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Old 02-28-2020, 09:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2020
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New bus, what to look for/do

Howdy everyone, we just bought out first bus and are beginning the conversion process. It's a 1990 Chevy with the 8.2L Detroit Diesel (I know, I know but its seemingly in good condition and with very low miles and brand new tires) .

We want to keep the cost of our conversion low and a tech took a look over the bus, replaced the fuel and air filter, before we bought it. However, I am debating taking it to a shop to have the oil changed/coolant flushed along with a general look over considering these engines need to be babied.

Are there certain things I can look for myself if I end up doing the work myself? How much could I expect to pay for these services?

Also, is it problematic if the automatic gear shifter is really tight and hard to use or does it just need some lube?
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
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Year: 1997
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it's easy to blow your budget paying someone else to do something, and these are all simple jobs. They're also a great way to get to know your bus, getting in there and getting your hands on it will remove much of the mystery.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:46 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 941
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
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We were in the same boat so we hired a mobile diesel mechanic off of Craigslist. He came out to our place and took a few hours to run us through changing fluids/filters and answered our questions. It cost a couple hundred bucks I think, over and above the cost of filters/fluids, but was well worth it. He was able to hold our hand through the stuff we'd never done before.
Check for a mobile mechanic in your area, a shop may not let you stand around and watch/teach while they work.
Also, you can send an oil sample to Blackstone labs and they'll tell you the condition of it (it may be perfectly fine) and it'll also reveal the condition of the engine. It'll reveal any coolant, bearing wear, etc. It's only like 30 bucks.
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