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Old 09-12-2007, 01:28 PM   #1
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How to inspect OLD bus before buying

I am days away from writing out a substantial check for a 1952 Wayne/Chevy short bus. It was converted probably before I was born, and has been sitting in a pasture for the last twenty years. The conversion is absolute trash. My specific question is, on a bus of this vintage, what are the hidden issues? Is this a double wall body that can trap moisture and rust from the inside out? Where do I start to look?

A check list would be great-
Motor/trans running gear will get upgraded so I'm not real concerned about all that business; my concerns would be any vintage Wayne body issues.

Great site, learned alot already!
Thanks in advance-
Paul
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #2
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

Gorgeous...truly gorgeous.

Mechanically I'm not sure what your plans are, but it would seem to me that the vast majority of people end up repowering those older rigs with something a bit more modern.

I would spend a lot of time accessing the actual coachwork. I guess if I were picking up something that old I wouldn't worry TOO much about what the interior looks like or wiring or that kind of stuff, but I think the sheetmetal and framing would be of interest to me. Framing could almost be fabricated to work if the need was there I guess, but the sheetmetal and the special, unique little hardware stuff...well....it might not be replaceable.

How much of a project are you looking for? What's the plan? I'm jealous of that find, no matter the condition.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:33 PM   #3
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

The plan is to build a clean "retro-rod" with modern powertrain. I have seen a few posts about trapped moisture and it got me worried. This thing seems like its built out of boiler plate, but rust can take anything down in time...

Most of the hardware is present. The conversion that exists is going straight into the dumpster. I wish I could look under the flooring and behind the cabinets, but I don't think this guy is going to let me dismantle the old girl out in the pasture.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:48 PM   #4
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

The good news on these old buses is that rust is easy to repair given most of the metal is flat. Look under the rubber floor on the stairs there will certainly be rust there. A lot of buses have wooden floors, you will want to pull up the floor and inspect it, but you shouldn't be too worried about it if you have also have to repair the floor.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:08 PM   #5
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

I have a '58, '64 and recently bought a '63 (to span the gap parts wise). The major rust areas I've seen are either the firewall/back fender area (one was from IL) and the floor under water sources (rusted through). The rounded bottom edges of that one was rusted out in several areas. Enough so that I would ahvce to come up with something creative if I were going to make it open floor. I've no rust issues in the roof area. Even if it gets inside, I think it runs down and basically boils out with all of the heat. Be prepared for a lot of work if you really want to get it all straight. They're a lot of fun, but a lot of work. Huge PITA to move when they're not under their own power. (Actually scratch that somewhat, I just saw your pics. Shortie. Nice.)

I'm not sure what you're spending, but I've never paid more than $300 for one. I have yet to replace any axles or anything like that. None of them ran. One was in running condition, but I didn't buy the engine ($700 additional). It wasn't the engine I wanted, but then it took me a year to replace it so I probably should have just bought it anyway. I think you're working with a totally different budget than I ever have. That's fun. I've been wanting to pick up a modern diesel donor bus, but I haven't gotten that far. Be sure to keep posting up pics. Sounds like a cool project.

Here's a few pics of my first two. The '64 has just recently gotten officially road worthy: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skoolies/Vintage
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:39 PM   #6
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

1952 Wayne/Chevy/Cadillac 500ci resto rod
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:52 PM   #7
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyaustintx
Hey davido did you get that 63 that was here in Austin....
Sorry, don't mean to hijack your thread.

Yes, thanks for the heads up. It has the front clip that I need to replace my rusted out '64. It also has a good enough body and rounded top front so that I can later use it to build as a "58" with that front clip. The chassis of my '58 and the current '64 front clip will likely see the scrap pile in the next year or so.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:49 PM   #8
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

I am probably going to be upside down in this project from the start. I believe it is worth a little more because it is a factory shortie. Everyone that I have shown the pics to thinks its a shortened regular bus. I have found 1 unit like it, but have no info on it. Every other bus I have found that vintage twice as long and are missing lights, wipers, mirrors, - stuff specific to the Wayne body. This one has 99% of that stuff.

As far as my budget for the project, Its hard to say. I could estimate, triple the figure and still be short. For starters, I think I'll strip out the conversion have the body media blasted inside and out and spray it with Variprime, if for no other reason than to get the mice and mouse smell out. It won't fit in my shop, and Dad won't let it in his shop if its full of mice.

There is a restoration shop near Ashland Nebraska that seems to be reasonable with blasting costs.

I think most of you understand the multi-year project, and this will most certainly qualify.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:22 PM   #9
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

barxracer did you buy this bus? how is it going? timbuk
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:04 PM   #10
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Re: How to inspect OLD bus before buying

Make sure the axels, hubs are good, hear in southern california they are hard to find, i had to go to tijuana to find mine. Also look into brake parts these are gunna cost a fortune, mine the wheel cylnders alone where 800 or more total, So you may want to just put newer axels under it in the first place. Hydrovac sucks, but BSC brake parts warehouse has rebuild kits for em just ask for rick
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