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Old 03-19-2019, 01:05 AM   #1
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HELP, Nobody wants to work on my bus

Hello everyone, i live in Los Angeles and recently bought a 1982 Ford e350 short schoolbus, it's amazing and i love it, the engine runs really strong, however i need some work to be done in order to pass the smog check we have here in L.A. I tried something like 20 mechanics and nowadays nobody wants to work on a carburator engine, especially Ford itself has refused multiple times to help me out with my bus. Now i am stuck, i don't know anymore who to call and can't find anyone who will be willing to work on the mechanicals of this bus. Anyone from L.A. here who knows or is a good old school mechanic that can help me out? Thank you in advance to everyone!
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:07 AM   #2
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Check with the technical high schools. They may be willing to use your bus as a learning tool.
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tatanka View Post
Hello everyone, i live in Los Angeles and recently bought a 1982 Ford e350 short schoolbus, it's amazing and i love it, the engine runs really strong, however i need some work to be done in order to pass the smog check we have here in L.A. I tried something like 20 mechanics and nowadays nobody wants to work on a carburator engine, especially Ford itself has refused multiple times to help me out with my bus. Now i am stuck, i don't know anymore who to call and can't find anyone who will be willing to work on the mechanicals of this bus. Anyone from L.A. here who knows or is a good old school mechanic that can help me out? Thank you in advance to everyone!
don't know quite what to advise you to do other than to say what i would do - I'm 80 years old and grew up with carburetors - my son, 58, has his own garage and has been a mechanic for the past 30 + years - my stepson, 27, turns junkers into decent vehicles and makes a few $'s doing it - the thought of having to search for someone to rebuild a carb has never entered my head - at one time when my son was still preschool I rebuilt my own carbs - they are pretty simple and if you get a kit, you should be able to do your own, almost like a paint by numbers kit - other than that I would look for a fifty something mechanic, or a younger back yard mechanic with some skills
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:57 PM   #4
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The farther you go from the city the more likely you will be to find a mechanic who will work with you. I can imagine they're so used to replacing Prius battery packs they forgot all about internal combustion there!
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:55 PM   #5
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Can’t you register a 37 year old bus as historical and get around the smog tests?
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:25 PM   #6
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In NC after 35-years they don't have to be inspected.
A carb swap and or upgrade on that probably 460 motor is easy peasy.
4-bolts,disconnect the vacuum line,fuel line choke cable,throttle cable,pull it off.
New upgrade carb (350-400$) drop it on and tighten four nuts down,reconnect and a good time to diagnose and replace the vacuum lines as needed, reconnect fuel line and a good time to add a clear fuel filter at the carb connection to see what is coming out of your fuel tank into your carb,throttle and choke,Pull the coil wire,crank over for about 10 sec and look for fuel(don't stick your face over the carb while cranking). Reconnect the coil wire and fire it up. 2-hour job at most in the hands of a mechanic that cares and knows what they're doing little longer if you have to replace all the vacuum lines. A new high quality carb verses a re-man carb could make this a good DIY project for the first timer.
Take your time. Pay attention to what disconnects from where ,clean the gasket surface and put the new one on with the same procedure you took the old one off.
If you want to do it yourself let us know cause there are several people here that can talk you through it. My only time during the week is afternoons or all day Sunday if scheduled/needed.
Good luck
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:29 PM   #7
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Canít you register a 37 year old bus as historical and get around the smog tests?
Those type registrations sometimes come with serious mileage limits. Which is fine for a live in, but not so much for a road machine, some limit you to less than 500 miles a year. Same with my Classic insurance on my motorcycle, can't ride it as a daily driver.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:33 PM   #8
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I guess ohio must be different... they never ask for mileage reports ever... not at registration time or subsequently..


only when you title it in your name
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:40 PM   #9
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Sorry TATANKA I just read need someone to work on an old carbureted school bus???
Most states can't ask for a vehicle to do any better than what it came from the factory with.
IN the year it was built.
What specific problems emissions wise are you being told is bad?
Catalytic converters can get stopped up if you even have them?
Depending on muffler design they could be stopped up and just blowing straight through which is just muffler exhaust replacement/upgrades?
There weren't to many sensors on your year of motor?
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I guess ohio must be different... they never ask for mileage reports ever... not at registration time or subsequently..


only when you title it in your name
How many have you registered as "Historic"
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