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Old 03-28-2018, 06:21 AM   #1
Almost There
 
Chongolio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: HI, CA, OR, PU (Parts Unknown)
Posts: 80
Coachwork: Ward Vanguard
Chassis: GMC Vandura 3500
Engine: 350 Chevy V8
Meet Skoolio the 1990 GMC Vandura Short Bus



More images and a vlog can be seen on my website:

http://www.chongolio.com/skoolio-the...00-school-bus/

http://www.chongolio.com/reunited-wi...-skoolie-vlog/


A few weeks ago I spotted a new listing for a short bus on Craigslist that looked promising.

After an inquisitive phone call, Skidog and I made plans to drive up to Shady Grove, Oregon to have a look at the 1990 GMC Vandura 3500 short bus.

The following day we met up with Phil who had put a considerable amount of mechanical work into this retired school bus before deciding to go a different route with his travel plans.

We all loaded up and went for a test drive through a beautiful stretch of highway that runs along the winding Rogue River.

The bus handled like a van as we hugged curves and charged up a steep mountain grade with ease.

A few hours later I was a bus driver cruising back to California in the perfect replacement for my ill fated Clubwagon.

This spring/summer I plan to hit the road for a few months with a motorcycle in tow and have a go at bus life while I also refine my living needs and skoolie set up.

For now, Skoolio needs a few minor repairs some which I have already completed with the help and knowledge of Skidog.

The list of desired upgrades continue to grow and build ideas morph and change.

Skoolio will be an ongoing project that will be see many revisions, tweaks and mods.

Adding the living essentials are the current focus, along with any inexpensive DIY projects that add comfort and can be done with relative ease.

With a GVWR of 10,000 lbs and dualy axles, Skoolio should be able to handle my future towing needs with ease once I install a tow hitch and purchase a cargo trailer.

This one ton bus was purchased with a fuel injected 350 Chevy engine that was completely rebuilt and has a mere 300 miles on it!

A Gear Vender overdrive unit and a new aluminum radiator were installed.

The drive shaft, power steering unit, all 4 wheel bearings, shocks and brakes have been replaced along with new hoses, belts and tires all around.

The entire under carriage was steam cleaned and under coated. There is absolutely no rust to be found anywhere!

Lastly, the head lights were replaced with truck style LED lights.

As you can well imagine, I am absolutely stoked on my new rig!

My nomad adventure is back in gear, I have another project to focus creative impulses upon and my dream of a traveling lifestyle is back on the horizon.


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Old 03-28-2018, 09:15 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 240
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 14
Sounds like a clean slate! Nice find.

Looking forward to the progress!
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:01 AM   #3
Almost There
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: HI, CA, OR, PU (Parts Unknown)
Posts: 80
Coachwork: Ward Vanguard
Chassis: GMC Vandura 3500
Engine: 350 Chevy V8
^^^^^^

The tough part is prioritizing whats needed and not just going out and dropping a bunch of cheddar then calling that progress.


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Old 03-28-2018, 11:04 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,049
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Looks like a great deal. If your tranny has a lockup converter you may want to use a cut out switch on it when you are using the gear vender to ease the load while shifting into the driveshaft OD. Jack
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:14 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Jdawgsfanasty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chongolio View Post


More images and a vlog can be seen on my website:

http://www.chongolio.com/skoolio-the...00-school-bus/

http://www.chongolio.com/reunited-wi...-skoolie-vlog/


A few weeks ago I spotted a new listing for a short bus on Craigslist that looked promising.

After an inquisitive phone call, Skidog and I made plans to drive up to Shady Grove, Oregon to have a look at the 1990 GMC Vandura 3500 short bus.

The following day we met up with Phil who had put a considerable amount of mechanical work into this retired school bus before deciding to go a different route with his travel plans.

We all loaded up and went for a test drive through a beautiful stretch of highway that runs along the winding Rogue River.

The bus handled like a van as we hugged curves and charged up a steep mountain grade with ease.

A few hours later I was a bus driver cruising back to California in the perfect replacement for my ill fated Clubwagon.

This spring/summer I plan to hit the road for a few months with a motorcycle in tow and have a go at bus life while I also refine my living needs and skoolie set up.

For now, Skoolio needs a few minor repairs some which I have already completed with the help and knowledge of Skidog.

The list of desired upgrades continue to grow and build ideas morph and change.

Skoolio will be an ongoing project that will be see many revisions, tweaks and mods.

Adding the living essentials are the current focus, along with any inexpensive DIY projects that add comfort and can be done with relative ease.

With a GVWR of 10,000 lbs and dualy axles, Skoolio should be able to handle my future towing needs with ease once I install a tow hitch and purchase a cargo trailer.

This one ton bus was purchased with a fuel injected 350 Chevy engine that was completely rebuilt and has a mere 300 miles on it!

A Gear Vender overdrive unit and a new aluminum radiator were installed.

The drive shaft, power steering unit, all 4 wheel bearings, shocks and brakes have been replaced along with new hoses, belts and tires all around.

The entire under carriage was steam cleaned and under coated. There is absolutely no rust to be found anywhere!

Lastly, the head lights were replaced with truck style LED lights.

As you can well imagine, I am absolutely stoked on my new rig!

My nomad adventure is back in gear, I have another project to focus creative impulses upon and my dream of a traveling lifestyle is back on the horizon.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Dude! Damn, so glad you survived your argument with old man winter...yep, it appears you scuffed that beast up a bit...good luck with this new adventure...umm...vehicles tend to roll better than slide...

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Old 03-28-2018, 11:37 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 240
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chongolio View Post
^^^^^^

The tough part is prioritizing whats needed and not just going out and dropping a bunch of cheddar then calling that progress.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Absolutely. It's easy to do but at least the mechanicals and such appear to be sound.

Good luck with your build!
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:46 AM   #7
Almost There
 
Chongolio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: HI, CA, OR, PU (Parts Unknown)
Posts: 80
Coachwork: Ward Vanguard
Chassis: GMC Vandura 3500
Engine: 350 Chevy V8
Meet Skoolio the 1990 GMC Vandura Short Bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
If your tranny has a lockup converter you may want to use a cut out switch on it when you are using the gear vender to ease the load while shifting into the driveshaft OD. Jack
I would think the would mechanic who did the engine rebuild and Gear Vender install would have done that. How does one check to see if there is a lock up converter?




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Old 03-28-2018, 11:48 AM   #8
Almost There
 
Chongolio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: HI, CA, OR, PU (Parts Unknown)
Posts: 80
Coachwork: Ward Vanguard
Chassis: GMC Vandura 3500
Engine: 350 Chevy V8
Meet Skoolio the 1990 GMC Vandura Short Bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawgsfanasty View Post
vehicles tend to roll better than slide...
Yes they do! My new mantra is “keep the rubber side down.” So happy to have warm weather on the way and ice and snow on the melt




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Old 03-28-2018, 02:05 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chongolio View Post
Yes they do! My new mantra is “keep the rubber side down.” So happy to have warm weather on the way and ice and snow on the melt




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Glad you replied...

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Old 03-28-2018, 06:02 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
Posts: 400
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: GMC G3500 Vandura
Engine: V-8 5.7L Gas
I'll be watching. The bus I'm currently building is the same as yours just one year newer. It'll be pretty awesome at only 18 feet long to fit in regular parking spots again.
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