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Old 09-20-2019, 11:19 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: MI
Posts: 17
Year: 2005
Engine: 365 International
Rated Cap: 22 handicap accessible
Smile Hi, I finally chose a bus!

I'm so happy to be here, and I hope I'm doing this right with a 'thread' (I'm also new to forums!) My name is Shannon Elhart, and I live in West Michigan.

I've been dreaming of this for years - going on the road when my youngest heads to college (fall 2020). I have two reasons for this...

1 - Travel, see the country, visit national parks, have a fresh start after a pretty bumpy couple decades

2 - To share my methodology for healing emotional pain

I was assuming I'd need something like a GMC from the 70s (they're pretty cool), but as I was doing more research, I fell in love with Skoolies. Then I came here and have been blown away by the kindness of this community!

Yesterday I put a down payment on a bus, and I'm now working on a way to bring her home. I already have a FB page (Thea the Bus) for her as I'll be traveling to do my work. I glad to have quite a few people who are excited to help me when needed (I'm super independent and determined, and I love to learn things - although I have zero experience with mechanics or any major demo/rebuild). However, I know I can do this, and I am already grateful for this forum.

My bus is a 2006 International, with a 365 engine (I was really hoping for a DT466 or T444E, but I couldn't find that with the Allison trans 2000+ - my bus has the 2500 series). Her interior space is 25' and she has a back, passenger side door with a handicap accessible lift that I'll be removing but that I wanted as access to a storage area I'm planning beneath the bed.

I'll share a few photos below. Thank you so much for this community, and, in advance, for any help (bc I am sure I'll be searching for answers here!).

With gratitude and a ton of excitement,
Shannon

THEA THE BUS! The name Elathea means 'to heal', and Thea means 'morning, fresh start, beginning'... so it seemed perfect for the purpose of my travels! I had to also share a photo of Lola, too - my traveling partner

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Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 11.16.50 AM.png
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:32 PM   #2
Site Team
 
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,241
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Welcome to the site! The VT365 is not known for it's reliability, but if you take care of it, it might last you.
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:04 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: West central Fl
Posts: 2
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 5.9L Cumins
Welcome

I just did the same thing for the same reasons. Nice rig
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:42 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,079
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Spend the coin on "bulletproofing" the engine. If you've not heard of this look into it before completing the sale.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:52 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,653
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Spend the coin on "bulletproofing" the engine. If you've not heard of this look into it before completing the sale.
Absolutely!

Oil cooler, EGR and coolant filter.

If you don't mind violating Federal law, you can delete the EGR completely.

I looked at one of the bulletproof kits and having a local shop install it. That quoted me around $2500. Then a tree fell on the bus.... Not kidding.

Needless to say, we did not move forward with the upgrades.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:10 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,390
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Absolutely!

Oil cooler, EGR and coolant filter.

If you don't mind violating Federal law, you can delete the EGR completely.

I looked at one of the bulletproof kits and having a local shop install it. That quoted me around $2500. Then a tree fell on the bus.... Not kidding.

Needless to say, we did not move forward with the upgrades.
Buddy of mine went to Poland for a year once and left his station wagon parked in front of his house. He got the local paper mailed to him (this was the '90s) and one day opened it to see the lead story on a big storm that had passed through with a full-page picture of his car crushed under a tree.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:12 AM   #7
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 174
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cummins ISC 260HP/660Torque
Rated Cap: 81
I had a couple VT365’s though they were the Powerstroke 6.0 versions which are a little different. Mine were in a couple Ford Excursion’s - they can be great engines if they’re bulletproofed but just a little pricey to do.
My advice would be to get familiar with what the bulletproofing on them is and costs. Then you could either get it done and not worry about too much or keep an eye on the engine and just be ready to get it done if it starts to show signs of trouble.
Overheating is killer for that engine so you have to watch the coolant temp and oil temp... and in order to watch the oil temp you’ll need something to display that.
Either way get the egr delete and it can help save you from ruining the engine and needing the bulletproof. Oh and check the oil cooler too, that it is cooling properly.. I could go on...
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:41 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,143
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
fortunately on the VT365 because its lower-powered and wont have the ire of people running Tuners on it, you dont need to stud the heads... oil cooler and EGR cooler are the biggies.. not the simplest of jobs if you have never turned a wrench.. but if you have then its a job you can do yourself..



if you plan on pumping up the injectors and fooling with its computer then ARP head studs should be in the plans..



-Christopher
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:31 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: MI
Posts: 17
Year: 2005
Engine: 365 International
Rated Cap: 22 handicap accessible
Wow, thank you all so much - I really appreciate all your comments. I am going to do my research before finalizing this sale. I'd rather not eat $500 (my deposit), but if that saves my sanity and money later, it might be the wiser move. Thanks again - I am grateful for all the advice!
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:50 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 199
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
What happened.?. It might have already been partially “bulltproofed”. I had a 2004 that was. Good luck.
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