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Old 11-03-2016, 02:29 AM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,677
I would not walk away from that bus. I would run away from it screaming like a little girl!

The 6.5L turbo diesel is a good engine. But parts support for it in a G-series chassis is virtually ZERO. There are some van/cut-away specific parts that are no longer available anywhere. Because GM didn't make that many of them the aftermarket people do not make anything for them. Our church used to have a bus with that engine. We were having some problems with the turbo/waste gate gaskets. I called Summit, they suggested I call Banks. I called Banks, they asked if I had called Summit.

Plastic bus bodies are built cheap. They are nothing like a school bus. The vinyl covered plywood floor is all there is between you and outside. If the floor has ever gotten wet it will be a bugger to get the old plywood out and new plywood laid down. The marriage between the bus body and the cut-away chassis is never a happy marriage. Oftentimes it results in a very ugly divorce which allows water and all other stuff to leak in the joint. Because of the way in which the inside and outside skin is attached it is virtually impossible to change the openings in the sides of the bus without creating major structural integrity issues. There is very little steel under the plastic compared to a school bus.

Scrap dealers usually do NOT want plastic buses. It is difficult to strip the metal out of the body and usually takes more labor than the $$$ you get from scrapping it out. In other words, old shuttle buses have virtually no value.

Good luck.
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Old 11-03-2016, 05:59 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
I would not walk away from that bus. I would run away from it screaming like a little girl!

The 6.5L turbo diesel is a good engine. But parts support for it in a G-series chassis is virtually ZERO. There are some van/cut-away specific parts that are no longer available anywhere. Because GM didn't make that many of them the aftermarket people do not make anything for them. Our church used to have a bus with that engine. We were having some problems with the turbo/waste gate gaskets. I called Summit, they suggested I call Banks. I called Banks, they asked if I had called Summit.

Plastic bus bodies are built cheap. They are nothing like a school bus. The vinyl covered plywood floor is all there is between you and outside. If the floor has ever gotten wet it will be a bugger to get the old plywood out and new plywood laid down. The marriage between the bus body and the cut-away chassis is never a happy marriage. Oftentimes it results in a very ugly divorce which allows water and all other stuff to leak in the joint. Because of the way in which the inside and outside skin is attached it is virtually impossible to change the openings in the sides of the bus without creating major structural integrity issues. There is very little steel under the plastic compared to a school bus.

Scrap dealers usually do NOT want plastic buses. It is difficult to strip the metal out of the body and usually takes more labor than the $$$ you get from scrapping it out. In other words, old shuttle buses have virtually no value.

Good luck.
That is all very good info my man, thanks. On the flip side, is that why it seems the shuttle busses get better mileage than the school busses? Less metal so they're lighter?
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Old 11-03-2016, 07:29 AM   #13
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 8,569
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Shuttle busses and Cut-away school busses get similar mileage it seems..

large conventional busses get lower mileage mainly because of their height and the flat front as opposed to cutaways that have more sloped windshields..

you can find a nice cutaway school buis, though i dont know how the marriage of the chassis to Bus body is on school busses vs shuttles.

I have ridden in a lot of shuttles and i can say they seem super flimsy, Noisy and freezing cold at highway speeds...

I think my Bluebird conventional skoolie with the notioriously noisy T-444E is quieter than many shuttles ive ridden on..

also to note is how a shuttle is run vs a school bus.. yes School busses take a lot of short stop N go, however they are left running at each stop... the shuttles in many places are run to a stop, turned off... then started up, and run to the next location and shut off... talk about hard on engines.. and transmissions since they are shifted in and out of neutral / park all the time.. school busses are usually left in D the whole time they run their route, unless its a wheelchair bus that the driver is in and out of the seat.
-Christopher
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Old 11-03-2016, 07:36 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 53
Thanks again for the info.

So is the flat front on something like this going to really hurt the mileage?

86 International short bus 22 passenger

(And, does anyone know anything more about that bus at all?)
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Old 11-03-2016, 08:26 AM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,455
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Hey, that's a sexy shorty. I would guess fuel economy to be between 10-13mpg for that rig..
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Old 11-03-2016, 08:28 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 53
That's not too bad. My floor goal is 12. Is that price in the right range?
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:43 AM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 8,569
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
not a bad lookin rig... id suspect it would get 8-10 MPG in that bus..

again.. maintenance.. its a private owner... I'd look at it close and in person... eastern Kentucky.. could be rusty or not... busses out there its a toss up..

im not familiar with the 6.9 engine. but the 5 speed stick is promising for a nice trans...
-Christopher
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:16 AM   #18
Almost There
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
I would not walk away from that bus. I would run away from it screaming like a little girl!

