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Old 01-17-2012, 02:46 AM   #21
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

The decision is ultimately yours, but I would do a little research on the 6.2... It's been a problem for Chevy for a number of years... They no longer make it... Just a friendly fyi from a Chevy gear head... Mind you, I am not a mechanic... I have been wrenching on Chevy motors for 25 years...
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:48 PM   #22
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cascadia
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: P35
Engine: 6.2l diesel
Re: Still searching for my bus....

Well, the bus is at a truck and RV service center waiting for an inspection tomorrow morning.

If they find any problems, I can back out, but if they give me a positive report, I'll be purchasing this bus. I'll be talking to the mechanic about the 6.2l engines to find out what to watch for, and it looks like I could switch this engine out for a better one if the need arises.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:33 PM   #23
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: P35
Engine: 6.2l diesel
Re: Still searching for my bus....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boudreaux
Well, the bus is at a truck and RV service center waiting for an inspection tomorrow morning.

If they find any problems, I can back out, but if they give me a positive report, I'll be purchasing this bus. I'll be talking to the mechanic about the 6.2l engines to find out what to watch for, and it looks like I could switch this engine out for a better one if the need arises.
Well, the bus passed the inspection, so I bought it! I may live to regret this decision, but it felt right, and I'm hoping for the best.

I already ran into a HUGE problem. I was totally focused on bus length to make sure I could get my bus into my driveway, but failed to consider the steep slope of the driveway. I drove my new bus home, and when I tried to park it in the driveway, the rear bumper would hit the street. Backing it in was alot closer, but the rear hits the driveway just before the front wheels are off the street. I think I only need 2 more inches of ground clearance to make it fit into the driveway.

I spoke to a Truck and RV service company who said they could lift the bus 4 inches with blocks, and it would be pretty cheap (around $400.) If this solves the problem, I will be happy, but I want to do some measuring to make sure that I won't need more lift. Another option I'm considering is a steel or aluminum ramp that could bridge the base of the driveway and ease the transition angle from the street to the driveway. With dual rear wheels, this may be a bigger hassle and greater expense than lifting the bus. As it sits, the bus is pretty low, but I dont want to raise it too much for fear of creating a top heavy bus. Modern buses appear to be built taller, with higher ground clearance, so maybe this isnt an issue.


One good thing I found is that the interior sheet metal and the floors were built using torx screws, so that will ease the conversion. The previous owner removed the seats, and began to remove the floor. The bench sets inside right now are not bolted down, and probably wont be used in the bus at all, but I figured they would be good to sit on in my garage.
Here are a few photos of the bus, as I bought it.
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File Type: jpg IMG_7091 (Copy).JPG (89.8 KB, 406 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7092 (Copy).JPG (83.0 KB, 406 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7095 (Copy).JPG (86.5 KB, 406 views)
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:35 PM   #24
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Chassis: P35
Engine: 6.2l diesel
Re: Still searching for my bus....

A few more photos...
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File Type: jpg IMG_7097 (Copy).JPG (91.4 KB, 406 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7090 (Copy).JPG (77.9 KB, 406 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7089 (Copy).JPG (69.4 KB, 406 views)
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:06 PM   #25
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

sometimes blocks and heavy boards will eliminate the problem...
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:51 AM   #26
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

Cool looking little bus. It's almost like a giant van, but sturdier.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:35 AM   #27
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
sometimes blocks and heavy boards will eliminate the problem...
X2 pull front tires off street into driveway the lay down a few psc of wood under just the back tires to lift bumper off the ground when rear tires get onto boards
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:01 AM   #28
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

First mod should be a transmission temp gauge!
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:05 AM   #29
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boudreaux
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
The cutaways ARE very limited. An E-350 is limited to 11,600-12,500lbs, an E-450 (1997-newer) is good for 14,050. An E-350 the size you need is going to be right azt its limits...almost certainly too heavy if it's diesel. An E450 might work, or a shorty E-350. I used to drive these shuttles for a living...the chassis, eveb the 450, is just not up to carrying a bus body all the time. The company actually had one bus (2001 E450, huge Champion luggage van body) that was overweight EMPTY. GVWR was 14,050lbs, it was 14,200 with full fuel, driver, & no passengers.

Beware of the shuttle-types...they are pretty flimsy.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:10 AM   #30
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Re: Still searching for my bus....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtygoat
The decision is ultimately yours, but I would do a little research on the 6.2... It's been a problem for Chevy for a number of years... They no longer make it... Just a friendly fyi from a Chevy gear head... Mind you, I am not a mechanic... I have been wrenching on Chevy motors for 25 years...
You will fine nobody that scorns the 6.2 more than I, but this one might be OK. It's been replaced, which for a fleet vehicle, usually means rather than rebuild it, they PROBABLY simply pulled it & installed a re-man engine. That means it most likely has things like the upgraded IP, the block has been Magnafluxed & came up OK, etc. They CAN go a long time (the 6.2 in my wife's Blazer still ran-though was badly worn & smoked like a tire fire at full fuel-with 240,000 miles).

My concern would be that with the 6.2's feeble power, the TH400's lack of overdrive, and probably 4.10 or deeper axle gears, it will be miserable on the highway.
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