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Old 06-21-2017, 07:37 PM   #1
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Serenity

Hi. Two weeks ago I brought home a 1985 ih 38' bus (a gift). It has a good 392 engine with allison tranny. Serenity has already been converted to propane by school district. It sat for a couple years. Before that another homeless guy had lived in it. ( i was homeless until two months ago) He never really converted it but rather used it as a shelter. He caused a lot of uneeded damage. Today I began stripping it out and getting a good look at her bones. She is still solid. As for me: I am disabled but still capable of many things. Mostly laking money skill and knowlege. I can learn skills and knowlege. SS income and low living expense allows me to put away $500 a month and begin work on Serenity (her name) next spring. Meantine you are my best source of knowlege. First thing I need to do is repair holes in metal. Not just floors but walls and roof. All small holes from screws or bolts being put through her hull. Srenity will be a full time home when I am done. My strength energy and finances require I get it right first time. But I do have time on my side. Hence no work till next year. Your coucil will be be dearly appreciated.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:21 PM   #2
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Glad to hear you've got a bus. I'm sure folks here will give you plenty of ideas for your build.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:22 PM   #3
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:45 PM   #4
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:05 PM   #5
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Thank you.

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Old 06-24-2017, 07:12 PM   #6
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr Lincoln View Post
Hi. Two weeks ago I brought home a 1985 IH 38' bus (a gift). It has a good 392 engine with Allison tranny. Serenity has already been converted to propane by school district. It sat for a couple years. Before that another homeless guy had lived in it. ( i was homeless until two months ago) He never really converted it but rather used it as a shelter. He caused a lot of unneeded damage. Today I began stripping it out and getting a good look at her bones. She is still solid. As for me: I am disabled but still capable of many things. Mostly lacking money skill and knowledge. I can learn skills and knowledge. SS income and low living expense allows me to put away $500 a month and begin work on Serenity (her name) next spring. Meantime you are my best source of knowledge. First thing I need to do is repair holes in metal. Not just floors but walls and roof. All small holes from screws or bolts being put through her hull. Serenity will be a full time home when I am done. My strength energy and finances require I get it right first time. But I do have time on my side. Hence no work till next year. Your council will be be dearly appreciated.
As memory serves me, that was one of the IH "Y" block series engines (266, 304, 345, 392) and were quite durable engines (if not very fuel efficient). The propane conversion will greatly extend longevity and service intervals, but finding a place (at least in much of the U.S.) to fuel up will be a challenge.

As for holes in the metal, a quick fix would involve caulk or silicone, welding will be much more permanent if you have the tools and skill.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:33 PM   #8
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A company called "tracktor supply" offers propane at 80 cents to a dollar less than other companies. I can drive in and get as much as i want. Some companies will deliver for more. I would like to use some metal weld product on holes at least in floor. My concern is trying to prep underside more than inside. Only one hole is worthy of welding. I have a friend that will work cheap. He will be welding in framing under bus for water tanks, generator, additional propane and storage. I will be 100% propane. I know safety safety safety. Tank for engine is about 180 gallons. I will be boondocking for 20 days at a time. Never traveling far '50 miles there and back'.

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Old 06-25-2017, 11:34 PM   #9
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A company called "tracktor supply" offers propane at 80 cents to a dollar less than other companies. I can drive in and get as much as i want. Some companies will deliver for more. I would like to use some metal weld product on holes at least in floor. My concern is trying to prep underside more than inside. Only one hole is worthy of welding. I have a friend that will work cheap. He will be welding in framing under bus for water tanks, generator, additional propane and storage. I will be 100% propane. I know safety safety safety. Tank for engine is about 180 gallons. I will be boondocking for 20 days at a time. Never traveling far '50 miles there and back'.
The thing about using propane as a fuel is road taxes are supposed to be paid by-the-gallon and many places aren't set up to sell by the gallon. Most sell by weight - you bring them an empty gas grill tank and it's supposed to weigh a certain amount when full (and for this reason they don't give you credit for any remaining prior to filling). Some places can sell by the gallon but may be unwilling to sell for vehicle use for the aforementioned tax reasons. A 180 gallon tank for the engine? That's quite a big tank. Best of luck. Maybe that tractor supply is set up to sell as a fuel, I have no way of knowing.

Welding up the hole is fine, you can use JB Weld (a 2-part epoxy) for smaller holes. It's pretty durable stuff, within its limits. As for the brackets and framing, I would avoid welding on the frame itself if it's the hardened steel (most have labels warning against drilling holes in the flanges, cutting and welding), best solution is to drill holes in the side and bolt the brackets on. The factory did everything that way for a reason. I would only trust a welded frame if it was done by someone who *KNOWS* what they are doing and has the proper tools to do it correctly (and sometimes even "professional" shops botch this!)
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:14 PM   #10
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Welding. Frames will be welded together, then bolted on, yes. JB weld is type of solution I was thinking of, unless something better has come along. But I expect I still need to clean and stablise holes on underside. As for 180 gallons, it is a question. Tank is about 10 feet long and 20 to 24 inches diameter. Its from back east. In NW we grow moss, we dont rust. I have rust therfore...
I specifically asked if I could fill a vehicle, they said yes. Did they understand?

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