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Old 10-03-2007, 11:46 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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BanjoBoo

I figured I would move my topic to here now that I am home and starting the conversion this week.

Bus Specs:

1990 GMC/Chevrolet Thomas 66 Passenger School Bus

8.2L V8 Detroit Turbo Diesel Engine, Allison AT-545 4 Speed Automatic Transmission

Power Steering & Hydraulic Brakes, 80% + Tread Tires














A recap or my trip home in my new bus:

I am home! It was a crazy fun adventure. More so on the Greyhound I rode up to Wisconsin. My cell phone broke on the ride. 22 hrs. up to Kenosha Wisconsin. Then with little sleep I called Jason (Uglymutt as he is known on this board.) And he was cool enough to drive 20 minutes to get me from the bus station.

When I got to the bus I inspected it and liked it enough to pay $1600 to own it. I drove 2 miles up the street and no brakes so I pulled into the Petro Truck Stop and called Jason back. After explaining the issue he came and helped me bleed the system. That worked and I was on my way.

Now it has been awhile since I drove a bus so the new 66passenger skoolie took a few mile to get acquainted. That was nerve wrecking and fun. I was learning this new bus in Chicago Traffic through heavy late night Construction. I had fun gripping the wheel in a lane 6"'s wider than me with concrete tempory walls defining my lane instead of paint. Well I made it and me and My new friend were one leaving Chicago. If you can get to know your friend before Chicago Traffic.

I slept in a truck stop after Chicago. I was Hungry and very tired after my 1st 3 hrs. in my new bus. I had also rode greyhound for 22hrs. before buying the bus & tinkering on the new bus for 2 hrs then 3hrs. in crazy insain constuction and traffic in chicago. So I slept for 5 hrs. then back on the dusty trail.

Now yesterday was really non eventful. In Nashville an hour after dark the dimmer switch for the headlights fried out so I was forced to park at the Nashville TA and sleep till daylight. I woke up and made it home by 2 pm. I am so tired.

I cruised at 65 the whole way. 60 seems to be the sweet spot though. I spent $398 for 843 miles. The 8.2 litter Detroit Diesel purrs with plenty of power. I got her up to 80 for about 10 miles before I decided the gas $ wasn't there to play. All in all Jason sold me an awesome bus and it will make a great home in a few weeks. I will have fun guiding you all through my Skoolie experience. I really love my New Bus Banjo Boo!


This week I will begin the tear down of the floor. Tonight the seat start to come out.

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"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land"
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Old 10-04-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
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Re: BanjoBoo

Thanks for the story. Looking forward to seeing how it all progresses!

Sean
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:41 PM   #3
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Re: BanjoBoo

so when i see the spacer blocks under those springs i think if you take them out it would lower that bus a good bit so has any one tried this???
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: BanjoBoo

I think that might lower it such that the bumpstops are now the oil pan and/or those filters. That would be my take on as to why they are there in the first place.
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Old 10-07-2007, 01:54 AM   #5
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Seats

They are a pain. I spent 4 hours pulling just 2 seats. and that was with two of us. They really dont want these things to come out do they? Well had to rant. All is moving along slowly.
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"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land"
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:33 PM   #6
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Re: Seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzyIzzy
They are a pain. I spent 4 hours pulling just 2 seats. and that was with two of us. They really dont want these things to come out do they? Well had to rant. All is moving along slowly.
You're not unbolting the seats with one person under the bus and one inside it are you? What you need is an angle grinder. You don't need a huge one. Mine uses the 4.5" cutting wheels, and it will make quick work of all those seat bolts.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:57 PM   #7
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Re: BanjoBoo

It must be rust. I took out my seats in less than a day (a 1984 12 window Washington State bus). One man, four vise grips, and a socket wrench.

The seats ain't the hard part. The hard part ain't even begun yet.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: BanjoBoo

I don't Know the rest is mainly just like a puzzle. I personally think the Gutting is the hardest. I now have 16 seats out and 9 left. Then it is time to pull up the old plywood and then lay new down then it will be time for the floor.




Now can someone explain what all this is?


I do not know what the interrupt switch does or what pump the the pump switch is.




The engine is in great shape all fluids are still clean after the big drive home. It has a deep steady growl to it.


Before I bought the ol gal she had 3 of the 4 brake lines replaced. I will need to do the last.




Beary approved! My pup has had her dream come true she gets to live in a giant car.


