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Old 02-23-2021, 03:30 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 20
Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Mercedes-Benz
Rated Cap: 36pass
Just another rusty school bus conversion.

Ive been working on the bus for a couple of months, a couple of hours a couple of days each week... I dont really count October or November because who is counting the year 2020 anyway, and I was still recovering from my accident so I couldnt do much.

So far I feel like I could have definitely done more than Ive accomplished but considering that Ive been working this project 99% by myself, and the bus is parked 15min away from my current home I feel like Ive done enough when I can.

The bus is completely gutted and the process took me a while because most of the screws on the ceiling and the sidings were rusted and they were stripping so they all had to be modified into flatheads first and some of them broke off so they had to be ground off altogether. I feel like that is what held me back the most.



Ripping the floor out wasnít so hard it was just vinyl flooring stuck to the metal floor on the bus. The bus has a lot of rust that I do have to patch up around the wheel wells, obviously, and both lower back panels. No rust on the ceilings at all, or I would have sold the bus immediately, I do not have any welding experience and Im already sad enough I have to patch up the sidings and wheel wells.

I ripped out all the windows, the sealant was starting to turn into some sort of goop in some areas and just dry and crusty in others, and I dont even know how that is possible. I decided to keep all my windows, because, again I have no welding experience, but I also just want to go with a more open feel to the bus, so I brushed them down with a brush attachment on the angle grinder primed the window frames, put the windows back up and resealed them with clear sealant.

I painted around the ribs on the ceiling with some rust converter/prevention paint to avoid any more possible rust on the bus in the future and replaced the insulation on the ceiling with home insulation rolls, the ceiling escape hatch was replaced with a clear dome skylight and sealed with the same clear sealant as the windows. The backside of the ceiling was repainted, speaker and light holes patched up with metal patches, so I can screw it back up with the same stainless steel screws used for the skylight.

Ive also used the rust converter to lightly coat the metal floor and specially heavy coats at the front of the bus next to the entrance and the steps in, since it was really rusted in that area and that is what I purchased the product for in the first place, I decided since I already have a lot of it Ill cover as many areas on the bus as I can with it.

So far thats all Ive done, I plan on doing a simple conversion so after I figure out how to patch up the rust on the sides of the bus I will
Install all the hook ups for water and power, put the rest of the insulation on the sides, figure out what material I want to use as my new sidings put in some car floor insulation rolls, and install a new subfloor so I can finally start my build. The bus door is currently being modified into a working and locking door with a home lock, and hopefully I can get all this done by the end of this month.

The only problem Im having right now is my bus wont start, I bought a new battery, one of them was dead and after 3 days hooked up trying to recondition it would still not recharge I recharged the working one, I would have wanted to replace the dead one in the future anyway but that wasnt the problem.

I, like many others also made the terrible mistake of cutting all the cables and ripping everything out, including the stop sign and arm and the front arm, the other thing I can think of and read from another post is it could be a safety feature for the emergency doors because those cables are still cut, and I would preferably want to eliminate those anyway, or just ground the one for the ceiling hatch and break the buzzer so that it stops going off when I open the back door or side windows.

If anyone has any advice on how to fix the stop sign and arm issue, or what it could possibly be stopping my bus from starting up that would be appreciated, when I put the key in the dash loads up all the dials all load, I can pump the breaks and all sounds good but when I go to turn the key she wont even crank, which to me sounds way better than it cranking over and not starting up at all, and which tells me is whatever it is, is an electrical problem probably having to do with me cutting all the cables at once, any advice at all is appreciated right now.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:46 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,606
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
what type of bus?
on the last one i took the wiring out of the vandalock pilot and the vandalock relay have to be connected together.
i doubt the stop sign stuff has anything to do with the no start and you are correct in it is an electrical issue.
did you cut all of your door latch switches?
did you have the no child left behind stuff?
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:56 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 20
Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Mercedes-Benz
Rated Cap: 36pass
Hi thanks for the reply, my bus is a 2005 thomas body school bus.

Yes I do have a no child left behind feature on my bus but I kept everything in as I didnt really remove the upper back panel which holds the button and the wiring is tangled in the web of cables I need to keep in the bus.

