Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-27-2016, 09:51 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 26
In Transition in NorCal

Hey all, just wanted to take the time to make a quick introduction before I start delving through the archives of info available here. Family of four located in Chico that are ready to leap intelligently into full time bus living. I'm sure many of you have felt the same callings, the failure of the modern housing crisis, the limitations of a stationary school system, and feeling like more time needs to be spent sharing worldly adventures with our family, and showing them that it is totally possible to live your dreams. We have spent the last few years transitioning into tiny living and pairing down to necessities.

We've had our eyes set on several buses in the last year or so, but have yet to pull the trigger. The first was an early 40's White Superpower with a Gillig body, already gutted, but more money than we could put into such an old, yet awesome project. The next dream was a '47 GMC Silverside that sat here in Chico for the last year, but recently I have noticed it must have been traded by the owner for a mid 60's Greyhound....eternally sad by passing on that, but it came with a hefty pricetag of 10k just for the beginnings of the project.

Currently perusing through CL locally trying to find a potential project, and have come across a 35foot '65 Ford with a Gillig body. It appears to be a v8 with a manual transmission...and I'm not certain if that's worth diving into as I once was more intrigued with the concept of converting an old Detroit into Veg-Diesel.

Here's what the post has to say, sounds like a sweet deal that is already partially started....

"This bus has all the seats removed and a counter has been mounted inside. Everything works inside and out with one exception, the interior heater. It's has a rebuilt motor with approx 7500 miles on it. It's has new carborator, plugs, wires and runs really good. The tires are almost brand new. This bus has been used by us for traveling and camping and even provided us a home for our family for 3 years. It's it's currently on a none op so there are no back fees due and we have the pink slip in hand. The windows are tinted with reflective color for inside privacy and temp reduction. This bus has many more thousands of miles to travel and we would like to see it not going to waste, but being used and loved by someone who will cherish it's as much as we did."

What do you all think? Worthy project or one I should pass on for something newer? I'm a sucker for older charm, but will be honest, am not keen on FoMoCo...so wouldn't break my heart if this wasn't the one...BUT WE'RE READY TO FIND ONE!!!

Anywho, hope to get some great info and networking out of this and look forward to learning from your collective wisdom!

-Eric
Hemp Bus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2016, 10:15 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Stu & Filo. T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vacaville, Ca
Posts: 1,521
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown / Pusher
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Welcome from a fellow California located in Vacaville, I would try to stay away from gas & Get A diesel OR since it's pre smog do a diesel conversion
Stu & Filo. T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2016, 11:29 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 26
Whats the cost and labor involved in doing a diesel conversion? What are recommended platforms? I know I've heard a lot of good things out of the '80's Cummins Turbo Diesels before they became to computerized.
Hemp Bus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2016, 11:46 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,169
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
While all mechanical diesels are MUCH easier to work with than the electronic beasties...any gas to diesel conversion is fairly complex. The cost can be kept down a bit if you do most of the work yourself, but it's still not cheap. The fuel system has to be converted as well, usually requiring a new or custom built tank. Then there is the transmission and driveline which will have to be modified to work with the new motor.

How much dough? Lots of variables, but for a 5.9 Cummins...

New or rebuilt engine...$3000 to $10,000 (don't bother installing an engine that has not been totally gone through first)
Compatible tranny...$1500 to $10,000
Driveshaft...(2 piece most likely) $750 to $1200
Fuel tank(s)...$250 to $500

Then there are lots of little things like motor mounts, transmission mounts, beefed up suspension to compensate for the heavier engine, fuel lines, all new gauges (most diesels have a minimum of about 7 and as many as 10 specialized gauges.

Long story short...it can be done ( I am doing it as we speak) but finding a rig that already has diesel makes the most sense unless you are committed to building a custom rig pretty much from scratch.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2016, 12:21 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 26
Wow Tango, that's an amazing '46! Right up my alley, and I could see why it would be worth converting a dream machine like that! Thanks for the financial specs on everything. Greatly informative.

