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Old 01-31-2020, 02:09 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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HELP! Advice for new Skoolies!

Hi everyone, my partner and I have just purchased a 1995 Thomas international 3600 handicap bus. The seats have already been torn out and electrical has been ran and standard outlets put in. All done by previous owner. Obviously there are many things that we wish to do but first I think we want to raise the roof about a foot. We don't know where to begin as far as where to get sheet metal and hat channels or even how to come up with measurements to order these things. Our bus is on the smaller side so I believe that is working in our favor but we were thinking we would make the cut from the double doors and through the middle of the windows all the way to the back. We thought about stopping before we hit the handicap door on the back right side but we figured we could just fab another door for the side and the back after the lift. We were thinking of cutting across the top of the bus behind the front doors leaving them and the windshield intact. Any advice would be appreciated! Pictures of bus are uploaded below.
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:06 PM   #2
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Welcome! Go to User CP in the upper left corner and you can fill out your details so that everybody know where you're at and what species of bus you successfully hunted. If you're near Philadelphia, I know the best place for you to get your metal.
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Welcome! Go to User CP in the upper left corner and you can fill out your details so that everybody know where you're at and what species of bus you successfully hunted. If you're near Philadelphia, I know the best place for you to get your metal.
Thank you! Just put some more info there. We're a little far from Philadelphia unfortunately!
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:57 PM   #4
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Thank you! Just put some more info there. We're a little far from Philadelphia unfortunately!
I will mail you steel if you mail me crawfish.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:47 PM   #5
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I will mail you steel if you mail me crawfish.

Now THAT seems like a fair trade!!!



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Old 01-31-2020, 06:45 PM   #6
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I will mail you steel if you mail me crawfish.
Me too
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:21 PM   #7
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If raising a Thomas you gotta take into account the 6 degree bend at the bottom of the window line. Raise below it or face funky geometry and odd looking sheet metal.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:21 AM   #8
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If raising a Thomas you gotta take into account the 6 degree bend at the bottom of the window line. Raise below it or face funky geometry and odd looking sheet metal.
Interesting. So below the entire window frame is where we would cut? Is that a lot more difficult? I'm not going to be by my bus again until tomorrow (Sunday) but I will go see if I can find that 6 degree bend you're talking about.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:22 AM   #9
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I will mail you steel if you mail me crawfish.
Haha! And that'd be an even trade eh?
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:26 AM   #10
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Interesting. So below the entire window frame is where we would cut? Is that a lot more difficult? I'm not going to be by my bus again until tomorrow (Sunday) but I will go see if I can find that 6 degree bend you're talking about.
Yeah at the bottom of the windows Thomas buses slant inward six degrees.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:26 AM   #11
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If raising a Thomas you gotta take into account the 6 degree bend at the bottom of the window line. Raise below it or face funky geometry and odd looking sheet metal.
So the entire window frame has the 6° taper -- I gotta go look at my bus!
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:31 AM   #12
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So the entire window frame has the 6° taper -- I gotta go look at my bus!
yeah.
The entire bus tapers starting at the windows.
If you cut at or above that taper it ends up not looking great and changing the geometry of the bus.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:58 PM   #13
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yeah.
The entire bus tapers starting at the windows.
If you cut at or above that taper it ends up not looking great and changing the geometry of the bus.
Oh man. So is there a way to raise the roof correctly?
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:25 PM   #14
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Oh man. So is there a way to raise the roof correctly?
Yeah, cut below the slant.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:00 PM   #15
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greenhorn here poking around forum explore gathering in here. i love your bus. love that your bus isnt a total shorty and not a 40er. im curious if you made any and all of the measurements inside out on that bus yet? i would have a better idea of the working space and find something that fits what i need. really great bus, love it. cant wait to see it unfold. best wishes, i will be watching

grez
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:12 PM   #16
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So quick update. We spent yesterday removing what the previous owners had installed (wooden bunk beds drilled into the frame) as well as the metal strips on the floor and started ripping the rubber layer up. Today we hope to get all of the plywood in the subflooring up as well as removing the heater that is in the back of the bus. In removing the subflooring we came across a 9x9 metal plate that was covering a hole in the floor that opened up to what seems to be some sort of tank. The bus has air brakes, is that why that access was left there?
If I remember correctly, the measurements of the livable space was around 17'x7'4".
Our plan after the plywood is removed is to assess the rust and grind out any that is there. Then use a cleaning product called Krud Kutter to give the floor a good cleaning before using a Rustoleum rust primer paint.
I look forward to hearing opinions on all of this.
Much love and thanks
Kerri and Wilson
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerboo_n_wilnil View Post
So quick update
....


In removing the subflooring we came across a 9x9 metal plate that was covering a hole in the floor that opened up to what seems to be some sort of tank. The bus has air brakes, is that why that access was left there?
...


Kerri and Wilson

That panel is to access the top of your fuel tank to replace the fuel gauge sending unit and the top of the tank without removal of the whole tank. Keep that access available for the future.


Mike in Pittsburgh, PA
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Old 02-03-2020, 02:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hengy View Post
That panel is to access the top of your fuel tank to replace the fuel gauge sending unit and the top of the tank without removal of the whole tank. Keep that access available for the future.


Mike in Pittsburgh, PA
Ahh thanks for the quick reply!
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:05 PM   #19
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17' x 7'4".....whats the interior height if you dont mind me asking, and total exterior length bumper to bumper?

never done a bus, but in the past i have used rust neutralizers or converters to seal up rusty surfaces, then paint over
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:22 PM   #20
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Year: 1995
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Originally Posted by grezm0nkey View Post
17' x 7'4".....whats the interior height if you dont mind me asking, and total exterior length bumper to bumper?

never done a bus, but in the past i have used rust neutralizers or converters to seal up rusty surfaces, then paint over
Interior height is 6' where all of the seats were. There are no wheel wells because the floor is raised to accommodate handicapped passengers. But we have intentions on raising the roof by 12"
I'm not sure about the bumper to bumper. Around 25'-27'
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