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Old 01-25-2018, 01:16 PM   #61
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Got a hold of them, I like the way they sound so far. Was very upfront and honest that the one I was calling about likely wouldn't be what I was looking for, was going to need all sorts of filters, belts, brake work which isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for me on the right bus, but this just didn't sound like what I need.

Random question about roof raises: I'm 6'4" and planned on raising my roof for comfort, though with more reading I'm realizing that may not be necessary. Firstly, do you think I'll need to raise and secondly it seems like everyone raises at the windows, where I figured I'd cut the whole roof off right above the windows and weld in the raise material. Is there something wrong with that idea? (Besides if I go with a Thomas.)

Edit: Nevermind, hadn't done enough research.

Just looking to save on window replacement mostly.

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Old 01-25-2018, 02:33 PM   #62
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Just a bit of advice from a mistake I made. I bought my bus in summer, and began tearing apart inside and rebuilding, BUT then winter hit and I found all the leaks so bus is covered in giant blue tarp so I can keep working. Perhaps assuming you have leaks and re-caulking and painting roof and resealing windows in summer before you invest time building out the inside is the way too go. Eventually you have to stop the research and figure your own way to making the bus as you want and some mistakes are natural no matter how careful you are. But even if the mistakes cost you some money, it is still way cheaper doing it yourself, so that is just the price to be paid for self-education. Enjoy the adventure.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:37 PM   #63
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My plan for the roof raise is sheet metal it all sealed and only put like 5-6 rv windows back in (plan is for a 9-10 window bus)
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:43 PM   #64
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Oh you are ambitious. I have kept all my windows so leaks are part of that landscape.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:35 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLightNowBegin View Post
Got a hold of them, I like the way they sound so far. Was very upfront and honest that the one I was calling about likely wouldn't be what I was looking for, was going to need all sorts of filters, belts, brake work which isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for me on the right bus, but this just didn't sound like what I need.

Random question about roof raises: I'm 6'4" and planned on raising my roof for comfort, though with more reading I'm realizing that may not be necessary. Firstly, do you think I'll need to raise and secondly it seems like everyone raises at the windows, where I figured I'd cut the whole roof off right above the windows and weld in the raise material. Is there something wrong with that idea? (Besides if I go with a Thomas.)

Edit: Nevermind, hadn't done enough research.

Just looking to save on window replacement mostly.
This is much more difficult.

To retain the strength in the body you have to insert steel tubing into the ribs where you cut them. If you cut above the windows you will need to match the curve of the rib to get enough metal in there.

Cutting in the middle of the window means all the sections are straight and the panels are flat.

Nothing stopping you doing the raise in the normal manner, and raising the windows to fit the new panels as you go.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:49 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by druidwood View Post
Just a bit of advice from a mistake I made. I bought my bus in summer, and began tearing apart inside and rebuilding, BUT then winter hit and I found all the leaks so bus is covered in giant blue tarp so I can keep working. Perhaps assuming you have leaks and re-caulking and painting roof and resealing windows in summer before you invest time building out the inside is the way too go. Eventually you have to stop the research and figure your own way to making the bus as you want and some mistakes are natural no matter how careful you are. But even if the mistakes cost you some money, it is still way cheaper doing it yourself, so that is just the price to be paid for self-education. Enjoy the adventure.

Oh you are ambitious. I have kept all my windows so leaks are part of that landscape.
Plan was to buy the bus, strip everything out, finish all frame-work such as roof raising, wiring, plumbing, etc, and only then start furnishing/fleshing out interior. Will definitely note to do water-testing before starting inside.

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This is much more difficult.

To retain the strength in the body you have to insert steel tubing into the ribs where you cut them. If you cut above the windows you will need to match the curve of the rib to get enough metal in there.

Cutting in the middle of the window means all the sections are straight and the panels are flat.