This is what I am dealing with for yanking the seats. I have been cutting the heads off with a cutting wheel. Takes patients a lot of patients. I am expecting to have them all out by tomorrow. Then time to do the floor. Have any of you snad blasted the floor or do you sand it?

After measuring her she has 202.5 square feet to play with. 27' to the line and 30' to the front. Now it is time to draw up my floor plan.
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"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land"
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:45 PM   #9
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Re: BanjoBoo

Yes, that pump is your booster pump. Do you have a heater in the back of the bus with coolant lines going to it? That's what that pump does. It helps pump the antifreeze back there. It's probably turned on by the switch on your panel labeled "pump". Mine operates even with the engine off.
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:11 PM   #10
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Re: BanjoBoo


So are all the bottom row switches for heat? Except the interrupt and the one called fan.
So I guess the one called pump goes on first then turn on the under seat switches after it warms.

I also would like to make use of this box. I want to know how to open it without destroying it. Hell it still has a camera in it cause everytime I turn on the ol gal it comes on. I guess I would either have to pick it or drill it out right?
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"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land"
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:32 AM   #11
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Re: BanjoBoo

Hey, nice. I have a ThomasBuilt with a very similar body, and can help with some of your controls.

"Strobe" is a new one...unless your bus has a flasher on the roof, no idea.

"Interior" is rather self-explanatory.

"Marker" more than likely means that the clearance lights (top front & rear corners & the three lights at the center of the roof front & back) are on a separate circuit than the headlights/taillights. Also, it lets you give a "courtesy flash" if someone lets you into their lane.

"Sign" should be illumination for the "SCHOOL BUS" sighs front & rear.

"Warning" is the flashers.

"Wiper" and "washer" is pretty straightforward.

"Pump" is, as has been said, an auxiliary rear heater pump. It really helps the rear heat.

"Fan" should run the driver's fan.

"Interrupt" is a new one on me.

"Underseat" should run the rear heat..from the pic, I'd expect you have two rear heaters.

LF & RF defrost--probably blow on the driver's window & the entry door, respectively.

Never seen a bus cam before.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:49 AM   #12
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Re: BanjoBoo

I do have 2 rear heaters

I dont know if I am going to keep them or even just one. They are kinda big and bulky.
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"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land"
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:55 PM   #13
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Re: BanjoBoo

If memory serves, the interrupt switch is normally closed in series with your marker lights and will interrupt their operation for as long as you hold the switch open. (this is how a trucker shows gratitude when you blink your lights when the passing truck has clearance to pull in front of you.) It blinks the marker lights only therefore not disturbing your headlights.
I may be wrong. , check it out.
Dave
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:04 PM   #14
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Re: BanjoBoo

I kept mine (only had one)--I wouldn't remove them, they come in really handy when on the road. Why burn propane for the furnace? You already have heat that doesn't cost a penny.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:50 PM   #15
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Re: BanjoBoo

Quote:
like to make use of this box. I want to know how to open it without destroying it. Hell it still has a camera in it cause everytime I turn on the ol gal it comes on. I guess I would either have to pick it or drill it out right?
If the lock has a number on it you can get a key from most any RV dealer - there's only a certain number of different locks.
The baggage doors on my 1974 OpenRoad motorhome use a CH751 key (the most common) and so does the iginition on my bus - so the same key will start my bus or unlock the baggage doors on my motorhome. CH545 is about the second most common I think.
Check http://www.rvsurplussalvage.com/ , I believe that's where I got replaement keys, Camping World carries them too.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:27 AM   #16
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Re: BanjoBoo

Seats are all out now. I didn't figure out the seats have a lever that lets the bottom pad open for easy access to the front out side screw. But we got them all out by grinding the head off most of the aisle bolts.

It looks as thought the wood underneath is water damaged. So I am planing on replacing it. I will be getting 9 sheets of 1/2" plywood. Is that thick enough? If not I could go 3/4". Before I put down the new floor I will be putting a moisture barrier down made up of roofing tar paper then 6mil plastic sheeting. I also plan on pre-cutting the holes for the drains. For the floor itself I have priced out some nice looking Laminate (hardwood look alike), Have any of you used this stuff?


For my walls I am planning on covering the windows I want to keep with aluminum foil then the pink insulation board. For the wall I am going to use the light weight veneer (looks like 70's stile fake wood walls).

Well now to add more pictures:



Here is my buddy taking the grinding on for a bit. This friend has been and will be a big help on this project.

Broke a window!


I was tossing seats out the back door when my Carelessness paid off. Now I either have to get new glass or just sheet metal over my blunder.

