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Old 09-26-2018, 07:49 PM   #1
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Adventure America's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 4
Gas or diesel

Before I get too far ahead of myself, I totally get a diesel gets better fuel economy, and that it has more power.

With that being said, I Purchased an 11 passenger GMC conventional cab school bus with a new 350 Medium Duty factory engine and what I think is a Turbo 400 Transmission.

My thinking was If I broke down I feel like I could buy parts at most any parts store. Plus I think I could work on it without needing to hire a team of expensive mechanics.

I’ve driven the bus on a number of 300 mile trips.

I’d appreciate any pros and cons from the bus owners perspective.

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Old 09-26-2018, 07:57 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 819
Year: 1993
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 66
Well... a small block chevy and a non-overdrive non-lockup transmission such as the TH400... Id guess what.. 6mpg at best? Power is going to be an issue if you are planning going through mountain passes... as well as keeping the trans cool with no lock-up torque converter.

Parts are cheap and easy to come by...

On the other hand... a bus with a 5.9 cummins, 6.5 detroit (chevy), or 7.3 powerstroke or IDI... parts are just as easy to come by... and arent all that expensive.

Fuel mileage will be double more then likely (unless going to a medium duty full size platform)... power output will be double or more. Longevity of components will be quite a bit higher (as you wont be ringing out the diesel as you will be the gas burner). With that small block, I'd expect a rebuild by 150k just because of the loads placed on it... double that with a properly maintained diesel (worst case).

Initial cost will be higher.

Just really depends on what your goals are.
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