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Old 11-12-2016, 09:30 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Short bus as a hotshot

Hi i am new to the skoolie movement and have some questions. My first thought was to get a bus as a cheap place to live so i started looking for a bus with a manual tranny. I would like a mid size bus like a 9 window but all i have found are short buses with the 5 speed. I have driven otr but since let my cdl go because I didn't like being out on the road for a month or longer at such a fast pace. Running hot shot where i could stop and smell the roses at my own pace would be nice. Most hot shots run a dullie and a goose neck trailer so an international short bus should have the towing capacity. Just looking for options before I buy either way I am going to get a bus to convert.
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:38 AM   #2
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Welcome, fantastic name by the by. As far as getting the right bus, it might just take a bit. My wife and I watched out for about nine months before we found the right one at the right price. We made it 150 miles within four hours of posting to buy it and a guy had already been to see the thing so don't hesitate if you like something.

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Old 11-12-2016, 04:16 PM   #3
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check the third party bus sale thread - i saw a shorty 5 speed in NY state at a dealership.

I'll be buying in the spring I think and want a shorty for learning/conversion to a business (cargo mostly) vehicle with some style. I don't see a lot of them and they seem to cost a bit more.

Looking into the possibility of shorting a full size bus, since I'd prefer a transit and shot ones of those are very rare.
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Old 11-12-2016, 04:24 PM   #4
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I found short buses for sale here
36 to 72 Passengers - Used Buses For Sale | American Bus Sales
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Old 11-12-2016, 05:02 PM   #5
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theres a ton of short busses on the auctions too... I got my sweet little bluebird 6 row for less than 2K.. short bus non-wheel chair lift meant not too many wanted it... seems to run really good..

I could easily see converting the first 2 rows of a bus into a sleeper cab and the rest box it off into a hauler... only thing with a pickup as a hot-shot is you can switch out trailers if you want.. then again you could have a box and a trailer with a bus..

with the large overhang of most busses might get interesting to back a trailer around..
-Christopher
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:51 PM   #6
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What I want to do is get the biggest hitch i can put on it and run a trailer but leave the bus in tact. Does anyone know the towing capacity of international short bus. Down in FL. they hall 2 or 3 cars from port to port.

Thanks Joe
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by syntaxterror View Post
What I want to do is get the biggest hitch i can put on it and run a trailer but leave the bus in tact. Does anyone know the towing capacity of international short bus. Down in FL. they hall 2 or 3 cars from port to port.

Thanks Joe

yeah I see them dragging cars all over hte place down here... never thohght about it for port.. but one of the bus dealers I know up by tampa says he sells tons of busses that go to the miami port all the time..

so you would hot shot cars themselves or pull whatever type of trailer you needed for the job and then live in the bus?

sounds like fun..

I dont know what the tongue weight capacity of a bus would be.. but if you get one with Air-ride rear im guessing you could fairly straightforward alter the capacity of the rear suspension by changin the air springs out?
-Christopher
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:27 PM   #8
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If it's RE the weight of the engine, tranny and radiator also have to be taken into account since all that weight is concentrated at the rear end where the hitch will attach.

Won't apply to a shorty since I don't think I've ever seen a RE shorty....
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:31 PM   #9
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I live mid way between mia and jax so run stuff on the trailer to where ever and enjoy. One of the things I hated about over the road trucking is you had to make dead lines and never had the time to see where i was. That and the lies from the dispatchers they are worse than used car sales men.
BuSmith the name comes from the ecm tuning forum i belong to computers are another one of my hobbies.
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by syntaxterror View Post
I live mid way between mia and jax so run stuff on the trailer to where ever and enjoy. One of the things I hated about over the road trucking is you had to make dead lines and never had the time to see where i was. That and the lies from the dispatchers they are worse than used car sales men.
BuSmith the name comes from the ecm tuning forum i belong to computers are another one of my hobbies.

Love it!! computers are my game too.. (well my money maker and hobby)... Old school ECM tuning used to be my game.. havent done it for awhile..

omne of my busses has no ECM... the other I havent messed with other than connecting it up to the interface and changing some legal parameters..

I should soon have some firmware files that I can tear apart..

J1708 is easy to sniff the stream from the port too..

