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Old 01-04-2017, 12:57 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Anywhere we want soon :)
Posts: 5
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Bussette
Engine: Chevy 350
Hello From Utah!!

Hi, every one! My wife and I just bought a 1980 Chevy G30 van that has a Wayne Bussette chassis. We plan on turning it into a tiny home, and hope that it will save money on rent while we can take a year or two to save up.
The engine, which is a Chevy 350, is pretty much rock solid. We bought it last Monday, and immediately drove from Denver to Salt Lake in it, with all of our stuff. The carb needs rebuilt, and tomorrow is the oil change. Other than that, I replaced the spark plugs, wires, rotor and distributor, and fuel pump (HUGE P.I.T.A, by the way). The P.O. had bought all the parts for it, but never gotten around to doing the work. It also came with a new battery and air filter. The only problems were a coolant leak that happened when we were about three blocks from our destination, and in Rock Springs, WY, when the outside left rear tire shredded and took out two of my other duallies. At Midnight on a Friday, and apparently New Year's Eve is a business holiday in Wyoming.
But...
We made it. Other than the engine work, I got the bed laid down and the floor plan mostly formed in my head. It's been hard, mostly because of the snow and the cold. I want to move into it right away, but there are LOTS of holes to the outside. Other than the seats being taken out, one of which I put back in, the back is all "School" and no "Schoolie".
Anyway, glad to have found the site. Seems pretty active and very informative.

~David
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:49 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
Posts: 113
Welcome! I really recommend you tear out the floor and walls and insulate if you're having to deal with extreme temperatures. I didn't do this on my first bus which we still use but in the heat of summer or cold days of winter it's a constant struggle.

-Thomas
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:11 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,049
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Welcome! I'm glad to hear you finished the trip to SLC before the snow storm we had two nights ago... that would surely not have been a fun time to be on I-80! Hopefully today's thaw is somehow helpful even if briefly so.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:55 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Anywhere we want soon :)
Posts: 5
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Bussette
Engine: Chevy 350
Thanks, all. Pretty beat after all the work I've been doing on the bus, so i need to get my hump out and do the oil change before it starts raining...
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:39 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 265
Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 25.999K
Utah

Hi. I'm just down the 15 an hour or so. Little town of Mona. Welcome to the site... Good people here.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:16 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,131
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas1985 View Post
Welcome! I really recommend you tear out the floor and walls and insulate if you're having to deal with extreme temperatures. I didn't do this on my first bus which we still use but in the heat of summer or cold days of winter it's a constant struggle.

-Thomas
When your dog looks to you to break the ice in his water bowl....
You realize ya mighta messed up when you didn't insulate the floor
__________________
I once complained I had no shoes....
Until I met a man with no feet
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:33 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,342
The Wayne Busette was a favorite for many school districts that wanted a bus with a full height service door and a center aisle.

Back in the day when your bus was new most of the Type 'A' buses still looked like regular Ford/GM/Dodge vans with school bus windows. The service door was the right front passenger door with a manual door control for the driver to open the door from the driver's seat.

Part of the problems with the Busette was it was made before the van/cut-away chassis was really developed. I am sure you will discover the original GM van floor under your bus floor. At the rear of the bus there is virtually nothing under the floor supporting the bus body beyond the original bus floor. At least nothing compared to what is under new buses.

Tow operators were specifically instructed to never try to tow one of them from the rear--either flat bed or front tow. Lifting the bus from the rear could tend to bend the whole back of the bus. Or worst case break the back of the bus body off.

If there is no rust in your bus the lack of structure shouldn't pose any problems for you. Just don't plan to tow any trailers or mount anything heavy under the floor behind the rear axle.

Good luck and happy trails to you.
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:40 PM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Anywhere we want soon :)
Posts: 5
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Bussette
Engine: Chevy 350
Thanks for the info, Cowlitzcoach. I've been having trouble finding info on the Wayne Bussette, and your post was pretty informative (if a little disconcerting). I was actually planning on putting a tow hitch on to pull a car or my motorcycle with. I guess I'll have to look into it a little further.
My bus has the regular passenger door, not the full size one.
As far as the floor is concerned, we have yet to pull any of the rubber up and look at the condition of the wood. We might insulate/carpet or whatever on top of the original plywood if it's in decent shape.
Amazingly, there is NO place where the ceiling or walls leak, just quite a few holes from poor window installation and bolting the seats down. Also, the door seals are COMPLETELY shot on all 3 doors. Does anybody have any advice on the door seals? I was hoping to find a solution that's cheaper than buying new automotive door seals, like home weather stripping or something, but not if it won't work. I'll post/search elsewhere on that, too.
SDR76, I've been through Mona about a bajillion times on my way to and from Las Vegas, but never spent any time there. Hope you're a little warmer than we've been the last week

Thanks again for the warm welcome, everyone.
~David
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:17 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,342
Pictures would really help since your description of a regular passenger van door doesn't line up with my memory of a Busette.

IIRC, the Busette was a bus on a van/cut-away dual rear wheel chassis. It had about 65" of head room, a center aisle, and a full height service door.

If it isn't the model bus I remember I would still be very cautious on installing a trailer hitch. All of the buses on van/cut-away chassis from that era used the same basic platform--purchase a standard van and cut the body off. The bus body was then attached to the van chassis. Since vans didn't have the traditional body on frame construction there isn't much beef at the back of the chassis to which a trailer hitch can be attached.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:11 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 4,229
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
When your dog looks to you to break the ice in his water bowl....
You realize ya mighta messed up when you didn't insulate the floor
I was thinking the same thing when i drove the DEV from tampa to columbus last week... it was 12 outside, I was running 60 on the highway ..and to my estimate at 140,000 BTU worth of heaters running in the bus... I was still yearning to have that last 40,000 BTU unit hooked up because in short sleeves it was a bit chilly!!
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