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Old 12-14-2016, 12:45 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Posts: 150
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!

Ross
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:14 PM   #2
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Location: Texas
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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, 02:24 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:02 PM   #4
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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, 05:42 PM   #5
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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Year: 2002
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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, 06:30 PM   #6
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Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
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Year: 1990
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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.

Ross
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:39 PM   #7
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Location: Danglebury, Tejas
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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!
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:32 PM   #8
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Year: 1946
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Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
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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, 05:32 AM   #9
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Location: Oberlin, Kansas
Posts: 1,398
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.

M
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:15 AM   #10
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Location: Minnesota
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Year: 92
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 5.9L
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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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Old 12-15-2016, 08:09 AM   #11
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Engine: DT530
Rated Cap: 84
I began this project with the idea that it will take me 3-5 years to complete. But I'm only working on it maybe 2 weekend a month when the wheather is nice. After Thanksgiving I drove it over to the storage lot and tucked it away for the winter. We'll get back to it around April I suppose.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:30 AM   #12
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'Get it on the road' is the phrase I live by!! for me i would totally lose interest if I had my bus so far into pieces that i couldnt run it...

Both busses i get them out and go on trips... I still do work as well but I find getting on the road keeps my interest and motivation peaked.. and also my friends' interest and motivation for me.. (as they are as pumped about my busses as I am..)..

-Christopher
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:00 AM   #13
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Year: 1993
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i had a bad case of burn out in year 3 of my 4 year build. the way it turned out. progress gets slow. you start questioning the amount of money spent on something that isn't usable.

no projects would be done until the the very end. i put in the shower and toilet early. but until i had water tanks and plumbing installed, and waste tanks. no point on doing the waste water until the sink is in....there were tons of pieces and systems going in and unfinished and unworking. that 3rd year was tough. kinda felt tied to a dam money pit.

buying the furnace for the bus was a big investment. there goes another $K that i won't even turn on before the 2 year warranty on the furnace has expired. the fridge, the stove, everything was throwing money away with no benefit in sight. it gets frustrating.

and then year 4 it all came together. fast. the plumbing was in, the electric done, all appliances connected. it all fell into place and was usable the way i had intended it.

the burnout keeps you humble, you figure out if your adventure is a waste money or way of living.

year 5 was weird, felt lost that i didn't have to go to home depot anymore. now, i can swap trips to the hardware store for the gas pump.

i love my bus, i had my doubts but well worth it in the end.
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:19 AM   #14
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Rated Cap: 15
Just owning and keeping my bus feels like such triumph and victory, I dont care that I've been taking forever.
Go at your own pace, ROLL YOUR OWN!

Rome wasn't built in a day.
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:17 PM   #15
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Location: Brazoria County, Texas
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 32 Passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossfree View Post
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!

Ross
Rossfree, try not to look at the finished product. Take it a little each day. I put in 30 minutes every morning before I go to work. Usually an hour each day when I get home from work. Keeps me from getting bored. I am also working on a 64 VW and a 68 Chevy truck as well. It can be overwhelming if you let it. Like Tango said, Just keep pluggin away and one day you'll look up and be finished. ONWARD !!!!
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Just owning and keeping my bus feels like such triumph and victory, I dont care that I've been taking forever.
Go at your own pace, ROLL YOUR OWN!

Rome wasn't built in a day.

my bus song is some classic johnny cash

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Old 12-15-2016, 01:13 PM   #17
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
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Nice.
I'm a huge fan of Cash. I had a memorial party at my house when he passed.
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:18 PM   #18
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the theme of my bus so far lol-
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:09 PM   #19
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 737
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Well it's a 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 automobile.....
Classic.

Yep our bus builds are most definitely that.

I use the same philosophy when I want a new computer.... I buy the parts and build it myself, that way I know exactly what is in it and how it's all tied together.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:43 PM   #20
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Hempstead Tx
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: t444e
I hadnt touched my bus in like 2 months, randomly drove it to charge batteries and ended up blocking traffic for a parade. Now im "the bus parade guy" with city employees. and tearing up my floor, ewwwww
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