Originally Posted by austin1989us
I'd posted this, but because I'm a newbie a moderator had to approve it because of the link. The conversation kept going and I think people missed it.
You're probably right.
In the rust department, unfortunately a lot of rust may be hidden between the plywood and steel layers of the floor where you won't be able to inspect. It may also show up in places where body panel faces are pressed together, creating a spot for water and dirt to grind away the paint and then corrode the metal. Places that get road spray from the tires would be candidates. As for severity of rust, it depends on how you feel about repairing sheet metal. Severely rusted-out places can be cut away and new material put in place (weld in sheet metal, or maybe a fiberglass patch) if you're up for it. Probably if you can push it with a finger without either poking a hole through or hearing kind of a crunchy sound, then it's relatively easy to clean & repair.
Might as well check the coolant to be sure there's minimal oil floating on it, and the engine oil to be sure it doesn't look suspicious (brand new oil, or looks like chocolate milk -- should be just dark, black-ish). Smell the transmission oil to be sure it isn't burnt. It should be a relatively clean red color without much dark bits (clutch material).
On a test drive notice whether the steering feels ok. No unexplained rattles/bangs when it hits bumps, appropriate play between rocking the steering wheel and feeling the bus swerve a little, etc.