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Old 09-24-2017, 01:22 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Talking Ely's Shorty Freightliner

Hello all and thanks for allowing me to join your community and forum.

I just bought my first Skoolie destined Bus last Thursday, it was an auction of the 2002 Freightliner FS65 BlueBird, 35 passenger shorty. Looks great with lots of ground clearance.



It was said that the engine needed rebuilt and smoked, but that will have to be evaluated when I get a chance to look it over after I pick it up this next week.

But I am really excited to begin this adventure and do some travelling as well as meeting some new people. I have been watching all the Youtube videos and all the great times being had.

I originally was looking into a van conversion, but since I am over six foot tall, felt that would get old really quick for me. I wanted something with the Cummins as I already have two other Ram 3500 pickups with that engine and I know a bit about them. I also know that they are very reliable and tough as can be.

Anyway I look forward to meeting you each and every one, to share community and friendships. I am currently in SE Oklahoma on 19 acres with a large shop and attached built in apartment all of which I have lost interest in and have a wild hair for travel. I am debt free, retired and just want to have some good times as I travel. Growing up we traveled all the time as Dad worked construction and oil field as a welder. Went to three different schools in my 8th grade year, traveled from texas all the way to Alaska and back a few times and as far east as Colorado, with a visit to Grandparents in Missouri.

Well I guess you all should be able to tell by now that I like to talk so I'd best close for now and give you all a chance to respond. Let me know if I can be of service and I will do what I can to help in any way I can.

Glad to be here,
(Thanks D Redman)
Eliyahu

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Old 09-24-2017, 08:11 AM   #2
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Welcome !

Cool little bus. That'd be my daily driver.

Hopefully the smoking is a easy fix. What motor is it? 5.9L? Parts abound.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:27 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Hi Rusty, thanks for the comment you are my very first contact on Skoolie net :)

Yes it is a 5.9 with 24 valves and I agree that parts are everywhere. Thanks for your kind thoughts and I hope it is soon my daily driver

I will be trying to pick it up tomorrow, after I pay for it and do all the paperwork, gonna try to hook up the to the OBD2 and check error codes and condition. I will jumper the batteries and might even have to swap them out, try to get it running (been sitting for 4 years), check blowby and and strange noises. I hear that it was driven there at the truck service garage that it is at, so just might be able to drive it home, if not a tow is only $400.

Can't wait to tear into her and get her in tip-top condition so I can get on the road.
My conversion will be simple but practical, more like military or gov modular, fully functional as well as fully removable. I want to register it as a conversion / cargo van to get cheaper insurance and not have to have a shower / bathroom if I register it as an RV,

Anyway nice meeting you Rusty
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:57 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,858
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
Yes it is a 5.9 with 24 valves and I agree that parts are everywhere. Thanks for your kind thoughts and I hope it is soon my daily driver

I will be trying to pick it up tomorrow, after I pay for it and do all the paperwork, gonna try to hook up the to the OBD2 and check error codes and condition. I will jumper the batteries and might even have to swap them out, try to get it running (been sitting for 4 years), check blowby and and strange noises. I hear that it was driven there at the truck service garage that it is at, so just might be able to drive it home, if not a tow is only $400.

Can't wait to tear into her and get her in tip-top condition so I can get on the road.
My conversion will be simple but practical, more like military or gov modular, fully functional as well as fully removable. I want to register it as a conversion / cargo van to get cheaper insurance and not have to have a shower / bathroom if I register it as an RV,

Anyway nice meeting you Rusty
chances are you wont be able to use an OBD2 scanner on that.. you will likely need to either pull the codes wit ha diagnostic button if it has one, or using a J1708 / J1939 scan tool.

thats definitely daily driver size!!!

if its been sitting for 4 years be sure to take some fresh diesel fuel, that fuel will likely be no good.. in fact if they started it to test it before putting it up for sale and it smoked, that would be a huge reason why...

-Christopher
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:06 AM   #5
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post

if its been sitting for 4 years be sure to take some fresh diesel fuel, that fuel will likely be no good.. in fact if they started it to test it before putting it up for sale and it smoked, that would be a huge reason why...

-Christopher
You will be wanting to bring an extra cummins fuel filter with, just in case. Quick, easy, slightly oily job. Better than stranded.

Run the old fuel thru the old filter if you can, then swap in new filter w/ fresh fuel. That way, old fuel doesn't gunk up new filter.
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:24 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Thank you Christopher;

I know I have a lot to learn on this my first Skoolie project. Never heard of that "Diagnostic Button", I woulldn't even know where to look or how to read it? Got any resources on how to use that button?

Yes I heard of that scan tool, might have to get one. But since I am gonna go to the P-7100 injection like on my other trucks, will just pull the driveline and tie it up out of the way then have it towed home.
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:27 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Thanks for the heads up Rusty;

A big job to do at another man's place of business, especially since I think one of the partners was bidding on it. Best to just tow it home and do all that here. The $400 ain't too bad and then it will also be insured and I won't have to get it insured until I have it running good.
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:31 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,858
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
Thank you Christopher;

I know I have a lot to learn on this my first Skoolie project. Never heard of that "Diagnostic Button", I woulldn't even know where to look or how to read it? Got any resources on how to use that button?

Yes I heard of that scan tool, might have to get one. But since I am gonna go to the P-7100 injection like on my other trucks, will just pull the driveline and tie it up out of the way then have it towed home.
yours should be new enough to have the LCD in the dash, if so, you can pull the codes using this procedure.

http://www.autobusthomas.com/pdf/MAS...2013.01.23.pdf

-Christopher
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:47 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Thanks Caddie Kid Geekster

That will come in very handy, putting it on my Cloud account now.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:08 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Oops it is a Thomas and not a BlueBird.

