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Old 04-18-2019, 10:21 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Bus # 9906

Well I am making it official, the build is in progress!

Since I haven't decided on a name yet, I'll just call it Bus # 9906 as that is what it is already known as.

The bus was bought in Kentucky thru a Public Surplus auction. Paid a whopping $1475 for it! It was previously sold for more but the original buyer could not take delivery and it was relisted. Basically no one bid on it thinking that maybe there was a problem with it and maybe that why the previous buyer did not take delivery. Well lady luck was on my side!

Drove an extra car that I had from Miami to Louisville. Fuel cost me just under $100 bucks! Once there I gave the car to a niece of mine who was super happy since the family needed an extra car.
Believe in KARMA do you? Well when I picked up the bus it had a FULL TANK OF DIESEL !!!

Woo hoo !!! talk about saving some money! That tank of fuel got me from Louisville all the way to South Carolina where I fueled up again, cost me $180 bucks. Made it all the back to Miami with a 1/4 tank to spare!

The bus has a DT466E with an MD3060 trans with only 210k miles. Cruised up and down the mountains along the way 70MPH at about 2100 RPM. One of the future plans is to get that 6th gear unlocked!

In the very beginning of the trip the low oil pressure alarm sound like 4 times but motor never shut off. After some nerve rattling and finger biting and checking all the obvious, I could not find an apparent reason for the alarm to sound. When I rev's engine it clearly showed 50 psi oil pressure on the dash gauge and also on the rear engine gauge. Oil was clean with no signs of thinning (Diesel or coolant contamination) so I just decided to disconnect the alarm located under the steering wheel and away I went.

Oil pressure gauge never dropped! So i'm guessing Ill be replacing the oil pressure sensor on the engine block.

Rust, yes she has rust but heck, so do I! LOL

Cut, weld and paint...problem solved!

The immediate plans are clean, paint, roof raise and skins.
I have already sourced a wrecked 2017 travel trailer from which I am getting holding tanks, windows, fridge, stove, A/c and at the end I will convert that trailer to a utility trailer that I will pull with the bus for golf cart/UTV and other road trip supplies !

So on to some pics.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2015
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Chassis: Amtran / International
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Demolition

We have all seen bus inside with seats so i'm gonna skip those pics and just show you what I have to work with right now.

Floor has rust but I am gonna cut, patch and paint the top and sandblast the bottom, spray with OSPHO and re-paint with a good epoxy primer to seal the bottom back up.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:32 AM   #3
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and so it begins! rust scares me but knowing you got a good deal is a great motivator! keep those progress pics coming!
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:32 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2015
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Demolition & prep

So all the windows are out, all those pesky rivets removed too.

I am now looking at the rear engine area, specifically the rear engine access covers for access to rear head and exhaust bolts.

I would like some feed back please from those who have already done a rear engine bus or from those who have done engine work on one.

I was thinking about re-framing the covers and making it more square. Yes I will sacrifice available inside space but what I'm considering is better engine access from the outside of the bus, especially to those bolts on the rear of the engine.

Not only that bus I am looking at the possibility of also housing the house batteries inside the engine compartment. Will save me valuable underbelly storage space !

Here are some pics...feedback please...
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:53 AM   #5
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Reminds me of the bus I got in Todd County KY.
Congrats
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:58 PM   #6
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Ok so after a dedicating the last few months towards helping a friend with their bus it is now time to get back to mine!

First thing on the long list of things to do, repair all 4 wheel wells and quite a bit of floor fixing too. OUCH...

so I am not a good welder at all but luckily no one will ever see the black tape and ty-wrap job that I am about to do.

Got me a miller 140 mig, used, some OSPHO and grinder wheels too...

First wheel if the front passenger...
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:01 AM   #7
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Good ol' wheel wells ... gotta love 'em (rust does)!
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
Ok so after a dedicating the last few months towards helping a friend with their bus it is now time to get back to mine!

First thing on the long list of things to do, repair all 4 wheel wells and quite a bit of floor fixing too. OUCH...

so I am not a good welder at all but luckily no one will ever see the black tape and ty-wrap job that I am about to do.

Got me a miller 140 mig, used, some OSPHO and grinder wheels too...

First wheel if the front passenger...
I have similar damage only worse and I'm going to have to rebuild the entire floor around the wheels wells (only rear for me, fortunately), about an 8-foot long section. I was impressed initially that the cross-member just behind the wheel that holds the mud flaps still had both flaps attached despite the ends being completely gone; but I just noticed this week that one of the flaps fell off in the last month or two, no idea where. It really was just holding on by the paint.

I'm a new welder myself but I had to do a lot of it to fix up my rusted-out rear end. One challenge with this stuff is that even after you ospho the rusted metal of the floor, it's difficult to coax that pitted stuff into a weld without burning holes completely through it (although often those burn holes are doing you a favor by exposing material that is thinner than you thought it was). A big tip (that I forget the source of) is that in addition to using low voltage and wire speed, push instead of pull.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:53 PM   #9
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Front wheel well repairs

So I spent the day today cutting out the bad sections of rust from both the front wheel wells.
At first I thought about just cutting out the bad and patching it back up with good metal (after remediating the rust that is).

After I cleaned up the areas cut out I had a second thought. I'm gonna remove ALL the sheet metal between the front wheels instead of just the bad parts.

After looking at it again I think that I can accomplish more this way.

