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Old 12-07-2006, 09:07 AM   #1
Bus Nut
frank-id's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
Posts: 809
School bus parts

School bus parts are nearly the exact parts for a big pickup truck. The engine and runing gear are the same. Do not tell any partsmen you need parts for a school bus. Go to any small mechanical repair shop and ask questions including how much to fix. You mostly need a mentor for some guidance, direction and education. Most mechanical repairs are very basic. Look on the net for any bus clubs or groups that deal with your type bus, in your area. Find a local mechanic and pay for his knowledge. Many churches have people who have buses and will inform and teach you. Gas engined buses are very easy to repair.
Changing oil on a gas engine usually takes 6 quarts total, with changing the filter. Some engines have large oil pans and will need additional oil. When buying oil, buy 12 quarts and have a few spare for the trip. Any standard filter will be OK. Remove filter amd take to parts store as a sample of filter needed. Leave the old filter and write maker and number under hood of bus for future reference. My choise of oil is 15/40, that is a all purpose engine oil. Most car parts stores will have a new brake cap, just ask and look. Remember, do not say bus.
It would be a rare situation for an engine to have too much oil pressure.
Oil pressure lites mostly indicate low oil, restriction or poor oil.
A rear main is not a very difficult repair. With some guidance, you can make this repair. Modern engines rarely leak at the rear crankshaft seal.
If your engine is a GM 366, all GM exhaust gaskets are the same. The gaskets are 3 seperate pieces per engine side. The manifold is loosened and the bolts removed, the gaskets will usually fall out of position. The gaskets are replaced starting at one end. The bolts are coated with a grey paste called anti-seize, on the threads. The gasket is held in position, the the bolts started, but not tightened. This same action is repeated for all 3 gaskets on one side of the engine. Doughnut style gaskets are usually only at the connections at the bottom of the manifolds and the pipes. When in doubt, remove the part in question and use as a sample. Before any trip check all fluids, as trans, radiator and rear axle. Find a new mechanic friend. Find a real mechanic not a friend who thinks he is a mechanic. Ya gotta spend some money for information.. Frank

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Old 12-14-2006, 04:04 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: downriver, detroit mi
Posts: 794
try to figure out what chassis (c50,c60,etc) and use that to identify your medium duty truck at the parts house. then look for a truck parts specialist instead of an auto parts. the next best auto parts option is a major nationwide supplier like NAPA or the local autoparts/machine shop that has been in town since when dirt was mud.
your 366 is based on the 427 tall block truck engine and has been around since the mid 60's.
if your exhaust leak is @ the pipe use plenty of p oil and give it time to work,ie, spray daily for two or three days before you even think about putting a socket in the nut. dealing with broken exhaust fasteners is not fun also replace removed hardware with new, you'll like yourself if there is ever a next time exhaust repair.
good luck
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:30 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 448
If your bus has a Bendix Hydro Max brake system you can probably get the cap at NAPA. I was able to get a master cylinder rebuild kit for that system from NAPA. If you have a truck junk yard close to you, you might be able to find a truck with a Bendix Hydro Max system. Around here there are lots of them on old potato/beet haulers.

At a parts house you may have to tell them it is a school bus as some of the parts are a little different. Though I doubt the resivoir cap would be different on a bus.

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