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Old 09-08-2009, 11:16 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 25
Hi Everyone!

Awesome site! I was turned onto school bus conversions just last week in the survival forum of

This morning I watched my two oldest daughters leave for their FIRST day of school (ever), and in a twist of irony I joined!

I won't be able to get my first bus for at least a year (I'm just starting to build a house -- hope to be done next summer), but I want to start doing all of the research so I do it the right way. After some preliminary reading I'm thinking that I will pick up an 10-15 year old International diesel (9 liter) 60 passenger with auto transmission and lower luggage bins. However, I expect my desires to change after I get educated here. I don't want to build out anything too fancy -- We'll just use it each summer for family road trips (wife and I + four daughters... plus maybe a little extra room for Grandpa and Grandma). Although I've thought about chroming the entire bus... j/k, I'm going to keep it painted in original school bus yellow and black (minus the lettering).

My goal is to run it on WVO and install enough tank capacity to go anywhere in the country and back to Wisconsin. At 10 mpg (I hope to do better) I would need about 500 gallons of storage.

Besides the WVO I'm thinking about installing an adjustable pneumatic suspension to lower to ride height for highway use and raise it for dirt roads. I'll also cut and weld together a pair of front bumpers to function as an airdam (something with the same clearance as the luggage bins).

Anyway, glad to be a part of this network. BTW... I put my mark on the map in La Crosse, WI. I'd love to see your skoolie if you're nearby.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:32 PM   #2
cheezypsnookle's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: amarillo texas
Posts: 158
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Bluebird tc2000
Chassis: 3401-3502 ???
Engine: cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Hi Everyone!

hello and welcome
i wonder why ppl including myself prefer this engine over that engine
i think cummins is the only way to go and i know other folks swear by other motors
my wife and i were discussing this when we realized that no matter the engine makers past performance that each engines care/maintenance is totally different so really every bus is like a tiny gamble
srry didnt mean to thread jack you but was wondering why you prefer a international
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:35 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 25
Re: Hi Everyone!

Originally Posted by cheezypsnookle
srry didnt mean to thread jack you but was wondering why you prefer a international
My FIL is a Ford mechanic. The engines are similar to the powerstroke because that is who Ford uses to make their deisels. I figure it will be easier for me to get repair advice and parts.

Also I had a BAD experience with a Cummins.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:49 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Upstate NY (Mohawk Valley)
Posts: 1,094
Re: Hi Everyone!


If I recall correctly, "Lady Franklin" was trying a springs to air ride conversion. You might look at that member's threads and blog for info and ideas.
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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