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Old 02-13-2017, 11:28 PM   #1
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Newbie in Phoenix!

Hi everyone! I'm so inexperienced when it comes to this, so bare with me. This is my first time being a part of an online community forum and I honestly can't think of a time when I've needed as much help as I do now lol. I just recently relocated from San Diego, and I finally have some funds freed up to embark on this journey. I'm a creative so the aesthetics and functionality of the bus aren't stressing me so much as what to look for in a bus before purchase. I found what I think (with very little knowledge) is a pretty decent bus and there's wiggle room with the price as well. What questions should I be asking about the engine, milage etc. From what the ad says, its a 1995 Blue Bird, its automatic and takes gas. It used to be a mobile gym for children. It has a generator and 2 AC's. I would greatly appreciate any feedback and I look forward to learning and sharing ideas with you all. Thanks for having me!
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:36 PM   #2
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What r u going to do with it?
How much driving r u planning?
How many miles does it have ?
Pictures?
What is the asking price?


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Old 02-13-2017, 11:45 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for replying so quick. I'm converting it into a living space. I don't plan on driving it too much at first, maybe up to Sedona, AZ which is like 2 hours from Phoenix maybe once or twice a month. The farthest I'd go is to San Diego maybe once or twice a month. Maybe cross country once its finished. I really just want to park it somewhere pretty in the desert and chill. I'm still waiting on word from the seller about the milage. They want 2500 or best offer.
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:01 AM   #4
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Chassis: GMC or Chevrolet, I hope
Engine: gasser probably
I've been in this website for some time now; however, I'm a noob. So take everything I say with a grain of salt. Others will provide better info.

The price (2500) seems to be okay if the bus doesn't have any major problems.

A pro is that it has a generator, (have to find how many hours on it)

Con, is that is a gas engine, so lower mpg. People here usually go for diesels, more power, more reliable, last longer, etc.

Mileage, if it is a gas engine and it has 200k+ miles on it. You probably won't get too many more out of it.

The idea is you want to try to find the best possible platform before you put any money/work into it.

Don't jump on the first thing you see, give yourself some time. Try to read old threads here.

Rust, you have to look at the thing closely, a little on some parts can be okay. But generally you want to avoid it.

Hope some of these ideas help. Others will shine in more. Good luck.

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Old 02-14-2017, 02:58 AM   #5
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My first response is to tell you not only to quickly step away from that bus but to run away from it as fast as you can.

You say you want to drive it to San Diego, up to Sedonna, and eventually perhaps across the country. You won't do that with a gas powered bus. 55 MPH will be about the absolute top speed you could hope to get out of it regardless of the rear gearing. I would not be surprised if the rear gearing only gives a top speed of 47 MPH. Also while chugging along at slow speed you will be stopping at every gas station you come across just to make sure you don't run out. 2-4 MPG was pretty typical of the gas powered buses with automatics we had back in the day. Even if it had a stick shift we would have been thrilled to average 5-7 MPG.

The other real problem with gas powered buses besides being slow is when you get to a hill you will be poking along in the break down lane with your hazards flashing as you climb every hill at 25-30 MPH.

You may think I am kidding but I have driven enough of them to know they shined on routes where the speed never went over 35 MPH but were next to useless if we had to go a long way.

Of all of the gas buses the worst were the Fords (regardless of engine) and the Chevy/GMC buses with small block engines were next to the worst buses. Chevy/GMC buses with the big block engines were a little better at making speed and climbing hills but you paid for it in greater fuel consumption. The gas powered IHC buses were the best of the bunch and the kind with which I have had the most experience. But I wouldn't purchase another one if I had to drive more than 30 miles round trip.

For what they were they were not bad buses. But when we got the first bus that had a DT466 or Cummins 5.9L we wondered why we had waited so long to make the upgrade. While most of them still had top speeds of 55 MPH, they would pretty much do that speed up any hill until you got to the steep parts at the top of the mountain passes. And the best part is the fuel mileage went up to 8-12 MPG.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:13 AM   #6
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Yep, what he said. oh, and welcome.
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:47 AM   #7
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the advantage to that gas bus is it has Air conditioning... something awfully nice if you are travelling around in phoenix and sedona in the summertime..

otherwise what cowlitz said.. plus keeping the engine cool trying to wind a gas bus out on the highway might prove a problem in 120 degree desert heat.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:00 AM   #8
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The only place you can drive a large, gas powered bus is to the nearest gas station.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oricha1984 View Post
I've been in this website for some time now; however, I'm a noob. So take everything I say with a grain of salt. Others will provide better info.

The price (2500) seems to be okay if the bus doesn't have any major problems.

A pro is that it has a generator, (have to find how many hours on it)

Con, is that is a gas engine, so lower mpg. People here usually go for diesels, more power, more reliable, last longer, etc.

Mileage, if it is a gas engine and it has 200k+ miles on it. You probably won't get too many more out of it.

The idea is you want to try to find the best possible platform before you put any money/work into it.

Don't jump on the first thing you see, give yourself some time. Try to read old threads here.

Rust, you have to look at the thing closely, a little on some parts can be okay. But generally you want to avoid it.

Hope some of these ideas help. Others will shine in more. Good luck.

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Thanks so much for the feedback. I definitely understand why gas would be a big CON. I did however find a 1989 Thomas, GM 8.2L diesel, 44000 miles for 2500. if everything checks out as far as rust and things of that nature, do you think it would be a solid option?
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
The only place you can drive a large, gas powered bus is to the nearest gas station.

That seems to be the general consensus lol. I don't EVEN want those types of problems.
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