The 6.5L turbo diesel is a good engine. But parts support for it in a G-series chassis is virtually ZERO. There are some van/cut-away specific parts that are no longer available anywhere. Because GM didn't make that many of them the aftermarket people do not make anything for them. Our church used to have a bus with that engine. We were having some problems with the turbo/waste gate gaskets. I called Summit, they suggested I call Banks. I called Banks, they asked if I had called Summit.

Plastic bus bodies are built cheap. They are nothing like a school bus. The vinyl covered plywood floor is all there is between you and outside. If the floor has ever gotten wet it will be a bugger to get the old plywood out and new plywood laid down. The marriage between the bus body and the cut-away chassis is never a happy marriage. Oftentimes it results in a very ugly divorce which allows water and all other stuff to leak in the joint. Because of the way in which the inside and outside skin is attached it is virtually impossible to change the openings in the sides of the bus without creating major structural integrity issues. There is very little steel under the plastic compared to a school bus.

Scrap dealers usually do NOT want plastic buses. It is difficult to strip the metal out of the body and usually takes more labor than the $$$ you get from scrapping it out. In other words, old shuttle buses have virtually no value.

Good luck.
I am on my second fiberglass bodied shuttle bus. I see it as an advantage over metal bodied for many reasons. Chief among them is that there is no rust in the body which is a huge problem in the Pacific NW. Then there is stealth which is important to me. I have lived full time for 6 months in my first bus, but likely in my present bus which I have had for 5yrs about a month a year mostly in the summer time for a variety of events.

However if parking, I could simply put a sign on the bus that says "Happy Memories Adult Group Home" and people would assume that it belonged in what ever neighborhood I parked. Then I think fiberglass repair is easy to fix. Now between the two busses, I have about 15years experience with fiberglass busses and never ever needed a repair. I am a retired steel fabricator, so can compare the difference between repairing fiberglass and sheet metal, but both are easy to do with my knowledge and experience. I do admit that I have to straighten my bumper, but that is true no matter if it were steel instead of fiberglass.
I respectfully disagree with cowilitzcoach conclusions based on my long experience with fiberglass shuttle busses, but I respect his opinion and point of view. For me the lack of rust is a slam dunk in favor of fiberglass busses in my area, however for me, if I wanted to raise the roof of the bus, I would go with a steel bodied bus, not that it couldn't be done with a fiberglass bus, both are easy for me. I am 6' 2" tall and have enough headroom and so no need to raise the roof.
I value stealth in that I do not want to draw attention to myself, just want to get a good nights sleep and move on. I would be more concerned with criminals than law enforcement. Nothing says homebuilt rv like a shorty school bus painted any color but yellow.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:41 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 53
That's good info thanks

What's the weight capacity on the roof of a fiberglass bus? I'm at least going to want a roof rack for kayaks and considering building a wooden deck on top which probably rules out either a shuttle bus or stealth
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Old 11-03-2016, 12:04 PM   #20
Almost There
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 75
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Originally Posted by bamudd View Post
That's good info thanks

What's the weight capacity on the roof of a fiberglass bus? I'm at least going to want a roof rack for kayaks and considering building a wooden deck on top which probably rules out either a shuttle bus or stealth
I don't know what the wt would be? We put kayaks thru the rear emergency window, over the bed inside, but if doing all the time, would get a harbor fraight trailer which is low to the ground and tow it. I am getting old and so doing less and less of that macho stuff and find it convenient to just store on a trailer, hook up and go, put it back on the trailer and it is stored.

I do not see any problem with the wt carry capacity of the roof, but my shuttle has a curve, so might re-enforce it with an interior frame if putting a platform. I weigh over 300lbs. I don't think there are definitive answers to all of this, if you get up on the roof and the roof oil cans, then it needs more support, if not, you are good, but any platform is going to take the wt off the roof and put it on the sides. You have many choices on how to support a platform. You will face the same kind of issues with any bus you choose and your response will be vehicle specific. Just because it is difficult for me to put kayaks on a roof which is like 10' in the air, doesn't mean it is a big deal for you? To me the HF trailer can be purchased for about $200 on sale, is low to the ground and can store kayaks ready to go is the easy solution, but lengthens the bus so is not without its downsides. If you buy a bus, you could get one with a rear door and that would make it easy to store a couple of kayaks, even with a bed the back, the kayaks go under the bed and easily removed thru the back door. We all have to decide what is important to us. Like they say about having contractors work on your house, the work can be cheap, fast, or quality? Choose any two?
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