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Old 04-28-2020, 07:40 PM   #1
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2003 GMC e3500 Minotaur(I think)

Ok so from what Iíve gathered this is a 2003 thomas Minotaur on a savanna chassis with a Detroit 6.5l diesel.
Adjustments.jpg
When I go to check it out, what issues should I check for? Additionally what trans is likely to be in this shortie and does it suck?

Apparently runs well and asking price is 2.2k seems like a pretty good deal to me. Correct me if Iím wrong.

One of the brake lines is blown, so thatíll be a fun first project!
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:46 PM   #2
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Ok so from what I’ve gathered this is a 2003 thomas Minotaur on a savanna chassis with a Detroit 6.5l diesel.
Attachment 43895
When I go to check it out, what issues should I check for? Additionally what trans is likely to be in this shortie and does it suck?

Apparently runs well and asking price is 2.2k seems like a pretty good deal to me. Correct me if I’m wrong.

One of the brake lines is blown, so that’ll be a fun first project!
Trans is likely to be a 4L80E / 4L85E. Not terrible, but not bulletproof. Install an auxiliary trans cooler if not already equipped. These also take synthetic fluid, Dexron VI, nothing less.

Doesn't sound like a terrible deal at $2200. If it ran and drove, that is. The brake line, be aware that diesel models used hydroboost, as diesels are incapable of building vacuum for a booster. Hence, it may require a little different bleeding procedure than you are used to. Essentially, hydroboost works off the power steering to help assist the brake system.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:48 PM   #3
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Iím not used to any bleeding process this will be my first real vehicle. But Iíll do more specific research. Cheesewagon you sir are my savior.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:49 PM   #4
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Hydraulic brake systems require 'bleeding' (purging) of air after the system is opened for repair or service. For most, it's simple, but requires two people, one to apply pressure to the brake pedal, the other to open and close the bleeder valve when necessary. Hydroboost may or may not change the procedure for this.

Welcome to the skoolie family... And, well, if you buy it, I can't resist...

Butt-Head - Short Bus.png
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:53 PM   #5
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Got an ODB2 scanner? Take that with you. Look for rust.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:55 PM   #6
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Danjo is absolutely correct. Rust never sleeps, and has hampered / ruined many a skoolie experience. Look underneath, get pics if possible. The more experienced among us here can tell you whether any rust is enough to worry about.

Here is a link to a Google search on hydroboost systems and related bleeding procedures. Be aware that the hydroboost unit relies on power steering system pressure, a separate system from the brake hydraulic system.

https://www.google.com/search?client...ith+hydroboost
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:59 PM   #7
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Welcome to the skoolie family... And, well, I can't resist...

Attachment 43896

Check out my hand me down Prius(how the heck do I compress pictures) one sec I got this. But if anything people will take me more seriously
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:04 PM   #8
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Lel
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:09 PM   #9
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I currently own a Camry myself, standard model, non-hybrid. I was provided a Prius to drive in transporting a special needs student to a school for autism. I can't really say I was impressed.

Good for people who do a lot of low-speed driving in close quarters and want to save gas. Not so much for a 90-minute drive one way, and sitting all day waiting to make the 90-minute return trip. They do indeed get 50-60 in town if you drive easy and never exceed 30 mph.

But 48 mpg is the best I could do on the highway, and the 2016 Malibu I had at the time did better than that -- 48-59 best case scenario. All comes down to what works best for this person or that person. Incidentally, I traded the Malibu for the Camry because it showed signs of blowby. I do not recommend any GM product built after about 2010.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:12 PM   #10
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Got an ODB2 scanner? Take that with you. Look for rust.

I donít, Iíll ask some friends. Itís probably worth investing in a $50 scanner isnít it. Iíll go watch some YouTube videos
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:17 PM   #11
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I donít, Iíll ask some friends. Itís probably worth investing in a $50 scanner isnít it. Iíll go watch some YouTube videos
Yeah, you can get cheapies at Advance that will show any codes in memory. Won't help in diagnosis, but codes in memory can help in negotiation. If there is rust, walk away. Anything northward from VA / TN / AK / KS / CO/ NV is likely to be rusty. South of that area are less likely, but check to be sure.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:18 PM   #12
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That bus will have ABS brakes so needing to replace a brake line will at the least require learning how to bleed both the ABS and the actual brakes. Some ABS units require dealer level re-scanning (about $100) along with the bleed. Best to find out first.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:19 PM   #13
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I donít, Iíll ask some friends. Itís probably worth investing in a $50 scanner isnít it. Iíll go watch some YouTube videos
You can get one for 20. It doesnít need to be fancy. I say to take one with the caveat that it will read. It does on my 07 duramax-based minotour. Port is at your left knee if youíre sitting in the driver seat.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:19 PM   #14
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Yeah, you can get cheapies at Advance that will show any codes in memory. Won't help in diagnosis, but codes in memory can help in negotiation. If there is rust, walk away. Anything northward from VA / TN / AK / KS / CO/ NV is likely to be rusty. South of that area are less likely, but check to be sure.