The reason Im saying is it could be the stop sign is because Ive been reading on other threads on here and lot of people had their bus stop starting up after they cut off the stop sign or other electrical cables in the bus, also my bus stopped starting up a couple of days after I cut out my stop sign so thats the theory that makes the most sense and the one Im rooting for

I ordered a set of electrical butt connectors and I will hook those up losely as soon as they arrive and check to see if that is my issue

Yes I did cut off 3 cables that were hooked up to the arm that opened/closed my school bus doors so that could also be the issue.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:05 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 20
Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Mercedes-Benz
Rated Cap: 36pass
This is what my stop sign looks like after cutting it out. And my two lose cables which i will reconnect finishing the circuit and sort of fooling my bus into thinking its still there.

Other than that I have 4 cables that were connected to the motor in the arm of the stop sign.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 8D66DB39-173E-45E4-9F30-9FFEA71267DB.jpg (135.9 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 0DC62536-E7B5-480E-A0EF-009882903395.jpg (114.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg C5F6B755-AC33-4BAD-930F-4B07B0057514.jpg (124.7 KB, 12 views)
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:14 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Florida
Posts: 27
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: V8 Vortex
Rated Cap: 15
Did you ever fix your problem? I’m in the same boat. After removing alarms. Bus won’t start. Won’t even crank with charged battery. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:34 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 20
Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Mercedes-Benz
Rated Cap: 36pass
No man I have not been able to even see the bus since yesterday morning, like I said my bus is a short ride away from where Im staying right now so Im only able to work on it some days.

I was up all night reading so Im ready to work on it as soon as the cable splicers get here, I keep reading too many threads of people having their bus not start after removing the stop sign to think its anything else, specially thomas built bodies, like mine, so I will probably start by connecting those cables again and see if it works, some people say they just simply disconnected the stop sign, the front arm and side door from the main board and that worked for them, and there should be a diagram on most buses on the compartment door, which ive seen I just forgot my bus keys yesterday 😪

So if securing all the emergency doors again, and reconnecting the stop sign circuit doesnt have the bus start Iíll probably go ahead and disconnect everything from the main board and see if that works, either way I will update and figure this out, it has to be something simple like that.
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:03 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
I have an 07 Thomas Minotour. When I removed the stop sign I just cut the wires, put nuts and tape on the ends and stuffed them back in the hole.

I’m sorry I can’t help otherwise. The vandalock stuff was disabled by the bus yard
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:47 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Florida
Posts: 27
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: V8 Vortex
Rated Cap: 15
I just got my bus going again by disconnecting and then reconnecting the battery and redoing all the stuff I undid before. This time I’m going to be more cautious and take one thing at a time. Maybe this will be the case for you.
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Old 02-25-2021, 03:27 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,606
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freebo View Post
I just got my bus going again by disconnecting and then reconnecting the battery and redoing all the stuff I undid before. This time Iím going to be more cautious and take one thing at a time. Maybe this will be the case for you.
mine is not the thomas minotaur body but it is the 3500 cutaway and i was able to delete everything except for having to keep and just connect (with nothing else in between) the van lock relay and the van lock pilot.
i will verify that this weekend.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:13 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 214
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 27,500
I've seen several of these no start threads recently and it got me thinking about what I did last summer on Leavuntaun. I removed the crossing gate, the stop sign and took down the interior lights. I had no problems with starting as a result. Did those of you who ran into no start issues check to see if you blew any fuses after cutting wires. I was pretty careful NOT to accidentally ground a hot wire on the bus . . .

BUT,

in January I was working on my Expedition fixing a cut wire to my trailer and managed to knock out most of my electrical system. In the end I had accidentally shorted 4 or 5 circuits and it was a simple matter of finding the blown fuses and replacing the, AFTER I made sure no more direct shorts.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:02 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 20
Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Mercedes-Benz
Rated Cap: 36pass
STARTED up Ben today, just as I predicted it was the stop sign stopping my bus from starting up, I knew it must’ve been because it stopped starting up as soon as I removed the stop sign.

The fix was literally just as simple as removing the fuse for the stop sign like I read on other threads.... didnt have to do anything else at all.

I hope this helps for anyone else dealing with this situation.
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