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Old 03-24-2018, 01:55 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crownsville, MD
Posts: 17
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Type D chassis manufactured by navistar
Engine: T444e 7.3l V8
Rated Cap: 72
To skoolie or not to skoolie?

Or maybe a better title would be, can we really get it running well? Well enough to travel all over the country with our entire home built into it?
Ok, let me back pedal a little. My husband and I have been going back and forth between a new travel trailer/truck set up or a skoolie. Love the convienence of something already done but not the idea of how much debt it would create. We are pretty intimidated by a bus because we know nothing about the mechanics, how to take care of those mechanics and what would we do if it broke down in the middle of nowhere with our home literally inside it? I’ve driven around the US and there are a LOT of places that don’t have cell service. ��. Ok so, back to the bus. A free one just fell into our lap. Amazing right? Well, sort of. It has electrical issues and were not sure if we can get them fixed or how much/how long it would take to fix them. I just got a good look at the engine compartment today (rear engine) and it looked like a hot mess. Granted, I know nothing about engines but the amount of hoses and grease put me into panic mode. Why so much grease and how in the heck does a mechanic fix anything with all those hoses everywhere? So access to the rear engine is a concern. Especially if they have to come in from the top...where we’ll build our bed...will we have to deconstruct our bed to get to the engine compartment? Bottom line question, is there a way to fix a bus, getting it running really really well where everything is in great shape, so we can get on the road with confidence and explore this big country of ours? By the way, I am so not scared of the conversion, just the black goo, tube filled mess in the rear and the electrical mess in the front! Help me feel better about this, I beg you!!
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:11 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwharma View Post
Or maybe a better title would be, can we really get it running well? Well enough to travel all over the country with our entire home built into it?
Ok, let me back pedal a little. My husband and I have been going back and forth between a new travel trailer/truck set up or a skoolie. Love the convienence of something already done but not the idea of how much debt it would create. We are pretty intimidated by a bus because we know nothing about the mechanics, how to take care of those mechanics and what would we do if it broke down in the middle of nowhere with our home literally inside it? Iíve driven around the US and there are a LOT of places that donít have cell service. ��. Ok so, back to the bus. A free one just fell into our lap. Amazing right? Well, sort of. It has electrical issues and were not sure if we can get them fixed or how much/how long it would take to fix them. I just got a good look at the engine compartment today (rear engine) and it looked like a hot mess. Granted, I know nothing about engines but the amount of hoses and grease put me into panic mode. Why so much grease and how in the heck does a mechanic fix anything with all those hoses everywhere? So access to the rear engine is a concern. Especially if they have to come in from the top...where weíll build our bed...will we have to deconstruct our bed to get to the engine compartment? Bottom line question, is there a way to fix a bus, getting it running really really well where everything is in great shape, so we can get on the road with confidence and explore this big country of ours? By the way, I am so not scared of the conversion, just the black goo, tube filled mess in the rear and the electrical mess in the front! Help me feel better about this, I beg you!!
I don't guess you're anywhere close to Houston? I can do some stuff...there's probably a trade in here were you guys can learn and so could I...I'm kinda in this place though

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Old 03-24-2018, 02:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwharma View Post
Or maybe a better title would be, can we really get it running well? Well enough to travel all over the country with our entire home built into it?
Ok, let me back pedal a little. My husband and I have been going back and forth between a new travel trailer/truck set up or a skoolie. Love the convienence of something already done but not the idea of how much debt it would create. We are pretty intimidated by a bus because we know nothing about the mechanics, how to take care of those mechanics and what would we do if it broke down in the middle of nowhere with our home literally inside it? Iíve driven around the US and there are a LOT of places that donít have cell service. ��. Ok so, back to the bus. A free one just fell into our lap. Amazing right? Well, sort of. It has electrical issues and were not sure if we can get them fixed or how much/how long it would take to fix them. I just got a good look at the engine compartment today (rear engine) and it looked like a hot mess. Granted, I know nothing about engines but the amount of hoses and grease put me into panic mode. Why so much grease and how in the heck does a mechanic fix anything with all those hoses everywhere? So access to the rear engine is a concern. Especially if they have to come in from the top...where weíll build our bed...will we have to deconstruct our bed to get to the engine compartment? Bottom line question, is there a way to fix a bus, getting it running really really well where everything is in great shape, so we can get on the road with confidence and explore this big country of ours? By the way, I am so not scared of the conversion, just the black goo, tube filled mess in the rear and the electrical mess in the front! Help me feel better about this, I beg you!!
Btw, in my opinion a RE is the best set-up and a free bus is $1000s ahead...and debt-free

