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Old 07-15-2014, 04:42 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
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The Broccoli Bus

Hey there,

I purchased a 1998 Blue Bird All American - I knocked the price down a bit so the place I bought it from would do a hub seal repair and fresh batteries. I am planning on building an RV.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Welcome to Skoolie!

Congrats on your purchase and best of luck with your new project. Don't forget to post pictures! (We love pictures.)
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

welcome aboard,

congrats on the new bus
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:30 PM   #4
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

I couldn't post pictures right away since that was my first post. I keep getting a "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached" message.

We drove it around the block and it seemed to run good, without any hard shifting and made lots of power. I hear there's a possible way to give it a second overdrive for 6th gear as well.

My goals are to get the seats out, pull the old subfloor, and replace all the plywood. The storage boxes below I'll get some marine grade ply or something to resist the moisture better.

I see a lot of people taking out the steel headliner and replacing the insulation. Is the insulation in those busses that terrible? It seems to me if I were to do a metal stud wall construction, the ceiling would make a great place to rivet walls to.


Here they are linked from imgur.

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Old 07-15-2014, 03:02 PM   #5
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Dad, this is embarrassing.

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Old 07-15-2014, 05:54 PM   #6
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Welcome to the skoolie community. Nice bus, and the kids are excited about it, they just don't know how much yet!
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:14 PM   #7
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb
I see a lot of people taking out the steel headliner and replacing the insulation. Is the insulation in those busses that terrible? It seems to me if I were to do a metal stud wall construction, the ceiling would make a great place to rivet walls to.
Its fiberglass batting, which holds dirt which holds moisture and that leads to mold problems. Plus its not the greatest in the world when it comes to heat retention. Mine had a lot of crud built up in the rear insulation, and I still haven't gotten all the ceiling panels down. You'll want to get into the ceiling to see if there are any leaks in the roof, and build in thermal breaks to prevent heat transfer through the roof.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Our fiberglass insulation in our bus is in fantastic shape. So we kept it, all of it. There was one piece that we had to replace due to a previous owner removing and destroying the insulation in the process (I really don't understand why the one 25X18 section was the only trashed piece we found). The only place we have removed it was in the front and rear bulkheads. We did that because we used the space for the A/C units. Our insulatin is also very dense like the stuff you find inside a residential range (the kind you cook supper on).We also had only one "leak" in the whole bus. It seemed to be a recent leak and there was no mold in the fiberglass.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:51 AM   #9
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Welcome to the madness of school bus conversions. Your little ones will enjoy the finished product for years to come.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:01 PM   #10
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

I am sooo jealous of your luggage bays. With luggage bays that big your bus was probably intended for the band or team use on long trips which means highway gears!
As to the embarrassing picture of your kids posed next to the bus, wait till they figure out that embarrassing them is part of a parents job!
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

We went out for dinner last night, and all three girls were drawing their bus design ideas on the back of the kids menus. I hope they're this enthusiastic when I'm removing dry rotted plywood and a grillion bus seats.

After the comments about the insulation, I'm considering pulling one or two panels to inspect the insulation and either put it right back, or pull it all down and replace with foil backed hard foam. I like some of the other techniques I've seen replacing with wood paneling and whatnot, but I think that steel lends a lot of strength to the body. I am also most comfortable working with metal over other materials.

As for the lower cargo area, I'm pretty excited to have that, there is a ton of room in there for the utility closet/garage as far as water tanks and generators and whatnot go.

I forgot to add, it seems like it's got 5 speeds, and turns over about 1600 RPM @ 65 MPH indicated.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:17 PM   #12
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Welcome and NICE LUGGAGE BAYS!!

If you leave the headliner panels in and choose not to add insulation, you're going to be hot when it's hot and cold when it's cold. The inferiority of fiberglass batt is well documented. On top of that, the headliner panels (and their rivets) are in direct contact with the structural skeleton of the bus, which is in direct contact with the outer skin of the bus. Steel is an excellent conductor of heat, so despite the fiberglass placed in between each rib, hot/cold is going to "bleed" straight through the steel into the inside of your cabin.

