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Old 07-28-2016, 10:09 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Oswego IL
Posts: 34
Year: 2001
TheMagicBus

Hi guys, my name is Ryan. I live outside of Chicago and I just bought a bus! It's a 2001 Chevrolet Bluebird 65 Passenger with a CAT 3126 Diesel and Allison Auto. 115k on it originally from southern Missouri so it's very clean. I drove it home July 25th and managed to get all the seats out the next day in a couple hours...

So far everything has gone smoothly, but you never know what life will throw at ya! Here's a couple pictures I got of the bus and getting home



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Old 07-28-2016, 10:38 AM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Mentor, OH
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Mini Bird (8 window)
Engine: T444E
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Sweet bus! Congratulations and welcome!
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:13 PM   #3
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Hi, Ryan!

Bus is looking great. Have fun on your journey.
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Oswego IL
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Year: 2001
So tomorrow I'm hoping to do some leveling and lay gravel at the spot I'm putting the bus. A friend helped me clean it up today, hours of pulling 6 foot weeds, hundreds of feet of hoses, a few dozen pallets and other random stuff that gets collected on a farm.

This weekend, I hope to start on removing the ceiling and wall skins. I know most people start with the floor, but why risk damaging your nice new floors while you're doing the ceiling? Anyways, what is the best method for removing the rivets? I will not be reusing the original panels if that matters
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:58 PM   #5
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
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Engine: dt466
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Originally Posted by TheMagicBus View Post
So tomorrow I'm hoping to do some leveling and lay gravel at the spot I'm putting the bus. A friend helped me clean it up today, hours of pulling 6 foot weeds, hundreds of feet of hoses, a few dozen pallets and other random stuff that gets collected on a farm.

This weekend, I hope to start on removing the ceiling and wall skins. I know most people start with the floor, but why risk damaging your nice new floors while you're doing the ceiling? Anyways, what is the best method for removing the rivets? I will not be reusing the original panels if that matters
Pop out the mandrels in the center of the rivets. Use a bit similar to the pointy one pictured. This one is what I've used.


after the mandrels are popped out, then you can put a flat chisel bit on there and go to town shearing off the rivet heads.
Play some good music, get a good rhythm going and you can knock it all out fairly quickly. Mine fought me hard. Took me weeks on my AmTran. Did a demo on friends Bluebird and was done in under two hours.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:59 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Year: 2001
Okay, I figured an air chisel would be the best option.

So for insulation, I'm planning on replacing what's currently in the ceiling, regardless of the thickness I'm planning on keeping it the same. The floors, I'm planning on doing 1" and half inch plywood. I really don't want to sacrifice the headroom, and I really don't have the time or money to do a roof raise...
For the walls though, I'm gonna do 2x4's along the wall (long) so I have 3 and a half inches of insulation on the walls, then probably just put wallboard over it. Eventually, I'll spray closed cell foam the underside (yes, I know there are brake lines, fuel pump access and many other things, they will be blocked off and remain accessible)

Is 3.5" on the sides overkill? When I build my roof deck, should I spray foam on top of the bus and make it watertight? I'm open to any and all suggestions!
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:57 AM   #7
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Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Posts: 48
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E Allison 3000
Rated Cap: 84 Kids/56 Adults
Hooray you have a bus! You're already probably farther along than me and I've had mine since june.

As you may or may not know, the 3126 is known by mechanics as a throw away engine. Not because it's bad, but because it's a parent bore engine without sleeves, and sleeves facilitate easy rebuilding. Take good care of it! Regular preventative maintenance will keep her purring for a long time. I don't know of they still do, but CAT made a kit to bore out the block and put sleeves in during a rebuild. Somewhere in the ballpark of at least an arm, probably a leg too.

I am excited to see your progress!

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Old 07-30-2016, 07:52 AM   #8
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Really? I've heard that there are many variations of this engine, and that if I have a turbo in it, it'll be a better one with better pistons and fuel injectors.. Oh well, it's too late now!

So yesterday, I removed the panels above the windows and got half of the rivets off of the left wall. A good chisel and a 2 lb sledge made it pretty easy to pop the wall rivets off as they seem to be pretty wimpy compared to the ones on the ceiling. Using a cobalt drill bit that chewed through a 8.8 grade bolt, I attempted to drill out the centers; nope.. Then I gave it a couple good wacks with the sledge; nope.. Finally after wailing on these rivets with the sledge for 5 minutes each, I got 2 out but decided there must be a better way. Plan B is a grinder with a cutting blade. Since I'm not reusing the panels, I hope it should make it easy!


Feels great to have so much done so fast!
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:02 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Posts: 48
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E Allison 3000
Rated Cap: 84 Kids/56 Adults
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMagicBus View Post
Really? I've heard that there are many variations of this engine, and that if I have a turbo in it, it'll be a better one with better pistons and fuel injectors.. Oh well, it's too late now!

So yesterday, I removed the panels above the windows and got half of the rivets off of the left wall. A good chisel and a 2 lb sledge made it pretty easy to pop the wall rivets off as they seem to be pretty wimpy compared to the ones on the ceiling. Using a cobalt drill bit that chewed through a 8.8 grade bolt, I attempted to drill out the centers; nope.. Then I gave it a couple good wacks with the sledge; nope.. Finally after wailing on these rivets with the sledge for 5 minutes each, I got 2 out but decided there must be a better way. Plan B is a grinder with a cutting blade. Since I'm not reusing the panels, I hope it should make it easy!


Feels great to have so much done so fast!
I haven't brushed up on specific iterations of the engine and individual components, don't let my words worry or discourage you. I do remember hearing that having a turbo meant it had some better internals.

I just meant to warn you of the difficulty and cost of a rebuild on the engine. You should easily still get a couple hundred thousand out of what you have with good maintanance.

I'm not too far from you, just over in the Detroit area. When I get my engine purring again and some work done we should have a skoolie camp meet with some of the other guys in the area.

Also, do not hesitate to send any engine questions my way. I'm still in diesel tech school so I don't know everything yet, but I have a team of 10 master ase diesel techs as teachers who probably would know


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Old 07-30-2016, 09:05 AM   #10
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Dude don't use a hammer unless you're some sort of masochist.
Just get an air chisel set for $25 at lowes or HD.
The centers are hardened mandrels. Not meant to be drilled.
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