Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-24-2015, 12:24 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 4
Cheap bus, bad transmission.

Hi all.
I've got my eye on this lovely bus that seems to be everything I want except for the messed up transmission. Warning- I know really nothing about engines, transmissions or any of that jazz. I should just get a fully functional bus, but the price is a good one so I'm wondering if it would be cost effective to have the transmission professionally repaired/replaced.

Here is the Craigslist ad and email I got.

1991 91 Chevy odometer: 100 fuel : gas transmission : automatic title status : clean

Great project bus with Chevy big block engine that runs great. Transmission needs some work but it will move. 1st thru 3rd gears work but no overdrive or reverse. The inside is gutted and ready for remodeling. I drove it here from Arizona about 6 months ago so it has very little rust. It is currently in storage in Richmond and we are moving out of state so we need to sell it adapt. We are asking 1200 obo. This bus will make a great tiny home or RV. Make me an offer cause we really need to sell

In response to if he knew what the transmission would need to be fixed-
It will probably need a new trans but that is why I lowered the price by more than half so that whom ever buys it can get a trans.

I am hoping to go look at it in the next day or two and take along a friend who knows a tad more than I do. If the rest looks good should I have a mechanic look at it?

Thanks so much for your help,


mellow.fellow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2015, 12:51 PM   #2
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,764
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Sounds like someone got a bus, had no real means to keep or maintain it and drove it hard and put it up wet.
Shorties like that are 2000 or less at auctions, so I'd hold out for one that runs, drives, and doesn't need a substantial repair to be fully functional.
If its completely clean and nice and you can get a better deal on it, then maybe its worth putting a transmission in it. Expect to spend at least 300-500 minimum and thats if you get a used transmission and someone puts it in for free. You can easily spend 1200 just on a tranny replacement by a pro.
Any pics of the shorty?
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 4
Yeah. I probably could hold out for a better deal. Two reasons I'm getting excited about this one is it's decently local and the inside is already gutted. Honestly my budget for a work in bus is $3000, so a $1200 bus plus $1000 repairs would not be the end of the world. I am just hoping I don't get an estimate way above that.

Here is the full post with pics.
mellow.fellow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 06:29 AM   #4
Site Team
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: southwest lowsyana
Posts: 542
Year: 1988
Coachwork: ward
Chassis: international
Engine: dt360a
Rated Cap: 65
chevy big block is close to end of life at 100k miles, and if new, would get ya around 6-8 mpg. so when giving a look, consider how much trouble it would be to pull engine AND trans.
you can get a roadworthy diesel bus for the same price!

good luck on whatever you decide.
claydbal is offline   Reply With Quote

short bus, transmission

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.