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Old 01-03-2017, 04:00 PM   #1
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Location: California
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Year: '46
Coachwork: Superior (?)
Chassis: Chevy 2-ton, 27' model 6702
Engine: 235 Stovebolt
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"46 Express", aka "The SoKool Bus"

Wile looking for a transportation vehicle for a developing vinegar business (yes, vinegar), I stumbled upon the 46 Express. I needed a vehicle to use for travelling to farmer's markets, food fair's and other events. I found the 46 on a website out of N.J. and fell in love with the art deco styling of the old Chevy. Upon investigation of the website, I found a lot of really bad reviews and though that the idea buying the old Chevy was dead. However, I found photo's of the 46 on other websites...websites for photography. Upon inspection of these photo's, I noticed that the bus had a Minnesota license plate. I also noticed a small decal in the rear window. It just so happened that I was able to enlarge the photo and found the name of the rod shop that had updated the bus. I found phone info for the rod shop and made a call. The rod shop owner gave me the name and number of the owner and I made another call. A few weeks later, I made a trip from CA to MINN and ended up buying the bus. Now, I have plans to use the bust for wine tours, as well as for transportation for the vinegar business. The Skoolie site has already provided information that I have found to be immensely valuable and I plan on participating very soon.

So, hello to all...
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:31 PM   #2
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hello! where about in minnesota did you buy it?
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:34 PM   #3
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Where in Ca are you??
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:07 PM   #4
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Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Glad you're here!
Since you mention transpiration for wine tours...
Be cautious of the requirements within your state for transporting passengers for your business. Gubberment wants their money too, and they'll get it! One way or the other.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:30 PM   #5
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Year: 1946
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Wowser! ANOTHER '46 on this forum? --- Welcome...and we absolutely must see more pix. Somehow your '46 looks to be a little further along than mine. And longer too.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:08 PM   #6
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Year: '46
Coachwork: Superior (?)
Chassis: Chevy 2-ton, 27' model 6702
Engine: 235 Stovebolt
Rated Cap: 12500
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Tango: I've been reading the thread about your bus. What you're doing is exactly what I've been planning, except I know less. I'm on page 80 of the thread! NO...don't tell me how it ends, I want to be surprised. The problems that you've already solved are just what I've been stressing about (read as $$$). I'm SURE I'll be asking questions.

Stu & Filo: I'm in the central valley of CA, south of Sacramento/east of San Francisco, outside of the city of Lodi.

Burl: I found the 46 outside of Alexandria, MN, about two hours sw of Minneapolis. The people that I bought it from were so friendly. When I first drove the 46 it was 12 degrees out, and was a great way to test the heaters. We went the trucking broker route to transport, but found that to be very difficult. The "BS" meter was near off the scale with these people. So, in my brilliant mind, I decided to try (emphasize try) to drive it home. We made it 700 miles, at an average speed of 33 mph, all on secondary roads. Couldn't make it past Wichita, KS. We found a trucker in Omaha and the 46 will be here on Friday (5 days, total).
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:13 PM   #7
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Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Welcome! Ahhh so elegant to see a time machine loved the way it deserves.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:16 PM   #8
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins 5 speed
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Very cool!

Is it finished inside? ....pics?
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:29 PM   #9
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Year: '46
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Chassis: Chevy 2-ton, 27' model 6702
Engine: 235 Stovebolt
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I can't take any credit for the work that's already been done. Conversation with the prior owner notes that the 46 has 15k original miles! The body is all original; original windows (windshield has been replaced); 235 ci "Stovebolt" motor; original wheels; fresh paint; 2T chassis with the 6.17 rear end (hey Tango, sound familiar?). The body is a 27' Superior (pretty sure). The governed speed of 35 mph is no joke! Here are some more photo's.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg skool front 1.JPG (36.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg skool engine.JPG (36.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg skool rear 1.JPG (64.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg skool driver 1.JPG (56.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg skool int 1.JPG (28.0 KB, 9 views)
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:40 PM   #10
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Better take the scenic route driving that fast!

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Old 01-03-2017, 08:43 PM   #11
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Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,372
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Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
By my calculations....
700 miles at 33mph would take 21 hours! Kindergarteners woulda graduated high school before you got it home!!!

lol
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:55 PM   #12
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what a kickass bus!!! love this stuff!!!!
-Christopher
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:28 PM   #13
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Year: 1935
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I can confirm that it is indeed a Superior bus body. The sweeping lines that flow down the rear and the tear drop fenders support this. Look in the entry stair well as this is where Superior placed it's ID/serial # tag. The plate is about 3" wide and 1 1/2" high. As you probably have surmised, I have a Superior bodied bus and yours is as nice an example as I have seen!

Welcome and since most of us Skoolies can't read, we need LOTS of pics.

Jack
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:33 PM   #14
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Year: 1946
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Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Ya...I can relate to the 6.17! But with a 35 top speed, you won't have to worry about any speeding tickets.

Do you have a "go faster" plan in mind?

BTW...Sweet chrome grill. I had to have mine plated.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurlKing View Post
Better take the scenic route driving that fast!

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I'd take it straight to a ring & pinion place & get some 4:11's
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:55 PM   #16
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Year: 1946
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I'll save you some time. There were only two ratios available for that rear end. The 6.17...and a 5.43. I spent three years looking for a 5.43 and concluded they were a mythical unicorn in bigfoot clothing. Wound up replacing the axle with a Dana 80 HD for which there are a wide range of gear ratio and tire options. I settled on a 4.30 which with my Cummins 4BTAA and Allison should yield about 65mph at 1800 RPM.

Also...there is a guy on the 4BT Swap forum who makes a killer front disk brake conversion kit that will fit your rig.

Just lemme know if you need to find any parts. And if you decide to stay stock...I also have a number of "leftovers" from all the swapping I have done.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:11 PM   #17
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Correction...the disk brake kit guy is on the "Stovebolt" site.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:43 AM   #18
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Location: California
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Year: '46
Coachwork: Superior (?)
Chassis: Chevy 2-ton, 27' model 6702
Engine: 235 Stovebolt
Rated Cap: 12500
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Jack: After reading just a portion of the back and forth between you and Tango, regarding Tango's conversion, I will believe almost anything you say...almost. I did look at the data plate for the bus body last week, but evidently the info didn't stick. Superior body...check.

Tango: Yes, I do have "go fast" plans. I'd like to swap the 235 for a 4BT. I've already done the engine/tranny research. After reading your thread, I'm very apprehensive about the minefield that I would have to walk into. However, with the wealth of knowledge that this site offers and your path through that minefield, I just might (might) survive.

To Stu & Filo: Howdy, neighbor. I'm outside of Lodi.

And again, to all others, thank you for the friendly welcome to the site.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:10 AM   #19
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
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Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Is your chassis a 1.5 or a 2 ton?
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:44 AM   #20
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Year: 1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 46 Express View Post
Jack: After reading just a portion of the back and forth between you and Tango, regarding Tango's conversion, I will believe almost anything you say...almost. I did look at the data plate for the bus body last week, but evidently the info didn't stick. Superior body...check.

Tango: Yes, I do have "go fast" plans. I'd like to swap the 235 for a 4BT. I've already done the engine/tranny research. After reading your thread, I'm very apprehensive about the minefield that I would have to walk into. However, with the wealth of knowledge that this site offers and your path through that minefield, I just might (might) survive.

To Stu & Filo: Howdy, neighbor. I'm outside of Lodi..
About 30 yrs ago I used to drive for Tigerlines out of Lodi, Hauling produce from fields into canneries & packing plants
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