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Old 11-16-2021, 01:40 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
The In Between TC-2000 Handybus

Hello!
Figured we would share the build we have started.

Stats-
1993 Bluebird TC-2000 handy-bus
Length it's only 25'-6"
Mileage -221,000
Engine -Cummins 12v

The good-
It's only 25'-6" long, so easy to drive. Came with all of it's maintenance records from nearly new. Had an Allison re-trans installed at 160k, had a Cummins reman installed at 188k. Everything works on it !

The bad- Sat in a bus yard unused for 17+ years. So 17 year old diesel fuel and more than a few years of rodents. Tires are brand new , but 18 years old.

Stay tuned for more information and photos of the progress so far.

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Old 11-16-2021, 02:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trooper2 View Post
Tires are brand new , but 18 years old.

I totally get what you mean/are saying, but this made me laugh


Its a sought after size bus. I look forward to seeing what you do with it. I go back and forth between wanting a ~5 Window cutaway or conventional, or an 8/9 window flat nose, but the latter is hard to come by.
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Old 11-16-2021, 02:45 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
The Progress so far.

When I picked up the bus I asked, so does the fuel gauge work ? Reads full and was curious if you put fuel in it.
"Nope, bus garage always keeps em' full, so I imagine it was full when it got parked"

It was about 30 miles to to get home I spent most of it contemplating how fast the fuel filters would plug with 17 year old fuel running through them.

Once home I got to look at the 340 pages of service records and found it had a habit of clogging fuel filters between service intervals.

So out came the tank, cleaned all the sludge and rust out , replaced all the fuel line from the tank to engine and back. Installed new filters and bled the system.
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Old 11-16-2021, 02:50 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
I totally get what you mean/are saying, but this made me laugh


Its a sought after size bus. I look forward to seeing what you do with it. I go back and forth between wanting a ~5 Window cutaway or conventional, or an 8/9 window flat nose, but the latter is hard to come by.
Totally agree on the sought after size. When I found this one it was one of two for sale in the PNW. We needed something that would fit in our driveway, was maneuverable as we live in the city, and would fit our use.
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Old 11-16-2021, 02:58 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Goals of the Build

Probably should have published this first, but hey multitasking failures are the norm for me these days.

My wife runs an outdoor school program. All instruction is done outside, in the forest rain or shine. The new location she uses while amazing, does not have any type of structure for really , really bad weather days. In brainstorming what we could come up with for a foul weather classroom she mentioned " hey what about a school bus?"

I always wanted to build a skoolie, and this gave me an " approved" reason to do so. I just needed to find a way to make it part time foul weather classroom, and part time camping adventure vehicle.

On to the goals of the build and planning
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Old 11-16-2021, 03:08 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Why are we doing this again ?

Ok so she needs a foul weather classroom maybe 40-50 days a year, and we ( AKA the family) need to be able to camp comfortably for up to a week.

What we came up with

Classroom needs-
Heat not dependent on the bus running
Work tables
Sink
Self contained hot/ cold running water
Good Lighting
cook top
seating for approximately 11 kids
Awning
Storage

Family camping needs-
Sink
Self contained hot / cold running water
table to eat at
Area for queen size bed
outdoor shower
heat
battery bank
solar
storage
enough water for 3-5 days camping.

As you can see a number of these items overlap.
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Old 11-16-2021, 03:40 PM   #7
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Engine: 466ci
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Creepy

A classroom with cooktop and queen-sized bed, 'outside in the forest'. Is this adult education?
__________________
Ceiling: Framing & Electrical Rough-in
Convert Hatch to AC & Roof Patch
Frederick Douglass: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
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Old 11-16-2021, 03:57 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
A classroom with cooktop and queen-sized bed, 'outside in the forest'. Is this adult education?
It's only an area for a bed, sorry to disappoint you
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:09 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Floor Plan!



