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Old 07-03-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Caney, Texas
Posts: 31
Year: 1991
Coachwork: carpenter
Chassis: international
Engine: 7.3 diesel
RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

Hello all!

Been a lurker here for a while and I finally decided to jump in on the action. I bought a 91 International a few months ago as a project, but due to lack of time have been trying to sell it (I just posted an ad in the classified section a couple weeks ago. Well, I don't think I'll be able to sell it for what it's worth to me, and I was really looking forward to the project, and best of all- I just quit my second job so I'll have plenty of time to work on it.

So the verdict is ------ screw it, I'm converting it. I plan on posting progress from start to finish here.(Now I've got to get a photobucket account.)

Here is a brief rundown of my experiences with the bus so far for anyone interested. It is a 91 International with the 7.3 diesel engine and Allison auto trans. It was purchased from Cleveland, TX schools by a church, from whom I bought it. I drove it thirty miles home with no tags and even had a cop behind me for several miles

Went online to Progressive and got insurance as an RV for $24 dollars a month. Had to choose "other" as make and then it lets you type in the make and model. I typed "international" as make and "RV Conversion" as model.(figured this would look good for DMV) Paid for three months and printed temp card.

Down to the Texas DMV- very little hassle to my suprise. Was told it would have to be registered as a private bus. Good enough for me- $280 bucks out the door- plates and sticker in hand!

A week later- cancellation from Progressive. Says they don't insure bus conversions, gave me till the end of thirty days till cancellation, and credited my card for the other two months. Cool enough, though. All I really wanted to do was get it registered. And thats done. I don't need insurance while it sits in the yard pissing off the neighbors.

Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks for the wonderful website. Now I've got to go get some beer and grinding wheels for tommorrow's seat taking out party. How appropriate- sparks from the grinder on July 4th. I might have to charge folks to watch the fireworks!

RyanS
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Old 07-03-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Caney, Texas
Posts: 31
Year: 1991
Coachwork: carpenter
Chassis: international
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

pre- destruction pics





notice the pack of smokes on the floor- remnant of the nervous drive home w/o registration




and some church artwork
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:40 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Caney, Texas
Posts: 31
Year: 1991
Coachwork: carpenter
Chassis: international
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

Hey,

Thanks for the warm welcome, folks. I plan on posting pics of a pile of seats in the yard tommorrow.(I won't feel like an official Skoolie until I do-- kind of like the "initiation".)

Case- congrats to you too, man. I see you are from Washington. I used to live in Kelso, WA and my parents lost their house during the big landslide in Kelso in the early 90's. Now displaced to hot-ass Texas.

Big-Bird- Thanks, I will try and keep the thread updated.

And Smitty- I guess I should post under the insurance section, so folks will be aware of their bus policy. However, I want to say they were very professional and fair, even during the cancellation. I'm sure if I would have read more in depth I would have found out about the no conversion part. But, all I wanted was an insurance card. I don't wish to steer bussiness away from them, but you are right- skoolies beware. Thanks for the welcome, man.

RyanS
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Caney, Texas
Posts: 31
Year: 1991
Coachwork: carpenter
Chassis: international
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

Well, that officially sucked.

I left the two front rows of seats for now, I may make covers for them and start the wall behind them. I'm not sure yet.

It took four hours and did the first 14 seats w/ grinding wheels, but after using all five wheels I had to call the "other guy" to get under the bus for the last six seats. Both ways sucked, however I would suggest the grinder. Thanks to my buddy Mark for the help w/ the last seats.

Now I have to clean it out then it's Miller time. Oh, and I found an old-school cell phone in one of the seats.

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Old 07-05-2009, 09:01 AM   #5
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Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

Congrats on your purchase - nice skoolie & welcome to the madness!

You finished the intiation - I am still at halfway point removing the dang seats... Thats what a newborn baby will do to your freedom I guess!

Yup, we got Progressive when we bought ours & 2 weeks later got the dreaded letter of cancellation. With GMAC now - painless online registration. Keep us posted with many-many photos! Oh, I smoked quite a bit also, but our bus broke down on the maiden voyage & had t have her towed...
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:46 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Caney, Texas
Posts: 31
Year: 1991
Coachwork: carpenter
Chassis: international
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

The weekend is here and I am ready to do a little more work. The following pic is the new subfloor. This was really easy and took me about three hours. I used 3/8" plywood (cheapest they had) and pre drilled little holes through the floor wood and metal (two drills makes this a breeze) before using 1 5/8" drywall screws. They pulled the wood down tight to my suprise.

I also removed another row of seats, leaving only one row in the front for passengers, as much as I liked the idea of having two front rows occupied by hot chicks, I just don't see it happening. Plus, I needed the extra two feet. I'm gonna get my grandma to make seat covers for the front seats, so they don't seem so nasty.

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Old 07-11-2009, 04:19 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Caney, Texas
Posts: 31
Year: 1991
Coachwork: carpenter
Chassis: international
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

Yeah, Jimmy it is 100 degrees out now. The little box fan in the door does little justice to the heat. I'm not that concerned about what the neighbors think. You are familiar with the Porter-New Caney area, or as I call it---- the Port-a-can region. The bus might increase property values.

I just started framing the bedroom area and let me say this- when you are at the hardware store be sure and get all kinds of different screws- different lengths and for wood and metal both, because you will probably need them. Also get more than one drill bit. I've broken four already.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:27 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Caney, Texas
Posts: 31
Year: 1991
Coachwork: carpenter
Chassis: international
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

Did a little more work yesterday.

I built the frame for a queen size mattress in the back. The bottom will have light paneling around it and also the bus will have paneling throughout on the walls up to the bottom of the windows, with trim dressing up the seat rail. I am kind of adding to the bus haphazardly, as I aquire good deals on interior components.

Also, I took the advice given here and added deck screws to the plywood floor for safe measure.



Also started the galley area. Got the microwave for free, the cabinet for $10 from Lowes - discounted because the right side was damaged, which I didn't need anyway because of the wheel well. I am now looking for a cheap bar sink and drop in two burner cooktop.
There will be paneling on the side of the cabinet, and another door face to the left of the fridge. Small water heater will be under the sink.

I wasn't ready to buy the mini fridge, but Lowes had them on sale and I really wanted the one with a real freezer, so I got it. It fit perfect under the counter.



I am about to go out and brainstorm on the bathroom framing- I'm thinking 3' x 5'. That is the size of my RV bath with a decent shower and toilet. And believe it or not, the 2' x 3' RV shower kit it way cheaper than the 32" base and walls at Lowes and HD.
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:35 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Caney, Texas
Posts: 31
Year: 1991
Coachwork: carpenter
Chassis: international
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

Ok,

I couldn't wait, so I went to Lowes and got a small bar sink and faucet, and put it in (minus the plumbing) also got a single burner hot plate from wal-mart for now. Also picked up ten cans of light blue spray paint, which will be for the roof and metal strips in between the windows as well as any other exposed metal wall not covered by paneling.

This got me thinking, but not sure, if I should just paint all the walls this color. Paneling on the bottom half of the wall would look great, but will suck to install. I may do part in the back to see how it looks, and can always cover it if it does not look good.
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:46 PM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Palm Coast, FL
Posts: 11
Re: RyanS's Bus Conversion Project

Very Good Luck with your project, Ryan! Looks like you jump right in and do not want to waste your time. Very nice pictures too. Especially for people who like look at pictures more then reading LOL
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