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Decided to convert the 96 Chevy 3500 Short Bus
#1
Howdy folks. I’m glad to have made up my blithering mind about my build, the 96 Micro Bird gasser. I guess it’s only been 4-5 months since I got these short buses, 96 gasser and 97 diesel Chevy 3500’s, but it seems like 4 years. But I’m going back to a gasser which is what I know. I’m excited to start work on it again soon. The seats and pressure washing are done thank goodness. It had a lot of moss starting to grow from being parked under trees for 1-2 years.
  I drove it a few hundred miles before parking it for the Winter. The 350 cubic inch engine seems to be fine. The overdrive trans seems to work, drives solid and straight, brakes work good after replacing the master cylinder and bleeding. Steering is very tight. The rest of the fluids need changing. That’s the next thing. 
 That’s the good stuff. What I preferred about the 97 diesel is the solid feel of the frame rail in comparison to the unibody frame of the 96. And the suspension feels more beefy in the diesel. Also the diesel has a little more ground clearance. And obviously a lot more torque for towing. I’ve never had trouble towing my small trailer with a gasser however. Knock on wood.....   
 This gasser and diesel are 4 window buses. I’m going to cut in a pop top to make the gasser slightly roomier. I’m 6’6”” tall so it really helps to have taller ceiling. I’ve got a fiberglass roof from a golf cart that may become the new pop top lid. And I want the natural ventilation. I roasted in my cargo van a couple years ago. Don’t want that again. Where I lived for a few months the flies were horrendous due to the neighbors garbage. So I would close up the van and roast. That’s a whole other subject and thread ( how to keep bugs out of a van. And stay comfortable in the process). 
  What color will the gasser get painted?? I’m not sure. Time will tell. If I have extra cash I may get a trick color. Or see if I can find someone to tint equipment paint for me. My cargo van is stock white. I prefer if they match. Maybe a basic stripe on both of them will do it justice for now. 
  It will definitely get a decent solar energy system. The 12 foot cargo trailer has a solar energy system already. That’s if I keep the cargo trailer. I dont like how low ground clearance it is. It’s for highway only as is. Also it needs brakes added to be safe. It pushed my van down a hill through a intersection due to wet leaves all over the road. Luckily no one was near the intersection. When I sell the diesel bus I may invest in a second axle, brakes, and raise the cargo trailer all in the same project. Then it would be a skookum trailer to match the bus. 
 The short bus interior will be temporarily and loosely fastened until I figure out what works. Tomorrow I’m going to look at a Nova Kool fridge someone took out of a boat. I hope it is a good one. I’m planning on floor heat after practicing building a floor heat radiant heat system in my old Motorhome. I love it, best thing I ever built. Just be careful to mark where the tubing runs are and be careful not to puncture the pex tubing. I wonder if it would be worth using heavy copper tubing as the short bus is such a small space? The heat transfer would be quicker with copper. Maybe not if I use aluminum heat transfer plates. Dissimilar metals could lead to corrosion. I’ve never seen copper heat transfer plates for flooring. Wow that would be high performance heating!. 
 One problem I had with a previous short bus was the floor getting damp. Water seeping in from small leaks and seams. The plywood subfloor got mildew growth on it. I had fastened down pex tubing for a heated floor to the plywood subfloor but never hooked it up to a heat source as I took the bus to Florida lol. Heating the floor became low priority in Florida however the floor heat might have dried out the mildew. I dumped that Ford short bus because the newer Fords have engine and transmission issues.  Also it was a E-450 which rode like a tank on dirt roads and can cost extra to insure. A 3500 is a one-ton and rides better and costs less in general. I decided I like 1-ton HD. Parts are easy to find generally.  
 One thing I’ve wondered is how people name their rigs. I guess I’ll know when the time comes. I’ll get a some pictures of the Chevy and figure out how to attach them. 
  One ting I’m not sure about is how to attach a tow hitch to this unibody frame. 
 Thanks and happy motoring.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Roadtripp for this post:
  • sternwake (03-03-2019)
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#2
What diesel bus you plan on selling? Like make and engine? Thnx!
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#3
Smile Hello Roadtripp.  I thought I remembered something you'd said about Steampunk style and rigs.  So when I went back to your first thread I found that reference and also that I had failed to welcome you here.

Hello And Welcome  Big Grin .Papa always said  Better Late Than Never!

My 1998 Safari has the worst paint job of anything that I've ever owned.  The clear coat is nearly gone from most of the hightop.  I just flake some more off with my finger nails when I think of it as I walk by.  Then all around the top sides of the van the paint is crackled and crazed like the finish sometime gets on old wooden furniture.  Some places on the van the Copper paint looks like a knife wound with the original white paint showing through.  I had a guy that was replacing a window on it who also does paint and body work tell me he'd never seen anything like it.  So I'm going for a Semi Rat Rod look....Hey it's already working on it by it's ownself!

Do you truly have moss growing on your rig?  I thought that was just a Southern Thang.  I spent most of my life in Texas with several years up in SE South Dakota.. When I first moved to KY I noticed  "green stuff" for the first time growing on folks cars and homes.  I lived 2 blocks from the Ohio River.  Now here in L A = Lower Alabamdama I see it again.  There is green stuff growing on the edge of my Safaris hood behind the bug shield.  Yuck!

