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Old 06-14-2020, 12:30 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tucson, Az
Posts: 4
Year: 1969
Engine: L6
Hi! *waves*

Hey there, I am new to Skoolie.net but have been reading the forums for years now. You guys are great! And I could use some insight and information.
I have been a proud Skoolie owner since 2006. I have plans for renovations and upgrades and am looking forward to sharing that journey with you. Ileana is a 1969 Chevy school bus that was converted long before she came to me. She was my home west of Tucson for several years and my sanctuary even after I had to move into town.

I lived in an intentional community for over 10 years and about half of those I was living in my bus. Unfortunately the land owner passed and even though it was their intention to allow the community to continue to live there and ultimately take over ownership, the family of the landowner has decided to sell the property.

So, I need a new location for my bus, Ileana, here in Tucson. I have a duplex but can not park her here. I need to find a safe place for her to be. Hopefully one that is affordable and where I will be able to continue work on her. If she was running, the landlord here might let me park her here. The biggest hold up has been that I haven't been able to find tires and I need to replace all 6! II am also looking for a radiator and other minor parts. Any thoughts or suggestions would be awesome. Many blessings!

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Old 06-17-2020, 02:54 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,155
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
Howdy.

What kind of tires? And is the radiator repairable?

William
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Old 06-17-2020, 06:00 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,072
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Does it have 8.25x20.00 tires? they are still available but usually have to order them, and many tire shops will not do split rims. Might just be a great time to get new rims that will allow modern tires. Being Chevy I am assuming it has Budd wheels? If so not sure what the replacement options are. If they are Daytons (these mount on spoked hubs)they are easy to get 22.5" rims for tubeless tires. This is what I have done for my antique bus.
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:16 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tucson, Az
Posts: 4
Year: 1969
Engine: L6
Yes it has 8.25-20 tires. I didn't realize they had tubes until recently and was just wondering about the pros and cons of going tubeless. As well as the cost... The front wheels are 5 lug and the back are 10. What do you mean by "Budd wheels" Ronnie? I was sent a link by AZHippie to a Craigslist posting about some used tires in Phx. Any advice on things I need to ask about or look for if he has any that fit? Anything my experience with car tires won't cover?

Actually William, the radiator was stolen along with the battery and every other piece of copper on the land, including the solar shower at the group bathroom! That was a sad day. So it will need to be replaced completely. I am finding that although I lived in my bus for many years I still have much to learn about the mechanics and specs since this is the first time I've had to do any major repairs. Honestly, I am not even sure if I filled out the profile right *sheepish grin*

Hi Quroro, do you have a bus yet? Or are you still looking? I got to spend several hours with Ileana today. Even as hot as it is out here in Az, with the side and back doors open there was such a sweet breeze... She still feels like home on the deepest levels of my heart. *big smiles* I was working towards moving back into the bus in 2021 but with the land up for sale it changes everything. It's not as homey right now as it was when I was living there, or as clean... dust in Az can be epic! *smirks* But, I took a couple of pics so am planning to post a couple shortly and then you all can tell me if made any errors with the profile. For instance, I know it was built by Chevy, in Pontiac MI but don't know for sure who did the coachwork. Chevrolet? I would love to know the full history and specs of my rig so any info will be treasured.

I am so glad you all replied. It's great to meet you all and exciting to be able to share this next leg of the journey with people that love their skoolie as much as I love mine.



Many blessings!
Loy
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:56 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,264
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
While GM did build some buses back in the day, I'm not aware that they built and school buses (most GM buses were city and transit and long haul coaches). Blue Bird, Thomas, Carpenter are a couple that come to mind but there are a few others from over the years.
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Old 06-19-2020, 02:59 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,155
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
parts

Budd wheels are wheel that are located in place by the wheel stud and nuts... the wheel nuts will be cone shaped and sit into little matching pockets on the wheel rims..... you could have three kinds of wheel on your bus, spoked wheels, also called daytons, Budd wheels, and rare for your era Piloted wheels... the Piloted wheels are centered on the hole in the middle.

If you can get on face book market place look for other c50 c60 c70 trucks that you can buy parts from. There are also groups of truck guys that may have parts they are not using and you can buy. I would expect you can still get new radiators for your truck if you look for them. tires - I would tell to look at www.simpletire.com that will be a starting point. probably need tubes, and maybe liners....

sounds a little like you need to find a truck salvage place....

and a friend with a few tools that knows how to use them, and some time.

william 785 207 7600
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:28 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tucson, Az
Posts: 4
Year: 1969
Engine: L6
Thanks for the explanation William. If I understand this right, they are hub piloted wheels because the lug nuts are not beveled and have a washer/flat flange at the base. I did find a couple of new radiators online but intend to check the local u-pull it and salvage yards before i buy anything. I've got tools and some helpful friends... but none of us have worked on anything larger than a small truck before now. The suggestions on where to find parts are really helpful. Speaking of which, does anyone know where I can get a new seal for the back door?
Brad_SwiftFur, I found a original school bus chassis brochure on eBay but it doesn't list my model SS529. My info is incomplete because the title was destroyed in a flood and cant get it replaced just yet. The online MVD services does not recognize the shorter 1969 Vin#. Since I can't go in person to the MVD right now (Covid-19 closures and reduced services), where else should I look to figure out who did the coachwork?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-19...-/232564368788
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:17 AM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,072
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
To further ad to what Magnakansas (William) said Budd wheels are actaully a brand name of wheel. Although in practice it is like "Kleenex" often used generically.

