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Old 09-11-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
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Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

'afternoon everyone, glad to be here! This is my first post, after about a year or so of browsing.
I'm a busman--owned around 8 by now, everything from a 76 MCI MC8 to a 2001 Thomas Skoolie, and a few in between--GMC RTS, Orion Transit, IH Conventionals--you name it! Today, I need your help!

Anywway, my current girl--a 1987 IH Carpenter just lost her engine--blown cylinder liner or o-ring--and i've sold her to finance my next bus. I've found two candidates that have the drivetrain I like --Mechanical IH DT466, MT643, Air Brakes, Retarder. I need help picking which one. I'm torn That is why I've come to you. I would love some input!

Both are 1993 AmTran Mechanical IH DT466, MT643, Air Brakes, Retarder, with new Front Tires, and close to done-for rears. Both are $4,500, delivered. Oh and I'm 6'1"

BUS 1:
181k miles, High top, auto chains (cool), underbelly storage, basically rust free, 84 passenger FE AmTran Genesis

BUS 2:
132k miles, 6' ceiling, no chains, no underbelly, basically rust free, shinier paint (i'll be repainting anyway), 78 passenger (slightly shorter)FE AmTran Genesis

The high top saves me really needing to raise the roof, but honestly, I want at least 84" of headroom in my bus anyway, so its not that killer of a bonus. The underbelly is cool, too, but so are low miles ;)

Its miles vs features... what would you decide? I'll be putting about 12k a year on the bus in miles. Let me know what you'd do!

I love this site, y'all are such a nice bunch of smart creative folks. Imagine if everyone in the world was so united
Cheers n' happy bussing
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:38 PM   #2
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

I would definitely go with Bus #1 for myself. Those features FAR outweigh a measly 50K miles, especially on a mechanical DT466. From what i have learned in my research, the 466's are a wet sleeve design and can actually be rebuilt without removing the engine itself. Bus #1 gets my vote
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:16 PM   #3
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

Why can posts not be deleted?
Nat
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:10 AM   #4
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

You seem to have some good info on both buses, and lower milage does make sense if no other info can be had. If you can find out what the routes they were driven on were like then you could make a much better decision. For instance if you found out the higher milage bus was a rural route with longer distance but fewer stops then it becomes the less likely to be worn out. If you cannot get that info then I would say lower milage makes the most sense. The bus with chains seems likely to have rust, did you check it personally? My reasoning is this.... chains mean snow and snow means rust.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

Bus 1 the milage differance on that engine is nothing. But do look under the bus to make sure no or minimal rust.

Chuck
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:54 PM   #6
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

Mileage means nothing. What does the hour meter say on them?
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:31 AM   #7
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

Whoops, it looks like I posted this in the wrong section-sorry everyone! Guess I just that Im a n00b.

Anyway, I'm calling to get the hours on them tomorrow. No, I haven't been to personally check out the rust (or lack thereof) on them. I do know that they were from the same school district in southern Colorado (my home state). Snow is definitely a real thing here, but we dry out quick. I'm going to ask for pictures of the underbelly of each and decide over the weekend. If I can verify that the miles per operating hour on the higher mileage bus are lower than those of the lower mileage one, I'll probably spring for the high top. It certainly has a lot of features that will come in handy. I'm just gun shy of high miles b/c my last dt466 needed a rebuild at only 238k. Who knows what the PO put it through--and it was from Michigan (NEVER MAKING THAT MISTAKE AGAIN!)

Thanks all
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #8
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

Thats real low mileage for any diesel. But it could have had 10,000 hrs and that would have explained it.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by opus
Thats real low mileage for any diesel. But it could have had 10,000 hrs and that would have explained it.
Yessir, that bus had 12k hours on it when the cylinder liner o-ring went. It still had great compression and never smoked, but I imagine a lot of cold Michigan mornings it was left to idle for hours
Unfortunately, neither of these buses have an hours meeter on it, but the pictures show an undercarriage with about as little rust as I could ask for, which is great news. I have a hunch they haven't been left four hours to idle so I'm going to go with the high-top. 50k doesn't scare me, and I know how to maintain these DT466s properly. They are from a rural district, so I don't think they are high-hours buses. Thanks for all the input--I'll post pics when she rolls in tomorrow
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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Re: Help Me Pick My Next Bus! Need Your Input :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles_m
'afternoon everyone, glad to be here! This is my first post, after about a year or so of browsing.
I'm a busman--owned around 8 by now, everything from a 76 MCI MC8 to a 2001 Thomas Skoolie, and a few in between--GMC RTS, Orion Transit, IH Conventionals--you name it! Today, I need your help!

Anywway, my current girl--a 1987 IH Carpenter just lost her engine--blown cylinder liner or o-ring--and i've sold her to finance my next bus. I've found two candidates that have the drivetrain I like --Mechanical IH DT466, MT643, Air Brakes, Retarder. I need help picking which one. I'm torn That is why I've come to you. I would love some input!

Both are 1993 AmTran Mechanical IH DT466, MT643, Air Brakes, Retarder, with new Front Tires, and close to done-for rears. Both are $4,500, delivered. Oh and I'm 6'1"

BUS 1:
181k miles, High top, auto chains (cool), underbelly storage, basically rust free, 84 passenger FE AmTran Genesis

BUS 2:
132k miles, 6' ceiling, no chains, no underbelly, basically rust free, shinier paint (i'll be repainting anyway), 78 passenger (slightly shorter)FE AmTran Genesis

The high top saves me really needing to raise the roof, but honestly, I want at least 84" of headroom in my bus anyway, so its not that killer of a bonus. The underbelly is cool, too, but so are low miles ;)

Its miles vs features... what would you decide? I'll be putting about 12k a year on the bus in miles. Let me know what you'd do!

I love this site, y'all are such a nice bunch of smart creative folks. Imagine if everyone in the world was so united
Cheers n' happy bussing
Hey, those look familiar! (See my info to the right.) I'd go for #1...my bus has 325,000+ miles & runs perfectly.
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