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Old 08-04-2018, 05:48 PM   #1
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Need Advice: Sell or Rehab

Hi,
I'm new to the network. My mom had a 1959 GMC 4104 Trailways conversion that she full timed in for about three years before she got sick. It has been parked in a field in N Idaho and used basically as a storage for the past 10 years. Mom passed away 1 1/2 years ago and I have inherited the bus. I live in Phoenix. I have been kicking around the idea for a while of full time RV'ing in the next 5-7 years. Was going to get a 5th wheel with truck. But started thinking recently that will cost $50K PLUS even if I bought used. So now have switch gears of just rehabbing the bus I already own. It would have to be completely gone thru mechanically before able to drive it even. Then I would probably gut the inside and start new with the floorplan I want. After sitting so long, who knows what critters have been living in it!
Anyway, I'm not real sure which way to go with this. I know it is a more rare bus and I could just sell it. I am looking for opinions if you could help me out with ideas and or your insights on this matter. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:14 PM   #2
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It will be way more valuable to you in the end if you build it, than if you sold it. The bus will help keep your Mom close.
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:17 PM   #3
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start with ......

the budget..... what do you have to work with?


then do you have time to go back and forth from arizona to idaho?
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:23 PM   #4
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Very True! I have had a love hate relationship with this bus over the years. LOL. But I am now really starting to kinda see why my mom loved her bus so much. She always talked about it like it was a precious piece of gold. I haven't seen the bus in probably 15 years, so not even sure the shape it's in. I am looking at getting up to Idaho before the snow starts flying to get a good idea of my next step. I'm thinking if I don't sell it I will have it towed to the nearest town there with a good diesel truck mechanic and have him do a total going thru of it and make it drivable. Then I can drive it here to Phoenix and work on it a bit at a time as money allows.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:06 PM   #5
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idaho

where in idaho.... have a rent house in emmett............

gonna need to go up soon to check on things


william
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:31 PM   #6
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It's up in the the panhandle. Kamiah
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:17 AM   #7
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when you get ready to drive....

I might be able to meet up. we could do a two bus caravan back to arizona.... fun quirky road trip. well, fun supposing we dont have any catastrophes.

william
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:20 PM   #8
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I'd also lean towards keeping it.

Its not going to be cheap to get it road-ready and built out again - but you'll end up with a really nice product in the end. You don't sound like you're on a tight deadline, so there's time to work through any complications dealing with an older vehicle.

You're also in a place where you're keeping a part of your mom with you - but you're still making it yours.
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:32 PM   #9
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It won't be cheap. but can certainly be done for less than half what you found an RV was going to run you. Plus you end up with the experience.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:16 PM   #10
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I would be all in on meeting up and road tripping back together. But the bus isn't road ready for sure. But perhaps in the future when it is I'll hit you up for that trip.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:20 PM   #11
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I want to thank you for your opinions. You all seem to be telling me what my gut has been saying all along. Financially better decision to keep it and rehab it. And then the bonus of carrying on my mom's legacy with her bus!
She was in a RV group called the Freeroaders for several years. She even organized and hosted a few get to gathers up on the Lewis and Clark trail where she lived. That is where she requested her ashes be spread, where she would put on the gatherings.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:41 PM   #12
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Not to dampen anybodies spirits but I would make no decisions or commitments until 1st I saw the bus 2nd got a mechanical opinion on it.A person could easily spend $25 grand on a rehab of a bus that has been sitting for 10+years not including a redo of the interior.Not saying it will be that expensive but it could be, no sense it in putting the cart before the horse



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Old 08-18-2018, 11:53 PM   #13
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I also hate to rain on your parade, but, unless that bus is in a very nice neighborhood, with mild weather, all you are going to find is a shell. And lots of beer cans and used condoms. Even if the kids didnt find it, the weather would have found it. Water damage, broken windows. Then the animals find the broken windows. I hope i am wrong. But i would plan on the worse, if i were you.
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:46 AM   #14
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You live in Phoenix you now own a bus that you inherited from you mother that is sitting in a field in Idaho that you have not seen in 15 years that promoted a love/hate relationship (Your Words) in the past and now are considering the fantasy of restoring this bus.

Sounds like a $50K 3 year "Adventure" that will never end or be finished!

I would say "Enjoy the Ride" however I doubt you would ever get to the end of this "Adventure" to "Enjoy the Ride"!

IF YOU value your time and money at all SELL this bus to another dreamer and move on with life and your future travels.
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:57 AM   #15
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I love classic busses.. however a 1959 with its original 1959 engine and transmission? if you break the water pump in the middle of nowhere how do you get a a new one?


if you get a flat on one of those 3 piece widow-maker rims will a truck shop fix it or shy away?



if you are mechanically inclined and resourceful when it comes to fixing things.. and wasnt to put a lot of $$ into the drivetrain and the "bus" part before you travel out then ship the rig home and restore / resto-mod it..



15 years on the ground.. its gonna need tires and brakes and a good going through of the engine/trans/rear, wiring, starter, alternator, hoses, belts, etc...



plus whatever may have happened to the inside.. will you also need to update the RV part of it too?



im all about classic restore / resto-mod . drive what you used to ride in, etc but think of this not only building an RV but also restoring back a classic vehicle.. its gonna cost $$$ and time.. (Just ask Tango and Ol Trunt about classic busses and conversions..)


then is that 1959 bus ready for the modern roads? or are you going to have to change gears , transmissions? to make it road ready..




first step - get an airplane ticket to idaho and go take a look at it... inside outside, over, under, etc... parts of idaho are niuce and dry most of the year.. but sounds like this is located hiugher elevations where its been through many freeze / thaw, snow / rain cycles? all it takes is a small leak in the ceiling and lots of things will be rusty...



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Old 08-19-2018, 10:13 AM   #16
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Go look at it. I knew a guy that bought 4 TBM WWII Bombers that had been sitting for 17 yrs and they flew them away to Mo. He saw them in a Magazine.
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:51 AM   #17
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Financially it would be way cheaper to get a newer bus..hands down! But what you have up there in Idaho can't be replaced.engine parts should be easy enough to find. Chassis parts will be harder. Also, if that bus is original, prepare to Max out at 50 mph! Any shade tree mechanic should be able to retrofit it with a sbc engine.knew a guy that put a 57 Chevy 3/4 bus on a water truck frame with a cummins.wheels stuck out a little. I would buy a bus or rusted out Dodge truck with a Cummins 12v and either frame swap or start swapping drivetrain
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:01 AM   #18
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Since we are brainstorming i would go look at some Izusu Diesel engine tranny combos. Well built. 6 spd autos and great fuel economy.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:12 AM   #19
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Good advice from Gene - go see what you've got.

I'd place the 'rehab' cost even higher and more time consuming than what has been listed here. It depends on what you want/need and what your capabilities are, of course. If I had a huge, fully equipped, and staffed shop; a project like that would be really cool but I'd expect to put several years and huge piles of money into it.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:58 AM   #20
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https://community.fmca.com/topic/392...r-know-of-one/

Used Gmc Pd4104 For Sale on craigslist
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