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Old 09-25-2020, 08:01 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Aqua Therapy

We won the auction for our bus today! She’s the former bookmobile from Charleston so comes with a generator and some unique features. Hopefully she’s a good foundation for our build. Planning to pick up in 2 weeks.

Anything (hopefully positive) I should know before bringing her home?

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=2514&acctid=423
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:13 PM   #2
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Wow that looks like a great start. Congratulations!
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Old 09-26-2020, 12:44 AM   #3
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Nice start indeed. With the wrap cracking, the good news is that it can be peeled right off and you have the paint as it was just prior to the wrap.
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Old 09-26-2020, 05:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kwm2 View Post
We won the auction for our bus today!
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=2514&acctid=423

Anything (hopefully positive) I should know before bringing her home?
Nice looking foundation. Factory generator is a plus, and looks like you have some nice storage built-in, should you choose to repurpose it.

The engine listed as a 6.6L I6 was confusing until I read further down. The 8.3 is a solid engine if maintained properly --- however, it requires engine oil with a high zinc content, and even when maintained properly, around 9000 hrs you should plan on replacing the camshaft. Ask me how I know.

Also, the 8.3, while said to be safe and rated capable of 2,750 rpm, should really be kept around 1600-1800 for optimum fuel economy. 2200-2400 isn't terrible, but the higher the rpm, the worse the fuel economy. I transported a similar bus from IA recently.... Observed 7.5 at 2000 rpm or so towing a car, and the engine turned out to have one cylinder half down due to a rapidly developing valvetrain problem. After repair, its new owners have seemingly observed what could work out to about 11 mpg.

About your particular bus... 141k miles across 7224 hrs is approximately 19 miles per hour average. Most route buses average only 3-9, but I've seen a few as high as 29. Lower mph average generally means a lot of idling or stop-and-go. In any case, it was likely still driven at fairly low speed, which probably means a low differential gear, so don't expect 70 mph interstate speeds unless you get lucky.

These things are VERY top-heavy, so take your curves a bit slower. Also, if you haven't used air brakes before, there is a slight lag from the time you apply the brakes to the time they actually engage. Look 15 seconds down the road, keep that area in front of the bus clear if you can (even if it means slowing down - people are always in a hurry and generally idiots about large, heavy vehicles) and remember that you need as much as 500-700 feet to stop from highway speed, maybe more depending on conditions. At 65, you will travel the entire stopping distance of the average car before the brakes even grab hold.

I drove semis cross-country for a few years, so I am very familiar with the process of inspecting components on larger vehicles like this prior to transport, in the interest of spotting issues before they become an expensive breakdown, or worse, a preventable accident. I have condensed that process into the following link here:

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/re...ist-33026.html
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Old 09-26-2020, 06:33 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks, guys! Cheese Wagon, your information is phenomenal! I’ll pass it along to my husband. Thankfully he’s driven school busses and other large vehicles so he’s familiar with the air brakes and so on. I still have to learn though so I absolutely appreciate the feedback. We’re hoping to repurpose as much as possible given the premium we paid for (1) the location as it is three hours from home and (2) the generator and electrical components already built in.
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:59 AM   #6
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One more thing. This one appears to have an Allison MD3060. Something most of us here already know (you and yours may not) about this transmission is that it is a 6-speed, but most buses have sixth locked out. There is a process to having it enabled, which can help fuel economy and reaching interstate speeds otherwise dangerous to the engine. Allison will not approve it for some, if not most, but you can look into it. I personally recommend 58-60 in 65 zones, 60-63 in a 70. As I mentioned, people are usually idiots about driving around large, heavy vehicles, something the husband has likely experienced.
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Old 09-26-2020, 02:31 PM   #7
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One more thing. This one appears to have an Allison MD3060. Something most of us here already know (you and yours may not) about this transmission is that it is a 6-speed, but most buses have sixth locked out. There is a process to having it enabled, which can help fuel economy and reaching interstate speeds otherwise dangerous to the engine. Allison will not approve it for some, if not most, but you can look into it. I personally recommend 58-60 in 65 zones, 60-63 in a 70. As I mentioned, people are usually idiots about driving around large, heavy vehicles, something the husband has likely experienced.
I hadn't considered that--thanks!
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Old 10-05-2020, 05:51 PM   #8
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Insurance ✅ (This wasn't as bad as I'd envisioned. We ended up with three quotes for the bus and Allstate was the most competitive.)
Bill of Sale ✅

We pick up the bus Friday!
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:18 PM   #9
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Nice start indeed. With the wrap cracking, the good news is that it can be peeled right off and you have the paint as it was just prior to the wrap.
My bus is fiberglass and the vinyl wrap was cracked and faded from the hot California sun. I bought a heat gun and am using that to peel. Sometimes it comes in sheets; sometimes it comes in little pieces.

I'm using a scraper and boxcutter blades to peel the goo where needed. This is not a fun job. Hope yours comes off in big sheets!
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Old 10-06-2020, 04:19 PM   #10
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My bus is fiberglass and the vinyl wrap was cracked and faded from the hot California sun. I bought a heat gun and am using that to peel. Sometimes it comes in sheets; sometimes it comes in little pieces.

I'm using a scraper and boxcutter blades to peel the goo where needed. This is not a fun job. Hope yours comes off in big sheets!
Yeah, I can't say I'm looking forward to it. Especially with the extra height on our bus. But it'll be a little lower on the priority list. We scheduled our first trip on January 1 so it'll need to be at least to a functional level by then!
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Old 10-09-2020, 04:51 PM   #11
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Didn’t go as planned. Broke down halfway home in the middle of the interstate. Had to be pushed off the highway and towed to a shop. Should know next week what’s wrong.
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Old 10-09-2020, 05:13 PM   #12
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Dammitman...
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Old 10-10-2020, 12:19 AM   #13
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My heart goes out to you! Keep us posted.
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:53 AM   #14
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Didn’t go as planned. Broke down halfway home in the middle of the interstate. Had to be pushed off the highway and towed to a shop. Should know next week what’s wrong.
My bus is in the shop too. At least you (and your wallet) won't be suffering alone.
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Old 10-10-2020, 08:08 AM   #15
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what did it do? over-heat? just stall? trans display flashing? low oil? low coolant?


-Christopher
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Old 10-10-2020, 03:12 PM   #16
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My heart goes out to you! Keep us posted.
Thanks! Could be worse. At least it’s only 90 minutes from home.
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Old 10-10-2020, 03:13 PM   #17
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My bus is in the shop too. At least you (and your wallet) won't be suffering alone.
Oh no! Fingers crossed we’re both looking at easy fixes.
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Old 10-10-2020, 03:16 PM   #18
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what did it do? over-heat? just stall? trans display flashing? low oil? low coolant?


-Christopher

Just stalled with warning lights all over. It didn’t overheat though and it ran beautifully for the first half of the trip home. Theories abound but top of the heap seems to be something with the fuel filter.
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Old 10-10-2020, 03:44 PM   #19
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if all that is wrong is a fuel filter, then you got off light ... aside from the tow bill that is!
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:43 PM   #20
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Sounds like water in fuel (did the warning light activate?) or clogged filters / nasty fuel from sitting too long.
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