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Old 02-15-2017, 05:59 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 30
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 65
Second Try

I bought my bus ('95 International 3800 w/ T444 engine) a few years ago in high school when I lived in Florida, and have had a great time with it over the last few years. I did the conversion on an ultra-low budget (only a few thousand dollars including purchase), and designed it for 6 people to take on short trips. I left the original insulation installed, and really didn't touch the frame much, and also never installed any plumbing.

Now, I'm going to gut it and re-convert as more of a full time bus for one or two people. This time around I hope to be able to put a lot more resources into it, and make it look more like home. I should be starting in a month or so, and am starting a thread to document my progress.

Old pictures attached.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:03 PM   #2
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Sweet already. Love the deck up top.

Jeep, bus, repeat.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:05 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,114
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
dang thats a great lookin bus!!! love the purple
- Christopher
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:10 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 45
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444E w/5 Spd Allison
Awesome paint job! I was bouncing the idea of putting a deck on top of mine and this completely convinced me, what a cool bus.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:17 AM   #5
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i really wish i would have considered this when in high school/college... i was traveling on a small budget constantly and throwing away cash on rent. awesome bus man, cant wait to see what you do with it
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:42 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,201
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
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Originally Posted by Wutm8 View Post
i really wish i would have considered this when in high school/college... i was traveling on a small budget constantly and throwing away cash on rent. awesome bus man, cant wait to see what you do with it

My biggest regret!
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:55 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 30
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 65
Thanks guys!

Today I went out to start it for the first time since October, as I've been busy all winter and with the snow haven't really had a desire to drive.

To my disappointment, I couldn't get it to start. Initially the batteries were low, but even while jumping it it wouldn't catch. I've had trouble starting in cold weather before (Today was 41 outside), and there was a lot of white smoke coming out the back while I was turning the key and lightly pumping the gas, which I believe means the fuel isn't combusting.

I'm wondering if my glow plugs may be bad, or some other problem causing my engine to stay to cool, its an FL bus thats now in a much colder climate so I'm guessing in its former life nobody paid much attention to the glow plugs.

Its also possible the fuel has gone bad, as I haven't had to refill the tank in over a year, though I put stabilizer in it a long time ago once I knew I wouldn't be driving as much.

It's got a T444e 7.3L, if anybody has any ideas I'd love to hear them!
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:18 PM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,904
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Very hard to jump start a cold diesel. Charge up the batteries and do a load test on them to be sure they are still good then give it a try. Let the glow plugs do their thing before you crank the motor. BTW, "pumping" the gas pedal does nothing but give a lot of useless info to the computer. You have an electronically controlled system and unlike the bad old days these motors don't have an accelerator plunger pump--I doubt anything newer than 1990 does and they would be gas motors anyway if they had such a pedal activated device.

If after doing the above the motor still doesn't start it may have lost its prime--but that's a story for another time.

Jack
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:25 AM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,522
Ol Trunt hit the nail on the head.

Do NOT try to start the bus if your batteries are not fully charged. This is especially important when the bus hasn't been started in a long while.

When you turn the key and the glow plugs start to heat, the glow plugs take a lot of juice out of the battery(s). They can take so much away that when they cycle off there won't be enough to start the engine.

Trying to get the starter to turn fast enough when the battery voltage is low is a sure fired way to toast a starter. The lower the voltage the more amperage the starter will need to take to get things started. The more amperage it trys to run through the windings the more apt something will melt down inside of the starter.

If you are not sure about your glow plugs working or not, try cycling the glow plugs twice or three times before you ever engage the starter. You want those combustion chambers as hot as you can get them. If they are not heating there is no way your engine will start.

The best way in which to help things get started besides a good hot battery is to plug it in and let the engine preheater warm things up. The 110-vac plug should be somewhere easy to find near the front bumper. Plug it in for a minimum of 5 hours if the ambient temp has not been going below 50*. If it struggles to get to 40* outside you will want to plug it in overnight at least.

Good luck and keep us posted to your progress.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:11 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,904
Year: 1935
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Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
One other thing------ It is very dangerous to use starting fluid in diesels that have glow plugs. If you should have the misfortune of having the glow plugs turn on while you are spraying starting fluid you can look forward to explosive results with engine parts flying around. There are several amusing videos of this on the net.
Jack
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