School Bus 101, long technical post

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Postby Elliot » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:43 pm

:D
Time to point out that it's the month of June, when many schools close for the summer, and the school districts may be renewing part of their fleet. So this is a good time to check with your area School Districts for any buses coming up for sale. You really want one straight out of school service, not one that somebody has hacked on for a couple of years and given up.

There may not be time to get it ready for this year, but you would have more than a year to get it ready for 2012. :D
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Postby JStep » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:20 pm

Finally going to the bank tomorrow. Wish me luck!
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Postby MyDearFriend » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:51 pm

Oh (((JStep))) how exciting!

8)

Please keep us posted!
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Postby CapSmashy » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:26 am

Hey all, when going to start your bus up for your periodic run cycle, make sure you check for possums in the engine first.

Took out the radiator and the fan. Radiator is in the shop being fixed and I'm still trying to figure out the process for the fan removal.
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Postby MyDearFriend » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:56 pm

CapSmashy wrote:Hey all, when going to start your bus up for your periodic run cycle, make sure you check for possums in the engine first.

Took out the radiator and the fan. Radiator is in the shop being fixed and I'm still trying to figure out the process for the fan removal.


Oh no, Cap!

Sounds like an episode of Super Jail :lol: but, I bet it wasn't a bit funny at the time.

Critters can be a serious pain in the ass, huh?
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Postby JStep » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:00 pm

MyDearFriend wrote:Oh (((JStep))) how exciting!

8)

Please keep us posted!


Thx, I was approved! Tomorrow I take her for inspection, call my insurance and close with the bank. Yay!!
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Postby Tiahaar » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:07 am

Awesome JStep! Hope it works out well for you :-)
(dang CapSmashy that had to be messy...good advice)
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Postby JStep » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:00 pm

Thanks guys, it all worked out great. Needs less work than I initially thought it would, which wasn't much to begin with. I'm SO happy and excited to have this big question mark on our journey to BM disappear. The rest is details and money now, we have all the big items taken care of (which was just tickets, a plan and a bus really).

Can't wait to pull that beautiful yellow shorty onto the playa!
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Postby Elliot » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:26 pm

:D
Congrats! You might want to paint it. Various states enforce this differently, but the rule is that it needs to be painted Non-school-bus-yellow, and all signs and lights removed.
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Postby JStep » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:55 pm

Elliot wrote::D
Congrats! You might want to paint it. Various states enforce this differently, but the rule is that it needs to be painted Non-school-bus-yellow, and all signs and lights removed.


I've had this discussion and opinions vary, but from what I've gleaned from most experienced sources is that laws vary by state (this is true) and that police usually (or always, depending on who you ask) go by what state it's registered in if there's ever a conflict. In WI (my home state) a decommissioned school bus cannot be yellow, in NE (where I currently live) the only restriction is that it cannot say "school bus" on the front and back signage, which mine already has had taken care of. Mine has a fake school name on the sides "Midvale School for the Gifted", a Far Side reference, but in NE that's not illegal. If We registered it in WI this would be a problem.

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Postby JStep » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:30 pm

Hey Elliot,
Appears NE also has a reg regarding paint color. I couldn't find it but a guy on Skoolie.net managed to dig up a NE statute "When any vehicle with a manufacturer's rated seating capacity of eleven or more passengers used for transportation of students is sold and used for any other purpose than for transportation of students, such vehicle shall be painted a distinct color other than that prescribed by the State Board of Education and the stop arms and system of alternately flashing warning signal lights on such vehicle shall be removed. It shall be the purchaser's responsibility to see that the modifications required by this section are made. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class V misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars."

I'm not going to paint it at this point, until well after I get back from Burning Man. $25 to $100 is affordable and WAY cheaper than painting an entire school bus! (Not to mention the cost of having the electrical system worked on just to make it so the warning lights don't alternate. What a bunch of crap!)
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:40 pm

If I had a yellow school bus, I think it would look cool to just make some big stencil paterns and use black spray paint.

Then cover enough that the yellow is just a contrast to the black. 8)

With enough masking tape and a razor knife, you could get real creative.
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Postby JStep » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:45 pm

FIGJAM wrote:If I had a yellow school bus, I think it would look cool to just make some big stencil paterns and use black spray paint.

Then cover enough that the yellow is just a contrast to the black. 8)

With enough masking tape and a razor knife, you could get real creative.


I definitely have the skills to paint the bus whether freehand or with stencils but our goal was to keep it incognito. Nothing screams "pull me over for no reason and strew my shit all over the highway" like a colorfully painted and sticker bedecked school bus. If we paint it, I'm thinking we will go with plain white and letter some kind of cheeky church name on the sides.
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:56 pm

The church of "Latter Day Taints?
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Postby JStep » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:03 pm

FIGJAM wrote:The church of "Latter Day Taints?


