RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-29-2019, 07:10 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 366
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
Hello from New Jersey!

Been lurking a little while, and earlier this month, I pulled the trigger on a 2003 Collins with a 6.0L Chevy engine. The engine and trans are in great shape, and have about 100K miles. The bus has almost no surface rust, and is all-in-all in amazing shape for 15 years of New Jersey driving. I've started to post some questions, and I'm sure I'll get to know a bunch of you. The information I've been reading so far has been invaluable, so thanks!

We hope to make this into a bus we can make week-long or even month-long trips in while staying with family for part of the time - we won't be living in it full time, even when traveling. That said, we're hoping for eventually running hot water for a shower, as well as a solar setup that'll run the water pump and charge a couple laptops. Nothing really ambitious, but enough to feel somewhat comfortable. Oh, and insulation, as some of our trips will likely be south in the summer...

Anyway, here's a picture of the bus! It's a lot bigger in our driveway than the lot we picked it up from! haha

-Chris
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 03collins.jpg (171.4 KB, 15 views)
__________________
My build thread: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 07:12 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,558
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
COOL! I sure love the 6.0 in my work truck. Pulls HARD!
Post some more pics!!!

Where in NJ?? I'd be interested in bidding if I knew where the good 6.0's are!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 07:31 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 366
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
We're in central Jersey. There are a bunch of busses the state is getting rid of up for auction. New Jersey doesn't allow busses more than 15 years old, so all the 2003's are going up for auction this year all around the state.

We visited the lot with about 40 busses and nearly all are 6-window busses with a wheelchair lift like ours. Only about 10 didn't have at least one significant rust spot (ours is just minor surface rust), so we were able to knock out most right away since I'm not metalworker. Of the remaining few, we started them up and decided on one of about 4. The one we got had the cleanest fluids, started easiest, was nearly spotless inside and out (for 15 years), and seemed to shift best (couldn't drive, but could start it and work the gear shift). When we drove it home, it handled like a champ! I've driven 28' moving vans, so this was like driving a car in comparison, just a very wide car. Anyway, I think the other three went up for auction by now as well. That said, they were still getting more in when we went back to pick it up. govdeals is where we found it.

Here are a few more pics. All the seats but one are out (in case me and the wife need to drive it somewhere together), and you can see those dreaded rails in the floor... and the mess of wiring above the driver seat. Once we finish pulling down the side and ceiling panels (nearly all screws, thankfully!), we should be able to start tracing where the wires go and see which we can simply eliminate.

The bus does have a rear heater (works well) and a rear A/C (no idea if it works yet). I'm thinking we'll leave those in for now. I can't see any reason to get rid of them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg back.jpg (152.7 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg wiring.jpg (365.2 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg front.jpg (175.3 KB, 19 views)
__________________
My build thread: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 07:48 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,380
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I am with CB... Cool Bus!!

I just bought my first 6.0 truck a couple of months ago and, while it is no match for my 5.9 Cummins truck, I am loving it.

One exception is the fuel milage. My 1 ton dually gets 40% better fuel mileage with a Cumins 5.9....
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 08:32 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,364
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
We're in central Jersey. There are a bunch of busses the state is getting rid of up for auction. New Jersey doesn't allow busses more than 15 years old, so all the 2003's are going up for auction this year all around the state.

We visited the lot with about 40 busses and nearly all are 6-window busses with a wheelchair lift like ours. Only about 10 didn't have at least one significant rust spot (ours is just minor surface rust), so we were able to knock out most right away since I'm not metalworker. Of the remaining few, we started them up and decided on one of about 4. The one we got had the cleanest fluids, started easiest, was nearly spotless inside and out (for 15 years), and seemed to shift best (couldn't drive, but could start it and work the gear shift). When we drove it home, it handled like a champ! I've driven 28' moving vans, so this was like driving a car in comparison, just a very wide car. Anyway, I think the other three went up for auction by now as well. That said, they were still getting more in when we went back to pick it up. govdeals is where we found it.

Here are a few more pics. All the seats but one are out (in case me and the wife need to drive it somewhere together), and you can see those dreaded rails in the floor... and the mess of wiring above the driver seat. Once we finish pulling down the side and ceiling panels (nearly all screws, thankfully!), we should be able to start tracing where the wires go and see which we can simply eliminate.

The bus does have a rear heater (works well) and a rear A/C (no idea if it works yet). I'm thinking we'll leave those in for now. I can't see any reason to get rid of them.
The heat and AC will only work while the engine is running if you retain them. You'll need another option for stationary use.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 10:20 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 366
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
Good info - thanks all! Can't wait to get this thing finished, but I'm curbing expectations and hoping we can at least get further than teardown and insulation before we want to take our first trip and can do more than just throw a mattress in the back and go...

How bad of mileage should I expect with the 6.0L gas engine? We don't plan to travel much, but the times we do travel, it could be between 1500 and 3000 miles.

