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Old 01-11-2019, 08:32 PM   #1
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Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
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Year: 1975
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: 8 window
Engine: 454 LS7
Rated Cap: 24,500
Gmc motor and transmission

opinions please - limited number of pictures show a clean bus with new tires -
2000 GMC 230000 km ( 142,600 miles )- 8 window - owner says "Bus runs great and has a 7.4L gas engine with an automatic transmission. All tires are practically new. All the seats are still in the bus and has a 36 passenger capacity. The bus is 36 feet long. I was going to convert the bus to an RV but circumstances have unfortunately changed and must sell". - $3,800.00 CAD ( $2870 US$ ) - the bus is from Alberta so shouldn't have a lot of rust - may even have winter insulation
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:15 AM   #2
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That is a Bluebird body in my mind. Looks pretty good for the age but will have squeaks, rattles and leaks likely, wind noise or draft issues.
Great that it has new tires, probably adds 1800$max to what one would pay without new rubber.
So a 454 gasser and auto, not a deal breaker for me if it runs right. Easy to work on, parts are readily available, not sure if it would be fuel injected or carbed. Battery condition, is it HEI? Can be problematic electrically if so.

Should be a good cold weather starter and produce plenty of cabin heat for a dog limmo. Oh, wait, your dogs hate heat, scrap that idea then.
Wondering what type tranny, and if brakes and front end are good then probably the price is very close. Scrap value without those new tires might be about $1500 or so.
I'd prefer a stick and a diesel for the driving experience. If I just wanted to steer, I could go play an arcade game.

Stick would be a lot better for the roads you will be seeing, winding , mountainous and snowy.


Gas is cheaper than diesel but for how long, gotta feed those dogs as well as the ponies up front.
A few gravel roads will take care of loose rust underneath quicker than anything.


My 2 cents



John
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:55 AM   #3
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the 454HD is a good motor but it likes to drink, I had one in a shortie bluebird and it ran fantastic.. in fact it was easy to soup up, but I think that shortie got 3.5-4 MPG..


granted i did go out and squeal the tires in it a couple times..

-Christopher
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:22 AM   #4
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You're not thinking of buying sight unseen !...?



The 454 engine has a very long history and is a good engine. It can be rebuilt. Parts available everywhere. Many of the repairs can be done yourself if you have any mechanical inclination at all. However, they will have to be rebuilt at fairly short intervals, especially compared to a larger liter diesel.


My 96' gmc 454 in a 3500 dually with a 5 speed and 4.10 final gets 10mpg driving empty. Our farm pu, a 95' gmc 3500HD at 13k gvwr, and an automatic only gets 6.5 mpg driving empty with a 12' flatbed and lumber rack. You'd likely be the 5-6 mpg range on the flat at 55 mph. If you pull a trailer or build it heavy etc., you may be closer to 4 mpg.


I would take full advantage of any "must sell" situation. Sorry if it sounds mean, but I dont care about the circumstances of the seller, I only care about my own finances in a buying situation. In a medical fund raiser or something, that's different, just to be clear, but if the seller comes out with a sob story and nothing to back it up, push every penny out of the deal and try to get closer to 1500USD or less if possible. The gas engine has a very limited market. Mainly it would sell for the components, not a bus to use.
IMO
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:29 AM   #5
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My Thomas/Ford gasser got about 3mpg.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:56 AM   #6
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Year: 1997
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Fuel costs for sure but no motel expenses.
Mine runs dry in about about 8 hours driving, forget the tank size right now, but pulling a toad, was perfect for that.

It looks like one Fusky Husker...


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Old 01-12-2019, 10:25 AM   #7
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Be sure to check the age of those tires before you make an offer on the bus. Get the seller to list the DOT build date for each tire. Regardless of the good looking tread, if the tires are over 7 years old the tire industry says "time to change 'em".
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:47 AM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
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Year: 1975
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: 8 window
Engine: 454 LS7
Rated Cap: 24,500
thanks everyone - when/if I decide on this one, I'll go and see it in person, take it for a drive if possible - I don't care about fancy, a gallon or two of paint and a bit of sanding can make most anything presentable, solid and reliable will do just fine - one of the things I like about this forum is that people are willing to share their experiences and knowledge - I've never been shy of trying something new and often started something up with nothing more than an idea, no knowledge of the subject, no finances, and figured it out as I went - some things fizzled, some went remarkably well - on an aptitude test I took one time, I scored 95 percentile on adventure, but I'm 80 years old now, and maybe don't have the time or patience to take on a new project and learn it from the ground up without as much help as I can get, so I appreciate all the comments very much
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:46 PM   #9
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does anyone have experience with Ram Air? - would it help with better gas mileage in that big GMC 454?
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:21 PM   #10
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
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Chassis: 8 window
Engine: 454 LS7
Rated Cap: 24,500
another question - I seem to be full of them - this bus is located close to me, ( 4 hour drive ) - already registered and inspected in BC as a motor home, new tires all round - I have a question about the motor/transmission combo and I could sure use some input -
1997 GMC chassis, Bluebird body, 6.6L Caterpillar turbo diesel engine, Allison 4-speed automatic tranny, hydraulic brakes, 32ft long,, 300,000 miles on the speedo - owner says it has no problem cruising at 55MPH, but is slow on hills - it's a nine window bus, which I like - a bit slow on the road, which might drive me crazy on a 2000 mile trip if that's all it's comfortable at - love to hear opinions on the motor/tranny and what could be easily done to speed the old girl up a bit without breaking the bank?
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:45 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Just for comparison, same engine here likely, 3116 Cat. Low rated Cat at that, but it rolls. Is that an inline six? Allison 545?

