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Old 01-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #1
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03 Chevy cut-away bus advice

Hello everyone! It's my first post - hopefully this is the right forum.

I've been trying to soak up all the knowledge here for some time as I've been looking to build a short bus as a camper. A number of busses will be selling shortly shortly, all Chevy G3500's with the 6.0L gasser, 5-rows of seats, dually in the back, some with and some without handicap lifts. They have between 80,000 and 125,000 miles, depending on the bus. They appear to have a Collins body, which to my knowledge gives better headroom than others.

From what I've read, the Chevy 6.0L gassers are good engines, and the front suspension is better than some others of the era (like the Fords). Is this right?

Best I can tell, the tires are pretty worn, so I know I need to factor in some $$ before too much longer. I plan to go check them out on Wednesday to see how the engines run, look at oil and coolant, check for tire condition and rust in-person, A/C and heat, etc. Anything else in particular I should be checking for?

If they are in good condition, what would be a fair price for one? I'm hoping for one without a lift.

Thanks for sharing so much knowledge here, and hopefully if this works out, I'll be able to contribute as well!
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by farok View Post
Hello everyone! It's my first post - hopefully this is the right forum.

I've been trying to soak up all the knowledge here for some time as I've been looking to build a short bus as a camper. A number of busses will be selling shortly shortly, all Chevy G3500's with the 6.0L gasser, 5-rows of seats, dually in the back, some with and some without handicap lifts. They have between 80,000 and 125,000 miles, depending on the bus. They appear to have a Collins body, which to my knowledge gives better headroom than others.

From what I've read, the Chevy 6.0L gassers are good engines, and the front suspension is better than some others of the era (like the Fords). Is this right?

Best I can tell, the tires are pretty worn, so I know I need to factor in some $$ before too much longer. I plan to go check them out on Wednesday to see how the engines run, look at oil and coolant, check for tire condition and rust in-person, A/C and heat, etc. Anything else in particular I should be checking for?

If they are in good condition, what would be a fair price for one? I'm hoping for one without a lift.

Thanks for sharing so much knowledge here, and hopefully if this works out, I'll be able to contribute as well!
Those aren't NEARLY as expensive as real bus tires.
the 6.0 gasser is as good as it gets in a van.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:19 AM   #3
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Thanks! Wednesday morning I will go see if one of these is worth buying!

If anyone has any other tips or things to watch for, please let me know.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:34 PM   #4
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Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
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It looks like I found a 6 window bus that best we can tell is in great shape mechanically at just over 100K miles. The 6.0L engine purrs like a kitten, and the trans shifts very smoothly. There is one small rust spot that's not deep, the frame and undercarriage look amazing for 15 years old, and there's a possible VERY minor roof leak above the emergency window, but otherwise it looks real nice.

Thoughts on what this may be worth? I'd only be driving about 20 miles to get it (there's no real expense in picking it up), so that's worth probably $500 more to me than any other bus I may find. Is $4500 too high? I'm thinking that's reasonable.

Thanks in advance! Hope to have a skoolie to start working on soon!
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:49 PM   #5
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As a follow-up, thankfully I didn't need to spend anywhere near $4500. Aside from the pesky L-Tracks, I'm thrilled with the bus so far! Other threads on that topic...
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:43 PM   #6
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I just bought one of the New Jersey bus's as well Flying out to pick it up next week. I probably should have had someone go look at it for me, but I just took a shot in the dark since they all looked to be in good shape. Hopefully that doesn't bite me in the ass later.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:00 PM   #7
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2003 Chevy Short Bus

Hey I also picked up one of the NJ buses a few months ago and the conversion is going well. Mechanically, everything was great. There was some rust and leaks I had to take care of though. You will be very happy to find most all the interior metal fastened with torque screws instead of rivets. Only took me half a day to remove the ceiling panels. Let me know if you have any questions down the road
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:28 PM   #8
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That engine is going to have GM's infamous AFM (active fuel management) systems. You'll want to read up on it's short comings and requirements for longevity.

I just bought a 2010 Tahoe with the AFM system and though it is still working OK after 150,000 miles I decided to hedge my bets by eliminating the AFM with one of these https://www.ebay.com/itm/RANGE-TECHN...E/264106180281.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:09 AM   #9
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Did they have that back in 2003? I didn't think the technology was that old.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:20 AM   #10
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Did they have that back in 2003? I didn't think the technology was that old.
As best as I can figure out, AFM was only available on Cadillac 2001-2004. Other GM divisions started using it in 2005.

Anyone here have any more information?
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