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Other Rides and Projects Working on another year GMC? Maybe a Chevy, Dodge, F*rd, or even refinishing cabinets? Share your progress or start a build thread and let members follow along!

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  #11  
Old January 17th, 2015, 09:25 PM
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Cayoterun Cayoterun is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

Quote:
Really neat piece. if rust isn't an issue you could consider just updating the existing chassis with a modern disc brake front axle and maybe even a disc brake dually rear. it would be neat to restablish the side windows even if you black them out or panel them over on the inside. there are a lot of RV conversions of our early Flxible bus with paneled over windows. it seems something is lost in the character when that is done. some side stainless would look great too. tom
Glad you chimed in, Tom:
Rust: So far, it seems to be as clean as it looks. I haven't found but just a few small rust-thrus anywhere, and they've been mainly in the entry way. I'm sure more will show up as I get all the old carpet, mats, etc. taken out.

Windows: I agree on that. The outside panels have been fitted well, pop-riveted in, and paneled over inside. It could be the glass is still intact between, maybe?? We'll find out when we strip the inside. All the side glasses roll up and down, and the handles are inset and flush with the wall inside. All the glass is flat, so that's a plus for replacement, and the windshield frames are bolted in, so should be easy to remove after a lot of WD40 soaking, then probably half twisted off, but easy to replace.

Drive-line: It's all there except motor/radiator. One thing caught my eye was the 2spd rear-end. It shifts manually. It has a stick for the driver, and a rod that runs almost to the rear-end, then a flexible cable to allow spring travel of the rearend. I've considered putting a Chevy 292 6 in it. I've worked with a lot of 292s on small irrigation wells, and in imo, they're the toughest small motor I've ever been around. With 7 main bearings, those things would run forever. Wish I knew some history on tranny and rear-end condition and how much rust and corrosion had built up in all the years of non-use, and maintenance. The old steering gear box sure has a lot of play in it.
Trim: It has a good "belt-line" now stamped in the metal to dress up.

Abus319 has sure added some good food for thought by offering his '60 GMC 3500 for a donor. That would make a cool upgrade from the 40s with a V6. Tagged and titled as a '60 GMC 3500 "Motorhome". I'll bet that would attract some attention, visiters, and questions around a lake campground.

I have '47 Chevy 2 ton donor truck here I used on the '46 V12 pu, and a lot of parts off it will inter-change with the frame of this. So I think we have the years pretty well pin-pointed from early-mid '40s.
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Okla Panhandle

I think I'll fix it myself, and pay the extra $500.
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  #12  
Old January 18th, 2015, 01:19 AM
tommr tommr is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

wish I was closer to see this. it may be a lot of sectioning to get a different frame under it if you want to keep the flat bottom. if the chassis siderails are exposed the bus will look odd. you may have to move the engine cradle around too. might screw up all the steering geometry if you need to move the cradle. the concept of sliding a rolling chassis under is appealing but there is often a lot of drawbacks. if you do go with a chassis you could accommodate the kickups thru the floor and design the interior layout around them. the kickups probably wouldn't affect standing height inside. the one thing I learned about working on big stuff is that they devour time like nothing else you've ever worked on. and funds as well. does that have a straight axle in the front now? imo opinion hanging axles and suspension (or a front frame section)under it will be much easier and whole lot less work than making the entire frame swap. love the 292 L6. you can title it in most states as specially constructed. just document everything. get your Bill Of Sale notarized too. the state will give you a VIN tag to attach or have you bring it to the State Police to be attached. looks like tons of fun there. you will have the only one that exists. tom
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  #13  
Old January 18th, 2015, 03:40 AM
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Cayoterun Cayoterun is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

