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Old 03-25-2016, 05:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Yet another Texan!

Let me first say, "This is ALL Elliots fault!!!". I'll come back to that thought in a minute.

By way of a proper introduction, here are the messy details about me: Originally from Southern Calif, 50-something, I now hail from deep south Texas, specifically from a tiny country town about 40 miles due south of Houston. Population 1500. Horses, cattle, and many such other critters. I pretend to run a law practice when I'm not causing trouble elsewhere.

As are several of the members here, I'm a Burner and spend my few free hours prepping for the next years event. We started small and are continually growing our camp. A schoolbus was the next logical evolution after we ran out of trailer space for the umpteenth time. And this is where Elliot gets the blame. At the 2014 event, he was kind enough to give me a guided tour of Millicent. And again at the 2015 gathering, only this time I was taking notes! And thus did I catch the Incurable Skoolie Bug, as did my partner-in-crime the lovely Ms Beams.

A confession: Currently I'm bus-less, but this should change very shortly. The homework is largely done and I'm ready to pull the trigger when the right candidate comes along. In fact, I'm actively shopping, so if you hear of anything local-ish to Texas, I'm yer Huckleberry.

Another confession: I've spent the last three years ghosting this site, and this AM finally did the right thing and registered. As a result, I sort of feel like I "know" many of you from some two years of voyeurism. From Elliots Millicent Chronicles, to Vlad's Epic Sliding Sidings, and the many excellent posts by the rest of the membership, its been a wonderful read.

I'm just here hoping to get some more good advice, make some new friends, and share pictures of cut-off saw wounds. And bus-builds!

Many thanks to all you Skoolies for your posts over the years. This place is a veritable treasure trove of information and I feel priviliged now to run amok in cyberspace with ya'll!

Grey
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:12 PM   #2
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
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Welcome GreyCoyote.
If we know what you're looking for you'll get responses about the right bus for weeks.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:22 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Good point, Robin. I should have fleshed this out in the first post.

I'm looking for a big bus that will be half hauler, half living area. Similar in some ways to Millicent but without the need for a beaver tail door. It can be a pusher or a conventional, 65 to 84 pax, but not a forward control bus. Prefer a DT466 with either an MD5030 or an MT643. Not big into manual boxes but would consider it if it was close by. Prefer a vintage that is 1998 or later. Gotta be diesel and not afraid of racking-up some freeway miles.

Since this bus will spend part of its life on an extinct alkali lake bad, any significant pre-existing corrosion is a deal-killer for me. Interior condition is unimportant however, since it will be gutted and rebuilt anyway.

Basically any mechanically-sound bus that meets most of the above criteria I'd be interested in exploring further!
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:39 PM   #4
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There seems to be a lot of long buses available in TX right now on Public Surplus. If you're looking for a more western (saltless) model Arizona, Oregon and Washington have pretty good buses.
It seems odd to me that you're considering a RE bus if you want to use it partially for a garage. It sounds like you want a pusher or a conventional long bus, but not the flat nose FE buses? They make the best garage/hauling buses and you get more floor space.
There's a pretty good variety of buses available right now. It's difficult to choose because with any advantage in one bus you are giving something else up something else in another model. I've been building basically the same way you plan to, but with a medium FE bus. Garage in the back and I go with a minimalist interior.
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:04 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
As I understand it, the FE is a "snub-nose"'bus where the engine sits right next to the drivers right elbow. Working on the engine of these types of busses involves colorful language and a good first aid kit.

The RE types put the engine aft, low, and dont encroach on the interior space. The bus floor is essentially a long slab with a couple of bumps where the wheel wells arise amidships.

The "conventional" types put the engine forward of the driver and have the "doghouse" nose.

Now correct me ('cause I am *definitely* a noob here!), but if you wanted a long bus with max space but still have an access (loading) door in the rear, AND you didnt want the hassle of working on a hidden front engine, then you'd want an RE type, yes? A "rear-engine" aka "pusher"? Or did I just get seriously fuzzled-up in my logic here?

