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Old 01-23-2020, 06:04 AM   #5161
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:41 AM   #5162
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Very good to know. In terms of developing skills at a VERY advanced age, the local community college has both a diesel engine class and a welding class. Both of them are relatively full time (like 8 am - 2-4 pm 3 or 4 days a week). I'm thinking I've got a much better shot at learning something practical if I do the welding class to learn welding for the conversion, and rely on mechanics to work on my bus, for the most part. What do you think.
Welding is best learned hands-on and I'd fully recommend learning it. Its super handy to know.
I'd never call myself a welder but I've worked with them and around them enough to do a bit of work on my own stuff when I need to.
I took a vocational class after high school. You'll learn a good bit about fabrication, handling materials, and all that.

Would you be willing to travel for a really nice bus?
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:42 AM   #5163
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Welding is best learned hands-on and I'd fully recommend learning it. Its super handy to know.
I'd never call myself a welder but I've worked with them and around them enough to do a bit of work on my own stuff when I need to.
I took a vocational class after high school. You'll learn a good bit about fabrication, handling materials, and all that.

Would you be willing to travel for a really nice bus?
Absolutely!! My only concern would be that it was road-worthy enough for the trip home. I moved here to NC from Bangkok, so travel is not an issue for me. Driving and fixing up a bus are the daunting parts.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:43 AM   #5164
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Those are decent, and rust free.
Lots of miles, but if the price is cheap I'd much prefer something like that than a 2007 from FL.
The 545 isn't thrilling. I've got one and its alright in a shorty. You planning any hardcore mountain adventures? If not the 545 is ok.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:52 AM   #5165
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Very good to know. In terms of developing skills at a VERY advanced age, the local community college has both a diesel engine class and a welding class. Both of them are relatively full time (like 8 am - 2-4 pm 3 or 4 days a week). I'm thinking I've got a much better shot at learning something practical if I do the welding class to learn welding for the conversion, and rely on mechanics to work on my bus, for the most part. What do you think.
Personally I'd take the diesel class. You mainly need practice to get good at mig and you can do that pretty easily at your own house and on smaller stuff that you can practice welding together. I took a mig class at my cc last summer and we weren't allowed to use new stock - just endless running beads on big hunks of steel already filled with beads. Got 18 hours of lab time instead of the 43 we were supposed to have thanks to teacher cancellations and the lab running out of gas. I've made way more progress as a welder just working on my bus (I should be careful of this claim since photos exist of my work).
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:52 AM   #5166
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Those are decent, and rust free.
Lots of miles, but if the price is cheap I'd much prefer something like that than a 2007 from FL.
The 545 isn't thrilling. I've got one and its alright in a shorty. You planning any hardcore mountain adventures? If not the 545 is ok.
re: these buses.. the tires look pretty suspect, but yeah, otherwise they seem like a decent risk. they 'run', and AZ means zero rust (except maybe under the interior plywood, I'm told).

Re: mountains.. I want to be able to travel across the US and Canada, so there are those Rocky Mountains... In CA, Yosemite is always a possibility. And, of course, there are the Smokey's here at home..

I read a thread where a guy bought a bus with a 545, ran it for a couple of years, then spent $2K to upgrade it... That would be entirely acceptable for me.

It sounds like you're skipping the H.O.W., but coming to the swarm. I'll be at both, although only 1 or 2 days at the swarm.

Hope to see you there, although I guess you have a rear end project ongoing too.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:55 AM   #5167
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Personally I'd take the diesel class. You mainly need practice to get good at mig and you can do that pretty easily at your own house and on smaller stuff that you can practice welding together. I took a mig class at my cc last summer and we weren't allowed to use new stock - just endless running beads on big hunks of steel already filled with beads. Got 18 hours of lab time instead of the 43 we were supposed to have thanks to teacher cancellations and the lab running out of gas. I've made way more progress as a welder just working on my bus (I should be careful of this claim since photos exist of my work).
Cool. So, I guess you're saying I'd have a better shot getting actually hands on educated about the diesels and figuring out the welding with Youtube and trial and error? I'm just worried that I'll still be a diesel idiot after the class...

