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Old 04-09-2021, 02:17 PM   #1
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Help buying a bus

Hello everyone, Iíve been wanting to make this life change for a while now but for one reason or another I havenít. I think the time is now and I found a 2002 Chevrolet express cutaway g3500 with only 30k mileage and a clean record. Do you guys think that would be a good model for conversion?
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,111
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Welcome to the site.

Sounds like a good candidate, with the extremely low mileage.
Gas or diesel powered?
If the body/undercarriage is not rusty, you might have a good one?
Post pics of it if you can...
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,635
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
i would have a shop plug into the obd2 and verify mileage at a minimum.
but while you are there have them inspect everything before purchase.
its hard to believe that mileage?
hope you got lucky.
if its diesel? they love to be ran and not just idled every know and then.
if its gas you might be fine.
if its gas in a 2500 its could be the 350 and underpowered but could be upgraded some easy enough with plenty of parts available if its a 3500 then its probably a 6.0 early version of the ls engine and plenty of power for a shorty if not overloaded.
plenty of upgrades and parts available for both.
if it diesel in that year model then it could have issues unless they had them addressed in the recall time.
diesel wise there was a recall for injector problems.
the injector harness was a problem in some because it runs in the valve cover.
the company 2000 duramax work truck i used to drive.
nobody wanted to drive it because because just out of the blue it would lay down on you and not start.
i had it for 1 year and left stuck several times until i figured it out.
long story short.
it was the o ring on the fuel hand pump primer drawing air and eventually the system got enough air in it that it wanted fuel but only got air/fuel mix out of the filter because the primer was the top of the filter housing.
that diesel was at 300,000 then now its at 400 plus and going.
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:15 PM   #4
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Thanks Peteg59 and Jolly Roger for your help! Unfortunately there aren't any photos of the underbody but I'm planning on going to test drive and will def check for that. I ran the vin and everything matched up with the advertisement but I'll take it to a shop if possible. The body looks fine and it's a 6.5L V8 FI DSL TURBO engine with 4A W/ OD transmission.
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Old 04-11-2021, 10:51 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 496
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas x2
Chassis: HDX/MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3126 x2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubuloo View Post
Thanks Peteg59 and Jolly Roger for your help! Unfortunately there aren't any photos of the underbody but I'm planning on going to test drive and will def check for that. I ran the vin and everything matched up with the advertisement but I'll take it to a shop if possible. The body looks fine and it's a 6.5L V8 FI DSL TURBO engine with 4A W/ OD transmission.
To clarify, you said a 6.5? Not a 6.6? The 6.5l while a decent powerplant, is not turbocharged in the van chassis as there's physically no room to hang the turbocharger off the side as it is in the other GM platforms that used the engine. That it shows up as turbocharged is most likely an oversight on the part of the vin decoder.

It is also not as resilient as the 6.6l Duramax, any of the Powerstrokes, or the Cummins. They typically do not last as long either, often wearing out at around 250,000 miles give or take depending on how well they're cared for. They do not appreciate being even slightly overheated, head gasket failures are not rare. The engine was largely designed to be an economic alternative to a big block gasser, though they can be found in a wide variety of applications from boats to humvees.

I heavily recommend a fuel lubricant additive with the 6.5l, the injection pump wears over time and they're starting to get really expensive and the number of people able to diagnose and repair these engines when something goes wrong is shrinking. I've learned this first hand unfortunately.

Be wary that these trucks use mechanical odometers and it's possible it may have had the cluster swapped due to a failure. Definitely check this engine for blowby.
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