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Old 05-04-2021, 08:23 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: VA - VIRGINIA
Posts: 17
Alt1 Bus conversion

Hello all.

I am now the proud owner of a 1998 Thomas Saf T liner. Below are the stats:

1998 Saf T Liner
34ft Long
Mechanical 12v 5.9l Cummins, 230HP
Allision MT643
77in interior height
Air brakes
Air ride seat
Factory A/C

I picked this bus up just a few miles from my house in Fredericksburg, VA. It was at a storage facility and left by the previous owner. The storage facility filed all the appropriate paperwork, held it at auction, and could legally sell the bus. It had sat for approximately 5 years before I made the purchase. Since the bus had sat for so long, it needed some TLC and some electrical troubleshooting. You can read up on some of what was required in my previous thread. https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f49/n...cal-35747.html

After getting her started and a little maneuvering in the storage lot, I checked lights, brakes, steering etc and she was ready to make the trip. Phrogman265 and his wife helped me get the bus to his property where the conversion will take place.

Today was day 1 of the conversion. Seats were removed with the help of a friend. I also spent a little time degreasing and cleaning the engine and engine bay. I also learned a tip to check on mechanical injection pump diesel (typically done before purchase). With the engine running, crack open the fuel line going to each injector. One by one checking for a change in sound of the motor. The helps determine the condition of each cylinder while running. Below is the link I followed.

I also found $1.12 in change in the seats. So I guess the purchase of this bus for $1200 is actually now $1,198.88.

Next step is finish removing the interior panels and flooring, window removal, A/c disassembly (will be keeping), and rear heater removal. I will be doing a 16in roof raise and reusing most of the windows.

Thanks for your interest and stay tuned!
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:20 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 532
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Definitely keep those windows! Very cool on you getting so much done so quickly.

Glad you have such a great location to work on it and friends to help.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:51 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 238
Coachwork: International Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alt1 View Post
Hello all.

I am now the proud owner of a 1998 Thomas Saf T liner.
.............
Thanks for your interest and stay tuned!
Ryan, I presume? Ryan Alt Woodworks has produced some impressive pieces. I'm looking forward to following your build out. Please post pics of as you go.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:28 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,742
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
this is a nice bus!! would look cool to raise somwe of the windows up during your roof raise.. give it some varying lines on the outside..
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:54 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: VA - VIRGINIA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
Definitely keep those windows! Very cool on you getting so much done so quickly.

Glad you have such a great location to work on it and friends to help.
Yes, very fortunate. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
Ryan, I presume? Ryan Alt Woodworks has produced some impressive pieces. I'm looking forward to following your build out. Please post pics of as you go.
Indeed. Thanks for the compliments. Unfortunately, the Facebook page has not been updated in a very long time. The pictures are some of my very first commissioned items. I've been fortunate to quite a lot more and really improved my skills. As a side hobby, the woodworking business is 99% by word-of-mouth and always busy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
this is a nice bus!! would look cool to raise somwe of the windows up during your roof raise.. give it some varying lines on the outside..
Thanks. I hadnt thought of that. I could see the front 2-3 being normal height and the rear being raised up. Worth considering for sure.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:30 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Day Two:

The necessary early steps are moving along as fast as I can manage.

I believe I unscrewed approximately 8,000 screws from the interior paneling. (honestly no clue, but thats what it felt like). 90% of the interior paneling is unscrewed but I could not remove everything fully due to the ac units. I have an a/c guy that Phrogman uses coming to properly discharge the AC so that it can be disassembled and saved for later. All sidewall panels are down and insulation removed. A couple windows are removed and the rest are just held in by a few screws. They should be coming out this weeked for storage. Flooring is still in and should be getting removed this weekend as well.

I also spend a bit more time cleaning up the engine/trans. There is a leak somewhere for me to find once everything is fully cleaned. I ordered the Killer Dowel Pin parts + gasket. Hat channel will be on order shortly.

