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Old 07-11-2016, 09:03 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
As one who is still in the process of converting a rusty school bus let me say this: your time will be better spent on a less rusty bus.
I see a number of troubling things with that bus. The lower rear panels have holes rusted right through them. There is a 90% chance that there is fiberglass insulation behind that panel, which will have absorbed the road salt water like a sponge and rusted all sorts of structural members back there.
I can also see rust poking through the skin around the wheel well. Thats a big problem. There are likely holes all around there and it's a difficult location to seal properly. To properly fix that you'll need to remove the rub rails and put new sheet metal in, then deal with the wheel hump.
Is travelling south for a bus an option?
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Hello again Jatzy! To answer your question regarding traveling south for a bus, It'll have to be the perfect set of circumstancial details for me to entertain a southern bus. (Ex: Ideal price, bus, pick-up/delivery schedule etc) I was considering a Florida bus; but again, the immediate travel from the upper midwest, all the way down to Florida, isn't ideal at the moment from both a personal/professional standpoint. Also, isn't there a greater concern that some buses have dealt with potential flooding as you move closer down south in terms of bus purchasing? That was something that came to mind. Farther up north seems to be more rust issues; likely because of the heavier factoring of snow, ice and salt into the equation.

-Mr. Neal
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:11 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mr. Neal View Post
MESSAGE CONTINUED:

Hello again Jatzy! To answer your question regarding traveling south for a bus, It'll have to be the perfect set of circumstancial details for me to entertain a southern bus. (Ex: Ideal price, bus, pick-up/delivery schedule etc) I was considering a Florida bus; but again, the immediate travel from the upper midwest, all the way down to Florida, isn't ideal at the moment from both a personal/professional standpoint. Also, isn't there a greater concern that some buses have dealt with potential flooding as you move closer down south in terms of bus purchasing? That was something that came to mind. Farther up north seems to be more rust issues; likely because of the heavier factoring of snow, ice and salt into the equation.

-Mr. Neal
FL buses are the worst of the buses in the southeast. Especially the prices.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:15 AM   #23
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Wisconsin buses are generally a bad idea. We put so much salt on the roads in winter. Just look at all the rust on the back end.

I drive school buses in Wisconsin and I have personally seen 4 yr old buses that were already getting rust on them. They just rot into oblivion after the 10 yr mark. Once you buy that thing and strip out the interior you'll see the full extent of the damage

And besides I'd toss that one anyway, no air brakes is a pretty big deal. You will NOT need a CDL if it's going to be retitled as an RV anyways.
Hello WiBlueBird!

I hope all is well! Thank you for your reply! It's good to gain some feedback from a fellow Wisconsinite! Especially one who drives buses. Based on your statements, it sounds as if Wisconsin buses are prone to body rust alot more than their fellow factory-line peers; which is understandable. I'm interested in knowing how that factors into the engine quality. I'd take a bus with some rust and a great engine/transmission versus a bus with a stellar body whose engine is on life support. What are your thoughts on Wisconsin buses that drive great; but have been victimized by the salt and snow?

-Mr. Neal
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:23 AM   #24
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If you're gonna go for a rust bucket check out Michigan and Ohio. Absolutely rusty but usually mechanically sound.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:25 AM   #25
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Hello WiBlueBird!

I hope all is well! Thank you for your reply! It's good to gain some feedback from a fellow Wisconsinite! Especially one who drives buses. Based on your statements, it sounds as if Wisconsin buses are prone to body rust alot more than their fellow factory-line peers; which is understandable. I'm interested in knowing how that factors into the engine quality. I'd take a bus with some rust and a great engine/transmission versus a bus with a stellar body whose engine is on life support. What are your thoughts on Wisconsin buses that drive great; but have been victimized by the salt and snow?

-Mr. Neal
Even if the bus is mechanically sound I still wouldn't get it if the body and frame was rusty. It's worth it just buying a bus elsewhere and bringing it back.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:36 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by boojiewoojie View Post
No. Just no. If it has that much visible rust it is surely a nightmare underneath. I understand the endeavor of conversion to be an enjoyable process as many of us here are inclined, but here's a question for you: Why would you want to spend many hours pursuing rust issues when you could use that same time to spend on more rewarding issues? There are relatively rust free buses available not far from Wisconsin.

As has been stated, you do not need a CDL to drive a conversion with air brakes.
As for the price point question, do you know the drivetrain components- engine and transmission?
Hello BoojieWoojie!

I hope all is well! Thank you for your reply! In response to your question of why take on this project, "I'm in the business of making things better". (NO SARCASM) I'm literally a well-versed professional, artist, craftsman and talent among other things. I enjoy doing what many would consider challenging/impossible; often times with the hope I inspire someone working with a smaller budget, some dedication and a idea to press forward. I'm very meticulous, and detailed oriented; and figured "Hey, a little rust shouldn't be a big deal; unless its far along"! Re-hab, Re-purpose and Re-use is the concept I have in mind; as my original interest rested in obtaining a converted Prevost or Eagle Bus. That was until I came across some schoolie conversions and some school bus models that coincided with my visual preference and size.

-Mr. Neal
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:42 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
If you're gonna go for a rust bucket check out Michigan and Ohio. Absolutely rusty but usually mechanically sound.
Hello EastcoastCB,

I hope all is well. A little rust is fine. It sounds like you're talking "crumbling cookie rusty". (Smiles) I was planning a trip home to Michigan; but purchasing a total rust bucket wasn't on the menu.

-Mr. Neal
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:48 AM   #28
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Even if the bus is mechanically sound I still wouldn't get it if the body and frame was rusty. It's worth it just buying a bus elsewhere and bringing it back.
Hello again WiBlueBird!

Where might you suggest traveling to obtain a bus at a decent price point? (PREFERABLY A 2002 SAF-T-LINER HDX)

-Mr. Neal
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:52 AM   #29
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Hello again WiBlueBird!

Where might you suggest traveling to obtain a bus at a decent price point? (PREFERABLY A 2002 SAF-T-LINER HDX)

-Mr. Neal
Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee or go west to Colorado or Utah. California has some amazing buses, too.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:14 AM   #30
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my bus khas a little surface rust underneath here and there in the usual places.. a little worse behind the mud-flaps but the ribs, rails, body panels, roof, frame, floors all pretty solid and its from ohio...

theres some decent busses here for decent prices... though since many of the cities here have snall streets you dont find the massive 40 footers like you do in more rural areas.....

I have seen some Pretty rusty busses here in ohio though but also some pretty nices ones.. Northeast ohio by the lake are some of the worst as the roads get salted sometimes every other day with lake snows...

decent looking ohio bus..

2003 Freightliner School Bus


Ohio carpenter decent looking.. priced high (unless the 8700 miles is truly real..) has a little rust where carpenter always does..

92 international school bus

-Christopher
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