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Old 07-05-2017, 06:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Chevy P-30
Engine: 6.2L 8-cylinder
Talking 1992 Chevy Mini Bird Conversion ~ First time skoolie project owner !

Hello all! I have been stalking these threads for over a year now, preparing myself for the journey into bus-ownership. I just put down a deposit and am waiting on a mechanical inspection to complete the purchase of a 1992 Chevy Bluebird Mini Bird. It is my understanding that this is the 6.5L Detroit diesel engine.
I plan to make this my full time, off-grid living situation. This will include a compost toilet, a standing shower, a kitchenette, and a lofted bedroom.
I have drawn up to-scale diagrams and will upload photos of that along with photos of the bus currently.
It has been sitting on a property in the woods for about a year. There are mice living in it somewhere (I have not checked if they have taken residence in the engine compartment or caused any electrical damage. It doesn't appear to be that way though, perhaps they just visit the bus at night and scavange off the herbs that were left there..) After charging the batteries, the bus starts right up. I have not driven it yet, and am nervous about the mechanical condition. I have a bus mechanic coming to look at it in a few weeks and can update more clearly then. Does anyone have any suggestions for questions to ask the owner? It was most currently used as a living situation for 3 women in their 20s. It has never had any mechanical issues for them, has a small solar setup I plan to expand on, and once had a small fresh water tank I also plan to expand/replace. The interior is currently set up as a temporary living space. There are shelves, a small kitchen counter and sink, some benches, and a lofted twin bed. It is habitable (aside from the mice problem which I hope is an easy fix - any recommendations ?)
I recognize I am looking at a lot of work here, from gutting it, reinsulating, framing, etc etc. I am hoping to pay less than $5k (their asking price) for this bus as it currently is. Is that too much? The prices are all over the board it seems and this model is specifically hard to track down a value for online. From a retired bus mechanic I have heard this particular engine is very shitty - yay or neigh ? Would love some pricing advice as well as inspiration for proper mechanical questions.
As I find out more information about the history and current state of this bus, I will let you all know. Thanks for being a big happy family that I can't wait to share this news with (:
nyxiem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 07:05 PM   #2
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyxiem View Post
From a retired bus mechanic I have heard this particular engine is very shitty - yay or neigh ?
Sounds like you found a bus! Is it right for you? Sounds like you answered your own questions. Vehicle with shitty engine and mice?

If you want the bus to be mobile, find one that was on the road in a fleet, being driven and maintained. Pass on this one, but look at it, learn from it.

Engine isn't shitty, but isn't great- just meh. Go to a bus dealer and drive a bunch of them- front engine, rear engine- see what you like.

This other bus will be too much work, I'd guess. Don't be fooled by partial conversion- do your own- with insulation.

Happy Hunting !
Rusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 10:11 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 46
You'll find great info on your engine and mechanicals on this forum, but for the rodent situation I would go to Micespace... (see what I did there!?) Yeah, my real concern would be the sanitary-issues due to the bevy of flora and fauna that mice/rats shuttle around by choice and by proxy. I hope you get a bus, be it this one or another, because experience tells me it's a wonderful way to spend too much time and money... and I wouldn't trade the end result for a lifetime supply of girlscout cookies! Just don't get hooked on the price... it might reflect the problems!
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