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Old 05-24-2009, 06:42 PM   #1
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G Bus Progress

I have been lurking for a few months and have just now joined and now i am giving the official start to cover my life change. i will update all the info and my profile as soon as the purchase is final. am trying to arrange a ride to get the five hours to lynchburg va. I am planning on buying a bus from a major reseller who stocks virginia busses. any advise on the road trip to pick up a bus such as things to bring with me, what is the number one item to fail on a bus that has been sitting for >2years??????
I have posted a picture of me picking up supplies for the purchase. well picture was too big ill take smaller ones in the future
i am on the phone with my GF right now she is talking about driving me up to get it?!?!?!?! woohooo.
Rachid TBC................
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:11 PM   #2
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

nope not florida church bus i actually thought they were pretty expensive and then i read your long post about the troubles and that sealed the deal. i just saw an offhand reference to them and found out how many transits they have right now and i wanna get one.
yea Sonny merriman, i was not sure if i could use the name, i dont want to get my first thread shut down. anyway the central virginia one has a bunch of 5.9 flat fronts some with storage for like 2500 so i think its my best bet as the busses NC uses are all terrible dog nose brazzillians or 8.2dd and i want to stay away form them if possible.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:50 PM   #3
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

I did it it is a long story just wanted to let the interweb know that i bought a sweet 1990 safe-t-liner 5.9, 545,78pax, and it took 10 hours to go 300 miles but i am home with my new home. details tommorow.............
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:56 AM   #4
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

I made it back and here is what happened. A friend dropped me off the night before i bought it and i stayed in the worst hotel i have ever been in! Then i walked 2.5 miles carrying my tools and maps and lots of cash in my shoe. i bought the bus out of a field of busses at sonny merrimans in rustburg va. it doesnt have a lot of rust though.
I got the downlow from the mechanics i made friends with a couple of weeks ago and got this sweet bus 1990 safe t liner 78 pass 5.9 allison545 governed at 56mph. the governor kept interupting me every half hour or so by causing the bus to stumble and slow down on any size incline. as i stopped to try to figure it out it would fix itself??? i thought it was a fuel filter and i got back to check out the controller box and it was like 300 degrees under the seat where it lives.
well i took the seat apart in a high school parking lot (irony) and opened four back windows! it cooled down and went full speed the whole way back, no stumbles or mumbles!!!
I turned around in a driveway/yard to get back on the highway and had some trouble swinging the 3 point turn and the wet virginia red clay. as soon as i got back on the highway a truck swung in front of my and forced me to pull over. it turns out someone lives in the trailer at the end of the drive and he is trying to grow grass on that section of clay and was super pissed! lesson learned, some places my bus shouldnt go.
I got a call this morning from the gas station owner whose sighn i hit with my mirror (also missaligned and unsealed my front door) so i have to pay for that as soon as he gets it fixed this week.
other than that and having a dead cell phone the whole drive home by myself and no stereo ( used ipod with headphones while in the country) it was a great drive and i started pulling out the seats with my GF this morning, day 1
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

I didn't buy my bus from Sonny Merriman, but I get parts from them (chassis stuff). I work for a truck dealer so I can get Caterpillar (or Cummins for that matter) directly from Cat at dealer cost. Much of the chassis stuff I can get directly from Freightliner too since they own Thomas Bus... I just can't look stuff up on it. I have had the people at the local Sonny Merriman in Chesapeake look up the parts I need and provide me with part numbers, and then I get into our own Freightliner system and order the parts directly. I've only needed a couple of fairly minor things though, at least so far. I bought my bus via publicsurplus.com and it came from the City of Harrisonburg Va, looked remarkably like the one pictured above...
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:13 PM   #6
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

here they are and a picture is worth a thousand words. day one is over and i have to move out this weekend but i do have about half of the seats out and learned a lot about my bus by crawling around under it taking the seat bolts out with a 1/4" drive ratchet.
board attachment quota has been reached? i am gonna start a conversion gallery and edit this to link it. i hope.
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skoolies/unnamed/
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:29 PM   #7
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

well today is the 31st and i just moved out of my old place this frees me up to do nothing but work on the bus. I am getting a little overwhelmed as i have a general idea about a lot of the specifics about my conversion, but i am getting hung up in the minutia of things that may not be installed for months and months.
All the seats have been removed and the big girl still needs a name and i am gonna drop some paint on it soon too.
i hope the outside upgrades will get the neighbors off my back, they seem to think i am a broken down bus because i am on the road after 4pm and also that they own the public parking on city streets because their house is adjacent. anyway more pics to come probably tomorrow.
Anybody have experience with getting title changed in north carolina? i was just wondering how serious they are about the "facilities" i need to get it retitled so i can drive around without a CDL and get it insured without taking out a loan!
Any tips will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

