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Old 04-19-2022, 11:06 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 1
Buying 2 Chevy 1991 8.2l Detroit diesel fuel pincher buses and I'm worried...

Things wrong with Lazarus second bus.

I am buying two 1991 Chevrolet 8.1 l Detroit diesel fuel pincher school buses. I have found a lot of bad stuff about this motor. Specifically that it struggles to make it to 100k miles, That while it is not a desolated gasoline engine is built similar so it has the same problems. Such as blown engines, blown head gaskets, thrown rods and pretty much anything else that can go wrong with an engine.

Now the buses that I'm buying from what I can tell there's nothing wrong with the engines. Bus number one works great and I'm going to drive at home and hopefully sell it on the way home, it has 141k miles. Bus number two has a few things to fix and has 152k miles. But none of them are anything wrong with the engine.

Here are the problems with the second bus listed below.

1. Needs all six new tires. They are completely bald. I need to see if I can make it home the 100 miles with them.

2. Needs Two new batteries. We took them for another bus that wasn't leaking power steering fluid.

3. Might need a pressure regulator for the air brakes. He said something about something that I can do in order to get it home safely. But I don't remember what that was. I may have to fix this eventually.

4. Power steering fluid leaking bad. He said that you can drive all day long on a full fill up using a whole bottle. He drives about 50 mi all around town turning all over the place since it's in town. Or at least when he was driving it this is what it was doing. After the end of the day and right around 50 miles the power steering fluid would run out and he would have to put more in for the next day that he drives it. He said that he thinks it needs a new gasket where "It" goes into the steering box. Whatever "It" is lol.

5. Needs a fuel solenoid switch. He told me some people bypass this and use a manual choke and run it up into the dash in order to manually release fuel into the engine. I don't know how to do this... If I did this I would have to bring someone who could help me figure out how to. But he said it was an option and made it sound like it might be easier to do than changing the fuel solenoid. If it's not then I would just change the solenoid. Apparently he took the fuel solenoid out for another bus and that wasn't leaking power steering fluid.

6. It's top speed is governed at 45 mph. This isn't really a huge problem... I don't mind driving slow. However 45 mph is a little extra slow... But if I have to leave it at this it's not that big a deal. What worries me is that when driving 45 mph the engines is at 3,000 to 3,500 RPMs. Now I did read that depending on how the rear end is geared up that it will effect how high the RPMs are at different speeds. I don't know if it is a problem driving a bus for long periods of time at this high of an RPM. The guy I'm buying the buses from told me that it's normal for diesels to run RPMs this high. But seriously he's trying to get me to buy the buses so there's no way for me to know if he's telling the truth. But I need to at least make it the hour home. Then I can work on the bus and maybe fix some things. Depending on how much it's going to cost me... I am willing to sink a little time and money into the bus... But I can't go bankrupt doing it.

My plan was to sell bus number 1 which is the one that's running good because the money that I'm using to buy these buses I am supposed to use to buy a work van For me to start a new job. But I already have the first bus sold for 50% more than I'm paying for both of them. So as long as all goes well I will sell that bus on the way home if from buying it if I can. I'm leaving the second bus there for the time being unless I can manage to fix everything the day I buy them. But I kind of need to sell the first bus to get the money I need to buy the van quickly. And then I will have money to bring with me when I go to get the second bus to fix stuff and just in case anything goes wrong when I'm bringing it home. I don't really feel safe bringing it home without some money on my pocket just in case. For instance I was debating on going ahead and buying at least two or four tires... Because all six tires are completely bald with no tread left whatsoever. They might make it 100 mi... Or they might blow a mile after I leave. And if I blow one tire on the rear preferably on the inside of the duallys then whatever... I'll probably be okay. And I don't know maybe I can even blow one on each on the inside... But it's not like I get to pick which tires are going to blow. And I don't want to end up stuck on the side of the road.

So anyway I am worried about the second bus. For one how big of a deal are some of these bigger problems. Like the power steering leak. What's the likeliness that it's only a gasket that needs fixed? Also what about the pressure regulator? I don't know how to fix that. I mean I might be able to figure it out but I don't know how big of a deal it is. And lastly is it a big deal that it is running 3,000 to 3,500 RPMs at 45 mph?

Also just you guys know I am planning on using biodiesel if possible in whatever bus I end up with. Whether it's the second bus or if I sell the second bus and buy another one later. I would like to use biodiesel and find someone to get vegetable oil from. Until I do find someone to get vegetable oil from I will just use regular old diesel. But once I do I'm going to switch over.

I also would like to know what the MPG is on this bus if anybody knows?

And I guess lastly just tell me what you recommend I do with the second bus. I can't just scrap it... So please don't say that. I'm hoping that I can at least fix it up well enough that I can sell it and take the profit from both buses and buy another decent bus. I just don't know if I should keep it because I've seen some people say that they were fine and then most people are saying that they're complete dog ****...

holdermanju is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2022, 11:42 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Peru. IN
Posts: 184
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: NB18FD Oshkosh
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 18,500
From your description of his maintenance practices. I would pass on both buses. If he wouldn't fix the small items on a fleet vehicle. You can bet he didn't do large repairs.


ran a set of tires till they were bald. He did that on a commercial vehicle that hauled people.

== Power steering leak, like above hauling people for a living with a safety issue on a vehicle.

== Fuel shut off solenoid. Cheap east fix again nothing to do with vehicle safety but it was an easy fix item.

In case you haven't noticed I have a short fuse for poor maintenance practices and the owners/ and mechanics that do it.
PhilipE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2022, 11:59 AM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 450
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
Dude is trying to offload his junk and problems to you.

I'm a big fan of Detroit's 2-stroke stuff, maybe even the 6.2/6.5 "Detroit by Chevy" motors, but I'm not sure that I would use that 4-stroke by Detroit when there are better options out there--especially for that timeframe.

I could probably find a better bus for sale in a driveable distance for under $1500, certainly less than $3K.
Albatross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2022, 12:18 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Peru. IN
Posts: 184
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: NB18FD Oshkosh
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 18,500
I forgot to mention that 8.1 engine. Yes they do have issues. Poor maintenance makes problems happen faster.

Look at the user name sandwiched between my two posts. i think your looking at buying a pair of them.

Sorry Albatross I couldn't help myself.
PhilipE is offline   Reply With Quote

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