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Old 02-05-2017, 12:07 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: central alabama
Posts: 29
Year: 98
Coachwork: amtran
Chassis: 3000
Engine: t444e
nameless 98 amtran re



There was some discussion about this bus here: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/hel...ama-15808.html It's a 1998 amtran re with a t444e and at545.
Now that were moving ahead i figured i should start a thread here.

Update on mechanical issues: I changed the oil and filter and installed a scanguage d. After doing that and clearing the codes the intermittent power problem I was having was gone and it showed no new codes. I am very pleased about that but the scanguage will only show a maximum of 11.4 psi boost pressure which I believe is low? It also still seems sluggish to me (Though I have nothing to compare it too - maybe that's just how it is?)

So, I've checked or done the following: checked fpr screen - it was clean, checked map sensor line - clear, changed fuel filter and screen, looked at intake side of turbo - no play, rotates freely, measured mileage and got about 8.5 mpg mostly hiway driving. I removed the ebp sensor and tube. The tube was completely clogged so I cleaned it out as best I could and re installed. This made no difference so far as I can tell. So I'm wondering if the sensor may be bad or if a bad sensor or clogged tube would make any noticeable difference?

One other thing I'm wondering about is the cooling fan clutch. It feels pretty stiff all the time and the fan seems to me to be blowing pretty hard at idle before the engine is at all warmed up. We drove about 300 miles on a 40 degree F. day and both the bus's gauge and the scangauge showed about 185 degrees on average. So I'm guessing that the clutch may be too stiff and is wasting energy and cooling too much.
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:22 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: central alabama
Posts: 29
Year: 98
Coachwork: amtran
Chassis: 3000
Engine: t444e
As for progress on the conversion, the biggest thing so far is getting the solar power station up and working and mounted temporarily in a dog house.



400w of panels, 4 6v golf cart batteries, bogart sc2030 and tm2030. and a 3000w modified sine inverter. I basically went by Handy Bob's suggestions. I highly recommend reading his blog if you want to learn about rv sized solar. https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/

The bus is not near grid power so we're using this for power for the conversion.

We've got the seats, floor, ceiling panels and wall panels out. I wire I removed a lot of excess wiring and patched the holes for the upper caution/ stop lights.



The fiberglass insulation looks pretty good to me so we're going to keep it and put an additional 1/2 inch of rigid foam over the fiberglass and framing. That will get covered with luan.

We drove to Bunkhouse Conversion RV in Red Bay AL. and picked up 4, 40g. water tanks, a tub/shower pan, kitchen sink and faucet, and a bunch of luan with vinyl on one side that was manufactured for use in rvs. This is a good place for salvage, surplus and used parts. Benny (?) is a nice guy and they have tons of stuff. Get there early in the day if you go because it will take a while to find what you want and they close at 4:00



I would rather have gotten 2 larger tanks instead of the 4 40g. We'll end up hooking 2 together for both the fresh and grey water. I wonder if there's anything wrong with doing that?

Where it is:


pressure washing prior to sanding:



The water is coming from a 300g. tank filled from the roof of a barn which is a little ways up the hill.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:35 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SE Florida
Posts: 843
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 65 pax
And so it begins!!! Looking forward to watching your progress!
Sandi
www.thismidwifetravels.com
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:35 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,393
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderWoman View Post
And so it begins!!! Looking forward to watching your progress!
Sandi
www.thismidwifetravels.com
water will find its own level. I have a similar plan. I will connect them with pipe at the lowest point and have a shut off between them.
I would think it would be important to make sure they are the same level or one may fill to overflow before the other is full.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:41 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,461
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
You will get bits of solid matter in your grey tank. Make certain that the interconnect plumbing is large enough that it does not plug.

I use a 5/8" garden hose to drain my grey tank and every 3-6 months I have to blow it out with pressure water to clear out the crud.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:33 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: central alabama
Posts: 29
Year: 98
Coachwork: amtran
Chassis: 3000
Engine: t444e
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
You will get bits of solid matter in your grey tank. Make certain that the interconnect plumbing is large enough that it does not plug.

These tanks I bought have 2 threaded 3/8" and one 1 1/4" port. For the grey tanks I'll try and figure out how to connect the two with 1 1/4" hose and have a valve and hose connection between them.

The fresh side will be a little less straightforward. The water pump I'm looking at wants a minimum of 1/2" pipe so rather than feeding it with one of the 3/8 holes I'm trying to figure out how to use the 1 1/4" for the filler inlet as well as for the supply to the pump.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:36 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,393
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
Quote:
Originally Posted by quickgrits View Post
These tanks I bought have 2 threaded 3/8" and one 1 1/4" port. For the grey tanks I'll try and figure out how to connect the two with 1 1/4" hose and have a valve and hose connection between them.

The fresh side will be a little less straightforward. The water pump I'm looking at wants a minimum of 1/2" pipe so rather than feeding it with one of the 3/8 holes I'm trying to figure out how to use the 1 1/4" for the filler inlet as well as for the supply to the pump.
Use valves. "T" it off the tank, valves on both sides of the "t". Reduce one to what you need and connect the other to your fill. Close the pump side when you fill, and your fill side when you pump.
Imho.

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Old 02-12-2017, 02:41 PM   #8
Almost There
 
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: McCalla, Alabama
Posts: 76
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 78
Nice bus and nice headway. I'm picking my first bus up next weekend. What all did AL require for registration? Any CDL requirement issues? Thanks!


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Old 02-12-2017, 03:51 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,942
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
is the fan hydraulic or belt driven? im not familiar with a 444 in an RE bus..

you can look on one of the valve covers and there will be a stickewr stamped with the horsepower rating of your bus.. or you can run the VINB through a VIN search and I think its listed,, if your bus is a 190 or lower then it will be a dog on the highway.. if its a 210 it will pick up a bit but only after the revs are up..

there were a lot of changes right around 1997 for the 444E and some manufacturer TSI (technical service info).. getting the serial number off of your engine can help find those.
-Christopher

I have a 190 HP in my short bus and get 15 lbs of Turbo boost under 100% throttle... my red is set at 2600 RPM.

did you pay attention to any of the codes before you wiped them? those codes can help perhaps on the low boost issues if they are related to ICP or IPR.. those 2 items are notorious for causing issues on the 444E.. they control the amoubnt of pressure applied to the fuel injectors..
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:09 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: central alabama
Posts: 29
Year: 98
Coachwork: amtran
Chassis: 3000
Engine: t444e
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrcorkerin View Post
Nice bus and nice headway. I'm picking my first bus up next weekend. What all did AL require for registration? Any CDL requirement issues?

I had no problem getting it registered. It was just like registering an automobile. It's still registered as a bus though and from what I understand it may not be legal to drive it without a cdl because of the air brakes. They told me to bring it by and have it looked at when the conversion is complete. Then the registration can be changed to an RV.
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