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Old 05-24-2021, 11:12 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Should I settle for gas?

Hi Everyone!

I'm finally in the part of the process where I can buy the bus! I have a few specifics that I'm looking for, one of those being a diesel engine. I'm hoping to get the 7.3 (or 6.6) but those are hard to come by and pricier. I really would like the get the bus within the next coming weeks so I can start with the build asap but I'm seeing more affordable short buses with gas engines instead of diesel.

Is getting a gas engine going to be that much more of a headache down the road or is it something I can compromise on? I know the pros and cons of each option but is the difference in mileage and longevity that much better with diesel? Looking for your personal opinion/experience because I really would like to get started but I'm willing to wait around if that means a more solid foundation for my home.

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Old 05-24-2021, 11:26 PM   #2
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I've found, personally, that patience pays off when buying a bus. I bid on, and lost, 5 busses before I got the one I have now. Don't settle.
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Old 05-25-2021, 01:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handtowel View Post
Hi Everyone!



I'm finally in the part of the process where I can buy the bus! I have a few specifics that I'm looking for, one of those being a diesel engine. I'm hoping to get the 7.3 (or 6.6) but those are hard to come by and pricier. I really would like the get the bus within the next coming weeks so I can start with the build asap but I'm seeing more affordable short buses with gas engines instead of diesel.



Is getting a gas engine going to be that much more of a headache down the road or is it something I can compromise on? I know the pros and cons of each option but is the difference in mileage and longevity that much better with diesel? Looking for your personal opinion/experience because I really would like to get started but I'm willing to wait around if that means a more solid foundation for my home.
It has been my experience to see more diesels and less gas.
What size of bus are you looking for?
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:01 AM   #4
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Depends on your needs. Treat this as though you are looking for a mate. Now that you have decided, that you are ready. Do you want a summer fling or are you looking for something more longterm?

One way is to plan on dumping the bus before Christmas & jump on the first yellow dog you see. If you want to get married to the bus, full time, maybe kids, then take your time and pick out a bannana that will work full-time & won't leave you stranded or broke.

Many naive get bus-lust in their eyes, latch onto a looser, then try to "make it work".
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:02 AM   #5
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My full size Amtran Re got 8.8 MPG from Louisville to Miami.
I'd hate to think what a gasser would get!


Then there is the power issue, will a gasser get you up the hills ?

Now if I was looking for s "SMALL" bus, on a 3500 or f450 chassis, well then I might consider it only because a gasser would be easier and cheaper to fix when it breaks down.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:26 AM   #6
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Being in a hurry to find the "right" bus has been a recipe for disaster for many a disenfranchised, potential, skoolie owner.

Gas powered busses are okay for some, while others prefer diesel for whatever reasons they have.

If you are looking for a diesel powered bus, it is unlikely you'll fall in love with a gasser simply because no diesel busses were available at the moment in time you were/are looking.

Good luck, and post pics if you get anything...
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:34 PM   #7
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@rwnielsen Thanks! It can get so frustrating waiting to find the perfect bus but this helped to refocus me.
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oricha1984 View Post
It has been my experience to see more diesels and less gas.
What size of bus are you looking for?
looking for a 5 window cutaway but i've been seeing a lot of the infamous 6.0 diesels
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
My full size Amtran Re got 8.8 MPG from Louisville to Miami.
I'd hate to think what a gasser would get!


Then there is the power issue, will a gasser get you up the hills ?

Now if I was looking for s "SMALL" bus, on a 3500 or f450 chassis, well then I might consider it only because a gasser would be easier and cheaper to fix when it breaks down.
all true. thanks for reminding my why i wanted diesel in the first place. i guess i just have to wait until i find the right one!
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Old 05-26-2021, 06:02 PM   #10
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You will spend as much money and time converting the wrong bus as you will the right bus. So take your time and get what you want even if you have to pay more. Just my .02.
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Old 05-29-2021, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handtowel View Post
all true. thanks for reminding my why i wanted diesel in the first place. i guess i just have to wait until i find the right one!
If you are looking for a 5 window cutaway I think a gasser is totally reasonable. I get 11-12 with my Gmc Savana 3500 cutaway, maybe a little underpowered but I have the small V8. Condition condition condition!
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handtowel View Post
Hi Everyone!

I'm finally in the part of the process where I can buy the bus! I have a few specifics that I'm looking for, one of those being a diesel engine. I'm hoping to get the 7.3 (or 6.6) but those are hard to come by and pricier. I really would like the get the bus within the next coming weeks so I can start with the build asap but I'm seeing more affordable short buses with gas engines instead of diesel.

Is getting a gas engine going to be that much more of a headache down the road or is it something I can compromise on? I know the pros and cons of each option but is the difference in mileage and longevity that much better with diesel? Looking for your personal opinion/experience because I really would like to get started but I'm willing to wait around if that means a more solid foundation for my home.
Just because you said "settle", I'd say "no".

