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Old 01-10-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

I'd like to have that one!
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:07 AM   #12
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

If you are TRYING to talk yourself into the bus, then you will be unhappy with it once you get it. Move on. When the right one comes along, you will know it. You might want to expand your size lengths to include slightly larger. It seems your main thing is the rear side door. So look at everything, no matter how long, with a rear side door.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:13 PM   #13
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

I don't know what your building skills are, but there are plenty of folks on this forum who have moved doors. Don't like the one near the front? Cut it out from the front, cut out an identical sized hole where you WANT the door, switch & stitch 'em back into place. Walla! Door where you want it on the bus you need.

I realize that's an oversimplification. But it may be something to consider when you find that bus that A) runs great, B) has a good transmission, and C) has a decent set of tires.

Whatever you do, patience will always serve you in the long run! GOOD LUCK.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:23 PM   #14
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerCub
I don't know what your building skills are, but there are plenty of folks on this forum who have moved doors. Don't like the one near the front? Cut it out from the front, cut out an identical sized hole where you WANT the door, switch & stitch 'em back into place. Walla! Door where you want it on the bus you need.

I realize that's an oversimplification. But it may be something to consider when you find that bus that A) runs great, B) has a good transmission, and C) has a decent set of tires.

Whatever you do, patience will always serve you in the long run! GOOD LUCK.
I think that this idea is beyond my skills. I'm confident that I'll find a bus with the handicap door in the rear, it seems more common that way in school buses.

I've found abit of patience for now, and each day holds hope for something I've missed in my search or a new bus on Craigslist. I've been using SearchTempest.com, it allows you to search multiple cities at once within an adjustable range. My range covers most of Washington, all of Oregon, and California north of San Jose.

I would consider a bigger bus (I've seen a few ads that tempt me) but I'm limited by the parking space at my home which is only 27 feet long. I have to fit the bus in my driveway so that I don't piss off my neighbors too much. Even if I do, I'm legal so long as the bus fits in my driveway without sticking into the street. My street is narrow and I can only park in front of my house for 48 hours without moving it or I will get a parking ticket. I also want to keep my bus fairly nimble so it can get me into some pretty remote areas on rough and narrow roads.

In my original post, I asked:
Quote:
I see alot of the van based mini buses, but they all seem to small for my needs. Do they make van based buses that have 15ft of space behind the driver seat? I also worry that a van shouldn't take such a big load, and that a real bus would be the safest choice. Do you agree, or is 15-18 feet of basic living area without heavy tanks for a toilet or shower within the weight limits of the 450 van buses?
Does anyone know much about the capabilities of the van buses? I've heard some have high ceilings that would be tall enough for me (5'7") and I worked to design a "simple" setup with only the essentials for 2 people (plus the dog, bikes and gear) and I've managed draw up a floor plan that will fit a 7x14ft space. I see alot of short buses for sale, but most are only 4 windows long. Would those be 10-11 feet long inside, or are they longer?

Thanks for all the good advice so far. Like alot of people seem to do, I'm coming into this bus world after years of dreaming, but I only recently started learning all the stuff about how to actually convert a bus and all the options and issues that may arise. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions once I find my bus.

Keep Rollin'
-Boudreaux
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:32 AM   #15
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

Not sure on van sizes... Mine is just over 25' nose to tail... And very nibble, it has a sharper turning radius than my Chevy crew cab...
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:35 PM   #16
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

Shame that you are in Oregon. There is a Skoolie down the street from me (Roswell, NM) that has the handicap door on the rear passenger side. It has what looks to be a stock raised roof. It's for sale.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:40 PM   #17
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Shame that you are in Oregon. There is a Skoolie down the street from me (Roswell, NM) that has the handicap door on the rear passenger side. It has what looks to be a stock raised roof. It's for sale.
New Mexico is a bit beyond my range, but thanks for keeping an eye out for me.
I think I found a good bus, I'm going to look at it tomorrow.

http://corvallis.craigslist.org/cto/2800845304.html

The owner says he has all the maintenance records from the school that retired the bus last year.
It has the handicap door where I want it, and while it is on the small end of what I want, it will easily fit in my driveway and should be pretty efficient on fuel.

Does anyone have comments on the 6.2liter diesel or the TH400 tranny? I've read good things about the tranny, but not such good things about the 6.2l diesel. If it has low miles since the rebuild, it should last for awhile (I hope).

The seller says the odometer shows 160k. Do they replace the odometer when they rebuild a motor, or would the odometer show the total miles that the vehicle has driven in its life?
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:17 PM   #18
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

I'm a Chevy guy and I won't own a 6.2... Myself, I would walk away from that one...
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:00 AM   #19
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

The busses around here normally get the hub meter rolled back and not the speedo. Sometimes the hour meter in the dash. As far as the mechanical, the th400 is a good transmission, and they are not hard to rebuild if you make up a few tools. In my opinion this chevy engine is not the greatest, as we have changed out two of them that had upper end problems. However, there are lots of those around for sale.
However, I don't know much, as my favorite engine is the throw away 3208 cat.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:42 PM   #20
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Engine: 6.2l diesel
Re: Still searching for my bus....

Quote:
I think I found a good bus, I'm going to look at it tomorrow.

http://corvallis.craigslist.org/cto/2800845304.html

The owner says he has all the maintenance records from the school that retired the bus last year.
It has the handicap door where I want it, and while it is on the small end of what I want, it will easily fit in my driveway and should be pretty efficient on fuel.

Does anyone have comments on the 6.2liter diesel or the TH400 tranny? I've read good things about the tranny, but not such good things about the 6.2l diesel. If it has low miles since the rebuild, it should last for awhile (I hope).

The seller says the odometer shows 160k. Do they replace the odometer when they rebuild a motor, or would the odometer show the total miles that the vehicle has driven in its life?
I looked at this bus today and liked what I saw. The maintenance records look good, and they show that the 6.2l engine was rebuilt at 135k. The test drive was kinda wild, geting used to the forward position of the drivers seat and worrying about running over curbs and mailboxes the whole time, but it drove well, and felt pretty smooth. Once I get used to using the mirrors, I should be ok.

It had plenty of power at lower speeds and I got it to 50mph without any trouble. I didn't take it on the highway to test top speeds.

The only weird thing that came up is that the speedometer reads 10mph below the proper speed, regardless of how fast you go. The odometer supposedly is accurate, tested out by the seller on the highway with mileage markers.

I may be taking a gamble, but Im hoping that the engine and tranny will prove to have plenty of life left, and enough power for my needs. I'm still trying to find a mobile mechainic in the area to check out the engine before I buy the bus, but I have had trouble finding a mechanic, so I may proceed without a more thorough inspection.

I'll post a few pics later tonight.
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