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Old 09-03-2018, 10:03 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 34
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Ford E450, Collins 20 Passenger
Engine: Ford 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14,500
1995 GMC 3500 5.7L Gasoline

So, you read the title. Looking at a six windows short bus with this 95 engine. 110k miles. Got a decent bill of health from the pre-purchase inspection. $5k for the bus.

Why this bus for me? It's a 14,500 GVWR. I love the size of this bus, plus, I'm tall. It has a 6'5 ceiling. It seems much tougher to come by this six window bus in this "truck style" front end, which also seems to cruise much faster on the highway.

Is this old 350 engine enough to haul a totally converted skoolie? I can't give you the specifics of weight but, maybe 45 gallon tank, a small kitchen, very small bath, closet, and sofas. Some electronics and solar... I'm worried that, while it may haul the weight, once it's loaded down, it won't continue to cruise at 65-70 and may not have a very long life expectancy. I know it was a common engine that could be rebuilt for not too expensive down the road, too. Just worried about the gas vs. deisle option.

This would also be a recreational bus, not really full time living. I think it'd take me about 10-15 years to get it up to 200k miles if it makes it that far.

Thanks.
spmccormick85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2018, 02:01 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 570
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
short answer opinion - yes

Before larger engines were available, that v8 in your van hauled a lot bigger bus than what you have. It will do. just not going to win any races with it.

When and if you wear this one out, use the newer vortec cylinder heads, an intake manifold to match, camshaft, and I think you will add over a hundred horsepower. with out killing longevity.

an opinion. like belly buttons, most everyones got one but aint worth a thin dime.

william.
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:16 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 34
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Ford E450, Collins 20 Passenger
Engine: Ford 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14,500
Good to know, William. Do you think 200k is unreasonable for this engine and bus size?
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:35 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 34
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Ford E450, Collins 20 Passenger
Engine: Ford 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14,500
Also, what kind of mileage do you tend to get, highway?
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:33 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,714
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
I can only compare this with my Suburban of similar power. Great with no load and approaching 450k and running great. It must weigh less than the bus you speak of before converting. To add a conversion and push it at 65-70 miles an hour, don't count on it lasting too long. Maybe adjust your driving habits a bit.
Also that weight is hard on everything, brakes, shocks, springs, tires etc.
I'd be looking at diesel for sure rather than that bus.


John
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