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Old 03-03-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

So I brought my bus to a mechanic specialized in bus repair. These are the things he said needed to be fixed:

- Parking Brake (it still holds but the lining is cracked)- 1hr
- Exhaust Pipe (it's too short and needs to be extended so it's not discharging fumes underneath the bus)- 4hr
- Check all lamps (only the reverse lamps weren't working before I brought it in, now the brake and turn signals aren't working either) - 4hr
- Repair Driveshaft U-Joint - 2hr
- Brake Press warning light (which they think is the sensor inside the master cylinder so they would have to rebuild that) - 1.5hr
- Left Rear Axle Seal (it's leaking a bit of oil which I made sure wasn't brake fluid) - 4hr
- Diagnose Window Washer Problem (something else that worked when I brought it in!) - 1hr

The preliminary estimate he gave me for all this labor, plus parts, plus the price of an oil and filter change, was just under $3000. And this price could as much as double depending on what they might find as they start to take stuff apart. I asked how much would it be if I were to get just a few essentials done that I absolute could not do myself like the Driveshaft U-Joint, Parking Brake, Axle Seal and although he was super reluctant to give me a number he said just those things could come to $3000 after it was all said and done. Then he went on to tell me that he would be careful if he were me about driving such a bus because of it's modification, He said that I should think twice about spending a bunch of money on a bus which could be taken off the road by the whim of a passing police officer because it's structural integrity has been compromised.


So.. now I'm in a bit of a pickle! I cannot afford to spend $3000 at the moment let alone double that amount to get everything fixed. So now I'm faced with the decision of either selling it and trying to save a bit of the money I've spent or risk putting the couple thousand bucks I do have left into it and hope for the best. I will be trying to get ahold of the few somewhat mechanically inclined people I know to give me their opinion and I thought I would ask for yours as well. Is it possible for someone with limited knowledge about auto repair to do what needs to be done without going bankrupt? Also, has anyone had experience with a vehicle having been taken off the road due to modifications which may affect it's structural strengh?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

ooops,,,,,, the seller shaft her.... i hate asshole like them,,i feel sorry for her..that bus is only good for farm work,when i saw that bus,i new it was junk.....
Ha,, girl get out from under it,u may not get all the money back.but u don't need the worrys...
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Lemon law?
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:57 PM   #5
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Run away! Not from the bus-from that mechanic. Those amount of hours is way off the mark. He's trying to retire off your lack of knowledge. 1 hour to fix your washers?!?
Everything you are having issues with could be fixed by the average car garage. Finding a broken wire to the brake lights is the same on a bus as a Buick. Call around-not all mechanics are dishonest.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Exhaust should be a driveway job. We rerouted the exhaust on the BlueBird with parts from Advance Auto.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

How about talking to your local H.S. auto shop instructor? Most ,if not all could be by some of the more talented students.Or try the barter system.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Anyone know about the body modification and how likely I'd come across legal trouble because of it?
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Alex, if Frank offers you a few hundred for the transmission, take it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Alex, that bus body is not modified. It is hacked off. I didn't say anything when you introduced yourself on the other thread, because it was too late, you had already bought the thing. But I wish you hadn't.

As for structural integrity, in my layman's opinion (and looking at the pictures in the other thread), that is not a problem. But it sure looks like a problem, and I would not blame Barney Fife if he red-tagged it on the spot, to be safe.
I don't know what sort of official inspections might be required in BC. But in the worst case, you might need to pay an automotive engineer to certify it as safe.

I'm hoping somebody buys the transmission, and maybe engine as a package.

I don't know how 1.500,- Canadian Dollars compares to US Dollars? Around here, that's a $250,- bus to my mind. Wish I could cheer you up.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:51 PM   #11
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
I don't know how 1.500,- Canadian Dollars compares to US Dollars? Around here, that's a $250,- bus to my mind. Wish I could cheer you up.
$250?? It's probably worth over a grand in scrap metal if that what this situation comes down to haha. But I don't get the feeling that the problems with the bus are so serious as to make the bus worthless. They are serious enough that I will have to talk to alot of people and do alot of research before I will be able to solve those problems without going broke but hey that's life. Live and learn! So yea not quite ready to throw in the towel yet. Appreciate the input though!
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:20 PM   #12
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

You have a good attitude. Yes, if you can get these bugs fixed on the cheap, you might pull this off yet.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:43 AM   #13
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

For that rear axle seal leak, I would take it to an independent truck repair shop. They should be able to replace that wheel seal in less then half the time. As far as the lights not working, first I'd check the bulbs b4 I start checking the wiring.
Replace the ones that don't work with new light bulbs. After that, the ones that still don't work, check for corrosion on the wiring and tighten up all the ground wires going to them. After that, for the ones that still don't work, it's time to start tracing the wires back to their source. You may find several broken or grounded (frayed) wires. Replace as needed.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:09 AM   #14
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Last axle seals i bought cost around $25 each, just some work, but not rocket science. any time you remove front wheel hubs, or take out rear axles (llike to tow or something) you should always change the seals.
U joints are not hard to change, especially if you have a shop press. They are cheap, and can be changed without one.
Master cylinder can be swapped out for a rebuilt one, and that's not hard at all.
Even brake shoes on busses are now cheap. My fronts for all 4 cost me $78. I think the drum i had to replace was around $90.
For exhaust extension just go to the parts house and get the appropriate exhaust tubing size, and maybe a crushable coupler, and some clamps and a couple of hangers and just drill holes for the hangers, or weld them.

There is nothing structurally wrong with the bus... after all it is a truck frame, and what's left of the body just sits on it. you could even drive the thing without the body...
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:40 AM   #15
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

That's canada for you. Beautiful women, lying thieving skunk limpwrists for men. Except for a couple that post on skoolie.net,and maybe a few others here and there.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:50 AM   #16
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Im from Sask and the hours they quoted you are too long for each thing... was he going off his estimation or going off of a book value time for x project?
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #17
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

So I went and picked up the bus from the mechanic today, and now the turning signals and brake lights are working again (the mechanic said none of them were working even though I had replaced the bulbs and made sure they worked before I brought it in). Drove it 20 minutes back to my neighborhood without any problems whatsoever. I'm having a bit of a hard time believing this situation is as hopeless as I've been led to believe. Going to post an add on craig's list and look for an independent mechanic to give me a quote on changing the rear axle seal, the driveshaft u-joint, and maybe some of the rusty brake lines. I will try to extend the exhaust myself as well as work on the electrical issues. Wish me luck!
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:58 PM   #18
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

good luck!
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #19
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:17 PM   #20
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Re: So I brought my bus to a mechanic...

Luck!

And Good for You! Stand up to the crooks and don't let them steal a dime.
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