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Old 02-04-2019, 01:36 PM   #21
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Barrie ON
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
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Engine: T444E
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Welcome, and sounds like the adventure is well afoot

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Old 02-05-2019, 09:18 AM   #22
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UPDATE:

Just to give you folks an update, the bus stalled shortly after fueling up west of Augusta GA. After several attempts at restarting (did get is started and MOVED 1/4 mile) and fruitlessly calling roadside service, I convinced her tot tackle repair till in the morning. I hated to abandon her but we agreed before leaving I HAD to be back this morning for a studio shoot I could not reschedule. Pretty sure she is still mad at me for making her leave the bus, but I had no choice.

I am not sure if she will return to comment here or not( especially today) so I wanted to update everyone not watching the vids. So this is an update, maybe she will get in here when the smoke clears and get some guidance and direction for repairs and build help, but not sure she will ever talk to me again?

I tried to convince her of the value of this community, but being new to forums, I am not sure she understands the ability to connect to hundreds with VAST knowledge and willingness to teach, diagnose, and support the wanderers. I hope I wrong?

Anyway, I have more video I will post when I get a chance to edit, for those that maybe looking to do something crazy like buying an old school bus.

4 vids from yesterday -
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:31 AM   #23
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
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One reason I watch your vids is you totally don't sugarcoat the bus owning experience. You show the good AND the bad.

owning a bus isn't easy and its always tough when something breaks. Especially your first go-round.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:39 AM   #24
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Brakes were working fine last night, I imagine they blew out all the rust accumulating around the valve?
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:45 AM   #25
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Location: Near Springfield, Missouri
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: International Blue Bird
Engine: International 7.3
Rated Cap: 64 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReconcilingRoamer View Post
Hi Leah!

Welcome. I am a newbie as of this month too! Haven't purchased a bus yet but just soaking up all the knowledge! Are you going to start an instagram or Youtube page? I'd love to watch your conversion if you are! I'm in SC so not too far away from VA! Hope it all goes well!!!

-RR
Hi I actually live in Missouri. I won the bus in Virginia. Im in Georgia at the moment waiting on a tow truck to take me back to a shop in Augusta to get the fuel pump replaced. I do have an instagram account but all Iíve done on it is just start it not long ago. I guess itís kinda like Facebook but Iíve been so busy with things, I really havenít had a chance to do anything on it yet or figure out what to do on it. I drive a truck over the road so doing much on the conversion is gonna be a bit yet. 1st I have to get it running again. The shop Iím going to apparently does good work n stands behind what they do. Once I get this monster mechanically sound or at least better than it currently is (it sat for 18 months before they put it up for auction n a really good thing is it looks really clean under it) but sitting as long as it did, well thereís bound to be some issues. Hey, itís a used bus... driving it to this point, it seems like it has plenty of power. Iím not used to 2600 rpms at 6/mph tho. Maybe the tranny needs service to n will shift another gear. At least thatís what it sounds like it needs to do. Maybe itís supposed to be like this. Itís got the 7.3 which is essentially the PowerStroke.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:57 AM   #26
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Location: E Central Tejas
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Originally Posted by LeahBaker View Post
Haz.matt.1960 Hi there! Thatís pretty cool! Iím quite curious how fast itíll go. Iíll definitely get it turned up before I quit trucking and am able to be in the Skoolie full time.
Sorry for the late return- didn't realize you'd replied!

Even more sorry about the inauspicious start, tho your philosophical take on it is refreshing. Many would wail, moan, and gnash their teeth over the unkind vagaries of fate.

(I'm their spokesman, btw )

Hard to imagine the same mill moves that big girl, compared to my 8-window Shorty..!

Best of luck on the repairs, and may you have Happy Trails for the remainder of your trek! 🤙
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:00 AM   #27
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Sorry to hear about your difficulties. I know there area few members in that area, any details on what the problem might be?
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:16 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahBaker View Post
Hey, it’s a used bus... driving it to this point, it seems like it has plenty of power. I’m not used to 2600 rpms at 6/mph tho. Maybe the tranny needs service to n will shift another gear. At least that’s what it sounds like it needs to do. Maybe it’s supposed to be like this. It’s got the 7.3 which is essentially the PowerStroke.

Most likely your bus has an AT545 transmission. It's the most common one to find in that type of bus by a fair margin. It's a 4 speed with no lock-up so it's less efficient than basically any other transmission, and a lot of folks will dog on them pretty hard. I've got one in each of my 2 buses, they're not awesome but they're not junk either!

