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Old 07-23-2009, 08:20 PM   #1
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new to the Forum

Good Evening Forum Members,

I live up here in Central MN. I decided to go take a look at a used 95 Thomas built Flat nose school Bus. Its has 103,227 miles. This is actual milage as it has the 6th digit on the insturment panel. Anyways, Hs people had pretty good experience try to convert a school Buses. This bus doesn't have the belly compartments for extra storage so I think one will have to be made for LP Tanks. Then tanks for the underneath for water and what will have to be added underneath as well. I really want this to turn as close to good looking as it can get.

This is all dependent on hows things go with trying to buy a camper. If the camper falls through then its full steam ahead for the bus idea.

Bus Sepcs:

Year: 1995
CAP: 86
Milage: 103,227
Engine: 5.9 International
Transmission; Auto, Allison: MT634

take care,

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Old 07-23-2009, 08:37 PM   #2
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Re: new to the Forum

Welcome to the forum.

Having owned a "normal" camper, and now owning a bus that I'm converting, I can say that unless you buy a really high end camper (ie, a wanderlodge bus or similar), you'll find the camper falls apart rather quickly. The bus on the other hand is built like a tank.

When looking at busses, don't trust the odometer. You never know (unless you have full service records from the school system) whether that engine got replaced at some point. It is quite common for an engine to have been replaced.

The Thomas flat nose busses are very good busses. You didn't say whether you were looking at a front engine or rear engine bus. A rear engine bus will ride better, and the engine noise and heat are far from the driver during operation. But, a front engine bus is still a good bus.

I'm not familiar with the 5.9 International engine, so I can't say much about it. The MT643 transmission is a nice transmission to have. The 86 passenger capacity would lead me to believe your bus is close to 40' long.

Thomas seems to make 3 different roof heights. If you look at the bus from the side, you'll be able to tell which type it is. The one with the lowest interior height has the roof lower behind the driver's area. The next height up would be straight back from the driver's area. The one with the best headroom is the one that rises right behind the driver.

There have been many nice conversion of school busses. Take a look around in the gallery, and look at the various conversions posted in the forum. Conversions here run the scale from "mobile tent" to "mobile mansion" and everything in between.

I hope this helps,
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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Location: near flint michigan
Posts: 2,653
Re: new to the Forum

i bet it's a 5.9 cummins motor....which in my opinion is one of the best skoolie engines.

what color is the engine? cummins 5.9's in skoolies tend to be tan in color in my expierence, while international DT engines are usually blue. DD's tend to be green from the factory but turn black long before we aquire them!

the mt643 is a very coveted trans in a skoolie.
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