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Old 06-28-2020, 11:05 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13
Year: 2005
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 30 + 2 WC
Intl RE300 short bus, name TBD

Okay, so here is the start of the build thread. First, to bring everyone up to speed. We purchased a 2005 International RE300 11 window bus from M&M Service and Salvage Yard in Ruckersville, VA for $4500. This is about a 3 hour drive from our house in Maryland. Since I couldn't get tags without the title, we left the bus at M&M to return home and get tags. Before purchasing the bus, I called a number of insurance agents to make sure that I could get insurance on such a bus. I contacted Debby Ramirez, who I believe has been mentioned on this site previously. She was able to get me a commercial vehicle for private use through Progressive, although she did say that they would only underwrite certain buses. Fortunately, mine qualified. Below is her contact information.
Debby Ramirez, l Agent
Personal Lines Manager
Frank D. Spicer Jr. Insurance Agency
11781 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, St. 620
Fairfax, VA 22033
Office: 703-385-5100 ext. 232
Fax: 703-385-4418
Email: debby@eriespicer.com

With the signed VA title in hand, and having insurance from Progressive, I went to a local MD tag and title place that was open (MD MVA is closed due to COVID-19), and they were able to get me a MD title, 30 day temporary registration and LICENSE PLATES! Now to go get our bus!
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:33 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13
Year: 2005
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 30 + 2 WC
The struggle to get home

Getting the bus home turned into more of a challenge than I had hoped for. We drove the three hours back to the yard to drive the bus home. The bus started fine, and I put the rear plate on (I still need to get mounting hardware for the front plate). I put it in gear, released the brakes, and began to pull out of the lot. Then, check engine light came on, and no throttle. I thought the fuel filter was clogged, so I ran out, purchased one, and installed it. It seemed to run fine after that, so we drove away. We stopped to fill up the tank, and drove for about 20 minutes. Then, the light came back on again, and no throttle. I tried replacing the fuel filter again (hey, it worked the first time!), but that didnít fix the problem. I had to call a mobile mechanic, and we had to have the bus towed to his shop. Eventually, he found that there was a break in one of the wires going from the throttle pedal to the ECM, which he was able to replace. Being an intermittent problem, it took 3 weeks of on and off troubleshooting to find the problem. But with the wire fixed, we were able to complete the trip home with no more problems.
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File Type: jpg 20200613_170832.jpg (249.5 KB, 18 views)
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:40 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13
Year: 2005
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 30 + 2 WC
Seat removal

When I got the tags for the bus, I received a 30 day temporary registration. I have to get the bus to pass a state safety inspection before I can get the permanent registration, and as part of that inspection, I must paint it and remove most of the seats. Iíve been working both on and off together. Being a wheelchair bus, about the middle third was already empty of seats. In this bus, the seats are bolted to the chair rail on the outside, and bolted to the floor on the inside. I went under the bus with an impact wrench, and had my son inside with a ratchet. I would put the impact on any seat bolt I could reach, and spin it so my son could find it. Once he had the ratchet on, I would spin off the nuts. Some of them took 2 attempts, as the bolts were double-nutted. I then went inside, and unbolted the outer edge of the seats from the chair rail. I then used a cut-off wheel in my grinder to cut the heads off of any bolts I couldnít reach from below, and then pounded them out. The very back seats were secured only with screws and brackets to the firewall. I still need to remove the seat belts that are bolted through the firewall. While I was working, I cut out a small section of floor to see how bad the rust would be on the floor. It doesnít look too bad, but I still plan on removing the wood floor and treating it.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:42 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13
Year: 2005
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 30 + 2 WC
Covering holes

I had the usual tasks to complete prior to painting the bus. To cover the holes where the warning lights had been, I removed the light shades that were still attached. I was able to straighten the metal, and cut the ends off to get it to fit over the light holes. I used sheet metal screws to attach the plates to the bus, and then sealed it all with automotive seam sealer. I used a remaining piece to cover the hole where the stop sign had been. The patches may be a little ugly, but they work.
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File Type: jpg 20200620_181502.jpg (158.3 KB, 7 views)
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:42 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13
Year: 2005
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 30 + 2 WC
Removing the decals

