School Bus 101, long technical post

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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:12 am

MyDearFriend wrote:Just read through this whole thing again, from the beginning...


Yikes. Sucker for punishment, eh.... :shock:
But have you clicked the link to The Millicent Chronicles on the Skoolie forum? That runs something like 44 pages. :lol:

SquirrelHead wrote: I did make me cringe to figure out it would be about $2400 in gas to get from NC to BRC and back.
I don't think all of the fun things will fit so I will have to trim down the list. :twisted:

Be sure to buy a diesel engine. Twice the fuel mileage, and the price of the fuel only slightly higher. And no AT545 transmission, which "soaks up" extra fuel because the torque converter does not lock at cruising speed.

As for the fun stuff inside the bus.... If you are considering a Ferris wheel and a bowling alley, you will indeed have to adjust your expectations. But I do know a burner who has built several buses with a hot tub (and sold them at a profit).
My top priority is a bathroom -- a LARGE bath room. Seems to me, we don't appreciate the fabulous convenience of indoor plumbing until we find ourselves without it in the middle of the night.

A shower is not really necessary, since we can wash the body reasonably well with a couple of quarts of hot water in a basin and a wash cloth. (And water for this can be heated on a propane cook-top or such.) But it is very much worth the effort to install a good RV toilet and associated plumbing. And make the bathroom spacious, because people will want to wash each other, and change elaborate outfits, and thus require more elbow room than one might expect.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MyDearFriend » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:15 pm

Elliot wrote:
MyDearFriend wrote:Just read through this whole thing again, from the beginning...


Yikes. Sucker for punishment, eh.... :shock:
But have you clicked the link to The Millicent Chronicles on the Skoolie forum? That runs something like 44 pages. :lol:



No, I hadn't, but thanks for the hint! 8) I have now read all 44 pages and am 1000% more impressed. Skoolie forum = great find.

And, I have discovered that for the past umpteen years I have been driving back and forth right past a huge truck shop that has rows & rows of used buses for sale... at all price points. Dangerous.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Bin Noddin » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:39 pm

Put the needle away, no point in inoculation - looks like she's already infected. Hold on.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby aknod » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:01 pm

Elliot, this thread is what inspired my friend and I to buy and build this bus: http://stickerbus.blogspot.com. This will be (STEP willing and the creek don't rise) Philip's third trip to the playa. Thank you!
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:31 pm

Lord, what have I done!

*falls to his knees and covers face in hands*






:wink:
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MyDearFriend » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:02 am

*smoochies* for everybody. I am having fun. 8)
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby scratcheye » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:06 pm

Hi! Thanks everyone for all the great info in this thread.

So I finally succumbed and got a bus, Gracie! She's a 1973 Carpenter short-bus!
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She's got a replacement Chevy 350 small-block gas engine, rebuilt exhaust, she runs great! The whole short-bus thing has been good for me so far, since i live in downtown Seattle and would've shit my pants trying a drive (let alone parallel-park) a larger vehicle around town. She's registered, insured, and....I think I've found a workspace/storage for her now...although indoor space might be nice. Are there Seattle-area burners with warehouse space, or fabrication skills looking for a fun project?

Next steps for Gracie: 1) seats out! 2) Roof deck on! 3) stairs/ladder. Oh, and power?!

Does anyone have any experience running a medium sound system and or LED lights off an inverter? I'm guessing the alternator on this old bus doesn't put out a huge current, but I'm thinking of getting an extra battery two, putting a "battery isolator" between them and the main starter battery, and seeing how much current I can draw. Thoughts?

Have folks put roof decks on their buses? I've seen some good examples on skoolie.net, it looks like bolting uprights to the window pylons might be the way to go. I wonder how much weight the roof itself can support?

Cheers!

-adam
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Tiahaar » Sun May 13, 2012 12:56 am

Nice looking little bus Gracie is, and are those sanders I see in front of the rear duals? Haven't seen them since I left Idaho, brings back winter memories 8) Sure if you need to run a 110vac sound system an inverter will do it though it will be more efficient to run a 12vdc system right off the batteries instead. Get a quality inverter with modified or pure sine wave output. I'm debating the same thing this year...bring my pro-audio dj gear (110vac) or put together a 12vdc Pyle cheapo system....I know it can't be as dust free this year as last, it just can't :D
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun May 13, 2012 8:10 am

Why did I come here... goddammit... I've been resisting buying a bus (one more big thing lying around!) for years... I need to stay OFF threads like this one.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sun May 13, 2012 9:06 am

scratcheye wrote:So I finally succumbed and got a bus, Gracie! She's a 1973 Carpenter short-bus!
Have folks put roof decks on their buses? I've seen some good examples on skoolie.net, it looks like bolting uprights to the window pylons might be the way to go. I wonder how much weight the roof itself can support? -adam

Hey, sorry your post was ignored for two weeks; that should not have happened. But welcome aboard now!

I have not built a deck, but the roof is quite strong. It is designed to support the bus up-side-down.
How you go about it depends on how involved you want to get, and also on the design of the roof structure. If you want to simply bolt uprights to the window pillars, no problem -- you can see where those are. If you want to skip the "legs" and bolt thru the roof, you will need to be certain where the roof bows are. They ought to be obvious by the rows of rivets, but Carpenter used a slightly different design from my Blue Bird, so you may want to remove an inside panel to get a look.