-Christopher
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Old 11-14-2016, 03:11 PM   #11
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cadillackid Have you tried to hack the bus ecm yet? They don't have that many publix's in Ohio do they. Does anyone know the the towing capacity of a bus
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Old 11-14-2016, 03:27 PM   #12
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cadillackid Have you tried to hack the bus ecm yet? They don't have that many publix's in Ohio do they. Does anyone know the the towing capacity of a bus
Not yet.. the most ive done is go in with the Approved servicemaxx software and alter the speed limiters and a couple other settings..

the J1708 standard is RS485 and the over-laying protocol fairly easy to understand, so I just need to capture some data frames of me changing parameters and then do some simple comparison algorith,s to pick up the packet structure and PID's


I have a copy of NavKal which is supposed to do more but that Bus is in Ohio and im in florida (I have 2 residences,, primary Ohio and an apt in florida{st pete}).. ill be in Ohio over thanksgiving and may try to play with that Bus ECM a bit to see what I can learn. being mid 90s technology in the bus ECM's, my guess is they didnt get too crazy with encrypted hashes or anything to alter parameters...


the aftermarket really never has done anything with them as there's been no demand.. Powerhungry Performance did some T-444E stuff but that was on the Pre-97 ECM's when Ford 7.3 and the T-444E ran the same computers.. once emissions stuff started changing for consumer diesels but wasnt required on commercial, ford and navistar went separate ways on the computers...

all the later Maxxforce stuff runs on the newer J1939 standard with a new protocol that from what I have been reading is a lot more strict on using Hashes and what not to update an ECM.. (similar to some of the newer cars)..

all the earlier HEUI engines like we see on the forums should be on J1708.

no there arent publix in ohio but theres one a block from my apartment in st pete..

-Christopher
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Old 11-14-2016, 03:49 PM   #13
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They don't have that many publix's in Ohio do they.
Don't know about OH but they're all over the place in middle TN.
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Old 11-14-2016, 04:09 PM   #14
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Ya we just moved up there bout 8 years ago.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:43 PM   #15
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Can the ecm from an older bus be put on the newer ones? I ran a 3500 v6 out of a 2007 malibu in a fiero on obd1. Used a tpi 350 ecm with the Australian 12P$ ran great. If you have a copy of tunerpro check it out. blows away most of the stock ecm os's out there. 6900 fuel and timing with 3 bar map support.
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Old 11-14-2016, 07:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syntaxterror View Post
Can the ecm from an older bus be put on the newer ones? I ran a 3500 v6 out of a 2007 malibu in a fiero on obd1. Used a tpi 350 ecm with the Australian 12P$ ran great. If you have a copy of tunerpro check it out. blows away most of the stock ecm os's out there. 6900 fuel and timing with 3 bar map support.

not in the cse of the T-444E's the whole system changed.. theoretically you could possibly find a complete system from a pre-97 T-444E and fit it on a newer bus.. the basic components were the same as far as sensors (I believe).. the main reason ford switched over was the requirement to add EGR to the consumer pickups whereas IHC didnt have the need until 2004 to put in EGR per EPA.. at that time they dropped the 7.3 altogether and went to the infamous 6.0, on a ford it was a powerstroke 6.0, on the school bus IHC side it was the VT-365. IHC still kept the comercial computer platforms and ford kept their own,

in case you werent aware IHC manufactured those engines for ford.. ford cheapened up the 6.0 by wanting IHC to tune it very high then of course added even more emissions stuff to it and didnt beef it up so the first copup;e years of ford 6.0s were disastrous.. the VT-365 didnt suffer nearly as bad but could still be destroyed easily by heating the oil up to 270 degrees at which point Plastic parts in the engine would melt partially and block all the oil passages... while 270 sounds quite high... once an engine got a few miles on it and was towing a heavy load it wasnt unheard of for the oil to exceed the coolant temp by 40 or 50 degrees because of poor oil cooler design..

the T-444E's didnt suffer many of the VT365 issues though getting them hot is still quite a No-No.. any diesel really being run up to 220 or 230 degrees coolant temp can be in trouble... whereas in old gasser hotrods you could peg the temp gauge at 250-280 , blow steam everywhere and probably still survive it...
- Christopher
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:27 PM   #17
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how they arrive a tow rating..about half way down the page an engineer talks about what specs they're looking for - some is federal regs on stopping, passing ability, etc - safety.
performance - moving up a grade, down, starting on a grade, etc.
mechanical - cooling, temps on bearings, etc. Structural.
longevity -you can move a lot of weight - but not often if you want to go 100k miles.

The Numbers Game: How Truck Makers Determine Towing Capacity - Consumer Feature - Truck Trend

maybe you can look up what other vehicles that use your engine/trans and see what they're rated at (allowing for rear gearing, total vehicle weight) and brakes.

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cadillackid Have you tried to hack the bus ecm yet? They don't have that many publix's in Ohio do they. Does anyone know the the towing capacity of a bus
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:51 PM   #18
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Any thoughts on using this as a generator besides price $2250. I will need a welder and it is a bit overkill.
Miller Bobcat 225G 8000 Watt Generator Welder Onan Performer 16hp Gas Engine 225
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:15 PM   #19
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longer

Hi I think I found a 11window bluebird with a 466 mechanical engine with a 5 speed the only thing missing is a rear side door.
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