Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to change a school bus into a COOL bus!

How to change a School Bus

into a 


 A heat gun and a window scraper makes removing vinal lettering easy work.
Remember when they used to paint lettering on vehicles?

 A little fancy work and a school bus becomes a C OOL BUS!

 I'll leave this until I decide on the final paint scheme.

 This was actually painted.
So a little yellow paint and I'm not yet detered.

And, Walla!
We now have a C OOL BUS!

Friday, September 14, 2012

All work and no play.

All Work And No Play

Makes Jack a Dull Boy

At least that's what they say (and I'm not even sure who "they" are).  I finished my orientations and passed my test so I actually get to go to work.  Which means I get to get back to converting the bus.  However to keep a balance I decided to play, just a little, and stopped at the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area in Pickens County, Georgia.
Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Are
Pickens County Georgia

 Very well maintained walking trail.

Trails marked on trees well.
 Turns out this was a handicap trail.

The real trail begins and ventures off into the wilds.

Well, Jack's had enough playing for today.

Back to work and the bus.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

If i could just kick this habit...

If I could just kick this habit...

I've got this habit I've been dealing with all my life.  If I could just kick this habit I could save so much money and get more done, but a-last, I think I'm destined to deal with this the rest of my life.  

I gotta eat!

Because I've become addicted to eating, I've gotta work.  Haven't figured out yet how to do the first without doing the second. 

Anyhow, did my first day of orientation on my new job.  Gave me three books to go over by Thursday.  Thought I was back in college.

Look at the size of those books.

Anyway, gotta test out before they'll send me to work.  Here's goes nothing.  Then I'll be getting back to the bus.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How this bus came to be.

How this bus came to be.

I have always wanted to work and travel.  During my first marriage I didn't get to travel much.  During my second marriage I did travel more but not like I really wanted.  So after I finally got over my second failure at romance I said to myself, "Myself, what's keeping you from traveling now?"  Since I didn't have a good answer (or even a not so good answer)  I decided I would take the plunge.  January 2009 I decided that that would be the year I'd do what I've always wanted to do.  

I was working in Delaware and Philadelphia renting an apartment in Wilmington, DE.  My lease on the apartment would end September 30, 2009.  I decided I would not rent another apartment but live on the road when that lease was over.

The race was on.  I already knew I wanted a school-bus and what I wanted in it.  I had nine months to find and convert a bus into a livable structure.

I knew right off I wanted a 40' bus with a flat front, forward gasoline engine and rear door with underneath storage.  By July I hadn't been able to find what I was looking for.  With two months to go I settled for a 35' International flat front diesel pusher with no storage.  Wasn't what I wanted but happy nevertheless to begin my journey.

Fast forward to January 2011.  Having been to New Mexico and now in Texas I decided that diesel was not for me and I would look for the bus of my dreams.  Belonging to several Yahoo bus conversion forums the name came up constantly.  So I called and talked to Greg, the dad, and told him my story and what I was looking for.  He chuckled and said "I'll keep a lookout but I don't think you'll find anything like what you're looking for".  Two weeks later Greg called me back with a hearty laugh and said, "You're not gonna believe this.  I've found three buses like what you're looking for and since you asked first, I'm going to give you first choice".  Well the rest is history.

Thanks again to Greg (the dad), and Greg and Betty (son and daughter-in-law) at


A few more pics.

 Radiator access.

 Exterior fuse box.
Compared to the one in the International this is an electricians dream.
The fuse box in the Internatrional look like a bunch of deranged packrats wired it.
In all fairness, I know it didn't come from International like that but the school district that maintained it probably could only afford a pair of wire cutters and black tape.

 Ah, air horns.
Cover your ears!

 Entry steps and forward engine cover.
Engine cover well insulated.  Can hardly hear the engine running.
I could hear the diesel of the International 35' from the back of the bus.
Will keep the stair rail for my elderly friends (Me).

 The cockpit.

 The only passenger seat left in the bus.
Bumper pad and stair rail.

 Control panel.
CB radio under dash.

 Only 103,000 miles.

 Overhead forward storage and fire extingusher.

 Lockable glove box with key to exterior fuse box (which I picked the lock before I found the key)
Air powered door emergency release.

 Bus plate.

 Forward heater.

 All American ~ A Bluebird Standard

AM/FM cassette radio with internal and external PA system.
Cable hanging down is for air horns.  BEEP  BEEP


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Getting started.

 Inside the bus - the before.

Looking forward.

Looking forward.
427 ci forward engine.
All seats were removed by the dealer except for the front passenger seat and bumper pads.

Looking rear-ward.
Luggage racks run the length of the bus on both sides.

  Looking inside walls to see what's there.
Thin layer of fiberglass across the ceiling.
Haven't opened the walls yet.
The plan is to to spray closed cell foam throughout the entire walls and ceiling.

Van and bus inside garage.
 Laying out bus plan on floor.
Blue tape outlines inner dimensions of the bus.

 Grey tape marks wheel wells.

Just kicking around some ideas.
10' area at rear will be a workshop accessible from inside the bus or the rear door.

And the journey begins...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It finally arrived.

Well, it finally has arrived!

 Thar she is!

 Passenger side.

 Chrome wheels!

 Head on.

 Drivers side.

 Battery box.  A standard single heavy duty battery.

 Front driver side storage.

 Driver side fuel tank.  A 45 gallon tank on each side.

 Rear driver side storage.

 Driver side.


 Trailer hitch.

 Custom trailer hitch.

 Driver side storage to the depth of the frame.

 Passenger side rear storage pass the depth of the frame to center of bus.

 Inside rear passenger side storage looks like it might have been for a spare tire.

 Passenger side rear storage has a slide out rack.

 Front passenger side storage.

 More chrome wheels!  Wow!

 Passenger side.

  In the garage.
 Getting 'er ready.