Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-11-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Bluffton, SC (near Hilton Head)
Posts: 14
What the best base to start with??

New guy to the board, and I have spent the last two days reading different builds you guys have done... I bow to your knowledge.. My wife hates you all

So I'm sure this has been covered but I have not found it, so maybe it has not been..

What the best starting point?? Thomas, international, Blue bird, other??? Pusher or puller ??

My first thought was a mini bus, but with a wife and two kids I think a full size maybe in order.. I have seen how fast these fill up..

Highway speeds are important to me..

Are there years I should avoid??

Any pointers would be great ??
Gsragtop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Diesel Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: What the best base to start with??

The very best base is the one I started with, of course!

But seriously, that is a very individualized decision, and I don't think there is a clear cut right or wrong answer to the question. You have to consider your application and needs and then decide for yourself. Each type of bus has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Your wife may come around one day, but if she is like mine, it won't be until the bus is done and your family is enjoying it.
__________________
Gallery:
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... l_dan_bus/
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?t=4959
Diesel Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 337
Re: What the best base to start with??

From my limited experience, if you want the wife to get on board it has to be attractive. She is probably thinking "redneck wagon" as displayed at so many NASCAR events. The fastest way to get her excited may to head in the direction of a crown or old flxible (if you can find one) as these are the most attractive (read cute) according to the women I have spoken to. 1 of the people here is selling an old crown in the classifieds:
http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...?f=12&t=196755
Other than that your, starting point is really up to you, it is a personal choice.
welcome and good luck
Malkieri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
Site Team
 
freakn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Southeast British Columbia
Posts: 106
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
Re: What the best base to start with??

I have a Thomas, so I may be biased a little. If you are not pulling the interior panels and roof for adding extra insulation, it does not matter much which unit you pick. If you intend to pull the panels and redo the factory insulation, I would lean towards the Thomas as it has screws instead of rivets. Ask anyone here about rivets, they can be a major pain.
My 2c
__________________
Living the dream in the Kootenays
freakn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: What the best base to start with??

Bluebird TC2000 rear engine, 8.3 Cummins flat nose. In my mind, flat nose buses are the only ones worth converting. The dog nose buses are a waste of space, more ugly, and don't turn nearly as sharp. However dog nose buses deal with head wind better, and get a little better mileage. Some say dog nose is more easy to work on, but I disagree.

Crowns are what everybody on here likes, but they are the hardest to convert, due to their curved everything, and their uni body construction. None of the crowns use the good engines DT366 Cummins 5.9, DT466 or the Cummins 8.3.

Thomas uses inferior engines (Cat), and has inferior coach work. Ribs running the length of the bus on the roof that hold water and debris. Three piece roof panels. The side support ribs are not plumb from the floor making a simple roof raise more difficult. Two piece wheel wells that seem to rust more than Blue birds one piece design.

I don't know much about Ward coach work. They seem to use a realy good engine (DT466) and have a nice long nose. (the part in front of the tire).

Blue Bird is the best of all. In Canada, the coach work all completely galvanized. One piece roof panels, one piece formed wheel wells, strait plumb walls. The flat noses come in rear and front engine. You can get a 5.9 and the 8.3 Cummins in both front and rear engine models. All the 8.3 powered buses come with the preferred MT643. The 5.9 powered buses mostly come with the AT545 but some have the MT643. The AT545 causes excessive fuel consumption as the torque converter doesn't lock up. If you live in the hills, or road travel alot, you need the rear engine 8.3 Cummins.

Nat
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 11:13 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast raleigh
Posts: 221
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit Diesel 6-71
Re: What the best base to start with??

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster
Crowns are what everybody on here likes, but they are the hardest to convert, due to their curved everything, and their uni body construction. None of the crowns use the good engines DT366 Cummins 5.9, DT466 or the Cummins 8.3.
Hardest to convert I would say yes, if you're pulling the interior. Otherwise, not really. The solid construction is very nice. Single panel windows are great, as is having a huge trunk. Yes you lose a bellybox or two, but there's still under floor space available aside from the trunk.