Got all the paperwork done today and should arrive here at home tomorrow as it will be professionally towed.

I had a chance to talk to the mechanics who worked on it and they said that #2 hole was dead and would not fire, said they replaced the injector and still no fire. Lots of blowby and smokes bad.

Imna pressure test the injector from the VP44 and see if it has a leak. Man that would be a sweet easy repair. Doubt that will be it though, most likely a bad injector over-fueled that hole and burnt up the piston or cracked rings, or maybe even bad valve seat / seals / guides. I will flow test the cylinder with air and see if it leaks into the crankcase, intake or exhaust = rings or valves will be proven there.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:20 PM   #11
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,858
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
you might be OK as long as the broken rings or dropped valve didnt score the cylinder bad.. otherwise it could be a block replacement...
-Christopher
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:54 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Thanks Christopher;

I doubt it dropped a valve as that is a hard thing to miss while replacing an injector on a 24 valve Cummins and extreme scoring would have to occur to trash the whole block. I think that some Buses even have the industrial engines which are equipped with replaceable sleeves.

Please don't speak a curse on me Bro the circumstances you describe would be most tragic. I'm trying to think on the positive side until the evidence says otherwise

Those guys that worked at that shop wanted this Bus bad, they had said that they usually spend around $750 on one. Then they went all the way to 2K on this one before backing out. Got some good news though, the Trans has double overdrive / 6-speed. And with those 10-22.5 tires it should cruise pretty well w/o winding out the engine too bad. I'm really excited

Anyone have an extra 5.9 Cummins just laying around?
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:06 PM   #13
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,858
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
Thanks Christopher;

I doubt it dropped a valve as that is a hard thing to miss while replacing an injector on a 24 valve Cummins and extreme scoring would have to occur to trash the whole block. I think that some Buses even have the industrial engines which are equipped with replaceable sleeves.

Please don't speak a curse on me Bro the circumstances you describe would be most tragic. I'm trying to think on the positive side until the evidence says otherwise

Those guys that worked at that shop wanted this Bus bad, they had said that they usually spend around $750 on one. Then they went all the way to 2K on this one before backing out. Got some good news though, the Trans has double overdrive / 6-speed. And with those 10-22.5 tires it should cruise pretty well w/o winding out the engine too bad. I'm really excited

Anyone have an extra 5.9 Cummins just laying around?
what transmission is in it again? allison 2000? if the bus is 2005 or older then it will be a 5 speed valve body in it. still should give you .74 overdrive.

if you just scored a cylinder you could always put a .040 over kit in it.. requires machine shop work.. but then im not scared by building an engine.. and sounds like you arent either.. so this is probably just a blip on the radar..

of course the first thing is to take compression and go from there.. replacing an injector only is just that... doesnt mean that the pump is pushing fuel at that position...

in one diesel years ago I had a head gasket leak which caused a piston to get steamed and melted a channel down the side over time that allowed my top compression ring to get loose.. amazingly the piece of ring didnt trash the cylinder.. and the head surfacing cleared that of damage..

I agree lets make it something simple that gets you back on the road!
-Christopher
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:17 PM   #14
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
Thanks Christopher;


Please don't speak a curse on me Bro the circumstances you describe would be most tragic. I'm trying to think on the positive side until the evidence says otherwise
I have a feeling if the motor was garbage, the garage guys wouldn't bid $2K. I'm sending good mojo your way for an inexpensive fix.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:36 PM   #15
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
I agree with rusty.. If the partner was bidding it is more likely something small.
Good luck, J
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:37 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,858
Year: 1991
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
true.. - ha!! what if the garage guys wanted it so bad that they "un-fixed" it so that the owner would sell it off... shady?? sure as hell yes. but ive seen worse unfortunately..
-Christopher
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
I agree with rusty.. If the partner was bidding it is more likely something small.
Good luck, J
So the shop was bidding against you on a bus they were selling?
Is that what happened?
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:41 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Christopher;
Thanks for the good vibes

Interesting you should mention the injection pump, as the mechanic who really wanted the Bus mentioned the VP44 and how much they cost (expensive). Just might have been a clue on which direction to head. He mentioned that O'Rielly's has a lifetime warranty for $1,500. I'll be checking the pump for sure...
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:51 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
Thank you as well Rusty for the good vibes;

The Bus was from Kiamichi Technical College and I guess it was smoking, why they took it to an independent shop for repairs. Shady? Possibly as these guys know that Schools do better getting funded for new Buses than for repairs on an older one. Native American College funded by Casino revenue and such. I'm thinking that it is possible that the repair could be something small as well and for the same reasons as you guys. Guess we'll soon see...

Notice the signage on the side and top:
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:05 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 36
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24 Valve
Rated Cap: 35
J;

The Bus was owned and auctioned by Kiamichi College and one of the mechanics at the independently owned truck service shop who did the repairs was bidding on the Bus as well.

His partner was really talking down the Bus when I called to check on the possibility of an inspection. He said the tires were all weather cracked, old and beyond the expiration date. Which they were beyond the date but looked close to new as it has Michelins on front and something like Bandag retreads on back all like new condition. He said that the engine needed a rebuild and after sitting for 4 years the transmission would need to be serviced as well. All plausable, but not something you would say just in passing. But more like a snow job trying to scare any potential competition away. I don't scare easy
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