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Old 09-26-2019, 05:31 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
#27

I have no idea what Iím going to call this project. Iíve been a long time lurker, years you can say, but I finally pulled the trigger yesterday.

2002 Thomas
5.9 Cummins
Allison 2500

Ignore the puddle. We sprayed down the radiator to cool it off to pop the cap and make sure there was coolant as it keeps throwing a coolant level code. Bad sensor was the agreement. Drove it home 120 miles with zero issues. Traded in over the summer, 102,xxx miles. $2700

And of course when I got home and parked I played with the lights.

Chris
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:02 AM   #2
Almost There
 
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SWEET!!! Jealous. Going to be first of the year before I can buy one.
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:40 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Screws instead of rivets!!
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Old 09-26-2019, 06:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrolo98 View Post
Screws instead of rivets!!
Huge time savor, no matter how fast anyone says they can chisel em out.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:02 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Doggo approved!

I have to upload pics better and just read instructions but doggo approves.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:54 PM   #6
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I have to upload pics better and just read instructions but doggo approves.
PNG. Your dog looks particularly weird with the pic rotated like that.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:21 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Progress made slowly. Some seats are out and I discovered itís just easier to grind the bolt off. Also, zero plywood underneath. Until next week...
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:33 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Progress has been made. First, only six of the 26 seats remain. Decided to use the grinder and just grind the bolt heads off. Quickly. Also discovered that I do not have plywood under the rubber floor, yay! While my friend was grinding away I started to remove the 1000+ screws out of the ceiling. All the panels are out except the one over the driver area. No apparent leaks in the roof so far. Even the emergency hatch is good.

Now I need to try to find the wiring diagrams to figure out a couple of extra wires up there that I have zero idea about. Iím going to repurpose the signal lights into just plain white lights for night park aids or just light around the thing at night for a bit so that should be easy enough. The bus doesnít care if a hatch or window is open, it always starts with the emergency stuff open so Iím not going to remove the buzzer system. It will be nice to know they are all closed.

Also I made a stupid mistake when buying the bus. Itís still perfect basically for what I need but was mid-informed about the transmission. Itís an AT545 and I was told it was a Allison 2500. Should have looked at the damn label. But itís more going to be stationary or local moving for filling fuel/propane. Only the occasional trip, not a full time traveling machine. I already assumed it would be slow, Iíll just plan around big mountains when I travel and it isnít necessarily a bad transmission.

Iíve decided the ďwindowsĒ between the signal lights that currently say ďSchool BusĒ are going to be just windows. Scrape the glass clean and frame them out. Extra light is a wonderful thing. I had no idea they could light up at night until I found the switch. It also had the acoustic ceiling panels all the way back, Iíve never seen a bus like that and made it really hard to hear someone back in the rear.

IMG_1397.JPG
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:20 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
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Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Huge time savor, no matter how fast anyone says they can chisel em out.
I have stripped the interior of Thomas and Bluebird. I finished the Thomas a little bit quicker than the Bluebird. Not by much though.

The big difference I noticed was the condition of my body when I was done.. The Bluebird kicked my butt.

If I didn't want a roof raise then Thomas would be the easier to convert.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:59 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Yeah. Iím not planning on a roof raise here, Iím okay with a low ceiling, itís just me and a fur kid. It has some rust in the wheel wells, a spot forming in the back by the rear door, and a small spot on one of the front doors. But so far it seems water tight inside from the roof, screws are the best thing ever, and the lack of plywood helps. But I feel Iím trading easy things for some rust repair but thatís okay. I only get 1-2 days a week to work on the bus but I should get the last six seats out and the rubber floor out next Monday.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:49 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
So many screws! Progress has been made. Now to work on the side walls.

IMG_1509.JPG59294882725__691D8DC5-24D0-4635-8F92-9C7B4D7BDC4D.JPGIMG_1510.JPG
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:05 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Iím discovering Iím horrible at updates. I threw away 1.3 tons of school bus today at the dump.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:28 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Some progress has been made. All required lights still functional. The bus is stripped inside except for the floor. Thatís a pain without wood underneath.

Adjustments.jpg
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:32 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Well I apologize for the lack of posts. I havenít made a whole lot of progress on 27 lately. I did finish removing all the school bus wiring and basically thinned out the harnesses. Iíve got a giant pile of wire set aside for 12v applications. All my lights are LED except for the headlights and marker lights. I have the marker lights sitting in a box waiting for a warmer day plus a healed bus owner. Iíve been designing the floor plan and shopping for the bus. Unfortunately while tearing off the rubber floor on the front step, I fell back and split a tendon in my left ankle. I didnít really know it apparently and worked for another month and it progressively got worse and I caved then made an appointment. Iím a stubborn man, what can I say. Needless to say itís getting repaired via surgery next week so Iím down for a bit. But at least itís winter and Iím not wasting valuable outdoor working time.

Due to Amazon Prime, the pile of parts that is growing for the bus so Iíll have plenty to do when Iím ready. Itís stripped inside and ready for action once Iím good to go. She taunts me daily outside my bedroom window begging for work.

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Old 01-13-2020, 08:52 PM   #15
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Location: Philadelphia
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
How are you running the replacement wires from front to back? I'm thinking I might replace my factory wiring soon, and I'm considering running the wires in a conduit on the underside of the bus.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:37 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Honestly I just tore apart the harness and removed the wires I didnít want. Then I just taped the harness in a factory fashion and secured it back in the original position. I de-pinned the wires from the factory harness plugs so I donít have any loose ends. I still have the original wires for brakes/tails/signals/etc. Also I maintained two circuits (strobe and backlit school bus signage) for a backup camera power and for some lights Iím adding. Looks factory and I pulled a crap-ton of wire out that I can repurpose.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:08 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Surgery completed, that much closer to getting back to work on the bus/back to actual work at work. I did finally figure out how I split my peroneal tendon....yanking out school bus rubber floor off the front steps and flying backwards and catching myself on my ankle.

Thanks #27 bus for a twelve week paid vacation from work. No complaints

Two to six weeks to go....

Adjustments.jpg
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:28 AM   #18
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,978
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Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrolo98 View Post
Surgery completed, that much closer to getting back to work on the bus/back to actual work at work. I did finally figure out how I split my peroneal tendon....yanking out school bus rubber floor off the front steps and flying backwards and catching myself on my ankle.

Thanks #27 bus for a twelve week paid vacation from work. No complaints

Two to six weeks to go....

Attachment 40921
Man, that is rough. Get well soon.

I had sort of the opposite experience with my steps. I've had a weird on/off pain in my left knee since last summer, and about a month ago I was walking out of my bus when my right foot landed on a piece of wood I use to prop the passenger doors open. My right foot shot out and I went down on my butt, catching my left foot and twisting my left knee in the process. It hurt momentarily, but since then I haven't had the knee pain any more. I can't explain it.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:03 PM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Year: 2002
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Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Xrolo98, take your time healing!


Musigenisis, that was a quite beneficial fall.
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:14 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Chassis: 2002 Thomas MVP FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, 24 valve, AT545
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Man, that is rough. Get well soon.



I had sort of the opposite experience with my steps. I've had a weird on/off pain in my left knee since last summer, and about a month ago I was walking out of my bus when my right foot landed on a piece of wood I use to prop the passenger doors open. My right foot shot out and I went down on my butt, catching my left foot and twisting my left knee in the process. It hurt momentarily, but since then I haven't had the knee pain any more. I can't explain it.


Maybe you have a magic school bus?
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