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Old 11-21-2016, 09:45 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
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Originally Posted by Bluespoet View Post
I have owned a short fiberglass bus since the 80s in the rainy seattle area and never had the problems you describe.

And I'm sure many buses never do have the problem. But when the ones with cores between the fiberglass go south, oh boy do they ever go south!

Here are a couple shots I pulled up from a quick search of to give you an idea of the structure I'm talking about:

Some of those are from Roach's bus, I think. He fixed it all and did a dynamite job.

Just something to look out for with the van-based fiberglassed body buses.
My build page: Armageddon - The Smell of Airborne Rust
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:27 AM   #12
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Location: Winlcok, WA
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The bus that you highlighted is an old bus that has been sitting around long enough to get black slime growing on it.

That translates into a lot of potential problems from sitting around. Water in the fuel tank rusting it out, water in the fuel system getting the fuel system all gunked up, water in the hydraulic brakes requiring repair/rebuild/replacement of all of the brake cylinders, rubber hoses rotting (brake, coolant, power steering, etc), and corrosion in the electrical system.

I would not bid any higher than the $1K already bid.

As far as gas powered buses are concerned, GM still offered an OEM vendor supplied chassis up into the early 2000's that still had a gas engine option. I think by that time the only bus body using that chassis was Blue Bird. Gas engines have become the preferred engine in new Type 'A' buses for about ten years now. Which means they are starting to show up on the used market now. If you want an IHC bus with a gas engine you will have to go back to about 1984 when IHC stopped making a gas engine.

Don't get me wrong. I think the SV and MV gas V-8 engines are some of the best engines ever put into a school bus. But those buses were built strictly for to/from routes and were never intended to go highway speeds of extended periods of time. The last gas powered bus I drove on a regular basis was a 1978 IHC Loadstar chassis and an 11-row Thomas body with an MV-404 V-8 and Allison automatic. It was a great bus up to 50-55 MPH. It really did NOT like going much faster than 55 MPH. You could make it go faster but you could watch the gas gauge go down at those faster speeds. Full size gas powered buses get 1/3-1/2 the fuel mileage of a diesel powered bus of the same size. Think in terms of 3-4 MPG if it has an automatic. If it has the Ford 534 V-8 or the IHC MV-446 think in terms of 2-3 MPG with an automatic.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by prof.fate View Post
depends on the fiberglas..corvettes are 'real' figberglass, many boats are not - there is a wood core. And where you have a hole (bolt for mounting anything) water can get in and rot the core.
Very common on transoms of power boats and decks of sail boats- the wood core is there for strength.

I've not examined a bus body but would think they'd be like corvettes - all fiberglass.

As for strength, school buses are way stronger than just about anything else on the road. More like they're overbilt that to say other things are underbuilt.
Mastercraft is an exception to the rule... Fiberglass stringers
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
Some of those are from Roach's bus, I think. He fixed it all and did a dynamite job. Just something to look out for with the van-based fiberglassed body buses.
WOW thats some crap construction. Fiberglass with a proper core (like Diab Divinycell) is wicked strong and would have none of these problems. Might've cost them another $500 to build.

Whoever built that should be ashamed.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:56 AM   #15
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School busses are NOT way stronger when they are rusty. Maybe they are in the desert, but most of the country has rain, snow and salt that eats up steel bodies and we have many fine example of rusty school busses in the pacific nw.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:40 AM   #16
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My shuttle has dense foam insulation sandwiched between 2 fiberglass layers. Steel 1'' tubing for ribs. Probably not as robust as a skoolie but very well made.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:36 AM   #17
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Since no one else picked up on it.....

"Looks big but is still short? "

That's what he asked her.

Don, Mary and Spooky the cat.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:23 PM   #18
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Ha ha. Phrasing. Touche

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Old 12-07-2016, 10:00 PM   #19
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The pictures of degraded fiberglass show some water damage from a few windows that poor maintenance allowed to leak and the water delaminated the cardboard-like center of the fiberglass body on my Eldorado Aerotech. The "intact" fiberglass is still very stiff and strong. I could host a party on the roof and the walls are quite rigid. My cabinets are all screwed to the inner fiberglass skin and haven't budged after nearly 4 years use. The wheel wells and stairwell are both rust-free aluminum from the factory. The Eldorado's are the only shuttle buses that are crash tested.

I'm not claiming that my shuttle is as robust as a school bus but I'm quite happy with the construction.
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