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Just got 1993 GMC G3500 Vandura School Bus edition. Have issues

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I'm a new member and was thrust into the GMC Truck club when I won a 1993 GMC G3500 Vandura School Bus edition at a government auction for $540. I just drove it home.


For some reason, I seem to be the only one in the house really happy to have it in the driveway :P


The Good


  • Engine and transmission feel right to me. Drinks gas, but I expected that.
  • Good rear tires
  • Very little underbody rust. That surprised me
  • Feels solid - like a truck!
  • The awesome feeling of controlling the folding doors


The Not So Good But Know How To Fix


  • Front tires are shot (what do you want for $540?) I'm getting me some used tires, Philly style.
  • Driver's door handle busted off (No problem. $8 will fix that)
  • Missing gas cap ($14 for a locked one fixed that

The Bad


  • Electrical panel over the visor (in the school bus part) is pulled out.
  • -There is a switch that is called "Recycle" that seems to do nothing"
  • -There is one that says "Master Trouble" which also seems to do nothing.
  • -There is one that says "Dome" which works.
  • -All the rest of the button positions are filled with "plugs." Oddly, there are some wires up there that have connectors on them that don't connect to anything (part of de-
  • commissioning" the school bus?)
  • Whole bus - including top-most lights, have been painted white. Is that also a part of de-commissioning the bus?
  • Driver's seat foam torn to bits. How would I fix it?
  • Spare - is there one? I can't find it.
  • No seats in the truck except for the driver's seat. I'd love to get one bench. Any resources for that?
  • When I flip on the fan - NADA. Nothing. No blowing. No heat, no A/C (HELP! It's getting cold)
  • Truck seems to barely turn over - but it starts every time and the engine runs fine. But it acts almost like it's going to throw in the towel. Is this normal for this model? A sign of a bad battery? Something else?


What should I do now?


When you get a truck like I did, I assume that you should change the oil ASAP, replace the air and oil filter and top up the fluids. Anything else that would be a good idea to do/check?

How do you secure a school bus so that it's hard to break into and so that you can lock the rear door and open it from the outside?


Thanks and happy to be a member of the "club." Any ideas on how to warm the family up to the truck would be welcome. It's a business vehicle, for hauling stuff, but I want to get her some love.

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Post some pics!




What engine and trans?


You should flush \ replace all fluids:


Brake fluid


Transmission fluid

Differential fluid

Power steering flush

Engine oil

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