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Old 07-01-2016, 11:50 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 119
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
The Beast - 1997 Thomas Conversion

The Beast is just a placeholder name for now. It's just what goes through my head anytime I approach the bus. I am not sure why I am agonizing so much over a name, but it has halted me from officially choosing something. However now that I have used "The Beast" in this post it may be hard to back away from it.

THE BUS

It's a 1997 Thomas MVP 83 passenger. She has a Cummins 6BTA -230 5.9L Turbo Diesel engine in the rear, paired with a MT643. The bus has 268,570 miles (18,660 hours) with a rebuild at 150,889. Air brakes. Power steering.






We picked her up in an online auction in Texas from the Plano ISD. We ended up paying $3,400, which was a bit higher than I wanted since some of the the tires are not in the best shape, but still felt it was not too bad.

THE REPAIRS (so far)

It was leaking a little oil and had to have a gasket replaced. While doing so and having the timing cover off had the dowel pin checked. Also replaced a few power steering hoses, and put in new batteries. I also had the oil changed, and new fuel and oil filters.
There is still a few things I need to do, there are a few wires and hoses that need to be cleaned up and tucked away like this wire I found (I think its my Trans temp guage)



and I need to find a lid for here. (does anyone have any good links for parts stores to find a lid for this?)



CURRENT STATUS

Yesterday I got to drive The Beast to the work site, thirty minutes away from where we got the bus serviced. It was my first time driving anything this size this far. It was a little intimidating, but the bus drove well and it was a blast to be cruising down the highway in it.
It is now sitting in a truck yard waiting for us to start tearing it apart.


NEXT STEPS

So the seats are the first step. I have my angle grinder ready and will begin that this weekend. The other thing I am considering is taking out the AC units. Has anyone stripped something like this out before and have any tips on the process? I am hoping that I can sell them once I take it out, but not sure what they would be worth.




I am real excited to start the conversion, although nervous at the same time. Wondering just what the hell I have got myself into!!!
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:36 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 193
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
You have air conditioning??? AWESOME!
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 119
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
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You have air conditioning??? AWESOME!
I think a good number of Texas busses have some sort of units. I get the impression however that roof top RV style AC units would be better, so I am going to take these ones out.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:08 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Garden State (rural NJ)
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Hey Justin.

Congrats on the new bus! Looks to be a beauty.

If you want AC while driving down the road, you may want to reconsider removing those units. What you have is "coach" or "road" air. It runs off compressors driven by the bus engine. The roof-top units most talk about are "house" air, requiring a 120V shore hookup or an amazing set of batteries.

Many here would jump through many hoops to have coach air in their rigs. These beasts can get really hot while driving down the road, especially in States like Texas!

Good luck!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin McCormick View Post
I think a good number of Texas busses have some sort of units. I get the impression however that roof top RV style AC units would be better, so I am going to take these ones out.
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:26 PM   #5
Almost There
 
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Black Rock City
Posts: 74
Year: 198x
Coachwork: Crown & MCI
Chassis: 40ft Tandem/40ft MC-9 Tag
Engine: Cummins 855 BCT/6V92TA, RTO-910/HT-740
Rated Cap: 47,000lb/38,000lb GVWR
As BusFiend said, keep those OVR AC units intact if you want bad-ass AC while running that engine.

Most buses with OVR systems are 7.5-15 tonne units; that's a hell of a lot more air conditioning that most houses have...
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:09 PM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 614
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
i took mine down and put one under my couch and the other under my kitchen cabinets, dont get in too much of a hurry. lots of ideas on this forum, glad i waited. good luck great bus
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:28 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 530
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children
Built around the 2 on our bus, very glad to have when OTR!
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:32 PM   #8
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 794
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Right on! athe pic going down the highway sure captures the joy of these.

I third the motion to leave ac units.

That "what the hell have i got myself into?!" feeling lasted for a few weeks. it was a bit of a shock but i sensed it would fade on its own. Maybe talking with the police every day helped that process... hadn't really considered that possibility, but my point here was i can relate.
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Old 07-02-2016, 02:46 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 119
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
All good advise, thanks guys. I will rethink pulling those AC units out, and do a bit more research on them. I like what superdave said, "dont get in too much of a hurry." I will take that advice. In the meantime I have lots of seats to pull out.
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:33 PM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 6,452
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin McCormick View Post
All good advise, thanks guys. I will rethink pulling those AC units out, and do a bit more research on them. I like what superdave said, "dont get in too much of a hurry." I will take that advice. In the meantime I have lots of seats to pull out.
Yup SuperDave is wise beyond his years. Like a wizard!
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