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Old 05-23-2014, 10:32 AM   #1
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Project Silver Bullet

Hey guys, Found the site last year sometime after I bought my bus and figured I'd join, list my story and post where I can.

I set out last spring looking for a school bus to take to country concert(http://www.countryconcert.com/) because we needed a place to stay for that weekend. We also were going to use it at bachelor parties, races at Eldora( http://www.eldoraspeedway.com/) and anywhere else that we might have a few brews and need a place to crash. Well anyways, I browsed through the local school bus dealer and they really had nothing that was priced right for what I was looking for, so I started looking on craigslist. I found a few busses there but nothing that I deemed was in good enough shape mechanically to drive home. Eventually I found the one I wanted at $2200. It was owned by a couple of guys who were getting in there 30's and were ready to quit partying. They used it for pretty much the same things we were going to use it for so it was already decked out in how we wanted it, and it had the title already converted over to an rv. So I was pretty set on buying this thing. Well the day before I was going to check it out, one of the guys got cold feet and decided he didn't want to sell it. So I had the other guys number and finally convinced them both to sell it. I paid more than what I wanted to for it, but I got the main things that I wanted and we were drawing short on options. Anyways here's how it was when we bought it last May.





It's got a 6.9 idi diesel with an at545 trans. Not sure on the gear ratio but it'll scoot along doing about 70-75 down the interstate running wide open. I think that the prior owners weren't mechanically inclined, at least when it comes vehicles and school busses. The exhaust was rusted through and a complete patch job, It hadn't been serviced in awhile, the transmission shifted funny, and the glowplugs didn't work. So you had to use a shot of either just to start it. The tires were worn and the sidewalls were dry rotted, but they held air so we ran it home.

Between May 5th and July 11th we did a whole bunch of work to it. It had carpet in it that we tore out. I timed the injection pump because it was kind of lazy and blew black smoke whenever you got on it. I also changed all of the filters and greased the whole thing, including the front wheel bearings. I Also changed the engine oil because it was the blackest crap I've ever seen (It stained the concrete from where I dropped the oil filter, that's how bad it was). I adjusted the throttle cable on the transmission and now it shifts like it should. I found the glow plug control module was shot, so I put a push button on the ground side of the relay and they all work now so it starts up real quick. We painted it too because I thought it looked like hell. So I bought an HVLP spray gun kit from walmart and we used some rustoleum primer and enamel paint( I think I got the rustoleum idea off here actually). So now it looks pretty good. I also fixed all of the lights and adjusted all the brakes so it's in pretty good condition now.



Here are the things that I got planned to do to it this year:
- Put better tires on it( already found and put fronts on it, now I just need 4 drives)
- Find an a/c unit off an old rv and install it (we had two window units last year but they're a pain to remove and install).
- Mount a set of steer horns that I bought on the front above the window. (already done)
- Touch the paint up in certain spots where it was thin and flaked off.

Other than that stuff, No real big undertakings. We took it out twice last year and it was a blast both times.
The only issue I forsee is the a/c unit on the roof, so if you guys got any comments about it or really anything at all post it.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

looks good, now you just have to paint those mountains on the side, so when they turn blue you know the bus is cool enough
keep the pics coming
gbstewart
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:15 AM   #3
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

It sounds like you got a good deal on the bus and you seem to have some mechanical skills. The fun of converting a school bus cannot be overstated. You will have a blast. Welcome to the madness that is bus conversions.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:55 AM   #4
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
looks good, now you just have to paint those mountains on the side, so when they turn blue you know the bus is cool enough
keep the pics coming
gbstewart
Blue Mountains on the side is one of the goals yet. Country Concert is sponsored by coors light and they give out free passes to whoever has the best looking campsite. That's why we painted it silver and called it the silver bullet. We painted it July 4th last year and the concert was the weekend after so we kind of ran out of time with the mountains, logos, and everything else we wanted to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmarvel
It sounds like you got a good deal on the bus and you seem to have some mechanical skills. The fun of converting a school bus cannot be overstated. You will have a blast. Welcome to the madness that is bus conversions.
I'm satisfied with what I have in it. The only thing better than the conversion is the amount of fun we have using it, and the attention it brings. Like this past weekend we went to the dirt races with it and had an absolute blast using it and we had a boat load of people just stopping by asking about it.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:18 PM   #5
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

