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Old 03-29-2017, 09:50 PM   #1
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1988 GMC Blue Bird School Bus Engine Question

New to the Schoolie scene. Bought a 1988 GMC Bus with an 8 cylinder engine. GMC put 3 different engines in the 1988 bus. I know it is not diesel and the other 2 engines were a 6.0 and 7.0 liter gas engine. Does anyone know how I can tell which one is in the bus? Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:03 PM   #2
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It all depends upon which chassis you are talking about.

I have seen a lot of school buses over the years with GM/Chevy/GMC chassis. I have never seen a van cut-away school bus with the big block gas V-8. It showed up in moho chassis and I am sure there was a school district somewhere that ordered a big block. But I have never seen one from the factory equipped that way.

In 1988 in the full size buses the gas engines were either the small block 350 or the big block 366.

Both have very distinctive rocker covers.

A picture is worth a thousand words.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:36 PM   #3
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Hey! We have a 1988 GMC bus as well, but it is a detroit diesel. If you want to connect on here or over Facebook, we might be able to collaborate on certain parts of our build. We just finished treating all rust and replacing some of the rust with welds, and now we are waterproofing, and then insulating and installing the subfloor.
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombiepatrol View Post
Hey! We have a 1988 GMC bus as well, but it is a detroit diesel. If you want to connect on here or over Facebook, we might be able to collaborate on certain parts of our build. We just finished treating all rust and replacing some of the rust with welds, and now we are waterproofing, and then insulating and installing the subfloor.
'86 here. Just finished that this weekend!
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:01 AM   #5
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
It all depends upon which chassis you are talking about.

I have seen a lot of school buses over the years with GM/Chevy/GMC chassis. I have never seen a van cut-away school bus with the big block gas V-8. It showed up in moho chassis and I am sure there was a school district somewhere that ordered a big block. But I have never seen one from the factory equipped that way.

In 1988 in the full size buses the gas engines were either the small block 350 or the big block 366.

Both have very distinctive rocker covers.

A picture is worth a thousand words.
a 454 was also offered too wasnt it? thats what my old GMC bluebird had in it.
-Christopher
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
a 454 was also offered too wasnt it? thats what my old GMC bluebird had in it.
-Christopher
The 454 was never an option in the medium duty truck/bus chassis line. The Tonawanda 366/427 high block engine was though.

The 454 was only ever offered in light duty truck/bus chassis/RV chassis.

But as I have said before, I have seen a lot of buses on GM/Chevy/GMC chassis and I have never seen one with a 454. I have seen lots of RV chassis with the 454. And I am sure that there is a district or contractor somewhere that ordered a bus with the 454 but I have never seen one spe'c'ed that way.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:18 AM   #7
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interesting.. my bluebird had what serial numbered out to be a '454HD', it was a little short bus.. and had an allison 4 spoeed auto.. I didnt know much about transmissions in busses then but i believe it to be a 545 or whatever version of it was out then.

it was the only 454 i ever saw with a 2 barrel carb on it... its possible the engine got changed.. I never referenced it to the VIN, just the engine block serial numbers like I did on every chevy I built.

interesting thing is I used regular 454 parts on it to upgrade it..

being in ohio its also possible someone did a lot of work to it, people in Ohio in winter... we have nothing better to do than to sit in our garages and build some of the raddest hot rods out there... being near detroit and with many auto factories abd parts suppliers (used to be) in ohio, growing up was always a treat at cruise-in's...
-Christopher
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:35 AM   #8
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Year: 1988
Engine: Chevy 350
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My 1988 GMC Bluebird shorty has a chevy 350 in it. Sounds similar to HOFman's setup
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:50 AM   #9
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HOFman

Google Gates VIN decoder. Enter the VIN and it should answer your question.

Good luck
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