Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-07-2009, 11:23 PM   #1
Bus Nut
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 446
Year: 89
Coachwork: thomas
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: Short bus pre purchase questons

I think it will pull a trailer
not much on mileage though
see my conversion at
putterspitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2009, 12:12 AM   #2
Bus Geek
the_experience03's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Re: Short bus pre purchase questons

Look for a shorty with dual rear wheels if you want to pull a trailer. Check and see what axle it has. It seems most short buses are on a Chevy chassis so there is the possibility of a corporate 14 bolt full floater, a Dana 70, or a Dana 80 rear end. The Dana 80 would be best while a 14bff or Dana 70 are on par with each other. Any of those axles should be ok though. If it's a Ford you might want to make sure it doesn't have a Dana 61. I would far rather have a 10.25 "Sterling" rear axle.

You don't mention how big the trailer is you want to pull, but in either case plan on spending the money for a good Class IV or V hitch and a weight distribution setup. Even if your tongue weight is within the rating of the hitch it will handle much better with the weight distro setup.

The transmission is the last area I'd be really cautious. It wasn't uncommon to find a 700R4 under a GM chassis or an AOD under a Ford. I wouldn't tow anything heavy with either. You should be able to find a Chevy chassis with a TH400 which will be plenty stout though it will suck down the gas. If you find a new enough one (at least 1991, maybe needs to be newer) there is a possibility that it will have a 4L80E which is every bit as stout as the TH-400, but adds an overdrive gear which will help mileage a lot.

More details on what exactly you're towing would help.
Skooling state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
Bus Nut
sdwarf36's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 968
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Short bus pre purchase questons

Thats what I built mine for. I'd go definately go diesel. My 1st tow with my new rig was a trip to VT. towing a 14' landscape trailer with a 1000lb dwarf car on it. Except for the largest hills (I see you're from Ohio-have someone describe what a hill is. ) you never felt it back there. My mileage was around 11mpg. My prior rig was a 85 GMC 14' cube van with the car inside + a small living area. Mileage never got above 9 mpg with years of tuning. My 96 Ford goes down the road sooo much nicer.
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build
sdwarf36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2009, 02:44 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
Re: Short bus pre purchase questons

Originally Posted by buslover44
Hi I am Jake I am lookin toward a shortie for conversion but I got some questons.

I wanna tow a enclosed car trailer can a shortie do this ?
Tes, assuming the frame is factory or was stretched properly. (If it wasn't, you don't want it anyway!)

gas or diesel which is best ?
Diesels get better mileage, work better in the mountains, and will run forever, but gassers are cheaper, less prone to overloading in front, a bit easier on transmissions, and quieter. The older (1996-older) gassers are a bit easier to work on than the OHC engines or the diesels in the very-tight Econoline engine bay.

What millage should I look for when buying a shortie ?
Overall condition MUCH more important...a bus with 25,000 miles in Boston will be WAY more beat-up than one with 150,000 highway miles.

it is just gonna be a place to sleep and rest when at the track
Yeah, right.
Optimism is a mental disorder.
Jarlaxle is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Preparing to purchase my first bus Ucwarrior1 Conversion General Discussions 26 02-21-2014 09:07 PM
Hello all need some info on a possible bus purchase Darkrider Conversion General Discussions 4 01-24-2013 01:13 AM
Looking for some purchase advice Diesel Dan Conversion General Discussions 1 01-25-2010 07:04 AM
Out of state purchase HickoryHusker Conversion General Discussions 9 09-10-2007 11:58 PM
Help with bus purchase Chfsfn2 Conversion General Discussions 6 10-04-2005 06:08 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:10 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.