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Old 06-21-2020, 02:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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1988 Thomas B60

I am looking at a Ď88 Chevy 40í bus to convert.
It appears to be in decent shape, very good tires and body. Itís an auto transmission with air brakes and a big block. Iím not sure if itís a 366 or 427.
Seats have been removed.
Seller says it has sat for about a year and now will not turn over. I tried to turn the engine using the air compressor pulley by hand and it didnít budge.
Oil looked slightly cloudy.
Seller claims it has a clear RV title and is asking $1000 for it as it sits. Iíll need have it towed 25 miles. Not sure what that will cost.
Thoughts?
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:10 PM   #2
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It looks like I need a 366 engine. This one is stuck.
Iíll eventually pull the heads and try to do an inframe rebuild.
Meanwhile, Iím planing the floor plan.
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:33 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Smyrna, TN
Posts: 61
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: Chevrolet 427
Don't be too worried about having the 366. My bus has it's big brother the 427 and it's a workhorse motor that was using in medium duty trucks for a long time. They are also pretty cheap. You can get a running used one for $1500. Or as you say, rebuild even cheaper.

I just replaced the carb on my 427. It's going to run like a champ!
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:03 PM   #4
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Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,456
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
On the spark plug -- is that rust or built up crud from poor firing?
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:16 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
On the spark plug -- is that rust or built up crud from poor firing?
Rust!

I had an idea it might be stuck so, was planning on soaking the cylinders down and try to break it loose.
After seeing this first plug I didnít have any hopes.
I have no clue how it got like this. It was driven last year per the seller and the engine was covered.

I have the drive shaft removed and the brakes caged ready to be towed to my place. Iíll pull the heads off and see how bad it is.
Nice bus otherwise. 71k miles and new tires.
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Placeholder Bus Name View Post
Don't be too worried about having the 366. My bus has it's big brother the 427 and it's a workhorse motor that was using in medium duty trucks for a long time. They are also pretty cheap. You can get a running used one for $1500. Or as you say, rebuild even cheaper.

I just replaced the carb on my 427. It's going to run like a champ!
I called around today and the old tall deck 366 and 427 motors are getting scarce around here.
Iím patient. Something will turn up eventually.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:24 PM   #7
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It’s name is Reese. I named it after my junior high bus driver James Reese.
We gave that man hell and he hung in there. I hope this bus is half as tough and reliable as James Reese was.
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:25 PM   #8
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Location: Ohio
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Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
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Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielm View Post
Rust!

I had an idea it might be stuck so, was planning on soaking the cylinders down and try to break it loose.
After seeing this first plug I didnít have any hopes.
I have no clue how it got like this. It was driven last year per the seller and the engine was covered.

I have the drive shaft removed and the brakes caged ready to be towed to my place. Iíll pull the heads off and see how bad it is.
Nice bus otherwise. 71k miles and new tires.
Yikes!
Glad to hear it has new tires and that nice drivers seat...

For that kinda water to seize the mill:
1) Coolant in the engine from blown head gasket or cracked head, or cracked block...
2) engine sat with the carb removed while the rain poured in...
(that happens way more than it should -- tears...)

I would suspect the previous owners memory is faulty or worse...
But that doesn't matter now --you own a bus!

Even before the work of pulling the heads I would pull the oil pan.
If waters been sitting on the crank you're looking at a full rebuild/machining.
If that's the case I'd be looking at finding a new/used motor.

And seeing what it takes to swap in a more modern eng/tranny while you're at it... Unless you're into the idea of an ol' school chevy big block...
Ahhh, back in the day when Eldorado's came with a 501...
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by banman View Post
Yikes!
Glad to hear it has new tires and that nice drivers seat...

For that kinda water to seize the mill:
1) Coolant in the engine from blown head gasket or cracked head, or cracked block...
2) engine sat with the carb removed while the rain poured in...
(that happens way more than it should -- tears...)

I would suspect the previous owners memory is faulty or worse...
But that doesn't matter now --you own a bus!

Even before the work of pulling the heads I would pull the oil pan.
If waters been sitting on the crank you're looking at a full rebuild/machining.
If that's the case I'd be looking at finding a new/used motor.

And seeing what it takes to swap in a more modern eng/tranny while you're at it... Unless you're into the idea of an ol' school chevy big block...
Ahhh, back in the day when Eldorado's came with a 501...
Sellers memory was definitely faulty. Heís a well known musician here. He and his sister seem to have the same mental issue.
I work in the industry and Iíll let folks know about his failing memory. Bad move on his part.
Meanwhile, I believe youíre correct. Cracked block worst case, blown head gasket best case.
I got a quote for towing this eve from a guy that says he has several old buses. He thinks he has a good motor. I feel like what the tow bill is he should include a good engine. Oh well.
I own a bus. Iím happy.
Iíll post the progress as it goes.

