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Old 04-07-2016, 08:32 PM   #11
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,144
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Dont let air brakes scare you.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:47 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 16
I sorry about needing an air brake license and where to get certified if i need to be certified. I've read some people saying they are really different than hyd brakes. I have also heard they need to be tested each time you drive. It all sounds so over whelming. Does your bus have air brakes? If so did you need an air brake endorsement on your license? Which state are you in?
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:55 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Springfield, VA
Posts: 33
Scared and excited!

There are a bunch of introductory videos on YouTube. They will help to demystify the whole air brake system, and hopefully remove the fear.

Here is one:
http://youtu.be/PGFwVLEmhfI

Here is an US Army training video from 1967. It really lays it out plainly.

http://youtu.be/qJa5-_ExsBE
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:10 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Awesome. Thank you so much. This forum feels like a room full of friends! I feel so fortunate to have total strangers giving of their time to help.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:19 PM   #15
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,943
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I was scared of air brakes too.. my last bus had hydraulic brakes... I JUST bought another Bus since mine was destroyed. . I spent alot of time reading about air brakes, how they work, and how to test them, etc.. and I even took the mock CDL tests for air brakes just to learn how they work...

I live in Ohio (columbus)... here in ohio if you have your bus Titled as an RV then you do not need to have a CDL to drive it.. even with air brakes.. ohio is one of the easiest states to title and register as an RV.

my bus is a short bus.. and I should have it in my posession in a couple weeks.. I am having it painted before I get it.. once I have it I'd be happy to meet up with you , and you can look at it, try out the Air-brakes if you like. even though my bus isnt the same type as you are likely looking for.. you can get the idea of what running a bus feels like...
-Christopher
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:25 AM   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MD near DC
Posts: 828
Keep in mind that there are many buses on the used market that have lift gates installed, should that be a concern for your client/friend.

One of the first things I did was to set up accounts on GovDeals.com and PublicSurplus.com and set up searches that emailed me whenever any new listing contained the magic words "school bus". Easy to do and it was where I got my first training in bus manufacturers' names, engine and transmission manufacturers and model names, what the various buses look like, etc. Depending on how new you are to this world, you might be a little overwhelmed by the vocubalary for a while.

Also, read a hundred or so bus conversion stories ("threads") on this site. The more total postings, the better the thread IMHO. You will end up knowing how and why you should remove all the old insulation, how to remove and replace windows, where to pound on your brakes with a hammer , and a myriad of other necessary life skills.

Good luck and welcome!
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:23 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 16
I have been watching public surplus but was not aware od govdeals. I've read many of these post and some make me feel up to the challenge and others not so much. When my friend was in school her wheelchair lift was always going down on the bus and a substitute bus was called in. I prefer not to have another mechanical responsibility. I want to get a telescoping ramp for out the back of the bus. Thank you for taking the time to share some info with me. The kindness of strangers is so awesome. The idea of travel and don't a big project with my son if what drew me to doing a skoolie but finding this wonderful community may be the biggest draw yet!
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:47 PM   #18
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 7
I understand your feeling as well, I have been reading a ton about buses, and looking at all the skill sets involved. I got a little note book to starting writing down key words to looking to. Helpful hints, tool lists really anything i found useful or wanted to research more into. I am still at the point of just research but this website has been great. I have yet to really post a lot. I hope to narrow down some fields of building and questions 1st. After 3 months I finally found a an example of a floor plan that i had imagined for awhile. It felt silly but i was super excited to see a live version of what i had tried to plan on paper. I have a lot of misc. building experience but never did something as large as a bus project. I plan to build my bus with an Boat style fiberglass and wood since i am most comfortable with it. But again only have done small projects. This summer I may tackle a stitch and glue kayak. Its something I have thought about a lot, and it would be great experience in learning to build something larger then car panels.

I guess my advice is don't rush your planning and learning. If you can find anyway to sample build a project that you can gain knowledge from go for it while you continue your learning and planning. Youtube and web learning does help a ton and lets you ask the right questions. But nothing compares to hands on testing of ideas. Plus you can make cheaper mistakes in small projects and have more confidence on your bus when you are ready.

just my two cents
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:59 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,943
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
sample building is a great way to learn.. years ago I wanted to learn engine mechanics.. so I bought cheap old cars that needed engine work.. and moreso that had engines which were cheap to buy parts for... once i got a couple rebuilds under my belt.. and resold the cars so i could break even on parts or make a little, it paved the way for me to rebuild engines in cars i wanted to keep or be show cars.. or modify.. doing fix-up projects around your house or practicing woodwork and various adhesives,fasteners.. cutting, and fitting. with scrap woods, fabrics, plastics is a great way to learn on something before you build your actual bus that you will want to be done nicely..
-Christopher
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:14 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 16
Great idea to start small. I get overwhelmed with the mechanics of it more than the building parts. Taking down the ceiling and putting up a new one with insulation may be a daunting task labor wise but the concepts i understand and feel confident about. Removing the bus heaters and refiguring the coolant lines I'm much less confident.
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