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Old 08-26-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
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Just getting started on short bus.

Okay, here we go. Another project... another forum

Got this '84 Chevy short bus from my sports car club a few months back. It was used as a timing bus for autocross events. Has a rebuilt 350 and runs fairly well. The front suspension will require some work as there's some shimmy and slack in the steering. The interior really isn't that bad having already been stripped, lined with wood, vinyl floor tiles, storage cabinet, computer cabinet and table. There's some wiring for AC and Cat 5. The exterior was really rough though having been exposed to the elements for many years. At least half of the running lights didn't work either. My intention is to use the bus as a combination tow vehicle and RV. It does already have a receiver hitch and trailer light plug. One of our club members said he used ton use it to tow sports cars and it did okay.

Of course the first item on the list was to get the club's old timing equipment, cones, etc. out and clean the interior up. It had been used the last several race seasons as a Rallycross timing vehicle and there was a lot of dirt left over . Next was starting in on the exterior which had been painted several times (clear/base poly) and was pealing really bad. I decided just to use enamel for low cost and easy touch ups. Aluminum was my color choice and it's going to look pretty cool towing my silver Porsche! Stripping that poly has been a real chore though. I'm attacking it in segments. I did the roof first, rear second and passenger side most recently. Two more segments to go (drivers side and truck cab). I'll strip, prime and finish coat a segment in about 3 days (2 or 3 hours per day). I also pulled the grill and headlight trim to paint them (satin black).

Here's some before photos fellas...
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:55 AM   #2
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Bumping this thread. I'll be adding exterior shots in a few
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #3
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Hey Han --- great looking little unit that already has a head start on conversion. Do keep up the pix. Love them Shorties!
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:02 AM   #4
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Keep those picks Coming love to see all the new ideas
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:39 AM   #5
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Alrighty! The paint is simply Rustoleum enamel. I used a short nap roller on the roof and a Wagner power painter on the body. Looks pretty good from 100' away
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

I like it!
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:27 AM   #7
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Big Change! I'm a long way from the joy that a new paint job can bring...keep the pix coming.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

not bad!!
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:05 PM   #9
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

looks vonderbar!
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:53 PM   #10
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

What kind of mileage do you guys get with these little chevy buses?
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #11
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motobus
What kind of mileage do you guys get with these little chevy buses?
Not so good so far... 5 MPG. Probably will do a tune-up this winter and hope for better.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:40 AM   #12
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Nice looking bus, I'm looking for a Dodge about the same size (I am a serious Mopar nut)

Okay, a Mopar nut who owns a Ford bus and a Mercedes Transporter van, but both were free so I can't argue price, every Dodge I look at has a serious $ price tag I can't afford just now.

Even my '87 Caravan needs $600 worth of front end and brake work--with no guarantee the valve guides are going to last.

Oh well, the smoke repelled the mosquitoes during the summer

Take Care
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #13
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

I had a small 110V window air conditioner that I thought would be perfect for this bus. Yesterday I tried fitment in one of the side windows and it's good. I don't think I'll leave it in while rolling down the road but the window that it's going into has a cabinet below and I can strap the AC unit on top. When I arrive it will just be a matter of opening up the window, pushing the AC unit into place and firing up the portable generator. Should only take a few minutes.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:01 PM   #14
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

A friend of mine did that same type of setup in his S&S camper. He pulls the AC in and it rests on the countertop. When he gets where he is going he pops it out and fires it up. Works pretty good for him.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:14 PM   #15
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motobus
What kind of mileage do you guys get with these little chevy buses?
I've got a 99 similar to that and I'm getting about 11-13 mpg.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:49 AM   #16
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

local guy has a similar bus that he sells mini donuts out of. guy has 2 ac's (cause of the fryer) and they are mounted on cabinet retracting rails and then he has a plywood cover the slides into the window when not in use from the inside.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #17
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Had some time to do a little work this morning. Tune up parts coming tomorrow. Pulled air filter housing and guess what... no filter
Sprayed some Sea Foam into the carb to loosen the valves and tomorrow I'll shoot some carb cleaner. It appears the choke was sticking and that's getting better. The damn thing has got a four barrel Holley! Hopefully the fresh plugs, wires and distributor cap will smooth it out even more and help the fuel consumption. It also has some rust on the drivers floor pan near the edge of the engine compartment. I trimmed the hole and fabricated a sheet metal "band aid". I'll pop rivet that on with some silicon to seal out the elements. Not exactly the right way to fix a floor pan but it will do the job for now and I've already got all the materials so zero cost
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:10 PM   #18
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

If you can, find a rochester carb for your bus. They are a better choice for economy. Holleys are great for straight performance but use more fuel, also check your vacuum advance inside the distributorm make sur it holds vacuum and that it is plumbing right to constant vacuum on intake manifold. That will also help your mileage. Cheers
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:23 PM   #19
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

I had a GMC cube van for many years as my race hauler. It had rot holes in the same place when I started with it. Its not structural in any way.
The average mileage I got was 8.5 (going to + from the hills of Vermont.-loaded to 10k lbs.) A bit better when i was racing down south + traveling on flatter terrain.
Make sure you keep your new plug wires clear of those headers-I've melted a few.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:18 PM   #20
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Re: Just getting started on short bus.

Got the tune-up done and put on the floor pan band aid. I noted while I was working inside and it was raining outside, that there's small leaks coming down the inside of the side walls at the front of the drivers compartment. I've seen that before in older cars were the drain holes in the windshield wiper pan under the front windshield are clogged. So I'll assume there's some kind of drain tube on either side of that pan that terminate somewhere under the truck. If I can locate those, I'll force some compressed air up them and try to stop those leaks. That's what's coroding the floor pans with rain water pooling around the engine compartment and under the drivers seat. I'll probably also pull that drivers seat, clean, treat and paint that area before it corodes much more.
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