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Old 10-02-2016, 10:03 AM   #1
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New to the bus life

Hi everyone my name is Art, me and my girlfriend are in the process of selling our home in order to move into a bus in the Spring while working on wind farms on the road, I'm searching for a 21 or 28 passenger bus seems like the preferred engine is the 7.3L Diesel but I came across a gmc 6.5L v8 school bus 2002 with 126k miles that seems like a good fit, anyone familiar with this model? Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated as we make this life transition.


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Old 10-02-2016, 10:09 AM   #2
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Hi everyone my name is Art, me and my girlfriend are in the process of selling our home in order to move into a bus in the Spring while working on wind farms on the road, I'm searching for a 21 or 28 passenger bus seems like the preferred engine is the 7.3L Diesel but I came across a gmc 6.5L v8 school bus 2002 with 126k miles that seems like a good fit, anyone familiar with this model? Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated as we make this life transition.


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Are you looking for a van chassis or a bus chassis?

van


short full size bus
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
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Van chassis I think but I'm open to suggestions


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Old 10-02-2016, 10:26 AM   #4
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Are you looking for a van chassis or a bus chassis?

van


short full size bus
hey!! theres the same as what my OLD bus was!!! 5 window bluebird!!
-Christopher
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:31 AM   #5
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the advantage to a van chassis is that any auto repair shop can work on the van portion.. the engine, A/C, transmission, etc are all standard ford of GMC full-size van just like you may see around..

on a van chassis, tires typically cost less and are more standard sized that you would find on say a chevy 3500 or ford F-350 truck.

a bus Chassis has to typically goto commercial repair shops for repairs...
of course you can get Bus chassis much bigger if you need more space. van chassis are all pretty much 4 window.. occasionally 5..

Bus chassis has more room typically underneath since they sit up higher, for locating things like water tanks, generators, etc

-Christopher
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:33 AM   #6
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The full size chassis is gonna hold up better, but if you can live with the size of the van, it can be a decent way to go.
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:48 AM   #7
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I think the Bus chassis would be a better fit for us, what about engines? Any I should look for or any I should stay away from?


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Old 10-02-2016, 11:51 AM   #8
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stay away from 6.0's.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:52 AM   #9
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That's what I've heard, also that 7.3s are the way to go


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Old 10-02-2016, 12:19 PM   #10
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theres a ton of discussions about engines on here... search and read..

if you are buying VAN chassis, you will find the FORD 6.0 and 7.3 diesels often, of the 2 the 7.3 is much better, unless you want to bulletproof a 6.0 then it , too can be a good engine.. (if you are engine savvy).

on the BUS chassis.. the 7.3 is called the T-444E under the International / Navistar name. also on the BUS chassis the 6.0 is called a VT-365 under the International / Navistar name..

for smaller International BUS chassis, the T-444E and cummins 5.9 will probably have plenty of power for you..

for a Big full length bus, a DT-466 or Cummins 8.3 will be the ones to go after..

again, search out all the discussions (some of them spirited) on engines and transmissions... everyone has their own opinions, there are definitely engines which have better and worse reputations...

and most of all in ANY diesel engine... keep the oil changed (and yes they hold oil measured in GALLONS.. ).. and dont overheat them.. they dont take kindly to sweating..

-Christopher
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:21 PM   #11
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This is very helpful, thank you all so much!


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Old 10-02-2016, 02:09 PM   #12
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Anyone familiar with the Chevy C5500 6.6L engine? Found this guy on Craigslist looks pretty clean and has 165K miles on it


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Old 10-02-2016, 02:16 PM   #13
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I havent seen that very often, what is that? a starcraft or a collins body, does it say?
-Christopher
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:21 PM   #14
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Just says it's an Allison automatic with a Durmax engine


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Old 10-02-2016, 03:59 PM   #15
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Either way, it's a sharp unit!

And driver's door
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:43 PM   #16
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Anyone familiar with the Chevy C5500 6.6L engine? Found this guy on Craigslist looks pretty clean and has 165K miles on it


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The 6.6 D-max is an AWESOME engine it is made by Isuzu and put in GM stuff. I may open a can of worm on here, but I don't care. Of all the newer Common-Rail, Electronic injection Diesel stuff, I'd take the D-max over any of them. (we ARE talking van chassis, so we are dealing with pick-up sized engines here). It's a great engine, not a lot of them in buses (that I've seen). I am a diesel guy myself, I have owned several. Id take the D-max any day. Stay away from the 6.0 and 6.4 Powerstroke (HUGE power-But riddle with issues). The 7.3 is OK, but won't live forever. The old 5.9 Cummins is as solid as they come, older 12valve are cheaper, easier, and can make decent power. The newer Cummins are good, but everyone I know who has one wished they kept the old one. I don't know much about the DT lines (360. 466), but from what I have seen of them, they seem simple, easy and solid.

EDIT;; Another issue I have seen with most modern (electronically controlled) diesels, Are electronic problems (or they started that way). Diesels usually are a bit oily, greasy, and leaky. They get quite grungy, and the lack of cleaning gets to the wiring and harnesses and seals after too long. After 15-20 years of grime on a wire, things stop working right, sensors and signals get lost, and systems shut down. I changed some glow plugs in a buddy's 7.3 this summer- WOW oily mess in there! Moral of the story; Even if you're a hippy and scared of SOAP and WATER, you're engine shouldn't be!!!
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:51 PM   #17
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I like the Duramax 6.6. the 6.5 was Ok but I think the 6.6 is better... the T-444/7.3 ford is also pretty solid... lots of guys pre 2004 still got them in their trucks running strong..

agreed the 6.0s and 6.4's were issue riddled - unless you knew what to do to fix them BEFORE they break things went bad fast..

all of the old mechanical engines... CUmmins (Ok its somewhat electronic but only partial), the DT-360,DT-466 are pretty bulletproof

as with any diesel keep the temp gauge o the left side of the dial and keep the oil clean and youll usually last a long time.
-Christopher
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:56 AM   #18
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Interested in purchase to convert into an art bus

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Are you looking for a van chassis or a bus chassis?

van


short full size bus
Tiffanyspierce@gmail.com
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:43 PM   #19
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Anyone familiar with the Chevy C5500 6.6L engine? Found this guy on Craigslist looks pretty clean and has 165K miles on it


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OP,

If you decide not to buy this bus would you send me a link to the ad?

I think the 6.6 & Allison are a good combination in a smaller bus.

Thanks.


Edit: Never mind..... I just noticed how old this thread is.....
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