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Old 01-15-2015, 07:00 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vermont
Posts: 49
Year: 2003
Engine: DT466E
Help - This Bus Worth Converting? too much rust?

Hi everyone,

I just looked at a bus and don't have a good enough baseline on what a 12yr old bus should look like, specifically the rust. I want decent bones for this project...

Its a 37.5ft International Flat Nose with 140k mi, DT466 engine from NY. Front tires have about 3/16 of tread, rear have about 1/4".

I'm looking for some advice from ya'll on roughly what it is worth and if it is "solid Skoolie material". I'm planning on heading down this weekend with a slug of cash, driving it and based on feedback received on this forum, maybe buying it for a conversion for our family of 6.

I'm reasonably mechanically inclined, built airplanes and trailers, but not yet converted a bus.

Also, anything else specifically to look at in this rig would be invaluable!

$? Yes/No go?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vermont
Posts: 49
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Engine: DT466E
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Hate to tell'ya, but I can't get any of the pix to open.
hmmm... I can see them on two different browsers here. Can anyone else see them? Thanks! -Kyle
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:31 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,169
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Can now...probably just my slow moving computer.

Looks like quite a bit of rust to me. Is it from "Salt Road" country? These rigs are typically worst around the wheel wells but salt can do severe damage everywhere it can hide. My '46 didn't have nearly as much but I wound up replacing most of the body panels once I got into it. Me? Personally, I'd keep looking for a cleaner unit.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:56 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 337
I'm not an expert by any stretch but I have done a bit of rust removal on cars and trucks over the years. I have lived most of my adult life in Maine. I would say you are going to have to cut out a good bit around those wheel wells, and probably those stairs as you can see rust popping up in the corner between the aluminum edges. Also the battery slide looks like it may need some attention. The engine is the DT466E, don't know if that matters to you, but it isn't the "all mechanical" version. I think you can do much better for less $$ than he wants. I wouldn't even go look at unless it were less than an hours drive, and then only as a learning experience.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:39 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Russell, Kansas
Posts: 1,126
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
If you can hang in for a few months more Katy ISD, in Katy, Texas, has a BUNCH of rust free buses going to AUCTION (read - save $$$$$). Not only am I one of the bus drivers, I'm also one of the lot mechanics. I've driven each bus that's going to auction. Some are parts buses, some have serious issues and some are GEMS to buy with no or extremely little rust being from southeast Texas. Personally I wouldn't bother with that rust bucket. If you are interested in a solid rust free Texas bus let me know.... Again, patience, if you have some, will pay off big time for this auction of about 100 buses in Katy during this summer.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:03 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vermont
Posts: 49
Year: 2003
Engine: DT466E
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
... but I wound up replacing most of the body panels once I got into it. Me? Personally, I'd keep looking for a cleaner unit.
thank you much... I agree it would be a ton of work to get it back to condition where I can justify putting a few hundred hours and 10 grand on the inside... I think I'll keep looking... I've only looked at two and trying to learn what the expectation should be.

because the "secret to happiness is low expectations" quote doesn't apply here... Still looking around NE if anyone has a lead. TX seems like a bit of a $ and drive to get it to VT... but maybe less work than two weeks of grinding, welding and painting
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:11 PM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,962
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
I've got to agree with Tango--keep look'in. My 80 yr old bus didn't have that much rust. Jack
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:24 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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You know the truth is it's not a bad bus. It's a bad price for a rusty bus. There's a guy up here in Maine that seems to have a bunch of buses lately. I know that a few schools have auctioned off some of their fleet in the last month, so he is probably getting them. If you look at CL in Maine you will find him, I don't know what he's got for inventory, but he let a bunch go for $1200 or so. That was a couple weeks ago I think. If you are making a trip this way let me know we'll meet you for a beer or 3!
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:31 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vermont
Posts: 49
Year: 2003
Engine: DT466E
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkieri View Post
There's a guy up here in Maine that seems to have a bunch of buses lately... If you are making a trip this way let me know we'll meet you for a beer or 3!
Nice... looks like the fellow is Paul in Dixmont. He has a few listings, one is a seat longer and has the underbody storage! Is there a way to tell from the outside if it has the 6'6" interior height? http://maine.craigslist.org/rvs/4831548799.html

Oh, and beers are on me for the lead! Do they still pour that "peg leg ale" up there from the portland brewery? Casco bay brewery?
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:44 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
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I like the look of that bus also... I think $4000 is a bit high, but I'm "insanely cheap" according to my better half. LOL It has the Allison 2000 tranny with a 5.9 cummins and 5.38 gears I don't know if that is highway speed capable, someone with more of the "thinkin" than I got needs to ring in on the specs there.

As to the beer available in Portland, I couldn't say. We moved away 7 years ago and just moved back last spring. We live in the sticks now, no more city livin' here...lol I do know that Portland has always had many good beer taps though!
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