Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-29-2019, 06:10 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 154
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
Hello from New Jersey!

Been lurking a little while, and earlier this month, I pulled the trigger on a 2003 Collins with a 6.0L Chevy engine. The engine and trans are in great shape, and have about 100K miles. The bus has almost no surface rust, and is all-in-all in amazing shape for 15 years of New Jersey driving. I've started to post some questions, and I'm sure I'll get to know a bunch of you. The information I've been reading so far has been invaluable, so thanks!

We hope to make this into a bus we can make week-long or even month-long trips in while staying with family for part of the time - we won't be living in it full time, even when traveling. That said, we're hoping for eventually running hot water for a shower, as well as a solar setup that'll run the water pump and charge a couple laptops. Nothing really ambitious, but enough to feel somewhat comfortable. Oh, and insulation, as some of our trips will likely be south in the summer...

Anyway, here's a picture of the bus! It's a lot bigger in our driveway than the lot we picked it up from! haha

-Chris
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 03collins.jpg (171.4 KB, 9 views)
__________________
My build thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 06:12 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,426
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
COOL! I sure love the 6.0 in my work truck. Pulls HARD!
Post some more pics!!!

Where in NJ?? I'd be interested in bidding if I knew where the good 6.0's are!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 06:31 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 154
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
We're in central Jersey. There are a bunch of busses the state is getting rid of up for auction. New Jersey doesn't allow busses more than 15 years old, so all the 2003's are going up for auction this year all around the state.

We visited the lot with about 40 busses and nearly all are 6-window busses with a wheelchair lift like ours. Only about 10 didn't have at least one significant rust spot (ours is just minor surface rust), so we were able to knock out most right away since I'm not metalworker. Of the remaining few, we started them up and decided on one of about 4. The one we got had the cleanest fluids, started easiest, was nearly spotless inside and out (for 15 years), and seemed to shift best (couldn't drive, but could start it and work the gear shift). When we drove it home, it handled like a champ! I've driven 28' moving vans, so this was like driving a car in comparison, just a very wide car. Anyway, I think the other three went up for auction by now as well. That said, they were still getting more in when we went back to pick it up. govdeals is where we found it.

Here are a few more pics. All the seats but one are out (in case me and the wife need to drive it somewhere together), and you can see those dreaded rails in the floor... and the mess of wiring above the driver seat. Once we finish pulling down the side and ceiling panels (nearly all screws, thankfully!), we should be able to start tracing where the wires go and see which we can simply eliminate.

The bus does have a rear heater (works well) and a rear A/C (no idea if it works yet). I'm thinking we'll leave those in for now. I can't see any reason to get rid of them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg back.jpg (152.7 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg wiring.jpg (365.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg front.jpg (175.3 KB, 10 views)
__________________
My build thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 06:48 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,203
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I am with CB... Cool Bus!!

I just bought my first 6.0 truck a couple of months ago and, while it is no match for my 5.9 Cummins truck, I am loving it.

One exception is the fuel milage. My 1 ton dually gets 40% better fuel mileage with a Cumins 5.9....
PNW_Steve is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 07:32 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 5,778
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
We're in central Jersey. There are a bunch of busses the state is getting rid of up for auction. New Jersey doesn't allow busses more than 15 years old, so all the 2003's are going up for auction this year all around the state.

We visited the lot with about 40 busses and nearly all are 6-window busses with a wheelchair lift like ours. Only about 10 didn't have at least one significant rust spot (ours is just minor surface rust), so we were able to knock out most right away since I'm not metalworker. Of the remaining few, we started them up and decided on one of about 4. The one we got had the cleanest fluids, started easiest, was nearly spotless inside and out (for 15 years), and seemed to shift best (couldn't drive, but could start it and work the gear shift). When we drove it home, it handled like a champ! I've driven 28' moving vans, so this was like driving a car in comparison, just a very wide car. Anyway, I think the other three went up for auction by now as well. That said, they were still getting more in when we went back to pick it up. govdeals is where we found it.

Here are a few more pics. All the seats but one are out (in case me and the wife need to drive it somewhere together), and you can see those dreaded rails in the floor... and the mess of wiring above the driver seat. Once we finish pulling down the side and ceiling panels (nearly all screws, thankfully!), we should be able to start tracing where the wires go and see which we can simply eliminate.

The bus does have a rear heater (works well) and a rear A/C (no idea if it works yet). I'm thinking we'll leave those in for now. I can't see any reason to get rid of them.
The heat and AC will only work while the engine is running if you retain them. You'll need another option for stationary use.
o1marc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 09:20 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 154
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
Good info - thanks all! Can't wait to get this thing finished, but I'm curbing expectations and hoping we can at least get further than teardown and insulation before we want to take our first trip and can do more than just throw a mattress in the back and go...

How bad of mileage should I expect with the 6.0L gas engine? We don't plan to travel much, but the times we do travel, it could be between 1500 and 3000 miles.

Thanks for the note about heat and A/C. For now we'll rough it in the heat with fans and finding shade when we're stationary, or simply go inside family's homes. For the winter, we're planning on one of the Buddy indoor propane heaters. We won't be sitting much in the winter.

Chris
__________________
My build thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 09:45 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,426
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
Good info - thanks all! Can't wait to get this thing finished, but I'm curbing expectations and hoping we can at least get further than teardown and insulation before we want to take our first trip and can do more than just throw a mattress in the back and go...

How bad of mileage should I expect with the 6.0L gas engine? We don't plan to travel much, but the times we do travel, it could be between 1500 and 3000 miles.

Thanks for the note about heat and A/C. For now we'll rough it in the heat with fans and finding shade when we're stationary, or simply go inside family's homes. For the winter, we're planning on one of the Buddy indoor propane heaters. We won't be sitting much in the winter.

Chris
I don't buy the gas but the work truck does about 15mpg. I'd expect similar from a bus.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 10:34 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 154
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
I guess we'll see how it goes, but that's far better than I was expecting. Time will tell! Thanks.
__________________
My build thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 02:09 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,108
The big yellow rectangle unit in the center of the photo is the Weldon light controller for the 8-way lights. If you retain the 8-way lights outside you should be able to determine which wire goes to which light fairly easily right there at the controller. Just be aware that you can't have red lights up that high and clear lights on the front are offroad only.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 02:10 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,108
Fuel mileage in a Collins on the GM G-4500 chassis with the 6.0L and the 4L80 transmission is usually in the 10-12 MPG range. The newer models with the 6L80 transmission get a little better in the 12-14 MPG range.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.