If by "facilities" you mean a toilet, then my suggestion would be to put in a camping Port-A-Jon for now. I think there's another thread on the forum covering the same question. If I can find it I'll post a link.

I think this is the link you'll need: http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...north+carolina
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

Sorry I can't help you with the N.C. title thing. I was just wondering what part of N.C. your ride would be coming out of? I will probably be rolling mine through Asheville next fall. RECYCLER
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:04 AM   #10
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

I am near myrtle beach and i found a porto jon at at yard sale place. it was unused and my GF got it for 10 bucks i posted a pic on my gallery. i am not sure about the pics here i am just gonna keep putting them up there. i mostly spent the last two days taking stuff off, covering the flashers priming the roof, tossing all the old seats and frames, ect oh and hitting my buddies two lane road driveway after the six point turn to get in and out.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:28 AM   #11
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

well got lots of painting done and all the extra seats are at the county dump (free) scrap metal sold and inside almost all stripped out!!! noo i am wondering what is the best insulation to put under my laminate hardwood floating floor that rides on felt? foamboard insulation or rubber mat? i will be searching for any advise on the forum just wanted to be sure i get a good idea about what i should do before i start.
also did you guys fill in the holes left by the seat bolts and if you did what did you use to seal them?
New pics on the Gallery see link above in this post
Lastly i named it "G Bus"
went out to get it all put back together for the drive back into town. i got the painting mostly done first coat on and i gotta get it off my buddies farm before his wife gets back and maybe bring it back for big involved work in the near future, like converting it to WVO!!!
new pics in gallery http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skoolies/G+Bus/
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:20 AM   #12
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

well they keep hassling me. But I am in violation of lots and lots of city ordinances about parking and oversize vehicles.
so I am looking for a place to go. Where have other people parked there skoolies?
I dont own a house so I'll have to rent something or leave it out in the country at a friends.
Well maybe i should have thought about it more when the first question most people asked when i told them about the bus idea was,
where are you gonna park it?
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:09 PM   #13
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

Good to hear your stoked on a WVO conversion! As for parking I'm sorry I can't recommend anything......I park mine on the street or in my yard somewhere. I had to respond after hearing of your six-point turn-around, for it made me remember the somewhere in the range of twenty point turn I made to sufficiently get mine into the far corner of my yard. I wish I had a time elapsed film of that turnaround! HEHE! Good luck with your ride! RECYCLER
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:59 PM   #14
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

well i gotta update to keep my name near the top of the forum cause i haven't asked a lot of questions or gotten a lot of feedback maybe ill learn how to put pictures directly on here instead of posting only to my gallery to make it more comment friendly.
i have been in florida helping my parents move into their new home (regular not nursing) and it has been alternately fun and stressful.
My bus is currently looming over my friends house on the other side of town from where the cops tried to tow me. I will take a picture if i remember to because it is kind of funny how it dominates the house. anyway as soon as i get back i will be attacking the title situation and moving it to a circuit city parking lot right on the main drag of wilmington. will post when i get back.
Also i do have a question about removing a governor, i think mine is really messing with me. I am going to do a tune up when i get back (oil, valves, filters, Diesel kleen, ect.) But i would love to find out how to remove the "Compucruise" at the same time. anyone know which wires to connect or cut because i cut the green one and the bus wont run without it.
i started a thread in conversion discussion and a picture can been seen in my gallery, titled " G Bus "
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:07 AM   #15
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

getting into the mechanical problems on my bus yesterday and trying to get all my parts together to stage the "Housecar" inspection for the title.

