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Old 05-24-2015, 12:54 AM   #1
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1954 GMC 9700 Bus

My wife and I just purchased this bus. It's been years of dreaming about owning a bus like this and I'm really excited about starting it. I have little to no experience with vehicle restorations so I might be looking to you good folks for lots of advice! the the GMC 248 inline 6 was rebuilt 25 years ago and the bus hasn't left a 20km radius since (less than 1000km in it, apparently). The guy I bought it off of said he starts it up and drives it around his farm a few times a year to keep things moving. I just have to get it home in the next few weeks (about 500km away) and then the work commences! Where to start!??!
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:19 AM   #2
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Classy!
Whats your 20?
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:48 AM   #3
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Sweet buss
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:30 AM   #4
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Location: ...little north of Toronto Ontario
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Nice... toy hauler, home, other?

15416...zip code?
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:00 AM   #5
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Wow very cool. Will be one sweet ride.
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:19 AM   #6
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As long as you dont plan on going very far-or fast-that is an awsome starting point.
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my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:28 AM   #7
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Year: 1946
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Outstanding find...Congrats & Welcome! --- Having another vintage GM Bus is a treat. Yours appears to be a Wayne from the body lines. The rear end is virtually identical to my '46. The dash is very similar and the rub rails the same but the driver side rear door is is a bonus.

I have a bunch of extra rims, windows and things that will likely fit. Let me know if you need parts...I don't have a lot (except for rims) but may have something you can use.

What are your plans for that darlin'?
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:42 PM   #8
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Hey folks! Wow thanks for all the responses! We live in Northern British Columbia, Canada in a city called Prince George.

We have a few options for this bus: In the immediate future, we will likely park behind the house and start to strip it down. According to the seller, there is very minimal rust (most of what you see is lichen and moss). We would like to avoid doing a complete teardown and rebuild. That said, we don't want it to rust out in a few years, either! Once we get some sort of flooring in we will probably rent it out as a suite for friends and forestry workers passing through in a 'rent for labour' situation. Eventually, we'd like it to be a comfortable living space that we can park in a beautiful location for months at a time. I don't see us using it for long road trips, putting a lot of miles on... so I don't think we can justify replacing the motor at this point. Right now we are trying to figure out if we should insulate for the cold Canadian winter or if we should treat it as a spring/summer/fall only bus (any thoughts on this?). At the very least, we'd like to get the exterior fixed up and repainted, and the inside livable, making constant upgrades as finances are made available.

My wife and I are so glad we found this community of people to share our trials and tribulations with as we begin this project!
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Outstanding find...Congrats & Welcome! --- Having another vintage GM Bus is a treat. Yours appears to be a Wayne from the body lines. The rear end is virtually identical to my '46. The dash is very similar and the rub rails the same but the driver side rear door is is a bonus.

I have a bunch of extra rims, windows and things that will likely fit. Let me know if you need parts...I don't have a lot (except for rims) but may have something you can use.

What are your plans for that darlin'?
Thanks, Tango! I already looked through most of your posts and pics. I'm guessing this won't be the last time we chat
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:42 AM   #10
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Howdy again --- the biggest obstacle to highway speeds will be the gearing on the rear end and tranny. Both can be modified, it's just a matter of how far you want to go. Your engine compartment would easily handle a Cummins 5.9 but a properly rebuilt, a 6 cylinder gas Chevy would pull higher gears as well.

As I recall, your rear axle is very likely either a 5.43 (rare) or a 6.17 (most common) and finding anything taller is next to impossible. You can determine the rear axle gearing one of two ways...

1. Jack up the driver side rear wheel...put marks on both the wheel and the driveshaft...then, while in neutral, rotate the wheel while counting the number of turns the driveshaft makes. That number will be your ratio (i.e., 6.17 turns of the shaft to one of the wheel = 6.17:1 or what ever)

2. The other involves removing the inspection plate on the back of the axle. Chevy stamped the ratio directly onto the flat side of their ring gears.

Either way, it is a good idea to know just what your gearing might be. From there, you can plug numbers into an online speed/RPM calculator such as the one below to determine what speeds at various RPM's you can achieve.

Engine RPM Calculator

Most of these buses top out about 45 to 50 which makes highway traveling dangerous these days thanks to the lamewits who are incapable of judging speed or distance while texting on their cell phones.

Also worth noting in this regard is tire diameter. I've seen a number of people swap out their 20" rims & tires for smaller ones to get a lower profile and hot rod look. Going smaller in diameter makes a huge reduction in top gear/speed at any given RPM. Here again, the calculator above can show the effect of different diameter tires. Handy tool.

Best of luck and please do keep the pix coming.
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