Grey
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
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Yes, a RE is a pusher. You won't get a rear loading door with a RE bus. RE buses are described as the best ride and the quietest to drive obviously. Most that want a garage in the back of the bus go for a FE with rear wheel chair lift. From what you've described I think you're looking for a class "C" conventional bus with about 15 windows counting from behind the entry door. If you've ever had a wheel chair lift in the front of the bus and had to climb over the cargo, you've probably considered getting another bus. That's why I have a FE bus, yes the flat-nose, bus. I don't find FEs difficult to work on, and on a rainy day I'd rather be inside working on my bus than outside. Point is certain models have certain advantages while others have other advantages.
Personally I like the rear entry door, but I load cycles with the wheel chair lift. My garage is in the rear of the bus which includes my wood stove and doubles as a kitchen when there are no bikes in the garage.
It's a matter of choices based on what you need in your bus. You've narrowed it down already.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:30 AM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Well, well, well.... Look what the coyote dragged in!

Right, a pusher would not work for a drawbridge in the back, because the engine sticks up far higher than the floor. Looking inside a pusher, it seems almost as if there is a work bench across the back. Or a coffin. Seems most pusher owners put the master bed on top of that engine box, thus making maximum use of the space.

Millicent is a "forward control" -- that is, flat front body with the engine inside next to the driver. I had to remove the radiator -- which included the intercooler -- to repair the accelerator linkage on the left front of the engine.

The term "forward control" comes from the fact that motor vehicles started out as "conventional" designs -- like a model T Ford, or a pickup-truck -- where the driver sits behind the engine and the front axle. Then somebody figured out that the driver could be squeezed into the space between the tire and the headlight, thus placing the "controls" of the bus "forward" of the axle. This freed up some floor space inside.
Jeep made some vehicles like that, and they are called Jeep Forward Control.

I bought Millicent for maximum floor space and also so I could have the drawbridge (toy hauler tailgate). But I'm paying for it.

The terminology can get confusing. I try to stick with "conventional", "forward control", and "pusher". Quite possible none of those is official -- if there is such a thing.

Class C, class D... I have no idea what those mean.

Anyroad.... Welcome aboard here, GreyCoyote!



GreyCoyote in hat, Miss Sunbeam, Elliot with tool for fine-tuning GreyCoyote's hat.
Burning Man 2014.
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:43 AM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Houston, Tx.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 84
Hey Grey, welcome to the Skoolie madness. There are quite a few of us on here from the Houston area. Look forward to seeing how your build goes. Good luck finding the right bus for your needs.
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:43 PM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Bought a bus!

Greetings to all!

Today marks the first day of bus ownership for me: a 1999 International 3800 with a DT466E and AT545. Blue Bird did the coachworks, 71 seats, conventional bus with air brakes. Absolutely rust free, too. 165k miles and 8300 hours on the meter.

Tomorrow we leave at daylight to pick her up. "We" includes a veteran bus mechanic and driving instructor with all sorts of alphabet soup designations on his license. If it has wheels, he can drive it and fix it. I'm going along because... well... ummm.... ah.... he needed a ride. (Snicker).

And BTW, I still blame Elliot for exposing me to this highly contagious disease...
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:31 PM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Year: 1999
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Originally Posted by GreyCoyote View Post
Greetings to all!

Today marks the first day of bus ownership for me: a 1999 International 3800 with a DT466E and AT545. Blue Bird did the coachworks, 71 seats, conventional bus with air brakes. Absolutely rust free, too. 165k miles and 8300 hours on the meter.

Tomorrow we leave at daylight to pick her up. "We" includes a veteran bus mechanic and driving instructor with all sorts of alphabet soup designations on his license. If it has wheels, he can drive it and fix it. I'm going along because... well... ummm.... ah.... he needed a ride. (Snicker).

And BTW, I still blame Elliot for exposing me to this highly contagious disease...
Awesome, can't wait to see pics
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