I never was much on naming vehicles.  Currently I call it Squatty.  When I Added a Class lll hitch I also had 4 inches of helper springs added.  It had to be raised 2 inches just to keep from bottoming out in some places in the town where I live.  I still have to be careful at times.

Seems like there may be 2 to 4 bus builds starting here?  IDK as I haven't kept up.  I saw a great bus build on the Tiny House YT channel.  If I remember correctly they raised the roof and it has some exterior wood work too.
In the
I think I can figure out how to take pictures with a cellphone or tablet.
Then I'll have to mail it to someone so they can post my pics
  I am extremely technologically handicapped.....among other things?

Jewell Ann and Queenie, 
My untrained attack Chihuahua who is a YARC member too
" I STARTED OUT WITH NOTHIN "  BY SEASICK STEVE
               AND I STILL HAVE MOST OF IT LEFT        
                  
         MY  Heart  IS GOOD....BUT OH THIS MOUTH
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Texjbird for this post:
  • Roadtripp (03-03-2019)
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#4
Have you looked under the bus to see if you could lower the floor? My Roadtrek is a 95 Chevrolet G3500 van chassis and has a 26" wide 4" deep channel in the floor to increase headroom.
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to ratfink56 for this post:
  • Roadtripp (03-03-2019), rvpopeye (03-03-2019)
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#5
A lot of that green stuff you see on cars down south is pine tree pollen.
  [Image: 414097000.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Motrukdriver for this post:
  • Texjbird (03-03-2019)
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#6
The pollen here is yellowish green and in full swing right now. Trees, shrubs etc.
Brian

2000 Roadtrek 200 Versatile "The Beast" (it has been tamed hopefully)  I feed it and it doesn't bite me.   Angel
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#7
(03-02-2019, 11:50 PM)Hi Wabbit Wrote: What diesel bus you plan on selling? Like make and engine? Thnx!

The diesel is a Detroit 6.5 turbo. 134 K miles.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Roadtripp for this post:
  • Wabbit (03-03-2019)
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#8
(03-03-2019, 01:19 AM)Texjbird Wrote: Smile Hello Roadtripp.  I thought I remembered something you'd said about Steampunk style and rigs.  So when I went back to your first thread I found that reference and also that I had failed to welcome you here.

Hello And Welcome  Big Grin .Papa always said  Better Late Than Never!

My 1998 Safari has the worst paint job of anything that I've ever owned.  The clear coat is nearly gone from most of the hightop.  I just flake some more off with my finger nails when I think of it as I walk by.  Then all around the top sides of the van the paint is crackled and crazed like the finish sometime gets on old wooden furniture.  Some places on the van the Copper paint looks like a knife wound with the original white paint showing through.  I had a guy that was replacing a window on it who also does paint and body work tell me he'd never seen anything like it.  So I'm going for a Semi Rat Rod look....Hey it's already working on it by it's ownself!

Do you truly have moss growing on your rig?  I thought that was just a Southern Thang.  I spent most of my life in Texas with several years up in SE South Dakota.. When I first moved to KY I noticed  "green stuff" for the first time growing on folks cars and homes.  I lived 2 blocks from the Ohio River.  Now here in L A = Lower Alabamdama I see it again.  There is green stuff growing on the edge of my Safaris hood behind the bug shield.  Yuck!

I never was much on naming vehicles.  Currently I call it Squatty.  When I Added a Class lll hitch I also had 4 inches of helper springs added.  It had to be raised 2 inches just to keep from bottoming out in some places in the town where I live.  I still have to be careful at times.

Seems like there may be 2 to 4 bus builds starting here?  IDK as I haven't kept up.  I saw a great bus build on the Tiny House YT channel.  If I remember correctly they raised the roof and it has some exterior wood work too.
In the
I think I can figure out how to take pictures with a cellphone or tablet.
Then I'll have to mail it to someone so they can post my pics
  I am extremely technologically handicapped.....among other things?

Jewell Ann and Queenie, 
My untrained attack Chihuahua who is a YARC member too

Thanks for the welcome Texjbird. I’m slow to learn the forums but am willing to try. I like this one a lot. 
  Ive noticed clear coats are often a problem later. I think the hot sun down South damages clear coats, upholstery, etc. Up North here in the PNW the sun damage is less but we pressure wash the moss. 
 I figured this bus is a cut-away van so this forum applies. I occasionally read the Skoolies forum.
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#9
(03-03-2019, 07:57 AM)ratfink56 Wrote: Have you looked under the bus to see if you could lower the floor? My Roadtrek is a 95 Chevrolet G3500 van chassis and has a 26" wide 4" deep channel in the floor to increase headroom.

That’s an interesting idea regarding lowering the floor. I’ll check underneath for clearance. Did you need to cut your floor or did it come that way. Maybe I can make a secret compartment.
  I’m curious about your experience with a G3500. Ive got a lot to learn about mine as I’ve only driven a few hundred miles. 
Have you had any issues. How do you like the suspension and clearance?
  Thanks
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#10
(03-03-2019, 10:12 AM)Roadtripp Wrote:
(03-02-2019, 11:50 PM)Hi Wabbit Wrote: What diesel bus you plan on selling? Like make and engine? Thnx!

The diesel is a Detroit 6.5 turbo. 134 K miles.

should have plenty of life left,what are you going to ask for it?


and pictures or it didnt happen
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