The AT545 has a gear ratio in top gear of 1:1. Most likely you've got a 4.78:1 rear axle (also very common, both my buses have them!) which adds up to a top speed in the neighborhood of 62mph. You've likely also noticed that spinning the motor at 2600rpm requires the throttle be pressed almost to the floor. The T444E can take it but your MPGs will suffer. I've found that my Thomas with the same drivetrain is happier in the 55-58mph range.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:43 AM   #29
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Location: Near Springfield, Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dredman View Post
Brakes were working fine last night, I imagine they blew out all the rust accumulating around the valve?

Iíll try to reply to both of your posts in 1. I made it back to the bus, it started n moved so I put everything but my purse n Miss Baby in the bus, returned the car n brought a taxi back.

I started it again n got about 300 yards n died again. Called Loves, they sent a service truck n all the things he did n checked, itís definitely the fuel pump took a dump. Theyíre not allowed to get that much into the motor but he did recommend a shop that does good work n stands behind it. Iím too far away for them to come here tho

So Iím waiting on a tow truck. Itís gonna take them a while to get here tho. The air is low again so hopefully theyíll be able to keep it aired up on the 57 mile ride.

As for last night, I was trying very hard to find someone to come out here to try to fix it or at least give a good idea the problem. No, Iím not mad at you. I was very frustrated cuz of trying to see if I could get someone out here n you wanting to leave before I could. PATIENC!!! No, itís not my favorite word, but was certainly needed.

Yes I knew you needed to get home n yes, I knew you would be home in plenty of time just as you were. Iím extremely exhausted with having been up since about 6:30 AM yesterday n still have to be up a little while longer. In any case, whatís done is done. Itís in the past. Time to continue moving forward as life is far too short to get stuck on anything negative.

The forums are definitely new to me. Iíll learn about it in my own pace. The bus really needs to get mechanically sound before I concentrate on the build. Iím gonna be lucky if I can actually get 2-3 days a month off to do anything with the bus since I drive truck over the road. Might be more like every 6 weeks between times to work on it. I will learn all this stuff, but I canít go faster than my own pace. Iím definitely NOT rushing this!

And yes, Iím still happy you came with me on the adventure getting my Skoolie. Itís very much appreciated.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:49 AM   #30
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Rated Cap: 15
Tow guy will cage the brakes.
Had to have my broken bus towed once.

Hopefully this gets better for you!
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:52 AM   #31
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Engine: International 7.3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Most likely your bus has an AT545 transmission. It's the most common one to find in that type of bus by a fair margin. It's a 4 speed with no lock-up so it's less efficient than basically any other transmission, and a lot of folks will dog on them pretty hard. I've got one in each of my 2 buses, they're not awesome but they're not junk either!