Anybody got an idea on where to go for insurance on this thing? I had our local agent last year set it up through gmac but the emails were getting sent to my junk folder and I didn't notice it until I got a cancellation notice in the mail. I called them that day but by then, it was too late and they wanted to set up a whole new policy. My problem now is that I'm having trouble getting it setup because they all want pictures of the inside of the RV and I guess it now has to have a kitchen sink, bathroom, stove, fridge, etc. and mine obviously doesn't have any of that. It's just intended to sleep in. I guess I'm just ranting here. I mean first off, I don't understand how they can't go off the old policy at all, secondly, I don't understand how this wouldn't be considered an rv. If it's not an rv conversion, then what the hell is it? I mean all I want is liability, I don't live In it, and the darn thing moves less than 200 miles a year. I guess I'll just call the local guy again to see if he could set it up again but I really didn't want to do it. So if you guys got any advice or tips I'd love to hear them.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828
Anybody got an idea on where to go for insurance on this thing? I had our local agent last year set it up through gmac but the emails were getting sent to my junk folder and I didn't notice it until I got a cancellation notice in the mail. I called them that day but by then, it was too late and they wanted to set up a whole new policy. My problem now is that I'm having trouble getting it setup because they all want pictures of the inside of the RV and I guess it now has to have a kitchen sink, bathroom, stove, fridge, etc. and mine obviously doesn't have any of that. It's just intended to sleep in. I guess I'm just ranting here. I mean first off, I don't understand how they can't go off the old policy at all, secondly, I don't understand how this wouldn't be considered an rv. If it's not an rv conversion, then what the hell is it? I mean all I want is liability, I don't live In it, and the darn thing moves less than 200 miles a year. I guess I'll just call the local guy again to see if he could set it up again but I really didn't want to do it. So if you guys got any advice or tips I'd love to hear them.
Try either Good Sam or National General. Good Sam got me liability but unfortunately through Progressive, who no longer deals with skoolies, because New Jersey is particularly anal about who insures in this state and Progressive is Good Sam's underwriter here. I'm trying to get Foremost through my local Farmers' agent, but they only deal with "professional conversions".
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:35 PM   #7
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

Just a quick update. We put in new steps last year this time but I never had time to paint them. The old steps looked like a combination of patches, rust, and about a dozen tubes of black silicone. So we tore them out with sledge hammers, air chisels, and cut off wheels. welded the new ones out of 1/8" plate steel and bolted it to the floor in the original spot. Anyways I spent the better part of last night and this morning stripping the rust and painting them. Here's a photo.


Anyways, that's all the time I got for today. Hopefully we'll get to the other stuff some other time.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:50 AM   #8
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

Coming along nicely! --- But...steer horns?...in Ohio?. I thought that was something we only did here in Texas
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:50 PM   #9
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
Coming along nicely! --- But...steer horns?...in Ohio?. I thought that was something we only did here in Texas
Nope, you're not seeing things. I seen em at a swap meet and just had to put them on there. Makes it unique lol. They were almost 6 ft long but look tiny compared to the front of the bus. Oh well I guess.

The only update I have is I put new tires on the rear axle. Some guy had 6 10r22.5's on craigslist for 150 bucks. I really only needed the drives, which were half worn recaps. The steers aren't that great but I figured for what he was asking I got a good deal. I also developed a coolant leak from the block heater the last time out. I guess there is an O-ring on it, but I don't know if I should try and replace it or just throw it out and put in an expansion plug.

