Now let's dig a little bit into some of the mechanical work that I had to do after purchasing this sucker..... *groan*
2 days after purchasing the bus we had one of those pedal pub outings scheduled with our friends, about 15 of us. What should have been a "tell" of mechanical issues during the test drive is once it seemed to warm up there would be a significant loss of power. So my buddy's mechanic brother gave it a quick tune up: oil change, spark plugs, etc - $80 total. None of this seemed to work immediately so we had our outing and several "party stops" along the way to let it cool down so we could drive it again. After the event was over I took it to several places and the common theme seemed to be the ECU. So I sent it off to a place to be refurbished - $300 later no difference. This was the first tip off to some kind of electrical short at some point due to improper grounding as the ECU repair spot showed several capacitors being fried and they saying this was due to improper grounding. So I found another place (a transmission shop) that was able to trace it down to the fuel pump. Thankfully $700, and 8 months later after the winter months passed, this seemed to do the trick.
Now that we were approaching a full year of ownership, and things were starting to heat up in Minnesota, getting the AC up and going was high on the list. But of course it wasn't getting cold. Found a local guy who was going to refill the R34 but in doing so found a portion of the AC line was completely missing! So $600 later to repair it and refill, we now had cool AC! The flip side of this is that on the Trans/AIR system, come the winter time it was still pumping out cold air.
Another $200 later a local bus shop found that the switch that was supposed to automatically flip when the front panel switch was turned to Heat was not, and since that system's parts were MIA, they installed a valve off the heater line to the rear system. Turns out I guess a lot of school buses have these anyways!
Over to the bus doors. When we got this the polarity switch to open and close the doors was shot. And they used a bungee cord to hold the door closed (you can see in the upper left - plus heres a lovely view of the nasty original seats):
Thankfully one of our friends works for a local bus company and one of their mechanics were able to rig up an up/down toggle switch with new parts for $100. This at least opens and closes the door without needing any goofy cords or manual release. But the downside is that when driving the doors themselves do not stay put. They're in bad shape so I'm still at a loss on how to address:
I did completely remove the nasty stepping from years of wear and after some grinding used black rustoleum to make it look better!
Finally for now - the exhaust line. With multiple holes and cracks providing some lovely CO2 into the cabin, I had a friend replace everything behind the catalytic converter to the rear. Another $500 but now all of that lovely exhaust is being pumped behind the moving bus (VS under it)
One of the biggest pains was going over the rear axel, so we had to use some flex pipe
At this point were probably close to $3000 out of pocket for most of the mechanical repairs. Next up I'll talk a little about the interior!