rust spot over the drivers side wheel well removed and new metal welded in. Other than a few screw holes near the firewall I think all the holes in the floor are now sealed.

I am hoping to wire brush underneath the last few feet of rust and old undercoat to make sure there are not other holes that will show up.

I am also looking in my metal scrap for a couple of pieces that I can use as a stove jack and heat shields so I can easily install/remove the stove pipe for my homemade wood burning stone I made from an old propane tank. I get some pictures when I get that project going. That will be after the floor is in.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20191014_173714.jpg (127.8 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 20191014_173510.jpg (180.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 20191014_173730.jpg (191.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 20191014_210223.jpg (221.6 KB, 3 views)
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:13 PM   #10
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@MacC What part of MO are you in?
Randolph County. I am right of 63 south of Moberly.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:17 PM   #11
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I now have the floor framed ready for spray foam. Today is the last day in the 70s most likely till spring. After work I am going to spray the floor.

I did find one decent size hole in the back corner that was cleaned up and welded shut

Under the flooring I am trying something different, at least I have not seen anyone else do it, I am putting sill plate gasket under the 2x4s as a thermal break. It may not do anything but prevent squeaking. It is only $8 a roll and I needed just over 2 rolls for 24' bus. You can see the blue roll in the pictures. I put the plastic up to cover the windows and anything I don't want foam on. I am not insulating under the driver's seat this time. I am going over ideas in my head on insulating around/under the seat and heater.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20191019_151642.jpg (205.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 20191019_151705.jpg (106.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 20191019_151630.jpg (177.6 KB, 4 views)
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File Type: jpg 20191022_205635.jpg (171.6 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 20191017_182759.jpg (298.1 KB, 4 views)
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:52 PM   #12
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Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
I'm trying the sill plate gasket under the 2x3s and 2x4s in my roof cavity for the same reason. I'm not sure they are going to do anything or not either, but figured it's worth a try (and helps keep the roof panels from vibrating too badly). Will be interesting to see how either of us does!

Chris
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:04 PM   #13
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Well on Oct 23rd the spray foam was put down on the floor and I have plywood covering it too. I used 3/4 inch tongue and groove OSB. Kind of wanted real plywood but the orange big box store did no have it in stock. I have a few screws holding it in place so it won't move. I will put more in later before putting down the nice flooring. We chose to go with sheet vinyl since it was on sale for about 67 cents/ sqft and it's waterproof/easy to clean. We have a few dogs so that was important.

I drilled new holes for the replacement driver's seat that came out of a 2004 Yukon. They have the seat belts integrated into the seat. The local pick and pull had a labor day sale 50% anything. We got both the driver and passenger seat for about $35 total.

We bought some RV seat swivel bases for the drivers and co-pilot seats and I made an adapter plate to attach the truck seats.

I have been having quite a hard time getting the 1/2" x 1.5" grade 8 flange bolts and nuts. They have plenty of different size bolts but only 1 flange nut. I will be picking up the last 7 flange nuts tonight. Then I will finish installing the drivers seat. In Missouri the commercial vehicle plates expired in December so I plan to get them renewed once before getting converted to RV plates later in 2020.

The next item is to install the 30 amp shore power plug and main lug wit a few circuits. We will have solar but shore is easy and cheap to put in and covers the seperate electrical system requirement for RV conversion in Missouri. It will also allow for 2 space heaters o keep up warm while working in the cold over the winter.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20191023_163551.jpg (195.5 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg 20191109_141235.jpg (181.6 KB, 10 views)
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File Type: jpg 20191119_192123.jpg (255.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 20191101_172646.jpg (182.8 KB, 6 views)
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:58 PM   #14
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 35
I forgot about deleting the strobe light. I sanded and filled the holes with some bondo. While I was at it I also put some bondo on the back corner where there was already some old bondo that had a couple of small cracks. I guess sometime in the past someone backed into something.
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:32 PM   #15
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Location: Unity, NH
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: International 3800
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Nice progress there. We have been thinking about getting a pair of the Yukon seats to replace the two stock seats we have. Have you thought of getting air bases for your seats? You'll have a much smoother ride!
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:45 PM   #16
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Smile

Thanks Dave.

I have not looked at air ride seats because we don't have air breaks. I may be uninformed but doesn't the air for them come from the on board air compressor? The seats are fairly soft so that will hopefully make up for lack of air . I still need to run some electric to the seat this weekend so I can adjust it.
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:48 AM   #17
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Forgot a lot of the shorties have hydraulic brakes. The seats do look comfy though.
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
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@MacC What part of MO are you in?
Hope the build is going well.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:24 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks MacC. It is coming along well so far. Of course not as fast as we would like. The darn job get in the way and takes up 40 hours a week that could be put toward the build . If I get the shore power in it this weekend we are thinking of going to Babler state park for one night just because we can say we took it on an over night trip in less than 1 year. LOL. Of course it is currently a metal tent. Buy spring we hope to have a bed and some counters. I would like to get it officially titled as an RV before I have to renew my commercial insurance in may.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:25 PM   #20
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What doesn't take longer than expected? lol You will get it done.
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