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Old 01-22-2018, 04:04 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Peace and grease from San Francisco

Hi Everyone,

For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted a Yellow Mini School bus. Yesterday that lifelong dream materialized. I drove it, smiled and paid, fully aware that there were a lot of things that need to be sorted out before it becomes at par with my standards. I saw potential and a lifelong dream come true.

The mini school bus is a 1995 Chevy Van Super Bantam by Collins bus corporation. Comes with a 6.5L Diesel engine, 4 speed automatic transmission, 20 seater capacity and 348,000 miles on the clock. I am looking forward to learning more from some of the experts here like for example, what kind of transmission do I have and can I turn this into a 4x4?

Like majority of creative people that get this sexy beast, I am more than willing to get my hands dirty.

Thanks you in advance.

Cheers,
John
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:08 PM   #2
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:00 PM   #3
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Determining what make diesel engine you have will help identify the tranny. I think you have your work cut out for you making it 4wd. Most likely a Chevy Duramax diesel. Tranny might be a 4L80E.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Determining what make diesel engine you have will help identify the tranny. I think you have your work cut out for you making it 4wd. Most likely a Chevy Duramax diesel. Tranny might be a 4L80E.
95 Chevy 6.5 would be the old GM Detroit diesel like a Humvee has. Transmission is a 4L80E for sure. A divorced transfer case and a Dana 60 and you'll be unstoppable. (If I name a few critical parts to a 4wd conversion it'll sound easy...)
... it's not easy.
I did a solid axle swap on my Suburban. Conversion to 4wd on a van would be similarly difficult and expensive.
Lift it up a bit, put some all terrain tires on, and put a limited slip differential in. You'll be able to drive the bus everywhere you SHOULD be driving it

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Old 01-23-2018, 05:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BennysTire View Post
95 Chevy 6.5 would be the old GM Detroit diesel like a Humvee has. Transmission is a 4L80E for sure. A divorced transfer case and a Dana 60 and you'll be unstoppable. (If I name a few critical parts to a 4wd conversion it'll sound easy...)
... it's not easy.
I did a solid axle swap on my Suburban. Conversion to 4wd on a van would be similarly difficult and expensive.
Lift it up a bit, put some all terrain tires on, and put a limited slip differential in. You'll be able to drive the bus everywhere you SHOULD be driving it

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I like the way you think, man.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:10 AM   #6
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Welcome aboard and good luck on the conversion.
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Old 01-23-2018, 09:07 AM   #7
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Not that hard to do, find a quigley 4x4 conversion for your style van and start grinding and welding. That is what i will be starting in a couple of month on Elfie.

Good luck. J
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:56 AM   #8
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Thanks. Great to see someone local.
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:58 AM   #9
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Lift it up a bit, put some all terrain tires on, and put a limited slip differential in. You'll be able to drive the bus everywhere you SHOULD be driving it

My thoughts completely. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:21 PM   #10
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My work truck with a 2001 duramax has 400,000 on it and if I have to pull my trailer off of it I will probably have to cut the bolt that has held the tongue lock for?
I pull way more weight than I should daily and have never had a problem with power to get down the road.
For me in a 2000-2500 chevy work truck loaded and a trailer loaded with hydraulic and ABS brakes it doesn't stop like hydraulic or air brakes.
If I get in a bind I usually end up with the trailer pushing/sideways but I will hit a ditch before I hit someone else.
Lot of stories for that but I haven't been in a ditch or hit someone yet.
Been crossways and or scared others many a time when in a bind but I have been good enough so far?
With my luck? I talked about it so I need to be on my A-Game for a week or so. Cause MURPHY aight as well drink with me so he knows how to screw with me and I swear he does?
I haven't met him yet but both of us might end up in the same place and then we can have a good discussion
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:30 PM   #11
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Good story, but how does it relate to the OP?

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Old 01-23-2018, 08:16 PM   #12
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Good story, but how does it relate to the OP?

