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Old 12-07-2015, 02:50 PM   #71
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 194
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
I've been procrastinating. So, the custom design I came up with for the intercooler tube was priced at $500 to manufacture. FORGET THAT. I'll just buy pieces and cut them myself. I'm still mucking about in the engine compartment, scraping, rust treating, underbody coating, etc.


I was hoping to swap the Cyclopack system out for a K&N (and save 45 pounds in the process) but many threads and comments from people with decades more experience than I advised against it. The short version is that K&N systems ultimately allow more foreign matter to pass into the engine. The Cyclopack design encourages a centrifugal force to move heavier dirt particles from the filter medium. There seems to be WAY more emphasis on keeping even the tiniest dust particle away from these motors, so much so that some designs are not user serviceable to prevent dust intrusion.



So I guess I'll clean it up, paint it and put it back in. At least I have access to other parts of the engine compartment to clean wire connetions and rust. Once again, this is all a HUGE procrastination effort in avoiding messing with the floor and wheel wells.

I also discovered a shop nearby that does laser cutting of aluminum and steel. MUAHAHAHAAAA. I have wanted to put some kind of logo or symbol on the back of the bus, but didn't want to use a sticker. Here's my plan now:



Inspired by the "Wars Boys" logo from Mad Max: Fury Road
The light grey will be a piece of sheet steel and the dark grey will be aluminum. the overall height will be almost 24 inches and the whole thing will be affixed to the window panel.

I am also working up an idea for the exhaust - no pictures yet.

I keep getting asked, "so when will the bus be done?" Done? HAHAHAHAHAAA.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:28 PM   #72
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 194
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
Post

Just personal project notes since I'm away from my home terminal:

Transmission:
Disconnect transmission lines from transmission
Have transmission lines fabricated
Trace, test, clean and protect all wiring to front connectors
Reattach lines when radiator is installed

Air intake system:
Clean, prep and paint Cyclopack
Size lower pipe from IC to intake
Order aluminum pieces and connectors for upper and lower pipes
Measure and cut pieces, send to shop to weld and fabricate lips
Clean, treat and paint "air box" located before Cyclopack
Select, order and install air temp and boost psi gauge feeds:
- intake air temp
- pre IC temp and psi
- post IC temp and psi
Reassemble all parts when IC is installed

Engine Compartment:
Treat all rust on frame and supports
Create and seal necessary wiring channels to inside of bus
Treat and paint firewall
Trace, test, clean and protect all wiring to front connectors including switch panel
Rebuild body bushing assemblies
Install wire protection as necessary
Spec bolts, redesign attachment points and install radiator and intercooler assembly
Select and install towbar
Select and install muffler and exhaust system
Fabricate muffler shield plate
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:57 PM   #73
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Bozeman Montana
Posts: 22
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: International
Engine: International V-8 gas
Rated Cap: 72 passengers
I recently came across a couple of thomas mid engine busses at the local scrap yard, they all run but have some sort of problem with the transmissions. The first thing that came to mind was the complexity of the wiring. maybe I figure out how to put a diesel in my 78 international.
I wish I had a place indoors to work in the winter. I live on mine so not much happens during the winter.Keep up the good posts and work
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:26 PM   #74
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
Could be like me. I'm living in that refrigerated igloo and trying my best to work on it without freezing parts of my anatomy that aren't meant to be frozen.
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:19 AM   #75
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Location: St Louis Metro
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Year: 1978
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Lifeguard
Engine: 366 Chevy
Quote:
Originally Posted by RHOMBUS View Post
I also discovered a shop nearby that does laser cutting of aluminum and steel. MUAHAHAHAAAA. I have wanted to put some kind of logo or symbol on the back of the bus, but didn't want to use a sticker.

Inspired by the "Wars Boys" logo from Mad Max: Fury Road
The light grey will be a piece of sheet steel and the dark grey will be aluminum. the overall height will be almost 24 inches and the whole thing will be affixed to the window panel.

I am also working up an idea for the exhaust - no pictures yet.

I keep getting asked, "so when will the bus be done?" Done? HAHAHAHAHAAA.
What's wrong with vinyl stickers? I had a buddy cut me three. 24" for the sides and 42" around for the back of the bus. It's the same adhesive and material that's on my racecar and held up well at 170MPH. I don't see it peeling off the bus anytime soon.
I'm putting this:




Right here:
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:08 AM   #76
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Location: South Dakota
Posts: 194
Year: 2002
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Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
I thought about a sticker, Gizmo, but my concern would be that it would slowly degrade due to sun exposure. I am considering doing both layers in aluminum to offset rust issues, but even if it rusts, that would add to the look of the bus. Of course, then it wouldn't be all "shiny and chrome" as it were.

It's 3am and I'm at the end of another 2 cutting wheels, covered in metal fragments and microburns. The short version is, I had a brainstorm and went with it. It's about the air intake system. Yes, the Cyclopac again. I took the whole thing apart to thoroughly clean and treat it for rust, then repaint and reinstall. After a few hours of grinding rust off and finding holes everywhere, I became discouraged and returned to thinking about a replacement. I did a lot more research and came across some products by Donaldson. I determined that the CAT 3126B250 requires an airflow of a little less then 650cfm. I will be getting a Donaldson PowerCore PSD12, either the D120036 or the D120038. Of course, I'll need to do a little reconfiguring of the stock airbox (that metal box that's between the body exterior wall and the air filter system.)