As you can see from the pics, I not only need to replace Sheetmetal but also need to replace some supports. Especially between the front stairs and the front passenger wheel. It will probably be easier to replace complete supports rather than trying to patch in small pieces and then tryin to weld in uncomfortable corners.

Secondly, once the floor is out I plan to sandblast what I can, degrease and power wash and paint front springs and axle too. Then repaint the new floor supports with an epoxy primer and then apply undercoating.

Once I get this all done I'll use a large carboard template and try to replace this section of the floor with one whole sheet of metal rather than cutting in and welding it in piece by piece.


Seems like a lot of work but in the end I hope the extra effort will help the body go thru some more snow and rain without falling apart into pieces.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:03 PM   #10
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Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
I am thinking you will have absolutely no regrets rebuilding that area!
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:44 PM   #11
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Join Date: May 2015
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A quick update on the slow progress.

Got the floor cut out at both the front axle wheel wells.
Left the center section intact as it was in good shape.

3 generous applications of Ospho followed by some Rustoleum rusty metal primer.

Cut out 16ga patch panels and formed them into shape and have began the welding on the passenger side.
Took off the exterior skin to take care of some rust that was begining to rear it ugly head.

Driver side it next.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0996.jpg (321.7 KB, 18 views)
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:59 AM   #12
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Finally got the floor repair done.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:09 AM   #13
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Join Date: May 2015
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This weekend I started on the roof raise.

Went up 18 Inches (17.5 to be exact).

Did all the work by myself, one person. Used the technique I saw on Dzlfreak you tube videos, hat channel slider. Basically a square tube that slides within the hat channel as you lift the bus.

The slider method is not without some minor challenges and after doing it twice now, I find it quite easy to do but there are some necessary precautions you must adhere to so as to not drop the roof on your head.

I am doing a transition from first ha channel under the front cap to the 3rd hat channel which is the post right behind the drivers window.

Here are some pics, still got more welding to do today.
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Old 04-20-2020, 03:45 PM   #14
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Nice repair job on your floor. Impressive that you're doing a roof raise by yourself.
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:34 AM   #15
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A little more progress made on the roof transition.

The new supports/cross braces are in. I pretty much copied what I saw Wes do in his video.

What I didn't see in the video is how the new panels were actually attached to the old roof.
In his video he cut out the old section of roof with a grinder to what appears to be, a cut right along the hat channel edges.

What I have done is left at least a 4 inch "Edge" if you will, I did not cut it along the hat channel edge. I can see now that I will probably have to trim that back 2 inches or so but my thinking is that I can use that "Edge" to rivet the new panels to. Doing it this way I will be able to lap on a piece of sheet metal over on top of the other which I might add, is already securely in place with the factory rivets.
This method also save a tiny bit of work in both the before and after meaning, In the beginning of prep work I do not have to remove any rivets from the top of the entrance door and both hat channels, front and back of the cut section. On the "after" side of things, I don't have to fight to slide the new sheet metal under the trim edge that hold down the edge of the roof panels.
I'll just butt it up the edge of the "Trim" bar and rivet to the old sheet metal underneath. (hope that made sense)

I intend to do a 3 piece panel on the transition. 1 each, over the driver window and entrance door and a third in the center of both panels.

Lets see how this goes.... need to source sheet metal now... 18ga it will be!
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:39 AM   #16
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Rated Cap: 15
Outstanding! Coming along nicely.
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:46 PM   #17
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Year: 1999
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So I was planning on finishing up the hat channel supports today but got side tracked and opened up a small can of worms.

Had to be done though so .... I spent all day fabricating a support panel.

On the passenger rear corner panel of the bus I have some rust that needed attention.
2 Choices, butt weld a patch panel and be done or... do it right!
I decided to do it right.
I removed the corner panel to find alot of rust, mostly heavy surface rust but there was on support panel that was completely rotted out.

The surface rust was wire wheeled and ground down using a flap disk, 2 coats of Ospho and now ready for paint.

The support panel, I got really creative and took a piece of sheet metal, hammer, 2 inch square steel tube along with my trusty harbor freight 20 ton press and voila,... I made a new support bracket.

Tomorrow I'll try to figure out how to put a radius curve in it so I can weld it in place.

Here some pics...


Oh yeah, this new support panel will be sand blasted and properly painted.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RUST HOLE.jpg (236.8 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg rotted support channel.jpg (374.0 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1996.jpg (341.7 KB, 16 views)
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:45 AM   #18
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
Tomorrow I'll try to figure out how to put a radius curve in it so I can weld it in place.

I have had to make bent pieces ... I did this by cutting "V" shaped wedges along the inside radius so that I could bend the piece to the curve needed. Then I welded up the "V"s to make one curved piece. Sorry, I have no pictures off-hand.
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Old 04-27-2020, 06:03 AM   #19
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I have had to make bent pieces ... I did this by cutting "V" shaped wedges along the inside radius so that I could bend the piece to the curve needed. Then I welded up the "V"s to make one curved piece. Sorry, I have no pictures off-hand.
I did the same thing for my rear corner repair: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/r...tml#post344023.
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Old 04-27-2020, 06:09 AM   #20
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Amtrans have the rusty butt cheeks sometimes. I've had shorty like that but WAY worse. All the channel and support inside the entire rear wall on mine was gone. Same with WanderWoman's. Good on you for REALLLY fixing it!
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