I discovered that my bosh rotary style injection pump has a cold start aid called a ksb that advances the timing by 7 degrees until the engine is warm.
The sensor was disconnected and counterintuitively this means that the ksb was functioning since i bought it. this is not good. so i bypassed the sensor by running a jumper wire from the fuel cut off soleniod and again the bus runs and i will post the changes if any.

well i just rolled the dice on this one and tested the wires going into the control box (compucruise computer) and found two of them have power with the ignition on and bus not running. so i cut every wire and connected those two together.
it happened to be a green one and a blue one that was not in the insulated shiny wrapping. the bus still runs and i will repost about any changes in speed but i think it has been disabled as it is on the floor of my saab.

Also i will search but does anyone have any advise on testing equipment to be salvaged off of a camper trailer? i have a donor and have free range but i don't want to spend two days pulling it apart only to find that the components are rubbish. so if anyone has experience on what to look for in a coleman rooftop, two way fridge, gas range, ....
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:05 PM   #16
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

got it all inspected and will be posting some new pics in the next few days. it is now completely legitimate and legal. liability insurance, house car title in the mail, license plate and registration. all i need is to get a safety inspection in the next ten days and i should be golden.
all it took was all day today from waking up at seven am and staging the bus for the conversion inspection, to driving accross town to my house and printing the proof of insurance card to show the dmv.
i pay $17.34 a month or so for 30k 50k 30k liability or somthing through USAA i flirted with the girl a little bit now lets see if she sends me a cannecellation form in the mail in two weeks or whatever.
anyway thats exciting to be totally legit and i think exempt from the CDL endorsement that would normally go with driving a 30000 lb GVWR vehicle. with air brakes
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:53 AM   #17
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjz5400
got it all inspected and will be posting some new pics in the next few days. it is now completely legitimate and legal. liability insurance, house car title in the mail, license plate and registration. all i need is to get a safety inspection in the next ten days and i should be golden.
all it took was all day today from waking up at seven am and staging the bus for the conversion inspection, to driving accross town to my house and printing the proof of insurance card to show the dmv.
i pay $17.34 a month or so for 30k 50k 30k liability or somthing through USAA i flirted with the girl a little bit now lets see if she sends me a cannecellation form in the mail in two weeks or whatever.
anyway thats exciting to be totally legit and i think exempt from the CDL endorsement that would normally go with driving a 30000 lb GVWR vehicle. with air brakes
We had setup insurance initially with USAA for our bus & the day we went to pick it up we called USAA & they informed us they no longer insure RV's & connected us with Progressive for a discounted rate for insurance... Then we insured it with Progressive & they later cancelled us (2 weeks) & told us they no longer insure RV's or bus conversions... SO just a heads up, we now have insurance with GMAC, signed up online with no hassles - YET! Just thought I would share that with you as you may run into problems with USAA...
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:03 PM   #18
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

i will surely update if/when they cancel me. i feel like they may but i am only concerned that they will do it on one days notice, without time to get new insurance i will get a fine from NC for allowing my insurance to lapse or uninsured motorists. this is why i cant use my old car plate but had to buy a new plate. i cancelled the insurance before i turned in the registration and they said i would have to pay the fine to get my old plate "reactivated" or something, so hopefully they will notify me mid month so i can get new insurance before they drop my ass!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:37 PM   #19
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjz5400
i will surely update if/when they cancel me. i feel like they may but i am only concerned that they will do it on one days notice, without time to get new insurance i will get a fine from NC for allowing my insurance to lapse or uninsured motorists. this is why i cant use my old car plate but had to buy a new plate. i cancelled the insurance before i turned in the registration and they said i would have to pay the fine to get my old plate "reactivated" or something, so hopefully they will notify me mid month so i can get new insurance before they drop my ass!!!!!!!!!!!
You should get notice... Progressive gave us 30 days till it would be cancelled. There may be a law that prevents insurance companies from doing this too.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:28 PM   #20
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Re: First timer Road tripping project!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjz5400
well i gotta update to keep my name near the top of the forum cause i haven't asked a lot of questions or gotten a lot of feedback maybe ill learn how to put pictures directly on here instead of posting only to my gallery to make it more comment friendly.
Posting pics is super easy. Log onto photobucket.com, register an acct. upload your pics from your computer onto their server. Be sure and automatically resize them to 640x480 (this is the size that fits best on message boards) when you upload them other wise you will have to do it later. Once you get them on photobucket, move you mouse over the pic, a drop down pulls up. Left click on the "img" link, highlighting it, Then right click, copy, then paste on here. your done.
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