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Old 03-24-2018, 02:23 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,581
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
I suppose the first thing would be to ask what year the bus is, and what engine it has. It's a little hard to see, but my first guess is the IH 7.3/T444e (they are essentially the same engine). These engines have an excellent reputation and are plentiful, so finding parts and service is fairly easy. They're not the most powerful of engines, but they get the job done.

Yes, buses have lots of hoses, wires, and stuff. And yes, grease does tend to build up over time. A good (CAREFUL) pressure washing will help; you'll want to avoid getting water in places it's not supposed to be.

Many buses have safety switches at the windows and emergency exits, and sometimes people remove them only to return to the forum with "I removed these switches, now my bus won't start!" They *Can* be removed, but you'll need to determine if the wires need to be tied together (closed circuit) or left unhooked (open circuit). *DO NOT* disconnect more than a couple things at a time; check to make sure it still starts and everything works (that way, if something goes wrong, you can undo your changes relatively easily).
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:25 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crownsville, MD
Posts: 17
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Type D chassis manufactured by navistar
Engine: T444e 7.3l V8
Rated Cap: 72
We are in Maryland. I would so love to learn the ins and outs of all the systems in this bus!
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:31 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crownsville, MD
Posts: 17
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Type D chassis manufactured by navistar
Engine: T444e 7.3l V8
Rated Cap: 72
Yes. You are spot on! It’s a 2002 international 3000 with a t444e engine (7.3l V-8 ). I’ve attached the rest of the info. I can’t figure out what transmission though. Too much stuff and hoses in the way.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:33 PM   #7
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Rated Cap: 81
If you go look at any the auction busses you will probably find greasy motor and wiring issues,your just @4k ahead of most. If you do a gut conversion and wire trace you will get rid of alot of wiring mess. I say get it, clean it up ,and start demo work. Any bus you get will need work. I have owned campers and they are a waste of money.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:37 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crownsville, MD
Posts: 17
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Type D chassis manufactured by navistar
Engine: T444e 7.3l V8
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles O Roads View Post
If you go look at any the auction busses you will probably find greasy motor and wiring issues,your just @4k ahead of most. If you do a gut conversion and wire trace you will get rid of alot of wiring mess. I say get it, clean it up ,and start demo work. Any bus you get will need work. I have owned campers and they are a waste of money.
I did find the wiring schematics for this bus on here somewhere. I’m guessing that would really help get this thing figured out. The wiring issues anyway. Thank you! I appreciate your positivity! Keep sending it my way
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:39 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crownsville, MD
Posts: 17
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Type D chassis manufactured by navistar
Engine: T444e 7.3l V8
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I suppose the first thing would be to ask what year the bus is, and what engine it has. It's a little hard to see, but my first guess is the IH 7.3/T444e (they are essentially the same engine). These engines have an excellent reputation and are plentiful, so finding parts and service is fairly easy. They're not the most powerful of engines, but they get the job done.

Yes, buses have lots of hoses, wires, and stuff. And yes, grease does tend to build up over time. A good (CAREFUL) pressure washing will help; you'll want to avoid getting water in places it's not supposed to be.

Many buses have safety switches at the windows and emergency exits, and sometimes people remove them only to return to the forum with "I removed these switches, now my bus won't start!" They *Can* be removed, but you'll need to determine if the wires need to be tied together (closed circuit) or left unhooked (open circuit). *DO NOT* disconnect more than a couple things at a time; check to make sure it still starts and everything works (that way, if something goes wrong, you can undo your changes relatively easily).
Oh, and you’re pretty close about the wiring as well. I was told someone removed the bus stop sign and whatever else was required by law, then afterwards it had the electrical issues.
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:52 PM   #10
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Location: SW New Hampshire
Posts: 1,269
I think I know that bus! PM sent.
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