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Old 05-10-2020, 08:40 AM   #1
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Gas engine? 2004 Chevy 6.0l

I found this 2004 Chevy express bus with a gas 6.0L V8.120k miles. Itís 4 windows long. Iíve read a lot of conflicting stuff around gas buses. I had a 29ft diesel bus before and got about 10mpg. Iíve read that the gas buses get anywhere from 3-10
Anyone have any input? All I can find in my area is gas short buses. Should I go for it or wait for a diesel one to pop up?
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:01 AM   #2
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What have you read about gas buses? If this is a van chassis cutaway with a gas engine I wouldn't be as concerned as if you were talking about a 35 foot gasser. If this is the size of bus you're wanting then I'm not sure what concerns you're expecting but I can think of a few positives.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Skwersbus View Post
I found this 2004 Chevy express bus with a gas 6.0L V8.120k miles. Itís 4 windows long. Iíve read a lot of conflicting stuff around gas buses. I had a 29ft diesel bus before and got about 10mpg. Iíve read that the gas buses get anywhere from 3-10
Anyone have any input? All I can find in my area is gas short buses. Should I go for it or wait for a diesel one to pop up?
The 6.0 gm gasser is a good engine. In a van chassis its as good as it gets for late model stuff, imo.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:17 AM   #4
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What have you read about gas buses? If this is a van chassis cutaway with a gas engine I wouldn't be as concerned as if you were talking about a 35 foot gasser. If this is the size of bus you're wanting then I'm not sure what concerns you're expecting but I can think of a few positives.
It is a van chassis. I’ve read that gas busses get anywhere from 3-4mpg to 10-15mpg, and that these engines are reliable and good or that it’s no where near enough power.
After going from a bus to a van to a different van I think a short bus should fit my needs. But I’m just concerned the gas engine won’t get me where I want to go without breaking the bank at the pump
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:30 AM   #5
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expect more than 10mpg.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:42 PM   #6
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expect more than 10mpg.
Agreed. In a 4-window bus the 6.0L gas engine should be comparable to a regular van. There's probably a little less aerodynamics if it's a school bus body but I wouldn't expect a severe decline in fuel economy. It'll probably even tow alright but that's where you may expect some decline especially because once you hit that tow/haul button (if equipped) you lockout overdrive in favor of torque.

I suspect the things you've heard about gassers being gas hogs are full size gas buses which haven't been around for at least 30 years. Gas engines make more torque with RPMs but still not going to lug and tug as long as a diesel will. With higher RPM comes more heat, more wear, and more fuel burn. This is why the right bus for your needs is important first place to start.
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:47 PM   #7
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Agreed. In a 4-window bus the 6.0L gas engine should be comparable to a regular van. There's probably a little less aerodynamics if it's a school bus body but I wouldn't expect a severe decline in fuel economy. It'll probably even tow alright but that's where you may expect some decline especially because once you hit that tow/haul button (if equipped) you lockout overdrive in favor of torque.

I suspect the things you've heard about gassers being gas hogs are full size gas buses which haven't been around for at least 30 years. Gas engines make more torque with RPMs but still not going to lug and tug as long as a diesel will. With higher RPM comes more heat, more wear, and more fuel burn. This is why the right bus for your needs is important first place to start.
Lost of brand new buses are gasoline now. But yeah gas buses more or less went away in most places till recently. I think ours are propane or something.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:50 AM   #8
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expect more than 10mpg.
I have the 6.0L gasser in my 6-window van cutaway. I got 9.5mpg from NJ to TX and back again. A 4-window should definitely top 10mpg as ECCB says. If you have single rears, your GVWR and width will be lower still and you'll probably do better yet, but at the cost of less capacity for the build. The 6.0L is great for me, so a shorter bus shouldn't be any issue.

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Old 05-12-2020, 11:48 AM   #9
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I have a 2003 (2002 engine) chevy 5.7L gas van chassis bus. I get around 11 but I'm assuming it will go down a little bit due to my roof raise and eventual mounting of solar panels. From my research I heard a lot of good things about both the 5.7L and the 6.0s. A lot of people prefer diesel but I'm not too concerned about it considering how good of shape mine is in/ the low miles (66k).
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:51 AM   #10
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I have a 5.4 gas in my shuttle and I get about 12 unloaded and about 10 loaded towing a 20 foot enclosed car hauler. Don't believe the diesel guys, they are fanatical.
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:13 PM   #11
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I drive an '05 Escalade with the 6.0L. It's a great engine. If well taken care of, you can expect 300+K miles easily. I can occasionally squeak 20 mpg out of it. When I'm towing my camper, I consistently get just over 13. With the extra weight and wind resistance of a bus body, I would expect 10, but never as high as 15. One big reason we are going the bus route. Much bigger house for only a 3 mpg loss. The bit about Tow/Haul locking out overdrive isn't the case on my Escalade. Tow/Haul changes the torque management and shift points, but I still have overdrive.
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:24 PM   #12
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I have the 6.0L gasser in my 6-window van cutaway. I got 9.5mpg from NJ to TX and back again. A 4-window should definitely top 10mpg as ECCB says. If you have single rears, your GVWR and width will be lower still and you'll probably do better yet, but at the cost of less capacity for the build. The 6.0L is great for me, so a shorter bus shouldn't be any issue.

Chris
I got ~9.5-10.5 with the same chassis/engine as you. I think that's about it with the aerodynamics of the Collins body. Maybe a smaller body could do better, or the newer 6l90 trans could help, but I would count on 10mpg pretty much no matter what.