Other than that, really only one more trip scheduled for this year than It'll be winter again.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Project Silver Bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
Coming along nicely! --- But...steer horns?...in Ohio?. I thought that was something we only did here in Texas
Nope, you're not seeing things. I seen em at a swap meet and just had to put them on there. Makes it unique lol. They were almost 6 ft long but look tiny compared to the front of the bus. Oh well I guess.

The only update I have is I put new tires on the rear axle. Some guy had 6 10r22.5's on craigslist for 150 bucks. I really only needed the drives, which were half worn recaps. The steers aren't that great but I figured for what he was asking I got a good deal. I also developed a coolant leak from the block heater the last time out. I guess there is an O-ring on it, but I don't know if I should try and replace it or just throw it out and put in an expansion plug.

Other than that, really only one more trip scheduled for this year than It'll be winter again.
Am I missing a...........PICTURE???????.....
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gbstewart View Post
looks good, now you just have to paint those mountains on the side, so when they turn blue you know the bus is cool enough
keep the pics coming
gbstewart


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Old 01-24-2018, 03:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Anybody got an idea on where to go for insurance on this thing? I had our local agent last year set it up through gmac but the emails were getting sent to my junk folder and I didn't notice it until I got a cancellation notice in the mail. I called them that day but by then, it was too late and they wanted to set up a whole new policy. My problem now is that I'm having trouble getting it setup because they all want pictures of the inside of the RV and I guess it now has to have a kitchen sink, bathroom, stove, fridge, etc. and mine obviously doesn't have any of that. It's just intended to sleep in. I guess I'm just ranting here. I mean first off, I don't understand how they can't go off the old policy at all, secondly, I don't understand how this wouldn't be considered an rv. If it's not an rv conversion, then what the hell is it? I mean all I want is liability, I don't live In it, and the darn thing moves less than 200 miles a year. I guess I'll just call the local guy again to see if he could set it up again but I really didn't want to do it. So if you guys got any advice or tips I'd love to hear them.
I stumbled across this The other day...their says all the right words...idk anything about the company...

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Old 03-06-2020, 10:54 AM   #13
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Well, I've been meaning to update this for awhile now. So I have some spare time and will make a quick one.

We used the bus a few weeks ago to haul some friends and I on a guys trips one saturday evening. Before the trip, I went through the old girl and made sure she was roadworthy.

I've done a bunch of odds and ends to make it roadworthy and reliable since my last post. Here is what I remember sitting here typing.

After my last post in this thread, I removed the block heater on the side. It was rusty/crusty from corrosion and leaking coolant. I cleaned the hole, smeared green loctite on it, and installed a cup style freeze plug in it's place. But that's also dripping a little when the system has pressure. So I'm thinking the block might be cracked right there. The early 6.9 engine blocks had that issue, so mine might have that. It isn't much of a leak so I'm not concerned.

I replaced both front king pins and wheel bearings about 2 years ago. The pins were loose and the bearings didn't look the greatest when inspected. The left side pin was a complete bear to remove. I had to create a steel cage out of 2 inch square tubing and use a 10 ton porta power along with a rosebud acetylene torch to get it out. I was paid back when the right side fell right out when the wedge key was removed. The bore in the axle on the right side was out of spec/wallered out, So I used some loctite 660 retaining compound on it. The gap was just inside the specs for the loctite so I figured I'd try it. The correct way to fix this is to pay someone(Axle Surgeons) to machine the hole and insert a bushing, but the loctite seems to be working so far. I'll keep an eye on it.

About a year ago I was having issues starting it when it was below 70. I checked the glow plugs and controller, and the controller had failed along with 6 glow plugs. I started by installing a push button onto the old controller, so now when you press the button, the relay activates and the light on the dash comes on.

I then removed the old glow plugs. Most people say to use only motorcraft/beru plugs, or the controller won't act right and the plugs can fail catastrophically, breaking apart inside the engine requiring an engine rebuild. Since I was no longer using the controller, I opted to use an acdelco plug that I read online it was self limiting, meaning that it will limit it's electrical usage to only get so hot and not explode.

