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Old 04-26-2019, 11:23 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Indiana/Idaho
Posts: 14
Year: 2000
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3400
Engine: 7.3-L V-8 OHV 16V DIESEL/CNG
Discouraged...Please Help!!

Hi,

I'm a new skoolie owner. I've been researching this and other online forums/YouTube for months and finally bought a bus a few weeks ago, but I'm starting to feel like I was cheated. (Note: This thread concerns rust, leaks, and wondering about the best gutting/sealing process, so if you have any advice please read on!)

First of all, it was a privately owned bus that seemed to meet all my criteria (except for having a handicap door, but that was always just a luxury item for me) and the owner assured me there was no rust worth worrying about. Well, that may be technically true, but there is definitely rust and it is bad enough that I have to have it repaired (I happen to know a good welder, so I was prepared for this when I agreed to buy the bus).

My biggest concern, and what angers me the most, is that I was assured that there were no leaks in this bus. We saw no signs of leakage and trusted the seller's word. He lied.

1) The windows don't leak, but the bolts to the rooftop air conditioner were completely rusted out, allowing water to pool under the rooftop air conditioner itself, leak through those screw openings, down the slanted roof, and leak along the walls above the windows.

2) The owner told me that the passenger door had been working fine up until a few weeks ago and that it was probably just stuck from not being used very often (there is a drivers side door). This was also untrue. It wasn't until I tore out the housing for the door mechanism that I saw how much rust and water damage was back around the corners (not visible simply by opening the hatch and peering inside). Once I got the mechanism off and the doors swung open, I saw that one of the doors was completely rusted off it's hinge on the bottom (that door has since fallen off and the glass shattered).

3) There is significant leakage along the drivers side door and somewhere under the hood behind the dash with results in fuse shortages. We have sealed up several bits but can't seem to find where the leak is coming from.

4) Half of the passenger door fell off, as I mentioned, and the glass shattered. The seals around the windows on the doors are crap anyway, and my welder friend is going to completely redo the door frame and the rusted out first step. Should I wait until he does that before finding a door to go in? I'd like to reuse the existing door if possible or find an RV door with enough windows that visibility will be good while I'm driving.

You guys, I am so discouraged. I paid $2,650 for this bus, which I know isn't a lot, but I've already put $800 into it in mechanic fees to make sure it really is road worthy (I no longer trust any assurances I was given by the seller) and I don't want to keep investing in this bus if it's just going to be a money pit. According to my mechanic, the engine is solid as a rock and other than some minor surface rust, the undercarriage is in excellent shape.

What do I do? Which issues should I address first?

I don't plan to travel the country in this bus. Once it's completed I will be taking it to the PNW and plan to park it and live in it for a while.

Any practical, step-by-step advice on how to tackle these problems would be much appreciated!
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:42 AM   #2
Almost There
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 85
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Don't get discouraged, you are already in it!

That being said, say hello to your new friends.
Get a blaster on craigslist, cheap $50 bucks maybe, and some OSHO, 10 bucks.

And get to work!

Oh yeah, and do not use silica sand to blast with, very bad for the lungs. Use crushed glass, 10 bucks a bag at Northern Tools.
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File Type: jpg ospho.jpg (3.8 KB, 266 views)
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:50 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 2,327
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
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+1 on the Ospho. Apply liberally. No matter how bad the rust is, it can and will be worse if you don't treat it. Put some in a spray bottle and go to town on the undercarriage too. Before you can improve the bus you have to stop it from getting worse.

Some people debate for months about if they want to replace their bus door with a house or RV door. Looks like that decision has been made for you.

Overall, I've seen worse.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:56 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Indiana
Posts: 128
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Me
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Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 72
There are many bus graveyard and parts locations you can replace most of this for little cash. Some might even trade for a few beers. Don't get discouraged most of that stuff you will want to replace anyway. search this forum I am sure many of us have run into the same issue somewhere down the line.
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:01 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 7,194
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
Don't get discouraged, you are already in it!

That being said, say hello to your new friends.
Get a blaster on craigslist, cheap $50 bucks maybe, and some OSHO, 10 bucks.

And get to work!

