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Old 08-09-2013, 04:41 PM   #1
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I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

I bought this bus last week at an online auction. I don't have it yet but it's being towed out of the shipyard near my house in Norfolk, VA to my warehouse on Monday. I'm putting a link at the bottom bc I can't get the pics to download to my computer, must be some kind of block. I will take some pics of it myself on Monday. I have no idea if it runs or how much crap is broken. The last thing I bought there was an old step van which I put a battery in and it fired up on the first try . I'm going to look around and try to figure out how long since it was last run. Any advice on prepping it before I try to start it? It has an International V8 diesel in it. I am considering converting the bus to an RV. I have a travel trailer now about the same size but this would have so much more character. If I don't convert it I'll try to flip it, part it out, scrap it, or some combination of the three. My other question is from experience, how much $ can I expect to spend converting and fixing it up to be decent on the outside and nice on the inside?

Link to the auction site:

http://www.govliquidation.com/auction/v ... vertTo=USD
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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Re: I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

Welcome first 5 posts get "held" they will be approved and you can rock on....how much?mmm I have about 5500 as it sits including purchase....I don't have running water and tanks though....its just parts prices unless you pay someone to install

Example...granite counter tops will cost 986 cases of beer more than mine

Agin welcome
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:18 PM   #3
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Re: I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

Congratulations and Welcome!
The bus looks nice, even with the bit of rot and the missing taillight.
Air brakes, and it looks like a bit of a high roof.

As far as cost to convert, it is all relative. Are you going to invest time, money, or both? Will you buy all new materials, use found materials and wait for bargains, or will you labor to resurrect things that others have written off as dead?

What about style? Will you toss a futon in the back and call it "done," or will you install custom cabinetry that rivals a McMansion? You have a blank canvas, what you do with it is why every Skoolie is an individual.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
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Re: I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

Nice looking bus! And I just LOVE the price!

Mum (Lorna) has an '86 FE Bluebird that so far is running about $4K at current count. I'll have to ask what it's at currently, as she has a whole massive spreadsheet to keep track.

I don't have a Bus yet.

But I AM stealing, er, borrowing ideas from everybody!
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:53 AM   #5
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Re: I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

Congrats!! I don't know exactly, because I refuse to keep track, but I likely have well over 5k invested in addition to the price of the bus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
Nice looking bus! And I just LOVE the price!

Mum (Lorna) has an '86 FE Bluebird that so far is running about $4K at current count. I'll have to ask what it's at currently, as she has a whole massive spreadsheet to keep track.

I don't have a Bus yet.

But I AM stealing, er, borrowing ideas from everybody!
Your time will come!! And its not stealing if they are freely given
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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Re: I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
...
Mum (Lorna) has an '86 FE Bluebird that so far is running about $4K at current count. I'll have to ask what it's at currently, as she has a whole massive spreadsheet to keep track...
Since shell prices vary so much I won't include that price. We have $2,804.19 (sans tax) actually in the bus as of today. I estimate we will have a total of $5k into the conversion including an LP generator (allowing $1k out of the $5k for that). My goal is to bring the conversion in under the $5k budget. I believe we will be able to do that. That is not counting the cost of the washer (hoping for a new Maytag on a $399 sale), used LP dryer, new ($299) or used dishwasher. Also does not include a back up camera. We have one in a box just haven't checked to see if the wireless unit will reach that far.

With everything I want in it, I figure we will eventually have a completely finished "house" that will have cost us around $6000 cash out-of-pocket. We have gotten quite good at adapting things to get the costs down this low. Also I have somethings that we reused/re-purposed to keep the costs down. For example, I have a Kohler Trieste self rimming cast iron sink. I would never have bought the sink to put in the bus. It would have cost as much or more than the bus shell. But it was a freebie. The 30" GE Profile gas range is another. I had it before we had the bus. Bakes beautifully and I wasn't about to give it up. That range is pretty pricey. Between the two, that's over $2k if I bought same new without doing some major price shopping.

Like said earlier. It's all relative. We are converting a full time home. We are also very adept at re-purposing. We even redesigned our cabinets into modified frameless to allow us to use a thinner plywood. What this did was lighten the weight plus use a thinner cheaper plywood. By going with painted cabinets rather than stained, I ended up using a CDX plywood sheathing. Sparingly skim coated the cut cabinet pieces with a batch of Rock Hard brand Putty, which dries very hard, to fill any voids in the rough plywood and only did that on the exposed sides (our cabinets were built modular in case we need to repair/replace later). I have no clear coated wood in the bus except for the 1926 Mantle, the very old trestle end table and my cedar chest. We painted EVERYTHING! For two reasons... #1 we can use cheaper materials. #2 It's easier to slap another coat of paint if things get grungy, beaten or I just get tired of the colour scheme (Turquoise, buttery yellow and white with neutral tan-ish colours... metals are either black or brushed chrome/nickel). Small places get even smaller during the darker winter days. I need a happier feeling colour scheme. Going sorta beachy with an art deco diesel punk edge.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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Re: I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

Here are some pics of my bus. I went over to the warehouse to check it out this morning. It did in fact have a huge battery in it but it's dead. I am going to try and charge it. I found some paperwork saying the bus was transferred to the auction yard back in May but there is no telling where it came from last or how long it sat around there. Should I try to start it? Is there any way I can tell if the fuel in the tank is bad?


There is some rust around the rear wheel wells and lower panels.



Some interesting stickers and signs.



This floorboard at the door is a mess and one of the windows in the door is broken.



I opened up and looked at the air filter and it's very clean.



I think this is a gas engine powering an air conditioning system that is in the overhead of the bus. The refrigerant lines run from the system under the bus to the overhead. There is a gas fuel and diesel fuel tank in the bus. I think I will just take all this out.













I think these units under the seats are heaters. Maybe these can be moved and reused.

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Old 08-13-2013, 12:35 PM   #8
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Re: I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

Looks like a real fun project.

Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: I just bought a bus - 1984 International US Army bus

those are heaters under the seats, there should be a couple valves (they normally look like garden hose type...these open and close to allow engine coolant into those heaters)
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