Only picture is from mid day.
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Old 05-06-2021, 10:15 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 532
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Okay, I'm really starting to not like you so much. WTF! You fix a bus, buy it for cheap, gut it in essentially a couple of days and will be frickin' done with the full conversion by what, July???

Amazing progress. Looks great!
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:33 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
Okay, I'm really starting to not like you so much. WTF! You fix a bus, buy it for cheap, gut it in essentially a couple of days and will be frickin' done with the full conversion by what, July???

Amazing progress. Looks great!
Ha, thanks Steve. Full conversion by July would be awesome! I dont think I can work THAT fast. The plan is for the roof raise to be complete in June and hopefully all the wiring and spray foam before the end of July. Optimistically!
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:34 PM   #9
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Day Three:

My brother came to visit and so I grabbed him up to come work on the bus. Picking up from the previous days work, we carried on with the demo.

All windows were removed and stored for reuse. A couple of broken screws heads during removal, but nothing too bad beyond that. No broke glass or damaged frames. Whatever I dont use will be offered up to Phrogman for his bus.

The big project today was to pull up the floor. I ended up using a circular saw to do a cut about 90% through the plywood and rubber, and then use two large (40" +) prybars in tandem with my brother. After the first square patch in the center was removed, the rest came up pretty easy. Easy for floor removal that is... Still tough work, but it went much smoother than I had anticipated.

Overall, the floors are in great shape. There are spots below both emergency roof hatches that have some rust and a few corners near the wheel wells. However, I didnt see any holes from rust. When I get to finishing the floors I'll take a closer look at make repairs as needed, but overall very pleased with the current condition.

A/C units were dropped from their ceiling mounts in preparation for our buddy to come with his A/C equipment. Im hoping he can come by this week so that I can move the units completely. I will be keeping one unit, the other will be going to Phrogman.

The final ceiling panels were removed now that the A/C units are down.

It looks like I'm about 90% done with the interior demo. The only thing left is the rubber over the engine compartment and wheelwells, rear heater and hoses, and a few ceiling insulation panels.
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:47 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 238
Coachwork: International Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Not bad for a few weeks work.

What!?

Ugh. Oh.

Three days is really fantastic! You are well on your way to (a stroke? ha!) completing, as scheduled. Not bad rust, at all. How many of you? Just a bunch of yourself?
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:36 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 532
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Wow! Look at the size of those window frames. You're going to really be able to put something nice in there.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:37 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: VA - VIRGINIA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
Not bad for a few weeks work.

What!?

Ugh. Oh.

Three days is really fantastic! You are well on your way to (a stroke? ha!) completing, as scheduled. Not bad rust, at all. How many of you? Just a bunch of yourself?
Ha. Thanks. I've had the help of only one additional person each day. Demo is the easy part. Hopefully the fabrication/assembly stage goes pretty smooth as well.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:45 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Day four (kind of):

Nothing to big today. A buddy came by after work to recover the R134 from the A/c. Honestly, there wasnt much in there, but we pulled out what was left.

I didnt realize (but it makes complete sense) that there were two independent compressors run by the motor. Since I only plan to re use one of the A/c units for up front, the other one can easily be removed since it is driven by its own belt and nothing else. Looks like Phrogman will have a complete A/c setup to use for his build. Lucky guy!

On another note, I ran into a couple of hiccups at the DMV. A few extra bits of paperwork and a short waiting period before the title is in my name. I dont foresee any major issues, but work on the bus will mostly halt until its all sorted.

In the meantime, layout and roof raise planning is in the works. I didnt notice after removing the windows that every hat channel rib is reinforced and doubled up with square tubing. Again, makes complete sense considering every other rib was removed for the larger windows. However, that puts a slightly differant stance on raising the roof. Phrogrman and I have a couple ideas that we're leaning towards, but if anyone has specific experience with a raise like this I'd be all ears.

Until next time...
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