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Old 01-28-2019, 08:18 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 44
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
New Kansas Member!

Iíve been lurking on here for years! Finally pulled the trigger a month or so ago and bought a bus. Sheís a 1998 Blue Bird high top model with the 8.3L Cummins diesel pusher. Sheís got the Allison 645 so I bought some 24.5Ē Freightliner directional for her. Just have to save for some new tires. I bought it with all the seats reamoved already and the plywood pulled up. So far weíve just been using a wire wheel on the rust spots and spraying them with some rust converter. Thinking about painting the entire floor with some Henry brand Elastomeric roof coating before insulation and sub floor. I also reworked the headlight harness and put new ends on so my LED headlights will have all 4 dims and 4 brights! Hereís some pics!
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:22 PM   #2
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
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Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Welcome! Mighty nice combo you found there! Just keep the pix a'comin'!
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:58 PM   #3
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
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Engine: DT466/3060
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Quite an offset difference on the new wheels. You should think about spraying the floor with a rust converter and put a primer down to keep further rust at bay.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:49 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 44
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Welcome! Mighty nice combo you found there! Just keep the pix a'comin'!
Thanks! Iíve been looking for years and finally found the right one for the right price.


Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Quite an offset difference on the new wheels. You should think about spraying the floor with a rust converter and put a primer down to keep further rust at bay.
Same offset and width. Just a couple inches bigger diameter.

Iíve wire wheeled most of the rusty spots and coated them with a rust converter. I plan on covering all the holes with some aluminum duct tape then laying down a thick elastomeric coating on the floor, walls and ceiling. Should keep any moisture from getting in and settling between the metal floor and the insulation sub-floor later.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:01 PM   #5
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Year: 1999
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Engine: DT466/3060
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRdomepiece View Post
Thanks! Iíve been looking for years and finally found the right one for the right price.




Same offset and width. Just a couple inches bigger diameter.

Iíve wire wheeled most of the rusty spots and coated them with a rust converter. I plan on covering all the holes with some aluminum duct tape then laying down a thick elastomeric coating on the floor, walls and ceiling. Should keep any moisture from getting in and settling between the metal floor and the insulation sub-floor later.
optical illusion, the wheels looked like they had a negative offset, but upon closer inspection I can see they are positive offset. What color will the bus be to contrast those shine bits?
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:34 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 44
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
What color will the bus be to contrast those shine bits?
I havenít decide 100% yet. Iím leaning towards 3 or 4 different colors. Top will definitely be white. Still trying to decide what i like for the other couple colors. Probably a red, gray and black.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:31 AM   #7
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Are you sure that is a Blue Bird? It sure looks like a Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER to me. With the dual headlights it might even be an HDX.


Brand notwithstanding, it appears to be a pretty nice bus in pretty fair shape with a really desirable power package. Is it geared for route or for highway?


With that engine and transmission if it isn't geared to go very fast putting a set of 4.23 or 4.11 gears will really increase the top speed without losing much hill climbing ability.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:43 AM   #8
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
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Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Hmmm...the Thomas logo on the front sure makes it look like a Thomas.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:00 AM   #9
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
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Quote:
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Hmmm...the Thomas logo on the front sure makes it look like a Thomas.
And the logo on the roof also.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:29 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 44
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
It is a Thomas! Lol. I was a little sleep deprived when I made the post.

I am unsure of the gear ratio as i haven’t really looked but i do know 70mph is about all she wants to do. That’s why I’m putting the 24.5s and a taller tire on her.

My plan is to not only have a nice camper the fam and I can take to the lake but also have it be my tow pig for hauling show trucks to car shows and having a place to stay.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:26 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 44
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Got my headlight harness back in the bus and the headlight in and working. Now all 4 work on dim and brights!

Wired the harness off the Chinese headlights picture of wiring. Not even close. Had to repin each light to match the harness so that took a little longer then expected. But the are Bright!
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:52 PM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRdomepiece View Post
It is a Thomas! Lol. I was a little sleep deprived when I made the post.

I am unsure of the gear ratio as i havenít really looked but i do know 70mph is about all she wants to do. Thatís why Iím putting the 24.5s and a taller tire on her.

My plan is to not only have a nice camper the fam and I can take to the lake but also have it be my tow pig for hauling show trucks to car shows and having a place to stay.



On some Thomas buses the rear gear ratio is stamped into the data plate above the windshield on the curb side.
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