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Old 01-23-2017, 07:04 PM   #1
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NO bus yet

Hi everyone!

so I have been watched hundreds of YouTube video and been reading about peoples stories and I want to make a change an buy a bus. I'm from Iowa and I live with my wife and two kids and one on the way as well as my nephew. As time goes on we are working more an spending less time together to add more room and get a bigger car for our expanding family, but is all that extra necessary? That is the question we have been asking ourselves could we do more and spend more time together with less. The reason I arrived here is my lack of mechanical knowledge I'm far the most handy person but I believe with some hard work research and help we too could make this happen.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:24 PM   #2
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Welcome, glad you are here
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:26 PM   #3
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thanks! the whole process seems overwhelming but I hope this site helps.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:40 PM   #4
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:52 PM   #5
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Hi, I just read this today in The News: ..Mother of four builds home from scratch after watching YouTube tutorial....I am not handy myself I have made lots of mistake fixing stuff just be safe, Youtube how to use drill, hammer etc, and learn the right way and safe way the first time..this forum has very good info.take it slow divide the work. Home depo tell them what you doing and they can guide you some way.I am new to in this myself.Be Safe .

PS. some of this bus are built inside similar like house, wood frame, bath cabins, you can get simple or go extreme, they say it take a life to have the bus the way they want and they always adding something Hope this Help
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pepe View Post
Hi, I just read this today in The News: ..Mother of four builds home from scratch after watching YouTube tutorial....I am not handy myself I have made lots of mistake fixing stuff just be safe, Youtube how to use drill, hammer etc, and learn the right way and safe way the first time..this forum has very good info.take it slow divide the work. Home depo tell them what you doing and they can guide you some way.I am new to in this myself.Be Safe
Good points
And I'll add that when you run into an obstacle (and you will!) that you don't know how to tackle.... Just ask!
Someone in here has dealt with the same or similar obstacle, because the group is here because of a common bond. Buses!
Who knows, you might get several opinions on it... And that's a good thing!
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:47 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!


The two parts that really worry me is the electrical and the pluming, I don't know the first thing about either of those.

I will definitely use this site for help when I get a bus and run into a problem.

I do have one question now have looked at a few school buses but I recently came across a old transit bus (dart,MTA) anyone have experience with those? are they better or worse vs a school bus?
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Old 01-25-2017, 01:17 AM   #8
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Transit buses can make a pretty good conversion is you understand their limitations.

I have seen some conversions that look like they left the factory that way.

Most transit buses have low floors so there is no room under the floor for anything. On the other hand they have ceilings that are 8' or higher. Several people who have converted transits have built all of the tanks and plumbing on the bus floor and then built a floor over all of the stuff. With the high ceilings you don't need to worry about running out of overhead space unless you get crazy with the under floor stuff. Another plus is with everything above the bus floor you don't need to worry about dragging anything off the bottom of the bus if you ever scrape. And another plus is you will rarely ever have to worry about your plumbing freezing.

One real big drawback when it comes to converting old transit buses, if you go much older than about 1995 you will start to find buses powered by Detroit Diesel 2-cycle diesel engines. They are good engines but finding people who really "know" anything about them is getting very few and far between. The DD 2-cycles usually run hot (read that overheat) when it gets hot outside or when going up big hills on hot days. They also generally use 1.5x to 2.5x the amount of fuel as a 4-cycle diesel of the same HP.

The other drawback, particularly if you are looking at an older one that doesn't have an OD transmission, most transit buses are geared for city streets, starting with full loads, and climbing hills. As a consequence most are not geared for highway speeds.

A Gillig Phantom with a Detroit Diesel Series 50 or Series 60 engine and an Allison automatic transmission would be a good choice. You will want to stay away from any with a Voight or ZF transmission. The best choice would be a Series 60 and an Allison MD (OD) series transmission.
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Old 01-25-2017, 10:39 AM   #9
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Thanks for the information
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