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Old 10-21-2017, 04:46 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Corpus Chisti, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger
2002 International AmTran T444E

Here is the continuation of my introduction found here: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/is-...tml#post227290

A little recap: I bought a bus from the Austin Texas ISD and drove it home back to Corpus Christi, Texas. I went with a friend to pick it up. We took a Greyhound there and drove it 5 hours back on backroads almost the entire way (I didn't trust myself going through San Antonio and Austin on the interstate). That gave me plenty of time for some buyers remorse, thoughts about what the name should be, and also for some thoughts about what the heck I want to do with a 40 foot school bus. I've included a few pictures of what I am up against. I took a few hours and messed around on Visio to get a general layout about what I would want in the bus. I have no idea how hard it is going to be to make any of the ideas I have come to fruition. The first drawing has an extra space in the rear for storage or for utilities. It looks like it might make it difficult to install things around or on the wheel wells. The second drawing eliminates that storage space and allows for me to avoid the wheel wells a little easier. Let me know what you think! Any and all comments are welcome.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bus1.jpg (188.5 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Bus2.jpg (188.1 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg Bus3.jpg (160.2 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Bus4.jpg (180.7 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg Bus5.jpg (133.3 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg Bus drawings pic rev 1 Page 001.jpg (91.5 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg Bus drawings pic.jpg (93.7 KB, 46 views)

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Old 10-21-2017, 08:16 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,818
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
how cool you got your bus home!!! that rocks!!!!

did ya have fun driving it?
-Christopher
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:37 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Corpus Chisti, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger
I had a blast driving it back. I didn’t realize that I would have my foot to the floor board almost the entire time ����. I also realized I that if I’m going to stop in a parking lot somewhere, I better have a plan to get out (preferably without backing up) lol
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:40 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,818
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtownsen View Post
I had a blast driving it back. I didnít realize that I would have my foot to the floor board almost the entire time ����. I also realized I that if Iím going to stop in a parking lot somewhere, I better have a plan to get out (preferably without backing up) lol

what did your RPMs run? do you know what transmission that has?

helps me to understand if you were gear limited or computer-speed limited.. most all of those 444E's are computer speed limited..

-Christopher
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Old 10-21-2017, 11:53 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SE Florida
Posts: 1,108
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 65 pax
Iíve got the same bus, a 2003. Youíll love it!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:09 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Corpus Chisti, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger
I had the guy at the bus barn change the electronic governor from 55MPH to 70MPH. I don't remember what the RPMs were because I was focused on the gauge cluster itself. Occasionally it would freeze totally. It will be one of the things that I add to the to-do list
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:56 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Corpus Chisti, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger
Update: Small steps

I apologize for not keeping everyone in the loop over the past couple months. The bus conversion is well on its way! I went with a friend to go get the bus and she snapped a few pictures at the bus barn, jumping the bus, and our journey from Austin to Corpus Christi. In addition to the pictures we took, I wanted to make sure that my whole skoolie experiment and subsequent adventures are well documented. I've started a youtube vlog that I will be adding videos to periodically in order to share my skoolie experience. Let me know what you think! Any comments or tweak suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

https://youtu.be/hsc1WMb1SBQ
Attached Images
File Type: png IMG_7185.PNG (1.15 MB, 26 views)
File Type: png IMG_7186.PNG (1.19 MB, 22 views)
File Type: png IMG_7187.PNG (579.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: png IMG_7190.PNG (664.6 KB, 34 views)
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Old 12-24-2017, 04:06 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Corpus Chisti, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger
Update: Small steps

