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Old 06-23-2015, 12:16 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 17
Year: 1988
Coachwork: International Harvester
Chassis: Ward/Amtram
Engine: IDI 7.3 L
Rated Cap: 41 Passenger (25 ft)
Cool 1987 international navistar school bus

Hey, Im Em. My boyfriend Caleb and I decided to buy a 25 ft school bus he found at a fire station in connecticut for $100. They told us they were planning to scrap it!

So when we get there, it's ready to go. The bulbous head lights stood out against the faded red paint, and the roaring of the engine told me she was ready to be freed of this gated parking lot. It was like a grizzly bear being woken up early from its winter sleep.

Guys at the fire station kindly filled up our tank with diesel! most likely cost more than what we paid for the bus) and showed my boyfriend the basics, as he had never driven something like that. I was really nervous sitting behind him watching him try out the brakes and the steering. If he was nervous at all, he hid it very well.

We decided to avoid highways, so I was the navigator shouting (yeah basically shouting...) from a google maps print out, leading us through the windy back roads of connecticut. It was very rainy there, and some swamps we drove by were basically lapping at the road. Hills were never ending but we made it.

It took us 2 hours to get there and maybe 4 to get back. We started trying to get the backseat out, and with our process with two wrenches and one person underneath, it took about 40 minutes for one. I will be sad when the seats are out. Its very nostalgic walking down that aisle. The mismatched color on the bottom and back of the seat draws me in. Tearing apart the back seat I found a hidden layer of emerald green that I love, I wish I could find a good use for bus seat pleather!

We hope to make a camper that can comfortable live my boyfriend, 1 yr old daughter, and I, and occasionally a few friends. We have little knowledge about carpentry/electric and hooking up plumbing. So this is a completely new experience for us.

What do you guys think about tearing down the walls/ceilings? I know a lot of people do some serious gutting, but boyfriend is worried about time/money. Do you think it would pay off to put own insulation/ walls in? We plan to do the floor atleast.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:13 AM   #2
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Posts: 4,075
What you have there is a MAJOR SCORE!!! You basically got the bus for free. Way to go.
I'm hungry!

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Old 06-23-2015, 01:14 AM   #3
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Posts: 4,075
And your bus even comes with a driver.
I'm hungry!

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Old 06-23-2015, 01:56 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Great job.

More pics.

"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
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:37 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 972
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
Gut it top to bottom. The insulation is crap fiberglass with a good probability of dirt and mold inside. Plus you'll want to check for leaks and rust to seal and treat
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:10 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 968
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
First off-where in Ct was it?
2nd- alot of questions only you can answer. Are you just using it as a summer camper-or year 'round living? Does it have to be finished by a set date-or when its done its done?
Look around at everyones build thread-many have totally gutted their buses-its a big job but some deem its needed.
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:33 AM   #7
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EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 5,815
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Bus seat pleather makes a hell of a fire. Almost as awesome as tires.
I think tearing down the walls and ceilings will be the BEST way. Not the easiest, but totally something any school bus kind of person can do.
It will smell a LOT better. It will be insulated a lot better once the factory fiberglass crap is replaced. You'll also be able to address any rust or structural stuff.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:17 AM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 757
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
The rain is the bus's enemy as it promotes rust. Gutting everything opens up the outer sheet metal from within and gives you the opportunity to properly seal the roof and side walls before further damage happens. It's well worth the effort. Doing this will help the bus last for many more years in service to your family.
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. — George Washington
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:26 PM   #9
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 164
On buses that old there will be leaks, guaranteed. After seeing so many threads on here I can safely say that it's well worth the time to completely gut the interior including all panels. The stock insulation is utter garbage and is worthless after 20 years worth of moisture and mildew.

If time isn't a priority I would do it, defenitely.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:36 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,119
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Beautiful bus! $100 and already painted for you?? That's a steal.

Do you know what engine is in it?
My build page: Armageddon - The Smell of Airborne Rust
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