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Old 09-30-2014, 11:47 PM   #1
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Year: 1989
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Starting My Conversion Journey

Greetings Fellow Skoolies! Just bought a 1989 Blue Bird All American from a church, and the bus is in AWESOME shape. It already has a decent custom paint job that needs only the small church grafitti covered over, is chromed out in a number of ways, and runs like a top! When I take it out on the interstate it wants to run 75 to 80mph without breathing hard. Extremely tight and smooth.

The bus has three roof mounted AC units (all 2 1/2 years old) as well as a 12k diesel genset underneath the same age. The bus is powered by what I think is a Cummins 8.2 fuel injected turbo diesel, 4 speed Allison Automatic Transmission, twin air compressors for the air brakes, and all interior and exterior lights function. I have already gutted out the seats down to the floor to begin my build. This is my platform - the starting point.

The destination is to have a comfortable touring bus for a group of older musicians who want to tour around to small communities in Carnival style, set up, play music, get paid, and move on.

As I began looking for information about where to buy accessories for the build it occurred to me that I didn't know jack diddly about this, and thought perhaps there may be someone on here that may be willing to advise me what NOT to do, and things I should consider - you know critical foundational infrastructure, electrical, 12v stuff, etc....oh yeah - fresh water too. I have already decided to use steel studs for the infrastructure to keep it light and strong. I want a privacy suite in the back, 6 bunks ahead of that - stacked 3 each side, small kitchen with eating nook, large lounging area up front.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

All the very Best...Mark Antony Wray
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:29 AM   #2
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

WELCOME, SHARP BUS

I would advise swapping the red light covers in the front with the amber ones on the back, no need to have an invite for local law enforcement handy

I like all the chrome, the church spent a lot on upgrades that's for sure
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:55 AM   #3
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

NICE find! I'm digging the chrome hubcaps!
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:40 AM   #4
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

really nice find!

whats the rear end ratio stamp say?
75-80 would be awesome...... just curious what the drive ratio is..

good luck!
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:43 AM   #5
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

LOVE IT!!

Triple bunks may be tough, it depend on what the ceiling height is about 6 inches from the wall. You will need THIN mattress solutions. I want to do the same thing, I am thinking an ikea-style slat system, then a 1/2" foam camping pad (or equivalent dense closed cell foam), then 2 inches of memory foam. You also have to worry about condensation under the bottom mattress if you try to put it directly on the floor.
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:38 AM   #6
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Very sweet bus, congrats and have fun!
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
WELCOME, SHARP BUS

I would advise swapping the red light covers in the front with the amber ones on the back, no need to have an invite for local law enforcement handy

I like all the chrome, the church spent a lot on upgrades that's for sure
Greetings Bansil - Thanks for the advice. Not sure what the illegality of it is, but I will most certainly heed your advice! The bus truly is amazing, and they blessed me with it next to nothing.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:08 PM   #8
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Location: Old Hickory, TN
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Year: 1989
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American FE
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Rated Cap: 84
Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponyracer
NICE find! I'm digging the chrome hubcaps!
I appreciate the compliment...yup, it's a sweet ride already!!
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: All American FE
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by turf
really nice find!

whats the rear end ratio stamp say?
75-80 would be awesome...... just curious what the drive ratio is..

good luck!
Next time I get under the bus I will try to remember to look for you. I was shocked at how I had to hold the bus back - it just begged me to fly!! I could be misreading the average MPG, but at this point it seems to be hitting 14 to 15 MPG too!
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:23 PM   #10
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_w
LOVE IT!!

Triple bunks may be tough, it depend on what the ceiling height is about 6 inches from the wall. You will need THIN mattress solutions. I want to do the same thing, I am thinking an ikea-style slat system, then a 1/2" foam camping pad (or equivalent dense closed cell foam), then 2 inches of memory foam. You also have to worry about condensation under the bottom mattress if you try to put it directly on the floor.
Greetings! - The idea is to have basic slide in style bunks (sub-mariner style), and yes I will be using high grade thin line mattress. I am going to go old school with the bunk support underneath each mattress pad with a metal matrix net with spring tensioning, then I will upholster the bottom of each with a thick shipping blanket and cloth to conceal the look and sound from underneath .

