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Old 02-19-2018, 11:27 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 171
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 40' Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3126 7.2L
Project Tina - Skoolie for a Family of 9

I thought I would go ahead and start a project thread.

Saturday (17 Feb 201 we pickup up a 2004 Thomas 40' with Cat 3126 and Allison 3060. Bus has 140k miles and runs great! I am crossing my fingers and hoping we can get that 6th gear unlocked in the future.

Our plans for this bus is to be our full time home for sometime while we build a house.

We will be fully insulating it with closed cell spray foam.

Plan currently is to put a queen master in the back, bunk room, bathroom, kitchen and then living/dining room.

My big dilemma is I really want to do triple bunks but will not be able due to the low ceiling height of the bus.

If anyone has any tips or ideas on fitting all this into a good layout on a 40' bus please let me know.

We will post regular updates on this project in this thread and also regular video updates via YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...8FS8z3eARac8WS


I am actually pretty excited about this project.

Oh, did I mention we are on a slight time crunch? We are hoping to sell our current home by May, Pay off all our debt and leave with plenty of Cash equity to get us started on our debt free/mortgage free future.

This means I need to have the essentials completed in the next few months....

Current Progress - Seat removal in progress, Interior Panel Removal in progress

~ Mike
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:58 AM   #2
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Hi,

I just started the process of having 6th unlocked on a very similar bus. The good news is that Thomas seem pretty reasonable about this.

The bad news is that it might depend most on the Final Drive Ratio of your rear axle. Seemingly, if unlocking 6th would allow over 75 mph, they might say "No".

I have heard of one bus with a 6.14 ratio being unlocked (another Saf-T-Liner with a CAT).

Mine is 5.38, and as far as I can tell it could be right on the limit depending on tires.

So ... what is your FD Ratio?
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:04 PM   #3
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Hi,

I just started the process of having 6th unlocked on a very similar bus. The good news is that Thomas seem pretty reasonable about this.

The bad news is that it might depend most on the Final Drive Ratio of your rear axle. Seemingly, if unlocking 6th would allow over 75 mph, they might say "No".

I have heard of one bus with a 6.14 ratio being unlocked (another Saf-T-Liner with a CAT).

Mine is 5.38, and as far as I can tell it could be right on the limit depending on tires.

So ... what is your FD Ratio?
I am not sure actually. Would the Final drive be stamped anywhere on the differential or data plates somewhere?

I have heard that Thomas will still provide the permission slip but request a speed limitation of 75 be programmed in.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mgulley82 View Post
I am not sure actually. Would the Final drive be stamped anywhere on the differential or data plates somewhere?

I have heard that Thomas will still provide the permission slip but request a speed limitation of 75 be programmed in.
Yes. The ratio will be on a metal tag attached to the differential housing.

Mine was missing, Thomas told me what was fitted in the factory and that computed with the speed and RPM I was seeing.

My engine is mechanical, and can't have a top speed programmed in. It's limit by rpm in the injection pump.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:08 PM   #5
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Well Driving it home on the highway Saturday it topped out around 65
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:21 PM   #6
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Best of luck on the build! I will subscribe to the YouTube channel and follow along.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:30 PM   #7
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Tina is watching intently.

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Old 02-19-2018, 06:11 PM   #8
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Tina is watching intently.

]


For anyone wondering why we’re naming her “Tina”


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Old 02-19-2018, 06:11 PM   #9
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For anyone wondering why we’re naming her “Tina”


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https://youtu.be/mD7GMn_LQH0


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Old 02-19-2018, 09:38 PM   #10
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Thoughts?




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Old 02-19-2018, 10:30 PM   #11
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Hey, has Tina lost weight? Looking goooooood!

Are you still liking Tina yellow or are you thinking of a paint scheme? Yeah, warmer weather ahead makes painting easier. Have you been driving around any?
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:40 PM   #12
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She will be painted a nice turquoise color on the lower half and white up top

I drove the bus home about 30 miles and she drove excellent and behaved well

I really do want that 6th gear unlocked though


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Old 02-20-2018, 03:14 AM   #13
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Triple bunks are doable if you don't mind the bottom bunk being on the floor and not a lot of space between bunks. It all depends upon how hard it will be to convince the ones that will be sleeping in them that it is a good idea.

You may want to check up on how closely spaced bunk spaces are on US Navy ships. IIRC some of the enlisted berthing spaces are not very generous. It is particularly tight on submarines.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Triple bunks are doable if you don't mind the bottom bunk being on the floor and not a lot of space between bunks. It all depends upon how hard it will be to convince the ones that will be sleeping in them that it is a good idea.

You may want to check up on how closely spaced bunk spaces are on US Navy ships. IIRC some of the enlisted berthing spaces are not very generous. It is particularly tight on submarines.
I see some little tikes in there, they shouldn't have any problem with it... just tell em its a "cave"
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:23 AM   #15
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I see some little tikes in there, they shouldn't have any problem with it... just tell em its a "cave"


I’m sure our three boys will love the triple bunk

6,7 and 8


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Old 02-22-2018, 09:45 AM   #16
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Engine: CAT 3126 7.2L
Fresh Water Tank

Im in the process of ordering and collecting all my materials for this build and I have some questions about fresh water tank.

I am concerned about mounting fresh water under the bus because we plan on being full time in cold weather environments (0-30 degrees).

I am considering mounting this tank under my couch inside the bus itself to prevent any issues with freezing. This would allow me to keep all my fresh water and plumbing inside the heated living spaces.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007MSLP7A...M7AC4ID5&psc=0

Thoughts?
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:21 AM   #17
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That is an elegant solution to a problem.

The only real downside is it does take up quite a bit of space inside the bus.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:25 PM   #18
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Does anyone have any suggestions on getting this lower wall panel off?

Doesn’t want to budge!


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Old 02-25-2018, 01:26 PM   #19
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Does anyone have any suggestions on getting this lower wall panel off?

Doesn’t want to budge!


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Old 02-25-2018, 01:29 PM   #20
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That's the panel known as the "Chair Rail". It's structural, and it doesn't come off.
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