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Old 04-23-2009, 02:32 AM   #1
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

you need to better define your needs, how many bodies are you traveling with, what will your needs be, travel? sleep? dressing room? etc
if you have all of the space of a bus do you still need to pull an equipment trailer?
what engine and transmission are in the bus? is it geared for city or highway use? are any maintainence records available? what condition are the tires and brakes in?

take it to an empty parking lot with some traffic cones or trash cans and practice lane changes, backing, parking etc, get used to sitting up front and using the mirrors, it's about the same change from a van to a bus as it is from a car to a van, a little practice gos a long way.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:54 PM   #2
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

I think your right. I am not sure what good used buses go for there, but here in Washington state you can get one at auction for between $900 and $1500. You don't have much chance to inspect them first, but you can look at them and hear them run. From what you describe, the bus is in the starting phase for conversion, with a lot of work ahead, so you might as well look for one that just came out of service as school bus, and do the conversion without the large outlay of money to purchase.
You will find everything you need to know here, so happy hunting!
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

I bought my 1993 bluebird with only 89,000 miles for $500.00 all original. Hell they even put $200 + in fuel in it for me....

Yours seems a bit expensive....
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

The guy who's offering to show you his bus and discuss your needs seems pretty cool. I'd go that route if I were you

Veggie oil is extremely practical. You can set up aa really nice system for $500, or pay a professional for $1500. You can put a Y valve so it can run on either veggie or diesel, that way you're not dependent upon finding veggie oil. I would research it alot though if I were you.

A generator sounds like it is what you need, though once again, I'm only guessing at your needs. Solar Panels are more for those who live in their busses and boondock for long periods of time, whilst generators are for the "occasional" gig. Throw in some of those battery tap lights for when you go to bed at night and you're good to go.

A school bus, for what you're doing, will require a special license. In Illinois it's a Class B CDL, which also means you have to follow a ton of regulations. You can check with your state to see about the requirements of turning it into a "recreational vehicle," which would mean anyone could drive it using their regular license, or you could see about getting a CDL. Just understand that the people at the DMV only pretend to know what they're talking about, so ask the same question to several people, and get it in writing.

Don't tell anyone, but busses are worth 900-1200 in scrap, so if you buy one super cheap it's like a loan

Good luck with your band!
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:45 PM   #5
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

I think that $6K is way too much money. If you were to spend that much, the bus better have a 5.9 cummins motor, an mt643 trans, and a 4:10 rear end ratio giving you a top end speed of 90 mph.

buses are supposed to be cheap. I just bought a bus for $2,000 with only 67K miles on it. I paid only $775 for my first bus and i drove it tens of thousands of miles.

6K is a lot of money!
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:28 PM   #6
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

An International DT466 or a Cummins 8.3 engine. For auto transmission, an Allison Mt643.

The 5.9 Cummins is a bit under powered, unless you're a gearhead.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:15 PM   #7
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

Haven't heard from you in a while. Did you find a bus to start your conversion?
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:26 PM   #8
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

i've been told that the dt466 gets worse fuel economy than the smaller dt360. The dt466 is a truely legendary engine. However, a cummins 5.9 gets 50 percent better fuel economy than a dt360. Over the life of a bus, that's a HUGE savings in fuel....a lot more $$ n fuel savings ithan most of us pay for a bus to begin with.


I bet the 8.3 is pretty awesome and can obtain some pretty good mileage results, but i don't know much about it. Is it basically just a larger version of a 5.9?
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:07 PM   #9
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
i've been told that the dt466 gets worse fuel economy than the smaller dt360. The dt466 is a truely legendary engine. However, a cummins 5.9 gets 50 percent better fuel economy than a dt360. Over the life of a bus, that's a HUGE savings in fuel....a lot more $$ n fuel savings ithan most of us pay for a bus to begin with.


I bet the 8.3 is pretty awesome and can obtain some pretty good mileage results, but i don't know much about it. Is it basically just a larger version of a 5.9?

I dont know what kind of mileage a dt360 gets, but my dt466 got at least 7.5 mpg coming from dexter, MO to my house. I dont know for sure because I havent filled the tank yet. Considering the road I came up(all hills for about 120 miles) I am very happy with it.

Mine has 4.78 gears and does 65 on flat ground easily.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:44 PM   #10
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Re: a handful of questions...would LOVE advice!

interesting comment about fuel economy when a dt 360 is 360 cid and a 5.9 is 359cid i would imagine that hp rating, speed and gear ratios had more to do with fuel economy than engine brand.
in theory a larger engine loafing along should get at least as good or better mileage than a smaller engine that is working for all it's worth

the 8.3 is about 500 cid and it's a real engine, 6 cylindres and no sparkplugs actually it's more like the international dt engines because it has replaceable cylinder sleeves while the 5.9 is a patent bore engine (no sleeves).
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