The bottom bunks will not be "on the floor", besides I am am installing a great vapor barrier, and thermal reflective barrier, then super dense BedRug foam. On top of that will be my marine grade plywood floor, the padding and carpet in the bunk area....all for sound deadening and thermal management.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:24 PM   #11
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: All American FE
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB
Very sweet bus, congrats and have fun!
Thanks! I appreciate ya!
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #12
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Antony Wray
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
WELCOME, SHARP BUS

I would advise swapping the red light covers in the front with the amber ones on the back, no need to have an invite for local law enforcement handy

I like all the chrome, the church spent a lot on upgrades that's for sure
Greetings Bansil - Thanks for the advice. Not sure what the illegality of it is, but I will most certainly heed your advice! The bus truly is amazing, and they blessed me with it next to nothing.
Most states:

Red light to rear of vehicle only for brake lights and turn/hazard
amber to front and rear , for hazards, turn signals
White to front headlights (4 lights on max at one time)
white to rear only for reverse lights
blue front/rear emergency vehicles only
red front emergency vehicles only

this is a rough sample, some states locals may be different

just better to not invite them into your life for an easily fixable thing

and technically the school bus flasher illegal has more to do with flashing red lights to the front, than the system it's self
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:07 PM   #13
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Year: 1989
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Thanks! I appreciate you....and yes, a "low profile" is preferred. Why engage in a Chuck-E-Cheese Whack-a-Mole game if you don't have to - right...LOL!!
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:28 PM   #14
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Antony Wray
Thanks! I appreciate you....and yes, a "low profile" is preferred. Why engage in a Chuck-E-Cheese Whack-a-Mole game if you don't have to - right...LOL!!
I know how old you are now...I think
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:36 PM   #15
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

LOL!...Let's just say I was NOT a draft card burner , and am old enough to have celebrated the opening of the original California Disneyland while being carried around in diapers...LOL !
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:44 PM   #16
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Antony Wray
Greetings! - The idea is to have basic slide in style bunks (sub-mariner style), and yes I will be using high grade thin line mattress. I am going to go old school with the bunk support underneath each mattress pad with a metal matrix net with spring tensioning, then I will upholster the bottom of each with a thick shipping blanket and cloth to conceal the look and sound from underneath .

The bottom bunks will not be "on the floor", besides I am am installing a great vapor barrier, and thermal reflective barrier, then super dense BedRug foam. On top of that will be my marine grade plywood floor, the padding and carpet in the bunk area....all for sound deadening and thermal management.
The problem is lack of breathability within the shell, not being against the floor. An upper level bunk with a solid plywood deck can have the same problem, but an old school steel net subframe won't have that problem.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:00 PM   #17
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Got ya....OK - cool -
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:48 PM   #18
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Life Assembly would make a really cool name for the bus. I'm diggin' the paintjob. Like that blue.
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:08 PM   #19
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Yeah, right!?? I considered it, because that's what we human's are supposed to be all about anyway. Glad you like it....I LOVE this Bus!!!

I have to do a "little work" toward touch ups on the paint, (which is a gorgeous metallic midnight blue), and also some of the chrome is a little pitted. The reason I call the bus Mystery School Bus is because it will carry my musicians and crew for my show Mystery School...which will travel in this "school bus" - for now...LOL! But, there is the validity of...Life Assembly....

Now the journey begins on the inside...Oooo....sort of like life in the material world - pretty on the outside - hollow on the inside?

Mystery School - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... ery+school
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:25 PM   #20
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Re: Starting My Conversion Journey

Yea-you pretty much win the best bus purchase of the year with that one! You know how much it would cost to get your normal ratty, out of service school bus that pimped out? 3 ACs? 12k gen? all that paint and chrome?
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