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Old 04-14-2007, 06:06 PM   #1
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New Skoolie Kit

Hello all, finally decided to purchase my Skoolie DIY RV Kit (big yellow bus).

Anyway, I wanted to run the bus by the forum and see what kind of info I can garner about it.

1988 Chevrolet S6000 66 Passenger with 8.2L GM Diesel.
4-speed auto and we just cruised back from Akron, Ohio to Buffalo, NY and got 10 MPG, of course it is still empty, someone was nice and already ripped out most of the seats.
Running at 60 MPG we hummed along at 2800 RPM and once I got home and crawled all over the engine I found a sticker saying 2900 RPM Max so I think we will be topping out a 60 from now on.

Couple of questions...

Looking to convert to WVO as soon as I get inspection and registration done. Was by Greasecar's website and saw their deluxe kits geared toward the heavy duty trucks, but nothing specific on the buses. I tried to shoot them an email but it was returned. Anyone have any specific experience with this engine and WVO?

I need new windshields as mine have been rocked. I know some people in the automotive glass world and will be calling them Monday, but are there any specific glass places to consider?

There is a little push-button on the floor to the far left of the brake pedal, I am assuming this was used for activating the warning lights, but could someone confirm this?

Does anyone know a good resource for Chevrolet service manuals or technical documents for these things?

I will be documenting the whole process with copious amounts of pictures so stay tuned...Oh if anyone has a theme and a name suggestion, I am open to consideration. Right now I am thinking a lighter hunter green and running oak rub rails down the sides, 1 rail about 9" wide on either side. New door will also be custom made from Oak. I do woodworking mostly so this bus will have a lot of custom woodwork.

Thanks and have a peachy weekend. It is supposed to snow again here.
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Old 04-14-2007, 06:51 PM   #2
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congrats and welcome!

button to the left of the brake pedal on floor is probably the high beams for the headlights. Like old ford pickup trucks

10 mpg is excellent for a skoolie

most older skoolies have flat windshield glass. That makes it relatively easy to find glass. You can call around to auto glass places and ask them if they have flat glass. They can easily cut the glass to fit your old broken piece(s). If you call a glass place and they can't help, as if they know of a company that can. Flat glass is pretty cheap too
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Old 04-14-2007, 09:02 PM   #3
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Your 8.2 detroit was known as a "fuel pincher" so your 10 mpg sounds pretty reasonable and certainly better than I get. Like its 2 stroke cousins, it lacks an injector pump and instead uses unit injectors which I think would do you well for a WVO conversion.
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Old 04-14-2007, 10:19 PM   #4
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Does that bus have hydraulic brakes or air brakes??
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
There is a little push-button on the floor to the far left of the brake pedal, I am assuming this was used for activating the warning lights, but could someone confirm this?
You must be young pup if you've never seen one of those switches on the floor.

Welcome aboard.
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:29 AM   #6
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young pup indeed

Well yes I am probably a young pup. I will say I am somewhere between 29 and 31.

It has hydraulic brakes, I was trying to stay away from air brakes as it was a gray area to me whether air brakes required a CDL, and I have never dealt with air brakes but have been maintaining and working on hydraulic brakes for years. The brakes worked fine and there was no squealing until I was all the way home. I have a diesel mechanic friend who deals mostly with dump trucks, I am going to get him to go over it all with me and pull the tires and check everything out.

Well I am off to do more research into the WVO thing. The kits I have seen range in the $1200 region but to me (as I currently understand it) all I should need is a tank, design some way to heat the oil (still trying to identify the optimum temperature needed) and some valves to splice it into the diesel system, along with some controls for the valves, hardly befitting $1200, sounds more like $100 or $200 plus a tank to me.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:08 AM   #7
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If you are researching WVO it is likely you have already found this resource, but just in case:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/wvobus/
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:22 AM   #8
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Nope, I hadn't so thanks for that one. Found plenty of others though.

Question of the day...engine maintenance.
How often do you change oil and coolant? Anyone have a good source for the filters (fuel, oil and air) and have any idea where the oil filter is on this thing? What type of oil is usually used? Coolant type?

To be honest I have not yet looked for the oil and fuel filter and since it snowed over-night with more snow expected I am not getting out there to look for it til next weekend when it is supposed to be back in the 50's.

My non-diesel vehicles I change the oil dutifully between every 3000 to 4000 miles, my diesel Jetta every 5000, even though VW says you can go every 10k, I just do it every 5k anyway. So with the bus I would expect between every 5k or 10k miles, but for the first few years I do not anticipate that much driving so will probably be changing twice a year just to keep the oil fresh. Once the kids are older and we start touring more then we will be really rolling up the miles.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:35 AM   #9
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I highly respect your commitment to keeping your oil clean. As I'm I sure you already know, that is one of the most important things you can do for extending the life of your engine.

Most people I know of with commercial grade diesels used for RV use change their oil once per year. I am not personally familiar with your engine, but my 6V92TA takes 7.5 gallons of oil at a change. Not something you want to do more often than needed.

The best bet is to find a copy of the manuals for your bus and see what it specifies. They aren't cheap but can really help with maintaining, modifying and repairing. They can also point you to the exact oil specification that is best for your engine. 4-stroke's aren't as particular as my 2-stroke, but having the right oil is still important.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
...somewhere between 29 and 31.
Children are buying buses!
It's a really fun reality check to hear that there are people who have
never had a dimmer switch on the floor. (I'm 55 )

Welcome aboard, Sir!

Engine oil: Heavy Duty -- Diesel Rated oil. Shell Rotella T, Chevron Delo 400 etc. Has additives
that are prohibited in oil for gasoline engines because of the catalytic converter and/or
oxygen sensor on gasoline engines. (Similar concept as "lead" in gasoline.)
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