Tom: Good helpful comments:
Engine/Tranny Compartment: It's about 36"Wx48"L.
Under Floor: The horizontal floor supports are spaced about 2' apart front to back, that sits on the frame. Only thin belting material for pads. They have pre-drilled holes to accomodate different frame widths. It uses long 3/8 bolts, nuts on top in floor support flange, then a 2"Wx1/2" strap iron under the frame. When it's all tied to the frame, the frame and body is ridgid. The only flex it has is in the axle springs. The front axle is straight. It's a "primitive" old body, but simple and strong. The outer body skirts are about 12" down from floor level to hide frame/w gas tanks, etc hung on outside of frame. Skirts hide all that.
I looked at a '60s IHC 2ton truck, and it didn't have "kick-ups" on front or back.
I sure hope I can stick with matching chassis and driveline, so I'll know what parts to ask for, without very many mods. The only change I hope to change, if needed, is the length. (Longer or shorter), then fish-plate the cut.
Max headroom inside is only about 66". It's low.
Time consumption isn't a problem, and it's just something to get out the house, and play.
I like shop time much better than golf, bowling, fishing, or sitting in the coffee-shop telling lies with the other old loafers.
Money, I need to be careful, as it's not likely to ever return much even if it's ever finished. It's a big project for me, for sure.

Thanks
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I think I'll fix it myself, and pay the extra $500.
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  #14  
Old January 18th, 2015, 01:14 PM
tommr tommr is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

The engine bay is pretty short at 48 inches. the stick tansmissions are built vertically and are short. 292 may not be an option unless the firewall can be moved. you may need 60+ inches if you are going auto. tom
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  #15  
Old January 19th, 2015, 02:53 AM
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Cayoterun Cayoterun is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

Quote:
The engine bay is pretty short at 48 inches. the stick tansmissions are built vertically and are short. 292 may not be an option unless the firewall can be moved. you may need 60+ inches if you are going auto. tom
Tom: You sure may be on to something, when you thought it might be better to use the existing drive line and frame. I did spend some time comparing and measuring today. Suddenly, the "aawwhaa" light came on.
The '47 Chevy grain truck I have looks like all mechanical components are the same. 2spd rear end shifts manually, too. Rear end housing springs and pads are the same. The whole nine yards. I know almost for sure that the grain truck won't have nearly as many miles as the bus.
The steering column shaft and tube on the trucks are longer, but the boxes look the same, so gears might swap, maybe?? Radiators and mounts look the same. The wheels and tires fit, and I can graft the vacuum brake booster over on the bus, too.
I may still have the speedometer out of it somewhere, and hope I can. It might show the approx. miles the truck had on it. I took the instrument panel out of the cab when I used it on the V12 project.
If this proves out, I'll have two trucks to rob from, radiators and all.
I would still plan to use a 292. It would have more umph than the old 216s or 235s, plus pressure oil system. There should be plenty of room for it by staying with the 4 spd. standard trannies.

It should pull the bus 50-60 mph without too much strain on it, Shouldn't it??
What do ya'll think?

I have no plans to do burn-outs for show and tell with it.
If this works out, it wouldn't reduce time and labor required, but would sure reduce the cost, plus having most of the stuff on hand helps a lot.

I believe I have titles for the donor trucks, too.

Soo, Next step is ripping old stuff in, out, and under the old bus, and getting down to the foundation. Lot's of vacuuming and pressure washing ahead.

This old dog that caught the car---bus--, may find a purpose for it, yet. Time will tell!

Thanks again to all for the helpful comments, and suggestions.
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I think I'll fix it myself, and pay the extra $500.

Last edited by Cayoterun; January 19th, 2015 at 03:30 AM.
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  #16  
Old January 19th, 2015, 03:02 AM
bigblockv6 bigblockv6 is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

The 292 would definitely be better than the old 216 and 235, maybe consider running a 2bbl carb on it rather than a 1 bbl.
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  #17  
Old January 19th, 2015, 04:15 AM
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Cayoterun Cayoterun is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

