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Old 08-11-2014, 12:05 AM   #1
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Hey I'm new here! Advice needed! on this bus in particular

Hey everyone! I'm brand new here! I have many, many questions. My boyfriend and I are looking into buying a bus conversion, and I'm torn between a skoolie and an old transit bus. I've been looking old MCIs, GMCs and Eagles online, and I love the older models, especially the 60's GMCs. But I keep going back to Bluebird Wanderlodges and just Bluebirds in general. An old Bluebird is actually what put the nail in the coffin for me that, yes, I most definitely want to full-time in an old bus. What are the pros and cons of transit vs. school bus? I know transits are more expensive and school buses are a little less smooth on the ride. Like I said, I am brand new to this and have no experience whatsoever. Ideally, I would like to find something that has good bones and most of the conversion done, and gradually retrofit it to be completely self-contained and energy efficient. For example, something that already has the essential wiring/plumbing/mechanical work done- where sometime down the line I will add solar panels, a compost toilet, energy efficient appliances, and a good battery bank (if I could ever afford lithium batteries in my lifetime, haha). The interior style is not really a problem, I know someone that can help me rebuild the interior if needed. I would, however, love to be able to upgrade all the systems myself, or with someones help. I basically plan to very, very slowly make my way around the country, workamping here and there for a few months at a time. So I will not be doing tons of driving. If anyone has any advice on that I would appreciate it. I'd also love to learn more about how conversions work. I have been doing LOTS of research online and am really falling in love with buses and the full-time lifestyle, but nothing beats hands-on learning from someone who knows what they're doing and loves their bus too I'm in Nashville, TN, so if any of you know someone that might be willing to show me around their bus or let me help them with their conversion, I'd love to offer my time and extra set of hands in exchange for knowledge! I'm from Gloucester, MA originally, so I could always go back there if someone in MA needs help!

Ok. After all that being said, there's this 58 GMC bus in Goodlettesville about 40 min away from me that I may go look at this week. Here is the link http://www.busforsale.com/buses/bus_...66&name=Anchor Its at a dealership, which I'm hesitant about, cause I feel it may be overpriced, but at the same time that may be a good thing because maybe they will take my car as a trade in and I can finance the last little bit? (my car is a 09 Kia Optima with less than 50k miles). I already e-mailed and asked about it having a diesel engine but a gas generator (?) tire age, and type of batteries. I just want to be sure, no matter what I end up purchasing in the near future, that its a good, sturdy bus. I'm literally going to sell my car and almost everything I own to do this and I don't have any other resources. I don't have a career or money to fall back on, I make my money waitressing or working desk jobs as I go, so its not like any bus would be a luxury purchase for me. I do, however, have a lot of determination and a thirst for knowledge, so that's good right?

Thanks for reading my very long post, and hopefully I'll hear from some of ya'll soon!
Jess
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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Re: Hey I'm new here! Advice needed! on this bus in particul

on paper thats a nice looking bus. great find!

i dont think that a 6v-92 is that old of an engine..... if the ad is correct...it has been re-powered. that may be a good thing.

better to start that far along than from scratch, and you cant do that bus for 13k. drive it and see what you think! if you still like it, have a mechanic check it out.

be prepared for the high cost of bus ownership, its more than i expected when i started.

good luck!
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:39 PM   #3
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Re: Hey I'm new here! Advice needed! on this bus in particul

Welcome,

For answers to that particular bus you might want to ask here

http://busnut.com/forum/index.php/board,2.0.html
and here
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php
and here
http://www.busgreasemonkey.com/index.php?p=/

They are quite knowledgeable about coaches. Someone there might even know the bus. They can also probably tell you about the dealer.There are members who have those models and can tell you exactly what to look for.

I can tell you that unless you are going to do all maintenance yourself the old coaches are expensive to maintain. Even if you do it yourself they are expensive.That conversion is pretty old
I does look like fridge and microwave might be more recent. That is a repower and the engine cover had been extended to make more room for the engine. Doesn't look real pretty, I'd have to see it in person.

Good luck.
Dick
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: Hey I'm new here! Advice needed! on this bus in particul

That bus came with a 6-71 so the 92 is surely a repower. Nice ride. Parts are getting harder and harder to find though.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:39 PM   #5
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Re: Hey I'm new here! Advice needed! on this bus in particul

Thank you for the advice everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa
Welcome,

For answers to that particular bus you might want to ask here

http://busnut.com/forum/index.php/board,2.0.html
and here
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php
and here
http://www.busgreasemonkey.com/index.php?p=/

They are quite knowledgeable about coaches. Someone there might even know the bus. They can also probably tell you about the dealer.There are members who have those models and can tell you exactly what to look for.

I can tell you that unless you are going to do all maintenance yourself the old coaches are expensive to maintain. Even if you do it yourself they are expensive.That conversion is pretty old
I does look like fridge and microwave might be more recent. That is a repower and the engine cover had been extended to make more room for the engine. Doesn't look real pretty, I'd have to see it in person.

Good luck.
Dick

Dick, Thanks for the links, I'll head over there and repost. Also, I really, really want to learn how to do all the maintenance myself. I'd ideally love to do the entire bus myself (or with a little help), but I don't know a darn thing about it and I don't know where to start, aside from the research I've already been doing. Would it be feasible for me to find someone who is working on a bus conversion that I could lend a hand to? That way they get some extra help from me and I get to learn? Almost like an apprenticeship, I guess. If that's even a thing, how would I go about doing it? Who do i look for? Diesel mechanics? Conversion hobbyists?

On another note, would it be better to go with an old school bus? I assume parts are probably much easier to find and not as expensive. And I just love bluebirds. Would you be able to give me some expert pros and cons between skoolies and other bus conversions? Sorry to have so many questions. I'm very green, haha.

Thanks again for your help!
Jess
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:30 AM   #6
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Re: Hey I'm new here! Advice needed! on this bus in particul

My opinion, you'd be far better ahead with a Skoolie, this being your first go at it. For the GMC, you'd not only have to find a diesel mechanic but it would HAVE to be someone that excels in 2 strokes. A lot of those guys are dropping off the map anymore due to those engines fading away but for bus people that keep them going. I just saw recently that rebuilding a 2 stroke, correctly, will cost from $3500-$4800 per cylinder. Thats an absurd price.

Detroits are great engines but unless you are experienced in them, you could be asking to empty your bus fund account.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:09 PM   #7
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Re: Hey I'm new here! Advice needed! on this bus in particul

What opus said.
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