The AT545 has a gear ratio in top gear of 1:1. Most likely you've got a 4.78:1 rear axle (also very common, both my buses have them!) which adds up to a top speed in the neighborhood of 62mph. You've likely also noticed that spinning the motor at 2600rpm requires the throttle be pressed almost to the floor. The T444E can take it but your MPGs will suffer. I've found that my Thomas with the same drivetrain is happier in the 55-58mph range.
Thank you! Iím not sure the transmission on this or the gearing, but sure sounds like what you described. The truck I drive over the road, I donít recall the gearing, but the rpms on it n any other truck Iíve driven the last 24 1/2 years, the rpms stay mostly between 1100-1600 n thatís pushing it hard on that top side. Iím definitely not used to it kinda screaming lol. I definitely want to find out what I can do short of spending a whole lot of money I donít have to get the rpms down n speed up. Once the shop gets it running again, Iíll see if it does shift into 4 gears. It sounded like it had only done 3 but I wasnít paying that close attention. I just wanted it to accelerate. I will say this tho, it feels like itís got lots of power! Climbed the hills really well but then again thereís almost nothing in it either. Tow truck just got here...
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:57 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahBaker View Post
Thank you! Iím not sure the transmission on this or the gearing, but sure sounds like what you described. The truck I drive over the road, I donít recall the gearing, but the rpms on it n any other truck Iíve driven the last 24 1/2 years, the rpms stay mostly between 1100-1600 n thatís pushing it hard on that top side. Iím definitely not used to it kinda screaming lol. I definitely want to find out what I can do short of spending a whole lot of money I donít have to get the rpms down n speed up. Once the shop gets it running again, Iíll see if it does shift into 4 gears. It sounded like it had only done 3 but I wasnít paying that close attention. I just wanted it to accelerate. I will say this tho, it feels like itís got lots of power! Climbed the hills really well but then again thereís almost nothing in it either. Tow truck just got here...
Your rear axle ratio- that can be changed out for one that's suited for highway duty. School buses are generally geared fairly low. Not always. I've got one with interstate gearing. I got lucky.
Should be able to swap ratios for around a grand +/-
If your 545 transmission ever starts to go out don't buy another. Pay a few more bucks and swap it for a 643. That's go lockup and is generally all around stronger.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:26 AM   #33
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Near Springfield, Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reedy View Post
Leah I've been messing with busses since the mid 70's. Sounds like you have jumped in with both feet. That is the way to do it. Welcome to the forum.
Thank you! Yeah itís definitely an experience n Iím quite ready to get going on it but gotta get over this lil bump with the fuel n maybe the air too if I can
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:36 AM   #34
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Year: 1998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Sorry to hear about your difficulties. I know there area few members in that area, any details on what the problem might be?
Fuel issue is believed to be the fuel pump but will have a better idea when we get to the shop in about 45 miles or so. The air issue is a valve underneath kinda behind where the batteries are. Iím not real sure what that part is, I just know how to get it to stop leaking air n is doing pretty good holding air now while the engine is on but the air dryer is ďspittingĒ a lot more than it should be. Itís doing that about every 3-4 minutes. So thatís definitely gonna be the next thing done after the fuel issue is fixed
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:45 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Your rear axle ratio- that can be changed out for one that's suited for highway duty. School buses are generally geared fairly low. Not always. I've got one with interstate gearing. I got lucky.
Should be able to swap ratios for around a grand +/-
If your 545 transmission ever starts to go out don't buy another. Pay a few more bucks and swap it for a 643. That's go lockup and is generally all around stronger.
Thank you! I can definitely handle how it is now until it needs to be replaced. Yeah you got really lucky with yours. Iím thinking Iím very likely gonna do another bus sometime in the future. This is a good one to get my feet wet as they say. Gotta start somewhere right? If I do another bus after this one Iíll ask a whole lot more questions prior to bidding. By then Iím sure Iíll have a lot more insight as to what I really want n take my time looking too, more than I did this time
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:53 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
Sorry for the late return- didn't realize you'd replied!

Even more sorry about the inauspicious start, tho your philosophical take on it is refreshing. Many would wail, moan, and gnash their teeth over the unkind vagaries of fate.

(I'm their spokesman, btw )

Hard to imagine the same mill moves that big girl, compared to my 8-window Shorty..!

Best of luck on the repairs, and may you have Happy Trails for the remainder of your trek! 🤙
Thank you! Iím a firm believer in whatís meant to be will be n if itís meant to happen, it will. I can understand the moaning n crying over frustrating things as I do it too, but the thing is, you canít have a rainbow without some rain n sometimes that rain is a down right downpour with a whole lot of thunder n lightning. The storm will pass...
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:00 PM   #37
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Near Springfield, Missouri
Posts: 47
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International Blue Bird
Engine: International 7.3
Rated Cap: 64 passenger
Hey y’all! Just made it to the shop. Tow bill was about $150 less than the estimate!!! Hopefully it really is just the fuel pump at the moment, but whatever it ends up being is just part of the journey right? One step at a time...
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:03 PM   #38
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Year: 1998
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Engine: International 7.3
Rated Cap: 64 passenger
A little dirty now, but just wait until itís done...
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:08 PM   #39
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Year: 1975
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Chassis: 8 window
Engine: 454 LS7
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A little dirty now, but just wait until itís done...
I feel for you and hope I never get the chance to take a picture like that!
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:16 PM   #40
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Year: 1998
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Engine: International 7.3
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Quote:
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I feel for you and hope I never get the chance to take a picture like that!
I hope you wonít have to take a picture like that either but it was a nice ride with A/C in this 79 degree sun shining Augusta weather today. It needs a bath inside n out. Hereís something really good about it. The underside is really clean n the bolts for the seats move a whole lot easier than I thought. I just need someone under holding the nut or put something like locking pliers on them. I didnít even need a power tool to get them to turn!!!
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