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Old 12-01-2014, 10:14 PM   #1
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Helen the Superior Bus

Hi folks.New here.

Helen is my 1971 Chevrolet Superior Shorty school bus that I will be converting to a camper this summer.I bought this bus in April,sight unseen,and drove her back to Massachusetts from Cheyenne Wyoming.What a dream come true,she is the exact body year/chassis I wanted since I was a little kid! She is named Helen after my Grandma who told me never to give up.

I plan to do some heavy work come spring,and I have had mechanical issues dealt with.She does need a tranny seal replaced but that is it mechanically.

So far:
Removed seats
Replaced solid turn signals with arrow turn signals







Rebuilt Carb
New plugs
New fuel lines
New Distributor

Removed gas tank,drained,re-coated and reinstalled.

Bus drove great back from Wyoming with a fuel filter replacement in Columbus Ohio.Had issues in Rochester NY and had all the engine/carb work done,but bus was very tempermental from NY to Massachusetts,and it was finally figured out(2 garages later) that it had a a bad accelerator pump!

Bus has ran nearly perfect since.

She has 78,000 miles on her and has a newer 292 engine.

I started this thread as a documentary on what I plan to do.










Bus has jackknife door, and I really am looking to replace it with a "one in on out" style.Other than that,all other work will be on the inside as the outside is nearly perfect,save for some detailing like different colored rims,and some rubrrail detailing.



i do want to remove those swamp ACs and put in pop up vents



Bus has manual steering,drum brakes,and is a manual 4 speed.

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Old 12-02-2014, 09:28 AM   #2
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Re: Helen the Superior Bus

Welcome & Nice rig --- are you sure those are swamp coolers on the roof? They look just like standard Coleman a/c units.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:50 AM   #3
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Re: Helen the Superior Bus

Not really sure,I was told they are swamp coolers.I think they are very ugly,and not needed In this part of the country.They also add drag.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:28 AM   #4
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Re: Helen the Superior Bus

Sweet! Gotta love those Superiors. I'd guess your '71 is one of the last bus body builds Superior did. My little bus is also a Superior---but one of the early ones. Still, I see similarities in the body design despite the age difference and I'll enjoy seeing pics of the interior construction of your bus. To what degree will you be modifying your rig? Take a look at Tango's door fix on his shorty. It's pretty cool. On my bus, I welded the two door panels together and hung them from a vertical pole so the whole door swings back along the side if the bus. Have fun, Jack
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:00 AM   #5
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Re: Helen the Superior Bus

great looking bus! how bout a closeup pic of the mirrors please?
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
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Re: Helen the Superior Bus

Good looking bus, should be relatively rust free coming from WY. I loved that first trip in mine, NM to IN.

Those look like standard Coleman low profile AC units to me. You must have some sort of shore power cord somewhere. Before
you take them off, it they blow cold you should be able to get a few bucks from Craigslist. You're right they are ugly and eat fuel
If you plan on any AC at all though they might be the best alternative in a shorty. I hardly think you would need two though. What
was your bus used for? Unless you have a generator they wouldn't have worked while driving. You're right, swamp coolers aren't much
good where there is humidity.

Jack
Quote:
(2 garages later) that it had a a bad accelerator pump!
Are we the only ones left who have worked on carburetors?

Looking forward to pics of your conversion.

Dick
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: Helen the Superior Bus

Quote:
great looking bus! how bout a closeup pic of the mirrors please?
Bus is stored 65 miles from here,next time I am out there I will take pics,should be about weeks.Are you looking for a particular view like mounting brackets or whatever?


Quote:
Are we the only ones left who have worked on carburetors?
Seems that way in Massachusetts,most garages wont touch it! I am not mechanically gifted either


Those look like standard Coleman low profile AC units to me. You must have some sort of shore power cord somewhere. Before
you take them off, it they blow cold you should be able to get a few bucks from Craigslist. You're right they are ugly and eat fuel
If you plan on any AC at all though they might be the best alternative in a shorty. I hardly think you would need two though. What
was your bus used for? Unless you have a generator they wouldn't have worked while driving. You're right, swamp coolers aren't much
good where there is humidity.


They have cords running long the roof and drain hoses off the back,I ill post s detail pic soon.The do run,but not cold,but I did nothing but turn them on to see if they work.My hope is the holes left will accommodate pop up vents.Long term(way long term) is under chassis ac.
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:48 AM   #8
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Re: Helen the Superior Bus

Here is the Facebook page for Helen,lots of photos there also


If you stop by,please say Hi!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Helen-th ... page_panel
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
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Re: Helen the Superior Bus



Jack,here is what the cords look like
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:55 PM   #10
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Not much going on lately,but got her out for a drive on a 50 degree day!
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:23 AM   #11
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Great looking rig and to me, just about the perfect size (unless you are a full-timing family of four with a dog & two cats).

And if that little gas burner ever gives up the ghost, a Cummins diesel would fit under that hood just about perfectly. Keep the pix coming.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:51 AM   #12
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Not much has been going on.I did start removal of the old 1970s rug yesterday as my brother worked on ignition timing.Timing is correct.
I was happy that the previous owner did now glue the rug to the floor.That old familiar blue speckled Superior floor is in almost like new condition.

The bus suffers from some hesitation when you release the clutch,like it is going to stall and it does sometimes.If you feather the throttle she will do stay running,but this(in Boston traffic) is dangerous and almost impossible.It also seems the the vacuum hose might be too close to the radiator hose,causing pinching. Bus backfires or coughs even thought the timing is correct.

Progress has been slow,but with some time off coming,looking forward to getting the rest of the rug removed and begin planning her new floor.

This bus was Government owned at one time by the department of defense in Wyoming,but was definitely a school bus first.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg floor.jpg (207.5 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg floor 2.jpg (178.9 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg floor 3.jpg (162.2 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg bro.JPG (156.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg sticker.JPG (85.6 KB, 7 views)
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Great looking rig and to me, just about the perfect size (unless you are a full-timing family of four with a dog & two cats).

And if that little gas burner ever gives up the ghost, a Cummins diesel would fit under that hood just about perfectly. Keep the pix coming.
I completely agree.

Nat
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:28 PM   #14
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Sounds like it might be an ignition problem. Do yourself a favor and buy a Pertronix electronic module conversion kit. VERY simple to install!
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:42 PM   #15
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Sounds like it might be lean. Does the accelerator pump work immediately with a healthy squirt? Could also be a bad vacuum advance diaphragm.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:59 PM   #16
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I'd check the dist. bushing first off. Pop the cap + see if you can wiggle the dist. shaft. Also try turning the rotor forward + back-does the advance work? (can check by reving the engine with the timing light on.)
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:51 PM   #17
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If your bus has air injection into the exhaust manifolds, your problem is likely a bad mixture control valve (often called a gulp valve) and/or leaking (internally) check valves which attach to the manifold injection rack. Jack
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:54 PM   #18
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Awesome little bus! Congratulations!
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