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Old 06-04-2020, 04:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2020
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Exclamation Potential first bus... rust experts help!

Hi everyone-- My name's Cassidy and I'm new to skoolie community... Have been doing a lot of research the last couple months while inside... I am a high school Spanish teacher hoping to do a rather simple short bus convert (reutilizing seats and keeping with a bus/classroom feel on inside) and embrace bus life fulltime this fall. After much searching, I think I may have found a bus, but I'd love your opinions first!

About bus: 1999 Chevy Thomas G3500 Express 20' Chassis 6.5L Duramax Diesel Engine Hydraulic Breaks 176,000 miles

I really like the size and features of this bus, while my main concern is fixing and controlling the rust so it doesn't create further damage. Can I stop the rust around screws/floor edges without ripping up floor? All thoughts and advice greatly appreciated. Some pics attached from when I went to see bus.

Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_6493.jpg (77.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6496.jpg (117.3 KB, 11 views)
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:31 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Savannah GA
Posts: 756
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 24v
Rated Cap: 54 passenger
I'm not an expert. But my underside looked so much worse than that. It's been a pain and a lot of work but structurally it didn't eat through to the floor. I am going through a different experience than other rust masters here.

That said, this bus has damage. You won't know the extent until you tear it out, for sure.

Can you bend metal? Can you weld? Can you cut a rectangle out at that back door and replace it with new metal? It was something I hadn't done before and something I am starting to get the hang of now.

Do you want to learn these skills or buy something more fresh and clean?

Everything about your bus will be give and take. And compromise. Rust can be dealt with. It looks better than mine, but I don't know about the hidden parts. I think I got lucky with mine, so I don't like commenting on others.

Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:54 PM   #3
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Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3,825
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
JDSquared's comments always give me paUse (sorry for the upper-case U there, my keyboard is messed up) because he boUght the standard rust bucket (huh, my u key just started working again) and has been making admirable progress against it. So it is possible to buy a rusty bus and soldier your way through it, so the standard "don't buy a rusty bus" advice is maybe not universal.

But, you can get rust in places that you have to do a really major reconstruction effort to fix. If you really want the opportunity to repair and rebuild a vehicle's structure, a rusty bus is just the thing. If you don't want to really get into anything like that and you're just hoping that rust remediation isn't really that much work, then I say pass on this bus - it's very rusty.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:39 PM   #4
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Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,834
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Pic #4 is the only thing that has me wondering. What is it a pic of?

I'd need a few more pics of the frame and wheel wells before I'd pass judgement overall. What I see right now isn't all that bad---so---
Jack
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:52 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
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Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
Pic #4 is the only thing that has me wondering. What is it a pic of?

I'd need a few more pics of the frame and wheel wells before I'd pass judgement overall. What I see right now isn't all that bad---so---
Jack

I do believe that is mechanical protection for heater hoses, 2 of them, maybe 1" hose or slightly less.



Run right at the bottom of the driverside wall at floor level.




John
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:12 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 397
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
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Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
I do believe that is mechanical protection for heater hoses, 2 of them, maybe 1" hose or slightly less.



Run right at the bottom of the driverside wall at floor level.




John
Looks like the leading edge of the driver side running board to me, photo turned sideways
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