Now I need to find a new home for the seats. I could do the dump or cut them up for recycling. Has anyone sold the metal from their seats? Did you get much for the time you spent cutting them up? I been trying Freecycle but no bites yet.
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"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land"
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:04 PM   #17
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Re: BanjoBoo

Instead of using expensive plywood for your flooring, use some Norboard sub-flooring. It's what they use in actual houses that don't have a concrete foundation. It's less than $6 for a 4X8 sheet. It's 7/16" thick if I remember right. It's nice and flat and should be plenty thick. I took my seats to sell at a scrap yard. I had 20 of them and they were 980 pounds all together! That was just the metal too. Not the foam and seatbelts and other crap that was on them. That was easily another 300 pounds. Anyways, they were only going to give me about $45 for all the seats. That was fine since I just wanted to get rid of them. But the scrap yard guy was interested in my bus project and I talked him into trading me for a big 1/2" thick steel plate. It's about 4' x 2.5'. It is heavy as hell, but I turned it into a welding table which has come in VERY handy for everything.

I am also planning to use some of the laminate wood flooring in my bus. I'm going to use carpet and carpet bad back in the bedroom and bunk area though. You can get carpet CHEAP at Home Depot when you buy the scrap pieces left over from when they carpet a house. The scrap pieces are plenty big enough to carpet half a bus.

For my walls, I'm going to use some of that thin wall board stuff, but I just cannot stand the look of that 1970's trailer home style wall. I'm getting the flat stuff with no grooves in it. That way, I can paint it, or use some RV style wallpaper. I'm leaning towards the wallpaper.

I am keeping all of the windows in my bus. I can't see your pictures while I'm at work, but if your broken window is the same as another window in your bus, just take a good one out and to a glass shop. Tell them you need an identical piece. It should be pretty cheap since it's a flat piece of glass. I have found that I can easily remove any window in my bus down to the panes of glass. If it's a side window, those come out really easily and you just take the frame apart. For my back windows, there's a seal around the window. On the outside of the seal is a little strip of rubber in the middle of the seal that acts kind of like a lock. Pull that out with a pair of needle nose pliers or a screwdriver and then the rest of the seal is flexible enough to get the window out.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:23 PM   #18
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Chassis: Chevorlet AT545 Allison auto
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Re: BanjoBoo

I am ready to rip up the floor. How did yall do it. I have heard a few different ideas. I am thinking of using a circular saw and a prybar. But this seems a little labor intensive. So please throw your ideas at me for I start in the morning.
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"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land"
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:12 AM   #19
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Re: BanjoBoo

Mine came up fairly easily in sheets, but your mileage may vary based on coach manufacturer. With all the seat boltheads ground off there were some nails (yes, nails) and screws holding the wood to the metal flooring along with a very little bit of glue. Once I got a wonder bar under the edge of the rearmost piece I was able to just lift it out and the rest came equally as easily. I think you're on the right track...a BFH, a crowbar, some wonderbars, and some gumption ought to get it done.
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:44 PM   #20
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1990
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Chassis: Chevorlet AT545 Allison auto
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Re: BanjoBoo

Well the floor is out and demolition is done. Wow was that a job!

Now I do have rust issues on the metal floor, but I do not have time or $$$ to get it gone. So since I only plan on living in this bus for 2 years I figured I can live with the surface rust. I know it is cancer but I dont think it will fall apart before the nxt 3 years go by. By then I will get a taller bus. Now to the new floor. I put down a 8 mill plastic moister barrier then a 2nd moister barrier of felt roofing paper between the metal and the new sub floor. My new sub floor is 3/4 inch plywood. This is some sturdy wood. I think the new floor will rock. After I finish putting in all the new subfloor then it is going to be lament fake hard woods. Then on to the framing.




I posted the following under a different topic but since this is where I am posting about my bus, I figured I would add it here.

"I have been going over many ideas for my bedroom door. I think the old style hinged doors take up to much room and you hve to keep the doorway larger to make up for the swing area. Have anyone used pocket doors. They are the doors that slide into the wall. I have lived in a few houses that have had them. I liked how they just go away when oped. This allows for more efficient use of you space. I am leaning to this idea.

The only issue I see with Pocket doors is my ceiling is not much taller than I and it is curved. I wouldn't mind the door shorter than the ceiling with a gap at the top. Except I think the track the door rides in goes to the bottom and top of the door.

Help I need ideas!"

I am still in need of ideas. Pocket door or standard door.
__________________
"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land"
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