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Old 10-26-2016, 08:04 PM   #31
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 19
Year: 1970
Engine: Chevy 350
I'm thinking about ebay. But I'm also torn on wanting to fix up this bus. I got everything unbolted today, just need a trip to the dump to empty the crap out. I'm actually in the lead for a short bus on ebay. It'd be weird if I won it on the opening bid...

I like this bus. I wouldn't mind using it locally if I didn't want to travel far away.
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:20 PM   #32
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 25.999K
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Originally Posted by TheKoolBus View Post
Well the lady friend and I talked about it for a long time. I think we're just going to sell it... I'm really bittersweet about it. I've grown to really like it over the last few days... but it isn't for us.

If anyone wants it... lol

If it helps, I came home from work one day and my now EX wife had SOLD my bus!! She thought she had done a great deal; I had bought it for $150, so she felt selling it for $500 was a win!!!

Sometimes EX is best!!!
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:17 PM   #33
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,211
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
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Originally Posted by GreyCoyote View Post
MM: you and I must be twin sons of different mothers. My build (pictures, someday!) is quite minimalist. Mine is half cargo hauler, half cheezy camper. Its the "mothership" of our Burningman camp. Like yours, our build is a journey, not so much a destination. I work on it when I can, and shelve it when I'm busy. No real master plan being executed, just faint ideas on how to "do it better next year".

This bus is almost completely dedicated to being the center of our desert mischief. We have learned that nice things get trashed, so we keep them out of the bus. The result is a lot of "good enoughs". And "do overs". I dont think it will ever be done: as soon as something is "done" the desert kills it. (This year my partner in crime swept dust drifts out of the rear that were TWO INCHES thick in places.)

There are days I wonder if ol' Johnson doesnt long for his old life of spilled cola, kiddie vomit, and crayola graffitti.
Before:


After:



Not completed yet, but I was getting cabin fever BAD!!! And had to bug out!

In that shop building, I'd look out the left side, right side, and windshield and see nothing but walls!!!

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Old 10-27-2016, 05:06 AM   #34
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 933
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
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Originally Posted by TheKoolBus View Post
This is what makes it so hard. I'm digging the bus. I'm just not sure I should've gone with the gas motor when it sounds like a diesel would be better suited for what I want. I didn't want a diesel because of expensive upkeep. And the price point of this bus was a score.

But I fully see that if this isn't the bus for me, I won't stick anything into it. I'm just not sure I can get rid of it either -- the school bus market isn't exactly hot.
A diesel engine is actually CHEAPER to maintain and your cost-per-mile is substantially less than a gasser. Think about it for a second, no ignition system (saves $$$), better fuel mileage (saves $$$), more torque, AND lasts much longer (saves BIG $$$). When you figure your cost-per-mile the diesel has to be almost three times the price at the pump in order to have a break-even point. So don't let the price at the pump scare you away from owning a diesel bus. There are reasons why diesel buses are waaaaaaaay more common than gassers.

They are the same reasons why ALL of my vehicles are diesels. Yup, my pick-up, my M1031, and my bus.

Just sayin'

M1031
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:28 AM   #35
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Manitou Springs, CO
Posts: 170
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Ward
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65 passenger
Regarding elevation changes with a carburetor: someone correct me if I'm wrong.
I would guess that buses are similar to cars in this regard. You can drive up or down with no problems. If you were going to move your bus and permanently stay somewhere, you would want to have it adjusted.
I live at 6500 ft. I drove my carbureted car to 14,110 feet and down to about 4000 Feet.

