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Old 05-03-2015, 10:50 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Another Short Skoolie

Hey Y'all

I've been lurking and planning on doing a conversion for a while now. My wife and I want to convert a short skoolie into a day sailer/weekender that will allow us to see this here country.

I am a life long (about 40 years) auto mechanic with a degree in Auto Technology. I built and raced sports cars (MGB's) for about 10 years and I have build one other "RV" (more on Henry later). My skill sets include welding, fabrication, and machining. Many years ago, I worked a couple summers as a cabinet maker at a factory that build sail boat from 18 to 48 feet. I have a workshop that can handle just about anything.

We just found the bus for us in a 2000 GMC Microbird 19 passenger (4 window), Unlike my first RV, the bus has an automatic transmission, PS, PB and A/C so my wife and I can split the driving duties.

Mechanically, the bus is in pretty good shape, but before I begin any conversion, I plan to go over the brakes and wheel bearings, check and repair any leaks in the engine area, replace all the coolant hoses etc., etc. to make sure all is secure. I will also remove all of the school bus detris (stop sign etc.)

Then let the build begin.

Nice place y'all got here.

Friendly.

I look forward to working with you all.

T
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:59 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Oh yeah ... my OTHER "RV".

Attached is a picture of Henry, my bobbed 1968 M35a2 Deuce and a half. I shortened his chassis by about 4 feet, removed the original dual rear axles and 8 tires, and installed the bed (and tarp) from a M105 trailer.

I did the mods on Henry about 4 years ago and I have put on over 15,000 miles, including several camping trips and over-nighters, since I bought him. I run Henry on a WMO based fuel and get about 12-13 mpg. I plan a couple mods which should get him closer to 15 mpg's.

I also plan to add some measure of WMO to the diet I will be feeding to the 6.5 V8 diesel in the bus.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:58 AM   #3
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
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Howdy Tedd, and Welcome to the Loony Bin! --- sounds like you have both the skills and experience to ace this project. Love Henry and can't wait to see what you do with the BB. A mini with a diesel should make for a great platform. Best of luck with it and keep the pix coming.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:06 AM   #4
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So excited to see this. I've looked at this site lots of times over the last two years. What an amazing resource.

Love the fact that there are so many experienced mechanics here. Since I am a complete novice at all of this, I am going to take your plans to my mechanic friend once I buy my short bus. Thank you!
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:10 AM   #5
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Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
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Welcome.

Sounds like you have the skills to keep that one ton van bus alive.

I look forward to your build thread with pics.

Nat
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:18 AM   #6
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Location: MNT CITY TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Oh yeah ... my OTHER "RV".

Attached is a picture of Henry, my bobbed 1968 M35a2 Deuce and a half. I shortened his chassis by about 4 feet, removed the original dual rear axles and 8 tires, and installed the bed (and tarp) from a M105 trailer.
you sooooo need bigger tires ;)

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Old 05-14-2015, 12:55 AM   #7
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does it have a 6.5?
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s10ryan View Post
does it have a 6.5?
Yes. I'm aware of the short coming of this engine family ... but its the last year of the series. I'm hoping that it holds together but I'm already looking for a replacement.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bansil View Post
you sooooo need bigger tires ;)
Ain't they fun trucks!!!!!

I plan on doing to the bus what i was going to do in the back of the Deuce. Henry will stick to his primary mission of go (almost) anywhere medium hauler and daily driver.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:40 AM   #10
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Location: Moodus, Ct.
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
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Don't panic. Where I may not pick a 6.5 if I was planning on putting 50k a year for the next few years, ANYTHING we do with our buses is nothing like they would get if they were still in service. If buses could talk, I bet they would be happy that they were now going to get an easy life by someone that is going to give some love + keep them maintained.
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