Right now that's a bit out of my budget and skills expertise starting out. I'm hoping to start maybe a little closer to a turn-key solution that can just be gutted and ready to roll...Only because I'm just tired of waiting for the "Perfect Solution" and with a bus or two built in trial and error stages...by the time the "ONE" comes around, hopefully we'll have the knowledge and connections to do it right and have the experience of getting to know a floorplan or two and make adjustments based on the real living experience rather than just assuming it all works.

....And by that time, the kids may be grown, allowing for a smaller floorplan that I assume, is more common in a pre-55 type project that I would be most interested in.

We have a few more intentions for a final bus project as well...but I'll get to that in later posts.

I've been fighting it for the last few years, but I'm thinking I may be looking into getting a more recent retired fleet school bus starting out. They seem reasonable, not usually too high on the mileage, available with fairly expansive layout and plentiful.
Hemp Bus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2016, 01:31 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,171
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
While all mechanical diesels are MUCH easier to work with than the electronic beasties...any gas to diesel conversion is fairly complex. The cost can be kept down a bit if you do most of the work yourself, but it's still not cheap. The fuel system has to be converted as well, usually requiring a new or custom built tank. Then there is the transmission and driveline which will have to be modified to work with the new motor.

How much dough? Lots of variables, but for a 5.9 Cummins...

New or rebuilt engine...$3000 to $10,000 (don't bother installing an engine that has not been totally gone through first)
Compatible tranny...$1500 to $10,000
Driveshaft...(2 piece most likely) $750 to $1200
Fuel tank(s)...$250 to $500

Then there are lots of little things like motor mounts, transmission mounts, beefed up suspension to compensate for the heavier engine, fuel lines, all new gauges (most diesels have a minimum of about 7 and as many as 10 specialized gauges.

Long story short...it can be done ( I am doing it as we speak) but finding a rig that already has diesel makes the most sense unless you are committed to building a custom rig pretty much from scratch.
Tango would know!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2016, 05:13 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,169
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
There are tons of great buses out there these days with outstanding diesel engines and more & more are showing up with the later series of Allison transmissions (1000, 2000 3000 series with up to six speeds and double overdrive).

Take your time and buy the very best, rust free platform you can afford. It will pay back in spades when you build it out into your own, personal dream machine.

If it is a "classic" you have in mind...be prepared to spend several years and lots of money bringing it up to modern highway & safety standards.

Heck...when mine was built...the interstate system didn't even exist!

Best of luck on your hunt!
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2016, 08:54 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 26
A friend of mine has a 40 foot International with a 9.0 that he wants to sell me for 3k. He bought it to have a mobile glass studio for his artwork, but decided against it for some reason after gutting it. The biggest downside for me...he cut out the back end and installed a drop down drawbridge. For some projects that would be excellent....but however I'm trying to figure out if that is something I can work with or should avoid like the plague. It seems like 3k for a prebutchered bus of that vintage may not be worth it. Did a bit of research through here on that 9.0 platform and it seems like if it is a later model, then it would be mechanically sound and simple to work with. Apparently earlier versions had head gasket issues. Naturally aspirated, probably hooked up to an AT545 which I can't say is a good or a bad thing? They apparently discontinued the engine in '87 due to emissions...which makes me concerned over the fact that I live in California and don't know if it could/would have to pass smog.

I'm thinking I may be trying to do my research on something with a T44E?
Hemp Bus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2016, 09:58 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,944
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
Send a message via Yahoo to Robin97396
That's not a bad price if the bus is in good shape. Not enough information, but if you can't run it in CA... I bought my 97 at auction for $2,600 this past fall.

If you buy that one, I'll let you keep it here in Oregon.
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2016, 10:03 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 26
I might end up taking you up on that offer! I have a friend who is taking over her family organic farm here sometime in the next year or two. The farm is located in Rickreal, East of Salem, and I believe a bit SE of you on 22. We have been trying to coordinate something so that we could pull up our bus there and be able to work the farm with her. Wife and I met while living in Silverton, so definitely wouldn't mind hanging out in the Willamette Valley again!
Hemp Bus 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


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.