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Just that my 2001 Duramax work truck has 400,000 abusive miles on it and is still running strong. Well maintained is the key.
For BENNIES TIRE you are the one that said it had a DURAMAX so I thought I would share my experience with a DURAMAX?
The brake issue is strictly Chevy electronic's and don't know if the problems carry over to other CHEVY model's? so I shared my experience with an engine (That you said was probably in the OP's bus or an idea of a bus ) that I work the dog **** out of daily!
Your pic says your a tire changer. But you obviously play mechanic also.
Looking forward to your help/opinion.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
Just that my 2001 Duramax work truck has 400,000 abusive miles on it and is still running strong. Well maintained is the key.
For BENNIES TIRE you are the one that said it had a DURAMAX so I thought I would share my experience with a DURAMAX?
The brake issue is strictly Chevy electronic's and don't know if the problems carry over to other CHEVY model's? so I shared my experience with an engine (That you said was probably in the OP's bus or an idea of a bus ) that I work the dog **** out of daily!
Your pic says your a tire changer. But you obviously play mechanic also.
Looking forward to your help/opinion.
I quoted someone else who said it may be a Duramax... But disagree. The 6.5 was before the Duramax. Made by Detroit, not Isuzu... Regardless, yes... Maintenance is key. Problem is when you buy used you have no clue on maintenance even if you have paperwork.


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Old 01-23-2018, 08:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennysTire View Post
95 Chevy 6.5 would be the old GM Detroit diesel like a Humvee has. Transmission is a 4L80E for sure. A divorced transfer case and a Dana 60 and you'll be unstoppable. (If I name a few critical parts to a 4wd conversion it'll sound easy...)
... it's not easy.
I did a solid axle swap on my Suburban. Conversion to 4wd on a van would be similarly difficult and expensive.
Lift it up a bit, put some all terrain tires on, and put a limited slip differential in. You'll be able to drive the bus everywhere you SHOULD be driving it

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Love the swap thing.
You must have time and money.
Or at least money for plenty of beer and a junkyard at your disposal?
Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
Love the swap thing.
You must have time and money.
Or at least money for plenty of beer and a junkyard at your disposal?
Good luck.
I make up for my lack of money with time...
Not sure if I can share web links on here, but you can check out my Suburban at www.4fiddy4.com

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Old 01-23-2018, 08:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennysTire View Post
I quoted someone else who said it may be a Duramax... But disagree. The 6.5 was before the Duramax. Made by Detroit, not Isuzu... Regardless, yes... Maintenance is key. Problem is when you buy used you have no clue on maintenance even if you have paperwork.


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I am a pain In the butt buy trade?
I am getting the feeling that we need to agree to DISagree so that our opinions will help others.
No need to start a debate UNLESS it will lead to the ULTIMATE answer for the OP.
OPINIONS are plenty. How others have done is why this is even a SKOOLIE sight.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:45 PM   #17
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I'm not sure if we are on the same wavelength here...
The OP asked about what tranny he has and is 4wd an option.
Those questions were answered.
I didn't debate anything you said. You said you have a Duramax, I agree that you do.
You said maintenance is key, I agree it is.
You said you tow trailers, I don't doubt you do.
I asked how what you said related to what the OP was asking, you answered.
No debating. Just sharing stories, sharing information, sharing opinions, and answering questions... Everything a forum is made for.

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Old 01-23-2018, 08:48 PM   #18
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Pretty nice job on the burb, wish mine to be like that one day.
A buddy has one similar to yours with a CAT 3116 in it. he has a nice playground to boot so made sense.
You are pretty handy ben.

John
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:52 PM   #19
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Hope PEACEANDGREACE gets something from this?
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennysTire View Post
I'm not sure if we are on the same wavelength here...
The OP asked about what tranny he has and is 4wd an option.
Those questions were answered.
I didn't debate anything you said. You said you have a Duramax, I agree that you do.
You said maintenance is key, I agree it is.
You said you tow trailers, I don't doubt you do.
I asked how what you said related to what the OP was asking, you answered.
No debating. Just sharing stories, sharing information, sharing opinions, and answering questions... Everything a forum is made for.

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You're new here, but I already like you Mr. Benny.
I think you're just experiencing the language barrier, as JR speaks mostly pirate.
JR is a good guy though.
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