I settled for a few things on my first one. I regretted every compromise. I took 10 times longer to find my current project. And spent 10 times as much. But so far, I'm much happier with it. The pusher is amazingly quiet. She gets up to speed nicely, and I still get good mileage. And being 30 years newer, I've saved a lot of money and even more time, not having to deal with the effects of aging. Seriously, it's a pretty big investment. Like a house...don't be in a hurry. Decide what you want and stick with it. Nothing against gas engines, but there is a reason (or several) you wanted a diesel. Unless thats changed, just keep looking. Your perfect fit is out there.
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:27 PM   #13
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Whats your price range on a 7.3L ?
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:59 PM   #14
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I have 2 diesels and a gasser that I drive regularly.. I bought the gasser and drove it home 3000 miles the day after I bought it.. the gasser got 5-7 MPG opn average at a max of 55 MPG.. at 55 MPH my T444E (diesel)with an allison 2000 gets 12-15 MPG.. my DTA360 bus with an MT643 gets 8-10..


those 3 are all full size chassis busses.. if i were looking at Van busses I might be inclined to get somnething reliable like a 6.0 chevy as they tend to do a bit better on gas with their Overdrive 4L80E transmissions.. the older full chassis busses with the chevy 366 or ford 371 V8 and non overdirve transmission will be in the 4-6 maybe 5-7 range at 55 MPH and go down from there as you increase speed..
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Old 05-30-2021, 03:14 PM   #15
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Mpg

Miles per gallon only matter if you are going somewhere. It costs nothing to stand still. You need to figure out what your expected use is before you determine how important a diesel is to you.
If you drive 12,000 miles a year with a gas bus at 6 miles per gallon and $3 a gallon you would spend $6000 a year in fuel. If a diesel got 12 mpg then your savings are $3000 a year. That is for every year you travel that much. It doesnt take too many years of traveling before the difference in cost for gas and diesel buses is dwarfed by fuel savings. The other factors to consider are not as easy to put a number on. How long does it take to climb a hill? How reliable is the powertrain? How much work can you do yourself on standard car type engines vs heavy diesels? If you want to put a generator on it would you need to add a different fuel tank for it?
If this bus is going to not travel many miles, just staying in a general area and not going more than a few thousand miles a year on flat ground then a gas bus makes sense. Otherwise my personal choice would be a small 7.3 size diesel for ease of repairability and fuel costs.
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Old 06-09-2021, 12:48 AM   #16
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Im in the same boat now. I've just finalized ima do a 5 window w/ handicap door. But ill prob. do a gasser.

I just saw the 350/4l60 combo and like that a lot for that small bus. Lots of parts availability everywhere. But so is 7.3 im sure, just pricier a bit.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox Slider View Post
Im in the same boat now. I've just finalized ima do a 5 window w/ handicap door. But ill prob. do a gasser.

I just saw the 350/4l60 combo and like that a lot for that small bus. Lots of parts availability everywhere. But so is 7.3 im sure, just pricier a bit.

Skip the 4l60 combo. The 4l60e doesn't hold up in 1/2t trucks... I wouldn't even consider it for a short bus. 6.0/4l80e is a great gasser setup and pretty common.
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Old 06-09-2021, 03:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handtowel View Post
Hi Everyone!

I'm finally in the part of the process where I can buy the bus! I have a few specifics that I'm looking for, one of those being a diesel engine. I'm hoping to get the 7.3 (or 6.6) but those are hard to come by and pricier. I really would like the get the bus within the next coming weeks so I can start with the build asap but I'm seeing more affordable short buses with gas engines instead of diesel.

Is getting a gas engine going to be that much more of a headache down the road or is it something I can compromise on? I know the pros and cons of each option but is the difference in mileage and longevity that much better with diesel? Looking for your personal opinion/experience because I really would like to get started but I'm willing to wait around if that means a more solid foundation for my home.
In a van chassis I'd prefer a gas engine. they're more reliable and a little more serviceable in a van chassis. 6.0 gm is the way to go.
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Old 06-09-2021, 03:18 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Houston, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
Skip the 4l60 combo. The 4l60e doesn't hold up in 1/2t trucks... I wouldn't even consider it for a short bus. 6.0/4l80e is a great gasser setup and pretty common.
It is a 4l80e. I was wrong. It needs a tailshaft seal and tailshaft housing or somn. She only wants $1500. 91. But its a 4 window. Otherwise id prob do it if 5/handicap.
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Old 06-09-2021, 04:51 PM   #20
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a tail shaft seal is normal and a 10 minute job but if it needs a tail shaft housing as well then there is alot more going on than just needing a housing?
could be driveshaft related?
could be tranny output shaft related?
and at this point it could be both?
one messed up to begin with and messed up the other in the long run?
crawl under and put your hands on the drive shaft at the transmission and try to shake it in every possible direction you can.
if it moves in the transmission and have never done transmission work before then a 1000$ rebuild is needed and thats if you drop it take it to the shop and put it back in yourself.
if it just a u-joint and or driveshaft out of balance then those are easy.
if you have never done u-joints but want to do them yourself then ask here for advice and the steps.
there is one important one that is not in some owner/service manuals.
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