Oh yeah, I own 11 acres of schoolie friendly camping north of Dallas Tx if anyone is interested.
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:01 PM   #10
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,456
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Tow charges is no joke...

Maybe you'll get a break on buying a motor...?

I didn't mean the owner was malicious -- probably just clueless.

I went to look at a Scout one time where the owner said it "ran when parked just needed the carb rebuilt." And that may very well have been true several years before I saw the Scout -- before the carb was removed, and the rains came and the hood was left up... Dude seemed genuinely surprised when I showed him the motor was seized ('cause it was) and I offered scrap metal price...

I was impressed with how pretty "Hill Country" was when I passed though...
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:30 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
Tow charges is no joke...

Maybe you'll get a break on buying a motor...?

I didn't mean the owner was malicious -- probably just clueless.

I went to look at a Scout one time where the owner said it "ran when parked just needed the carb rebuilt." And that may very well have been true several years before I saw the Scout -- before the carb was removed, and the rains came and the hood was left up... Dude seemed genuinely surprised when I showed him the motor was seized ('cause it was) and I offered scrap metal price...

I was impressed with how pretty "Hill Country" was when I passed though...
Iím sure the seller wasnít clueless. I offered a fair price knowing it was not running and they counter offered. The only reason I paid the amount was because I know the music industry is suffering now.
I have no problem with helping out them as an artist.
What I do have a problem with is the lack of honesty and my wasted time trying to get it going.
Had he told me it would never run I would be happier and a day ahead. I can handle the truth.
Some can play dumb at times and get ahead. Not me.
Yes, there are many parts of Texas like the hill country that are amazing. Itís brutal with its temperature extremes ranging from minus zero to over one hundred F. Itís home and we acclimate to it. Hell, my grandparents never had AC. They lived to be 90. I digress.

I have 1500 watts of solar panels to go in the roof and eight 140ah AGM batteries. First thing is to mount the panels and get a solar powered AC going.
Then it will be a pleasure working on it.
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:57 PM   #12
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Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 376
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielm View Post
Iím sure the seller wasnít clueless. I offered a fair price knowing it was not running and they counter offered. The only reason I paid the amount was because I know the music industry is suffering now.
I have no problem with helping out them as an artist.
What I do have a problem with is the lack of honesty and my wasted time trying to get it going.
Had he told me it would never run I would be happier and a day ahead. I can handle the truth.
Some can play dumb at times and get ahead. Not me.
Yes, there are many parts of Texas like the hill country that are amazing. Itís brutal with its temperature extremes ranging from minus zero to over one hundred F. Itís home and we acclimate to it. Hell, my grandparents never had AC. They lived to be 90. I digress.

I have 1500 watts of solar panels to go in the roof and eight 140ah AGM batteries. First thing is to mount the panels and get a solar powered AC going.
Then it will be a pleasure working on it.
You've got the right attitude about that, can't change it now so don't sweat it and move on. I like your idea of getting the AC going right away for work comfort.
Carry on!
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:03 PM   #13
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielm View Post
I’m sure the seller wasn’t clueless. I offered a fair price knowing it was not running and they counter offered. The only reason I paid the amount was because I know the music industry is suffering now.
I have no problem with helping out them as an artist.

You're a good man. Artists always need a break.


Even honest people get in a fog about how long things have been sitting and what was really wrong with them when they were put away. It goes with the territory.


I have myself completely forgotten about why I stopped driving cars only to have it all come rushing back when I went about recommissioning them. My sister once gave me a car that she said ran perfectly, and she really thought so. Burned a quart of oil per tankful of gas, and leaked another. It was never a problem to her...


I renamed it "The Blue Cloud."
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:10 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 24
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You've got the right attitude about that, can't change it now so don't sweat it and move on. I like your idea of getting the AC going right away for work comfort.
Carry on!
Thanks.

We all need a little reassurance at times.

Iím a retired audio/electronic engineer that has built two houses and restored two historic homes. As well as built a Porsche 914 with a small block Chevy V8 and restored a few old Mercedes cars.
I think this will be a fun project for me and my girls.
And, I hope to offer something to the group any way I can.
I enjoy seeing the cool stuff everyone has done with their bus and hope to be able to post results half as nice someday.
Stay safe.
Dan
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:34 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 24
Update.
I found a tow for $350 flat rate and an entire rebuilt long block for $2095.
That will put me around $3500 for a bus with new tires and engine. That seems like a good start.

Next question... raise the roof or not? Being my first bus conversion I may forego the roof raise. We shall see.
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:10 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 24
The towing didnít happen as planned. Wrecker had a cracked weld and had to abort.
He will return Monday after he repairs his rig.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3D53FEA0-1FBE-436C-A8E8-010AEBD24218.jpg (314.1 KB, 3 views)
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:49 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Ugh. Upside down. That’s about how my day went today. Lol
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