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Old 07-30-2022, 11:46 AM   #81
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Thanks Cadillac. The bus is from Kansas, not much rust on it. I’ll see what I can do with it. Thanks for the detailed post.

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Old 07-31-2022, 01:14 PM   #82
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 18
This is a great thread! I'm in same area as you. Following your build. Question what made you pick your rig? Are there any threads on here that talk about all the different setups? I'm having a hell of a time deciding what to buy and don't want to make a mistake. Looking to pull the trigger yesterday on something.
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Old 07-31-2022, 01:58 PM   #83
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
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Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
several threads on here about how to make a good decision.
most are more like your intentions as far as a build.
weekend camper?
long trips?
support how many for how long of time?
full time with a family of 6?
many variables.
i cant point you to a specific one but they are hear and it might be better for you to start a different thread instead of jumping in someone elses after you do your research.
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Old 07-31-2022, 02:58 PM   #84
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcangelo4 View Post
This is a great thread! I'm in same area as you. Following your build. Question what made you pick your rig? Are there any threads on here that talk about all the different setups? I'm having a hell of a time deciding what to buy and don't want to make a mistake. Looking to pull the trigger yesterday on something.
Thank you.
I wanted 2 things when looking for a bus. 1) A Collins build for the interior height. 2) A 6 window with a side door for more access.

This particular bus has the 6.6l Duramax but I would have bought it if it had a gasser in it with comparable milage. The duramax is a PITA to work on due to it being crammed in a van engine bay. I'm not sure how the gasser is but most vehicles these days are not friendly to the avg shade tree mechanic.

My build is for camping/hunting trips. If I were to go full time in it I definitely would have stripped it down and insulated with spray foam. That expense didnt make sense in my case but I would find it very necessary for year round comfort.

Off the top of my head Frochevy and Peakbus' build threads were the ones I took particular interest to here. I also watched a ton of youtube builds.
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Old 07-31-2022, 03:12 PM   #85
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 2,543
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
at least you got the duramax in the year alot of the problems with it were worked out before cramming it in.
any van body regardless of cut away are is a mechanics nightmare.
add the cutaway bus builder stuff it makes it even tougher.
finding one that is already gutted isnt always the best direction when you do your own mechanical?
others quick fix bypass stuff is usually not what you need?
a van body is tough to work with regardless if its a cutaway or not.
and every garage is going to charge any work as a SOB in hours.
no getting around that unless you do it yourself.
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Old 07-31-2022, 07:18 PM   #86
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWNJ View Post
Thank you.
I wanted 2 things when looking for a bus. 1) A Collins build for the interior height. 2) A 6 window with a side door for more access.

This particular bus has the 6.6l Duramax but I would have bought it if it had a gasser in it with comparable milage. The duramax is a PITA to work on due to it being crammed in a van engine bay. I'm not sure how the gasser is but most vehicles these days are not friendly to the avg shade tree mechanic.

My build is for camping/hunting trips. If I were to go full time in it I definitely would have stripped it down and insulated with spray foam. That expense didnt make sense in my case but I would find it very necessary for year round comfort.

Off the top of my head Frochevy and Peakbus' build threads were the ones I took particular interest to here. I also watched a ton of youtube builds.
Thanks for this feedback. Were there any other than Collins you would have accepted? As far as the 6.6 I am reading a lot of mixed reviews and can't get the story straight what years are good and what years are run away? I'm looking to do similar use to you but want to make it more of an everyday driver and put higher end seats in it like you did for 4 people to ride comfy
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Old 08-01-2022, 07:58 AM   #87
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcangelo4 View Post
Thanks for this feedback. Were there any other than Collins you would have accepted? As far as the 6.6 I am reading a lot of mixed reviews and can't get the story straight what years are good and what years are run away? I'm looking to do similar use to you but want to make it more of an everyday driver and put higher end seats in it like you did for 4 people to ride comfy
There’s a chart on here that has different engines and which years were best and worse. It’s very helpful but I can remember where exactly it is. IIRC the duramax best years were 06-07 and 10 for buses in this time period.

I would have taken any build that had a comparable roof height to the Collins.as long as it was a 5-6 window w the side door.

