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Old 01-28-2015, 10:53 PM   #1
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1991 gmc p35

I'm thinking of buying this http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/cto/4863253931.html , even though I prefer Ford and International. Could anyone tell me potential mechanical and electrical issues with this type of bus? I don't know what kind of engine it has. Sorry if I posted in the wrong section.
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:11 AM   #2
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According to the VIN it has a 6.2 V8 diesel
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:55 AM   #3
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Just being honest- I'd hold out for a clean, un-fugglied one with less rust and crust. That "paint job" just doesnt lead me to believe the current owner takes the bus very seriously. Possibly another "rode hard put up wet" type.
Patience is the key when shopping. There are plenty of cheap fish in the sea of buses.
Thats just my free opinion, take it for face value.
I prefer to buy them direct and have that fresh-from-the-school feel.
If you're going with a one ton, van type chassis, go for a later model. The GM 6.5 in them is a much better engine than the 6.2. The 6.2's run fine, but they aren't very popular engines. Low powered from what I've heard.
I know you're probably thinking power isn't a big issue since its a skoolie, but in the mountains and hills out there, and with a "house" in it, you're going to want a powerful diesel.
I'd call if you're really interested in it, though. See how flexible they are on the price.
If it doesn't look like everything mechanical has been maintained and is currently good, I'd move on. There are just so many great deals on the shorties out there.
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:59 AM   #4
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The GM P30 chassis is a 1-ton pickup chassis on steroids. It is the same chassis used by the OEM's that make bread trucks and other light delivery vans.

GVWR is usuallly about 14,000 lbs. Which doesn't give you muchcarrying capacity due to the fact the empty bus will weigh more than 10,000 lbs.

Because most of those buses get worked really hard the suspensions take a beating. Springs, spring hangers, shocks, shock mounts, and ball joints/king pins all take a real beating. I have seen shock mounts break and go through the floor

