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Old 03-16-2014, 01:22 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: 40 FT Super Coach
Engine: 855 Cummins /250 HP
The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Hello Everyone,
I have been following and checking into this website for many years now and I am beyond words for how thankful and grateful I am to this community and network of skoolie enthusiasts for the encouragement and inspiration to do the same. Without your positive and outgoing work and words, I would not have made this decision, let alone even know about what skoolies are. I sincerely thank you.
Now! On to the Bus. My family of 3(my wife and I plus our young son) are proud new owners of a '73 Crown Coach Bus Fully converted. I will include the link at the bottom to see the original ad posted on this website. All credit to this conversion is thanks to Mr. Bill Graf, the previous owner and creator of this fine home. The purpose of my posting this here is to highlight a beautiful conversion done and to seek help for future projects. This is our first time owning a converted bus to live in so we feel like a bunch of skoolie newbies! I will be adding many pictures and links to video of every area of the bus explained by the creator himself. So, much more to come.
During the process of becoming new owners, I couldn't help but feel like we cheated. I have seen and read sooooo many inspiring and beautiful conversion stories. The distances that people will travel for "the one" and the time and money spent on transforming a used school bus into a home. Every aspect of this process appealed to me. Being a former master mechanic and overall handy with any kind of tool, I desired to create our new home from scratch. However, given our situation, short on time and funds, we looked into the next best thing.
The bus has no name at the moment but could really use some great suggestions. I find it fitting that you should name the bus. The community that gave birth to a new skoolie owner, should have a say in what the bus is called. Lastly for this post, I want to mention how great of an experience it was to take delivery from Grandpa Graf. Nicest, most honest and fair transaction I have ever done. He spent the whole day helping me with getting to know the Crown and how to operate it. Also, left me with the holy grail of bus records. An entire filing cabinet drawer full of Service records, engine and trans manuals, receipts and notations on where the bus has been. That is all for now, but will post next on the history of this bus. Goes all the way back to it's early days running the school route.

-Ck

[moderator edit]

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Old 03-17-2014, 10:55 AM   #2
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Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
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Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Welcome.

Nice bus and a lucky find.

It looks amazing upside down. So I fixed it for you.



Nat
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:15 AM   #3
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

A Big Ol' Skoolie Welcome CrownKid! --- what a great find! When I first saw the pic, I thought you must be in Australia, but thanks to Nat I can now see otherwise. And it sounds as if the previous owner (builder?) wanted to make sure the old girl found a good home (which it sounds like it has). Best of luck with the "re-do" and don't hesitate to ask questions. Great bunch of folks here who have just about all "been there, done that".

Once again...Welcome & keep the pix coming.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:11 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: 40 FT Super Coach
Engine: 855 Cummins /250 HP
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Ha! Sorry about the pic. Still getting use to the site. I've noticed only a few Crowns around that age with the double rear axle. Is it rare to have? And what are the pro's and con's of that?
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:54 PM   #5
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Location: Moodus, Ct.
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Year: 1996
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Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Welcome! Ok-I'll toss out a name: Graf Spee. It was a German Battleship. Its got the Graf name in it-and it matches the gray sides.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:56 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: 40 FT Super Coach
Engine: 855 Cummins /250 HP
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36
Welcome! Ok-I'll toss out a name: Graf Spee. It was a German Battleship. Its got the Graf name in it-and it matches the gray sides.
Love it! That's a top contender
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:32 PM   #7
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Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36
Welcome! Ok-I'll toss out a name: Graf Spee. It was a German Battleship. Its got the Graf name in it-and it matches the gray sides.
I remembered that one too . . .

No need to feel second-class for driving someone else's build. Not when it is that nice, as seen in the Skoolie.net classifieds . . . all ready to go "Crownin' Around."
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:33 PM   #8
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Actually...the Graf Spee was a Heavy Cruiser. Even more fitting!
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:53 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: 40 FT Super Coach
Engine: 855 Cummins /250 HP
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
A Big Ol' Skoolie Welcome CrownKid! --- what a great find! When I first saw the pic, I thought you must be in Australia, but thanks to Nat I can now see otherwise. And it sounds as if the previous owner (builder?) wanted to make sure the old girl found a good home (which it sounds like it has). Best of luck with the "re-do" and don't hesitate to ask questions. Great bunch of folks here who have just about all "been there, done that".

