Author Topic: school buses  (Read 10088 times)

Offline pete36330

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school buses
« on: December 02, 2012, 01:05:45 PM »
I am curious,,How many members here have converted school buses?,,
I never seem to read anything about them or anyone working on them, in perticuler,,are there any other forums more intune with school buses?

Offline Iceni John

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Re: school buses
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 01:28:12 PM »
Welcome!

A few of us here (Opus, me, maybe a few more) are doing just that.   Have a look at http://www.skoolie.net/forum

My bus is not the typical mid-engine Crown, but one of the few rear-engine Series 2 buses that Crown made before they were closed down by General Electric ("We Bring Good Things To Life") in 1991.   So far I've put in 220 gallons of fresh water tanks, 115 gal gray and 65 gal black tanks, an emergency generator, a spare tire mount, slide-out trays for starting and house batteries and for propane cylinders, and lots of other odds and sods under the floor, leaving my entire under-floor luggage bays free for Other Stuff.   So far, so good.

John  
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 01:34:34 PM by Iceni John »
1990 Crown 2R-40N-552 (the Super II):  6V92TAC / DDEC II / Jake,  HT740.     Hecho en Chino.
2kW of tiltable solar.
Behind the Orange Curtain, SoCal.

Offline HB of CJ

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Crown Supercoach Bus Conversions
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 10:33:19 AM »
Not your typical schoolie.  I started on mine, (VIN 37317) a 1974 40 foot, 10 wheeler, 3 axle with tandem drive, Cummins engine, 10 speed Roadranger and huge air brakes.  Several on this board have conducted fantastic Bus Conversions using the Crown Supercoach.  A kinda difficult coach to convert.  I got old and sold the girl. :(

We also had long ago a  Ford 1968 F600 6 window shorty.  Had a 312 V8, 5 speed and vacuum brakes.  Actually ran off road very well.  A fun bus.  Bad moods were not accepted!  Easy to fix and fun to drive.  Got about 6-8 mpg. Could sleep 4 if memory serves.  Had a minimal interior conversion.  Worked great!  HB of CJ (old coot) :)

Offline Geoff

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Re: Crown Supercoach Bus Conversions
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 04:10:22 PM »
  Several on this board have conducted fantastic Bus Conversions using the Crown Supercoach.  A kinda difficult coach to convert. 

Any links?
Geoff
'82 RTS AZ

Offline Iceni John

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Re: school buses
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 06:47:47 PM »
Jerry Campbell takes his Crown to Mexico each winter:  http://crowncoach.clanteam.com/   He has 1580 watts of PV panels, enough to run everything:  http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=22402.msg246068#msg246068

Brown Crown in Bakersfield, one of the Skoolie forum's stalwarts, has a nice looking conversion:  http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3065

If you join the Crown Coach Junkies forum on Yahoo http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/crowncoachjunkies/  you can see photos of Wasabus and Old Skool, two attractively converted tandems.

Last, but not least, Mr.Sharkey has an ambitious housetruck built on a 1963 tandem:  http://www.mrsharkey.com/busbarn/crown.htm

Except for Jerry, I don't think the other folk are BCM members, but there's still lots of good info out there for those of us crazy enough to convert Crowns.   RTS owners share some of the same difficulties as Crown owners, such as sloping-in walls and no ready-made underfloor storage for tanks etc, but the end result should be worth the extra challenges along our way!   There's also the appeal of knowing you'll have a truly unique conversion  -  I know of only one other Series 2 Crown being converted now, and it's 1500 miles away in WA.   HB of CJ is correct:  putting things under the floor is tricky when there's an engine and transmission already there, but it's not impossible.   (That's the main reason I chose a pusher Crown instead.)

John
1990 Crown 2R-40N-552 (the Super II):  6V92TAC / DDEC II / Jake,  HT740.     Hecho en Chino.
2kW of tiltable solar.
Behind the Orange Curtain, SoCal.

Offline opus

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Re: school buses
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 07:31:24 PM »
1995 BB All-American - A Transformation.

