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Old 02-24-2008, 07:35 PM   #11
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Re: New member...

Yep, I'm still here. I too am an INTP.

dentarthurdent, thanks for that link. I'll have to make sure to check there daily.

Thread drift doesn't bother me.

I'm located in Virgina, on the Eastern Shore Peninsula. I've added that info to my location in my profile. Missed it before.

I work in Maryland, doing IT support for a bunch of libraries. My commute is about 110 miles round trip so I spend a bunch of time listening to audiobooks, and thinking about what I'll do next with my plans.

Oh Elliot, I wasn't trying to correct you, I was just clarifying where my assumption had originated.

Anyway, it's been a long day. Today we put the roof on the structure we built to work on the RV. Eventually I'll have to figure out how to squeeze a bus into that structure... hehe.

jim
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:00 PM   #12
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Re: New member...

Baadpuppy: Welcome aboard and I am sure everyone else, like me, is interested in spreading our disease to the masses and are glad to have a confirmed "kill". Now that you have turned the corner and have been enlightened about weight, stability, integrity, imagination, ingenuity and the always unbeleaveable ability of the human body to absorbe punishment for extended lengths of time, go for it. I guarantee you that with support of your new peers you will never look back at your decision and think it was a bad one (although others may not share you conviction). OH you WILL have your tests along the way just like the rest of us but you will overcome them and have your character developed to a higher level you never thought exhisted. Just look at all the characters here at this site, could you ever find a more "developed" bunch of dreamers?
On a serious note, I don't know how large your donor RV is but chances are it's pretty big so here are some ideas to help propell you along towards your first skoolie. It's probably got a big engine and there are people out there that are looking for such things so it's probably worth a bit of money. They might also want the heavy duty transmission that goes with it so try and sell them as a pair. I paid $450 for a rebuildable 427 chevy and it was only that cheap because he had it sitting in the barn for 2 years and was scared to call it "good". The rearend is probably a "dually" so it's worth a lot to the right person as well as the 16" tires and wheels. Do a search on Ebay in those areas of interest and click on the "completed listings" to see what those items have brought in the past. I think you could roughly generate $1500-2000 of income from these main parts plus quite a bit more in the little things like the gas tanks, driveshafts, front axle, frame, steering column, etc. Look at it from another angle, you have got all kinds of RV stuff for a small price compared to what you would have to pay retail.
Good luck on your conversion, keep your pencil (mind) sharp and gleen all you can from this eclectic group of out of the box thinkers. sportyrick
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:14 PM   #13
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Possible bus for me?

Today I noticed on public surplus this bus:

http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/auc...iew?auc=249263, a 1997 Thomas MPV.

This bus is located about 300 miles from me, which is convenient. It appears to be rear engine which is what I want. The only 2 things I'm uncertain about are the engine and transmission combination... Is the CAT 3126 + an Allison 3000 series transmission a good combo? I do expect to be doing some towing, and want to make sure the driveline will be up for it before I invest much money.

I'm giving this bus some *serious* consideration. Is there anything anyone sees that would make you want to avoid it?

Thanks in advance,
jim
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:59 PM   #14
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Re: New member...


I don't know what "MPV" stands for, but that looks to be a 40 foot long bus, and with the engine in the rear, yes. And it is very new, as these things go.

Edit: Looking at it a second time, the roof MAY be mid-height -- a couple of inches higher than standard school bus low. Not sure. You need to walk into it and jump up and down a little.

That little Cat is not the best engine Cat ever built, but it should serve you well enough if it is not in any way damaged. Note "Running condition: Runs." You need to hop on your scooter and go look at this thing. Listen to it run. Drive it, if possible -- it's fine if one of them drives it and you ride, so you can listen and feel. And talk, if it's the mechanic who is driving. The best person to talk to when you go down there, is the mechanic who has maintained it.

The Allison 3000 is a newer model than the ones we usually see on our older buses. Again, it is a perfectly good transmission model -- you just need to find out what condition it is in.

Over all "Condition: Fair." Never buy a vehicle sight unseen.

I would ask why they are selling it so early -- only 11 years.

If engine and transmission are in great shape, and there is no serious rust, then that would be one fine bus to have. It's all about the condition of the engine and tranny.

Edit: The disk wheels are a very good thing. But do inspect the tires for condition also.

Air brakes are a good thing.

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Old 04-11-2008, 09:36 PM   #15
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Re: New member...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess

I don't know what "MPV" stands for, but that looks to be a 40 foot long bus, and with the engine in the rear, yes. And it is very new, as these things go.
I don't know what MPV stands for either, and unfortunately mazda has a vehicle with the same letters so google isn't as helpful as I'd like, even with '-mazda' in the search terms. The youth of the vehicle is definitely intriguing. And the closer I can get to a 40' bus, the happier I'll be. I plan to be living in this full time when I finish, and I'm not the smallest of people.