I had heard horror stories about removing the decals. While it wasnít easy, it wasnít as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the decals came off using a retractable straight razor blade like this one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Stanley-...-500/202262010. Initially I had my son aiming a heat gun where I was working. This seemed to only help sometimes, and too much heat sometimes made removal more difficult. Once the outer layer was gone, I cleaned up any residue using goo gone and a plastic kitchen scraper.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:44 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13
Year: 2005
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 30 + 2 WC
Painting the bus

I confess, I used most of the instructions from the Argo Bus (second paint job):
https://theargobus.blogspot.com/
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/t...ows-22138.html
I first washed the bus using purple degreaser, a brush and a power washer.
I then spot sanded the bus, mostly where the decals had been. After that, I washed the bus again, this time using dish soap. I even went up on the roof and washed that down too.
With the bus cleaned, my wife and I went to work taping the windows/lights/doors/etc. in preparation of painting.
Unlike the Argo bus, I did have some areas where I sanded down to bare metal. I really wanted to make sure that the paint would stick, so I started by putting on a coat of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer. One gallon coated almost the entire bus.
After allowing that to dry for about 24 hours, we began to paint on the color coat, using a ratio of 3 Rustoleum Gloss Royal Blue to one Gloss Hunter Green, with a can of Majic Catalyst Hardener.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ole...7502/100133651
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ole...8502/100172602
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...t?cm_vc=-10005
We ended up using about 1.5 gallons on the first coat, and 1 gallon on the second. We started removing the tape before it completely dried, which worked out fine. While itís not a showroom quality paint job, I think it looks pretty good.
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File Type: jpg 20200704_184141.jpg (189.4 KB, 22 views)
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:15 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Savannah GA
Posts: 756
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 24v
Rated Cap: 54 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by skoontz View Post
I confess, I used most of the instructions from the Argo Bus (second paint job):

https://theargobus.blogspot.com/

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/t...ows-22138.html

I first washed the bus using purple degreaser, a brush and a power washer.

I then spot sanded the bus, mostly where the decals had been. After that, I washed the bus again, this time using dish soap. I even went up on the roof and washed that down too.

With the bus cleaned, my wife and I went to work taping the windows/lights/doors/etc. in preparation of painting.

Unlike the Argo bus, I did have some areas where I sanded down to bare metal. I really wanted to make sure that the paint would stick, so I started by putting on a coat of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer. One gallon coated almost the entire bus.

After allowing that to dry for about 24 hours, we began to paint on the color coat, using a ratio of 3 Rustoleum Gloss Royal Blue to one Gloss Hunter Green, with a can of Majic Catalyst Hardener.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ole...7502/100133651

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ole...8502/100172602

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...t?cm_vc=-10005

We ended up using about 1.5 gallons on the first coat, and 1 gallon on the second. We started removing the tape before it completely dried, which worked out fine. While itís not a showroom quality paint job, I think it looks pretty good.
That's a nice color. Very similar to what I want for mine.
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:28 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Whidbey Island, WA.
Posts: 961
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
Rated Cap: 2
Yeah, that bus is looking good.
How did you find your color, as it seems you self mixed. It's an art to mix your own paint and get the color you want.
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Old 07-06-2020, 03:48 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13
Year: 2005
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 30 + 2 WC
I was searching the internet for skoolie pictures and came across the Argo bus. I loved the color and just copied his recipe. I bought the paint by the quart, so I just dumped in 3 quarts blue, one quart green which gave me the one gallon of paint.
Then I added one whole bottle of hardener and stirred well with a drill.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:08 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 1,682
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Really like the accurate documentation and the direct credit to the people who helped you out one way or another.

Hope the mobile mechanic did not charge you to much to get that wire fixed.
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