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Old 07-07-2005, 07:32 PM   #1
Lea
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the "BIG GIRL"

so here we go.....
i thought oh cool a school bus camper
i even went to look at a finished one to buy it and then it happened on the way home. we saw a school bus for sale on the way home and something happened. i thought i could make my own camper. the thought made me so happy we giggled all the way home. in two weeks we bought a 1990 international. she is beautiful. and seriously a lot of work.
we've spent four or five days on her and are way beyond budget all ready?!!
the first day working on her has been the worst by far. but i have now been converted to the wonders of grinders and other power tools and things seem to be moving right along.
i should also say i know nothing about buses, carpentry, plumbing, electricity, fabrication, so i am on a serious learning curve but hey it is fun.
so far we have installed a rear door lock, removed all seats including drivers, removed two heaters so we can refloor, removed all the plywood and startred preping our rusty floor for treatment. once i have the floor totally cleaned i plan to put "Osfoe" on the floor to neutralize the rust. then i need to patch some holes near the wheel wells. so i guess i will be learning about welding and ooh bondo.
i will be preping for painting soon. still cant figure out what paint to get. when to Napa to buy tractor paint and picked out colors and then they told me $700 + and i decided to rethink that. i just want a nice teal blue with orange stripes in a synthetic enamel high gloss. i unfortunately cant seem to find that yet. oh and i want it to be less than $200 please
what type of paint has anyone used, how much money, and where did you get it.
looking forward to this journey and to all the help from the other crazy skoolies out there
-lea
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Old 07-07-2005, 07:36 PM   #2
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oh i forgot to mention i put pictures up in the gallery. check out the "BIG GIRL"
-lea
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Old 07-07-2005, 10:18 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the bus!!! Sounds like you already did a ton of work! Seat removal can be a chore. Is it a thomas body?

The most common paint us crazy skoolie owners use seems to be rust-oleam by the gallon. Other's have used tractor paint from TSC, it's called BPS: best paint sold. I saw a bus painted with this bps, and it looked fantastic.

I painted my latest bus with rust oleam about a month or so ago, and am very pleased so far. $24.00 per gallon, and it took me about 3 gallons of paint, plus a gallon of acetone @ $12.00 to complete the task. Oh ya, and one or two gallons of primer.......and tons and tons of tape! I hate masking tape! (i've been masking my ceiling for about 12 hours now, and i'm not quite finished........not to mention the hours and hours i spent masking things on the exterior of the bus)

I clearcoated over top of the paint with the cheapest i could find @ $55.00 per gallon. It took 1 gallon to do the entire bus from the windows down. I've yet to do the roof.....Ive never used clear coat up until now, but i am very very pleased with it. It makes the paint much more shiny. It should also protect the paint. I've repainted my other bus every year.....NOT COOL. I hope the clearcoat remedies this problem.
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Old 07-08-2005, 12:49 AM   #4
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I have moved your albumn to under the Skoolies albumn. You can get to it here:

http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/BigGirl

Or look on the last page of skoolies.


I am very interested in how the lock in your rear door works, did you notch the back of the bolt so that your lock fits up into it?
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Old 07-08-2005, 05:44 AM   #5
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She's a beauty!

I'm also curious about the notching of the rear lock (please share with the rest of the class) and wish I were close enough to relieve you of a couple of those seats (that would bolt directly up in mine).
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Old 07-09-2005, 08:57 AM   #6
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yep my big girl is a thomas body and darn cute,

i think i will try to find that rustolium. i went to one place and they only had black in a gallon size and couldn't order any other colors

i wasn't going to primer, do ya think its a good idea??

i am not looking forward to masking it out. i was going to have a painting party i might just have a masking party instead. sounds like quite a project.

as far as my lock. well i saw someone else on this site used a garage door lock and so i went and bought one but when i got to my bus i realized my door handle was different than their bus. so in order to get my lock to block the door from opening i had to notch part of the lock off, to get it close enough and put about 1" of plexyglass spacers under the lock so the lock was high enough to be in the way of the door "plunger". this was my very first project with the bus. it took about 3 hours and thats when my skoolie gave her first lesson in time. she demands lots of attention and time. i guess that the nature of skoolie conversion.

