1992 Chevy Mini Bird Conversion ~ First time skoolie project owner !
Hello all! I have been stalking these threads for over a year now, preparing myself for the journey into bus-ownership. I just put down a deposit and am waiting on a mechanical inspection to complete the purchase of a 1992 Chevy Bluebird Mini Bird. It is my understanding that this is the 6.5L Detroit diesel engine.
I plan to make this my full time, off-grid living situation. This will include a compost toilet, a standing shower, a kitchenette, and a lofted bedroom.
I have drawn up to-scale diagrams and will upload photos of that along with photos of the bus currently.
It has been sitting on a property in the woods for about a year. There are mice living in it somewhere (I have not checked if they have taken residence in the engine compartment or caused any electrical damage. It doesn't appear to be that way though, perhaps they just visit the bus at night and scavange off the herbs that were left there..) After charging the batteries, the bus starts right up. I have not driven it yet, and am nervous about the mechanical condition. I have a bus mechanic coming to look at it in a few weeks and can update more clearly then. Does anyone have any suggestions for questions to ask the owner? It was most currently used as a living situation for 3 women in their 20s. It has never had any mechanical issues for them, has a small solar setup I plan to expand on, and once had a small fresh water tank I also plan to expand/replace. The interior is currently set up as a temporary living space. There are shelves, a small kitchen counter and sink, some benches, and a lofted twin bed. It is habitable (aside from the mice problem which I hope is an easy fix - any recommendations ?)
I recognize I am looking at a lot of work here, from gutting it, reinsulating, framing, etc etc. I am hoping to pay less than $5k (their asking price) for this bus as it currently is. Is that too much? The prices are all over the board it seems and this model is specifically hard to track down a value for online. From a retired bus mechanic I have heard this particular engine is very shitty - yay or neigh ? Would love some pricing advice as well as inspiration for proper mechanical questions.
As I find out more information about the history and current state of this bus, I will let you all know. Thanks for being a big happy family that I can't wait to share this news with (: