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Old 12-15-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Year: 1990
Coachwork: International
Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
Howdy!! Im back to the school bus side, with a couple Q's!

Hello everyone! Here is a little background... I am trying to create a motorhome/toyhauler that I can take to dirt bike races and camp in aswell as using to tow my boat to the lake. I started out with a 66 pass. DT 360 bus, but sold that to make room for an MCI 102A3 tour bus. I was really excited about the MCI until I had to pay for fuel. The bus drives amazingly but I would get 5.5 -6.5mp which just wont cut it. So I just purchased a 1995 52 pass BlueBird/Ford F-800 with a Cummins 5.9L, 5 spd manual, with a 2 spd rear. I am a cummins 5.9 12 vavle fan! So I ask for some help and direction as I am lost with possibilities.
Must haves:
6'8" headroom
Efficient crusising speed of 70mph
best possible mpg
rear ramp door to load dirt bikes

Would likes:
smooth flat sides
flat roof

So no matter what the roof must be raised. My choices here are to cut, sleeve, and raise the current setup and then skin the area in between. Or remove all of the exterior skin cut the wall studs, extend, and reskin the entire exterior (I am afraid of cost and strength). OR completely scrap the entire body of the bus and build a complete shell (I am afraid of cost). I have a tight budget but plenty of tools (220v welders, plasma, drill press) and a decent amount of metal experience. In reality the MCI has exactly what I want as far as a shell goes but the engine/tranny is an ancient detroit diesel 8v92ta that just had a rebuild but still only gets 6.5mpg tops and the bus weighs 26k lbs BEFORE I convert it. I am almost considering keeping it and do an engine/tranny swap. I dont know what to do.... HELP!!

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Old 12-15-2008, 12:47 PM   #2
recycler's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: leadville,colorado
Posts: 208
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas saf-t-liner
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 40
Re: Howdy!! Im back to the school bus side, with a couple Q's!

You should get with dlor and send him amessage . this is right down his alley.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 130
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: 7.3 International Diesel
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Howdy!! Im back to the school bus side, with a couple Q's!

As far as I know from talking to other MCI owners your in the ball park for fuel mileage, maybe a little worse but not much. Seriously thats quite a hulk to push down the road. To do what you want with a school bus you will have to do kinda what i am in the middle of. Check out my blog to see what I have experienced . Let me warn you about the cost of this project as well. Take your preliminary estimate and quadruple it to get an idea of where you will be when your all said and done.
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