Limiting the speed might be to prolong the transmission life on that.

Non automatic, 35ft, 12 windows so more weight initially than the one you mention.
On the highway it purrs and when you say "giddyup" it works as long as you want it. Great feeling to have that merging into fast traffic and other manouevers.
1997 with 175000 miles
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:03 PM   #12
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yeah, driving up the ridge of mountains from south east BC to dead central BC has a LOT of hills and mountains - one pass of 4200 snowy foot elevation and another really snowy pass of over 5000 feet in the first 70 miles to start with, not mentioning the hills that would pass for mountains anywhere else, I want some power to the wheels - the bus with the cat motor has some attractive advantages, being close right here in BC and already registered as a motor home and inspected in BC means that conversion to what I want would be very easy, but I think it would be underpowered - another thought, what comparison in gas mileage would be between the small diesel with the 4 speed auto and the 454 gasser auto?
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
yeah, driving up the ridge of mountains from south east BC to dead central BC has a LOT of hills and mountains - one pass of 4200 snowy foot elevation and another really snowy pass of over 5000 feet in the first 70 miles to start with, not mentioning the hills that would pass for mountains anywhere else, I want some power to the wheels - the bus with the cat motor has some attractive advantages, being close right here in BC and already registered as a motor home and inspected in BC means that conversion to what I want would be very easy, but I think it would be underpowered - another thought, what comparison in gas mileage would be between the small diesel with the 4 speed auto and the 454 gasser auto?

Diesel is likely 60 gallons.
Gasser , well my gasser is 100 gallons.
600 miles would be a good number as far as distance travelled on the diesel at all daylong driving.
Gasser is pretty close to that on way more gallons. This with no cruise control which lowers gas mileage in fact.

On the guages, at 1/2 I start looking for fuel for both.
All just guesstimates unfortunately with these numbers.


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Old 01-12-2019, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Diesel is likely 60 gallons.
Gasser , well my gasser is 100 gallons.
600 miles would be a good number as far as distance travelled on the diesel at all daylong driving.
Gasser is pretty close to that on way more gallons. This with no cruise control which lowers gas mileage in fact.

On the guages, at 1/2 I start looking for fuel for both.
All just guesstimates unfortunately with these numbers.


John
thanks - that gives me an idea and is close to what I was guessing
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:36 PM   #15
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I’d steer clear of that if you want to drive it.
I’d be quite surprised if it had a 454 in it.
The 454 were generally not used in any thing larger than a 50 series (think 16K uhaul) truck most all 2 ton chassis had 366 & 427 gas engines. Those usually held up much better than 454 in heavy vehicles.
With 142k miles to me i’d Think it not just used but used up.
Now IF you had another GOOD ENGINE/TRANS to swap in 5.9/8.3 DT466//DT530. ....
I’d say good bus for (scrap price)of $1500
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
I’d steer clear of that if you want to drive it.
I’d be quite surprised if it had a 454 in it.
The 454 were generally not used in any thing larger than a 50 series (think 16K uhaul) truck most all 2 ton chassis had 366 & 427 gas engines. Those usually held up much better than 454 in heavy vehicles.
With 142k miles to me i’d Think it not just used but used up.
Now IF you had another GOOD ENGINE/TRANS to swap in 5.9/8.3 DT466//DT530. ....
I’d say good bus for (scrap price)of $1500
Scrap won't pay you that much. A 40' BB full weighs 19k. When I salvaged mine scrap was paying $7/100lbs and paid me $1293. Price today is down to $5/100 would have cost me $360.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:39 PM   #17
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Scrap won't pay you that much. A 40' BB full weighs 19k. When I salvaged mine scrap was paying $7/100lbs and paid me $1293. Price today is down to $5/100 would have cost me $360.
There are many ways to scrap a vehicle and a wide variance in how much one will receive for their effort.

I've often been accused of being Extreme when it come to scrapping.
I'll cut out EVERY wire to get the copper and knock glass out of aluminum windows. Radiators and heaters are always easy to separate the good stuff.
There is no way I let them pay steel prices for any thing but steel.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:43 PM   #18
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Year: 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
There are many ways to scrap a vehicle and a wide variance in how much one will receive for their effort.

I've often been accused of being Extreme when it come to scrapping.
I'll cut out EVERY wire to get the copper and knock glass out of aluminum windows. Radiators and heaters are always easy to separate the good stuff.
There is no way I let them pay steel prices for any thing but steel.
They pay less for buses because they don't have the "precious metals" they can get out of standard cars and trucks.
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