Anyway, thanks for the input.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:59 AM   #5168
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Cool. So, I guess you're saying I'd have a better shot getting actually hands on educated about the diesels and figuring out the welding with Youtube and trial and error? I'm just worried that I'll still be a diesel idiot after the class...

Anyway, thanks for the input.
Yeah, I feel like futzing around with a diesel engine at your own house and learning that way would be pretty hard to do.

In fact, as much as my cc experience was not very good, I'm going to look and see if there's a diesel class there I could take myself. It's a good idea, especially for someone like me who's never even changed the oil in his car.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:59 AM   #5169
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re: these buses.. the tires look pretty suspect, but yeah, otherwise they seem like a decent risk. they 'run', and AZ means zero rust (except maybe under the interior plywood, I'm told).

Re: mountains.. I want to be able to travel across the US and Canada, so there are those Rocky Mountains... In CA, Yosemite is always a possibility. And, of course, there are the Smokey's here at home..

I read a thread where a guy bought a bus with a 545, ran it for a couple of years, then spent $2K to upgrade it... That would be entirely acceptable for me.

It sounds like you're skipping the H.O.W., but coming to the swarm. I'll be at both, although only 1 or 2 days at the swarm.

Hope to see you there, although I guess you have a rear end project ongoing too.
me and Ronnie are going to swap a u-joint on my bus.
I'll be at the swarm, just not sure what days yet. Hopefully as much as possible.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:01 AM   #5170
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Yeah, I feel like futzing around with a diesel engine at your own house and learning that way would be pretty hard to do.

In fact, as much as my cc experience was not very good, I'm going to look and see if there's a diesel class there I could take myself. It's a good idea, especially for someone like me who's never even changed the oil in his car.
Exactly!! my local school actually has Diesel I and Diesel II.... But my puppy would kill me if I was away that long
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:04 AM   #5171
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Yeah, I feel like futzing around with a diesel engine at your own house and learning that way would be pretty hard to do.

In fact, as much as my cc experience was not very good, I'm going to look and see if there's a diesel class there I could take myself. It's a good idea, especially for someone like me who's never even changed the oil in his car.
Make sure they teach old school stuff. Modern diesels and what we're running are a little different. the basics are the same, though.
I've taken vocational classes and the mechanical ones were sort of a waste. The ones I tried were both just training ya to change oil at dealerships. Never took a diesel one, though.
There are manual with illustrations on how to do mechanical jobs, and tools are half that battle.
A six month welding class will give you skills you can't learn in a book.

I guess for someone who's never even done an oil change a vocational class would teach you a ton. But oil changes and basic bus maintenance are 100% do-able by just about anyone.
I'm about to change my bus' oil in the next week. Would yall like to see a video showing the process?
It costs like $200-$300 to have it done, or about $75 and a half hour to do it myself.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:13 AM   #5172
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I'm about to change my bus' oil in the next week. Would yall like to see a video showing the process?
Heck yes, I'd love to see that. Could you sell your bus and buy an International with a DT466 first?
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:16 AM   #5173
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Heck yes, I'd love to see that. Could you sell your bus and buy an International with a DT466 first?
naw, I can't afford to fix a timing cover on one of those. But the oil change procedure is the same. I've done DT's and 444's. This will be my first change on the Cat.
I could also do a quick "how to hook up batteries" while I'm replacing those, too.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:51 AM   #5174
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that C2 from florida has a couple issues..



1 - its a 2008, it will be year 1 of full-on emissions.. any bus placed in service in 05-2007 was built as an 08 model year


2 - Jacksonville busses are better than other floirida districts, hoswever ECCB is right.. florida in general doesnt do a good job of maintainingtheir equipment mechanically..


3 - its a Gen 1 Thomas C2, those were the replacement for the venerable FS-65s..they had a lot of wiring / electrical issues in Gen 1.. as well as if you have never seen how the passenger windows close (dont close) you will thunk the windows are always partially open as the sashes dont meet in a normal way..


