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Old 04-20-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Year: 1982
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: P30
Engine: 350
Rated Cap: 21
New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

In my quest to be more spontaneous, I went on craigslist to look for a short bus. Within 5 minutes of coming up with the idea I was on the phone with the seller (who I happened to share a rather rare last name with) and was arranging a time to come out to look at it. 2 days later I purchased the 1982 P30 Chevy school bus. I test drove it, it runs smooth and steady. There is a connection problem with the starter, but that's an easy fix once we get it out to take a look.

It's already gutted out and primed black. I got about 8 buddies who are going to take a road trip out west from Florida to Wyoming (Yellastone) this summer. So it looks to be an entertaining (albeit a slightly absurd) project to work on. Picture below. I will post photo updates as the conversion progresses!

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Old 04-20-2010, 03:56 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 26
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: P30
Engine: 350
Rated Cap: 21
Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

Any ideas for the floorplan?




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File Type: jpg BusTop.jpg (145.1 KB, 2577 views)
File Type: jpg BusSide.jpg (267.7 KB, 2579 views)
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:44 PM   #3
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Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

You need to let people know what you want to have in it. Water? Cooking? Such as that
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:50 PM   #4
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Year: 1982
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Engine: 350
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Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

Thanks guys. I thought the name was a bit wordy...but I love the meaning (pleasant idleness)...both in it's emotional impact and mechanical (idleness...get it? ha!).

I need this thing to sleep 8 young guys. Needless to say,space-saving is a must. I'm thinking a dining area in the rear with a table that comes down between two couches to convert into a large bed with storage inside the couches? And (2) twin bunk beds? Along with a futon in the front? Sound feasible?

Also, this thing is black. We'll be travelling through a lot of desert and canyons this summer. Would it be wise to paint the top white or something to reflect heat? Or does "windows down" suffice? Haha!
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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Location: Austin, TX
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Year: 1996
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Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

To sleep 8 guys in a 6 window bus, I think you're floor plan is limited to wall-to-wall bunk beds running down each side of the bus, with maybe a foot of space in the back for a toilet, storage, etc, and a way to raise the top bunks so people can sit upright in the bottom bunks without banging their heads.

Okay, if you guys are real chummy then maybe you could make a big bunk bed in the back and sleep 4 abreast across the bus, then you'd have more space to build other stuff in the front. But if I were one of those 8 guys in that situation, I'd bring a tent!
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

We figured out the solenoid is bad and decided to just go ahead and replace the whole starter considering the solenoid is 2/3 the cost of a re-manufactured starter. Hopefully it removal/installation goes smoothly. Anyone here replaced a starter on a GM/Chevy bus?
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:26 PM   #7
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Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

id imagine it would be same as any other chevy motor? just make sure you get the right wires back on the right posts!!
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:03 PM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Year: 1982
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Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

Thanks for the info on the starter. I got the new starter installed today. I went to start the engine and the engine is turning but it won't actually start. There seems to be no spark to start it up. It wants too...but after dozens of tries and tinkering it just doesn't want to do it.

Here is what I know is NOT the problem:

1. There is gas in it.
2. The starter is definitely not the problem. It now works like a charm.
3. The battery is reading good. No problem there.

Keep in mind I test drove it before I bought it (and before the starter went out) and it drove just fine.

I have a feeling there is something wrong with the distributor/spark plugs considering that's where the firing occurs to start the engine. The distributor cap will turn about 45 degrees either way. Should it do this? Any ideas what the problem could be?

Thanks in advanced...I'm trying to learn the best I can.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:07 PM   #9
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Location: Lethbridge, AB, Canada
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Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeatTaken
...I have a feeling there is something wrong with the distributor/spark plugs considering that's where the firing occurs to start the engine. The distributor cap will turn about 45 degrees either way. Should it do this? ...
I think you may be right. The distributor cap should not turn at all. The ignition timing of the engine is set by turning the distrubutor to a certain degree, then it is tightened down with a bolt. It sounds like yours have come loose and now your timing is off. You will need to reset the ignition timing to get it running again. Hopefully someone here can explain how to do it on your engine.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:18 PM   #10
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Re: New shorty conversion! Road trip anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Pop the dist cap, and pull #1 plug [front plug, right side] (lay the plug wire out of the way).....run it up to TDC on the compression stroke (hold a thump over the spark plug hole & have someone bump the starter until the compression blows your thumb off the hole, don't crank too far), look on the harmonic balancer to see how close the timing mark is to TDC (0 degrees), and rotate the enging by hand if needed to align it, then find which tower on the dist cap has #1 plug wire connected to it & turn the dist until it's pointing directly at that tower, and snug the hold-down bolt for the dist. Replace the plug & dist cap....should be close enough to fire. Sounds like you've got the timing off.

Smitty

ETA- I'm assuming you mean the entire distributor turns and not just the cap.....
If its a Chevy-#1 is driver side front.
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