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Old 05-29-2016, 09:29 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by dgorila1 View Post
Any reason a cutting torch couldn't be used to remove the bolts?
Only reason I can think of is that a plasma cutter does it better.

I borrowed a Lotos CT520D machine from a neighbor. Wow. Reading about $200 sets of grinding media, time-vs-money etc.... that plasma cutter was a great find! They're selling under $500 new now. Plus the cost of a large air compressor if that's not already on hand. I've used it for cutting rivet heads, welds, all kinds of things I never considered.

Cutting bolt heads off really seems like the method of last resort to me. Much faster to unwind the bolts (or shear them off) with an impact wrench.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:08 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Azuleslight View Post
Ouch, and no im using the cutting portionnof the disk. I just have over 200 seated, in channel bolts i needed to remove.
Do you want grinding discs, or cutting discs instead?

You might be able to just cut the head in half inside the chair rail.

I get that some things are stubborn, but $200 is a LOT of discs. . . .
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:22 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by beachhousebus View Post
We have savings to do this project, but the budget would be tight and I'm worried it will be a black hole of unforeseen expenses. We are looking in the ~$6-7k range.

Although that may not seem like much to some of y'all, we have a talented family who are willing to help not just with labor but also materials: carpenters, furniture builders, mechanics, etc.
I think you could totally do something livable with that budget and those resources.

Like others have said, make a list of the things that you MUST have.
Buy a good bus to start with - that's the one thing that could be your "black hole of expenses." Plan to build in stages.


One big thing I think I'd take a look at is how self-contained you want your bus to be. A huge benefit to building with a bus is that it can be mobile - but you need some things for mobile living that you don't exactly need if you're stationary. (For example - on the road, electric power is going to be batteries, charged via solar or generator - both of which cost money. If you're stationary, you can just plug in to shore power. Plan, run the wiring for them now - but you don't have to actually buy the batteries or solar panel or generator right now. Same goes for how fancy you want your bathroom. You could make do with a standard small fridge/freezer , or a house window air conditioner tucked in a side window instead of an expensive roof-mount RV model.

Basically, what you need to be self-contained for a week is a lot different then what you need to be self-contained for a weekend.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:11 AM   #44
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Welcome, i go to Asheville once a month, we love the microbrewery scene

What little town are you looking at?
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:30 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
Do you want grinding discs, or cutting discs instead?

You might be able to just cut the head in half inside the chair rail.

I get that some things are stubborn, but $200 is a LOT of discs. . . .
200 is with assorted other as i said originally. But i have purchased at least 30 disks more likely 45. I have had to grind a ton of crap on my 03. My skoolie might have just had the special cap on lol. Plus I started with 0 knowledge or skill...that probably had a bit to do with it as well.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:37 AM   #46
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I can see a lot of 4 1/2 inch discs and wheels being used. $200 doesn't sound that outrageous.
I have a dewalt and each 1/4" grinding wheel is like $10, I bet Ive used 3 or 4.
Cutting discs are $3 a piece and Ive burned through probably ten discs.
Wire wheels are $20 each and I bought two braided ones and two loose kinds.

So, it adds up quickly.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:48 AM   #47
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Lol yall could fly me and my $30 Hitachi with Harbor Freight disc out to take care of the rivets and grinding for around what a lifetime supply of discs cost.

Back to the actual topic- An extreme budget is "doable" but can easily be double!
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:37 AM   #48
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: chicago, il
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Year: 2003
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Lol yall could fly me and my $30 Hitachi with Harbor Freight disc out to take care of the rivets and grinding for around what a lifetime supply of discs cost.

Back to the actual topic- An extreme budget is "doable" but can easily be double!
Every skoolieis different lol

Agreed, back on topic, possible to do it on a shoe string budget, just dont get bit
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:57 PM   #49
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Location: Statesville, North Carolina
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Year: 1993
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: International Navistar DT360
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Hi, we got our bus from Alamance County school bus garage for $2500. Had to rebuild the engine because the bus garage manager hid the coolant leak defect info from me before the purchase. But buses in that area are rustless. Go to North Carolina School Bus Surplus System and you can physically visit these for sale buses any day of the week. The ones in the Piedmont area as the best condition. If you get a pre-1996 International DT466 you'll be in good shape. We got the DT360 and it's underpowered. Get the MT643 transmission and the tallest gears possible if you can. Activity buses generally have better gearing. Get one with quality tires (worth $1800 alone). Check the oil sample records to make sure they do not report a coolant leak.

You should be able to get a good bus for $2500-$3000. We estimate we spent $8000 to $10,000 on our bus including purchase, insurance, conversion, and engine rebuild. If you use lots of recycled and thrifty materials and have tools and people available to you for experience and help, you can definitely do it.
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:00 AM   #50
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There are a handful of pre-1996 IHC buses on there for $2500 right now located in rust free and salt free areas.
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