The thing is, at the asking price if it runs and has a clear title it might be a good deal. It is worth almost that much as scrap.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:03 AM   #5
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I've seen one of these, running, for as low as 500. recently, even.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:38 AM   #6
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I'd hold out as well. I'm not saying you won't find a diamond in the rough but by the looks of the pictures, I highly doubt this is it. I also doubt that it had any sort of PM schedule since they've owned it. Like Cowlitz said, these are weighing close to the design capacity, which isn't very desirable. I'm going to include wheel bearings, brakes, tires on his list as well. If you're wanting something to park, then buy it. But if you're even considering traveling with it, I'd suggest something else.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:11 PM   #7
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http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/auc...ew?auc=1277221Here is a sweet smaller fullsize bus in Wa. I sure wish I could find one like this over here on the east coast.
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:21 AM   #8
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I sure wish I could find one like this over here on the east coast.
I'm with you on that. All I could find in a 1000 miles were either rotted out piles of scrap, or something that was too new for my budget. DT466 with a fuller 5spd on the s1800(heavy duty) chassis would be ideal. Veganvegabond, if you're looking for a shorty, this would probably the one.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:10 PM   #9
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@EastCoastCB, yes I'm looking for something with more power, but I'm on a severely limited budget and good buses for a good price are hard to find on the west coast. Also, on the International, I would love to get it, but I don't know if it runs or what engine it has. Plus getting to where the bus is parked is a pain since I lack a car and would be taking Amtrak or Greyhound, mainly Greyhound due to it being in Wenatchee.(Gotta love the irony if I do buy it: riding one bus to go buy another.)
@cowlitzcoach, ya I was worried about carrying capacity. since I plan to go into national parks with any bus I get. Also plan to move into said bus, so I do worry about major breakdowns.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:23 PM   #10
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Fwiw it runs and has a dt466. Runs excellent reportedly. It's really easy getting around on buses in Denver area. For where you travel this bus is as good as any in terms of drivetrain. Plus that fresh from the auction adventure is part of the fun.
I feel you on the budget part. I'm POOR��
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:57 PM   #11
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I'm torn between the 1987 14 seater and the 1985 22 seater. I would prefer the 85 cause it's an automatic and I can't drive stick(I know how, just suck at it) and the 87 is the right size, but is a stick shift. What I would have loved to have, but missed out on was this http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/cto/4824654994.html
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:23 PM   #12
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Fwiw it runs and has a dt466. Runs excellent reportedly. It's really easy getting around on buses in Denver area. For where you travel this bus is as good as any in terms of drivetrain. Plus that fresh from the auction adventure is part of the fun.
I feel you on the budget part. I'm POOR��
That is the other reason why I would want to buy a bus that was already registered as an RV: registering a bus as a RV in Oregon costs and arm and a leg. Example: 40ft bus is around $400.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:50 PM   #13
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my bus is gonna cost me around 600 to register and title. I'm having to "save up" for that. Sucks, but I'm getting there.
I prefer automatics, but a manual is pretty nice in the mountains and hills. I have about half of my left quadracep and heavy clutch pedals can make it pretty uncomfortable. It does need the exercise, though.
I think those two buses are GREAT deals, though. Old enough to be cheap and easy to work on, but not crusty and ancient. My 92 is about as new as I care to own.
I admire your courage and spirit of adventure. Makes life so much more rewarding.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:06 PM   #14
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my bus is gonna cost me around 600 to register and title. I'm having to "save up" for that. Sucks, but I'm getting there.
I prefer automatics, but a manual is pretty nice in the mountains and hills. I have about half of my left quadracep and heavy clutch pedals can make it pretty uncomfortable. It does need the exercise, though.
I think those two buses are GREAT deals, though. Old enough to be cheap and easy to work on, but not crusty and ancient. My 92 is about as new as I care to own.
I admire your courage and spirit of adventure. Makes life so much more rewarding.
On that, the registering. I know this isn't the right forum for it, but I need to ask: can you get a regular trip permit without having a CDL license to move it? I am seriously thinking of getting one of those Internationals since it'll only cost $80 to get there by Amtrak(and I miss riding the train, haven't done so in way too many years).
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:19 PM   #15
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It all varies so much from state to state...
For instance- here we do all the tag and registration at the county tax collector's office, not the dmv.
Just guessing here, but I think due to their sizes they *may* not require cdl's. I dont think the tag people care much about who is driving or who has what license. Here as long as its privately owned nothing really requires a cdl.
I didn't get a tag and I don't have a cdl and I drove mine 800 miles home. Bought it from an online auction, pretty much sight unseen. I called the school board who owned it, and the sweet little lady who handled those kinds of things there insisted that I would love the bus and that it was well maintained and roadworthy. She even suggested I drive it without the tags!
I'm not saying to do what I did, but I'd do it again...
Check the dmv site for wherever you'll be tagging and titling it.
Above all else- GET INSURANCE FIRST AND FOREMOST.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:08 PM   #16
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You don't need a CDL to register a vehicle even if the vehicle requires a CDL to drive it.

While technically and legally you can't drive a bus that requires a CDL if you don't have a CDL rarely has anyone ever been stopped for the lack of a CDL. Most of the time if you explain you are on the way to converting the bus and you have adequate insurance and a temporary license plate and they will let you go on your way.

9 times out of 10 law enforcement officers don't want to deal with anything in regards to a yellow bus.

Drive legally and sanely and you most probably won't be bothered.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:51 PM   #17
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I quoted you the whole section from the florida dmv's site on another thread. It even has a diagram to show when one needs a CDL to drive something.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:37 PM   #18
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I quoted you the whole section from the florida dmv's site on another thread. It even has a diagram to show when one needs a CDL to drive something.
There are two issues with that: I'm not in Florida, and everything is illegal in Florida :P
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:41 PM   #19
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We have pretty liberal laws when it comes to the dmv and that kind of stuff.
But they do you no good.
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