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Old 03-10-2020, 10:22 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Montevallo, AL
Posts: 32
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
Beulah's Second Life

Hello everyone! I'm just starting to draft up plans for my bus, so I decided now would be the best time to start a thread in order to document my full experience.

I picked up my bus in February, on my birthday weekend actually... surprise for me, from an auto auction in downtown Birmingham for a whopping $2200, including taxes. It had just been pulled from service at the end of the previous semester in Gwinnett County, Georgia, who are known in the "school bus community" for how well they treat their buses. (For reference - I drive a school bus for the local system and occasionally deliver new buses from the dealership nearby over the summer). The drive home was spectacular - but I got stuck at a gas station for an hour wondering why the bus wouldn't turn over. I finally just stuck some metal to the solenoid and hit the road, it turns out the reason why was that I had locked the back door while pumping gas. Below are the specs for my bus:
  • Carpenter S/1753 built 12/15/1988
  • 65 passenger shell/11 window length
  • International IDI 7.3L diesel paired with an Allison AT545 (engine rebuilt 2018 )
  • New(ish) tires!!!
  • Air brakes

Pictured below are the photos I took the day I brought her home. Check out that high roof!









I'm excited to try and do this all myself - with the help of some friends and my stepfather, and you all, of course! - to try and learn as much as I can in the process. I hope you all enjoy my personal ramblings as I try my best to work this project!
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Montevallo, AL
Posts: 32
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
First things first, here are what I plan on getting accomplished by the end of the month. I stay very busy during the school year, so the bulk of my work is going to be done over breaks.

1. Get a new compartment door lock for the gas tank, and order a new door lock from a school bus parts company. The original key was given to the people who purchased Beulah's sister bus, so we popped in a new ignition and called it a day.

2. Rip out the seats and take those bad boys to the dump (unless any of you have a use for them and are willing to drive out to central Alabama) so I can get the bus registered as an RV ASAP.

Here are some mockups I threw together to show what I'd like for the bus to look like when it's finally finished. Going for an 1980s vibe to fit the style of the bus, as well as more "earthy" tones to blend it nicely with the environment. Note my plan to cover up 3 windows, as well as the bottom window on the front door and the bottom window on the back door. Floorplan coming soon...





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Old 04-03-2020, 06:44 PM   #3
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Location: Montevallo, AL
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Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
Hey everyone - currently at a loss with a brake issue.


My rig is out on the side of a county road right now. As I was chugging along, my air pressure buzzer came on. I pulled off into some gravel, let it sit to build pressure, but it wouldn't budge. Reckon it's an issue with the valve inside the air dryer?
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:12 PM   #4
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Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
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Year: 2007
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Engine: C7 Cat
Congrats with the new purchase, that’s a great looking bus.
Good luck with the air loss issue.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:19 PM   #5
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You'll really miss the lower window in the door! You'll think of it every time you cut a corner too short.
Jack
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
You'll really miss the lower window in the door! You'll think of it every time you cut a corner too short.
Jack
Yep Iíll second that.
I would love to replace the door but donít want to give up that visibility.
Iím always looking for a better option
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Yep Iíll second that.
I would love to replace the door but donít want to give up that visibility.
Iím always looking for a better option
Rv door with large windows installed in it. Best of both worlds.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:42 PM   #8
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Location: Montevallo, AL
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
You'll really miss the lower window in the door! You'll think of it every time you cut a corner too short.
Jack

Definitely was thinking about this today while I was driving about town. Small changes to the design are to be expected, eh?
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:44 PM   #9
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Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
Try taping some card board over those lower windows, then see what you think. My personal preference is to keep them.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:55 PM   #10
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You'll likely find yourself with a blind spot if you remove the lower door windows. I find myself using them somewhat often when in traffic to make sure no one is next to me.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Rv door with large windows installed in it. Best of both worlds.
Yep always watching the trades for a door like that, a little to pricey from the dealers for a new one.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:48 PM   #12
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Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 83
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: Phantom 40'
Engine: DDECII 6V92T Allison MT647
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs of potential
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylermay209 View Post
Hey everyone - currently at a loss with a brake issue.


My rig is out on the side of a county road right now. As I was chugging along, my air pressure buzzer came on. I pulled off into some gravel, let it sit to build pressure, but it wouldn't budge. Reckon it's an issue with the valve inside the air dryer?

Are you able to hear the air leaking out of the air dryer? If so, a careful rap on the rim surrounding the purge valve may be enough to dislodge any debris holding the valve open.
The above question/remedy can be applied to the drain valves on the air tanks.

