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Old 06-20-2024, 12:55 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2024
Posts: 2
New and looking!

Hey y’all, coming to you from Augusta GA. I’m in the searching process and I am interested in some insight on 2 options I’m looking into. What we are looking for: the biggest we can get without CDL but not the full length bus. Forgive me, I’m new to this and for all I know I don’t even need a CDL…haha, that’s why I’m here asking the experienced.

1995 GMC G3500 1 Ton Cutaway Vandura Bus
128,543 miles
3126 CAT Diesel Engine
8 Cylinders
Automatic Transmission
A/C Works Good
Tires are good

1990 Ford E 350 shuttle bus
98k miles
7.3 IDI diesel engine
A/C Works Good

Don’t be shy..give me what you got!

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Old 06-20-2024, 02:28 PM   #2
Bus Geek
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 3,028
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
the gmc van cutaway is not going to have the cat 3126 in it unless someone got real creative with it and the transmission.
if its gas then its probably a 350.
i dont remember what diesel engine GM had mid 90s but thats pre duramax.
the 7.3/444E is well known and parts are everywhere.
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Old 06-20-2024, 06:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2024
Posts: 2
Jolly Roger bus 223 Thank you for that information on the GMC, I would not have know that.
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Old 06-21-2024, 02:45 AM   #4
Bus Nut
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 495
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
The '95 Chevy was using their "Detroit (Diesel) by Chevy" 6.5L.

It's a stout engine that lacks balls, but at least had a banks turbo which gave it more oompf than the previous 6.2L (what I have). The 6.5L had a problem with the electronic control unit for the fuel pump which could easily be remedied by relocating the control box just a few inches away, and may already be done in that engine. Other than that, I think the only weakness of that engine is when you're trying to pass people. It's a weird engine that was built for economy rather than power, and was built to look and work more like gasoline engines do. Personally, I'm kind of a fan, but many people hate them.

An IDI 7.3L is going to be hard to argue against. There are many that believe they are some of the best engines ever made, with enough power and enough torque to do pretty much whatever you want. A little small for a bus, but what skoolie ever actually came with "enough" engine? Easy to work on, easy to maintain, and taken care of, damn near impossible to blow up. Doesn't have as much power as you'll probably want, but it has enough to keep you going.

Honestly, I would go for the older but lower-mileage engine, it's a much more common design, and if you ever have to deal with the mechanics, they will not be swearing at you as much as they probably would with that old chevy engine built by Detroit Diesel.

some links:

Several of these links also have sections on those old ford blocks as well; and I know that there are dedicated forum sites to the 7.3L (& the 6.9L) as well.
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