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Old 05-21-2018, 08:53 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wamego Ks
Posts: 70
Year: 2007
Chassis: Collins
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
My Short bus build...

I'm new to the skoolie builds and just purchased a 2007 Collins short bus built on a Chevy express 3500 chassis. I'm starting to do a few things to it so I thought I would start a new thread on it. Hopefully this will help someone if they have the same problems I am experiencing! If anyone disagrees with my thinking, I could be wrong. So please let me know.

It has an LMM Duramax diesel and 4L85E transmission. I had a trouble code of transmission component slipping on the way home and reduced engine power light came on. (Turned a 2 hour trip into 3-4hrs) I changed the transmission filter and fluid yesterday. I have not got to test drive it yet. The pan looked fairly clean and normal. No burnt smell in the fluid. I've been told different size tires on front and back can cause a situation with the abs and cause this code. I don't know for sure. I thought I would go ahead and change filter and fluid to be safe.

Another note- if you have a van and have the engine cover (inside the van) off, ensure there are no wires to catch when you reinstall the cover. I had a large red wire from the glow plug module crossed up on mine and cause it to arc at some point in the past. I fixed the wire and routed and zip tied any loose wires on top of the engine. (Keep away from heat sources! Turbo, exhaust,etc) I tied up the wire mess on the inside that goes to the control box for all of the lights, mirrors, ac etc which is part of the school bus options. I also used spray adhesive to re-glue the insulation and rubber seal to the engine cover. If those pieces are falling off of the cover it is almost impossible to install the cover correctly!

I'm currently working through floor plans and trying to decide which route to go. This forum has been amazing so far! Everyone has been great and given good advice on here!

More to come... seat removal will be next (once I can get some help from my wife)...
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:59 AM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Huntington Beach CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Ford 7.3
Good luck with your project.
I am just starting mine too.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:56 PM   #3
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Location: Wamego Ks
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Year: 2007
Chassis: Collins
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredinbelize View Post
Good luck with your project.
I am just starting mine too.
Thanks! Good luck with yours as well!

I was able to work on the bus a little today. Started to pull seats out. They turned out to be more of a pain then I figured. Some are impossible to get an impact on either side of them. So I ended up cutting a few heads off the bolts. I only got 3 seats removed this evening. 7 more to go!

Anyone need any seats? What do you all do with the seats? Sell them on Craigslist?
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:31 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 431
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
Hey!

I am Topeka. You have your bus. I am waiting for mine to be delivered from Colorado. Have fun with the work. Kinda cool to see that rail on the side with the bolts holding the side of the seat up and to the wall. Might be useful for attaching structure to the wall of the bus.

I think these buses are wired with the spaghetti system.

cheers, william
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:15 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Huntington Beach CA
Posts: 40
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Ford 7.3
I took my seats out yesterday. I just broke them out. See my thread for pics.
I took the padding off and posted on Craigslist as scrap metal. They were gone in 30 minutes.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:49 AM   #6
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Location: Wamego Ks
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Year: 2007
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Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I am Topeka. You have your bus. I am waiting for mine to be delivered from Colorado. Have fun with the work. Kinda cool to see that rail on the side with the bolts holding the side of the seat up and to the wall. Might be useful for attaching structure to the wall of the bus.

I think these buses are wired with the spaghetti system.

cheers, william
We're not far from each other then! I looked at a few buses online in Denver area before I bought this one. What did you get? I do plan on using those tracks/rails for the build. Mine are riveted on so they won't be moved. Lol
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:31 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 431
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
me and mine

I have yet to see my bus. 1954 ford short bus, wayne body. There is a thread in they introduction section that shows more details.
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:10 AM   #8
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wamego Ks
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Year: 2007
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Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
I had some more time to work on the bus lastnight. My wife helped me get 3 more seats out. And I also cha he'd the fuel filter/water separator. I've learned the Duramax vans have a different fuel filter setup than the trucks. Two filters almost directly under the driver seat. It was very easy to change. After changing, I cycled the key switch on about 4-5 times before starting. No problems there. I took for test drive and I still got the "Reduced Engine Power" light and it went into "limp" mode. Ugh! I'm still not sure what the issue is! Plan to take somewhere today and have a scanner put on it.


Another note: I went to tag office yesterday and got a 60 day tag for it to be able to test drive it before the RV conversion was complete. It was $8 and I just had to show proof of insurance, signed title in my name and sheriff inspection (since it was out of state).

I also went and talked to the appraisers office about the 3 key things to qualify as an RV.
1. Electrical system above 12v
2. Provisions for plumbing (she described this as "water hookups")
3. Heating - I asked her if the original heater in the bus would qualify, she said it just says heater so it would.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:19 AM   #9
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Location: Wamego Ks
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Year: 2007
Chassis: Collins
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
I dug into the bus a little more last night. Was wondering if my trouble codes had anything to do with bad grounds or dirty connections. I found some corrosion on the fuse block. I've been told this 125a fuse is for the glow plugs. This might be setting off the glow plug module code. I decided to remove the batteries from the tray to clean everything up.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:53 PM   #10
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wamego Ks
Posts: 70
Year: 2007
Chassis: Collins
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
After cleaning all of the battery cables up and junction blocks, I put everything back together and reset the code. I took it for a test drive and it still went into reduced engine power mode. The only code I have now is the low fuel rail pressure.

Later on the glow plug module light came back on. So that module may be faulty.

The good news is my transmission control module light hasn't came back on now, so I'm assuming it was a dirty electrical connection. The junction block (where multiple cables meet at the original battery mount location in the van) was very corroded.

On a different note, I purchased an Ancel AD410 scanner (OBDII code reader) for a little over $40 from Amazon. So far it is working great to check codes and reset the check engine light. I'd recommend if anyone is needing to reset their check engine light on anything 1996 an newer.
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