So I want to update you all on what is happening with the bus and the latest picture parked in front of my house (not much has changed)
We have been trying to figure out what options we have with the engine and transmission. First, the engine is a very rare BVW engine. Which has two disadvantages, parts are not available and it drives super slow. The engine is only partially responsible for the slowness of the bus (max speed is like 40mph) because there appears to be a reducing gear in the transmission, the differential or both. Not sure yet. To be able to drive this around and enjoy it we need to replace the engine which leaves us with two possibilities, either we replace it with a gardner xlb engine that would fit right into the transmission (it is almost a replica of the BVW) or we put in a modern diesel. If we do the gardner, parts are still difficult to get and the bus will still drive too slow to be able to drive on freeways. Considering the size of the bus and the obstacle it would be to travel long distances off freeways, it doesn't seem like such a good idea. The other option and probably the best is to put in a new diesel (thinking cummins 5.9 or international dt466) and Allison automatic transmission. Obviously, this comes with it's own set of obstacles. First, the engine turns clockwise, the transmission goes in clock wise but comes out counter clock wise. There is also a gear that drops the drive line below the floor of the bus. A regular transmission would need to have a couple of elbows put in to accomplish this but I am told it is not a big deal. The reversing issue is a very big deal. I have heard my share of half cocked ideas about how to fix this issue and some are pretty good, but so far none are cheap.
So we spent the better part of a year trying to determine if it is worthwhile to go forward and fix it. I mean, this is going to be $20,000 minimum just to get this bus mechanically sound enough to drive regularly. That doesn't count the cost of the conversion. Of course, this is at a time when I hardly have the money to afford paying my bills. So after much deliberation about rather we should sell it and buy a schoolie for conversion, we decided that we want it bad enough that we are willing to go the distance on it. Currently our plan is to finish the inside of the bus conversion to where it is livable. We are going to then park it at an rv park around the corner from our current house where the rent is a fraction of the cost we are paying to rent a house. Save the money all winter and spring and by summer next year, we hope to have the money to afford to get the engine work done.
We are both really scared about it but we are willing to take a risk because we want to travel in this thing so bad. lol. We are crazy, no doubt in my mind about that at all.
On a side note, I did send in an application for that show "Rock my Rv". haha. Did it a few days ago and I doubt they would be interested with it but I gave it a shot just in case.