Is the compressor pumping air? The compressor outlet line will be hot of it is making air.
When your pressure is very low, even a small leak can keep you from building adequate pressure. Run the engine up to 1200 RPM for a bit then shut it down and dash out to listen for leaks while its quiet. (that mat be tough if there is traffic)


Good luck and let us know what you find
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Old 04-04-2020, 03:02 PM   #13
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Location: Montevallo, AL
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Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
I crawled around like a hostage looking for holes, tears , or leaks, and didn't find anything. Figured the best place to start would be replacing the governor, as that's an easy (and cheap) fix. Cranked her up and still not building air pressure. I'm going to head out to NAPA Monday and pick up an air dryer.

https://youtu.be/O_sqG_CFB_U
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Old 04-04-2020, 05:20 PM   #14
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Funny, I just posted my conversion. She is also named Buelah! I spell it with "UE"instead of "EU", likely because I'm slightly dyslexic ...!
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:26 PM   #15
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Location: Montevallo, AL
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Year: 1989
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Funny, I just posted my conversion. She is also named Buelah! I spell it with "UE"instead of "EU", likely because I'm slightly dyslexic ...!

I love that! Sister buses!


Was out trying to get Beulah moving again today... I'm starting to really feel some fear. I've got oil leaking out of the air tank, dryer, and compressor, and no way to get the bus to build air pressure at all.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:12 PM   #16
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Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
The belt is still on the compressor isn't it? Kind of simple but you might have overlooked it, and most engines will power the compressor by the geartrain so most people would overlook it as well.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:14 PM   #17
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Oil coming from the tanks is normal. As a compressor ages, oil will bypass the rings inside of it and end up heading down stream.

Before you replace the drier. Pull the hose off the compressor and see if that's pushing air. If it isn't, and the belt is still on, you might have broken the crank in your compressor(rare).
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:15 PM   #18
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Montevallo, AL
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
The belt is still on the compressor isn't it? Kind of simple but you might have overlooked it, and most engines will power the compressor by the geartrain so most people would overlook it as well.

Would you mind checking this and seeing if it is there, or sending me a photo of what that would look lie? Here is a photo I took of the engine after I changed out the governor - hopefully it is good enough.


https://imgur.com/5unUcqY
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:24 PM   #19
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Join Date: May 2014
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Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylermay209 View Post
Would you mind checking this and seeing if it is there, or sending me a photo of what that would look lie? Here is a photo I took of the engine after I changed out the governor - hopefully it is good enough.


https://imgur.com/5unUcqY
Ummm, do you know what a v-belt is?
If not, this is what one looks like.

They go over the pulleys and power the accessories on the front of the engine. Accessories like your air compressor, alternator, power steering pump, and water pump.

There is typically anywhere from 1-5 of these on the front of your engine. They'll look like this.

This picture is from my bus specifically. I took this after I replaced the belts a few weeks ago. The belts will wear out/age over time, and should be replaced as a maintenance item every so many years. If you don't replace them, they can break or fall off. When they do, it can create issues, and sometimes be catastrophic.

From your picture, your bus looks to be missing a few of them. You should be able to get them at any parts store. I used a napa store for mine, so I know they can get them for you. I don't have the part numbers I used off hand or I'd give them to you.

Take a picture from above like I did with mine and we can better help you identify what you're missing. Or call a mobile mechanic and tell them you threw a belt and need them changed.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:35 PM   #20
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Montevallo, AL
Posts: 32
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Ummm, do you know what a v-belt is?
If not, this is what one looks like.

They go over the pulleys and power the accessories on the front of the engine. Accessories like your air compressor, alternator, power steering pump, and water pump.

There is typically anywhere from 1-5 of these on the front of your engine. They'll look like this.

This picture is from my bus specifically. I took this after I replaced the belts a few weeks ago. The belts will wear out/age over time, and should be replaced as a maintenance item every so many years. If you don't replace them, they can break or fall off. When they do, it can create issues, and sometimes be catastrophic.

From your picture, your bus looks to be missing a few of them. You should be able to get them at any parts store. I used a napa store for mine, so I know they can get them for you. I don't have the part numbers I used off hand or I'd give them to you.

Take a picture from above like I did with mine and we can better help you identify what you're missing. Or call a mobile mechanic and tell them you threw a belt and need them changed.

Oh jeez - I didn't even think about that. First diesel I've had. I'll have to run up to NAPA tomorrow and grab a few. Thanks for pointing that out!
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