Don't count out the engines Crown uses either. Ours is a DD 6-71 with almost 400,000 miles on it and it runs like it's brand new, cranks right up in below freezing and gets better gas mileage than most of the buses on the board - 14.7mpg on the highway (that's the actual average from driving across the entire width of the country, incline, decline, headwinds, tailwinds, etc.). The mid ship engine also brings a nice balance to the ride. I can have a cup of coffee hanging out on the table while we take a turn, go over a bump, hit a pot hole or slam on the brakes and not lose a drop. It's kind of amazing.

It's built like a tank and that makes me happy. The most important things in the world to me will be in that bus and I'd rather be safe than smushed!

Otherwise, we wanted a blue bird but found a lot of Thomas' so if we hadn't found our Crown we would have gone with a tall body Thomas, rear engine.
__________________
Proud new owners of a 1974 Crown Supercoach - the big rolling twinkie!

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=466562
inkblots84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2013, 01:02 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,402
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison 545
Rated Cap: 2
Re: What the best base to start with??

one that's already finished
__________________
.
Turfmobile Build Thread
turf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Bluffton, SC (near Hilton Head)
Posts: 14
Re: What the best base to start with??

Well let me re ask.. What are the up and down sides of each make..

Thomas, international, ford, blue bird, freghtliner, etc..

Push or pull

Different motors and transmissions..

Some of you have already started to move the thread in that direction.

THANK you so much for the advice so far.. The Thomas with its screws is a great for example.

Figure my budget is cheap as dirt (under $5000 probably closer to $3000), so we are talking about busses being sold now from the bus cos NOT re sales..

Thanks again I am learning a ton !!
Gsragtop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 11:05 AM   #9
Bus Nut
 
bapos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 606
Re: What the best base to start with??

This is purely my opinion but it seems that people tend to favor the blue bird more than any other. I could be wrong but that's the vibe I walk away with.

I think the better question is what do you intend how to use your bus. I think each platform has its pros and cons. I would also imagine that your budget will influence what you get also. If you have to sub out a lot of the work well your budget better be healthy. I highly discourage against this. If you build it you will know how it works, how to take it apart, and how to fix it. Have the pleasure (IMO) is the journey to get there. This is why you start with a blank canvas and see what comes on the other side. If it was easy you would go down and special order what you want .... pay for it.. then use it.

As for motor trans... Those opinions will vary but it seems that the 5.9 and 8.3 Cummings, and the dt 466 seems to be the kings as well as the mt643. Those should produce the best results for you.

I think with your budget you better plan on a bare bones setup. Not unless you can score killer deals. But even if you go bare bones you can still make a bus and enjoy life with good people around you.
__________________
Here is my school bus conversion thread http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10282

Pics of my conversion @ photobucket http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b1.../School%20Bus/
bapos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Diesel Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: What the best base to start with??

The thing is, we've had this conversation ad nauseum on this forum. I guess it may not be so easy to find the information wherever it is buried, but I don't feel like re-hashing it all over again and again. However, as Bapos suggested, if you could lay out your intended use and features that are important to you, that would help focus the conversation. For instance, how high of a roof do you need? Will you need a garage in back? How long of a bus? Living full time, or just short trips? Camping? Tailgating? How many occupants? That sort of thing.
__________________
Gallery:
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... l_dan_bus/
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?t=4959
Diesel Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Home Base - My Thoughts lornaschinske On the Road | Travel, Trips, Camp Sites, Tailgates 6 04-21-2013 07:32 PM
"We are 100% of the way there"BASE BUS PRICE has been met! bansil Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 54 06-08-2012 04:15 AM
seat swivel base needed Diesel Dan Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 7 02-19-2010 10:12 PM
Building a black water tank and shower base. smitty500 Conversion Tutorials and How-to's 3 09-09-2009 05:49 PM
Hard start/no start DT 466 Abbott Conversion General Discussions 18 11-26-2007 06:24 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.