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Old 12-02-2019, 03:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 5
Question New Guy Needs Shorty Advice


I am brand new to this forum, first post(though I have visited often for helpful info).

I want to jump into the Skoolie scene with a short bus. In my recent searching, I found a very cool, though small, Ď91 GMC Vandura. It seems to have everything I want. Less than 10,000 GVWR, ~155k, retro look, solid tires, apparently very little rust.

There is one question mark for me. It has the 6.2 16v OHV Diesel engine and an unspecified transmission. I have no knowledge if this engine/trans combo is any good or if itís a failure waiting to happen. I am mechanically inclined but admittedly have very little knowledge and experience with Diesel engines. I need info!

I like this bus but donít know if it would be a mistake. Plans with the bus are occasional road tripping for long distances, some venturing into the wild, and winter driving, being that I am in Colorado.

Can I get some advice? Thanks so much for any help!
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:47 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 800
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
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It's most likely the 6.2 Detroit, which is an older non-turbo V8 diesel that GM had in a lot of their light duty trucks and vans from the mid 80s to the mid 90s. It's sluggish and underpowered and pretty much any modern diesel will beat it in every category imaginable. That being said parts are cheap.

If you're looking at van cutaways I'd focus on 2000+ Chevy/GMC chassis. Look for the 6.0 small block gas ones, they're pretty solid and a lot easier on the wallet than a diesel.

You did leave out the price, which is the one make it or break it factor here.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:44 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
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Year: 2001
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Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
The 6.2/6.5 GM diesels didn't have a good reputation and were not very powerful. The Ford 7.3 was much better and has excellent aftermarket parts availability (the IH T444 is virtually the same engine, with a couple minor differences.) The 5.7/350 gas engine and the later GM 6.0 are good choices (but avoid the '04-newer Ford 6.0 diesel unless it's been "bulletproofed", which is not cheap or easy).
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:49 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,013
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
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Engine: Cummins 5.9
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The immediate question I would have for you: What specifically has you looking at a cutaway van bus? Do you actually have a need for it or are you backing yourself into a corner unnecessarily?

I'd disagree with the above on looking for a gas one regardless, unless you're looking at 2006 or so or newer. Which you're not if you are looking at a 6.2.

The 6.2 will be mated to a TH400 or 700R4, same as they put in the pickups and Camaros... And vans, because it's a van.

The best cutaway platform was the Ford E350/E450 with the 7.3 between 1995 and 2003. And by best, i mean least bad.
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