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Old 12-17-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
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The Silver Snail...

I just changed the title to something a bit more relevant. Former title, "Huh? What Just Happened?" didn't seem to fit anymore!

I am now beginning to learn the dangers of eBaying late at night. I know that some of you have very strong feelings about eBay...and this is not eBay's fault, just mine (and my wife's). Actually, I blame her...especially if things don't work out. So here's the story as I know it...

Lesa and I have been trying to get together money for a bus to haul our children around. We married in July and each brought several children into the mix. While we were engaged, I got the idea that a bus was going to be in short order to haul us all around. Our Suburban just wasn't going to be big enough . So February of 2009, I joined Skoolie.net. I've read a lot and learned quite a bit. So thanks to all of you! I had decided that I wanted a diesel with air brakes. I wanted to cut off the back end and turn it into a horsetrailer pulling, hay and family hauling machine. So when we found what we thought was "the one," we got our act together and ponied up the dough. But before the money could change hands, he stopped returning my calls...maybe he sold it, maybe he didn't like my money...I don't know. So Lesa and I got to looking around and spent the next several days looking at buses online and making phone calls. Then late last night we came across what appears to be our new bus...

They were asking $2500 Buy it now or make an offer...so at 11:30 at night, we thought in our sleep-deprived state, "It's not bad...let's low ball 'em. Let's offer half and see what they counter with." So we offered $1250. We laughed about it, went to bed, slept well, and got up the next morning. We keep looking at buses and even bid on a couple that were ending soon, but went out of our price range fast. Lesa had the day off from work so she was doing a lot of calling on buses. We wanted a bus for Christmas so that I don't drive everyone crazy. I usually have to have something to do...with two weeks of Christmas vacation and no "work" I get cranky. About 11:30 AM, Lesa tells me to not bid anymore because we had won the bus from the previous night. She hadn't even noticed after being on eBay for 3 hours that morning that they had accepted our offer! Glad we didn't win any other auctions.

So what do we get for our $1250? 1988 GMC 66 passenger BlueBird with over 200,000 miles, air brakes, and an 8.2L Detroit. I don't know if it's a turbo or not. Lesa has talked to the seller briefly, and he didn't know. Grrr. It's in Ohio and we're in Western Kansas, so it's going to be a trip. I think the goal is to have it (haven't assigned a gender yet) home before Christmas. I have more questions than answers right now. It's gray and black with some red, white, and blue stripes. The paint looks very good and it doesn't appear that it ever was a route bus. I'm hoping that it'll be built for speed. I'll have to find out more information after I get done with school for the day. I'll get pictures posted as soon as I can!

Any advise about taking a "new" skoolie out for a 1200 mile maiden voyage? Is Good Sam Club a good thing to take advantage of? What are some hints or tips that you guys (or wimmenz) can give me based on your experiences? Any Skoolies on the I-70 corridor between Dayton, OH and Goodland, KS? I'd much rather learn vicariously than experience the full frontal headache which is a $1250 boat anchor. And yes, I realize that it has an 8.2L Detroit...that's why we offered so little! This is either going to be the best thing for my family or a Nightmare on 10th Street!
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

Nice job on getting them to come down on the price. They would have never sold that bus at the asking price anyway. Don't expect it to be a rocket. Depending on the rear end gear ratio, Anything over 55MPH could be pushing it.

Those engines are NOT turbocharged.

A few things you can check before hitting the road....

1. All exterior lights
2. Tires/tread
3. loose lugnuts
4. loose/broken exhaust pipes
5. Air leaks
Make sure air builds to 120psi and cuts out, then walk around bus and listen for any leaks
Step on brake pedal and hold with engine off and listen for any air leakage that would indicate a leaky air chamber (make sure there is plenty of air in system)
Apply parking brake, put transmission in drive and give it a little throttle to see if the bus will move. IT SHOULD NOT if adjusted properly.
6. Check for leaks under bus (oil pans are known to rot on those)
7. Check all fluid levels
8. Inspect hoses and belts for chafing or cracks.
9. Horn, defrosters, fans etc..

Those 8.2's were known for head gasket problems because of the design of the heads. So make sure the coolant is ALWAYS topped off. They have almost zero tolerance for overheating. If it smokes out of the exhaust a little at first and then clears up, thats ok. But if it constantly smokes than most likely it will need injectors.

At 200k miles hopefully it had some sort of overhaul. I owned a trolley for a little while that I was going to restore and rent out that was built on a GMC chassis with the 8.2 and that ran good except for the fact that it smoked constantly. So that needed injectors.