Offline somewhereinusa

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Re: school buses
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 05:06:50 AM »
     
  Here's mine, 1991 Blue Bird AARE    ;D

http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=9827


1991 Bluebird AARE
1999 Ford Ranger
Andrews,IN

Offline PCC

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Re: school buses
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 06:16:06 AM »
My first conversion I started in 1981 (when most of the world thought it was a foolish idea), but I bought a 1953 LA school bus (35' Crown) mid engine Hall Scott 504 (fix it anywhere) with a 4 speed plus granny transmission. Gearing made it good on the highways, and for fuel, especially during the fuel rationing in the 80s (I was allowed to buy more often than cars and trucks because I was a bus - I installed a pump to provide fuel to my workers)

My water tanks were under the rear, where they put the engine in later models. Propane was further forward.

Recreated the interior of the private railroad car from the show 'Wild,Wild,West', with the little windows, the hardwood floors, the wood stove, and more - it was perfect.

I drove it everywhere, and it was a solid base to start doing conversions - have not quit since some guy, one day, pulled out his checkbook and bought it out from underneath me.

Had no choice but to do another - did I?
For some, patience is a virtue.
Dealing with me, it is required.
Thank God - He is always patient.

Offline bansil

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Re: school buses
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 07:24:46 AM »
Her's mine...not as fancy as some,but oh so fun ;D

http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12570
Doug
Mnt City TN
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Offline TomC

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Re: school buses
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 09:01:03 AM »
One nice thing about most skoolies is they use a full truck chassis. Many now are made on a Freightliner chassis-whether it be a front or rear engine-mostly Cummins ISB or ISC with Allison automatics (manuals aren't even offered anymore). The only mid engined buses were Crown and Gillig. They used either a Hall-Scott gasoline fuel monster (gasoline engine built liked a Diesel engine), Cummins NH220 or NT262, Detroit 6-71 non and turbo'ed.

I think it'd be fun to find a front engine class A (flat front) shoolie that is about 25ft for quick weekend get away. Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.

Offline opus

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Re: school buses
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 09:48:53 AM »


I think it'd be fun to find a front engine class A (flat front) shoolie that is about 25ft for quick weekend get away. Good Luck, TomC

If you have ear protection they are great. :)
1995 BB All-American - A Transformation.

Offline Iceni John

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Re: school buses
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 12:23:46 PM »
I think it'd be fun to find a front engine class A (flat front) shoolie that is about 25ft for quick weekend get away. Good Luck, TomC
Like this?   http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=951
Good ground clearance and short length means he can go places off the beaten track that road buses should fear to tread.   His website is very informative.

Regarding engines in the mid-engined Crowns and Gilligs, don't forget the Big-Cam Cummins that were also sometimes used.   My friend's Gillig tandem with such an engine is a monster  -  he says it will do 60 MPH up whatever you point it at!   He drove it up to Wrightwood one day, and we were having to slow for the curves while climbing Highway 2.   Fun!

John
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:26:26 PM by Iceni John »
1990 Crown 2R-40N-552 (the Super II):  6V92TAC / DDEC II / Jake,  HT740.     Hecho en Chino.
2kW of tiltable solar.
Behind the Orange Curtain, SoCal.

Offline PCC

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Re: school buses
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 01:18:48 PM »
My Hall Scott 504 (mid-ship mounted) went anywhere I asked it to. There was as much torque as any diesel I have ever driven, and it never gave me a lick of trouble.

Sometimes, I wish I had never let that one go !!!

No computers, just points, plugs, wires, updraft carb, and that pesky distributor !!
For some, patience is a virtue.
Dealing with me, it is required.
Thank God - He is always patient.

Offline robertglines1

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Re: school buses
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 01:53:22 PM »
IT'S a BUS.  I did a Thomas 40 ft 655 cummins several years ago. 10 plus mpg. Life and taste changes. Great memories as are the new ones I'm having now. Several of my friends park their school bus conversions next to mine and I don't embarass them. They let me stay.  Bob
Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana

Offline GilligCrown

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Re: school buses
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2012, 06:10:50 PM »
Iceni John is right . . . We're out here (out THERE?). I have the Gillig he referenced, as well as an '83 Crown tandem with a Detroit and a RoadRanger. While I enjoy and admire all buses, there is something cool about the relative simplicity of school buses, and a lot of us even like their appearance! The Gillig is partially converted, and the Crown, well, it runs like a champ and its acquisition was simply the result of my jonesin' for a 10-speed.

Paul in Phelan   
Paul, High Desert CA
1981 Gillig Tandem 855 Turbo, Allison
1973 Crown Atomic 8V71 NA, 5-speed
1958 Crown 743 Turbo, 5-speed