It turns out that the airbox is a single piece that goes all of the way into the passenger compartment.

Inside @ rear passenger:



Engine compartment passenger side:


The piece the used to be in the engine comparment looks more or less like this:


The inside of a Cyclopac:


I plan on making a new box on the inside to replace the old one since the Davidson has an oval mouth and is a lot wider. It also weighs less: 15.5 or 17.4 pounds depending which one I get. That beats the 45 pounds for the Cyclopac, it's made of plastic so no rust, super filtration for heavy dust environments, and easy to service. Also, now I don't have to spend hours and hours trying to fix my rusted stock air cleaner and I will get the space I wanted, since it will be mounted up high.
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:37 AM   #77
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: Freightshaker
Engine: 5.9 cummins 5 speed
Rated Cap: 6 passenger 2 ATV's
[QUOTE=gizmoq;131417]What's wrong with vinyl stickers? I had a buddy cut me three. 24" for the sides and 42" around for the back of the bus. It's the same adhesive and material that's on my racecar and held up well at 170MPH. I don't see it peeling off the bus anytime soon.
I'm putting this:




Personally nothing, there's all kinds of MFG's that have products that "stick like s#!T to a blanket" 3M, TCT, Avery, Mac Tac etc... there's also off shore crap as well. Some vinyl's last for 15 years plus, how old is your bus that you removed "SCHOOL BUS" from? How bad of shape were the decals/stickers in? Pressure washers do the most damage. Every year they seem to come out with a new pressure that has another 1000 psi behind it. UV's don't help either...
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:14 PM   #78
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Posts: 194
Year: 2002
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Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
Almost done taking stuff apart back here:



I ordered just about everything I need to rebuild the whole air intake system. I'll be redoing all of the piping with 3" 6061 aluminum and fiberglass reinforced silicone connectors. The intake airbox will be rebuilt to mate with the Donaldson PSD12 intake. New trans lines, belts, and I'm hacking the exhaust out right now to prep for a little custom surprise. I guess I shouldn't hype it up too much. It won't look stock, but that's about it.

I've been looking at air and water heating products, as well as diesel cooking products. I've decided to forget the oven and go with a diesel cooktop. There are a few products out there that work with cooktops to make a small convection oven. I *almost* decided to get a marine diesel oven and cooktop with integrated water heating system, but either I have to cut a huge hole in the roof to vent, or pay over $4,000 to get a system that gets rid of the combustion byproducts in a neater fashion. The cooktop I can vent out the side or underneath the bus. I'm still debating which diesel air and water heater system(s) to use. None of this will be purchased anytime soon.

Back to taking off the exhaust so I can treat all of the rust. Then it's reassembly time! The goal is to have the bus move under its own power by the end of January. I won't take it anywhere since it won't have a seat or main door, along with other large issues. I just want to start putting things back together.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:33 PM   #79
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 194
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
It's the end of January, annnnddddd...... yeah. Maybe I will have it running by the end of February. In the meantime, here are some of my recent antics.

I've slowly been tidying up the engine compartment. I fabricated some replacement body bushings at the rear.

I say franricated, but really just got new parts. The orginal bolt is a grade 5 so I went with that, but added thicker and wider washers. One of the springs was broken, and after searching all across town I finally decided to isolate the two pieces with a washer. Oh the compromises I make.

I painted the fan because... I can. UV reactive orange, you know, in case I uh... install a blacklight in the engine compartment. Which I won't.

New grade 5s here as well.

The radiator, intercooler and related brackets are assembled and awaiting new mounting bushings that should be here next week.


New grade 8 hardware everywhen for the radiator.

I'll put in a pic of the engine compartment in my next post so you can see where all the time has gone.

So, how in the world are these next two pictures related?



Stay tuned and find out!
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:26 PM   #80
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 194
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
A pretty big milestone for me: the radiator and intercooler are installed - finally!

Finsihing the rubberized coating on the last piece of the shroud:


This is the piece that channels air into the intercooler. You can tell by looking at the installed location (further down) that the intercooler barely gets any decent airflow, so I cut two 4" holes that will receive ducted air to help things out some. I also plated over the nasty holes where the old heater lines went through.


Okay, so first the fan... (notice the nice clean engine compartment)



No, first the shroud, THEN the fan.


Moving the assembly into position:


I had to take off the piece by the intercooler to make things easier to fit back in,
and then - TADA:

I still need to rebuild the lower trim piece on the radiator that helps channel the air. The old one is just a bunch of rust crumbles.


A look from the hole in the side to where ducts will take air to the intercooler:


Before I installed all of this, I made sure the alternator connections were perfect. Bare metal to bare metal with dielectric grease.


I'm waiting to get the duct plate back from a laser cutting shop. I tried to make my own but the hole saw died and I'm not paying $50 for another one. I have a few tiny odds and ends to really finish the install, but the hard part is done.

Next will be the other side of the engine to include:
- mounting the new air cleaner
- cutting and fabricating the line to the turbo
- cutting all of the aluminum intercooler tubing
- getting new transmission lines
- looking for an alternative to the solid metal coolant lines
- installing ports for air temp, boost and exhaust temp
- lots of electrical connection cleaning
- lots of rust treatment and underbody coating
- install the backup alarm and new engine bay lights
(might consider some colored lights for show)

At some point, I'll finish up the ducted air and can then move on to the floor. YES - the floor. Procrastination time is OVER. I bought myself a welder for Valentine's day and am going to learn to do it myself.
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