This is my 1993 International Carpenter bus. I bought it back in January for $2,000 from the Norman, Oklahoma school district. The bus has the 7.3L diesel motor and automatic AT545 Tranny. Even though it has 174,000 miles on it, she fires right up every time without a problem and doesn't leak or burn any oil. The first picture is the bus at the lot. I actually won the bus on an online auction on http://www.publicsurplus.com
. They were selling about 20 buses and I picked this one out of the bunch and won it! WOO HOO!
When I got the bus, it was absolutely FILTHY inside. I don't think it had been cleaned since it left the factory. I spent two days gutting the seats out. They were bolted into the floor with nuts underneath the bus. Some of them would not budge! My Dewalt angle grinder made quick work of the floor bolts though! I took the seats to the scrap yard and traded them straight up for a 200# piece of steel plate that I made a welding table out of. The seats were 980 pounds.
I did over a weeks worth of prep getting ready for paint. I sanded the whole thing with 80 grit sandpaper to start. Some of the paint and clearcoat was flaking badly, especially on the hood. My wife loves to take pictures of me when I'm not expecting it.
My wheels all looked bad like the one in this picture.
I wasn't ready to shell out a couple grand for some rims. Instead, I shelled out $10 for some Rustoleum hammered paint. All I did was power wash my wheels, let them dry, masked off the tire and sprayed on the paint. One can was enough to do two wheels. It turned out great and it really improves the look of the bus in my opinion. It's been on there for three months now and and hasn't deteriorated at all.
A buddy of mine that I race dirt bikes with works for DuPont. He gave me 5 gallons of black DuPont Imron paint. It's aircraft grade paint and supposed to be good up to 700 mph! Since my bus tops out at 65, the paint should hold. Imron paint is quality stuff! I couldn't get a paint booth big enough to spray and I wanted to get the bus painted before I had to leave on a long TDY back in May. Spraying was going to be a hassle so I just painted the whole bus with a roller and a paintbrush. It turned out great. There's a few flaws but it's really shiny and looks like it was sprayed on. One coat was plenty. Imron is fantastic stuff! I painted my bus at the beginning of May and went TDY right after that. My bus sat until last week. I figured it would be dead and need a jump. It fired right up like it had been run yesterday. I was stoked. Over the past weekend, I tinted all of the windows and painted the ones where a wall is going to be. I painted them black from the inside. I took each window out of the bus and then took them all the way apart to where they were just panes of glass. I cleaned them thoroughly and tinted them while they were out of the bus. It's easy to tint a flat piece of glass by itself. I used tint I bought at Wal-Mart. It's 20% and less than $10 a roll. I think I used 6 rolls. That did 18 panes of glass for the side windows, all of the back windows, the door windows and the drivers window. I also tinted some "eyebrows" on the windshields. It took three days of non-stop work to do it all. I also put new weather stripping on all of the windows and my bus is now rattle free! Here she is as of two hours ago.
I'm going to use some more Imron paint to put some flames on the hood and about 1/3 of the way down each side of the bus. The flames will be yellow with orange highlights. As you can see, I pretty much whored Laepeer20m's paint scheme off his bus.
As you can see, it's hard to tell from the outside which windows are tinted and which ones are painted. This would look good on a bus of any color in my opinion.
I also painted my mirrors with Rustoleum hammered paint. I also painted all of the little metal pieces around each light on the body.
I have an old couch and a lazy boy in the bus now for when people want rides. I also started removing the trim strips in the floor. I'm planning on laying down some sub flooring soon.
The tank in the back is out of my dad's 2003 S-10 after it went through a tornado. I might use it for a veggie oil tank.
I've put a LOT of work into this bus so far and I'm loving every minute of it. It's keeping me busy and it's a lot of fun. I'm always looking forward to working on it some more. I'm hoping to have it ready to go around May of June of 2008. I'm going to have a bedroom in the back with a king size bed. Since a king size mattress won't go in the bus unless I cut a giant hole in the side, I'm going to use two twins and put a 6" piece of memory foam on top! I'm going to have a big closet over the left wheel well, and two bunks and more storage over the right wheel well. Forward of the closet is going to be my bathroom with shower and toilet which I'll have mounted directly over my 95 gallon black/grey water tank. The 95 gallon fresh water tank will be on the right side. In front of the bunks will be a small entertainment center where the DVD player, PS2 and other electronics will be. There will also be a small table and shelves there and the furnace is going to be underneath that. Also on the right side is going to be my couch. Not the crappy couch in my pictures, but one I'm actually going to build in the bus. I've done quite a bit of upholstery work. I've never actually built a couch, but I think I'll copy the frame off of the one in my house since we like it so much. Then I'll build it so that there is storage underneath. Forward of the bathroom is going to be the kitchen area. I'll have a two door fridge, microwave, sink and lots of cabinets. The cabinets are going to extend over the driver so I will have an overhead console. I am also installing heated flooring using some Flex Watt heat tape. It's used in reptile tanks and come in rolls. It's only as thick as a few sheets of paper. I theorize that it will work great for heating a bus floor. It will take about 400 watts to heat my bus floor. I'm going to have wood floors back to the bunks and it will be carpet after that all the way back into the bedroom. I'm going to redo all of the switches in my bus. A lot of them in there now are useless. I'm going to rewire everything and have all of my light switches on my left side. Overhead, I'll have the CB radio, and flame thrower controls. I'm going to tear apart the dash and rebuild it out of wood. I'll route a cable from a locked panel outside the door so that it pulls the latch on my door so I can lock my bus and get into it with a key. Over the handle, I'm going to have a Kenwood DVD player hooked up to a backup camera. The LCD TV is going to be mounted right up behind the driver so it's viewable from the couch. On the outside, I'm going to take the flashing lights off the front and replace them with some off-road lights. I'm also going to put some red lights behind my grill for the "scary mouth" effect!
I'm going to weld up a hitch on the back for towing my S-10 or my motorcycle trailer around. I doubt I'll have all of this done by Spring, but I'll have her ready to camp! WOO HOO!
Enjoy the pics.