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Old 09-23-2018, 06:38 PM   #1
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6 Cylinder bus?

Hey! Thinking about getting a 1964 bus that is in good shape but has the original 6 cylinder motor in it. The owner says it still runs good and doesn't smoke or burn oil. He wasn't sure how fast it would go down the highway, he was thinking somewhere around 55 miles an hour. Does anyone know if it can go faster and what the mpg would be? I would appreciate any help. Any advice on this bus too? Should I go for it and look for something newer?
He lives about 8 hours away and said the bus would not have any trouble making the trip.
Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC1993 View Post
Hey! Thinking about getting a 1964 bus that is in good shape but has the original 6 cylinder motor in it. The owner says it still runs good and doesn't smoke or burn oil. He wasn't sure how fast it would go down the highway, he was thinking somewhere around 55 miles an hour. Does anyone know if it can go faster and what the mpg would be? I would appreciate any help. Any advice on this bus too? Should I go for it and look for something newer?
He lives about 8 hours away and said the bus would not have any trouble making the trip.
Thanks for any help.
Can't compute with such limited info.
I can say one thing for use Going faster always result in less MPG. (unless you are in neutral going down hill idling the engine)
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:56 PM   #3
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need more information

I would bet on closer to 45 mph than 55mph. Really depends on how big the bus is. Need more details. by the way, where is home base for you

william
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:47 PM   #4
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If it runs on gas (not diesel) I would expect a realistic fuel economy to be somewhere around 4-6 MPG (assuming it's a full size bus).


I would expect a diesel to get around double that. Not to mention much easier to find parts for and a much longer life expectancy. Watch out for the diesels above 2004, though. Emissions hardware is not something you want to replace and some engines newer than 2004 had some serious issues. Research before buying.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:47 PM   #5
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I was hoping it would go at least 65 mph as I need it on the highway a lot. It's a cool looking bus that I would love fixing up. I live in Lansing.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:55 PM   #6
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I like the aesthetic of older buses myself. Whether restoring the original engine or transplanting a diesel is another matter - personally, I'd want the torque and fuel economy of a diesel.
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC1993 View Post
I was hoping it would go at least 65 mph as I need it on the highway a lot. It's a cool looking bus that I would love fixing up. I live in Lansing.
If you need to be on the highway a lot you need something modern and more powerful in my opinion.
The old buses are nice for collections or restorations. Also great for building custom creations as Tango has shown.
But for highway cruising a more modern diesel with a good non-545 transmission is what I'd be after.
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:19 PM   #8
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Size of engine and gear ratio in the rear will tell a lot more. Must agree with the others for a lot of highway driving this is not likely to be the one, unless you can re power it. Depending on size of the bus the Cummins 5.9 might be a good candidate to put in it.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:00 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the help. Here's my situation. I'm going to likely have to work in Omaha, NE this winter (construction) and I don't like hotels. So, I'm looking at a bus to live in during the 6-9 months I'll be working there. But I also plan on going back to KC several times a week also to watch my son play basketball. What do you think would be the best economical bus to get. I know I don't need a full size one, but they seem to be about the same price as a mini. All I'm needing is something to sleep in as I will be showering at the local gym. I would like to insulate it before I go up there.
Would I be better with a camper van? I don't know?
Thanks again for all the great advice, I'm listening!
Joe
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:43 PM   #10
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three hour drive

Man tough order to fill. I would say a cutaway chassis and small front wheel drive car. You are going to be running in winter with some snow, probably. The fuel mileage for "several times a week" is going to be ugly, fast.

Consider living in bus or box truck, but not driving it back and fourth.

If you are gonna drive it too..... I would tell you look for what is called a "van cutaway" bus. diesel will net you better fuel economy but gasoline cutaway will be cheaper for parts, a v8 350 chevy van is about the cheapest thing on the planet to buy parts for.

william topeka
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:46 PM   #11
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like this
https://kansascity.craigslist.org/ct...691731192.html
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:34 PM   #12
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Get the bus. I like the older style. Buses are expensive, so get one that you feel is worth dumping cash into. You could just get a camper or rv, but that's not a bus. My '58 chevy bus floated down the road, it was a dream to drive, but it did have a 350 under the hood. That's an easy upgrade. Here's a picture of a '64 Chevy that's for sale in colorado.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:31 PM   #13
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We need more antique buses on the forum. However do you have the time and skills needed to make it run with modern traffic? If you do by all means it would be great. I am hoping you do, but do not want to encourage dreams that could be more of a headache then not.