I wanted to test this out before use. So I bought some acdelco 12G plugs, which were a direct swap size wise to what I had, and tested them with a booster pack. That turned out to be a mistake. 2 exploded the tip off, 4 more burned out after back to back testing, and the final 2 I'm not sure if I'd trust them.

Here's the ones that exploded


The 4 that burned out.



And the remaining 2 that worked.



All were tossed in the trash. So the search for a self limiting plug continued. I found out acdelco also made a 60G plug that was self limiting, but it wasn't an identical sized plug. So I bought some and tested those out, and they worked like they were supposed to. The problem is that they're shorter then what's required, so I had to machine them in my lathe to get them to work.

Top is original plug, 2nd is a 12g, 3rd is a machined 60g, 4th is an unmachined 60g.


Those have been in since last year and have worked flawlessly. So I'm happy with the upgrade.

After replacing the glows plugs, It started to smell fuel after shutting it off. Low and behold it was the injector return lines and caps, which are right by the glow plugs and likely disturbed when I replaced them. They were leaking/weeping fuel on top of the engine which is why you could smell fuel after driving. A new kit from delphi(pn 7135-264) fixed that. I also put check valves in the fuel supply line so the generator wouldn't suck the engine fuel filters dry, or vice versa.

After the fuel work, I removed the drums and lubed up the pivots, rollers, and contact points in the front brakes, they were starting to stick on one side which caused a pull when stopping. Shoes still had plenty of friction so they weren't replaced. I also replaced both front air chambers and one rear chamber at the same time because they were all leaking.

I installed new belts before the trip a few weeks ago. They looked old, were starting to crack, and I've never changed them since I've owned it. I also replaced the hard line from the fuel filter to the injection pump with a 3/8" rubber fuel line and brass fittings. It was leaking and was causing an engine start and stall issue.

Here's a pic of the new belts.

You can't see the fuel line, but it's behind the filter in the top right corner.

I've also installed some new items since the last post. Here's a short run down.

Rooftop camper ac for the back bedroom area.
Bathroom area with camper toilet and medicine cabinet
Diesel generator/apu mounted underneath.
Air horns/chimes

I'll detail all of that in another reply.
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:24 AM   #14
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So, a few years back I installed the camper rooftop ac.

Pulling windows and installing window units was getting old. So I found a used brisk air duo therm unit that a friend's dad had from an rv he was parting out. Bought it for 100 bucks and installed it.

It's an older Briskair Duo Therm unit. I think it uses R22, if that tells you how old it is. I installed it in the rear 1/3rd of the bus, the bedroom area so to say. We curtain this off from the windows and front half, and even on the hottest/humidest days of July, it will about freeze you out. It definitely isn't the quietest, or most efficient power wise. But it works great, and for 100 bucks, I can't beat it.




Installation was a 14x14" hole cut through the roof and ceiling, in between two framing ribs. I welded a 1/4" thick 2 inch window around the hole to give it something flat and solid to sit on and seal to. I then screwed 2x2" wood strips from that steel window to the ceiling, which made the whole works solid. The unit had a 1" wide foam weather strip to seal itself to the bus, I also applied yellow weather strip adhesive to that, and so far it hasn't leaked.

I wired it using 12-3 stranded romex, ran above the ceiling panels, to the left rear corner where it has a weather proof plug in box outside the bus.





It's a male plug, so you can essentially plug it into any extension cord. I use this with shore power too, and didn't want to deal with an automatic transfer switch, and have no other 120 vac power needs on the bus, so this is a simple solution.

This whole setup works good. I'd like to find the add on heater for this unit, to have heat as an option when it's cold, but it's so old I'm not having any luck.
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:40 AM   #15
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The bathroom area is a small little room off to the left side of the bus with a lockable door on it. It might be 3 foot wide by 4 foot long.

It has a camper toilet, a camco unit I got off of amazon. It's not really used much, because we're normally at places with bathrooms, and I'm not fond of cleaning it out. It also has a small medicine cabinet that I got from a home remodel project to store deoderant, toothbrushes, med kit, etc.

