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Old 09-14-2017, 05:04 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 14
Year: 1996
Engine: 5.9 Cummins (545)
Hello!! New Bus Owners Here

Hi all,

Family of 4 in Miami,Fl. area. Just recently purchased a 1996 mid sized TC/2000 with a cummins 5.9 (123,xxx mile).

Drove her home over 100 miles, she did great. Will definitely be stopping by this great site to soak up much info for our build.

Its awesome to see so many people with similar interests as ours.

Any suggestions as to what should be next on the to do first list? Thanks in advance guys!

Weldon2880
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:17 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 2,399
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
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Rated Cap: 72
Your first step depends on what sort of build you're doing! Most people start by removing the seats. If you'r'e pulling up the floor, that would be the next step. If you're removing the interior panels, that's probably next.. Then addressing any rust problems if they exist, insulation, cutting holes you want and olugging holes you don't want... Lots to do!
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:31 PM   #3
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Congrats. The absolute first things I would do is a complete inspection. I don't mean paying someone to do it either. This is something you need to do yourself, you need to learn that bus inside and out, what makes it tick and what's "normal" for it. Check the tires, tread depth, age, and overall condition. This is the only safety feature on the road that actually touches the road and is perhaps one of the most critical things to check. Check the brakes and suspension and frame. Making it go is one thing but when it's moving then being able to stop quickly is an extremely high priority. Check the oil, transmission fluid, coolant, steering fluid, and brake fluid (if equipped with hydraulic brakes). Check the belt(s). Visually check hoses for looseness, leaks, unusual swelling, or cracks. Check bolts for tightness. Schedule an oil change if it hasn't been done recently (make sure fuel filters are changed, this should be done every oil change) and keep spare fuel filters on hand.

Once you've spent a day or 2 familiarizing yourself with the bus, check and see if it has any switches or sensors at the doors, windows, and hatches. **DO NOT** make any modifications to the bus yet! The reason I say this is because I see many folks just start hacking away at things, just to come on the forum and try to find out why their bus won't start! If there are switches or sensors by the exits, see if it will start with the exits open (it may not, an alarm may sound as well). Some systems need the circuit to be "open" (cutting wires will do this); others need the circuit to be "closed" (attaching the wires to each other will do this). Only when you know which you have (if at all) can you safely bypass the system, if you choose to do so.

I've had my bus for a couple months now and so far I have not made any significant modifications to it at all (I plan to convert it into a party wagon).
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:42 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 11,841
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Congrats. The absolute first things I would do is a complete inspection. I don't mean paying someone to do it either. This is something you need to do yourself, you need to learn that bus inside and out, what makes it tick and what's "normal" for it. Check the tires, tread depth, age, and overall condition. This is the only safety feature on the road that actually touches the road and is perhaps one of the most critical things to check. Check the brakes and suspension and frame. Making it go is one thing but when it's moving then being able to stop quickly is an extremely high priority. Check the oil, transmission fluid, coolant, steering fluid, and brake fluid (if equipped with hydraulic brakes). Check the belt(s). Visually check hoses for looseness, leaks, unusual swelling, or cracks. Check bolts for tightness. Schedule an oil change if it hasn't been done recently (make sure fuel filters are changed, this should be done every oil change) and keep spare fuel filters on hand.

Once you've spent a day or 2 familiarizing yourself with the bus, check and see if it has any switches or sensors at the doors, windows, and hatches. **DO NOT** make any modifications to the bus yet! The reason I say this is because I see many folks just start hacking away at things, just to come on the forum and try to find out why their bus won't start! If there are switches or sensors by the exits, see if it will start with the exits open (it may not, an alarm may sound as well). Some systems need the circuit to be "open" (cutting wires will do this); others need the circuit to be "closed" (attaching the wires to each other will do this). Only when you know which you have (if at all) can you safely bypass the system, if you choose to do so.

I've had my bus for a couple months now and so far I have not made any significant modifications to it at all (I plan to convert it into a party wagon).
great advice.. and DRIVE the thing after you inspect it!.. if you are planning on making it a road trip cruiser then go out and run it.. make sure that you really want to cruise around in a school bus... if there are hills nearby, take it on them... planning to cross the country and drive in towns.. then take it out in towns.. learn to drive it, turn it, back it, etc..

you didnt mention if you are travelling or planning to live in it.. if you are going to livdei n it.. then read-uo ion the threads of where to park.. its not as easy to just find any parking lot and pull out the parking brake..

if its a camper and you plan to stay in campgrounds, then research which campgrounds accept older RV's and bus conversions... they dont all..

-Christopher
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:14 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 14
Year: 1996
Engine: 5.9 Cummins (545)
Thanks!!

Wow! Thanks guys....all responses make great sense to me. Will definitely be taking my time and learn about this bus before anything is done.

I am first going to get all fluids and filters replaced then take some of this great advise and run with it. With maybe a bit more help in the future I am sure.

There is a weird WHAAAA sound to it when ac is on. Belt squeek, like it could be loose or something? Kind of hear it every couple minutes (5-10) or so.

Oh well, guess things like these come with the territory.

Again, thank you, and I am glad to finally become a part of this wonderfull community you guys have here.

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Old 09-15-2017, 07:50 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 11,841
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
sounds like an A/C belt slipping or could be an over-charged system causingthe compressor to slug... the A/C's in ,many busses run on a different belt than the main.. if its a V-belt and its slipping then replace it.. it will have been glazed and wont pull right even if you tighten it..
-Christopher
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
great advice.. and DRIVE the thing after you inspect it!.. if you are planning on making it a road trip cruiser then go out and run it.. make sure that you really want to cruise around in a school bus... if there are hills nearby, take it on them... planning to cross the country and drive in towns.. then take it out in towns.. learn to drive it, turn it, back it, etc..

you didnt mention if you are travelling or planning to live in it.. if you are going to livdei n it.. then read-uo ion the threads of where to park.. its not as easy to just find any parking lot and pull out the parking brake..

if its a camper and you plan to stay in campgrounds, then research which campgrounds accept older RV's and bus conversions... they dont all..

-Christopher
Yeah what they both said. Brad 1st
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:05 PM   #8
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5.9 mechanical. Don't get it hot. Don't get ANY DIESEL HOT.
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:53 PM   #9
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Year: 1996
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Wow!!! Its been a while.......

Took all your great comments and ran with it. Of course life gets in the way but I have been chugging away at this conversion bit by bit. So many little tedious things that I wasn't expecting but I guess that's par for the course.

By far the electrical has been the most difficult task for me so far, havent gotten into the plumbing yet though. Thought the rooftop AC and fan would bite back but that went pretty smoothly.

I will try and post some pics for you guys to comment on (good or bad). Information is power.

Thanks in advance guys!!
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:05 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Marion NY
Posts: 103
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: 3126 7.2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weldon2880 View Post
Took all your great comments and ran with it. Of course life gets in the way but I have been chugging away at this conversion bit by bit. So many little tedious things that I wasn't expecting but I guess that's par for the course.

By far the electrical has been the most difficult task for me so far, havent gotten into the plumbing yet though. Thought the rooftop AC and fan would bite back but that went pretty smoothly.

I will try and post some pics for you guys to comment on (good or bad). Information is power.

Thanks in advance guys!!
Well it looks as though you are making progress.... little by little it will come together as a whole... keep up the great work...


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