Hello everyone! Suddenly owned a school bus, so I decided to quit lurking and actually create an account. The wife and I have been toying with the idea of a doing a bus conversion for the last few years we couldn't decide what type of bus to start with... The decision was easily made for us when a co-workers church decided they no longer wanted to maintain 2 72 passenger buses when the headlights quit working on this 1991/1992 Ward Senator F/E. They were getting quotes on scrap prices and was able to purchase it for a bit more than the price of 2 - 11R22.5s.
We are planning to slowly do the conversion and in the end have something that we can boondock for up to a week at a time (My target anyway).
I am learning as quickly as I can on this bus, but something don't seem to add up to what I am reading online. From the bus body plates this is a 1991 Crane Chassis, assembled by AmTran in 1992 as a Ward Senator. It is equipped with an all mechanical 5.9L Cummins turbo diesel (w/ Intercooler). One of the things that confuses me is that it appears to have a P7100 injection pump, even though that wasn't offered until 1994. The bus has 86,000 miles on the odometer and about 4600 hours. I am not sure what transmission is in it yet (It is a 4 speed automatic and shifts super smoothly). The chassis has a GVWR of 32,000
I had my buddy with a Class B CDL drive it about 60 miles to my home and we managed about 8mpg and cruised at about 60mph and hit 70mph once on a downhill
I am currently tracing down the electric issues. The basic functions of the bus (Turn signals, brake lights, etc) were functioning. But a lot was not as well (Heater fans, heater boost, flashers, headlights, etc). I have replaced the main fuse panel (18 circuits) and am now at about 90% functional. It was really corroded. It appears during some previous repairs they had decided to just bypass the builtin fuse panel so now I am tracking down those circuits and reattaching them. I have a feeling the headlights were subject to this "fix" as well and will just take a little time to trace down there add-on wiring.
Does anyone have any experience with electric hydraulic brakes? It appears they bypassed the electric pump at some point in the past. What I have gathered is that normal operation is assisted by the power steering/hydraulic pump and emergency/low pressure operation initiates the electric pump. Is that accurate, and are there any driving characteristics to observer when they are operating properly?
I am sure I will have way too many questions! Thanks every one in advance!