Once again...Welcome & keep the pix coming.
There are also small fans and circle lights on switches throughout the interior. The major source of lighting are three large fluorescent tube lights. The floor to ceiling height is about 6' 2". Tons of space in this thing!
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:29 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: 40 FT Super Coach
Engine: 855 Cummins /250 HP
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrownKid14
Ha! Sorry about the pic. Still getting use to the site. I've noticed only a few Crowns around that age with the double rear axle. Is it rare to have? And what are the pro's and con's of that?
Anyone know more about the double rear axle?
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:33 PM   #11
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Good to see the pics are working for you now.

Is the third axle a tag, or a drive? No drive shaft attached means tag, drive shaft means drive axle.

Nat
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:21 PM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 389
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Like he said, if there's a drive shaft between the last two axles there's power
available for both. If that's the case it was common to have an inter-axle
differential with a lockup clutch arrangement and an air switch to lock
it up on the dash board. Show me a picture of the dash board area and I can
tell you for sure. The usual air-switch has some kind of warning label and
maybe mechanical inter-lock to stop unintentional activations. The inter-
axle lock-up should not be used above about 30 mph or run for very much
distance except on soft road surfaces or bad traction conditions. If it's left
locked up it will stress the inter-axle drive-shaft and cause excessive wear
to these components if run on normal pavement conditions. Crowns were
available in three axle 40ft bodies since at least 1954. They weren't exactly
rare but just an expensive option that wasn't bought all that often. Post the
VIN number (should be 37xxx or maybe 38xxx) and I'll see what I can find out
about it. Congrats and welcome to the madness.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:42 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: 40 FT Super Coach
Engine: 855 Cummins /250 HP
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crown_Guy
Like he said, if there's a drive shaft between the last two axles there's power
available for both. If that's the case it was common to have an inter-axle
differential with a lockup clutch arrangement and an air switch to lock
it up on the dash board. Show me a picture of the dash board area and I can
tell you for sure. The usual air-switch has some kind of warning label and
maybe mechanical inter-lock to stop unintentional activations. The inter-
axle lock-up should not be used above about 30 mph or run for very much
distance except on soft road surfaces or bad traction conditions. If it's left
locked up it will stress the inter-axle drive-shaft and cause excessive wear
to these components if run on normal pavement conditions. Crowns were
available in three axle 40ft bodies since at least 1954. They weren't exactly
rare but just an expensive option that wasn't bought all that often. Post the
VIN number (should be 37xxx or maybe 38xxx) and I'll see what I can find out
about it. Congrats and welcome to the madness.
Here is the VIN : 37095 . Thanks for any info you find out!
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:02 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: 40 FT Super Coach
Engine: 855 Cummins /250 HP
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Here are some more pix of the inside.
Attached Thumbnails
image.jpg   image.jpg   image.jpg  
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:23 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: 40 FT Super Coach
Engine: 855 Cummins /250 HP
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster
Good to see the pics are working for you now.

Is the third axle a tag, or a drive? No drive shaft attached means tag, drive shaft means drive axle.

Nat
I found out today that the third axle is a drive. What are the pro's and con's of that?
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:48 PM   #16
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Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

welcome, looks less like a VW bus in those pictures
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:29 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: The First Crown Coach Skoolie-bought from Grandpa Graf

I am in the process of converting a 1988 Crown. It is the extended 36 footer vs the standard 35 footer. I really wanted a 40 foot two axle Crown (they made them in the late 1980's until they went under). My wife, Donna, says that the two axle 40 footers do not drive like a "real" Crown. She is probably right. However, I really want that extra four feet. The things I could do in the interior with four more feet!!!! I have 40 foot envy with your new bus! The last Crown I ever drove while a school bus driver was a tandem 40" Crown. They are awesome to drive.

Welcome to the world of Crown madness. You will find that Crowns, IMHO, are the best vehicles for RV conversions. They were made like tanks and will last for decades.
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