Basically, you want bolts thru the middle of the roof bows, and you want to spread the load out over several square inches at each contact point. The skin is not strong enough; you want all the load carried by the pillars/bows.

You may be aware I raised the roof on mine. If I ever do that job again, I want to combine the wall pillar extensions with a roof-top structure. This is a natural with "hat"-shaped pillars, but I did not realize that in time. And Carpenter may be different. This is what I meant with how involved you want to get.

You are at the learning and thinking stage now. After a while, your design will come together. :D
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby CapSmashy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:41 pm

Did someone say roof deck?

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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:08 pm

*sigh*
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby scratcheye » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:52 pm

Nice deck!
So to follow up on Gracie, we've also been hard at work on our deck, and it's finished!
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Yeah we may have over-engineered it :) but it is gonna be a mutant vehicle so we expect a lot of people bouncing up and down on top of it.
Plus that's kind of the design because she's supposed to be a mobile wharf.

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Next steps for us: 1) Railing! 2) We need a good ladder up there, like a hefty dock ladder, ideally used. Any suggestions? Anybody know any good marine or RV salvage in the Seattle area?

It's been a great journey so far, check out our build pics: http://saltyjacks.wordpress.com

Cheers,
a
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby CapSmashy » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:19 am

Very nice!
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:08 am

*envisions wharf v. pier action this year*
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby CapSmashy » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:48 am

Since I do believe there are updates from previous years for Charon in the thread, so far this year's only mechanical work has been to put in new fuel injectors. For everyone with older buses with older diesel engines, avoid the biodiesel blends at smaller gas stations. We put half a tank of this crap in at a late stop in Boulder City coming up from Hoover Dam and it fouled everything out. We ran 2 gallons of Lucas through the system over 3 fill ups and it cleared it up enough to at least make her run smooth, but we were still blowing lots of smoke from the fouling on the injectors.

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Is waht came out of the engine vs pretty and clean on the new ones

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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Tiahaar » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:36 pm

very nice decks, both of you, yes yes indeed, big long strong decks. my bus and I are now quite envious, dang. maybe there is still time for a little enhancement...
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby CapSmashy » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:15 am

Tia. I have one of the old ribs the previous owner cut for the original roof deck we had on Charon. He used either 2x8 or 2x10 boards and cut the arc of the roof into them and secured those to the roof of the bus with brackets and sheet metal screws. If you have interest in it, I can load it up and bring it out for you to take home this year.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby CapSmashy » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:36 pm

Oil, air, fuel and transmission filters/fluids changed. Waiting on new sheer pin to fix speedometer.

A/c is blowing cold.

Gonna be a good year in Charon.
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:26 pm

Millicent's draw bridge truly serving as a draw bridge at a recent outing. :D

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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:35 pm

Elliot wrote:Millicent's draw bridge truly serving as a draw bridge at a recent outing. :D

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That's sweet Eliot!!!!
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby fermicirrus » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:03 am

CaptSmashy, what kind of screws you used to secure the wood to the square tubing for your deck?
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby MyDearFriend » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:47 pm

*bump*

I want to buy an old school bus.

I have ordered a book on diesel engine maintenance and repair :lol: from amazon, and have talked this topic half to death with Graidawg.

And I bumped this thread from wherever it had got to, geez, buried under a thousand ride-share requests? :? Nooooooooooooooooo....
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:19 pm

:D
Millicent at Burning Man 2012. An old bus makes a great anchor for a shade structure, and the bus itself is well shaded to keep the interior cool. Camp not yet fully set up in these pictures. (Tiki torch not mine.)


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Re:

Postby MyDearFriend » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:41 pm

Elliot wrote::D
BUMP!
This question keeps coming up.
Anybody feel this ought to be a Sticky? I'd like to get some more "mileage" out of all that typing.
:D


YES this ought to be a sticky! Please mods can we have this one stickied, gosh...
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Ano » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:31 pm

Driving and living out of a school bus at Burning Man is one of my life's goals. Is that a bad thing? I dunno.

Point is, it sucks being young and having no room for a bus. Where do you park your bus?
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:53 pm

Ano wrote: Where do you park your bus?

I lived in and around Sacramento for 26 years, the last ten in a brand new modern subdivision house with all the modern luxuries -- and five feet of space on one side, ten feet on the other, and about 20 feet of back yard. Snazzy house, which was what I wanted at the time. Extra-large garage held me for a while. Then I built the Two Ton Tricycle.

Well, there were other factors, but I bought a quarter acre in the country, less than two hours drive from Sacramento. Cheap. Dirt street. Tiny mobile home. Room for big workshop and a bus or two. Bought bus. Built workshop. Still live in tiny mobile home. Drive to Sacramento or Santa Rosa for stuff that is not available here in Bumbutt.

Priorities.

:D
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:54 pm

It's a lifestyle!
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby BAS » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:09 pm

I want to get a school bus in case I am ever able to retire. Gotta have someplace to live!
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Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby graidawg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:18 pm

as MDF said. Really want a bus, and seeing those roof decks just makes me want one more!
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