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Old 06-22-2020, 08:33 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Chevy G-30 AmTran Shorty

Any thoughts on this little bus?

1995 Chevy G-30 AmTran Shorty school bus. From Texas, never driven in MI winter. Stored indoors. Original 64,000 miles with a Chevy 350 V-8. Drives/runs smooth. $9000

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Old 06-22-2020, 08:58 PM   #2
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I hope that extra zero on the end was mistaken!!


I like rust free buses as much as the next guy but $9000 !!!!! Holy smokes is that overpriced
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Old 06-23-2020, 02:31 AM   #3
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You really need to watch the weight on this one. Underneath the coach is a G30 van which has a GVWR as low as 8600lbs. This bus could well be that low, as it has the 350 and not the 454 motor.


That's not really enough to support an insulated build with very much wood, water, batteries, solar and a decent fridge. The bus probably weighs over 3 tons empty. A full, comfy build would be so close to the GVWR empty that loading it with people, gear and tools might very well put you over, and would rule out towing much of anything.


Also, the 4L80E trans and optional ABS (if so equipped) were first-year systems in 1992 and were a little troublesome compared to those from about 1996 on. Solenoids on the transmission, sensors on the brakes. Both were improved over time. The ABS was primitive, too, but works well enough. It should still have the original L05 motor, which is a winner and will go 200k+ on clean oil and coolant, and can be upgraded 100 different ways cheaply. That's the last original (Gen I) Chevy V8 in there, dating back to Ed Cole's design for 1955. Expect it to leak from the oil pan and rear seal once you start driving it, though. This is normal, and is OK generally up to your personal point of intolerance for it. Probably need a new radiator shortly, too. Don't ask me how I know...

At $9k it is overpriced, but a perfect rust-free low mile bus with new tires, battery and full service history might be worth over $5k to the right guy. The big problem is the (probably) low GVWR...
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:05 AM   #4
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Its a sweet lil van but man oh man that price! That thing should go for $3500 on a good day.
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Its a sweet lil van but man oh man that price! That thing should go for $3500 on a good day.

Yeah, we are talking the same money. You at $3500 is about the same as me at $5k with new tires and battery to just the right guy, who really wants THIS style bus with THIS motor and is willing to pay 10-15% more for super low miles and condition, as this one seems to be.


64k miles is no protection from needing everything, though. It has necessarily been setting for long stretches in hot, dry Texas, inside or not. Probably needs all new rubber, seals, etc. in addition to flushing all those perhaps 25 year old fluids. Still, condition and originality is the key variable. The body seems perfect. The interior should be. The motor is probably like new, and its a damn good one, as is the transmission. Looks to have AC as well, almost certainly inop though. It would be R12 and its been sitting...



The guy who is searching for this exact exact combination will never find another one this good, and will be happy to pay "too much" for it. But markets aren't perfect, and if the seller can't hold out long enough for that special guy to find this bus, he will have to unload it for $3000. $2250 if he's getting divorced or is otherwise distracted. $1500 if his wife or widow has to sell it. Just how it goes...
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:56 AM   #6
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I've got an 87 Chevy truck. Its my way around.

Its not anything great to drive on the highways though. It will do it but its out of its element there.

This lil bus is cool. But its also going to be crude and a bit loud. 350tbi isn't anything special. Just an all around ok engine. Probably less than 200hp. I wouldn't value it any higher due to that engine. A new crate engine is less than two grand.

Vortech was a decent step up from TBI. Better cam, better heads, better intake. I think those started at 96 though.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:06 AM   #7
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Its called disintermediation, and its been going on since the early 1980s, when corporate America figured out the additional profit of selling around the supply chain as much as possible was worth the hassle of dealing with the buyers lower down the chain. Lower price and crappy service is the result.



When I was a kid there was one or two candy and cigarette distributors in every town, selling to gas stations and drug stores too small to buy and store quantities the regional distributors required of them. They have all but disappeared, as have Shoppes of every variety from stationery and toy & hobby to childrens clothes, appliances and hardware- all replaced by ever larger retailers with broader product lines who buy direct from manufacturers.


The Internet supercharged the process. I can now buy consumer quantity goods direct from the manufacturer in China, with zero customer service and no one making a living in the middle. Department stores and shopping malls were next. There is no end to it, and it is destroying everyone's standard of living. We are all the victims and the perpetrators. Only Jeff Bezos is making money.


The only solution for an individual is to buy less, and live as well as possible on as little money as possible, like in a home you build for yourself out of a fully depreciated service vehicle, outfitting it (of course) with surplus used products, factory direct or from Amazon. Not being negative, just pointing out what time of day it is. There's a pretty good standard of living out there for the willing and the skillfull.



