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Old 11-01-2019, 08:00 AM   #1
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Ready to make the bus conversion leap - Indiana

Well I may just get lucky and have a shuttle bus drop in my lap so I'm hoping to check out this forum for ideas/pointers as we prepare for our conversion project. Does it count if it isn't a school bus to start with?

Goal is to get a road-trip machine that can safely haul our family of 6 with at least a pair of guests, maybe up to 4. Not planning long-terms stays in the bus mostly for transport but would like to end up with sleeping for 6, sink, tinkle toilet (w/4 kids we have to stop a lot!), small fridge/freezer, and portable propane 2 burner cook-top.

Here's a photo of the bus we may end up with (if I posted photo correctly).

Bus.jpg

2001 Freightliner FB65 built out by Champion Bus. Seats & ADA lift removed already. Thinking pretty simple layout, long benches down each side behind driver/door area that fold out into sleeping area, queen bed across back end with storage under, sink/counter space between benches and raised bed at rear.

I'm sure you'll have better ideas that I'm hoping to steal... I mean borrow. Thanks ahead of time for the information you'll share or have shared that I'll find as I look around. Looking forward to the project!
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:19 AM   #2
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Nice lap drop!! Can't wait to hear the responses. I know nothing of shuttle buses personally.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:28 AM   #3
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It's not all sunshine and rainbows, bus hasn't been used in 4-5 years. Ran when parked ages ago, but hasn't moved under it's own power for a few years... First mission is getting it running. 5.9L 24V Cummins ISB engine should last quite a while if it fires up.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:31 AM   #4
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should be interesting
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:37 AM   #5
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That rear wheel looks impossibly small for a bus.

You would still be a skoolie. Or a shuttlie, I guess.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:08 AM   #6
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The the OP: I believe the shuttle you have in mind will work out fine for your stated purposes.




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That rear wheel looks impossibly small for a bus.


It is just shadowing from the wheel well.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:46 AM   #7
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I think they are 19.5” wheels, rear tires appear to be a lower profile than the front.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:00 AM   #8
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Bus project dissolved this weekend. Went and drained old fuel, filled with fresh getting ready to install batteries and attempt start up.

Popped the hood to check fluids and found some upstanding pillar of society had stolen the exhaust manifold and turbo since we first checked the bus out 2 weeks ago.

Project over unless there's a cheap place to get a replacement!
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Old 11-14-2019, 03:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeMacPU View Post
Bus project dissolved this weekend. Went and drained old fuel, filled with fresh getting ready to install batteries and attempt start up.

Popped the hood to check fluids and found some upstanding pillar of society had stolen the exhaust manifold and turbo since we first checked the bus out 2 weeks ago.

Project over unless there's a cheap place to get a replacement!
Now that really is a bummer!
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LukeMacPU View Post
Bus project dissolved this weekend. Went and drained old fuel, filled with fresh getting ready to install batteries and attempt start up.

Popped the hood to check fluids and found some upstanding pillar of society had stolen the exhaust manifold and turbo since we first checked the bus out 2 weeks ago.

Project over unless there's a cheap place to get a replacement!
That really sucks. My big fear is someone trashing my bus for no reason; it's been robbed three times but at least they never damaged the bus itself.

I hope you can get it fixed cheap and keep going.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:51 AM   #11
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Been doing a little digging and it appears a stock replacement turbo and manifold for that 2001 Cummins 5.9L ISB 185 engine isn't too expensive. I can get both for under $250.

Problem is, I'm missing the elbows/tubes to get from the turbo to the intercooler and from the turbo to exhaust.

Anyone have photos of a 2001 Freightliner FB65 with the 5.9L Cummins on the turbo side of the engine? Going to try to find out what parts I'm missing and add them up.

I'm planning to call local truck scrap yard this week to see if they might have some of those missing parts. Still no keys/title for the bus, so until that gets resolved, I'm not buying parts just planning.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:02 AM   #12
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Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

I have had or seen a variety of items stolen but this is a first.

Who steals an exhaust manifold?
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Old 11-18-2019, 12:57 PM   #13
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Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

I have had or seen a variety of items stolen but this is a first.

Who steals an exhaust manifold?
The same person who needs them for the turbo they stole with them.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

I have had or seen a variety of items stolen but this is a first.

Who steals an exhaust manifold?


The fact that the 5.9 Cummins also went in dodge pickups of the era made it a better theft target I imagine.

Just wish they’d left the pipes/hoses to connect the turbo, don’t think they’re using them.
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeMacPU View Post
Bus project dissolved this weekend. Went and drained old fuel, filled with fresh getting ready to install batteries and attempt start up.

Popped the hood to check fluids and found some upstanding pillar of society had stolen the exhaust manifold and turbo since we first checked the bus out 2 weeks ago.

Project over unless there's a cheap place to get a replacement!
Looks like a neat start to a bus. Bummer about the set-back...
If you proceed -- are the batteries still there? I'm assuming you'll need new batteries -- I would advise NOT leaving the batteries on the bus except while you're there -- hassle for sure but if someone took the turbo -- they'll notice your coming and going (they probably already did!) and will be excited to steal whatever new parts you bring them...

If you can find so much as a copy of the title the good state of VT will register your bus. Even with out a title! You'll just need to get a VIN verification form filled out by LEO (law enforcement officer).
This is one of the hoops I had to jump through for my 'free bus'...
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/ho...ion-15292.html
A truck/bus scrap/junk yard will be worth your driving an hour to.
There's another thread here somewhere with a listing of bus junk yards -- this helped me out immensely as I too didn't want to buy several hundred dollars worth of parts just to confirm the engine didn't run...
When you call around maybe ask what a used 5.9 is going for -- worst case, you buy a known good engine and then have spare parts -- could still be a good deal if this bus is free...
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:49 PM   #16
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Ready to make the bus conversion leap - Indiana

Thanks for the tip on VT registration. I may go that route if I can get a bill of sale. VIN inspection is easy to get in my state.

Good point in not leaving any new parts to steal. Have no batteries in the bus yet, hadn’t gotten that far.
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