If you choose to add insulation on the inside of the headliner panels (leaving them in), you're wasting headroom. Many people advocate a "roof raise" for skoolie conversions, but if you're willing to do a roof raise, you're willing to remove headliner panels anyway. So if you're not willing to chop your roof off, jack it up and rivet on some extensions, it's wise to conserve headroom where you can.

Whichever way you go, you have a great bus. Best of luck!
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:01 PM   #13
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Ok, bus is now paid for!

I'm leaving it at the service dept. for a few days for some work - new batteries and a front left hub bearing and seal replacement. I stopped by the DOL and I need to get it weighed and emissions tested first before converting the title to an RV.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:03 PM   #14
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Raised roof

I know it's probably been talked about all over, but I'm nearly 100% certain I'm going to lift the roof.

I can't remember which member I saw also did a lift, but I think I'd like to leave about the first 6' or so of the cab original, then add a ramp up to the higher section and leave the rest to the back higher. There appears to be a lot of benefits to a raised roof.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:36 PM   #15
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Nice bus. Mine is similar, except for the cool emergency door and luggage comp. Welcome to the place where all your spare time goes.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:48 PM   #16
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Re: Raised roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb
I know it's probably been talked about all over, but I'm nearly 100% certain I'm going to lift the roof.

I can't remember which member I saw also did a lift, but I think I'd like to leave about the first 6' or so of the cab original, then add a ramp up to the higher section and leave the rest to the back higher. There appears to be a lot of benefits to a raised roof.
Thats how I did mine

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=466636

Also lookup

The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVPER, he did a very good job of showing how to lift a roof, maybe a little over kill but very good
Stuart
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:20 PM   #17
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

Ha! Spare time? I like you.

4 kids, a house we'd rather eventually downsize from, a side business rebuilding Unimogs, and an actual full time IT job. I think it's all about prioritization, and I'd like to make a large push to rearrange a few things in my life so my family becomes higher on the list. Not sayin' this is the means to an end, but I think it's a fundamental shift in the way my wife and I are going to be doing things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLubber
Nice bus. Mine is similar, except for the cool emergency door and luggage comp. Welcome to the place where all your spare time goes.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:23 PM   #18
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Re: Raised roof

Yes, the profile you cut is nearly exactly what I intend to do. Except for the part that I don't have a crown chassis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by allwthrrider
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb
I know it's probably been talked about all over, but I'm nearly 100% certain I'm going to lift the roof.

I can't remember which member I saw also did a lift, but I think I'd like to leave about the first 6' or so of the cab original, then add a ramp up to the higher section and leave the rest to the back higher. There appears to be a lot of benefits to a raised roof.
Thats how I did mine

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=466636

Also lookup

The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVPER, he did a very good job of showing how to lift a roof, maybe a little over kill but very good
Stuart
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:32 AM   #19
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Re: The Broccoli Bus

I picked up the bus today, some new batteries and a hub seal and bearing replacement (the front left oil was water contaminated)

The DOL in Kent wants to see a Washington State Patrol inspection before they'll issue me a title change from bus to RV. I was thinking of "shopping" around to some of the other offices and see what they do. Previously they also told me that I needed to get the scale weight and emissions tested. I'm half expecting the next time I show up they'll tell me it needs to be retrofitted with air bags or an emergency parachute system.

Next step is disconnect batteries and pop on a tender, and remove seats.
Then windows
then make roof taller
then close the roof up
then put sheet metal on the walls
etc.

Does anyone have an opinion on galvanized sheet metal for the sides vs. plain? What thickness? I was considering 18 gauge galv. I don't mind welding small areas of galv metal, grinding or positive pressure respirator solves the toxic fumes.

Size comparison to a Unimog.


Getting the emissions tested in Renton. Yes, it passed.


It fits beside the garage! Level ground = roof raise. I am happy.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:51 AM   #20
Bus Nut
 
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Seats out

Took about two and a half hours. Started at 7 pm. It wasn't too bad.

Grossest part? Reaching between the seat and the wall to find the bolts.
Stinkiest? Setting dried up pine-sol on fire with the grinder.
Most satisfying? Popping out the bolts through the floor with the air chisel.
Hardest seat? The rear right seat next to the exit door.





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