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Old 11-24-2018, 10:44 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Maine with winters in Florida
Posts: 5
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Grumman
Chassis: P30
Engine: Cummins 4BT 3.9
Rated Cap: Full load of Frito Lay Ch
Grumman P30 Cummins 4BT3.9

Hi,
I just joined because this seems like a good connection to a lot of experience and information. I recently bought a minimally converted step van with a 4 cylinder Cummins diesel in it. It isn't a school bus, but all the conversion details will be the same except for not having to deal with a curved ceiling. I won't even be getting the van home until the snow melts in the spring.

I have some useful exprience having lived on a 35' boat for a couple years, lived in a converted (Boyertown) post office van for a while many years ago, and used school buses as moving vans a couple of times. I discovered that I could drive a school bus more hours in a day before getting tired than I could in a car. My guess is that it has to do with posture and better visibility.

I have also converted an off the lot, 12' X 32' storage building into comfortable living space with shower, composting toilet, wiring, and kitchen.

The step van was a bit of an impulse buy and I don't have any exerience with diesel engines. I guess the first steps will involve cleaning it out, servicing the vehicle, and doing enough driving to be convinced that the van is good enough to warrant the time and money to do a serious conversion. I think it is an 18' van and I have decided that I really don't want to drive a bigger rig.

Looking forward to the benefit of all the insights and experience I'm finding here.
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:50 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Greater Boston
Posts: 369
Welcome!

There's been a few step van conversions on here before.
Always great to get insight from people who've converted/lived in things other then skoolies.

Love the bumper and the front end - a little bit of class, but still "stealthy" enough to blend in as a normal contractors step van. Is is steel or aluminum under the white paint?
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:58 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,549
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome for sure!
Nice van for you considering your lifestyle now and in the past in smaller spaces.

Get the mechanical headaches out of the way first so you know it has good front end, brakes, tires, exhaust etc.
You will know if it's going to be good when you drive it and get more used to it.
Great possibilities,....lucky you,


John
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:22 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Maine with winters in Florida
Posts: 5
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Grumman
Chassis: P30
Engine: Cummins 4BT 3.9
Rated Cap: Full load of Frito Lay Ch
Thanks

You just described my initial plan.
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:30 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Maine with winters in Florida
Posts: 5
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Grumman
Chassis: P30
Engine: Cummins 4BT 3.9
Rated Cap: Full load of Frito Lay Ch
Grumman step van

It is aluminum, this is why I thought it was worth a gamble. No sign of current or prior leaks. It was a Frito-Lay van in a former life. More recently it has taken people across Maine to go fishing. Thus the canoe racks on top. I will do some touch up painting pretty early in the process. Rear bumper not as classy as the front.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:37 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,446
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Nice snag! And that little all mechanical 4BT came in a very WIDE range of HP/Torque ratings. Check yours out on Cummins QuickServe website for all the original build data. Another nice thing about B series Cummins is that they are cheap & easy to turn the power up on. About 220hp with no parts needed and an easy 250 with a 3000 rpm governor spring. You can take it much higher but that will call for a few parts (still dirt cheap compared to any other engine).


Welcome and do keep the pix coming.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:55 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 691
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
A little tired around the edges, but looks like good bones. My Dad had an old step van we used to use for camping. Came from a fish market, so we called it the "fish truck" and it did have large fish painted on the side. Lucky for us it did not smell of fish.
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