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Old 01-03-2017, 04:16 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 20
1990 GMC Raptor Hauler

I figured since I have obtained much of the information and ideas for my bus from this website, I ought to document it's story on here as well.

First, the bus specs:
-1990 GMC Bus
-8.2L Detroit Diesel N/A
-145,000 miles
-59 Passenger handicap accessible bus
-Handicap doors are present, lift has been removed
-Seats have been removed by previous owner
-Breaker box and outlets installed by previous owner
-RV Plug in
-Rooftop AC
-TransAir A/C/heat


The Plan:
I purchased the bus on November 26th, 2016 with plans to convert it into a flatbed truck hauler to haul my 2011 Ford Raptor. My truck is quite long at 19', and the bus was a a shorter handicap accessible 59 passenger bus - This leaves me with 5' of living space behind the drivers seat, and an 18-1/2' bed for hauling. The living space is rather small, but all I really need is a bed to sleep in.

Status:
I've had the bus for just over a month, and have dedicated many, many hours to it. Progress has been smooth and steady since the day I drove it home. The back section of the bus has been removed and relocated further up. The middle section was removed in one piece, and I have plans to turn it into a matching bus trailer when time allows. I riveted 5" wide matching strips over the seam where the two sections meet, and siliconed it completely. All lights have been rewired and are functional.

Next Step:
I've broken the project into 3 main sections: 1) Cab Exterior, 2) Bed/Ramps, 3) Cab interior. With the cab sealed, I will be moving on the the bed and the ramps. I plan to build 14' ramps out of steel C-Channel and slide them on top of the bus bed, under the truck and between the wheel wells when traveling.

I will edit this post and start to add pictures of my progress along the way. I tried to photograph along the way as much as I could.

I'd like to thank everyone on the forum for the information, ideas, and innovation. It takes a certain breed to take on such projects, and I'm happy to be a part of the group!

Here is a picture of the bus and myself, the day I drove it home:


Picture of my truck:


Current Pictures of the bus - 38 days in.

Attached Thumbnails
bus1.jpg   bus2.jpg   bus3.jpg   truck.jpg  

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Old 01-03-2017, 04:36 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 20
Progress

Pictures are worth a thousand words...









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bus4.jpg   bus5.jpg   bus6.jpg   bus7.jpg   bus8.jpg  

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Old 01-03-2017, 04:43 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 20
Progress









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Old 01-03-2017, 05:33 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,158
Cool project and Welcome
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:21 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,761
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
NICE!

Takes a GMC to pull a Ford!
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:24 PM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
And the left over body looks like it could be a nifty shed. Excellent!
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:36 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,446
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Takes a GMC to pull a Ford!
You know it!
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:34 PM   #8
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Super awesome! I dream of making stuff out of busses

What state are you located in?

And Wow that is some air in the Raptor, holy canoli!
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:43 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pensacola and Crystal River, FL
Posts: 647
Year: 1998
Coachwork: AmTran International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar 7.6L
That air born Raptor looks like it made Test Hill at Silver Lake sand dunes in Michigan?
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:19 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 855
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 8.3/Allison MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
As others have said, that dune jump pic is pretty awesome.

And out of curiosity, when you picked that middle section of roof and walls with the skid steer, what'd it feel like that section weighed?




Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
NICE!

Takes a GMC to pull a Ford!
It seems I don't have the picture anymore, but a guy I know with an F450 with a service body on it had me pick it up for him when his HPOP died. I snapped a picture of it on the back of my F650 and sent the pic around to some friends with captions like "best way to make sure your Powerstroke makes it home is to know somebody with a Cummins."

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Old 01-03-2017, 08:38 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 138
Real similar to mine but I have around 10 feet if cabin space behind the driver. Not much room for 4 or us. Luckily we have a huge porch & upper party deck.

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Old 01-03-2017, 09:11 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: ...little north of Toronto Ontario
Posts: 606
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomsass
Chassis: FreightShaker
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 5 speed
Rated Cap: 2 ATV's and friends
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsktbllr69 View Post
I figured since I have obtained much of the information and ideas for my bus from this website, I ought to document it's story on here as well.

First, the bus specs:
-1990 GMC Bus
-8.2L Detroit Diesel N/A
-145,000 miles
-59 Passenger handicap accessible bus
-Handicap doors are present, lift has been removed
-Seats have been removed by previous owner
-Breaker box and outlets installed by previous owner
-RV Plug in
-Rooftop AC
-TransAir A/C/heat


The Plan:
I purchased the bus on November 26th, 2016 with plans to convert it into a flatbed truck hauler to haul my 2011 Ford Raptor. My truck is quite long at 19', and the bus was a a shorter handicap accessible 59 passenger bus - This leaves me with 5' of living space behind the drivers seat, and an 18-1/2' bed for hauling. The living space is rather small, but all I really need is a bed to sleep in.

Status:
I've had the bus for just over a month, and have dedicated many, many hours to it. Progress has been smooth and steady since the day I drove it home. The back section of the bus has been removed and relocated further up. The middle section was removed in one piece, and I have plans to turn it into a matching bus trailer when time allows. I riveted 5" wide matching strips over the seam where the two sections meet, and siliconed it completely. All lights have been rewired and are functional.

