I am thinking of going to take a look at this partially converted bus. Are there any red flags that I am not seeing?
this is the wording on the ad
This is my schoolie. i have a love hate relationship with this thing, ill tell you why at the end, but stick with me for a moment here. Mechanically it's great (104K on an international power stroke), 4 speed allison auto (solid, but its geared low, keeps you round 55-65 on the highway), frame is good, needs new tires, but brakes and axles are good (gear boxes topped off). (although it might have a very minor brake line swap ahead, i can explain, but i did the first one and it took me 20 mins and a pipe bender)
Also i ripped out the whole exterior (saved a few bits, no passenger seats, sry). When i got it, there was some surface rust on the sub floor. So i scrubed it, reinforced it in spots, applied Ospho, and painted it. I then built a 2 inch insulated floor (i was planning on taking this thing up to the dakotas in the winter, so its set up to be really well insulated). i also started insulating the roof, and i drilled and tapped all the ribs to make studs for the walls (also leaves room for 4+ inches of insulation!! better than most any rv youll find). I also filled in most of the Windows with 20g steel, the Windows are original, but they are easily replaced.
So this is big reason why im selling it, and honestly its kinda stupid and embarrassing.
im 6'2, maybe 6'3 with boots on. When i bought the bus, the clearance was maybe 6'4. i honestly shouldve known better, but i was desperate to start my project and i bought it. it wasnt untill i insulated the floor to the level i desired, that my mistake started to become obvious. At this point the top of the ceiling really maxes out at around 6'1, which really cricks my neck. its just not enough for me, so im sucking it up, and selling it (hopefully to someone slightly shorter). i shoulda known better, but here we are. so if you are over 6 ft i would not recommend this bus to you.
And you've made it the end, so ill explain why i struggle with sell this thing. School buses are a bit heavy (expect 9-10 mpg), but they pay that weight back with interest when it comes to toughness/sturdiness. these things are made of a an all steel construction (unlike most rvs) with a series of interlocking ribs, which are designed to roll over and still not crush all the kidos inside. If
When I bought this thing, the idea was to convert it into a fully sustainable tiny house. one big plus of this bus is that with the overbuilt frame and body, you can mount alot of weight onto it and itll be just fine. So if youre looking to mount solar panels or build a deck, this is also a good option. look up school bus decks/solar panels to get an idea what i mean.
There is a second larger reason i bought this particular bus. Power strokes are what they are, some people hate em, some love em. say what you will about em, but there is a reason i chose it over a cummins or a cat 3116, and that is the hydraulic injection system. Powerstrokes use hydraulic oil pressure to inject fuel into the cylinders, which is great if youre using straight veggie oil (SVO, is much more viscus at ambient temp). As far as the conversion ive only tied in the radiator line to the cab (you need that to heat the svo) also fyi, i currently have a conversion $1200 kit lined up that i could buy in town, (and if your interested you should check out new dino alternatives kit as well!) Either or, with about 1500- 2000 investment, you could get this thing running on veggie oil, and cut down on gas costs. (Little known fact, the first diesels were actually designed to run on veggitable oil)
That being said, i feel like i should mention my final reason for selling this bus. im outa money, buses are really expensive. frankly if youre looking at doing this, you should make sure this is something you can invest around 10k-15k and alot of time an into it. I thought i could get this thing rolling for under 5k, but honestly these things arent cheap to build, especially if your going the renewable route.
Thats about the long and short of it, now you know what i do. If you're looking for a good bus that has already had most initial work done, this is a great starter. have the title from the previous owner (Still titled as a school bus); he bought it from the district directly. If you have any questions or want to come see it, email me with your name and number.