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Old 05-25-2019, 09:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: N. Illinois
Posts: 2
Thoughts on 2006 Chevy Express 3500 MidBus four window with 4.8L

Greetings from Illinois. Thanks to all contributors that make this site a tremendous source for those of us starting the Skoolie adventure. As a part-time job for the last 15 years, I've had the pleasure (most days) of working in school transportation. I won't say I'm in too unique of a position, but my prospective skoolie candidate is a four window 2006 MidBus Chevy 3500 Express that I've been around since it was new so I know it's history from the beginning. It has come to its useful end as far as the district that owns it is concerned. Positives, as I see about it: It's already white, so I won't have to paint over a yellow color and will maybe make the insurance easier to secure at a fairly reasonable price as Vin# info. pops up as Chevy Express (We'll see.) Body and frame are in decent shape despite spending its life in the Midwest. Runs and Drives. Negative: Typical thinner medal, with visible rust spots, used on original floor so I'll not only be pulling the seats out but I'm sure I'll be replacing the floor so I know that I'm back to a secure, clean slate. I'm sure I'll run into other issues with a bus this age the more I tear into it. My question for those of you out there with some insight is regarding the 4.8L V8 it has. Any opinions pros/cons, experience with this engine? Enough power? Easy to work on, parts readily available? Mileage is around 80K for what it's worth. Thanks for any input you are able to share. BTW, username is paying homage to a love of my preferred storage medium of music, vinyl records, and not the material that the typical school bus seat is made of.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:52 PM   #2
Willie_McCoy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 226
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 671T
I have owned several Chevy Express work vans with the 4.8L over the years. I never had any issues with any of them, most were traded in around 100k HARD miles with only routine oil changes being done. Take that FWIW.

My only worry would be weight, I would keep a close eye on the GVWR and be sure not to exceed it with my build. I had a few 2500 vans with the 4.8 and single rear wheels. I tended to exceed the GVWR and the rear ends were not happy about it.

Is yours a single or duel rear end?
Supercoach Build Thread
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:20 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 892
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
It all depends on the type of use you plan to do in it. 80K on the clock ain't bad. There should be plenty of life left in it if the maintenance was kept up properly.

As far as around town or local jaunts, it should be fine.
If you're planning on long distance hiway trips or towing a trailer, it might be underpowered?
Your fuel mileage should be more reasonable than the 6.0 of the year.
}Good luck and post pics...
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:07 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,364
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
I hear vinyl is making a comeback.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:14 PM   #5
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Location: N. Illinois
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It's a dually.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:40 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Fresnope, CA
Posts: 154
Originally Posted by vinylman3 View Post
it's a dually.
The dually will handle the load better, but the 4.8 is going to be working hard to move that wind resistance at freeway speeds or towing.

And thank you for not saying "duely"
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