Nothing stopping you doing the raise in the normal manner, and raising the windows to fit the new panels as you go.
Yeah, after doing some more research it definitely looks like it'll be much easier and more secure to do the traditional roof raise and install better insulated and sealed windows where important, and well worth the extra cost to save money and comfort down the line. Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:25 PM   #67
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GreenLightNowBegin, I'm 6'2" and I have about 6" headroom in my Thomas. I bought an '03 Thomas Type D RE 84 passenger bus from Midwest for $8K. Drove it from Kankakee to Billings, MT with no problems of overheating on a Class D license. My bus came from South Bend and had been a hangar queen for its last year with them. I paid 2 kids $340 to de-seat them (1400 lbs of scrap). I paid a local shop $360 for a custom full-sized bed frame. I put in 1" double-faced rigid foam all around and carpeting on the front and rear third with vinyl in the middle near the e-door.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:29 PM   #68
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I didn't do a roof raise? I am only 5'9?
What I did do? After gutted and windows pulled installed and re-sealed was I put 2- sprinklers on my roof and turned them on when I went to work in the mornings and came home and chaised leakes down
After that was done I set the sprinklers on each side of the bus windows and all and went to work and came home and chased leaks.?
Before I ever put in wood or finished product in it.
It hurt the water bill a little but a soaking rain is definitely worse than a quick blowing rain.
Just what I did? Good luck
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:53 PM   #69
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After I stripped my interior I took my bus to the car wash and simply sprayed it kind of like I was washing it, because I was washing it. The leaks were easily identifiable.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:18 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
GreenLightNowBegin, I'm 6'2" and I have about 6" headroom in my Thomas. I bought an '03 Thomas Type D RE 84 passenger bus from Midwest for $8K. Drove it from Kankakee to Billings, MT with no problems of overheating on a Class D license. My bus came from South Bend and had been a hangar queen for its last year with them. I paid 2 kids $340 to de-seat them (1400 lbs of scrap). I paid a local shop $360 for a custom full-sized bed frame. I put in 1" double-faced rigid foam all around and carpeting on the front and rear third with vinyl in the middle near the e-door.
To pay that much and not get a high headroom model is sorta a shame, no?
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:09 AM   #71
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To pay that much and not get a high headroom model is sorta a shame, no?
if hes over 6 foot, and still has 6 inches of room, isnt that the high headroom model? im 6'3" and my head hits the roof in the few ive been in recently
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:11 AM   #72
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Quote:
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if hes over 6 foot, and still has 6 inches of room, isnt that the high headroom model? im 6'3" and my head hits the roof in the few ive been in recently
Standard ceiling height is 71/72"

High ceiling is 77/78"

There may be a few that fall outside these numbers, but they are the usual heights.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:24 PM   #73
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if hes over 6 foot, and still has 6 inches of room, isnt that the high headroom model? im 6'3" and my head hits the roof in the few ive been in recently
My bad, I thought I'd read 6' of headroom, as in from floor to ceiling he had 6 feet. Re-read it and realized he said 6" of headroom. Derp.
You definitely want the high headroom model, yes!
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:47 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
GreenLightNowBegin, I'm 6'2" and I have about 6" headroom in my Thomas. I bought an '03 Thomas Type D RE 84 passenger bus from Midwest for $8K. Drove it from Kankakee to Billings, MT with no problems of overheating on a Class D license. My bus came from South Bend and had been a hangar queen for its last year with them. I paid 2 kids $340 to de-seat them (1400 lbs of scrap). I paid a local shop $360 for a custom full-sized bed frame. I put in 1" double-faced rigid foam all around and carpeting on the front and rear third with vinyl in the middle near the e-door.
Noted! I hope I'm able to find such a quality bus, but at my budget it's seeming unlikely. Oh well, I don't intend this to be my only bus so the more I have to do to it the more I'll know about how to do it right on the next one!

Quote:
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After I stripped my interior I took my bus to the car wash and simply sprayed it kind of like I was washing it, because I was washing it. The leaks were easily identifiable.
I figured it wouldn't be too hard, and I've got plenty of experience finding leaks in vehicles if not sealing them. Thinking I'll gut it, raise it, and fix any more leaks that I find at that point. Sounding like I'll actually be able to have a garage with a concrete floor to work on it in, which I'm pumped for.

Quote:
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My bad, I thought I'd read 6' of headroom, as in from floor to ceiling he had 6 feet. Re-read it and realized he said 6" of headroom. Derp.
You definitely want the high headroom model, yes!
That would be one hell of a bus to have 12'+ of interior height, lol. Not the tallest I'm sure, but DANG. Yeah I'll keep my eyes out for a high headroom model, but I'm not dead set on it as I'm thinking I will want to end up changing windows and what not. Or maybe I'll do this bus on the cheap and do the next one to my whim once I'm a little more established and learned.

Thanks for the input y'all. Been invaluable, haven't learned this much about one thing so fast since I started my current job! I'm sure it'll only accelerate once I actually get into the build since most of my knowledge besides carpentry will be starting from scratch. Blessed with a great team of people from all walks of life to assist me. Sounding like I'll be able to work on it inside a garage AT MY OFFICE, where I'll have the expertise of about 4 mechanics and their tools, including welders and paint guns and compressors and all sorts of goodies I'd have no way of getting my hands on otherwise! I've been blown away by how this has all started lining up since I set my mind to it. If only the rest of life would go so smoothly.

(He said before actually beginning the process, knowing full well that he was going to end up at some point screaming and cursing at his bus for some reason or another.)
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:58 PM   #75
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Thank you all for the words of affirmation. They gave me warm fuzzies!