Next Step:
I've broken the project into 3 main sections: 1) Cab Exterior, 2) Bed/Ramps, 3) Cab interior. With the cab sealed, I will be moving on the the bed and the ramps. I plan to build 14' ramps out of steel C-Channel and slide them on top of the bus bed, under the truck and between the wheel wells when traveling.

I will edit this post and start to add pictures of my progress along the way. I tried to photograph along the way as much as I could.

I'd like to thank everyone on the forum for the information, ideas, and innovation. It takes a certain breed to take on such projects, and I'm happy to be a part of the group!

Here is a picture of the bus and myself, the day I drove it home:


Picture of my truck:


Current Pictures of the bus - 38 days in.

Great pics!
Is that you in the Ford, or a pic of the guy that stole it?
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:00 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carytowncat View Post
Super awesome! I dream of making stuff out of busses

What state are you located in?

And Wow that is some air in the Raptor, holy canoli!
Thanks! You should turn that dream into reality! This has to be my favorite project that I've taken on. I'm located in south bend, Indiana.

Yeah I have a lot of fun in the raptor, which is the main reason I decided towing it to events would be better than driving it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleO7 View Post
That air born Raptor looks like it made Test Hill at Silver Lake sand dunes in Michigan?
Exactly right! I live about 3 hours from silver lake, and try to make it there at least once a month in the summer. Its a home away from home!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rameses View Post
As others have said, that dune jump pic is pretty awesome.

And out of curiosity, when you picked that middle section of roof and walls with the skid steer, what'd it feel like that section weighed?






It seems I don't have the picture anymore, but a guy I know with an F450 with a service body on it had me pick it up for him when his HPOP died. I snapped a picture of it on the back of my F650 and sent the pic around to some friends with captions like "best way to make sure your Powerstroke makes it home is to know somebody with a Cummins."

Thanks! The skid loader is rated for 2000lbs, and it didn't struggle too much lifting that section of bus at that height.... If I had to guess I'd say around 1200lbs, but that's just a guess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDavid View Post
Real similar to mine but I have around 10 feet if cabin space behind the driver. Not much room for 4 or us. Luckily we have a huge porch & upper party deck.

I love it! In retrospect, I wish I would have left the seat rail as a railing for the bed, but its too late now. I will be adding some railing similar to yours, but shorter.

What do you use for ramps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
And the left over body looks like it could be a nifty shed. Excellent!
I hope to eventually turn that section into a matching trailer to haul behind the bus! But for now, it does a good job covering my snowmobile lol.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:06 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by REDD View Post
Great pics!
Is that you in the Ford, or a pic of the guy that stole it?
Its me! Wait.... I better go make sure its still in the barn

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil View Post
Cool project and Welcome
Thank you, its been fun so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
NICE!

Takes a GMC to pull a Ford!
Haha I knew the brand jarring would come up with the ford on the back! I love them all though, as long as its not a dodge!
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:22 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 20








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Old 01-04-2017, 10:11 AM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pensacola and Crystal River, FL
Posts: 647
Year: 1998
Coachwork: AmTran International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar 7.6L
So 20 years ago, I too would make visits to SL with my assembled tubular mid-engine Pinto powered buggy.

I now that sand is not as soft as most would think, so how much damage did your truck suffer from that jump? (honestly, lol).
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:19 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleO7 View Post
So 20 years ago, I too would make visits to SL with my assembled tubular mid-engine Pinto powered buggy.

I now that sand is not as soft as most would think, so how much damage did your truck suffer from that jump? (honestly, lol).
Haha it's definitely not as soft as it might seem. I've been lucky enough to be able to drive the truck home after every trip, but I know better than to push my luck for too long - which is why I bought my bus! But honestly, the truck takes a beating out there and I've had no mechanical failures. I have the shocks rebuilt each season, and I do have some additional frame support, but for the most part it's the factory suspension doing all the work.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:31 AM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pensacola and Crystal River, FL
Posts: 647
Year: 1998
Coachwork: AmTran International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar 7.6L
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsktbllr69 View Post
Haha it's definitely not as soft as it might seem. I've been lucky enough to be able to drive the truck home after every trip, but I know better than to push my luck for too long - which is why I bought my bus! But honestly, the truck takes a beating out there and I've had no mechanical failures. I have the shocks rebuilt each season, and I do have some additional frame support, but for the most part it's the factory suspension doing all the work.
Quite impressive than for mostly factory truck.
The picture you posted made my kidneys hurt just thinking back to those days.
Is the sand drag strip northeast of the dunes still in operation?
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:42 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,761
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
haha







That red one wasn't you was it? J/K
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:47 PM   #20
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada eh?
Posts: 99
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Corbeil - RAMROD
Chassis: IH 3800 66 Pass
Engine: 7.3 IH IDI NA w AT545 hyd
Sweet build! There are more than a few of us that are building toy haulers.

I also happen to currently sell the new Raptors - have a customer who should take delivery of his in a month or so. They're unreal!
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