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Old 05-22-2015, 07:03 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 42
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT 466
Rated Cap: 44
Newbie

Hi Everyone
Im new to this but I have been reading and looking for a good bus to convert. Recently I have been looking at a 1986 GMC with a 366 cu in Does anyone have an idea to any problems these engines have? I would like any help
Thanks
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:24 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Currently in Appalachia.
Posts: 148

It all depends on what you want to do with it. Just as important as the engine, is the complete power package. (Engine, tranny, gearing, turbo?...)

The _majority_ of school busses are ordered with power packages to work great for pick up/drop off use. This means that they are designed to handled lots of stop and go, low speed, short trips on level roads. They are (generally) fantastic for that. Some top-out as low as 45mph max. However, if you are looking to add a lot of creature comforts (read:extra weight), maybe a towed vehicle (a toad), long highway road trips, and/or steep grades it is really important to consider what that "super reliable engine" is paired up with. If the transmission and vehicle weight are not appropriate for your needs AND the engines capabilities, it will never be the right engine for your intended use, and you will kill your engine and/or burn up your transmission in short order, or be traveling at a slow and steady pace for a long time. Activity busses are generally geared for highway road trips with bigger engines and trannies FYI.

I am not an expert on engines by any means, but I have read a lot of positive info about that engine, but also lots of complaints when it is paired with a heavy/big bus and less powerful transmissions.

Use the search feature in the forums and look for "power packages", or just the engine and or tranny you are considering. You will likely find lots of info.

Good luck! And welcome!
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:59 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Gainesville. Georgia
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Year: 1992
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Rated Cap: 72
Damn Sassy...you really have been taking good notes, good for you.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:37 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Currently in Appalachia.
Posts: 148
The-Breeze- Thanks! I'ma trying... This was a concept I was totally unaware of when I started my own research, and I have seen soooo many people disregard it and then gritch about it. What I am finding most frustrating now, is that so many sellers don't even include this info in their ads. I've even called on a few. The reply... Duh, gee, I dunno, where would I find that?
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:46 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 42
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT 466
Rated Cap: 44
Newbie

Thanks for the insight. Speaking of people not knowing what they have, the guy told it was a 1986 GMC but turns out it was a 1996 with 163,000 miles on it. Seems to run good but needs wheels and tires. Both are in pretty rough shape. The wheels are banged up bad, rubbing on curbs looks like, are wheels costly?

The rest of the bus is in good shape only surface rust. I got under it and looked. Asking price was $1500.00 He is using it for storage and wants it gone. Any ideas?

Thanks for any info
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:54 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
I would say a gas powered bus that needs both tires and wheels is going to be a money pit.

Save your money and find something better.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:09 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 42
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT 466
Rated Cap: 44
Thanks I think I will keep on looking
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:47 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,173
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
I'll third that emotion. Find a diesel engined rig with at least five speeds on the tranny. You'll pay more going in but have a more reliable, roadable base. It is way too easy to consider price only going in. Far more often than not, that decision will wind up costing you a WHOLE lot more in the long run.

But...that said...start with what your expectations are. If you only plan on short, day trips with a minimal load...you could probably get by with what you described. But...if you are thinking road trips through the Rockies hauling a full build out...or a full time live-in rig...then look for something with a drivetrain that can handle it.

Pamela is absolutely right...do lots of homework and develop a plan before you invest.
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:28 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 42
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT 466
Rated Cap: 44
Thanks for the advice, lord knows I need it. We plan to go cross country.
I looked at a 1994 International Vista with a t444 with an allsion transmission. It hasn't run for 3 years, the fuel was drained out of it. It has good rubber on it 10.00 22.5 and very little rust. It does need a new windshield on one side (it's flat) The guy said if I could get it running it's mine for $1000 Any opinions on this? It's a short bus 25 feet of usable space. There are only two of us so we do not need a lot of space. Ideas please, things to look out for on getting this started up.

Thanks Pete
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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If it will start and run $1,000.00 doesn't sound like a bad deal.

If after you get it home and it is a lot worse than you thought it is worth almost that much if you drove it to the scrap yard.
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