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Old 03-09-2018, 12:46 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 26
Year: 1980
Chassis: Chevrolet
Engine: Small Block Chevrolet. May swap out for ?
1980 Thomas Bus

Hello all. I have been lurking here for a while gleaning information and admiring the work that everyone puts into their projects. I am a class 8 mechanic by trade and have wanted to do a "Skoolie" for a while. I have recently purchased a 1980 Chevrolet with a Thomas body. When I went to pick it up it had been sitting for a while. I was prepared to tow it but decided to install a new battery and the engine fired on the first try. I let it run for a while while I was airing up the tires and checking everything over. The temperature stayed good, battery charging, and the lights all worked so I made the 60 mile trip home with no troubles. I am well pleased for less than $800 investment to make it home without a wrecker.

The bus has a small block Chevrolet 350 4 bolt main engine. The transmission is a 4 speed Allison. Even with a two barrel the engine pulled the bus amazingly well. I had plans for an engine swap with either a 5.9 cummins or an LS 6.0 gas engine. I have both left over from other projects that have been completed. I understand the benefits of the diesel engine very well but am considering keeping it a gas burner for a several reasons. The gas engines are very quiet, easy to find parts and repair on the road, and it fits the look of the bus. I have not really made up my mind on this one yet.

I enjoy learning from everyone here and am impressed at the skills possessed by the forum group. Thanks for the great site and all the knowledge within.

Coamack1 is offline   Reply With Quote

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