Thanks for the note about heat and A/C. For now we'll rough it in the heat with fans and finding shade when we're stationary, or simply go inside family's homes. For the winter, we're planning on one of the Buddy indoor propane heaters. We won't be sitting much in the winter.

Chris
__________________
My build thread: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 10:45 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,558
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
Good info - thanks all! Can't wait to get this thing finished, but I'm curbing expectations and hoping we can at least get further than teardown and insulation before we want to take our first trip and can do more than just throw a mattress in the back and go...

How bad of mileage should I expect with the 6.0L gas engine? We don't plan to travel much, but the times we do travel, it could be between 1500 and 3000 miles.

Thanks for the note about heat and A/C. For now we'll rough it in the heat with fans and finding shade when we're stationary, or simply go inside family's homes. For the winter, we're planning on one of the Buddy indoor propane heaters. We won't be sitting much in the winter.

Chris
I don't buy the gas but the work truck does about 15mpg. I'd expect similar from a bus.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2019, 11:34 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 366
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
I guess we'll see how it goes, but that's far better than I was expecting. Time will tell! Thanks.
__________________
My build thread: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 03:09 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,212
The big yellow rectangle unit in the center of the photo is the Weldon light controller for the 8-way lights. If you retain the 8-way lights outside you should be able to determine which wire goes to which light fairly easily right there at the controller. Just be aware that you can't have red lights up that high and clear lights on the front are offroad only.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 03:10 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,212
Fuel mileage in a Collins on the GM G-4500 chassis with the 6.0L and the 4L80 transmission is usually in the 10-12 MPG range. The newer models with the 6L80 transmission get a little better in the 12-14 MPG range.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 07:46 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
ermracing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 439
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
Nice looking rig. The chair rails are a pain to remove. I still have about 18 of them (100") stacked in the garage from our bus.
__________________
Dave
ermracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 08:28 AM   #12
Bus Nut
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 366
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
Thanks. Is there a good way to figure out which transmission is in the bus? As for the lights, I plan to blank out the front lights. The rear I may keep as additional brake and turn signals, but I'm not sold on that yet. I may simply blank those out as well, depending on how much steel needs to be filled. If I ever add a hitch and tow a trailer, they may be worth keeping for that purpose, though.
__________________
My build thread: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 08:29 AM   #13
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,558
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
Thanks. Is there a good way to figure out which transmission is in the bus? As for the lights, I plan to blank out the front lights. The rear I may keep as additional brake and turn signals, but I'm not sold on that yet. I may simply blank those out as well, depending on how much steel needs to be filled. If I ever add a hitch and tow a trailer, they may be worth keeping for that purpose, though.
Our 2003 has the four speed.
Just count how many times it shifts.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 11:17 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,380
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
CB,

What year is your 6.0 truck? Mine is a 2004 and has gotten 11-12mpg since the day I bought it.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2019, 11:24 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,558
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Pretty sure its an 03.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 05:00 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
We're in central Jersey. There are a bunch of busses the state is getting rid of up for auction. New Jersey doesn't allow busses more than 15 years old, so all the 2003's are going up for auction this year all around the state.

We visited the lot with about 40 busses and nearly all are 6-window busses with a wheelchair lift like ours. Only about 10 didn't have at least one significant rust spot (ours is just minor surface rust), so we were able to knock out most right away since I'm not metalworker. Of the remaining few, we started them up and decided on one of about 4. The one we got had the cleanest fluids, started easiest, was nearly spotless inside and out (for 15 years), and seemed to shift best (couldn't drive, but could start it and work the gear shift). When we drove it home, it handled like a champ! I've driven 28' moving vans, so this was like driving a car in comparison, just a very wide car. Anyway, I think the other three went up for auction by now as well. That said, they were still getting more in when we went back to pick it up. govdeals is where we found it.
Ooh... this is exactly what I'm looking for too!

If I find one on govdeals, could I compensate you in some way to check it out for me???
__________________
Transformation is my passion...
TheatricalKate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 06:56 AM   #17
Bus Nut
 
farok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 366
Year: 2003
Chassis: Chevy cut-away 6-window shortie
Engine: 6.0L Gasser
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheatricalKate View Post
Ooh... this is exactly what I'm looking for too!

If I find one on govdeals, could I compensate you in some way to check it out for me???
Maybe someone else could, but given when the state lot is open, I needed to take off work to check them out, and so cannot offer to do so as I only have so much vacation time available. Sorry!
__________________
My build thread: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/fi...ild-25804.html
farok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 12:39 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
Maybe someone else could, but given when the state lot is open, I needed to take off work to check them out, and so cannot offer to do so as I only have so much vacation time available. Sorry!
Makes perfect sense! You need that vacation time for your upcoming adventures!
TheatricalKate is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×