I will say the same chassis with the Duramax motor gets ~3mpg better at speed and when speeds are low can get ~16mpg
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:10 PM   #13
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I got ~9.5-10.5 with the same chassis/engine as you. I think that's about it with the aerodynamics of the Collins body. Maybe a smaller body could do better, or the newer 6l90 trans could help, but I would count on 10mpg pretty much no matter what.
What speeds do you normally run on the highway? I was typically doing 60-65mph and was considering lowering my speed to see if I can do any better on my next big trip.

Yes the Collins body has the aerodynamics of a brick.

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Old 05-13-2020, 03:47 PM   #14
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expect more than 10mpg.
My 2004 pickup with the 6.0 gets 11-12mpg EMPTY.

Pulling my little trailer drops it to 8-9 mpg.

My Dodge gets 17-19mpg empty and 15-16mpg pulling the same trailer.

I don't think that I will ever buy another gas truck or bus. Different strokes for different folks
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Old 05-13-2020, 04:43 PM   #15
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My Dodge pickup with a cummins 5.9 only gets 13 empty, and 10 towing. My previous Dodge pickup with a gas engine got 12 empty, and about 9 towing.
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:51 PM   #16
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I drive an '05 Escalade with the 6.0L. It's a great engine. If well taken care of, you can expect 300+K miles easily. I can occasionally squeak 20 mpg out of it. When I'm towing my camper, I consistently get just over 13. With the extra weight and wind resistance of a bus body, I would expect 10, but never as high as 15. One big reason we are going the bus route. Much bigger house for only a 3 mpg loss. The bit about Tow/Haul locking out overdrive isn't the case on my Escalade. Tow/Haul changes the torque management and shift points, but I still have overdrive.
Agreed- the 6.0 is hard to beat. And I've seen them go 300k.
I've driven a few trucks with 6.0's and most of that was pulling lawn trailers. I've actually tried the 5.7, 4.8, 5.3, and 6.0. And a friend has a 6.5 diesel. IMO- the 6.0 is hands down the best GM pickup/van engine in the last 25 years. But everyone's got different opinions about pickup truck engines.
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:37 PM   #17
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Agreed- the 6.0 is hard to beat. And I've seen them go 300k.
I've driven a few trucks with 6.0's and most of that was pulling lawn trailers. I've actually tried the 5.7, 4.8, 5.3, and 6.0. And a friend has a 6.5 diesel. IMO- the 6.0 is hands down the best GM pickup/van engine in the last 25 years. But everyone's got different opinions about pickup truck engines.
Drive one with the 6.6 Diesel and it may adjust your perspective.

I do agree that the 6.0 is a very good gas engine. Power, reliability and longevity are excellent...... For a gas motor.

Take my opinions for what they are. I am terribly biased in favor of diesel engines.
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:35 AM   #18
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Drive one with the 6.6 Diesel and it may adjust your perspective.

I do agree that the 6.0 is a very good gas engine. Power, reliability and longevity are excellent...... For a gas motor.

Take my opinions for what they are. I am terribly biased in favor of diesel engines.
I'm terribly biased against any of the modern diesels. Like that 6.0 PS. An engine that doesn't destroy itself gets my vote regardless of mpg or driving dynamics.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:08 AM   #19
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I'm terribly biased against any of the modern diesels. Like that 6.0 PS. An engine that doesn't destroy itself gets my vote regardless of mpg or driving dynamics.
I second ECCB here, Detroit's DD-series excepted. I have found the DD15 to be excellent in terms of reliability, fuel economy, and all-around suitability to task. I am not sure whether the DD5 and DD8 engines share the same architecture and reliability of the larger Class 8 offerings, but I look forward to seeing a few of these hit the auction block in the future, as bus body upfitters have begun to use incomplete chassis with Detroit power again.

Gassers appear to be making a comeback in the wake of higher maintenance and repair costs of the more common DPF / DEF - equipped offerings from Navistar, Cummins and Caterpillar of late. In my Class 8 truck experience, other than Detroit, nobody seemed to be able to get this right in the beginning. Of course, some may notice that Detroit did not offer the DD-series in medium-duty right away either. I'm sure there was a reason for this.

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Agreed- the 6.0 is hard to beat. And I've seen them go 300k.
I've driven a few trucks with 6.0's and most of that was pulling lawn trailers. I've actually tried the 5.7, 4.8, 5.3, and 6.0. And a friend has a 6.5 diesel. IMO- the 6.0 is hands down the best GM pickup/van engine in the last 25 years. But everyone's got different opinions about pickup truck engines.
Kinda makes you wonder how a 6.0 LS would measure up to the 8.1 in a larger skoolie... After, GM's older offerings did include a 366 tall-deck big-block, which was approximately 6.0-6.1L. Obviously such a displacement is capable, though the old 366 was a torque monster and a completely different engine. Made its best power below 4500 and pushing beyond 4500 was either not recommended or impossible.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:19 PM   #20
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What speeds do you normally run on the highway? I was typically doing 60-65mph and was considering lowering my speed to see if I can do any better on my next big trip.

Yes the Collins body has the aerodynamics of a brick.

Chris
In that bus it was ~65 was most of the time because the fuel savings wasn't worth the time savings. Did go up a bit if I kept it more 55mph, which makes sense with the wind resistance.

My parents went across country with my current one last year and it has cruise along with being diesel, but my dad said when it was ~45 on back roads he was getting a couple mpg more.
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