Here is pictures of the inside, sans toilet. I remove that in the winter to keep it from freezing. The windows are blurred out with white spray paint.




Like I said, it's small, but it's functional for what I want it for.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:14 PM   #16
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The diesel generator/apu is something that I created over a year or so. I've always wanted something like this because it's a pain to tote a generator and gas containers along when you go somewhere.

The bus has space underneath, and a large fuel tank. So it only made sense to utilize those things for an onboard generator. So I set out looking for a diesel generator, found a few onan quiet diesels, a couple yamaha/kubota generators, and I seemed to always be the 2nd to last bidder on all of them. So I was looking at a truck catalog, and found out that semi truck apu's typically have an ac compressor/heating unit, and an alternator as standard options, but some of them can come with an ac powered generator as well.

So, I widened my search for not only diesel generators, but apu units with the 120VAC generator head as well. Found a few apu's within an hours drive, but they all wanted either too much for something that was worn out, or were sold right before I called them. So the search continued.

I have a truck and truck parts auction an hour from me, that happens twice a year, and is claimed to be the world's largest truck parts auction. https://www.berryhillauctioneers.com/?page_id=8 They sell everything truck related, engines, transmissions, axles, wheels, etc. APU's included.

So a few years back at this auction, I bought a few lots there, one being a pallet with junk apu's on it for 100 bucks. I figured what the heck, I've spent more on dumber stuff. So I brought back the pallet and got down to what I actually bought.

One unit was your run of the mill thermoking piece, which was nothing but a 2 cylinder yanmar engine and some sort of ac compressor. The only thing worth anything on that one was the engine, so it got cleaned up and I stored it under the work bench.

The other unit I scored on. It was an old blackrock apu unit, which that company has since gone out of business and is now branded go green apu, and they're a pretty unknown apu manufacturer. Anyways, this unit was also a 2 cylinder yanmar engine, model # 2TNV70, and had a dc alternator, ac compressor, radiator/condenser assembly, and luckily enough, an alternating current generator head. The compressor and generator head was driven by a serpentine belt, which enables the engine to run at a slower speed then what the 3600 rpm required by the generator for 60hz.

This unit was a basket case though. The generator head had a cracked aluminum case, so I welded that back together and did a bunch of work cleaning it up, replaced bearings inside it, replaced the capacitor and made it so it was going to be a functional piece. The generator head is brushless and self exciting. It's also a dual coil setup, where it runs both coils parallel for 120vac, and in series for 240vac.

I rigged up the engine on the shop floor with fuel, battery power, and a cooling system. The cooling system was the old apu radiator, that had to have all of the fittings resoldered by me because they leaked. I also created a fan shroud out of some sheet metal and 2-12" 12v electric cooling fans I bought off ebay. I used a degas bottle and radiator cap out of a mid 2000's chevy malibu. One port on the bottle goes to the lower radiator hose, the other port goes to the top of the thermostat housing on the engine. So coolant should be supplied with coolant and the air properly bled out of the system.

I rigged up the engine on the shop floor with fuel, battery power, and a cooling system. I removed the ac compressor and bypassed it with an idler pulley, and then hot wired the engine to verify it would start, run, and create both dc and ac power. After the test, I had to replace the alternator because it wasn't working. A cheap unit off of ebay solved that.

After the trial run, and proof of concept on the shop floor, I built a frame out of 2" angle steel that would hold the assembly on the bus frame. It uses the same rubber motor mounts the apu used, so it doesn't create much vibration in the bus. I used sheet metal to enclose the compartment, and that is lined with thermotec cool-it mat. The ceiling of the compartment is 2" thick rock wool insulation placed above sheet metal.

