School Bus Conversion Resources

School Bus Conversion Resources (
-   Coach Conversion Projects (
-   -   Jacuzzi Bus IV (

paul iossi 04-22-2009 09:12 AM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
from what i've seen of the high amp alternators, the rectifier diodes that convert ac to dc are the weak link, the super high amp alternater mfg's take the diodes out of the alt. case and install multiple redundant 50A diodes on an external heatsink plate.
jason look under the hood of some of your life support units or check with the mechanics at the maintainence barn.

skylinelimo 07-30-2009 04:51 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
Long time since I posted on this board! Well I am doing some electrical upgrades. In this sweltering Texas summer heat of 100+F, the inverter appears to be not quite up to the task of running the A/C. The A/C normally draws about 1.1kW but on really hot days, it can draw up to 2.5 times that, or about 2.7kW and some change. With added accessories, that pushes over the 3kW supply of the inverter and it trips off. All connections have been recently revamped. So I am pulling the old inverter out (as of last night) and putting this in tonight: ... -front-rgb. A 5kW inverter should be more than I need and actually more than the ~4kW alternator can keep up with if drawn but oh well this is the closest output I could find. Just curious where I might find a higher-rated alternator?

Pesky oil leak on the detroit and will get it serviced. Remodelling inside soon. Adding seats, and making room.

skylinelimo 10-12-2009 06:27 AM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
See updated shots at

Yes that is Italian porcelain tile! It really is, but eh who cares.

skylinelimo 10-16-2009 05:58 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
Some details are obvious, some aren't.

No more jacuzzi. Just wasn't serving the business like I thought it would. But it was fun fun fun, no doubt! Laid down 6x6 porcelain tile, on cement backerboard, screwed to the 3/4" plywood. Didn't use your standard thinset/grout combo. Used one of Bostik's transportation adhesives for the thinset, and one of their marine adhesive's for the grout. Would have preferred to use the marine adhesive as the thinset too, but it is pricey stuff, and one doesn't shop carefully, they can spend $20 on one 10.3 oz tube. For one tube! The thinset is significantly cheaper, isn't quite as chemical resistant, but is well within my comfort zone for the application. Their shear and adhesion strengths are almost identical. They break at 200% and 225% elongation, resp. I used about 75 tubes for the thinset, and 8 or 9 tubes for grouting. Adhesives came from

Used laminate on the base of the seat benches and some rubber chrome wheelwell trim as accent between the black and silver laminate. Material came from

Added some lights for effect and connected to the new 5000W inverter. Looking at upping the amperage on the alternator a bit, but more importantly just have one on standby. Replacing the TV this weekend since I saw that the existing one had a crack at one of the screw mounts. Can't have that thing falling on someone's head! Will add a 48" blacklight fixture in the front marquee sign compartment.

Not touching the paint job! Wouldn't dare do that. The flames are perfect (way to go Jason!). They have a Tim Burton-esque appeal to them, in my opinion.

skylinelimo 10-19-2009 03:00 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
Jason, where'd you get that original 165-amp 24V alternator? I'm checking with a local shop down here in Austin and I'm doubting that they will be able to help after talking to them. I want to have an extra, in case of emergencies. Plus, I think the original one is starting to degrade in performance a bit. At idle with nothing turned on inside, a steady 25.1 volts at the batteries. When I rev the engine, the battery voltage goes up to 27.5. When I turn everything on at idle, voltage drops steadily until the inverter shuts off. When I rev periodically with everything on, the voltage seems to try and stay right around 25. I'm looking to somewhat mitigate this problem with a high idle switch adjustment. But I also want to find another high output alternator...

Sojakai 10-19-2009 05:56 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
I dont know much about engines and their components... But, Have you tried looking the net with "165-amp 24V alternator"? I just tried it on google and found this:


It doesn't say what the volts are, and I really have no idea of how to figure it out, so your on your own there. But its a attempt at help. :D And, they have a 200amp Alternator, so if its the right type, you might be able to upgrade...

Here is another site that might prove helpful... (searched for 'High Amp 24v Alternator')

skylinelimo 10-20-2009 08:45 AM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
sojakai, yeah I've seen the emarine site. I'm looking for a lower cost alternative. Today I'm going to call the original supplier of the 165-amp alternator I have now.

On a completely separate subject, has anyone ever used Bus-Kote?
Is it legit? If ceramics are really in it, this sounds promising. Would put on the roof above the average line-of-sight on the roof's contour so it's not real obvious...

the_experience03 10-20-2009 12:27 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
eBay is the place to go for the alternator if your parts store can't come up with anything though they should. The condition you're describing with the alternator not keeping up at idle is NORMAL. You could try changing the pulley ratio to get it to speed up a bit at idle which would help. Modern cars are the same with with their heated seats, defrosters front and rear, and whole other myriad of electronic devices. The battery warning light and voltage gauges are now computer controlled to keep them off/reading normal under what the manufacturers deem to be "normal discharges." An older alternator with just a regular idiot light or voltage gauge would read discharge every time you stopped. Your bus with its high draw is no different. You can probably get the alternator and batteries tested just for piece of mind though. It shouldn't cost a penny at the parts store.

skylinelimo 10-20-2009 01:43 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
Yes I will be testing the batteries/alternator to see if any damage has been done when the voltage was pulled down very low (21.5V!) recently. I will be measuring diameters of the pulleys tonight and see where I stand for pulley rpm...if the info wasn't posted by Jason during initial construction, will check. I've spoken to the original supplier of the 165A 24V alternator today and will be ordering it, if not the 200A he can get. Shoot, maybe I'll get both. Either of them produce substantial power starting around 1800rpm according to the supplier. Interesting info you say about the modern cars; didn't know that! Eventually I will bridge this operational gap I'm having at idle.

lapeer20m 10-22-2009 04:50 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
i don't know the pulley diameter or the idle rpm of the engine. However, there is a much larger pulley on the crank than on the alternator, so the alt is spinning faster than the engine. Just googling real quick, it looks like that engine potentially idles really 500 rpm.