Everybody else is going to need a guaranteed minimum income just to survive though. That's what time of day it will be in just a few tomorrows. The challenge will be to get Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to use some of the money they have scraped off the good people of the world to pay for it. Just sayin...
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:25 AM   #8
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U sure that response was meant for this thread?
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:32 AM   #9
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ECCB, we're kindred spirits. I drive a 1998 Mazda B2600 dual cab with 250k kliometres on it. No air bags, but its a rare loaded example with power everything and a killer stereo/bluetooth/phone/camera/nav setup. The only Achilles' heel of these little trucks is the OD automatic transmission, but I have a good used spare in the shed, so no doubt I will never need it. Rougher and louder than a newer bigger one, but works like new and is practically indestructible. Paid a little too much for it because it was EXACTLY what I wanted. Parted and junked the other one I bought with a blown engine (easy to do overheating here in HOT Western Australia) just for the spare transmission, radiator, alternator, bed liner, tailgate and canopy, and five years later it was all money well spent, and the ONLY money I've spent...



I agree that a newer Vortech 8100/Allison-equipped bus is a huge upgrade over this one for probably less money, but that only means neither you nor I are the right guy for this particular Texas bus.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
U sure that response was meant for this thread?

OK, no more noise. I was just trying to be thorouigh about how even people who pretty much value things exactly the same can be apparently different in dollars when in fact it is the market creating the range, not our individual evaluations. 20 years ago guys like us would buy buses from regional or local dealers. Today we deride them as flippers and compete against them to buy directly from the school districts- from anywhere in the world. That's amazing.


We are very close to agreeing on what this bus is probably "worth"



Shorthand from now on...
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:37 AM   #11
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OK, no more noise. I was just trying to be thorouigh about how even people who pretty much value things exactly the same can be apparently different in dollars when in fact it is the market creating the range, not our individual evaluations. 20 years ago guys like us would buy buses from regional or local dealers. Today we deride them as flippers and compete against them to buy directly from the school districts- from anywhere in the world. That's amazing.


We are very close to agreeing on what this bus is probably "worth"



Shorthand from now on...
Sorry man... maybe was too early in the morning but it just confused me?
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:56 AM   #12
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None taken. Its all good.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:58 AM   #13
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Cheers, pal!
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:30 PM   #14
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Thank you for the responses. So, I wonder, who IS the right guy or girl for this bus? What would he or she want to do with it? The bus is there, maybe I just need to find the calling In all seriousness, just curious what it might be good for. Besides looking cute.
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:40 PM   #15
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I'd be the kinda guy who could use a bus like that. Would rarely if ever leave the county. Flat leisurely 45 mph roads everywhere here. I'd just use it as a van and haul my dog and my stuff around. Probably put a trailer hitch on it to pull my utility trailer. But I like old crude technology and I like to fix my own stuff. I don't think its a bad *van* but I just wouldn't spend anything close to the asking price for one. I'd be a buyer at like $1500 TBH.
I couldn't see much "converting" with one that small. Maybe a bunk bed and a bucket to use in emergencies.
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:43 PM   #16
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That is double what I paid for my rust-free 2007 Chevy 6.6l Duramax 5 window Thomas.

4 windows is too short for a living space anyway
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:17 PM   #17
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I gotcha. An around towner. I do like it. Maybe it will make someone happy.

So, in terms of GVWR, if you are saying this is essentially a van, why is it possible to build out a ton cargo van but not this? Because you have more space in this mini bus to make it heavier than a cargo van?

And yeah, I don’t have any plans to pay 9k for school bus (who is this person kidding?!) or any vehicle...as I wouldn’t, and don’t have that money anyway.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:38 PM   #18
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You need to get the unladen weight and then add a thousand or 1500 pounds to see where you’re at. In the case of my Thomas, it comes in at 9500 and the GVWR is 12500, so I ended up with about 1500 to spare when all the tanks are full.

That would make a great food truck if it were priced at around $3K
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:32 PM   #19
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So, in terms of GVWR, if you are saying this is essentially a van, why is it possible to build out a ton cargo van but not this? Because you have more space in this mini bus to make it heavier than a cargo van?

Yes, but this body also weighs a lot more than a van would, so it is much closer to a low GVWR just as it sits empty. Since it isn't meant to tow or haul tools and cargo, that's fine for the bus mfr, not so good for the skoolie converter...
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:35 PM   #20
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That would make a great food truck if it were priced at around $3K

I think this would be an ideal coffee or ice cream truck, because they need so little space compared to anything with a kitchen.
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