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Old 03-03-2018, 07:50 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 509
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
New beginnings - My skoolie build

Well, been a member for a few months now, learned a good bit from everyones advice, and finally bought my own school bus! just drove it home 500 miles yesterday from Missouri to Texas, and got her into storage today. Been posting in another thread, but figured id start my build thread now that i have it.

plan is to build it for full timing with garage, bedroom, bathroom with shower, kitchen with fridge / oven / sink, table, living area with couch and tv.

the bus -
1998 International 3800 with Thomas body. 11 window, 71 passenger.
I got it on auction for $2047.84 after auction fee.
DT466E motor with MT643 transmission max speed is 65mph @ 2600.
no label on motor with HP specs, just a remanufactured sticker, so i know the engine has been rebuilt. I wasnt given any service records, so im attempting to get them to figure out the mileage the rebuild was done at, and the work done. currently showing 150k miles

The 500 mile drive home went great, and the bus was invisible even without a plate to police. I was very nervous to drive it for the first time, and there wasnt really a reason to be. after a few minutes, youre pretty comfortable with it, and in no time you realize its not much different than a car.

I do have an issue with the trans temp gauge. Theres a beep beep beep sound (basically nonstop the first 200 miles, and on and off the last 300), and ive realized its tied to that gauge. the needle will be bottomed out while beeping, but sometimes the needle goes up past 100 (doesnt have to move much. even ust a slight bump) and then it goes silent, but sometimes the needle just drops again and the beep comes back, like it lost signal. 2 gauges next to it had the light go off/on a couple times on drive so im thinking its a connection issue in the gauges on that side of the cluster. i was told the mechanic said you could sometimes hit it just right to make the beep stop, so it could be damaged

I was able to get back to it tonight and do minor work. i took interior measurements. 28'8" interior space behind driver with 7'6" width. 78" roof on center, 70" at the side. i took out all but 6 of the seat bottoms. gonna have to give my nieces and nephews a ride before the last come out. also took of the swing arm up front. when i took it off, there was an alarm whenever i put the key in, so i popped the panel off and pulled the blue wire going from the buzzer mechanism to the buzzer terminal on fuse block, and the noise stopped and bus started and acted just fine.

i think thats enough words for right now...we all know everyone just comes for the pictures anyway.
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:58 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 509
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
more pictures
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:01 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 1,272
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MPV-EF
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 77
Hadn't seen step bumpers like that on one before.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:28 AM   #4
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Rockwall, Tx
Posts: 96
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: IC
Engine: T444e, 7.3
Rated Cap: 12
Should be fairly easy to find another bumper if you want to get rid of that one. Not sure how bad the rust is on it. Bus looks like a great platform buddy! I didn’t even get a chance to take the nieces/nephew for a ride before removing the seats dang it.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:48 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 520
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Rated Cap: 50k
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjhwick119 View Post
just drove it home 500 miles yesterday from Missouri to Texas, and got her into storage today.
Congrats and well done!!

Let the deconstruction begin!!
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:07 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 509
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
I'm okay with the bumper, just surface rust. It's just so damn big, lol. Removing it wouldn't make enough of a difference to invest money into a different one though. Some sanding, treating and paint shall be done when I'm doing the floors

Gonna pick up a dewalt 20v angle grinder today and see how it does on some seat bolts. The lot I'm at says no major repairs allowed, so I don't want to risk running a generator and power tools on their lot. Can always return it and go the other route if needed. Also gonna pick up a lock for front and rear doors. Nothing fancy, just something basic so people can't just walk right in. Current lock is broken
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:06 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,291
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjhwick119 View Post
I'm okay with the bumper, just surface rust. It's just so damn big, lol. Removing it wouldn't make enough of a difference to invest money into a different one though. Some sanding, treating and paint shall be done when I'm doing the floors

Gonna pick up a dewalt 20v angle grinder today and see how it does on some seat bolts. The lot I'm at says no major repairs allowed, so I don't want to risk running a generator and power tools on their lot. Can always return it and go the other route if needed. Also gonna pick up a lock for front and rear doors. Nothing fancy, just something basic so people can't just walk right in. Current lock is broken
If you haven't bought it yet, it will eat batteries.

Try a couple of the cheap Harbor Freight angle grinders. Set one up with a grinding disk, and one with a cutting disk. The job will go faster.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:11 AM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Wright City MO
Posts: 143
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/Allison
Rated Cap: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjhwick119 View Post
I'm okay with the bumper, just surface rust. It's just so damn big, lol. Removing it wouldn't make enough of a difference to invest money into a different one though. Some sanding, treating and paint shall be done when I'm doing the floors

Gonna pick up a dewalt 20v angle grinder today and see how it does on some seat bolts. The lot I'm at says no major repairs allowed, so I don't want to risk running a generator and power tools on their lot. Can always return it and go the other route if needed. Also gonna pick up a lock for front and rear doors. Nothing fancy, just something basic so people can't just walk right in. Current lock is broken
Congrats on an uneventful trip the battery powered grinder will be fine with a backup battery or two.Ground failures in dash panels are common and usually easy to diagnose and repair.Good luck with your journey.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:20 AM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 509
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
Well, I went through 2 fully charged 20v batteries in 3 bolts. Going right back in the box, lol. That was a fail. Couldn't even get 1 seat out to show some progress. Batteries got hot
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:34 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 509
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
Trying to brute force it out, I dug a hole and found out I actually do have plywood underneath. I'm happy to know this, because now I just gained 3/4" interior height because I thought it didn't have wood. Thought I was gonna lose that space when adding the wood.

Edit - first seat out! Twisted it until pole broke loose from the plate. I'll deal with bolt later. Gonna remove the trim between windows and ceiling since the angle grinder was a fail. Maybe some other trim too since I'm out here
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