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Old 05-06-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
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The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

Hello all,
Havenít been on these forums for some time, been insanely busy with work and touring and havenít had the chance to check on here let alone post. So I posted at the beginning of the year about how I acquired a 1987 International Blue Bird shorty and how we traveled to Austin on its maiden voyage as our tour bus. viewtopic.php?f=36&t=5319

Well it ran strong to a good many cons in the last couple months. I had a storage area, bed, couches and we comfortably had 8 to 12 people in this little bus for many road trips throughout a major part of the country. As you can probably make out Iím talking about the bus in its past tense, so allow me to tell you the story of its untimely death at the age of 23Ö
We were traveling strong from convention to convention; we had a convention in Nashville TN, Thursday April 29th we started up I75 N to Chattanooga arrived in Chattanooga and hoped on to I24 W were we started the climb of Monteagle at a whopping 45mpg. I had to kick in the heat as the engines heat continued to rise. We arrived at the top of the 4 to 6% grade and pulled off into a gas station to allow the bus to cool down as it got very close to overheating. After a 30 min cool down we started on our way to Nashville TN, this was a mostly uneventful trip as we arrived at our Wyndham Hotel next to Opryland on Thursday evening at about 2am.
The next day we start our activities and itís a beautify Friday were we have a successful day of sales and panels at the convention center. We then travel to the hotel in the bus and park her for the night, and start drinking and having a good time. Sometime during the night the rain starts, at this point we are unaware how bad itís going to be.
We wake up with very little sleep Saturday morning and loaded up our bus and head to the convention center for another day of fun and work. At this point itís raining really hard and sometime in the afternoon around 2pm or so we are starting to hear how that the rain is starting to cause some flooding. We leave the convention center and head back to our hotel where we prepare for another night of fun around the hotel as well decided not to leave for downtown Nashville as the rain was coming down quite hard and though it would be better if we stayed in. We watched a few movies and flipped back and forth to the news to hear about the road closures throughout Nashville because of the flooding the rain caused.
Waking up on Sunday, sunny it was not. It was raining pretty hard and according to the news broadcasts many of the interstates and roads in Nashville were flooded and impassable. We decided to just head to the convention center to gather our stuff and prepare to get out of Nashville if at all possible. When driving to the center we ran into problems with roads being completely washed out and couldnít drive to the convention. At which point we headed back to our hotel to figure out our next plans. We park the bus and take this picture.


We anxiously wait in our hotel rooms, watching the news to figure out what we shall do. After a little time and no word from the hotel as to what to do, we decided since itís getting darker outside we decided it wasnít safe to travel on the roads and just thought weíd wait it out. After some time the water was raising really fast and the way out of the hotel was now a lake. At this point the Wyndham became its own island and dry land was slowly disappearing. The staff at the Wyndham had a small van and were shuttling older guests out of the flooded building. At which the water got to high for the van to be able to safely pass through the water to the flooded buildings. At this point we offered our services of the bus to shuttle people from flooded buildings to higher ground. We tore off gutters from the hotel and with the use of duct tape we macgyvered a snorkel for the exhaust of the bus. My bus didnít have a name until now, we named it Yellow Titanic and here is a picture that I like to call ďThe Last Ride of the Yellow TitanicĒ


Well after a couple passes the water turned to be too much for the girl and she stopped working, guess I should have put a snorkel on the intake as well. Well we wadded through waist deep water, and had to leave her there until the next day.


After the morning came you couldnít even make out the parking lot, and can only see a lake littered with the roofs of cars and trucks.


We were then rescued by a fleet of boats that shuttled the 500+ of us to shore. On the way out I could make out the final resting spot of the Yellow Titanic


That's where we left the shrinking island of Wyndham, and headed to our lovely evacuation area were we got shuttled to our shelter by what you ask, well of course a school bus.

So there is the story of my first sckoolie's last days. She did well as a tour bus and I'll be on the look out for another as soon as we can raise the money.

-Mike
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

The only good thing out of this is that now you know what you want and how to do it.
Consider it a practice run, for the next great one. Lots of luck
sorry to hear about your bus
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

sorry to hear about your bus. Glad to hear you are all ok.

i wonder where the air filter was located? I've noticed on some buses it is above the engine, about 5 or 6 feet off the ground. Others have the air cleaner below the motor just a foot or so off the ground.
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:36 PM   #4
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

If that's a gasser or a nonturbo 7.3 with the intake on top, I bet the engine is fine. Might want to check it closely & see just what the story is before writing the bus off. Skoolies are pretty tough...
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:33 PM   #5
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

At least you got pics-and a great story to tell. As a former 4 wheeler that used to do some crazy stuff- I've survived alot deeper water than that. If its a gasser, and you didnt hydrolock the motor, its a matter of changing fluids-WD-40 on connections + some good luck (and you got karma points for your rescue efforts!)
Drain your gas tank-rear axle-transmission-engine oil + change. plan on doing it again in 1000 mile or so
Throw an extra cheapie fuel filter inline (and keep a spare)
pull you plugs before you turn the motor over!
pull your dist. cap + dry off.
Get a new air filter.
Starters usually take a beating -might need to replace that.
And if you ever need to do deep water again-pull off you fan belt-1st thing that gets you is the fan spraying water on the plug wires + distributor.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:35 AM   #6
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

While it's tragic what happened...on the bright side, what a great story to tell! Best of luck to you in your future plans!
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

like mention above, I too work on ATV's all the time that have been submerged in creeks and such. DO NOT TRY TO START IT! there will be water in a cylnder that will damage the engine. hopefully when it died on you it was from the ignition getting wet and not ingesting water, hydrolocking as said before. drain and refill all your fluids and change all the filters, pull the plugs out and suck out the water with a vacuum pump. simply getting water in the engine wont ruin it, what you do or dont do after is what will make or break it.
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:27 AM   #8
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

I once took a vw fox to the local 4x4 spot on our way to the scrap yard. It swallowed water into the motor several times. The water would clog the air filter and cause the motor to stall after only ingesting small quantities of water. Pull the plugs, turn the motor over a few times, put plugs back in and we were back in business.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

are you sure its a write off? any updates?
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:55 PM   #10
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Re: The last ride of the Yellow Titanic

Hello all,

Thanks for the suggestions of what to do to possibly fix the bus. Often the statement if it is a gasser I should be able to fix it, how about if itís a diesel? Also it was completely submerged for a couple days, Iím sure that changes a few things as well, the pictures I posted were early on while the water was still rising.

I was able to go back to Nashville today and take a look at the bus, and I have to say it looks pretty nasty inside her, and the smell was horrible. Guess thatís what happens when river mixes with sewer and god knows what.

Also our fans have been so awesome and started a fund so we can get our bus back up and running. So far weíre at $2000 and Iím wondering if it would be better to scrap the current bus and get ourselves a different one that hasnít been completely submerged in sewer water. Iím really thinking of getting a larger bus as we ran out of room very often on the one I currently own. Iím really fond of the flat nose busses lately, as it seems there are a lot more room in them.

So what do you all think I should do, try to fix up the current one, or find another one to replace her?

I've got some pictures of the bus now that it's out of the water and in a salvage lot that'll all post as soon as I get them off my camera.
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