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Old 10-08-2016, 03:19 PM   #11
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazolba View Post
Looking forward to seeing the progress on this bus. I'm a little worried about that design of bus because of the large overhang at the back. It almost looks like the chassis was designed for a much shorter vehicle. I've seen some buses with a large overhand at the front and back, which is even worse, and must make for a very choppy ride.
Not really.
Mine has air ride and feels like a minivan.
Stuff doesn't "bounce" or even fall over when piled up in the rear of my bus.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:01 PM   #12
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air ride makes a HUGE difference in the ride of a bus! I recently was behind a bus full of kids and could see it had no air ride.. we were in a construction zone and those poor kidsi n the back of the bus were buncing all over.. (like I remember as a kid)... a few days later I was behind a bus that has air-ride and those kids barely bounced in their seats in that construction zone..

I have it on both of my busses and never realized how much difference it makes.. but it seems to work!
-Christopher
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:47 PM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: abbeville, la
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Year: 1983
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 350
Rated Cap: 20 something
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazolba View Post
Looking forward to seeing the progress on this bus. I'm a little worried about that design of bus because of the large overhang at the back. It almost looks like the chassis was designed for a much shorter vehicle. I've seen some buses with a large overhand at the front and back, which is even worse, and must make for a very choppy ride.
it's sitting on a GM P30 chassis. most of them were used under delivery trucks with about the same amount of overhang with no major issues. I also don't plan on adding as much weight as it can carry.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:01 AM   #14
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The P-30 chassis was usually way overbuilt in almost every application. They are really overbuilt when underneath most moho's.

The chassis usually had a GVWR of 12,000-14,000 lbs. The ones with the highest GVWR's got four wheel disc brakes. The lower GVWR'ed got drum brakes on the rear.

The problems we had with most of those buses is they are not much more than a 1-ton dually pickup chassis. As a result we had a lot of problems with broken springs, broken shock mounts (we had one bus that poked the shock mount right through the floor of the bus), and the brakes didn't last a long time.

Some of the heaviest GVWR'ed P-30's got a beam axle with leaf springs in front. The vast majority had unequal wishbone front suspension with coil springs that really was never up to the task. Some of the things we did to get them to last longer was we put air bags inside the front coil springs. Upgrades are available for ball joints, steering gears, drag links, and pitman arms. We went through all of them over the years.

If yours has the 6.2L under the hood, I'm sorry. The ones we had you couldn't get them to go more than 55 MPH. It wasn't that you ran out of RPM's. You ran out of HP to pull that large of a brick through the air.

The 6.5L was a little bit better but the 6.5L had some issues as well.

Most of the ones we had were powered by 350 small block V-8's. As long as you kept the plugs fresh in them they weren't too bad. I have never seen a P-30 chassis in a bus with a big block while most of the P-30's in moho's had the 454.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:26 AM   #15
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Location: abbeville, la
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Year: 1983
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
The P-30 chassis was usually way overbuilt in almost every application. They are really overbuilt when underneath most moho's.

The chassis usually had a GVWR of 12,000-14,000 lbs. The ones with the highest GVWR's got four wheel disc brakes. The lower GVWR'ed got drum brakes on the rear.

The problems we had with most of those buses is they are not much more than a 1-ton dually pickup chassis. As a result we had a lot of problems with broken springs, broken shock mounts (we had one bus that poked the shock mount right through the floor of the bus), and the brakes didn't last a long time.

Some of the heaviest GVWR'ed P-30's got a beam axle with leaf springs in front. The vast majority had unequal wishbone front suspension with coil springs that really was never up to the task. Some of the things we did to get them to last longer was we put air bags inside the front coil springs. Upgrades are available for ball joints, steering gears, drag links, and pitman arms. We went through all of them over the years.

If yours has the 6.2L under the hood, I'm sorry. The ones we had you couldn't get them to go more than 55 MPH. It wasn't that you ran out of RPM's. You ran out of HP to pull that large of a brick through the air.

The 6.5L was a little bit better but the 6.5L had some issues as well.

Most of the ones we had were powered by 350 small block V-8's. As long as you kept the plugs fresh in them they weren't too bad. I have never seen a P-30 chassis in a bus with a big block while most of the P-30's in moho's had the 454.
mine has 4 wheel disc brakes, wishbone front end and 350. before I get too far into the inside build, i'll be digging into the front end to see what I can do to clean up that neglected mess.

the only reason I cleaned up the inside and installed the bed first is because my house got flooded last month, so I've been crashing in the bus, while I rebuild my house. I usually go through the mechanical before I touch anything cosmetic when I build a project.

after being parked for 12 years. the engine fired up on the second crank and since then purrs on the first crank every time. the steering seems ok, but it's obvious the front suspension is a bit too spongey and needs some serious attention and upgrading. the rear seems ok, but I know i'll end up tearing into it to make sure.
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:22 PM   #16
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Don't expect too much out of that front suspension.