-lea
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:04 PM   #7
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do the primer!!!!! You'll regret it next year when you're masking and painting again......after sanding all the paint that didn't stick the first time (because you didn't use primer)
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:06 PM   #8
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Thanks for the idea! This is the exact same locking mechanism on my bus, and after buying the same lock you have here (which I got the idea from Kirbystud), I ended up with the same probem you ran into, namely, that the lock doesn't get close enough to the bolt to stop it from opening partly. I may use your modification on my Thomas bus (Paradigm Shift).

The need to install something beyond my eyebolt and padlock through the door handle on the outside was prompted by learning that my next-door neighbor is a crackhead! Geez! Crackheads will do anything. And he was asking me how I lock the bus up!! Crikey! I can see all my stuff in a pawn shop now... Of course no lock is going to cover all that glass!
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Old 07-09-2005, 05:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lea
yep my big girl is a thomas body and darn cute,
Looks like it might be a 72 passenger bus? I can't quite count the windows. Mine is a 60 passenger Thomas. It has 8 small windows and two big ones in the rear.

Quote:
i wasn't going to primer, do ya think its a good idea??
My opinion (underline "opinion") on primer is that it is not necessary if you have a good paint foundation to work with. If you have bare metal, then certainly you want to prime. If you have rusted metal, then you definitely want to prime. If your paint is in good shape, you can just sand it lightly with some 100 grit sandpaper to get the "dead" top layer off and have a fresh bottom layer to work with (also my opinion).

Whether you prime everywhere, or not, I recommend that you spend $40 (or less) and buy (or even better, borrow) a "1l3 sheet orbital sander". This uses 1/3 of a sheet of regular old sandpaper that you can get in the store (read: inexpensive), instead of some of the fancy hook and loop or self stick sandpapers that fit some of the fancy sanders available. Also, use a dust mask (I see that you are in your photos).

A note about Rustoleum brand primers. They make two (that I know of) kinds, a "clean metal" primer, and a "rusty metal primer". The rusty metal primer is very good on rusty metal; HOWEVER, you shouldn't use it on clean metal, as it won't adhere properly (according to the instructions on the can).

Quote:
i am not looking forward to masking it out. i was going to have a painting party i might just have a masking party instead. sounds like quite a project.
Masking is not a lot of fun. And the tape's not cheap, either! You may want to have a sanding party, too! LOL

Also, a gallon of mineral spirits (or acetone -- m.s. is cheaper) is necessary to clean the surface of the metal before you apply paint or primer. Surface prep is the foundation of a good paint job. If you go to the automotive section of Wal-Mart, you can buy "disposable shop towels", that are like the Superman of papertowels. They don't shred up easily, and if you are careful, you can even hand wash them and re-use them after they dry, maybe for cleaning up messes where you would want to throw them away.

Quote:
<snip> it took about 3 hours and thats when my skoolie gave her first lesson in time. she demands lots of attention and time. i guess that the nature of skoolie conversion.

-lea
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Old 07-09-2005, 08:51 PM   #10
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Beats watching TEEVEE!

can't agree with you more

[quote:6d23a]Looks like it might be a 72 passenger bus?

yes she is a Big Girl, 37 feet. I am not sure of the passenger rate but she has twelve windows.

[quote:6d23a]A note about Rustoleum brand primers. They make two (that I know of) kinds, a "clean metal" primer, and a "rusty metal primer". The rusty metal primer is very good on rusty metal; HOWEVER, you shouldn't use it on clean metal, as it won't adhere properly (according to the instructions on the can).

ok, well my bus has plenty of rust unfortunately. i think i may need to get two kinds of primer. my ceiling and walls have no rust, my floor is all rusty but i am using "osfoe" and that totally neautralizes rust. its for boats. and i was told i could just paint over that. but i have a few rusty spots on the outside of the bus that i will need to weld and bondo but other than that it looks clean. so, should i just put that rusty primer on the few rusty spots or just go for the regular primer?? humm
[quote:6d23a]The need to install something beyond my eyebolt and padlock through the door handle on the outside

let me know how it goes. i think the whole lock idea is a joke. if anyone really wants to get in, well, their as good as in. but i like the garage door lock because it looks more secure and for someone who might not know about bus locks etc, it actually looks pretty solid and hard to break into. and it was the only way i could convince my dad to let me use his tools. so i have a cool lock and my dad sleeps well thinking his tools are safely locked up in my bus.

-lea
[/quote:6d23a][/quote:6d23a][/quote:6d23a]
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