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Old 09-03-2018, 11:04 AM   #1
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Undercarriage Rust - Too much?

Hi all,

I am new to the skoolie world and looking to purchase a short bus. I have already converted a 1993 Chevy van, so I understand most of the issues when it comes to dealing with these old vehicles. But since I'm not familiar with buses specifically and haven't looked at very many, I wanted to get some opinions on the acceptable amount of rust underneath.

I'm looking to live full time in the bus for at least a year, possibly two, but I don't need it to last me forever. I won't be doing any cold weather stuff so hopefully it won't have to see snow again.

Bus specs:
1997 Chevy 3500 Short School Bus
Asking price: $2,150
Automatic, Gas engine
127, 000 miles
Runs well, appears mechanically sound
Current inspection - until 5/19
Exact size I'm looking for, already has the school bus lights and everything removed. It has been registered as a truck.

I am just worried about the amount of rust underneath. Any opinions are appreciated!
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:28 PM   #2
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Way too much rust. You will be opening up a giant pandoras box. Walk away
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:02 PM   #3
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Too much rust. In addition to the holes that are likely in the body it will be almost impossible to work on any drivetrain to suspension component. Much better busses out there for the money.

Ted
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:56 PM   #4
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Too much rust!
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:30 PM   #5
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The knuckle seems to have rusted through, and the structural beam in your second photo shows a wet rust spot that would require in-person inspection (as would the rust at the muffler's entry end). I would expect a bus like this one to go for less than $1,000 at auction. Walk away.

That said, rust does not appear prohibitively bad in other areas. In fact, it's more or less standard fare.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:04 AM   #6
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Price is high for the amount of rust... The frame and such doens't look too bad... would clean up easily enough but the suspension and steering components will be a nightmare to work on. Brake components as well.


If you could get it for half that price... maybe worth it.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:26 AM   #7
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And the moral to the story is, stay off the grass, lawn's that is.


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Old 09-04-2018, 04:33 PM   #8
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About face! Double Time - RUN!
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Too much rust. In addition to the holes that are likely in the body it will be almost impossible to work on any drivetrain to suspension component.

Ted

Totally agree

With that much of rust the maintenance of the suspension and steering components will turn into a nightmere. When you try to undo something it may just break in unexpeced spots.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:46 AM   #10
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Fifth or sixth vote for run away and wash your hands once you've reached a safe distance.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:38 AM   #11
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Come on guys, nothing a little Ospho couldn't help.

Seriously, run, very fast.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:24 PM   #12
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That looks pretty heavy. Was it used in the North, where they salt the roads? I've got a 98' model that was in a flood, more than once I think, and it don't look that bad.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:19 AM   #13
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Okay, I get it about staying off grass.

So, what do you all suggest - I have a place in the yard of a friend, to put my Skoolie, once I find the right one. Yay!
BUT,
The area is tired grass. She is open to me putting something down over the grass & under the bus to protect it from rusting.

What are my options? Cheapest to not so cheap. Paving is out. I have limited funds.

This will be in Utah, so yes, there will be snow. Looking at 26-30 foot length of bus.
Thanks
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:43 AM   #14
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I fail to see what parking on the grass has to do with anything. No relation to the rust. The rust was caused by a non undercoated undercarrage, road salt , or the bus was used near salt water. Saw this a LOT in Hawaii.
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Old 10-04-2018, 12:11 PM   #15
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Hmmmmmm. I'm only asking cause I've read here, that Grass can be a killer.
The plot thickens.....
Thanks bluebird90
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Old 10-04-2018, 12:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bluebird90 View Post
I fail to see what parking on the grass has to do with anything. No relation to the rust. The rust was caused by a non undercoated undercarrage, road salt , or the bus was used near salt water. Saw this a LOT in Hawaii.

You are badly misinformed about parking on the grass then.


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Old 10-04-2018, 01:53 PM   #17
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Hmmmmmm. I'm only asking cause I've read here, that Grass can be a killer.
The plot thickens.....
Thanks bluebird90
A lil grass never hurt anybody.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:43 PM   #18
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OK...we need to be clear on exactly what kind of "grass" we are talking about here.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:24 PM   #19
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Not misinformed, experienced. With the exception of overgrown grass in a very humid climate I fail to see it's effect on rust. I have seen vehicles that have been sitting in the weeds for years with no ill effects. I have also seen vehicles parked on gravel rusted away. I think it has more to do with the protection of the metal and the presence of corrosives like salt than grass. However please explain how grass can enhance rust formation. Maybe there is some chemical in the grass that we haven't considered.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bluebird90 View Post
Not misinformed, experienced. With the exception of overgrown grass in a very humid climate I fail to see it's effect on rust. I have seen vehicles that have been sitting in the weeds for years with no ill effects. I have also seen vehicles parked on gravel rusted away. I think it has more to do with the protection of the metal and the presence of corrosives like salt than grass. However please explain how grass can enhance rust formation. Maybe there is some chemical in the grass that we haven't considered.
None of my mowers are rusting and they're covered in grass all the time.
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