Yes there is a change performance but it still works with no problem.
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:38 AM   #36
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Location: Kansas
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Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
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Originally Posted by TheKoolBus View Post

Alternatively, is it possible/common for people to convert a motor like this to be fuel injected?
Absolutely, though the kits aren't exactly cheap.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/f...FQEyaQodcYsMWg
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:48 AM   #37
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,296
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
If you want to learn and go and not spemnd a crazy arm and a leg look at Megasquirt if its still around... i used it on an old impala I had built... for me it was a hackers dream because I could alter the comptuer programs as i wanted.. but really it worked out of the box...

and at least it used to be such you could use junkyard parts for intakes, injectors, throttle boddies, etc..

ok onto the 350... theres a lot of reason for now power.. one is a 350 likes RPM's... so if you are shifting the stick at 2500 RPM.. you are just getting into where a 350 makes power... it should rev to 4000-4500 even with a truck cam in it...

if its really a tonawanda 366 it would rev a little lower...

next.. plugs..wires..distributor cap.. oh and setting the ignition timing ... those things all may be bad or set wrong so its slow...

carbs - I had a 454 gasser and ran a 4 barrel carb... I set up the front 2 barrels to be lean for nice highway economy.. and set my secondaries to pull in a little earlier than normal for when I needed that extra power...

if you are already running the front barrels lean you probably dont have to touch it upo in the hills... it may run a little richer and get less MPG but should do just fine..

parts and upgrades for 350s are all over the place... and as far as engines go they are Cheap to work on and add power to...

ive built and rebuilt many a small block chevy... asnd never got completely heartbroken when I scattered one into little pieces of shiny metal.. because i simply went toe the junkyard, plucked another one, and stopped on the way home for a pizza and a bottle of crown... nothing like a summer saturday evening with an engine on a stand in the driveway!! and some buddies sittin around on upside-down 5 gallon buckets...

I likened it to the men's version of a lady's quiting session..

-Christopjer
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Old 10-27-2016, 11:07 AM   #38
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,412
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karrlot View Post
Regarding elevation changes with a carburetor: someone correct me if I'm wrong.
I would guess that buses are similar to cars in this regard. You can drive up or down with no problems. If you were going to move your bus and permanently stay somewhere, you would want to have it adjusted.
I live at 6500 ft. I drove my carbureted car to 14,110 feet and down to about 4000 Feet.

Yes there is a change performance but it still works with no problem.
You are correct.
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:23 PM   #39
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,546
It would appear as if you got a real bargain.

Since the buy in on any good diesel bus is going to be at least $3K, think about how many miles at 4-5 MPG you can drive @ 2.50 per gallon of gas vs. 7-10 MPG @ 2.85 per gallon of diesel. Factor in an oil change for the 350 with 6-7 quarts of oil and one filter and 6-7 gallons of oil with two or more filters (one lube and one fuel) for a diesel engine.

You should be able to drive what you have for what you paid for it many thousands of miles before you catch up to the $2K price difference.

Yes your bus is going to be a slow poke. The 350 in a bus was great for a route on flat ground but not much use on hills. Towing a toad on behind will make the hills that much slower. But again, considering the price you paid, how much is it worth to you to get up a hill in five minutes vs. ten minutes?

As far as driving into higher elevations with a carb, I have done that more than I have ever done it with a fuel injected vehicle. It was done for a couple of generations without a lot of problems. As long as you have the GM HEI ignition you shouldn't have any problems.

Some more food for thought, even if you did it yourself, repainting a school bus is not going to be inexpensive. The materials to do it yourself (tape, sanding paper, primer and color coat) is going to be at least $1K. A one color paint job at most shops is going to start at about $4K. So again, you are $$$ ahead of a diesel powered yellow bus.

Now that you already own the bus I would do a minimal conversion to determine what works and what doesn't work for you. Use it for a while and then decide what isn't working and why. If all it really needs is a infusion of more power, the 8.1L big block that was used in the C4500/5500 chassis can be found in truck wrecking yards now. They can be purchased at reasonable pricing. Aftermarket kits to make them work in a vehicle without electronics are readily available. Purchasing the engine with an automatic transmission hooked to it can up the ease of driving your bus.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:11 PM   #40
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 19
Year: 1970
Engine: Chevy 350
I think it's time I start my own build thread. I appreciate all the input you guys!
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