The smaller the pulley on the alternator, the faster the alt will spin. the only problem is that the smaller the pulley the less surface area for the belt. Too small of a pulley will tend to make the belt slip (squeal) I don't exactly remember the setup, but i don't think a larger crank pulley is an option. The larger the crank pulley, the faster the alt will spin.

most alternators can spin upwards of 8,000 rpm. If you were able to utilize the proper pulley size, you could spin the alternator 4 times faster than engine speed. If the crank pulley is 4 times bigger than than the alternator pulley, you would do exactly that.

Alternatively, I think you could utilize 2 alternators together on the same battery bank. Ask alternator guy at chapmans what he thinks about that idea. Some pickup trucks come from the factory with twin alternators for use with the "snow plow package"

skylinelimo 10-23-2009 02:51 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
Jimmy, Yah I spoke with Ian there last week. They proposed something but I'll probably go with the original supplier of the 165amp alternator I have now in order to save some money. On a side note, the batteries "aren't worth a poop" according to the auto parts store. Still a good warranty left on them, so didn't have to pay too much to get them replaced. I will still get an extra alternator. Gonna re-paint the flames that are on the clear plastic entry doors. It has chipped off too much. :) Hi-idle switch too, gotta get that working right so the alty can feed the batteries better at standstill...

skylinelimo 05-17-2010 10:57 AM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
I think that I solved the ThisBusEatsBatteries problem. As shown earlier in this forum, all the accessories are run by a 24V/165A alternator feeding two 12V deep cycles connected in series. 12V radio power was tapped off of one of the batteries. Pleading ignorance, I didn't realize this was a cardinal sin (nor did the shops I solicited help from), to take 12V loads off of a 24V bank no matter how relatively small. I have installed a Surepower Industries 100A battery equalizer. This keeps voltages identical between the batteries by pulling current from the non-loaded battery and charging the loaded battery. Without it, the loaded battery would become undercharged, and the unloaded battery would become overcharged; killing them. Equalizers are kinda pricey, but I wanted to keep all the 12V factory electrical completely separate from the predominantly 24V conversion electrical.

Also, I added a 6500W onan emerald iii genset, and the bus now has two new Carrier 13.5K a/c units on the roof. I also painted the roof with Hy-Tech Thermal Solutions' Bus-Kote. Their primer and clear coat were used also. A checkered pattern along the black-to-white roof paint line adds a great visual effect to an otherwise boring paint line. I will post some pics soon.

Had a recent scare with the transmission (seemed to slip to near standstill up a start from stop, steep hill) so I took it to a Stewart & Stevenson couple months ago. It was just low on fluid it appears. The tech said all was operating as designed. The engine has been itself: wimpy on hills. But there is an art to driving a Detroit Diesels and this helps a little. Until recently, standard m.o. for driving was pedal to the floor. Wrong. Let the governor do its job. Still uses oil like a Detroit but oh well. Never use multigrade oils in Detoit 2-cycles. Again something learned recently. It is much happier with straight 40W, not to mention specified by Detroit (DDEC). DDEC specifically forbids use of multigrade oils unless it is extremely cold out. Delo 100 or DDEC-brand 40W. Not Delo 400 if you have the choice.

Had cooling system flushed. Very small amount of oil was in it but have never found coolant in oil (tested). Considering getting tune-up to perhaps help uphills, but a shop said it's not money well-spent. Reading more about 6V71T's over the past several months, such uphill performance is typical of transit buses. So unless I want to increase injector size, probably won't get much improvement.

Rebuilt the subwoofer enclosures; glassed them and braced. Wow what a sound difference, especially with a new amp, and a pair of new subs. Those things pound your skull in. They completely fill the bus with heavy bass.

Took the rig from New Braunfels to El Campo for a prom gig over the weekend. (Thank you referrals.) Pay whatever, and I will take it wherever! First time I was on it myself (ironically) to see firsthand how clients like/dislike it. I don't have CDL so it is driven by others when it is rented out. I went along for the ride to El Campo to keep and eye on the mechanicals and, god forbid, if anything were to breakdown. All went just fine, and if I don't say so myself, looks like the kids had a friggin blast!

lapeer20m 05-18-2010 09:38 PM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
glad to hear all is well, even if all is not quite perfect.

skylinelimo 05-19-2010 07:45 AM

Re: Jacuzzi Bus IV
The battery thing really had me stumped, but the important thing is the batts appear to be very happy now. They are in better shape today than the day I bought this pair at the store. Battery equalizers are now in my vocabulary.

I'm glad it's not perfect! These kinds of buses you can't expect them to be perfect I don't think. Otherwise, they wouldn't be cool.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.