So are you just looking for practical or looking for something neat that really means something to you?
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Old 09-29-2018, 03:36 PM   #14
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There were a lot of I-6 gas engines used in buses back in the day. Some were pretty small like the Ford and Chevy I-6's, the biggest of which were 300 ci and 292 ci. Dodge put several different flathead I-6's in bus chassis starting with the 230 Dodge and the larger Chrysler flathead six that was close to 300 ci. Newer models got the Slant 6.

IHC used quite a few I-6 engines going from small to very large. The Blue, Black, and Silver Diamond engines were in the 250-300 ci range. The Red Diamonds went from the RD318 up to the RD501.

White, Reo, Mack, and Studebaker also used various different I-6 engines that ranged in size from about 300 ci to over 500 ci.

I suppose what I am saying is depending upon which I-6 the bus has you might have a bus that is great up to 45 MPH and that is it or you might have a bus that has enough go to be able to cruise on the flat at 55-60 MPH.

The real downside to the gas engines from days gone by is they are fairly thirsty (4 MPG would be realistic, 6 MPG would be a gift from heaven), they do NOT like the ethanol blended gasoline we have to use, and without electronics to control the spark and fuel they will have drivability issues.

If you decide to go this route I would suggest bringing along a towed to take of the driving duties back and forth to KCMO.
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Old 09-29-2018, 04:09 PM   #15
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i would need a little more info on the bus to know what engine you could use to get the power and mpg you are looking for...
i have a 1946 WHITE. 30' school bus.. i have done a lot to it but it originally had a very large inline 6 gas engine that might of got 4 miles to the gallon on a flat area at 45-50 mph.. i installed a 1959 cummins c180 shupercharged inline 24 valve 6cly..with a 10spd. fuller road ranger trans, with a IH front axle with air brakes and 4:11 IH differential.. it will get 14-16 if kept under 60 mph, with all the power to run faster than you want to go.... so it all depends on what bus you have and how much you are able to do as far as fabrication
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Old 09-29-2018, 04:18 PM   #16
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Have one you might be interested in.

https://redding.craigslist.org/rvs/d...704939337.html
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Old 09-29-2018, 04:24 PM   #17
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I had a 64 gmc 66 passenger bus in the 70s and 80s with a 305 v6 gmc engine and a 4 speed transmission. I drove to California 5 times from Knoxville TN. . I had a Motorcycle rack on the front bumper. and sometimes towed a mustang or a Datsun pickup behind. With a fresh tuneup and regular gas it would get between 10 and 12 Mpg. Remember there was no power robbers like Air conditioning, power steering, power brakes ,on that engine It would cruise at 60 on level ground and either real slow or real fast in the mountains. It just depends on what you expect from it. One trip to New Orleans from Knoxville I got 12 pulling the truck.
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Old 09-29-2018, 04:43 PM   #18
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I have a 35 ft bus with a 6.6 desiel. And its a manual transmission. 2 speed rear end. It will go 72 mph but depending on what I'm hauling or hills and wind. My mpg varies from 10 - 15 mpg. Very happy with the motor.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:43 PM   #19
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We have a 1969 Bluebird with probably the original engine (we no longer trust anything the guys we bought it from told us, it for sure was NOT a rebuilt 305).

You need to look at the rear end gear ratio (I think - I'll try to get my husband to chime in). The rear end was not capable of going faster than 55 mph - we did once, downhill, with a tail wind, pedal to the metal.

We drove it from Ohio to South Dakota to the Pacific Northwest and never once went over 55. We probably averaged 50 mph and 4-6 mpg. We think it's a Ford 360 engine, manual transmission and it's a 32 foot long bus.

You have to keep in mind, especially the older ones, these were built to transport kids to and from school usually on country roads and in town only. They are not made for speed by any stretch of the imagination.

Oh - and it was LOUD from engine noise and wind noise. (I'm glad the second drive I was in the SUV pulling the trailer....how hubby could handle the noise is beyond me, but I'm also a bit sensitive about it, too.)
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:01 PM   #20
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I have a gas engine bus. My 38í footer has a big block Chevy V8. I cruised it 75mph when I drove it home
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