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Old 02-21-2015, 05:59 PM   #1
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Would you buy this?

Hi all, looking at purchasing this bus and wondering any opinions you have on it?

Good Bus?


Looking to do a full conversion to be lived in full time for one and a half to two years or so.


Items that will be included: living area,kitchen, shower stall, composting toilet, 1 bed, and hopefully ample storage, as well as half a roof top deck with some solar panels.

Will be used by me and my fiancce and our 2 dogs.

Any and all thoughts appreciated as this will be a new experience building our new home.
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:19 PM   #2
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Location: NE Oregon, SW Idaho
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Chassis: IH
Engine: 466
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Stay away from the Cat 3208 if you can! Get a Cummins, IH DT466, or at the very least a newer Cat 3116 or 3126. I have personal experience with the 3208, and it's best use is as a boat anchor.
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:25 PM   #3
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Location: Russell, Kansas
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
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A friend of mine had an M35A2 and put a Cat 3208 in it and regretted it. Just sayin'...
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:07 AM   #4
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For the price, I think its a good deal.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:50 AM   #5
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There are lots of 3208 Cat's in bots and have been for years. Because of the improved cooling potential in a marine environment they can pump up the power with turbo's and such. Heat is the arch enemy of the 3208 as it is not tolerant of overheating at all. The ones in the buses, however, are low power versions. As such, if not run hard they "can" last a good long time. It all depends on how often you plan on being on the move and if fuel economy is important to you. They are not known for getting good fuel economy. The upside of this bus is the engine is not computer controlled and as such will be much less expensive to work on when the time does come (and it does with all engines). The other upside is it's a Southern CA bus so rust is not going to be in the picture. Also, about the 3208. It does NOT have liners (neither does the 5.9 Cummins) so when this ad says "new engine" one has to wonder if in fact it is a new engine or a bored and rebuilt unit. If it's a new one as indicated with only 76,000 miles and you're only going to have her on the move occasionally, watch your temps closely and take it easy (which is what should be done anytime with any rig), you should be fine.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the input guys, wish I could have gotten her. Unfortunately with all the fees and the cost to transport her up near chicago, price has gone out of budget.

However if you could give me your input on this bus going to go and take a look later this week. Going to see how low we can get them to go on price.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #7
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The 3208 is a great engine for short haul or intermittent heavy duty use when placed into a land vehicle. Such as, oh I don't know, picking kids up and dropping them off on a local bus route. Also as loader or dozer engine.

In marine applications they are (as mentioned above) cooled sufficiently and therefore reliable. In fixed station operation (pumps or generators) they encounter conditions that are predictable and rarely fall outside of the design envelope.

Running one on an open highway for longer periods of time will kill them, in my opinion - which is free, so take it for what it's worth.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:23 PM   #8
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OP- how far and how often do you plan to drive said bus?
I've seen some full timers with fantastic buses running 3208's for what its worth.
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiahdr View Post
Thanks for all the input guys, wish I could have gotten her. Unfortunately with all the fees and the cost to transport her up near chicago, price has gone out of budget.

However if you could give me your input on this bus going to go and take a look later this week. Going to see how low we can get them to go on price.
Unless you can get it for half that price I'd wait. There are good deals out there to those who are willing to be patient. I got a 40' 1995 AmTrans for a little under $3000. including auction fees from Public Surplus (the site of the first bus you posted). Flew to Lubbock, drove to Plainview and drove it home to SC. Had a few issues but nothing major. Lot's of peeps here doing the same thing.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

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Old 02-23-2015, 03:09 PM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
Unless you can get it for half that price I'd wait. There are good deals out there to those who are willing to be patient. I got a 40' 1995 AmTrans for a little under $3000. including auction fees from Public Surplus (the site of the first bus you posted). Flew to Lubbock, drove to Plainview and drove it home to SC. Had a few issues but nothing major. Lot's of peeps here doing the same thing.
Yeah 6500 and visible rust... I'd pass on that one too.
I got my 92 AmTran for even less than you did! Technically its a Ward though.
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