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Old 03-10-2016, 11:58 PM   #11
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4 x 4's are hard to come by at any price.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:54 AM   #12
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If you are interested in a Type 'A' bus there are a few that are 4x4. I know Rim of the World Unified School District in CA has a bunch of them since they deal with a lot of deep snow every winter.

It would probably be easier to find the bus you want and convert it to 4x4 than to only look for a 4x4 bus. 4x4 buses amount to a lot less than 1% of all buses built in a year. And all of them left the factory as a 4x2 and were then sent to a convertor to add the driven front axle.

In regards to the bus that was in the CL listing you posted, the price seems okay but that bus has the low ceiling. I think it only has about 60" of headroom. That doesn't give you much interior volume with which to work. It also is a real head knocker if you are taller than 5' tall.

Single rear wheels with a low ceiling are good for what they are. If you decide to raise the roof you start to get some stability issues that you won't have with a bus with dual rear wheels.

Again, it all depends upon what you plan to do with your bus.

Good luck and happy trails!
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:34 PM   #13
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Thanks for the input so far guys. I have decided that a 4x2 is more than likely what I will go with. the 4x4 is a dream since I will be planning to take the bus to snowy areas, but I guess chains are also a good option if the roads get too bad.

If you guys could give me some insight about which brand/engine is the best for reliability (ford, gmc, chevy) that would be great.

The overall plan is to convert the bus for somewhere to sleep, a small kitchen area, wood stove and storage. My girlfriend and I do seasonal work and move every 6 months or so. This bus will be for when we are on the road in between moves for a week or 2 at a time.

I am very new at this and I am trying to read and research the best I can.

Thanks in advance for all your help!
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:10 PM   #14
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Ford gas 460 V-8's are very thirsty. They have some issues in regards to exhaust manifolds but there is a lot of aftermarket support for them. Figure on about 6-8 MPG.

Ford diesel 6.9/7.3/Powerstroke are great engines and they will go and go and go and go. The one bad thing is they are hooked up to the E4OD transmission which is a really weak sister. There is some aftermarket support for them if you go over to forums that deal with mega-HP diesel pickups. Stay away from the newer Powerstroke 6.0/6.7L engines--the emissions systems contribute to early engine failure. Figure on about 12-14 MPG.

Ford gas 6.6L V-10 engines are okay engines. They are very fast turning engines and don't get their power until well over 4K RPM's. They have some issues with spark plugs getting stuck or getting spit out of the head. On the whole they are okay engines. Figure on about 10-12 MPG.

GM diesel 6.2/6.5L were not bad engines but there is virtually no factory support or aftermarket support for the van application engine. Fuel mileage will vary and be in the 8-14 MPG range.

GM Duramax 6.6L engines are great engines. At a $14K premium over the gas versions there are not a lot of them out on the road. Figure on 10-14 MPG.

GM 5.7L/6.0L gas engines are about as reliable as any engine you can find. There are a gazillion small block Chevy V-8's out there and all sorts of factory and aftermarket support. I have not heard of any real problems with them. On average they get about 1 MPG better than the Ford V-10 and about 1 MPG less than the Duramax or Powerstroke in the same size bus.

In the bus world this is the only class where diesel is not the go to option. The cost of the option never reaches the payout over the gas engine, even for school districts that are spending other people's $$$$.

Over 90% of all Type 'A' and commercial van-cutaway buses from the late '80's to the early 2000's were on Ford chassis with a version of the 6.9/7.3/Powerstroke under the hood. With the advent of the problems with the 6.0/6.7/Powerstroke in the Ford chassis the market has changed and now about 90% of all Type 'A' and commercial van-cutaway buses are on GM chassis with less than 5% of all buses being ordered with the diesel option. With the demise of the Ford E-350/450 platform and the GM G3500/4500 platform I am sure those numbers will be changing.

That is all to say that finding anything but a Ford chassis with anything except for a diesel that was built before model year 2000 is going to be unusual. Also, finding anything with a diesel engine in any kind of chassis after about 2005 is going to be unusual.

Good luck and I hope you find what will work the best for you.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:33 PM   #15
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I think the ford vans only made it to the 6.0 liter while the pickups went to the 6.4 then the 6.7. The 6.0 had many problems with the whole egr/coolant/oil cooler garbage in the valley. I would stay away from a 6.0 if you are not doing engine work yourself. I have had several 7.3 PS engines in trucks and vans. While not a good as a 5.9 Cummins, they are not bad engines.

If you want a 4x4, this company has the components you need to do the job yourself. You don't have to buy the whole shebang. You can buy individual pieces. They have a good rep.


4x4 Van Conversion kits
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:24 PM   #16
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Where in VT are you? I'm in Williston. I'm still in the process of searching but am looking for a full size. The only dealer anywhere near me is Don Brown's Bus Sales so I'm planning a trip out there sometime within the next month or so. Let me know if you wanted to tag along.
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
My bus was two grand. I LOVE my bus.

Mine was $2600, and I'm also very pleased. I'm not saying it can't be done on a tight budget because a lot of us are on tight budgets.
My bus was 4000.00 still paying on it
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:11 PM   #18
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My bus was 4000.00 still paying on it
Always depends on where your at. It's hard right now to find any bus under $4,000 in central Texas that is mechanically sound. There may be half dozen buses under $3500, but they're either broken, needing engine work, water damaged, bald tires, or just all around a piece of junk.

Project changed course for me, so we're looking for a full 72 passenger bus, which is a little difficult right now, considering that I'm ridiculously picky. I could justify a 6.0l gm in a short bus that's not going to be for serious travel, but now our plans have changed, I'm looking for a full 72 passenger with a 444 or 466. I found plenty here, but they're garbage. I can find a nice 72 passenger with 100k miles and in mint condition for $4,500, but it's got a 6.0. No happy median.

Welcome to the forum, and happy shopping.
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:15 AM   #19
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I have a huge variety of used buses at exceptional prices available at the link below. If anybody needs help finding a quality bus at a great price please email me
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
Where in VT are you? I'm in Williston. I'm still in the process of searching but am looking for a full size. The only dealer anywhere near me is Don Brown's Bus Sales so I'm planning a trip out there sometime within the next month or so. Let me know if you wanted to tag along.
Hello Chris. Im just wondering if you had made your trip to come see us yet at Don Brown Bus Sales? If not we would love to get a visit from you and we have a wide variety of quality buses at exceptional prices just waiting to find their new owners. If there is something i can help you with please email me
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