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Old 09-16-2005, 02:13 AM   #1
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Something to think about when buying a skoolie

Hi ya'll. I just had a thought when watching some of the footage from the hurricane zone..... They said all of New Orleans school busses were flooded, now I don't know about how high, or how damaged, but after Andrew and other storms people were being sold cars that had been flooded and had all kinds of problems with them. Not that I don't want to help all of the folks out, but I wouldn't want to get a problem bus just out of sympathy...
My bus did come from Louisiana by the way, I have a former Webster Parish school bus, but that is from around Shreveport not New Orleans... I love my skoolie and want everyone to have a GOOD experience not a bad one
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Old 09-16-2005, 11:54 AM   #2
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when discussing that very issue with a mechanic at the local bus garage, he brought up a very good point. He thought that as long as the water didn't get into the intake, and all the fluids were changed the buses would be allright........UNLESS the electronics were submerged. Even something as simple as the gas pedal sensor is a very expensive part.

i still would not hesitate to buy one of those buses for cheap.....as long as they don't have the cummins 5.9liter. I don't have the money to buy a new injector pump!
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Old 09-16-2005, 01:11 PM   #3
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I wonder if for a lot of people who had their house destroyed they would see a school bus as a good cheap temporary housing until they get everything else in their lives sorted out.
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:34 PM   #4
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Something to think about

I find it a great cheap home, that is a really great part of a skoolie, AND if weather threatened you just leave!! WooHoo!! No problems there! I did see on the web that they were all ready warning about cars and trucks bought now because of the flooding problem. And the problem is the electrical, but also mold and mildew.... Not something that I would want to clean out if I didn't absolutely have to. I had a car once that I owned and it was in a flood, but the only damage was to carpet and seats and such, but ugh it was a REAL pain to deal with, lots of bleach and cleanser to get it to where it didn't smell funny. And that didn't have the issue of the kind of water that these cars and buses are in.... nasty water.
Yeah, if the water stayed low on the bus, it wouldn't be a problem, because the high profile of a bus most of them would be okay. But I don't know that the water stayed that low. That was what I was thinking about, if it came as high on the buses as on the houses then, not a bus I would want....
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Old 09-16-2005, 11:25 PM   #5
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I saw some news footage of one of the bus yards. From the air it looked like the water made it up to the interior floor. I would think if they have the buses privately insured they will take the money and replace them. if the district self insures they might clean them up and keep them. Of course the feds will probably pay for new buses. I would love to have a late model bus even if the interior is molded. If the price is right the engine and tranny would be worth it. The tires would also be worth it if I could get the bus for under a grand.
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:53 PM   #6
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If any of those buses are DT466/5-speed Internationals with Thomas or BB bodies and air-assist disc brakes, I don't care how wet it got. Even water in the engine isn't necessarily tragic--as long as nobody tries to start it until it's dried out (when your father in law & friends 4-wheel in mud & water, you learn about submerged engines in a hurry).

As for damaged electronics...that's what the junkyards are for.
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:30 AM   #7
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A lot of the problems in flooded vehicles comes from the electrical connections getting wet and corroding. The carpet also gets wet and, even though they dry them out well, the moisture gets trapped between the carpet and the metal floor and rusts the floors out. If I bought a flooded bus I would strip out the rubber floor right away and then pull all the electrical plugs and use sil-glide or equivalent to keep them from corroding. Otherwise, with changing the oil, tranny fluid and greasing fittings, they would probably be ok.
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Old 09-25-2005, 10:35 PM   #8
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Growing up on the Gulf Coast, and having lived in New Orleans, I noticed something everyone else seems to have missed.
Lake Ponchartrain, where most of the flooding came from, is a salt water lake. Any vehicle that spent much time at all in salt water is going to be very hard to make viable again. Yes, you can flush the running gear and make it run down the road just fine, but every steel body joint or bare panel is holding salt that is destroying the body every minute it's there.

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Old 10-08-2005, 10:16 AM   #9
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But the bodies, Thomases & Birds at least, are galvanized--mine has 20 years of road salt (and from the condition, rarely even got washed) and ZERO rust. As long as it's cleaned out properly, I wouldn't be too worried.
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat
Growing up on the Gulf Coast, and having lived in New Orleans, I noticed something everyone else seems to have missed.
Lake Ponchartrain, where most of the flooding came from, is a salt water lake. Any vehicle that spent much time at all in salt water is going to be very hard to make viable again. Yes, you can flush the running gear and make it run down the road just fine, but every steel body joint or bare panel is holding salt that is destroying the body every minute it's there.

Jay
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This thread is way old, but having evacuated from New Orleans for Katrina (& having my home & automobile destroyed by it), it brings back memories (although it seems like yesterday).

I had a '70 VW van that was sitting in front of a friend's house in the Gentilly neighborhood. (Ironically, I had to leave it behind & carpool out of the city at the eleventh hour because the engine on it had caught fire a week before!) It sat under eleven feet of water for however long the water lasted in that neighborhood. I came back a few months later to salvage what I could from the upstairs of my house. (You probably saw what the city looked like on the news & all, but up close it was unbelievable, like something out of a postapocalyptic movie. Words can't do justice to how destroyed *everything* was, & the chaos.)

Anyway, the van was total lump of rust. Somebody, probably a rescue worker looking for bodies, had torn the top off; that's the only way I could get in. The doors were welded shut with rust. A total loss. It's still sitting there as far as I know.

Of course, some places didn't sit under water for so long.

Positive note: At the end of this summer my former residence in Mid City New Orleans will have been restored to better shape than ever, & I'll be able to move back. I'll be moving seasonally between NOLA & Livingston, Montana with my kids in my new short bus. It's also going to be a sort of grip truck for film production: New Orleans is becoming known as Hollywood South, the film industry there is blowing up like crazy, my brother works as a grip/set electrician & he's making a killing. I want to get in on that!

Cheers,
Henry
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