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Old 12-14-2016, 11:45 AM   #1
rossfree's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Posts: 149
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Ward?
Engine: 8.2 liter ?
Rated Cap: 24 Passenger
Bus Build Burnout...

Ok... Ha. This is me ranting. Well not really ranting but, come on! So much done and still soooo much to do!

Maybe it's chilly weather blues. It's really not cold and snowy here so I can't say more than chilly. I know some of us are viewing their school busses under three foot drifts and wind chills around 20 below. Ok 30!

Still, I want so much to be further along and can't seem to get out of my own way. So I'm just complaining to anyone bored enough to be reading this forum for such dribble.

I did accomplish something yesterday... replaced the front bus eyebrows and installed the clear headlights without colored lenses. I'll eventually put it on a switch for "off-road" lighting. Without the colored lenses I couldn't come up with a better way to seal against rain so I just siliconed the back side in to the sheet metal frame. If I need to replace the lenses I'll remove the frame/lens assembly and cut the silicone to remove it. Don't think I'll need to do that often per their intended use. Anyway that was accomplishing something.

And that's really the point isn't it. Every job done takes a couple of hours give or take and the list of jobs never seems to shrink. The project has taken on a life of it's own!

My wife suggested I re-think the project and do what is absolutely necessary to satisfy insurance requirements to get it insured, then to get it registered so we can start using it. I mostly agree. So I'll shorten the list and work towards that end. We really want to use it by May of 2017. Graduations in New Hampshire, and a wedding near DC.

Soooo... today I plan to paint the raw metal columns I welded in for the shoulder belts and any other raw metal around the driver and passenger areas. Then I'll bondo any leftover holes I can find in the floor and re-rivet the drivers side wall (which I hastily un-riveted to remove the driver's side window). My mistake. It was totally un-necessary. I pulled the window and resealed everything within an inch of it's life. No more water leaks there.

Anyway, I ramble. Best wishes to all! I hope your conversions go well ever closer to completion!

Merry Christmas!

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Old 12-14-2016, 01:14 PM   #2
Justin McCormick's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 160
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
I hear you. I have the exact same thoughts. I have to just take on one project at a time and not get too caught up in the larger list of things that need to get done.
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:24 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 668
Agree with you. These things will never e done. As the wife says. Get it on the road so you can enjoy it. Driving and using it will give you a lot of new ideas or dismissal of others.
A set of stainless steel wheel covers sure tunes up the looks. and looks like a million bucks sitting or going down the road.
It is dragging at me as well. 27 deg right now and i am staying in the house.
Two days ago i came across two young guys with skills that have offered free labor just to learn .

Oh by the Merry Christmas to everyone.
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:02 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 46
I feel for you, friend!

It hardly gets cold here in South Louisiana, but two years ago I spent most of the winter working outside and I hated it. I don't know anything about how bad snow is but getting soaked pants when it's about 40F out and super windy and humid is no joke regardless of what anyone tells you.

Try to stay dry and keep your eyes on the prize. Even if the list of things to do keeps growing, the only way to cut it back down is to get stuff done!

Your wife has the right idea. Getting use out of the skoolie will not only motivate you to work on it more, but it'll also help you come up with new practical tweaks and ideas.
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:42 PM   #5
Bus Nut
Rameses's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 855
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 8.3/Allison MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
I used to be a moderator on a motorcycle forum with over 10,000 members. We always noticed an increase in arguments between members and just an upward trend in disgruntled behavior in the winter months. We attributed it to people not being able to get out on the roads and ride in the cold.

Kinda funny, I hadn't really thought about that being an issue in this community, but it makes sense that it is. If cooler weather keeps you from being comfortable doing something you enjoy, in this case getting outside and working on your bus conversion and seeing progress, it's frustrating as all.

It'll be warm again before you know it though. Hang in there!
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:30 PM   #6
rossfree's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Posts: 149
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Ward?
Engine: 8.2 liter ?
Rated Cap: 24 Passenger
Ha ha! Wow! I just never expected these responses and let me just say it touched my heart. I mean that sincerely.

We had the most incredible summer possible. Just got back from a long visit to see my new grand daughter and spent two plus weeks with my wife caring for her Dad in Florida. It was a very hard productive stay and it improved both his living conditions and her relationship. I am so happy for them both. And the weather for this extended trip was hands down fantastic... until the trip back. Weather finally caught up with us. Overcast and dreary for close to two weeks with a peek now and then at the sun. Still how can I complain. I know I have it good.

We moved in with my Dad in July of '15 to care for him. He's doing quite well at 91 but it's not like living alone with your spouse. The bus is my early retirement project and a satisfying one to be sure. I've been trudging through the hardest parts, prep, insulation, paint, solar, electrics, batteries,composting toilet and shower. Getting close to something that shows visible progress. Cabinetry, flooring, bedding and the like. Still have tanks and plumbing to do. Also re-vamp the heater and 12 volt system. Was that me complaining?

Feeling the love! Thanks for the warm remarks! It really meant something.

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Old 12-14-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Bingo! Same ghing here too.

FWIW, I put in WEEKS of 18 hour days working in the heat of the Texas summer to get Johnson ready for Burningman. I crashed and banged and just flat-out killed myself to get this done. Then I started on a cross-country trip about half-dead, drove him 2500 miles into one of the harshest places on earth, partied my ass off, served 5600 bacon tamales... only to make the return trip a couple of weeks later. To say this was the "trip of a lifetime" would not be stretching the truth.

And now, sitting here in beautiful 70F weather, well-rested and re-hydrated, I can barely bring myself to even start him up once a week to keep things from decomposing in the driveway. My give-a-damn is busted.

But ya know what? I'm good with that! Nobody gets to dictate my schedule, and my attitude is "I'm fixin' to do it!". As long as I get the turn signals fixed before the next inspection is due in March, and as long as the oil gets changed before August, I can run what I already have, even if its not perfectly Aryan.

So I say bring on the egg nog, the Christmas ham, and LOTS of Scotch, because I've officially kicked my schedule to the curb with extreme prejudice and dont effin' care what the neighbors say!
"You can finally say you have enough horsepower when you leave two black streaks from corner to corner"
(Mark Donohue, famed TransAm driver)
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:32 PM   #8
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,461
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
I'm over five years into my "two year project" and still hammerin' at it. Good news is, I still expect to wrap it up in two years so I guess I'm right on schedule.

Just keep pluggin' away...ONWARD!
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:32 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Oberlin, Kansas
Posts: 1,337
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
We're a year and a half into our build. So far all we've done is gut the interior, blank the windows where we needed the blanks, fixed the electrical system, and bought all the supplies we're needing to start building the interior. Wife has measured and re-measured the interior to the point where we finally have three measurements that are within 1/16th of an inch from each other. Y'all DON'T want to know what we were getting for deviations from the first series of attempts....

We've spent almost $14K so far. We figure we have another $10k or so to go before we're done. Christmas break in Houston should bring the beginning stages of the interior building phase to life.

Burn out? Heck yeah! But worth every bit of effort so far.

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. — George Washington
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:15 AM   #10
Bus Nut
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 502
Year: 92
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 5.9L
Rated Cap: 77
well i guess im not alone haha. real temp here is -12 with a windchill of -25. Not quite sure what i will get done today. Spent the last 3 years with two jobs and working 60+ hour weeks to afford the bus, and been working on the bus for 1 year and 7 months and we only have interior gutted, roof raised, windows in and outside prepped for paint. At this rate we might be done in 5 years... cheers to the hard workers of skoolies
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