HEH. We had a long list of camp mates and others chiming in on a facebook post on my wall with ideas. One of mine, declared the winner, was "Church of the Slow Redeemer." There were a bunch of funny ones, which should be expected as most of my friends and I are atheists who love the idea of some kind of silly church name on the side of our Burning Man bus.
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Postby BAS » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:16 am

:D YAY! My favorite thread is still going!

(Still working on figuring out how to get the money for a bus and a place to work on one. The parking lot of this apartment building just isn't big enough...)
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Postby JStep » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:37 am

BAS wrote::D YAY! My favorite thread is still going!

(Still working on figuring out how to get the money for a bus and a place to work on one. The parking lot of this apartment building just isn't big enough...)


It's an honor to keep your favorite thread going. Owning a bus has been a dream of mine for a long time. I'm incredibly happy about it!
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Postby lucky.bastard » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:34 pm

JStep wrote:
BAS wrote::D YAY! My favorite thread is still going!

(Still working on figuring out how to get the money for a bus and a place to work on one. The parking lot of this apartment building just isn't big enough...)


It's an honor to keep your favorite thread going. Owning a bus has been a dream of mine for a long time. I'm incredibly happy about it!


yea, i remember reading a book when i was a kid about these people riding around on an International School Bus they had painted.....and thinking "sounds like fun to me"
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Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:36 pm

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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MyDearFriend » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:16 pm

Hey, what happened to your wonderful long first post in this thread Elliot???

Oh and :oops: Millicent is coming this year, right?

J-Step: got an update for us? How are you coming along? Are you going to post pix for us or save your Big Reveal for when you roll onto the playa? :lol:
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby JStep » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:15 pm

MyDearFriend wrote:J-Step: got an update for us? How are you coming along? Are you going to post pix for us or save your Big Reveal for when you roll onto the playa? :lol:



Not much exciting to report; It's getting some maintenance this weekend. We were actually supposed to take it up to Wisconsin for it's maiden long-trek road trip, but the shop didn't get the work done in time. :( Kinda pissed about that, I asked him when I first talked about getting it in if it could be done by Friday. Oh well.

So far we took it to a Burner friend's house and he helped me take out the seats in the back. So it's got room for a bed on the floor in back and gear while we travel. We're not going to do much else to it before BM. Possibly build a custom bed/bench for the back but I doubt we'll get that done. (Another thing we were going to do on this trip over the weekend.)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MyDearFriend » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:24 pm

How did your paint job come out, J-Step? White church bus? :lol:
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby BAS » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:42 am

Yeah, let's have more bus pictures!

The pictures help those of us who still need to work out the whole "getting a bus thing" to dream.

:D
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby JStep » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:11 am

@MyDearFriend: We haven't painted her. I was going to do it myself with aerosols but Angie thinks we should have it done by a shop. I dread what that's going to cost!

@BAS: I'll have to take some pics, sorry. For now here's a pic of my *other* playa transport:

Image
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby BAS » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:22 am

Even a small bus will take a lot of paint, I'll bet. I wonder how much the cost difference is between doing it yourself and hiring some place to do it? (In theory their cost for paint and equipment should be smaller, but time and labor is still a major cost.)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby aknod » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:03 pm

[quote="BAS"]Even a small bus will take a lot of paint, I'll bet. I wonder how much the cost difference is between doing it yourself and hiring some place to do it? (In theory their cost for paint and equipment should be smaller, but time and labor is still a major cost.)[/quote]

We painted a 38' pusher (see the blog) for ~$225 total, including the cheap spraygun from Harbor Freight. We used oil based house paint, and RV elastomeric roof paint for the top. The roof paint was $90 for 5 gallons, the house paint was cheaper. The air compressor isn't included.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:50 pm

MyDearFriend wrote:Hey, what happened to your wonderful long first post in this thread Elliot???

Oh and :oops: Millicent is coming this year, right?
:


Hey... I just looked, and sure enough 99% of the post was gone. But it lets me edit, so I have re-posted. Let's hope it stays fixed.

Not sure about "coming home" this year. Serious lack of $$$. But I have not given up.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MyDearFriend » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:25 pm

(((Elliot)))

Thank you, that looks like a lot of work but, such valuable information I think it qualifies as "lore." 8)

YOU are a treasure as well so ... gosh. Don't give up!
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby CapSmashy » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:00 am

Well, after the possum drama, the dead Onan drama, the repair drama etc this year, Charon is about as mechanically ready as He can be to roll west.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby knowmad » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:25 pm

Last month I had a bit fun (not)!
Betsy's breaks overheated, and we whent into the trees, at about 25mph, Prety scarry.
The real damage was to her Steering box. And a bent fender that cut into her tire. and a big wernkly kiss to the topside.

How can I figure out what Chevy drive box this is?
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