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Old 12-31-2014, 01:21 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 7
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat
New/Old Skoolie Guy!

Greetings All! Glad to find a forum and friends to talk to about my odd hobbies/habbits!

The Past:
In 1999 I "converted" 56 passenger dognose bus and lived in it a year as I traveled around the US. Kept it as a camper for a few years after but living in NYC it was hard to park so gave it up to a touring rock band from New Orleans. Here is a picture:

The Present:
I want to do another. This time I want to start with a bus I really like. There are a few things I require.
1) Pusher.
2) Curb side escape or wheelchair door.
3) Under bus storage.
And a few things I really want.
1) 8.3L Cummins Engine
2) Allison MD3000 Transmission
3) A door that opens in, not out (I always drive with the door open)
4) Roof AC.
5) Bells and whistles.
6) Price tag under $5K.

Can anyone help me find places to buy busses? Last bus I just bought from the school yard but now I can't find any yards that sell to the public. I looked on the forum classifieds but found nothing. Google searches got a few things but you guys seem to find all kinds of great busses easily and I'm just lost.

Any advice on my engine or transmission choices is welcome. I only got the ideas I listed from reading this forum.

Thanks for any help! I can't wait to get started and start meeting you guys!


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Old 12-31-2014, 01:44 PM   #2
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,700
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Are you looking to buy one soon?
The 8.3 is definitely the way to go. But I'd much prefer a pre-electronic diesel. around 95/96 they switched everything from good old mechanical to computer controlled. The mechanical stuff is easier and much cheaper to fix if an issue arises.
Underside storage is great.
Rooftop ac's may have to be installed once you find a bus.
Bells and whistles can be nice. I'd LOVE to at least have cruise.
I also wanted a side door. Mine is on the driver side, but I also have a rear door. I like lots of exits on a mobile home.
Pushers have many advantages. I however settled for a front engine transit style school bus because of the wheelbase, handling, and maneuverability. It is so easy to maneuver. I like that as campgrounds can be pretty tight and cramped sometimes. Not trying to talk you out of the pushers, just throwing in my experience for conversational purposes.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:31 AM   #3
Bus Geek
bansil's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,158
Welcome to the madness
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:59 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
opus's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,626
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72

Like I tell everyone else, come west. You wont be getting that for under $5k though.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:13 PM   #5
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 7
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat
Got it!

Thanks for all the ideas and help. I found a 1980 Gillig in Seattle. It has much of what I wanted, door opens in, under bus storage, pusher, Alison Tranny, air breaks, and a Cat engine I'm happy with. I put some pictures on my profile. Now comes the work!
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:24 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Winter Park Fl
Posts: 18
Year: 2001
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 351ci triton v8
Rated Cap: 15
That bus has a great look.
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:44 AM   #7
Bus Nut
charles_m's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Denver
Posts: 489
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International S1800
Engine: DT466 Trans: MT643
Rated Cap: 65
I like your style David! Excellent taste in buses, Gillig's are so awesome. I'd kill for one!
Patina enthusiast and professional busman
Instragram: @lookatthatbus
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:44 AM   #8
Sara's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 138
Welcome to the site! You will find a wealth of resources here - and an awful lot of fun people. Good luck on your bus endeavors!

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