I apologize for not keeping everyone in the loop over the past couple months. The bus conversion is well on its way! I went with a friend to go get the bus and she snapped a few pictures at the bus barn, jumping the bus, and our journey from Austin to Corpus Christi. In addition to the pictures we took, I wanted to make sure that my whole skoolie experiment and subsequent adventures are well documented. I've started a youtube vlog that I will be adding videos to periodically in order to share my skoolie experience. Let me know what you think! Any comments or tweak suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

https://youtu.be/hsc1WMb1SBQ
Attached Images
File Type: png IMG_7185.PNG (1.15 MB, 13 views)
File Type: png IMG_7186.PNG (1.19 MB, 8 views)
File Type: png IMG_7187.PNG (579.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: png IMG_7190.PNG (664.6 KB, 14 views)
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:15 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
That's a nice looking bus. I vote you keep the bus and the helper.
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Old 12-24-2017, 10:16 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Corpus Chisti, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger
Phase 1: Out With The Old

The first phase of my skoolie conversion will be the demo portion. The first step was to get the old seats out. They came out like a dream. All of them were just bolted in and I didn't have to do any grinding. Down the street from where I keep my bus is a heavy equipment rental business that I noticed worked on old school buses. Seeing as the seats were almost worthless to me and would end up in the dump otherwise, I stopped his by his business with a bus full of seats to see if he would could find a use for them in his buses. I gave them up free of charge and only asked for his occasional advice if I ever had some trouble with my bus. To me, having that contact is well worth the money I may have gotten from the scrap yard. Check out my conversion video here:

https://youtu.be/97UY9sCmcCg

The next step was taking out the sheet metal walls and ceiling. The ceiling came out no problem. This biggest issue that I am having right now is taking out the walls. I have removed all the screws yet the wall panel does not seem to want to come apart from the window. Does anyone have any experience with this? It almost seems like the windows may need to be removed in order to remove the wall panel or with it all together. I was going to take this opportunity to take the windows out and apply some silicone to make for a better seal going forward. I figure an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure later. If anyone has suggestions or personal solutions to sealing their windows, that would be greatly appreciated.
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File Type: jpg IMG_7324.jpg (224.8 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7325.jpg (205.2 KB, 15 views)
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Old 12-24-2017, 10:22 PM   #11
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
There are two ways to do this.

You can remove the windows to get the entire side panel out, or you can cut the panel just below the windows.

If you take the windows out, use a proper sealant, not silicone. Don't ever let silicone anywhere near your bus, you need a flexible mastic sealant.
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Old 12-24-2017, 10:36 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Corpus Chisti, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
There are two ways to do this.

You can remove the windows to get the entire side panel out, or you can cut the panel just below the windows.

If you take the windows out, use a proper sealant, not silicone. Don't ever let silicone anywhere near your bus, you need a flexible mastic sealant.
I will be sure to switch over to the mastic sealant. I put in two skylights for the emergency exits which I also used silicone in addition to marine weather stripping. I may have to go back over those to make sure they are done right. Thank you for the advice Twigg!
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:00 AM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Maine
Posts: 6
Year: 2004
Engine: T444E
I'm brand new here, just got basically the same bus but 2004 Thomas. Actually I got two... they were a package deal. I'm just in the process of removing seats now from the one I intend to keep. Good to know about the silicone!
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:16 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Corpus Chisti, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger
Update: ...And Then There Was Light

So I've finally got the demo portion of my skoolie completed. Check out the youtube video here and let me know what you think. https://youtu.be/vEptIumZ8gA

I ended up going through 3 metal cutting blades on my angle grinder before I decided to fork over the money for a diamond tipped wheel to get the inside wall out of the bus. In order to demo the emergency exits, I had to put something in its place. I made custom skylights out of lexan plexiglass. I sealed them with marine grade weather stripping and silicone before I knew about the mastic sealant above.... Finally, I took the floor out and took a wire wheel to the scale on the floor. I used rustoleum rust reformer to give a protective barrier from any more rush (fingers crossed).

Now the fun begins! I have decided to do furring strips on the floor and plywood on top of that with foam board to fill in the void. I am looking for a good tutorial about how to do the 2x4 framing. I don't have much experience with carpentry and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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