We created a pretty simple floor plan, as shown above. There is no plan for us to live in the bus beyond the occasional camping trip. It's primary function is a foul weather classroom so that is what we designed it for.
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:20 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Time to get to work .

Mechanical-
Changed oil & filter , trans fluid & filter, changed out coolant after using rear heater hose to replace all remaining engine heater hoses, reinsulated heater hoses, inspected brakes, greased all zirks, changed fan belt.

Electrical- deleted flasher circuits, cleaned up chewed wires in electrical panel.

Body Exterior- removed flashers, patched holes in body with sheet metal. Removed windows cleaned and re-installed with butyl caulk. Installed back up camera. Insulated the front and rear upper cowl areas ? where the roof meets the windshield and back.

Body Interior- Worse than removing the fuel tank and cleaning it. So gross. The mouse nests really were not that bad, and were limited to the front area above the windshield and the passengers side area above the windows. Just to be sure we removed all the panels and checked for more evidence and installed new insulation.

Removed the seats, flooring and wall panels to replace insulation.
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:24 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Progress Photos!



Seats out but plenty of nasty stuff left to go. Yes most of the bolts broke off while removing the seats.
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:29 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
It's Clean !!!!



Photo taken after the floor was removed, upper areas re-insulated, wires run for LED puck lights and two windows removed on the drivers side.

The smell was finally gone!
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:33 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Floor Progress



Floor got scrubbed with a wire brush vacuumed and coated with rustoleum rusty metal primer

Not shown was patching all the holes with a peel and stick waterproofing membrane I had left over from another project. All seams in the the floor were re-caulked with butyl caulk.

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Old 11-16-2021, 04:36 PM   #14
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Location: Swansboro,NC
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Year: 86
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Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
looking good
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:47 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Interior Progress



With the floor painted and patched up , it was time to install a new subfloor. We are not going to live in the bus other than camping in it from time to time. In an effort to preserve headroom we did not insulate the floor. I am 6'-5" and if I do one of these again it will get a roof raise for sure.





Floor done and casework started. Like I said it's a purpose built bus, plenty of bench type seating down both sides.
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:55 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Casework progress



Benches just about complete sink, cooktop and hood installed but not wired/ plumbed



Carefully made the sink cutout and left the hole just oversized so sink would support the cut out and fill in the countertop when not in use.

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Old 11-16-2021, 05:01 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
Cook Top and Hood + Flooring



Cooktop and hood installed.



Flooring installed

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Old 11-16-2021, 05:22 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Oregon
Posts: 64
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 25'-8" Handy Bus
Engine: 5.9 12v Allison 545
Rated Cap: 22 Pass Now 6
I promise you are now caught up.

I should have started the build thread sooner but real life got in the way.

So far I have been working on the bus in the evenings and weekends for the last 6 weeks. It was one of those I need to beat the bad weather sort of things.

The bus is relatively weather tight, I have two seams that are leaking on the roof so it wears a tarp to ensure things stay dry. The plan is to take it over to an uncles shop and clean and re-caulk all the roof seams with butyl caulk before we start using it.

I have more time in the evenings this week to a work trip being postponed.

This weeks goals-
Finish shoe molding along floor, install plannar heater, start DC power systems wiring.
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Old 11-16-2021, 06:42 PM   #19
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I have a 1998 5.9 12 valve tc2000 as well but mine is 34’ long. Ive heard mixed reviews on the bus due to underpowered issues. I just bought mine a month ago but am trying to confirm that i can get this thing to do more than 55mph at 2500rpms. Trying to come up with a plan to do so because Ide like to drive it to california from Massachussetts and obviously have mountains to go through and heard horro stories about transmission going because of overheating. Would love to hear from other 5.9 12 valve guys with bigger busses. Btw it has an allison at545 tranny
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Old 11-16-2021, 06:45 PM   #20
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Same happened to me with the seats.lol i got sent to the hospital after iwas prying and grinding a bolt head and it came free shortly after handing my glasses to my friend who was doing the grinding. Fml lucky im ok
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