On the other hand, while searching for my sKOOlie, me and my buddy test drove an old Chevy Thomas with the 8.2 just for fun, and that ran awesome. No smoke or anything! So lets just hope you end up with a good one!!

Good luck on the trip!!
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:57 PM   #3
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

Newskewlhauler,

I don't know much about buses YET but I do know a bit, through experience, about dealing with eBay's claims department and know some additional info just from reading some of the faqs on eBay's vehicle policies that I looked up upon reading your post. I really hope this helps you!

If you have a bad feeling about this bus, try to stall paying until you get the chance to see it in person. Then if you don't like it, or find that it is not what the seller said it was in the listing (for example, condition or not being upfront with critical flaws in the vehicle) then you will have a very sturdy leg to stand on for not purchasing it even after your offer was accepted. Though technically their VPP states that it does not cover "buyers remorse", like any legal document there is a lot of gray area and plenty of difference based on one person's interpretation of the words.

There is eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection Program (VPP) set in place for a bunch of reasons. In short, here is a link to the policy, I think #7 might help you wiggle out of it should it be a lemon or at the very least undesirable for the money; "7. The vehicle had undisclosed engine, body, transmission, and/or frame damage at the time of purchase that will cost more than $1,000 to repair. The cost of repair to any one of those components must exceed $1,000. For vehicles in the Boats (engine and hull only), Buses, Commercial Trucks, and RVs & Campers categories, the cost of the undisclosed engine, body, transmission, or frame damage must exceed $1,500. Race Cars are not eligible for this protection. "

http://pages.motors.ebay.com/buy/purcha ... index.html

I tried to buy an 8$ scooter helmet on there once and freaked when the seller wanted 40$ shipping for a one pound shipped item as they had not listed a shipping price nor did they answer my question about the shipping cost. I contacted them about canceling the sale because I refused to pony up that much shipping for a low quality item and the seller was kindly enough to oblige.

My point in all of this is that if you are freaked about buying a bus sight unseen due to them accepting your offer, perhaps write a nice long email about your feelings and see if they will entertain you a chance to test it, check it out prior to agreeing to purchase it for sure. WORST CASE SCENARIO, you could simply not pay it and get a strike and probably negative feedback. Not the most pleasant scenario but at least you won't be spending 1250$ for a very large paperweight. Hope this helps!!!
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:07 AM   #4
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

Do you have a link to the ebay auction you won?

Chris


EDIT: never mind I found it
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Clean...item3efb341777
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:27 AM   #5
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

I know where Goodland is... I spent all my summers in Haigler Ne.... Heck I have cousins all over the bloody place out that way.
Not a bad looking Bus, long as it runs/drives well.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:05 AM   #6
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

I agree with Smitty. Really not a bad lookin bus for $1250. I would go look as soon as possible. In the description they said "excellent running condition", so if it don't start right up and run and drive like a champ, you don't have to pay for it.

Those busses are selling for 13 or 14 in scrap condition here, so you should be ok either way, as long as you can get it home safe.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:40 AM   #7
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

I've talked to the seller a little more. I'm getting more confident about it. As long as it makes it home, I'm good. The seller does have the title. I'm going to get temp tags for $8 for 30 days this afternoon. I've got my plane ticket purchased for before the butt-crack of dawn. I "should" be in Dayton by one in the afternoon on Monday. Hopefully heading West by 3 PM. We'll see how it all goes. Thanks for the warnings and good advice. I really hope I don't have to sell it for scrap, but if I have to... It is a really pretty bus...Just hoping it runs as well as it looks. I'm trying to track down more information about the bus...I tried to contact someone from the school that it was purchased from but haven't heard back yet.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #8
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

Best of luck to you on getting your bus! Can't wait to see what you start doing to it once you get it home!
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:08 PM   #9
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

Nice lookin bus!!
Wichita KS here
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:12 PM   #10
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Re: Huh? What just happened?

Nice looking bus. The 8.2 may or may not have a turbo. I had a '90 Chevy / Carpenter 30' bus with an 8.2 turbo. With a turbo, it will do O.K., but any hill will make it scared....at least out here in the West where the air is a bit thin. The 8.2 is a relatively high RPM engine, I'd try to keep it between 2500 and 2800 RPM. My old bus would hit 70 MPH if the wind wasn't blowing, but the steering was a tad sloppy at that speed. For a 1200 mile trip into the prevailing wind, change the air filter. A dirty filter will rob lots of power, and can lead to high exhaust temps esp with a turbo.
I know because I caught a bus on fire that way!!! Good luck with your adventure!
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