Ok Iím in MA so itís likely Iíll be walking away but I have to start somewhere and the bus is 4 miles from my house!
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:21 PM   #15
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You can get one for 20. It doesnít need to be fancy. I say to take one with the caveat that it will read. It does on my 07 duramax-based minotour. Port is at your left knee if youíre sitting in the driver seat.

Alright sweet thanks for the help.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:22 PM   #16
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That bus will have ABS brakes so needing to replace a brake line will at the least require learning how to bleed both the ABS and the actual brakes. Some ABS units require dealer level re-scanning (about $100) along with the bleed. Best to find out first.
Jack

Ok so itís likely Iíd have to bring it in. Looking less and less likely that I want this bus
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:25 PM   #17
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Ok I’m in MA so it’s likely I’ll be walking away but I have to start somewhere and the bus is 4 miles from my house!
Better to get on a plane / train and deal with a 15-hour drive home than spend 1000 hrs cutting out chunks of the floor, welding in new metal and then rustproofing before you can even start on your conversion.

That brake line being blown suggests severe rust. I would take pics of the underbody, especially the frame rails and other brake lines. Post them here and then we can help you determine if it's worth it.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:28 PM   #18
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Better to get on a plane and deal with a 15-hour drive home than spend 1000 hrs cutting out chunks of the floor, welding in new metal and then rustproofing before you can even start on your conversion.

That brake line being blown suggests severe rust. I would take pics of the underbody, especially the frame rails and other brake lines.

Well heck when you say it like that. In all honesty I really like the appearance of buses from the 1985-early 90s range. If I get a bus from the south with low miles is that likely to work out? I especially love the econoline 350s
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:33 PM   #19
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Well heck when you say it like that. In all honesty I really like the appearance of buses from the 1985-early 90s range. If I get a bus from the south with low miles is that likely to work out? I especially love the econoline 350s
Generally that would be a good bet, but always check for rust to be sure. Getting harder to find the smaller van-based ones in the era you're referring to. I will say this, if you're interested in the Econoline van based buses, don't buy any diesel newer than '02. The '03+ 6.0 diesel is a nightmare. Gas engines are fine in any year model. But just because it's close doesn't mean it's the best option.

For instance, there's a 35-foot Blue Bird on a Ford chassis 15 miles from me that runs and drives that I could get for $1200, but has an 8.2 Detroit and a Lucas-Girling brake system. The brake system is a deal-breaker, owned the same basic bus with the same braking system and had to junk it because the parking brake hydraulics froze up and wouldn't release. The 8.2 Detroit isn't really a favorite in the skoolie community either -- not because it's a bad engine, but because its exhaust smells terrible and serviceability is an issue -- they've been out of production 30 years.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:39 PM   #20
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Generally that would be a good bet, but always check for rust to be sure. Getting harder to find the smaller van-based ones in the era you're referring to. I will say this, if you're interested in the Econoline van based buses, don't buy any diesel newer than '02. The '03+ 6.0 diesel is a nightmare. Gas engines are fine in any year model. But just because it's close doesn't mean it's the best option.

For instance, there's a 35-foot Blue Bird on a Ford chassis 15 miles from me that runs and drives that I could get for $1200, but has an 8.2 Detroit and a Lucas-Girling brake system. The brake system is a deal-breaker, owned the same basic bus with the same braking system and had to junk it because the parking brake hydraulics froze up and wouldn't release. The 8.2 Detroit isn't really a favorite in the skoolie community either -- not because it's a bad engine, but because its exhaust smells terrible and serviceability is an issue -- they've been out of production 30 years.

Good thought, but Iím going to need something significantly shorter than that. Iíll be in the city for my last year of college parked in my current roommates driveway I assume haha. Iíll keep madly searching. But if you come across any really short short buses Iíd definitely be interested!
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