I used a weatherproof breaker panel enclosure from menards to store all the electric bits. I found a surplus generator panel for an AED6500S generator for cheap on ebay, and mounted that in the breaker panel. The panel is a 6500 watt 120/240 volt unit that has a keyed ignition switch, breakers/fuses for ac/dc power supply, and an emergency shut off. I found wiring diagrams for the panel and apu, and then proceeded to design and fabricate a harness/relay/fuse/junction block system to integrate the 2 together. Surprisingly, it all functions together perfectly.

I pulled and returned fuel from the same pickup/return the bus engine uses. I used the same water separator and fuel filter that was on the apu, plus a 12v facet cube fuel pump. Fuel goes from the tank, to the tee/check valve, to the water seperator/screen, then the pump, then the filter, then the injection pump, and then returned back through the filter air bleed, and into the bus return line. I put in check valves in the supply side so that neither system can pull fuel or air from/through the other.

DC electric is provided by the 2 group 31 batteries that power the bus, and an added caveat is that the apu alternator will also charge those batteries while it's running. The alternator on the apu is a 40 amp model. And running the generator takes about 20-30 amps, so it does provide a little charging.

The top cooling fan runs all the time with the engine running, with the bottom cooling fan being controlled by two things. One is a temp switch in the bottom of the radiator that turns on the fan relay when the coolant in the lower radiator tank hits 185F. The other is by the emergency shut down relay.

The emergency relay will kick on at 5 or less oil psi, or 230F coolant temp at the thermostat. This emergency relay will also kick on the red warning light on the panel, and disables the run relay, which powers the fuel pump, alternator, and the injection pump.

I've tested the emergency system a few times to ensure that it works correctly, and it always does. I've also never seen the lower cooling fan turn on when running, even if the generator is fully loaded. I guess one cooling fan running is enough.

After completion, I ran this system for about 10 hours as is, until the generator head shorted internally and gave up the ghost. If you didn't know, all the stator coil insulation burning off internally makes for one smokey and smelly mess.

So I removed the old generator head, brought it to some places looking to have it rebuilt. Nobody wanted to do so, so I cleaned and read the old generator head tag and found it was a Sincro model ER2CAT, capable of 5.2kva at 3600 RPM. I found and emailed the Sincro distributor here in the states, and through some back and forth communication, I ordered a model ER2CBT. The new unit is capable of 6.0 kva at 3600 rpm, and has the same footprint as the ER2CAT, so it works great. I don't think the increase in capacity will be an issue for the engine to power, especially after I eliminated the AC compressor.

After the replacing head, I've probably put on close to 100 hours on it. I've ran the thing for 3 days straight, only stopping to check the oil level, and it did so without any sign of an issue. This last week, I changed the oil, filter, and v belt on it. Fired it up for a test run and discovered the 40 amp alternator isn't charging. I can see it shorting internally so I'll have to source another replacement.

I'm probably missing/forgetting stuff. So if you have questions, ask away.

Pictures are to follow.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:50 PM   #17
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,530
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
Here is an external picture of it.


Some have asked about it being too low, but it's close to a foot off the ground, so I doubt I'll have issues with it dragging. The gray box to the right of the radiator/fan aseembly is the panel compartment, and to the left you can see the coolant degass bottle.

Here is a pic of the front outside of the generator compartment.

From left to right, you can see the air filter and housing, water separator, cube fuel pump, and the fuel filter.

The air filter housing is a new stock piece from one of the apu's, but both originals were destroyed. I tried to run it with just a filter in place, but the engine noise from the intake was so loud it was bizarre. Even adding the rubber hose to supply the housing fresh air made a noticeable difference in noise production.

This is the generator control/distribution panel.

I modified the key tumbler so that you can remove it after it's running. I didn't want someone to walk off with it while we weren't around.

I also made an extension cord that plugs into the 30 amp 120vac plug, and use it to power my rooftop air conditioner. That leaves the other 2 120vac plug ins for lights, sound system, etc.

And here is inside of it.


The black item in the top left corner is a 12v fuse block. The junction block in the middle connects the wires for the gen head to the panel on the first 5 spots, the 6th is a constant 12v+ power source, 7th is a 12v running power source, and the 8th is a ground junction. I usually tell people to never use scotchloks, but I did in this case because they were nothing more then connecting grounds for the relay control circuits. Relays are at the bottom of the picture. There is a run relay, start relay, a relay for both fans, and a relay for the emergency shut off system.

Here is the v-belt I just replaced that drives the water pump and alternator.


And this is the serpentine belt that drives the generator head, and ac compressor if I would have kept it.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:08 PM   #18
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,530
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
Here is a picture of the air horns I installed.

They're bolted in with self tappers with sealant around them, the wires, and the air hose. They're fed by a 3/8 nylon air hose from the wet tank. There is a solenoid valve up top at the base of the air horns that is connected to the horn switch in the steering wheel.

I did this because I had like half a dozen people pull out in front of me at highway speeds on just one 20 minute trip, and the stock 2 tone horn system just wasn't adequately relaying my frustration, so I came up with this. They were a cheap set found at a swap meet. Might have paid 50 bucks for them, I don't remember. But they're definitely loud enough.

I also added an awning on the right side.

It's a 25 foot long carefree of colorado awning. I found it on facebook marketplace at a campground local to me. The owners bought a new camper, were putting it in their permanent campsite and were building an awning on the site, so this one had to go. Like I said, it was a new camper, and therefore had a new awning.

I forget what I paid for it, but I know it wasn't much. Most couldn't use it for how long it is. I had to buy the brackets for the bottom, and the rail to attach it at the top. The brackets are bolted on with stainless hardware. And the rail is attached with exploding pop rivets. The rail had sealant applied to the back side of it before installation, so no worries about leaks.

It's just the perfect length for it to extend from the very back to right by the bus door. I'm happy with it, and it's definitely a nice feature to have.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:31 PM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,530
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
Future plans?

I bought an air ride seat, and it's solid passenger for 20 bucks at a swap meet last fall.

The plan is to swap the passenger seat back cover and seat bottom to the air ride base. Hoping to install that this spring sometime.

I also finally found a turbo manifold for my engine. They're pretty rare so I'm excited that I finally got one. I bought a turbo off facebook marketplace for 100 bucks, and bought a garrett chra for it for 175 off of ebay. I plan on having the the manifold and turbine housing cerakote coated, so they're both in a molasses and water solution to remove the rust right now.

I'm hoping within the year I'll be turbo charged. I'm not really looking for a big hp increase, but it would be easier on the engine if I lowered the egt's if it was turbocharged. Right now they're probably pretty high running down the highway naturally aspirated.

I also plan on doing a rear gear swap sometime this year. I found one for 200 bucks that will be better suited for doing 65 mph. I also found the speedometer interface I'll need to use to keep that accurate. My bus has an at545 now, but I have an mt643 laying under the work bench if it grenades due to the gear change.

I'm also thinking of installing a 12v fridge/battery setup and possibly solar panels. I'll then run the apu off that, vs the bus starting batteries. This way I won't have to deal with coolers and ice anymore on trips.

And if I do install a fridge, I'll likely put it were the current bathroom is, and then build a larger bath/wet bath across the aisle and mount the associated tanks underneath of it. I can't do that with my current bathroom because the generator is there. But I'm not really sure if all that is going to be done though.

So that's my update. A few years late, but now when I refer to something that I did, I can refer you guys to my build thread.

These skoolies, there's always something going on with them.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:42 PM   #20
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 2,400
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
I had like half a dozen people pull out in front of me at highway speeds on just one 20 minute trip, and the stock 2 tone horn system just wasn't adequately relaying my frustration, so I came up with this.
I had a dude in a pickup truck almost merge right into me on an interstate on-ramp a couple weeks ago. I laid on my horn for at least 5 seconds before he suddenly slammed his brakes on. I don't understand how you either don't see a 35' school bus or else assume it's going to sashay over one lane for you despite being pinned by dense traffic. He didn't even have the excuse of looking at his phone like the majority of drivers I see these days.
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