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Old 07-31-2015, 12:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 12
1988 gmc blue bird conventional questions

Hi everyone im new here. Me and my wife had been tossing ideas on either buying or making an rv and we settled on the bus route, and i found a 1988 short gmc bus with the 8.2l. I have never driven one but what am i looking for? I drove it and at around 35mph it feels like its rolling on oval wheels hopping around like crazy, it starts right up nice sound, it brakes well. Seems really slow. tires look new and no rust anywhere. for only $[IMG]<a href=""><img src="" title="source:" /></a>[/IMG]1500
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:25 PM   #2
Bus Nut
charles_m's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Denver
Posts: 489
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International S1800
Engine: DT466 Trans: MT643
Rated Cap: 65
See if you can find a build sheet on it--there you can see if it was spec'd with oval tires from the factory...

But seriously, that sounds like a good deal to me. People have lots of opinions about the 8.2 but that's all they are. Those tires (if not oval) and the bus as scrap look worth the asking price alone.

If the engine and tranny feel strong, you cant go too far wrong. That shorter size is nice but I will say that all the short buses built on full size school bus platforms like yours have been verrrrrry bumpy. You can do things like air down your tires (not below mnfr's ratings though, just to what your axle weight is), ride with ballast, and modify your springs to help. If your shocks are spent it will make the bounces oscillate longer, but replacing them will generally not soften the ride, just make it more even
Patina enthusiast and professional busman
Instragram: @lookatthatbus
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:48 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Snowflake, Arizona
Posts: 329
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American Rear Engine
Engine: C-8.3-300 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 Prisoners
If the bus has been sitting for a while the tires will
develop flat spots and it takes sometimes up to 30
miles of driving for them to round out to normal
round configuration. They will feel square for a
while on initial driving. hth.
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:57 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 12
LOL funny that actually makes sense. its at a day care, and its no longer in use she sold the day care and this bus was under her name so the current owners didnt want it in the fleet, shes asking $1500, What do you guys recommend for ac while your driving it? I must say i lost a gallon of water sweating test driving it. Any other pointers to look for? stupid me i was so excited I forgot to look at the mileage.
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:25 PM   #5
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,859
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
hows your build? my previous was a Bluebird with the same front end set up... I am replying to an old thread only because i did a custom Dash air build for it before the bus was destroyed.. I later repaired my rear air so i had dual units.. under-dash and then a rear unit both engine powered... I also custom fabbed coils into the 2 hurri-hot units and it worked well to keep the windows clear on cold rainy days...

stabdard under-dash uinits like made for older jeep wranglers work well and pulley sets are sold for the dt engines to mount the compressor... the from condensor was one I used from a box truck that had the same front end as the bus...

linesets can be made easily yourself or at napa..
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