4 - the Freightliner Trcuk dashboard literally fell apart on these... the plastics cracked and i suspect certain drivers used them as crutches to get up into the seat..





I myself would love to have a little shorty C2 as i love the modern design, however i wont touch a Gen 1. and there arent many busses that I would be afraid to own.. thats one of them
-Christopher
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:27 AM   #5175
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that C2 from florida has a couple issues..



1 - its a 2008, it will be year 1 of full-on emissions.. any bus placed in service in 05-2007 was built as an 08 model year


2 - Jacksonville busses are better than other floirida districts, hoswever ECCB is right.. florida in general doesnt do a good job of maintainingtheir equipment mechanically..


3 - its a Gen 1 Thomas C2, those were the replacement for the venerable FS-65s..they had a lot of wiring / electrical issues in Gen 1.. as well as if you have never seen how the passenger windows close (dont close) you will thunk the windows are always partially open as the sashes dont meet in a normal way..


4 - the Freightliner Trcuk dashboard literally fell apart on these... the plastics cracked and i suspect certain drivers used them as crutches to get up into the seat..





I myself would love to have a little shorty C2 as i love the modern design, however i wont touch a Gen 1. and there arent many busses that I would be afraid to own.. thats one of them
-Christopher
Thanks much. Any other buses in about that length/chassis size in an older bus I should keep a lookout for? I think the difference between a 25' length and a 30' length is probably that bathroom I want so much.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:00 AM   #5176
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So, A 199X/200X International Genesis Amtran: Good bus/Bad bus? Do they come available from time to time? Would you consider them a "short" bus?
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:22 AM   #5177
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3 - its a Gen 1 Thomas C2, those were the replacement for the venerable FS-65s..they had a lot of wiring / electrical issues in Gen 1.. as well as if you have never seen how the passenger windows close (dont close) you will thunk the windows are always partially open as the sashes dont meet in a normal way..


4 - the Freightliner Trcuk dashboard literally fell apart on these... the plastics cracked and i suspect certain drivers used them as crutches to get up into the seat..
Good to know, I was considering picking up a C2 and making one into a car hauler or pickup. I was under the impression Northern Virginia school districts loved them and there's some in the surplus lot. When was the generational switch?
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:30 AM   #5178
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Thomas still makes the C2 Safetliner it's largely been unchanged since it came out in 2007 except for engines.

The later ones with the 6.7 Cummins aren't half bad. They are all the same ceiling height but have that weird Thomas angled sidewall design.

I can't figure out what motor that 2008 C2 from Florida has. I'm guessing MBE but it doesn't have the usual Merc logo on the valve cover.

Better get used to buses like these dominating the used market in another 6-7 years. I'm hoping somebody comes out with a doable EGR delete, that would make anything up to 2012 useable with some work.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:48 AM   #5179
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Thomas still makes the C2 Safetliner it's largely been unchanged since it came out in 2007 except for engines.

The later ones with the 6.7 Cummins aren't half bad. They are all the same ceiling height but have that weird Thomas angled sidewall design.

I can't figure out what motor that 2008 C2 from Florida has. I'm guessing MBE but it doesn't have the usual Merc logo on the valve cover.

Better get used to buses like these dominating the used market in another 6-7 years. I'm hoping somebody comes out with a doable EGR delete, that would make anything up to 2012 useable with some work.
ERG layout and canister filter on the front of the engine scream MBE to me.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:02 AM   #5180
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the MBE906 is a 6.4 litre so I just assumed that C2 has the MBE.. friend of mine in virginia who runs a fleet swears by them and says they have great luck with the MBE's in service..



as mentioned the C2 hasnt changed alot over the years.. but I think somewhere around 2010 they seemed to get better electrically and fixed the wierd windows with "normal" ones..



the C2 is (was) based on an FL chassis freightliner truck.. they actually ride pretty decent, but with all that glass I wouldnt touch one without air-conditioning.. OK wait I wont touch any bus without A/C..



-Christopher
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