Quote:
The 292 would definitely be better than the old 216 and 235, maybe consider running a 2bbl carb on it rather than a 1 bbl.
Bigblock:
We may talk about the 1 to two barrel carb. later as we go along. I've never made the swap. All I've ever worked on had natural gas carbs.
Thanks for posting that.
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I think I'll fix it myself, and pay the extra $500.
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  #18  
Old January 19th, 2015, 06:25 PM
tommr tommr is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

marv you should check wheel track width as well. from the pics you may be able to go a little wider in the front. rear axles are best gauged by opening them up and taking a look. ive learned mileage means almost nothing on axles and manual gearboxes. pull the carrier and pinion and check all the bearings. check axle shafts. if you think its usable you can freshen as needed. one thing to consider is that when old stuff breaks replacement parts arent around--sometimes anywhere. you may want to consider a later (disc brake)axle assembly (front and rear)if you are planning on taking this far. I had the weep hole on our 401 waterpump heliarced closed because it was going to be 2 days before I could get one and we were 500 miles from home. welded the flywheel because a replacement did not exist anywhere. I love the Spicer 4 speed and I have it working like velvet. unfortunately its direct drive and top speed in 3rd is about 32 mph. 55mph is top speed. it puts the 401 at 2900 rpm. and it still need a flywheel. yanking it all for a 5 speed Allison with OD. at least I can get replacement parts for it if needed. at 48 inches im thinking that may have had some kind of industrial 4 cyl engine in it. 292 with a stick would be nice but I think it may all be too long--unless the firewall can be altered. not sure where stick handle would be but if you have to use remote shifting components forget about it. go automatic if that's the case. cobbling a remote shift tower, linkage, etc together is near impossible. you may want to think about later model components. being broken down and looking for parts sucks. I look at and listen to the 401 in our 47 Flx and love it. its got that whole old school thing going and its very capable at getting 20,000 lbs around the country but I know when it goes it will be hard to justify a rebuild esp with parts getting harder to find. at some point it will probably have an 8100 Vortec. best thing to do is to spend a lot of time measuring a lot of things. and remeasuring. I wouldn't spend any $ until you know what will work for sure. you can also find dimensional charts for engines and transmissions online. my approach would be 2 late model axles (or a rear axle and a front frame section)and a later engine with an automatic all hung on the original frame. finding a roller that will meet all your requirements may be impossible and your actual frame sounds pretty good. sheetmetal looks desert dry on that thing as well. any way to get a weight on that? it would be nice to know. tons of fun for sure. tom

Last edited by tommr; January 19th, 2015 at 06:34 PM.
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  #19  
Old January 20th, 2015, 01:26 AM
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Cayoterun Cayoterun is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

I spent most of the day with the bus. Learn more each time I crawl around on/under it. I'm still impressed with the engineering they did back in the 30s and 40s. And it was all done with a slide rule, pencil and paper. Intelligent people who could think and do math.

In the pics. All the controls are mounted on the bus body, connected with linkages. Nothing is attached to the frame. Steering box included. The shift levers are interesting, as they're mounted on the body, but have linkages to the tranny. The gear shift is cut off short, with the shift linkage attached so tranny and linkage sits under a hump in the floor directly behind the engine cover.
The engine compartment is 36" from the tranny face to front motor mount crossmember. and has about 14" more for radiator/fan. It's 24" wide from front to back, and about 40" vertically. There is no firewall in the bus. The drivers feet are against the front skin.

If they ever had a head-on, and the driver survived, he could give an accurate account, as he'd be the first one there.

I hope the pics show what a long road is ahead and some of the construction.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Motorhome 003.JPG (632.4 KB, Multiple views, 30 clicks)
File Type: jpg Motorhome 009.JPG (636.0 KB, Multiple views, 29 clicks)
File Type: jpg Motorhome 010.JPG (566.4 KB, Multiple views, 28 clicks)
File Type: jpg Motorhome 014.JPG (812.2 KB, Multiple views, 27 clicks)
File Type: jpg Motorhome 017.JPG (824.4 KB, Multiple views, 26 clicks)
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I think I'll fix it myself, and pay the extra $500.
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  #20  
Old January 20th, 2015, 04:08 AM
abus319 abus319 is offline
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Default Re: Cayoterun's new folly--GMC/Chevy bus

That does look like they did a pretty nice job on the conversion.
If its rare, I think Toms idea of exploring what you have and swapping out the brakes etc might be a good place to start. Heck put some airbags under it if you want a really nice ride.
As you know I am not a machinist but I think I am close to getting the lathe up and running so If you need something custom made I will help any way I can. Im not trying to talk you out of the 3500 chassis though, its yours it you want it.
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