In your case they are made by Budd, as chevy preferred them to Daytons the other commen wheel in that time frame. Not sure if you can see my bus picture well enough in my signature, but if so I have Dayton wheels, you will see the spokes. Yours will also be split rims, yes still Budd, and that is normally a rim with a retaining ring to hold the tire on. The tire will have a tube and a boot. To remove you remove the air, remove the outer ring push the valve stem up into the tire and slide the tire assembly off. Install is the reverse. Sounds easy. In real life things get rusty and sledge hammers with a duck bill come out and it becomes quite the physical workout. One must be real careful not to damage the groove the ring goes in, or it will not seat right. If it does not seat properly then it may explode. people have died from this happening. So many tire shops just will not do them. They are normally inflated in a safety cage or if it explodes at least it is contained. Now haveing scared you someone who knows what they are doing can do it safety, I have done many of them. And because I am writing this I must still be alive.

So what really is the goal? just to be able to get it to a new place and park it, or to make it really road worthy and take some trips with it? Also how tight is the budget?

If budget allows, and the goal is road trips then a modern wheel with tubeless tires is the way to go.
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:20 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,072
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artist_on_the_road! View Post
Thanks for the explanation William. If I understand this right, they are hub piloted wheels because the lug nuts are not beveled and have a washer/flat flange at the base. I did find a couple of new radiators online but intend to check the local u-pull it and salvage yards before i buy anything. I've got tools and some helpful friends... but none of us have worked on anything larger than a small truck before now. The suggestions on where to find parts are really helpful. Speaking of which, does anyone know where I can get a new seal for the back door?
Brad_SwiftFur, I found a original school bus chassis brochure on eBay but it doesn't list my model SS529. My info is incomplete because the title was destroyed in a flood and cant get it replaced just yet. The online MVD services does not recognize the shorter 1969 Vin#. Since I can't go in person to the MVD right now (Covid-19 closures and reduced services), where else should I look to figure out who did the coachwork?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-19...-/232564368788
Do you have any pictures of your bus? if so we(someone here) might be able to tell what body it is.
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:23 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,072
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Hub piloted with flat nuts and washers and 8.25x20.00 tires? This is odd although possible.
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:29 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tucson, Az
Posts: 4
Year: 1969
Engine: L6
I did take some pics but I guess I haven't made enough posts to post them on here yet. When I was looking through them though I realize most are really fuzzy. I was in a rush since my ride was leaving. The budget is tight but the heart is willing. My car is headed to the shop this afternoon to have the front struts replaced so that also puts a dent in what I have available. It will be good to be able to drive out myself though instead of only being able to go out to the land when I can get a ride. So next trip out I will take good pics and post them when I get back.

Short term goal is to get the bus off the land before the property is sold. I wish I could park it here where I live right now but just like the storage lots, the tires have to be fixed before I can put it anywhere. Also if it isn't drive-able my current landlord will not permit it. If it is drive-able I have a firm maybe but not a yes. The owners of the duplex I live in currently have plans to demolish and build apartments of town homes. The haven't decided when to do this and the pandemic has changed everyone's timetable. But they have informed all the residents to expect it sometime in the future. Long story short, I need to find a place to put it for now. Most all the RV storage lots in town are full though since many Snowbirds fly home and leave their rigs here. I might have found a shop that will let it hang out there while it is repaired. I'd rather pay some one to work on it then to pay for it to just sit somewhere where I can't work on it either.

Long term goal is to be able to live and travel in the bus. I would be returning to Tucson regularly to deliver art and show in local galleries, see friends and visit my folks who live in the next county east of here. As it is now I travel when I can to do my art in remote natural places and sleep in the car. The bus is WAY more comfortable!

All the other systems in the bus work when I have access to hook ups. Although the AC finally went out and I need a new frig. It has an RV flush toilet, tub and shower, a deep dual basin steel sink, four burner stove and a small but perfect for me oven. It has fresh water and black water tanks. I think it also has a grey water tank but I am not sure. Lots of storage and plenty of counter space plus the table.

When I look at newer builds I like the open floor plans and when renovating may opt to remove one of the cabinet sections so I can put in a couch. It would be great to have somewhere guests can sleep too.

As it is, company would usually pile on the full sized bed in the back, the one chair next to the bed and pull up one of the chairs from the table. That gets tight quick, so weather permitting, half of us would hang out back with the door open. I do want to put some sort of shade along the side and back of the bus that makes the "outdoor living room" a more viable option, and possibly a viable weather proof studio area where the workspace folds down from the side of the bus. Those are farther down the road goals along with the solar and composting toilet due to finance.
She needs a new paint job too. The plan there is to paint my favorite shot of our first parking spot (the pic I used as my profile) on the bottom window of the back door and then paint places we travel along the sides and around the bus as we go with a base of white on top fading into a light sky blue that lends itself to the various landscapes that will go beneath it along the way. Big dreams. I've been planning this a while and as much as the time crunch is a pain it is also exciting to know it will be happening sooner than later.

I appreciate all the info and encouragement. Makes it feel a little less daunting and definitely more possible.
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