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Old 05-19-2015, 11:26 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Sachse, Texas
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: G3500 Vandura
Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
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The Snoball Effect

They had bought a daycare and the bus came with the sale. They did not need the bus, so they decided to sell it on Craigslist. The list is numerous, but it runs well. Mostly wear and tear items along with some maintenance. The muffler has a hole in it, so that is a big need along with a tuneup. Transmission screen and fluid conditioner. Tires and need to find out why the horn is not working. Scratching the surface a little and finding more to dig into. Does anyone know what window size is needed to replace the two closest windows on the passenger side with a concession style window? More questions to follow. No doubt.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:05 AM   #2
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A few pics would help and where are you located? I know a place in my area that does good exhaust work at a fair price.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:56 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sachse, Texas
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: G3500 Vandura
Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
Rated Cap: 17
We are in the Dallas area. Anyone know anything about odometers and what to do if one is not working. Trip odometer too. Will try to upload some pics soon. We just painted it light blue today and will be working on the lettering/graphics soon. Rustoleum "custom" color mix.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:36 PM   #4
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Has it worked at all since you got it home?
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:35 AM   #5
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No sir. Did not notice when we test drove.

New question: the transmission does not like to easily engage reverse. We usually have to go back and forth between drive and reverse and really give it gas to move in reverse. I was told it would need a new transmission screen and fluid change (minus what is in the torque converter) adding Lucas transmission conditioner. More recently, I have been told that it may be a bad idea to drop the pan and change the fluid. Please let me know what you think. The engine is a GM 5.7l V8 350. I am not sure what the transmission is, but it has P R Overdrive Drive 1 2 if that makes a difference. Seems to run well in overdrive. Not sure what is up with reverse.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:52 PM   #6
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If it was mine, I'd toss a quart of TransX in it (being careful not to overfill) and then take it for a 10 or 15 mile drive. I've had good luck with the product curing the lazy reverse problem in just a matter of minutes. Who da thunk? Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:10 PM   #7
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TH700R4 i guess???, do not have anyone "flush it" that is for sure, drop the pan and change the filter, see what it looks like.

When you pull the dipstick, use a white napkin, what color is the fluid? does it smell burnt? kind of acidic and burnt? is it brown?

Doing what OlTrunt said could definitely help, esp. if the spools in the valve body are varnished and sticky, slow into reverse normally means lack of pressure

do the above and see how it responds
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:12 PM   #8
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Join Date: May 2015
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Chassis: G3500 Vandura
Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
Rated Cap: 17
I was told, by the shop that replaced the fuel pump, to change the transmission screen/fluid minus the torque converter. He suggested I substitute one of the quarts of fluid with Lucas Transmission Conditioner. I was not able to engage reverse at all last night when bringing it to the muffler shop to drop it off after hours. I let them know about the issue and they had the same. They found it needed fluid and added some. Still no success. They seem to think the transmission is going out soon. Rebuild cost is estimated at about $2800 for the T88(?) transmission. I am probably way off on the model and Google is not cooperating with me right now. Guy at local O'Reilly had recommended Lucas Transmission Fix instead of Lucas Transmission Conditioner. Not sure that I can add it now that they topped the level off to where it should be. People are scaring me by saying do not drop the pan. I may be trying to find a used transmission and see about getting a swap done. This was not supposed to be so much of a money pit. I feel like the seller or the shop nearby may have been dishonest with us.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:30 PM   #9
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I'd check and see if your odometer cable has been disconnected.

But from your latest post, I'd say you have bigger problems to worry about.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:34 PM   #10
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I need to go through and check Through the fuses as well. I am going to need to score some wiring diagrams for thus thing at some point.

I appreciate your sympathy.
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Old 05-23-2015, 10:53 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Rated Cap: 17
Does anyone know what transmission goes with the 350 engine? I need to crawl under there and see if it is marked. Maybe it is the TH400. I will have to ask the guy at the shop who installed the muffler.