Quote:

Edit: Looking at it a second time, the roof MAY be mid-height -- a couple of inches higher than standard school bus low. Not sure. You need to walk into it and jump up and down a little.
I'm not too concerned with roof height, as I plan to borrow a chapter from your book and raise that sucker.

Quote:

That little Cat is not the best engine Cat ever built, but it should serve you well enough if it is not in any way damaged. Note "Running condition: Runs." You need to hop on your scooter and go look at this thing. Listen to it run. Drive it, if possible -- it's fine if one of them drives it and you ride, so you can listen and feel. And talk, if it's the mechanic who is driving. The best person to talk to when you go down there, is the mechanic who has maintained it.
What makes the 3126 "not the best engine Cat ever built"? I've found a few message boards where people slam that engine, but haven't found much evidence of why people feel that way. Cat's website is also rather informationless about this model in a bus. The forums where the engine was slammed also tended to be marine applications.

Quote:

The Allison 3000 is a newer model than the ones we usually see on our older buses. Again, it is a perfectly good transmission model -- you just need to find out what condition it is in.
I intend to ask the seller which specific model transmission it is. How do these rate compared to the 545 and 643?

Quote:

Over all "Condition: Fair." Never buy a vehicle sight unseen.

I would ask why they are selling it so early -- only 11 years.

If engine and transmission are in great shape, and there is no serious rust, then that would be one fine bus to have. It's all about the condition of the engine and tranny.

Edit: The disk wheels are a very good thing. But do inspect the tires for condition also.

Air brakes are a good thing.

I was figuring on having to replace the tires within 12 months. I'm paranoid about tires. I'm also curious about the "early" selling. That's just one of the many questions I'm making up to ask the seller. You make a lot of great points Elliot. Thank you. I was hoping for feedback along these lines before I contact the seller with a bazillion questions.

I'm gonna cross my fingers...
jim
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:11 PM   #16
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Re: New member...


Looking at the photo again, I believe it says MVP. (Whatever that means?

By window count and proclaimed seat count, that pretty much has to be a 40 footer, yes.

Ah, yes... You are one of my Roof Raising Diciples. Very good!

I have no personal experience with the 3126 Cat. I probably read all the same message boards.

I know no details about the 3000 series Allison either. But I have found that it is easy to find Allison information on the internet -- just search a little.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:45 AM   #17
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My new (to me) bus!

Well, I finally got a happy confluence of a) having enough money and b) finding the bus that I was looking for.

My requirements were basically a rear engine turbo diesel w/air brakes and not the AT545 transmission. I wanted to get as close to 40' length as possible.

I found a 1985 Thomas Saf-T-Liner on eBay about 10 hours from here with a 3208 turbo diesel, MT643, air brakes, etc etc. It looks like a 40'ish bus. It has some underbelly compartments. It is already registered as a "house car" in NC, so the paperwork will be easy. Also, it has already been gutted and much of the paint prep work has been done, so I actually have a bit of a head start on the conversion process.

I plan to go get the bus the weekend of May 30th. After I get it, I'm going to swing down to GA to visit some friends and visit a few choice junkyards. Then I plan to drive back home that sunday, and spend the monday finishing up any registration/titleing paperwork in VA.

I'm taking lots of tools with me, just in case. I'm also taking a lot of money for diesel.

I'm looking forward to getting started! I'm re-reading the millicent thread again to refresh my memory on roof raising.

jim
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:24 PM   #18
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Got my bus!

Well, it isn't a Turbo 3208, but I still like it.

The trip went fairly well. Not as great as I hoped, but much much better than it could have been. Driving the 40' bus was MUCH less stressful than driving my old 32' motorhome. It just feels much safer inside. Of course, the operator's area in the bus is properly engineered, and the motorhome manufacturer seriously neglected that step.

Anyway, there are details here: http://skoolie.baadpuppy.net/2008/06/bought-my-bus.html. I hope it is an entertaining read.

I can't wait to get started on the conversion part.

jim
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:42 PM   #19
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Re: New member...


The turbocharger I have seen on a 3208 was about the size of a walnut, so you may not be missing out on much. Congrats!
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:59 AM   #20
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Re: New member...


There is no waiting list!
I'd be happy to lend it out. But the stuff is big and heavy -- not something I can just toss in an envelope! You can rig something similar yourself much easier than transporting this equipment cross country.
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