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Old 02-16-2013, 05:19 AM   #1
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The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 54 pass

Well. I have purchased a 1977 Chevy 54 passenger school bus and thought I'd start documenting what I've done to get it in a little better shape.

It is in dire need of some body work and a little paint but is a good runner and has been in my extended family for 8 or so years. Definately a function over form type of deal but there's serious potential here. The interior space is 20' x 7.5' overall so lots of space to put whatever I want.

Here are some pictures of "The Bamper" as I purchased it. Open to any and all ideas for an exterior color scheme.




Been sitting for a little while.


Going to need some sugary ...



Supposedly rebuilt 10k ago. Chevy 350 with a 5 speed trans.


Classy cockpit.


That would be one of the strangest cousins in the family. She photobombed a few of these ....







Current floorplan. I don't think I'm going to change much except to put a futon in place of the top two bunks and perhaps another dinette where the heater is. It would be convertible to a twin sized sleeping area.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 54 pass

Stopped off at the local recycling center today intending to pick up some extension cords and I found something else that seemed to be of greater value. I've read the threads about stranded vs solid and for the miles that will be put on this bus, things wiggling loose in the electrical system are the least of my worries.

14/3 solid core and 10ga stranded. Hoping there will be enough 10ga for a run to the roof for the A/C.



No clue how many feet but there's 68lbs in that barrel. Should be enough to wire everything I need.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 34 pass

You may want to rethink removing the LP space heater. Judging from the exterior pics, you are in a cold location. Even in the early spring/late fall there may be times when you would find the heater highly desirable. Nice thing is you do not have to be plugged into a power pole to use the LP.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:21 AM   #4
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 34 pass

I like your bus. I would graffiti it, or flat black and maybe flames.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 54 pass

I was leaning towards Bud Light Blue without any logos or anything, just like the color. This image won't look the same on all monitors so head on over to your fridge, or God forbid you're out of beer the local alcohol-mart, and take a gander at a can of Bud Light and imagine that on my rusting hunk of metal. Should look pretty nice ! !

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Old 02-24-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 34 pass

Cool color choice--- but it got me to wondering...what make is your chassis? If it's a Blue Bird, then the color could be referred to as "Bird" Lite?
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 54 pass

Bus is a Thomas.

I'm thinking white accents would look pretty nice. Trim, emblems, wheels etc will be white. Should look pretty good.

Purchased A dozen 12v double camper lights a few days back from classacustoms on eBay and I'm impressed thus far. Fast shipping and TONS of bubble wrap. Gonna order some more things from them in the future unless someone has a better/less expensive place to go.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 54 pass

Well .... 7 months later it is at home in the shop FINALLY ! !

I drove it 7 feet 2 months ago and got it hoplessly mired in the muck so we went up today and dug it out with shovles and pulled it out with the skid loader now that the ground is firm again. I didn't take any pictures because the mosquitoes were having a feast on us but it was in there good.

Drove home 75 miles without a single issue. Sat for 2+ years and ran like a top for the entire way home. Being as this is my first bus experience other than the 12 years I rode one years back, I didn't even think to close the interior heater line valves. I got warmer and warmer in there and I really didn't think much of it until I got out into 85 degree heat with 95% humidity and got a chill when I parked it at home.

As I tear into stuff I'm going to try my darndest to document the work that goes into this project. Lord knows it's going to take some time.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:32 PM   #9
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 54 pass

Got it washed today. T'was a VERY dirty girl !! Looks like it hasn't been washed since it was "painted" 12 years ago.



Dirty side. Clean side pic showed up very washed out so I deleted it ..... Did a little body work and it looks like it's going to be a long uphill battle before paint.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:56 PM   #10
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Re: The Bamper - 1977 Chevy 54 pass

Let's see what's behind that rusty mess ....



Shouldn't have done that. Found more problems ....



Solution to the wheel well issues. 5' x 8' 14ga sheet.



Damn door is rusted through as well. Good ol' Salty Minnesota.
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