Oh yeah, and do not use silica sand to blast with, very bad for the lungs. Use crushed glass, 10 bucks a bag at Northern Tools.
Can you post a link to those $200 pressure pot blasters for $50? And also where to get Ospho for $10?
Crushed glass and glass bead are very expensive medias for blasting. I use Black Diamond Coal Slag from TSC for $9/50lb bag. Glass media at Northern Tool is $47 for 25lbs. Doesn't carry crushed glass at all. All medias can be safely used if wearing PPE.
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:02 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 1,971
Chassis: still looking for my bus
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
Don't get discouraged, you are already in it!

That being said, say hello to your new friends.
Get a blaster on craigslist, cheap $50 bucks maybe, and some OSHO, 10 bucks.

And get to work!

Oh yeah, and do not use silica sand to blast with, very bad for the lungs. Use crushed glass, 10 bucks a bag at Northern Tools.
safer for working with than crushed glass --- Aluminium Silicate (coal slag grit)
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:25 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 527
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerssj23 View Post
You guys, I am so discouraged. I paid $2,650 for this bus, which I know isn't a lot, but I've already put $800 into it in mechanic fees to make sure it really is road worthy (I no longer trust any assurances I was given by the seller) and I don't want to keep investing in this bus if it's just going to be a money pit. According to my mechanic, the engine is solid as a rock and other than some minor surface rust, the undercarriage is in excellent shape.

I don't plan to travel the country in this bus. Once it's completed I will be taking it to the PNW and plan to park it and live in it for a while.
The mechanic has inspected it and said the drive train is in good shape. You didn't pay too much for the bus, and you state you're not going to use it to travel, but just to park and live in. You're already started for a low amount of money, and won't find anything better for a cheaper price.
Sounds like your'e a little overwhelmed/mad from the rust and leaks you found and feel slighted by the seller. Forgot all that and move forward. With a little metal repair (which honestly isn't a big deal since the frame and mechanical's are solid) you will soon have a dry place to live for not much cost. ALL used vehicles have some problems (unless they're ground up restorations). Just deal with the issues you feel need fixing and enjoy the vehicle. No need to stress over every little flaw.
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:33 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Damascus, OR
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Year: 2004
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Rated Cap: 35


You got this. This forum always picks me up when I feel overwhelmed. Fill out your bio stuff so we know what you have and where you are!
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:40 PM   #9
Almost There
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 85
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Can you post a link to those $200 pressure pot blasters for $50? And also where to get Ospho for $10?
Crushed glass and glass bead are very expensive medias for blasting. I use Black Diamond Coal Slag from TSC for $9/50lb bag. Glass media at Northern Tool is $47 for 25lbs. Doesn't carry crushed glass at all. All medias can be safely used if wearing PPE.

Blast pot $65.00 new

https://www.harborfreight.com/20-lbs...ter-68994.html

Seems like northern discontinued crushed glass, didn't know...but here is a link for $18.00

https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tnp...QaAg7TEALw_wcB

OSPHO $10 bucks
https://www.nationalsupplydirect.com...waAp3ZEALw_wcB


Crushed glass is the best choice with regards to the free silica. It is what OSHA and California C.A.R.B. highly recommend.

Coal slag is good too but has a slightly higher free silica content, just wear a decent respirator folks!


Oh yeah and don't forget the 20% off coupon at harbor freight
https://www.harborfreight.com/online...MjAxOS0wNC0yOA==

Forgot the OSPHO
https://www.nationalsupplydirect.com...waAp3ZEALw_wcB
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:06 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 527
Rogerss,
I just took a closer look at your pictures and honestly you got a nice looking vehicle. If all it took was $800 for the mechanic to get it safe and he said it's in great mechanical condition, I'd be overjoyed. I would love to have that bus. Perfect size, truck chassis, aluminum wheels that can be polished to a nice shine. The rust shown in the pictures is no big deal. Some fabrication and body work and you're good to go. The leaks are probably from roof/window seams that never were re-caulked since the bus was new. Since you're going to gut it and build into an rv that's the perfect time to reseal everything.
What's it got for an engine and transmission? How many miles?
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