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Old 09-27-2008, 07:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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The saga begins

OK, I have some pictures available so I figured it's time to start a thread and start documenting the project. This board has gotten me moving quicker than I might have otherwise.



Here it is, the diamond in the rough. 1983 Thomas, 350 gasoline engine. Family's out front.



And the interior od our soon to be home on the range



"Sit down! We gotta make Denver before the morning rush!"
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:30 PM   #2
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Chassis: IH S1723
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Re: The saga begins

Nice bus and family! Looking forward to watching your adventure. . .you're gonna have a blast!
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:33 PM   #3
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Re: The saga begins

They all start out looking pretty much the same...where the conversion leads from here is always an interesting path to follow, and I'll be following yours to see where it winds up!
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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Location: vancouver island bc
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Year: 1965
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Engine: 350
Re: The saga begins

you and your family will enjoy that bus for years to come looks like you could use alot of those seats! welcome and have fun!
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:43 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 454
Re: The saga begins

I got to lesson #1 today...always listen to the experts!

I'm a serial re-user, so I always try to pull parts intact in the hopes they can be reused. Example: The clamps that hold the seats to the side of the bus are being kept because it might help us in the endgame as we work to clamp our new furnishings into the bus.

So when I read about taking the bolts out of the floor with an angle grinder, I decided I would try a ratchet first. I started turning...and turning...and turning. There was nothing to hold the nuts underneath the floor in one place.

I quickly realized that either I could have someone holding the other end with a wrench all the way up both sides of the bus, or I could use the angle grinder. Needless to say I used the angle grinder. Nuts and bolts are cheap enough.

First seat is out, a token achievement. I looked at the architecture of the seats and realized I'm not going to be able to reuse them exactly as I hoped. I'm going to have my kids take the clamps out of the sides so that I can go through with the angle grinder and knock them out in a hurry.

I'm just starting to get a feel for how big a project this is to do right. And I'm VERY glad this forum is here!
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:10 PM   #6
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Re: The saga begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneCamping
They all start out looking pretty much the same..!
little kids or buses?

j/k
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:09 PM   #7
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Re: The saga begins

Buy lots of spare cutting wheels for that thing...you'll go through them fast...

I stripped the seats down after I got them all loose, threw the covers & stuffing in the dumpster, took the seat frames to the metal recycle place along with some other scrap metal and got some $$ for my troubles...not a lot but better than throwing them out...
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You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:10 AM   #8
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Location: Whidbey Island, WA.
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Year: 1984
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Chassis: All American
Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
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Re: The saga begins

You might think about saving some of the seat foam. I've found that to be good stuff.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:35 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: northwest Washington State
Posts: 46
Year: 1987
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: International DT466
Rated Cap: 65
Re: The saga begins

Based on my experience, I think you will find it MUCH easier to have someone underneath holding the nuts from the seat mounts, then ratchet them off from the inside. I figure I could have done my entire bus in a couple of hours if I had someone to help me, but managed to do it in a couple of days just by myself and a couple of vise grips.

My advice? Try it on one seat and see how quickly it goes. Then do the math and see how long it would take for the rest of the seats. It seems to me that the angle grinder approach is just not very efficient, and VERY messy.



Quote:
Originally Posted by retrogeek42
I got to lesson #1 today...always listen to the experts!

I'm a serial re-user, so I always try to pull parts intact in the hopes they can be reused. Example: The clamps that hold the seats to the side of the bus are being kept because it might help us in the endgame as we work to clamp our new furnishings into the bus.

So when I read about taking the bolts out of the floor with an angle grinder, I decided I would try a ratchet first. I started turning...and turning...and turning. There was nothing to hold the nuts underneath the floor in one place.

I quickly realized that either I could have someone holding the other end with a wrench all the way up both sides of the bus, or I could use the angle grinder. Needless to say I used the angle grinder. Nuts and bolts are cheap enough.

First seat is out, a token achievement. I looked at the architecture of the seats and realized I'm not going to be able to reuse them exactly as I hoped. I'm going to have my kids take the clamps out of the sides so that I can go through with the angle grinder and knock them out in a hurry.

I'm just starting to get a feel for how big a project this is to do right. And I'm VERY glad this forum is here!
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