Even when those buses were new the front suspension was soft and mushy.

Just be glad you have the 8x19.5 wheels/tires. The same chassis was used on some smaller buses that had the 16" tires. Talk about soft and mushy!

I think the only thing the P-30 chassis and later the Workhorse chassis had going for it was it was cheap. Although the Workhorse chassis did develop the beam axle with leaf springs so they weren't quite so soft and mushy.

The P-30 chassis was a much better platform for Grumman Olsen step vans than buses.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:15 AM   #17
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Year: 1983
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Engine: 350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Don't expect too much out of that front suspension.

Even when those buses were new the front suspension was soft and mushy.

Just be glad you have the 8x19.5 wheels/tires. The same chassis was used on some smaller buses that had the 16" tires. Talk about soft and mushy!

I think the only thing the P-30 chassis and later the Workhorse chassis had going for it was it was cheap. Although the Workhorse chassis did develop the beam axle with leaf springs so they weren't quite so soft and mushy.

The P-30 chassis was a much better platform for Grumman Olsen step vans than buses.
any recommended changes to stiffen up the front end? my first thought would be to install larger springs.
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:04 PM   #18
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There isn't a lot you can do to make the suspension stiff.

We used air bags inside the front springs and it helped.

But you need to be careful about making stuff too stiff. If you do make the suspension too stiff you run the real risk of cracking or breaking the frame. We broke more than a couple of spring and shock mounts over the years.

The basic problem is the P-30 is too light for the applications many upfitters ask it to do. In a Frito Lay, bread truck, or FedEx truck the relatively light duty chassis is not a bad choice because the loads they haul are rarely all that heavy. But when you put a bus body or moho body on the chassis you are looking at the chassis working at 80%-90% of the rated GVWR before any people or stuff is put into the body. When loaded and ready to go it isn't unusual to be at 110% of rated capacity.

It always amazed me that we got as many miles out of those P-30 chassis as we did. It could be that most were used for special needs transportation and rarely had every seat and/or wheelchair station filled. On the lift equipped buses we usually put an additional leaf or two on the lift side of the bus. Loading a large person on a motorized wheelchair really made the buses lean.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:08 AM   #19
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: abbeville, la
Posts: 19
Year: 1983
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 350
Rated Cap: 20 something
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
There isn't a lot you can do to make the suspension stiff.

We used air bags inside the front springs and it helped.

But you need to be careful about making stuff too stiff. If you do make the suspension too stiff you run the real risk of cracking or breaking the frame. We broke more than a couple of spring and shock mounts over the years.

The basic problem is the P-30 is too light for the applications many upfitters ask it to do. In a Frito Lay, bread truck, or FedEx truck the relatively light duty chassis is not a bad choice because the loads they haul are rarely all that heavy. But when you put a bus body or moho body on the chassis you are looking at the chassis working at 80%-90% of the rated GVWR before any people or stuff is put into the body. When loaded and ready to go it isn't unusual to be at 110% of rated capacity.

It always amazed me that we got as many miles out of those P-30 chassis as we did. It could be that most were used for special needs transportation and rarely had every seat and/or wheelchair station filled. On the lift equipped buses we usually put an additional leaf or two on the lift side of the bus. Loading a large person on a motorized wheelchair really made the buses lean.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
after looking at the weight and it's limits i was questioning what was going on. adding it up in my head, it seemed they were pushing the rated limits. with nothing inside, if i step to one side the bus sways and i weigh in at about 150. i can see why it would need an extra spring on one side for a lift.

my game plan was to keep this one as simple as possible to make it into a weekend camper and not a full time living bus with a house shoe horned inside. i have a shoe horned chevy astro that i lived in road tripping for 6 months and had no problems without the extras. having a bus just means i can stand up to change clothes and don't have to crawl around inside to dig stuff out when i need it. cluttered vehicles develop a stuff eating vortex that makes the sock monster in the clothes dryer look like an amateur.
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Old Yesterday, 09:09 AM   #20
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: abbeville, la
Posts: 19
Year: 1983
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 350
Rated Cap: 20 something
can anyone recommend another photo hosting site besides photobucket. navigating that site is like playing whack a mole with a chopstick.
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