I forgot to mention regarding the odometer. The trip odometer does not work. I cannot even reset it. Maybe the whole thing is mechanically jammed.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:10 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: G3500 Vandura
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Did quite a bit of work today. Trying to remove the first two windows in the passenger side and swapping for a sliding window to sell from. I used a drill to drill out the rivets and used a pry bar with a rubber mallet to pop off the heads. That worked okay, but grinding down the heads and then prying the panel up worked better. I was hoping to find a removal tool, but Lowe's did not have anything specifically for that. We were also removing seats so we could reorient them and swap some of them out for better ones. I had to grind off some of the bolt heads toward her back where the gas tank covers the bottom area. We are not going to have seats beyond the first two rows on the passenger side. We may put some of the seats back in if we decide to use the bus for vacation or something. We are going to have some of the seats facing each other and are going to figure out some kind of table to put in between. Maybe something that can fold away.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:33 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: G3500 Vandura
Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
Rated Cap: 17
Oh and the guy at the muffler shop said the transmission fluid was very dark. I have not yet dropped the pan. A friend of mine who had advised against it has since told me it could not hurt at this point. I am going to wait a bit longer.

I just realized the inside is marked that it is a MidBus.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid_Bus

Maybe I can get some information from them in wiring and parts.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:43 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
Rated Cap: 17
We are up and running and using our equipment in the bus. We had the first part of our grand opening weekend today where we served 760 snoballs at the elementary school for the end of the school year/their principal going to a new school/5th grade graduation. We have 200 more to serve at the public library tomorrow. I will try to post pictures sometime, so everyone can see how it turned out.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:19 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
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Chassis: G3500 Vandura
Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
Rated Cap: 17
We were asked to give out snoballs at a VBS(vacation bible school) nearby this past weekend. Only 74 or so sold, but worth our time so close to home and since we were going to be there anyway. We usually give discounts to churches as we can. The church told us to give out as many of them as we could in an hour, so we did.

We received the sliding window we special ordered from Lowe's and will be installing it in place of two of the bus windows on the passenger side toward the front.

We should have the hitch receiver on the rear soon and will be using that for our gasoline powered generator. We are still pursuing the power inverter option, but want to make sure we are doing what is most cost effective. Hope to post pictures at some point. We are on Facebook under "The SnoBall Effect". Feel free to like us.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:27 PM   #16
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I probably missed it, but what year is your bus? If it is between about the mid '80's to early '90's it will have a 700R4 tranny. Your shift pattern suggests this. I have factory wiring diagrams for that era G series Chevy/GMC. They are printed on 18"x 11" sheets and are a pain to have copied, but if you want to pay the copy and shipping costs I'd be glad to get them to you. Let me know by PM if you are interested. Jack

edit: If your bus is in the age range I mentioned, the speedometer and odometer are fully mechanical and can often be made to function like new again by careful use of WD40 as a cleaning agent once you have removed the unit from the cluster. I should add that when these models were equipped with cruse control there was a 2 wire pulse reader connecter located next to the speedo cable--still a mechanical speedo.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:41 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sachse, Texas
Posts: 50
Year: 1991
Coachwork: GMC
Chassis: G3500 Vandura
Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
Rated Cap: 17
It is a 1991 GMC. We are considering a salvage yard transmission to replace what we have now. Not sure how many miles are on the ones we found or if we should expect the same issues. I will send you a PM, but I am interested in the paperwork.

No cruise control. I have not tried to pull the cluster down as of yet. We have other gauges that are not functional as well. I would like to use them, but have also considered aftermarket.

I appreciate the helpful response!
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:32 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sachse, Texas
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: G3500 Vandura
Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
Rated Cap: 17
We received our permit today after our second try and can now go through the neighborhoods nearby. We are excited and are looking forward to it. We still need to get our generator put on the front or the back. I am not sure what is best. I hope to post pictures soon.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:25 PM   #19
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Hmmm..."New Orleans style SnoBalls".

Does that mean they contain alcohol? If so, I'll take 2 rums and a tequila.
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:20 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: G3500 Vandura
Engine: General Motors 5.7L 350 V8
Rated Cap: 17
No alcohol, but you are free to add your own. They are called SnoBalls because the ice is like freshly fallen snow. Very fine unlike typical snocones.
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