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Old 07-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestions?

i just bought a 1985 gm short bus with a blue bird body. it has a blown motor. i knew this going in on the deal and thats why i got such a good deal on it. it currently has a gm 366 v8 big block in it. i would like to swap it out for something else. can i swap it out for a diesel? a bigger and better gm gas motor? any suggestions and help are appreciated. thanks!
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

simple swap would be a 350 or bigger. dont want to go smaller!
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

The GM366 is what they call a tall block..... Comes with a longer stroke over the regular engines plus they have 3 rings per cylinder instead of 2. Better compression, longer lasting etc....
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

I posted the same question in the mechanical section. I didnt blow mine but Im going to look for a short or long block to have on a stand and swap out at some point in time.

Things to consider.....

Does it have air brakes? If so most blocks that have air brakes are different from non air brake blocks. So that is #1 to consider.

Being a short bus you could get by with maybe a 350 depending on the gearing but I have a 66 passenger Ward so there is no way I could even think about it.

The 366 is in the 396/427 family of engines. azratrod is correct they are a tall block and they do have a set of extra rings in it and thats one reason why they do hold up if properly kept up. Really any chevy block will bolt up depending on issues as discusses above (air vs non air).

I stopped off at a bus barn here locally and asked input from them. They are a all diesel fleet but he has been in the business for 25+ years so he knows about gas engines. He suggested talking to Jasper engines? They seem to have a decent reputation in the bus world.

This engine came in many many many fleet trucks all the way till the 1990's I am told? So they are still out there.

As for going diesel I dont think there is a decent older chevy diesel out there worth putting in it. If you put a different maker.... well the adaptor thing comes in to play. Just depends on how much work you want to put in it.

Not sure what you will use it for but I am going back with the same that was in it. I wont use mine tons so just makes a in and out swap easy for me?

Hope this helps
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

Is your bus already customized/converted? If not, it might be cheaper to buy a new bus with a good engine. Cost would be about the same as buying a new/rebuilt engine.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:13 AM   #6
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

the bus is slightly converted and has been painted. i knew about the motor being a dog and being blown up. i spoke with the fleet manager of the local chevy dealership and he said the dealership can take care of all of the maintanance on the bus due to it being all general motors products and equipment minus the blue bird body. the issue is getting a new motor into this old girl. ive looked on craigslist and have found a few nice 454 motors that have been rebuilt and even some that havent been rebuilt but have low milage. i think this might be the way to go.



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Old 07-28-2011, 09:17 AM   #7
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

If you can get a replacement motor for a decent price then I agree, that's the way to go. Go with the 454.....you can never have too much power!
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

look for a 454 rv motor,,there are build heavyer ,there not like a car motor,i got one an 545 just pull from an rv with 70,000 mile on . but iam north GA..so look for a big truck 454 not a car 454.trans would be a 400 auto....


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Old 07-28-2011, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

366!
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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Re: gm 366 threw a rod. need to replace the motor. suggestio

being a short bus I dont know how many rpms you turn but my bus cracks about 3400-3800 @60-65 so its buzzing pretty high. I think a 454 (in stock form) will be tasked if it were in my bus? I had a TBI454 that I would consider putting in but I reconsidered and will go back with a 366 when that time comes.

I am sure there are gearing differences between our buses so you may be able to get by with it. If your going to keep the bus any time I would get the diesel? Theres a reason why fleets order then and gas units are usually not used?

I hope it all works out.

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