After many months of planning, dreaming, screen shopping and perusing all the awesome information on the internet & especially this fabulous forum...
WE BOUGHT A BUS!!!!
My husband, Royce, is in Afghanistan, so I, Sarah, will be doing this project mostly by myself, with help from our 5 kids, (Lily, Nora, Thayne, Stella & Zephyr) and hopefully more of our family and friends. It should be an interesting adventure!
She is a 2001 International AmTran RE with a T444E engine. Her Allison transmission is either an AT542 or an AT545, not quite clear on that. She is a bit shorter than 40 ft by 8 ft wide. And she only has 99K miles on her.
We shopped for buses all over the place. Apparently none of the school districts around us auction off their buses, or not at this time when we were in need. They mostly trade in to new school bus distributors when buying their new replacements and the distributors re-sell their old ones. Unfortunately that knocked our year and style of choice up to about $12K. So, we happened to find THE one, through eBay. And only an hour and a half away. We did pay more than we were hoping. I think, in our area and for our timing, we definitely beat the $12K! Our bus was $5300 with $371 Tax. I hope this is as good a deal as I think it is.
We have a mechanic who will check out the engine. So far, to my layman's eyes, all looks and sounds good.
She has surface rust on the undercarriage, where it has gotten under the spray coating on the chassis, which is now flaking off. I will be scraping off as much as I can, then hopefully pressure washing her, applying Ospho, or similar and painting/sealing the underside.
I'll be repainting the roof with BusKote, eventually installing some decking as needed to support PV arrays.
Her NSBY paint will hopefully be covered in the next few weeks with silver paint, with green and blue stripes.
I am pleased to find that her walls and ceilings are screwed on and not riveted...unless rivets have Philips heads! The floors have quite a few (read: million) screws in them also!
I had my first attempt at removing the bolts for the seats today. My 8 year old was not in the mood in the sudden 35 degrees of today. I'll try again tomorrow with my 11 year old and 55 degrees! Used a ratchet for stabilizing one side & air powered ratchet on the other, but couldn't get the coordination figured out. Weather and impatient little ones didn't mix well with that trial! The flooring came today, so I am eager to get up the old, insulate, cover & lay down the new!
Hoping to continue forward a little every day.
This is my latest CAD iteration!