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Old 06-19-2018, 11:15 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1955
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New From Norhern California

My wife and I just purchased our second school bus. A 1996 Thomas 3600 Vista with a 7.3 V8 & automatic transmission. I bought it at auction online and picked it up yesterday. It made the 5 hour drive home with only a few issues. Mainly the "Press Brake" Light and beeper coming on for the first hour. I was seriously second guessing the decision to by it at that point. I pulled over and started to take the dash apart and it stopped. No idea why.

While trying to find information on it I came across this site.
We plan to use it as an RV not a full time live in.

Looking forward to this project!

Lee
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:12 AM   #2
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Welcome Lee,

I am going to guess that the alarm that you were observing Was The low air pressure alarm.

That is something to take seriously if your bus has air brakes.

We look forward to seeing your conversion.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:20 AM   #3
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My Vista has hydraulic brakes. Is yours air?
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:54 AM   #4
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My Vista has hydraulic brakes. Is yours air?
Most buses have air brakes I think. Not all, obviously.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:58 AM   #5
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But most buses aren't Vistas! Hydraulic brakes seem to be very common on them.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:22 PM   #6
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But most buses aren't Vistas! Hydraulic brakes seem to be very common on them.
Ah. Could be. I have an International. I'm in Northern Nevada so not THAT far from you. If anyone in the area wants to go in on new RV windows from China so we could get a better deal, let me know!
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:54 PM   #7
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Ah. Could be. I have an International. I'm in Northern Nevada so not THAT far from you. If anyone in the area wants to go in on new RV windows from China so we could get a better deal, let me know!
More details on the windows, I'm interested.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:29 PM   #8
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More details on the windows, I'm interested.
Yes me also
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:54 PM   #9
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Year: 1996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
But most buses aren't Vistas! Hydraulic brakes seem to be very common on them.
We have air brakes on our Vista 3600
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:16 PM   #10
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OP,

Do you have air or hydraulic brakes?
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
My Vista has hydraulic brakes. Is yours air?
I have Hydraulic Brakes.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:08 AM   #12
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More details on the windows, I'm interested.
I saw them on Alibaba sold by Mayhew I think. They are smoke tinted already, pop up toward the outside with gas struts to hold them up. They have built in screens AND blinds. Up is screen and down is the blind which makes the 'room' dark and provides privacy. I'll see if I can find a link. The price is good but it's better if you buy more and the shipping per piece ought to go down considerably.
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:30 PM   #13
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Location: Dublin CA
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Hi 39Henney, I'm in NorCal too. I have no mechanical skill but I did convert my shuttle bus to a camper (with some help). Welcome!
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
Hi 39Henney, I'm in NorCal too. I have no mechanical skill but I did convert my shuttle bus to a camper (with some help). Welcome!
Thank you!

I'm pretty handy with a set of tools. However we plan to take our time with this as we already have another bus to use.

Lee
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Old 06-27-2018, 07:59 PM   #15
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The press brake is a warning as you know. Mind you I'm trying to remember from 10+ years ago but I seem to recall there is an electric motor backup on that hydraulic brake system in case of engine vacuum pump failure. There are a couple switches on the master cylinder that get sticky. This could cause the alarm. A bad motor or connection could also do it.

I'd pull the switches and make sure the pintle on them moves freely.

Sorry I can't be any more help, it's been a very long time since I've seen a hydraulic system.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39henney View Post
My wife and I just purchased our second school bus. A 1996 Thomas 3600 Vista with a 7.3 V8 & automatic transmission. I bought it at auction online and picked it up yesterday. It made the 5 hour drive home with only a few issues. Mainly the "Press Brake" Light and beeper coming on for the first hour. I was seriously second guessing the decision to by it at that point. I pulled over and started to take the dash apart and it stopped. No idea why.

While trying to find information on it I came across this site.
We plan to use it as an RV not a full time live in.

Looking forward to this project!

Lee
Welcome Lee. I live in MD, but my bus is from Northern CA. I believe it started its life in Truckee, CA. I bought from Forest Lake Christian School in Auburn, CA (I picked it up in Redding, long ride home...). Any of those places near you?

So this is your second bus; what happened to the first one?
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:17 PM   #17
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Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComfortEagle View Post
Welcome Lee. I live in MD, but my bus is from Northern CA. I believe it started its life in Truckee, CA. I bought from Forest Lake Christian School in Auburn, CA (I picked it up in Redding, long ride home...). Any of those places near you?

So this is your second bus; what happened to the first one?
This is very close to me! Less than an hour!
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:58 AM   #18
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This is very close to me! Less than an hour!
Getting over those mountains was exciting. Thank goodness no roads were closed.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:59 AM   #19
Bus Nut
 
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Many a trucker has had an exciting day on 80 near Truckee. One was too scared to continue once and a CHP officer had to drive his rig a ways for him!!!! Chains are your friends when they are called for!!!
Quote:
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Getting over those mountains was exciting. Thank goodness no roads were closed.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:48 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Northern California
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Year: 1955
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComfortEagle View Post
Welcome Lee. I live in MD, but my bus is from Northern CA. I believe it started its life in Truckee, CA. I bought from Forest Lake Christian School in Auburn, CA (I picked it up in Redding, long ride home...). Any of those places near you?

So this is your second bus; what happened to the first one?
I live in Willits California It's south west of Redding about a 3.5 hour drive. It's in Mendocino county about 30 miles inland from the coast.

My first bus is a 1955 Chevrolet short bus. I still have it and plan to use it during the renovation on this new bus.
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