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Old 03-15-2005, 10:10 AM   #1
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Replacing Gas engine with Diesel engine question ?

Here’s a question for you mechanical types ….

Can a person switch out their gas engine in their School bus and replace it with a diesel?
If you can do this…..how hard is it, and what does it take.

Thanks Folks
Michael & Millie
http://www.mobilehomestead.com
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:31 AM   #2
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Year: 1985
Coachwork: Bluebird
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Engine: 366 propane
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engine swich.

Good question. I hope somone replies. I have been wondering that myself. -Richard
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:32 PM   #3
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While I don't know many of the mechanical details, I think it would be unnecessarily expensive. There are far too many diesel buses available for quite reasonable prices if you shop around. Also the transmission gearing is different because the diesel engine revs lower than a gas engine.

I am a recent bus owner/enthusiast and bought my bus from a new/used dealer who had one on the lot that had been converted. Because of the transmission difference, it's converted top speed was now only 40 mph! So, unless you have found a great deal on a diesel/transmission combo and have the capability to install it yourself, you're better off finding one built the way you want it.

I'm sure there are many more issues concerning the conversion, and I would love to hear that it can be done easily. I have an older gas bus that I'm using for storage, but it's top speed is around 55 downhill, while my newer diesel with the 7.3 will hit the interstate at 65!

:-)
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:14 PM   #4
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Unless you put a whole lot into your conversion I would get a new bus. Though you might be able to get a late model donor engine and tranny from a carpenter bus that is being dumped. I have seen them be sold off under the condition that they get parted out.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:39 AM   #5
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Thanks….
Since I paid out a lot for our bus….I’m really looking for ways to keep her. This is the reason I’m thinking of switching out engines.
I’d like to convert her to run on veggie oil eventually.
Probably won’t find a diesel engine here though.

I’m getting ready to cut her down to a smaller size so we can tow our 5th wheel trailer with the bus.
Tuesday, I took out most of the cabinetry & such I built in …this Sunday I’ll rip out the rest and figure out where I’ll make my cuts.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:21 PM   #6
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I hate to keep agreeing with the "get a new bus" contingent, but that would seem to be the way to go. I've gathered you live in Alaska, which explains your concern about finding another one; and also finding an available diesel/tranny combo. You might also want a new rear end, too. So, while you've already put $7000 into the one you have. It would cost less than that to find one in the northwest US and drive it up there.

However, it seems you have a real passion for this project, which I admire and encourage. It sounds like you'll have an interesting bus in the end. But, another question: If buses are so hard to find that you bought yours for what you paid, wouldn't there be someone else there looking for one too? I still say sell that one and find one that more suits you. There are so many different options here in the lower 48 :-\

I do understand looking for another one, and all the time involved in finding the right one, and transportation to pick it up, and expense of bringing it back, etc. would be a big pain in the .... I found a lot of skoolies (can't say bus in this forum ;-) that suited me, but were too far away for a quick test drive, so when I found a dealer in my area, I was gladly willing to pay a little extra for mine; just to be able to drive it home in an hour.

On the money invested issue, I have to look at what the current value is. I'm hesitant to put money into something when I'm not really increasing it's value; like I've already put $ into it, and it's not worth $, and putting more money into it will not make it worth any more $.

Anyway, it still seems like you've got a great project that in the end will give you a wild skoolie and an interesting story. And, if you are going to just chop the thing up, why not replace the whole driveline/engine and have a great running bus, too! - oops, I mean skoolie ;-)

We want to see pictures!
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:46 PM   #7
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pictures

I found you're website: cool stuff!
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:15 PM   #8
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You might contact Andy, he used to visit this group. You may also have to check the other group on yahoo. He is in MN and has in the past had access to buses with carpenter bodies being scrapped. If you can find a rust bucket with a good drivetrain you could probably get it cheap. HTH
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