After 40 years in the business of driving, wrenching, owning, and selling buses there isn't a lot about yellow buses I don't know. Or at least the pre-electronic versions anyway.

There are a lot of threads on raising the roof. I have seen it done in many different ways. The most important thing to do before you do anything is to make sure the bus is level and stable. The last thing you want to happen when the roof is up but not reconnected is to have the bus shift and end up with the roof a crumbled mess in the driveway.

One of the more interesting roof raises I have seen was raised from the floor level. It is a big job getting to the body ribs at the floor level. Since you are most likely going to strip the inside skins off anyway in order to reinsulate that part isn't extra work. Taking the outside skin off would be the problem. The part I liked about raising from the floor is all of the windows get raised at the same time. Unless you are height challenged and don't need a roof raise most people have to bend over to look through school bus windows when they are standing up inside of a school bus. Raising all of the bottoms of the windows 6"-18" would get them up where you can look out of them easily and it makes building cabinets that don't block the windows a lot easier.

At the end of the day, the most two most important things you need to find (or not find) in the bus you purchase is you don't want rust and you do want big HP and highway gears.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:06 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Thank you all for the words of affirmation. They gave me warm fuzzies!

After 40 years in the business of driving, wrenching, owning, and selling buses there isn't a lot about yellow buses I don't know. Or at least the pre-electronic versions anyway.

There are a lot of threads on raising the roof. I have seen it done in many different ways. The most important thing to do before you do anything is to make sure the bus is level and stable. The last thing you want to happen when the roof is up but not reconnected is to have the bus shift and end up with the roof a crumbled mess in the driveway.

One of the more interesting roof raises I have seen was raised from the floor level. It is a big job getting to the body ribs at the floor level. Since you are most likely going to strip the inside skins off anyway in order to reinsulate that part isn't extra work. Taking the outside skin off would be the problem. The part I liked about raising from the floor is all of the windows get raised at the same time. Unless you are height challenged and don't need a roof raise most people have to bend over to look through school bus windows when they are standing up inside of a school bus. Raising all of the bottoms of the windows 6"-18" would get them up where you can look out of them easily and it makes building cabinets that don't block the windows a lot easier.

At the end of the day, the most two most important things you need to find (or not find) in the bus you purchase is you don't want rust and you do want big HP and highway gears.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
Wishing I had 40 years experience in buses under my belt at this point. Or generally more than 5 years experience in unskilled labor.

That's a real interesting concept as far as roof raises. Once I get a better idea of my budget may be considering that, sounds cheaper than a full fabrication of re-skin if a huge pain in the ass. Energy and strength are something I have plenty of, money and expertise not so much, lol.

And yep, most important thing is to find the right bus at this point. Struggling with that, especially given the afore-mentioned lack of money, lol.

If anybody hears of a 60+pax with a DT466 and MT642 with no rust and good tires at a low price that for some crazy dang reason you're not buying yourself, let me know!
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:15 PM   #77
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Wishing I had 40 years experience in buses under my belt at this point. Or generally more than 5 years experience in unskilled labor.

That's a real interesting concept as far as roof raises. Once I get a better idea of my budget may be considering that, sounds cheaper than a full fabrication of re-skin if a huge pain in the ass. Energy and strength are something I have plenty of, money and expertise not so much, lol.

And yep, most important thing is to find the right bus at this point. Struggling with that, especially given the afore-mentioned lack of money, lol.

If anybody hears of a 60+pax with a DT466 and MT642 with no rust and good tires at a low price that for some crazy dang reason you're not buying yourself, let me know!
Weird, I'm looking for that same bus....lol. minus the +. I'll stick to 55-65 range
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:25 PM   #78
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Weird, I'm looking for that same bus....lol. minus the +. I'll stick to 55-65 range
I'm getting the sense that we are two of veeeeery many, lol. Honestly if I can find that drivetrain or similar I'll take anything 40+, I JUST WANNA GET STARTED!
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:13 AM   #79
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I've done some searching and haven't quite found the answer to this question, so what level of rust can be dealt with? I know it's a "walk the hell away" sorta thing but I mighta found what I'm looking for but they were straight up that there's "some surface rust" so lord knows how bad it actually is. I'm not intending this bus to last forever. 10 years'll make me more than happy. I know you can do some treatments to remove a good bit and seal it up, which I plan on doing.

IDK, I'll post pictures as soon as I get a chance to see it, get ya'll's opinions on a specific basis.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:59 AM   #80
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Weird, I'm looking for that same bus....lol. minus the +. I'll stick to 55-65 range
Passenger count doesn't always determine length. Base it on how many rows of windows there are.
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