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Old 01-11-2019, 07:32 PM   #1
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 1,031
Chassis: still looking for my bus
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, 06:15 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,576
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
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, 06:55 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 11,256
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
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, 07:22 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 176
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, 07:29 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,426
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
My Thomas/Ford gasser got about 3mpg.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:56 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,576
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
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...


John
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:25 AM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,301
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
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".
Jack
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:47 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 1,031
Chassis: still looking for my bus
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, 03:46 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 1,031
Chassis: still looking for my bus
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, 05:21 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 1,031
Chassis: still looking for my bus
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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