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Old 08-23-2016, 03:28 AM   #31
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Location: Richmond Virginia
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Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
I get it, i totally get it! I too went wth an older V8 GMC because it's familiar, next to no electronics, cheap parts, etc.

Wow reading your post... gosh i could feel that awful feeling of buying something that isnt working.

It stengthens my thought that it's a goodidea to long test drive a bus, at least up to operating temps, before handing over the money. Looking back i didn even follow this with this bus, and really risked it. Gosh i paid the guy, he left, before i even drove it. It was just a real risky purchase. Turned out fine but after reading lots of frighrening posts here i t reminds me the dangers possible.

aaand most turn out just fine in he end regardless, but i sure prefer to avoid stress uf i can.

Glad to read that you all made it home safely and have a good story to tell.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:52 AM   #32
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my last bus.. yea the one I shouldve done something with was a Chevy 454 Gasser with some kind of automatic.. probably an AT545 now that I think about it..

anything I ever needed to work on that bus and fix it up when I first got it I either bought at Jegs, summit, autozone, or Napa...

ive rebuilt so many Chevy small and big block engines over the years for my hotrods it became a weekend project to put a motor together, adjust up a Carb, dial in the timing and go play....

so I totally get it..

my current bus is a diesel.. every trucker that hears it says "that bus sounds fantastic".. ive driven it 6000 miles in 3 months.. but for gosh somewhow whenever I drive it I swear it "sounds like its gonna break".. perhaps im just not used to diesel sounds..

-Christopher
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:05 AM   #33
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My first bus was an 80's Thomas/Ford B600.
Funny- that bus made me realize I didn't want a gasser or a 545.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:16 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
My first bus was an 80's Thomas/Ford B600.
Funny- that bus made me realize I didn't want a gasser or a 545.
admittedly I never put 6000 miles on that gasser the whole time I had it let alone in 3 months.. so at 3 MPG vs 10.5 MPG....

I also might think different about a 545 if I spent a lot of time behind a different trans... I may have that chance.. acquaintence of mine is looking at a newer IC or is it a thomas.. with a DT-466E and 2000 series.. he'll want me to drive it from texas to ohio if he gets it...
-Christopher
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:20 AM   #35
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After the 545, my 643 I have now feels so RIGHT.
One of the newer OD trans would be really nice but even a 643 is a nice improvement.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:25 AM   #36
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a 643 is a PITA swap from a 545 but a 1000 is nearly a direct drop in... have to take 3/4" off the front driveshaft or just relocate the bearing plate behind the frame rail instead of in front of and bolt it up..

the 1000 can easily handle the TQ / HP that my DT-360 puts out.

-Christopher
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:44 AM   #37
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Oh I didn't realize we were talking swaps.
For you, an OD trans would be the way to go. For lots of reasons!
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:27 AM   #38
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oh I wasnt talking swap.. i was just mentioning it in case i wanted a trans upgrade from what I have now... esp if I end up driving that newer bus from houston to columbus i may fall in love with the OD..

the "Rumor" is the schools were dumping that bus the guy found because both A/C units went defunct and were going to cost more to fix than the bus was worth...

but I was talking swaps if I felt id gain anything from it.. in my case I may not since I choose to drive my bus slower than its top speed already.. though I would lower the RPM of the engine... but would I make enough power at the lower RPM's to make it effective? no idea... a 1000 could always be run in 4th gear with lockup and have basically a glorified 643 at that point... the lockup is of course worth something if I swapped..

as for the bus in houston.. if the buddy doesnt take it i may look at it, buy it, fix the A/C cheaply and re-sell it.. Bus A/C isnt the rocket science alot of people are made to believe it is.. (esp the A/C manufacturers who wayyyy over-charge for the components..)

crap I hijacked another thread....
-Christopher
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:35 AM   #39
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I am so sorry to hear that things did not work out for you.

I understand your "GM V8" sentiment. I lean that way myself but have expanded my horizons a little bit.

Some years ago I bough a bus with an 8v71 Detroit and Allison 740. Both brand new territory for me. I had NEVER put a wrench to a diesel and I am not much of a mechanic.

After six years and 250k miles I had spent plenty of hours with a wrench in one hand and my cell phone in the other. I learned.

Today as I look at potentials for my next bus I find myself getting excited when I look at one with a two stroke Detroit. Familiar and relatively easy to work on. It became the diesel counterpart to the Chevy small block to me.

I am sure that with a little time you can become just as familiar and comfortable with a DT466,T444,6B or 6C power plant.

Best of luck in your pursuits.

Steve
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:08 PM   #40
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Thanks. Interesting discourse going on here, and I appreciate the feedback. Since this will be our first, I fully expect many opinions to change over time, no doubt about that.

I should have mentioned that I have spent a significant part of my career hours designing and assembling aftermarket programmable fuel injection/ignition systems, and a smaller portion doing volumetric efficiency calculations and working on/around performance gas engine builds. So, while this is not exactly the same ballgame, the idea of throwing on a cheap upgrade EFI system and tuning it out is not scary at all. Keeping a box of spare parts on hand would not be a strain at all.

Whether carb, EFI, gas, or diesel, I just don't want to end up stuck in the middle of nowhere with a problem I can't readily fix. I don't mind working on it, as long as it doesn't strand us on a trip.

So eventually I will be starting a build thread, Lord willing. In the meantime, a little more information:

We are a family of five (six on the way!), and looking at a Skoolie as a part time living space, sometimes family trip wagon, and general freedom of movement machine. My wife and I have always wanted to see the country a bit more, and we have family spread across Texas who we would like to spend more time with. It doesn't hurt prospects that this kind of thing might even allow us a place to live if we sell our house to move/upgrade/build/go crazy.

Is that off topic enough for you? Carry on, good people of the board!
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