Wow, that's awesome that you found a great mechanic. That's one thing I dislike about living in the middle of nowhere.
Basement (under the floor) A/C built in already? That's awesome! I wonder what powers it. Oh, I see it now in the engine compartment. sweet!
Having dual side fuel fill is also great. Maybe I can modify mine to do the same... I recommend you use the street side for fuel fill after you finish your conversion. Diesel likes to splash and spill while you fill, and you want the stink on the side you don't use as your "yard".
I think those fold down seats would be perfect. When you get around to removing one, let me know so we can work out details.
I can't believe your air throttle is mounted there. On my engine, it is attached to the top of the block, and there are 2 cables attached to it. The linkage is poorly done, so maybe it got relocated for some unknown reason. My engine was allegedly rebuilt at one point, so that might've been when it happened. I'll have to dig into that more. Thanks for the info!
My bus is called a Saf-T-Liner. It is 39 or 40 feet long, rear engine, yada yada. There are a lot of pictures of it at http://gallery.giffords.net/v/thomas/
5 gallons of oil sounds right. You have a 10.4 liter engine. Takes a LOT of oil to keep that going smoothly.
New belts is a good idea. I should do that.
Thomas uses that funky drive system to run their fan. I sometimes wonder if that doesn't steal a lot of power vs an electric fan or 2.
Getting a full DOT workup done every year or 2 is probably a good idea in any case. That way you *know* you have a solid system.
Congrats on the kid-to-be. I know you must be excited.
I don't know how to fix sticky windows, sorry. I plan to remove mine as they're all schoolbus style.
I see a switch labeled mirror, sounds like you also might have heated mirrors. Nice.
Also, one labelled lift. Is that a wheelchair lift? Is it still installed?
That big red thing is interesting. Is it just a light, or is it something like an emergency cutoff for something?
My shifter is located where your switch panel is, but I'd like to relocate it to where yours is, and put my switch panel where yours is. I'm working on that. My dash appears to be basically the same. I plan to rebuild my dash completely though.
The MT643 is the 4 speed automatic allison transmission with the lockup torque converter. This is a great transmission to have. I see your bus is already running the 22.5" tires. I'm having to convert mine. The engine number, 3208T215 seems to imply a turbo. Mine is the 3208-210, which is non-turbo, 210 HP. I'd bet yours is turbo (or was at one point) with 215 HP.
Actually, I'm almost positive yours is a turbo. Mine has a huge (4 or 6 inch) black pipe coming from the air cleaner (the big canister on the right side behind the controls) to the top of the engine. Yours does not. A turbo I'm told isn't all that large on these engines. Zooming in, it looks like it might be straight back from the main alternator on the top of the engine.
Your weight rating is the same as mine. That's a great rating for a conversion as it'll legally hold almost anything you throw at it.
I have no idea how those signs work. Best guess is the messages are pre-programmed and you select which one with those number dials. Might need a special programmer.
In your engine compartment, the belt that runs up to the stuff underneath the control panel on the right hand side appears to be the A/C compressor and a second alternator! Wow, I'd almost kill for those! And, it let's me know where I could install some of my own if I wanted.
I really have to look at why my air throttle isn't in the "normal" place. On the side of the block where yours is would be a LOT safer for goosing the engine than reaching thru the belts to the top of the engine. I use a long stick when I have to do that to unstick the throttle, and it scares me that I will break something bad every time.
Funny story about that safety switch. Recently an organization I know got a brand new Thomas bus (not transit and not school). Brand spanking new bus, a 2007 model I think. This has the C7 engine in it, which is all electronic.
The maintenance guy for the organization shows the driver where to check all the fluids, and leaves her to it.
Not long after, a tow truck shows up and tows the bus to a truck shop to be repaired. Seems the engine wouldn't start and nobody could figure it out.
Turns out the engine compartment door was open, and the safety switch wasn't pressed. Expensive lesson to learn.
Every Thomas I've seen has that same control panel in the rear. So far, I've seen mine, your's, Jake Von Slatt's (via video from his site), and that bus with the C7 in it. Speaking of Jake, you really have to check his conversion site: http://vonslatt.com/bus-main.shtml
If you need pictures of anything specific from my bus feel free to ask. I enjoy taking pictures of the old girl.
Ack, now I'm the one babbling.