Also my handicap bus does not have wheel wells which is another plus I forgot to list previously. The L track mounting system is nice.
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:00 AM   #88
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 18
Awesome! So thanks for the feedback. Not going to continue hijacking your thread but I'm looking for similar deal if anything pops up looking forward to hearing about your adventures
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:13 AM   #89
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcangelo4 View Post
Awesome! So thanks for the feedback. Not going to continue hijacking your thread but I'm looking for similar deal if anything pops up looking forward to hearing about your adventures
where are you located?
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:26 AM   #90
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 18
NY area happy to travel south for non rust bucket but monitoring the school bus auctions. Alot of buses for sale at Hunts Point in the Bronx but I think from these parts the buses have had rough life lol. The roads are shot.
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:30 AM   #91
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
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Originally Posted by Mcangelo4 View Post
NY area happy to travel
PM incoming
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Old 08-12-2022, 06:58 AM   #92
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
I've been thinking about building a quiet box for my open frame inverter generator. I've seen really cool builds using a large Dewalt case. I found one locally for $30 and picked it up. However my generator is about .5" too wide for it to fit in the case. Very disappointing.

In hindsight I should have went with the smaller dual fuel unit with the quiet tech over the open frame, larger unit. It's a good generator but after using it a few times I bought too much generator for my needs. It would be nice to have something a little smaller to lug around.

Looking at the encased ultra quiet units online I see they're just plastic panels with soundproof insulation on them. Which got me thinking. Why couldnt I build removable panels for my open frame and enclose it instead of building a clunky quiet box.

I picked up some aluminum sheet metal and some kilmat. My plan is to trace the profile of the generator onto the sheet metal, make panels then cover the panels in kilmat and attach the panels to the generator's frame.

I took apart the generator's plastic main panel and applied kilmat to the 2 pieces. I also took off the gas tank and applied kilmat to the underside of the tank as well as 4 strips on the top of the tank. You can hear the difference when knocking on the plastic panel and tank. it's more of a thud now.

This weekend I will be making the metal panels and assembling everything to give it a test. Hopefully its an improvement.
Attached Thumbnails
Gen1.jpg   Gen2.jpg  
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Old 08-13-2022, 01:31 PM   #93
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Just installed an 8x8 Maxi Trac awning from NAPA.

I used the factory bracket and just bent it into a J shape. 4 M8 Rivnuts into the bus and mounted it up. I mounted it so it sticks out a few inches so it doesnt interfere with the rain gutter. I didnt want to mount it flush with the bus and have rain and debris getting stuck behind it.

It clears the corner of the AC unit and I didn't have to modify the legs. I was expecting to have to modify the legs to make up for the additional height of the bus vs the intended mounting on a SUV or truck but they're plenty long enough.
Attached Thumbnails
awning4.jpg   awning3.jpg   awning1.jpg   awning2.jpg  
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Old 08-30-2022, 05:58 AM   #94
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Installed kilmat and Thermo-Tec 14130 Thermo Guard Flame Retardant on the cab floor and dog house. It made a huge difference in sound and comfort while driving.
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Old 08-30-2022, 07:45 AM   #95
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 17,368
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
thermotec 14100 and hushmat is what I used on my Superior and its a big noticeable change.. I can lay my hand on the doghouse and then on something not insulated like the floor near it and its like a very touchable difference..



being that the thermotec is a reflective heat repeller you install it on the engine side of your doghouse or the underside of your floor.. what remains to be seen is how well will it work once it gets dirty from road dirt and such.. I rarely drive that bus in the rain (its my fair weather cruiser) so will take a while to see any changes
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Old 08-30-2022, 08:15 AM   #96
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
being that the thermotec is a reflective heat repeller you install it on the engine side of your doghouse or the underside of your floor.. what remains to be seen is how well will it work once it gets dirty from road dirt and such.. I rarely drive that bus in the rain (its my fair weather cruiser) so will take a while to see any changes
I installed it on the cab side of the dog house w some 3m 77. It looks like itís carpet now.

I have a factory heat shield, then the kill at on the underside of the doghouse then the thermotec on the cab side.
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