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Old 12-16-2014, 07:21 PM   #31
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

I know I wish I had cruise control. Find out the hours. Way more important than the miles.
check this list too! http://www.tampabusmarket.com/inventory
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:14 PM   #32
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

Between the IH and Thomas I would lean toward the IH everything else being equal. I have many hours driving both and have owned both. Currently own a newer version of the IH and also driving a '98 IH on my route. (The '98's a dog with the 444E) Main reason is the 466E is much cheaper to overhaul. $1100 for an inframe rebuild kit, oil cooler for ~$350, filters and fluids replaced for ~$200 and whatever labor charge you go with (unless you want to tackle it yourself!). Resurfacing the head is also pretty cheap. Engine is more accessible on the IH also. And the engine layout with the radiator at the back is simpler. The only downside with the engine bay is the air intake tunnels intrude more on the bus interior- you can't put a bed above the engine bay.

Visibility out of the Thomas is a little better out of the side window. The Thomas probably has adjustable steering wheel height while the IH probably doesn't. Looks like the IH may not have air door since it opens inward. They all vary as far as noise but the IH seems to be a little "tighter". If the Thomas has rear air ride they'll both ride about the same. If the Thomas doesn't have air ride it's a no brainer for sure.

With 202k miles the hours are probably around 9000 so about the same there. Are the mileages the same on the other 3 buses?

As far as negotiable- $4000 would be a nice price.

And the Tampa place may have some good buses. Sometimes they don't answer the phone however.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:22 PM   #33
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

Also, check with Tom Buhle at Midwest Transit in Whitestown IN. He was supposed to have some more RE's come in this month. The only problem there is they will have some rust. Nothing structural. And the mileage/hours will probably be low, and they should be 2002/2003 models.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:25 PM   #34
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

I'm definitely leaning toward the IH. It does have more hours, but it also has more features I want. The retarder will be fantastic driving through mountains which I expect to do frequently. The air ride in the rear is a bonus. A cheaper-to-maintain engine is fantastic. And it already has cruise, which I was going to have to spend a decent amount of money to add. In that Thomas, at a minimum that was looking like $100 in parts and whatever Cat would charge to reprogram the engine. The IH also has slightly higher ground clearance which is beneficial to me in a place with lots of dirt roads and hilly terrain. I don't like the rear window / engine cover setup in the IH, but I'll get over that. It's also not as clean as the Thomas, but.. meh.

I just heard back from the seller and the hour meter reads 13,071. Blech.







I think now we find out how good my negotiating skills are.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:29 PM   #35
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

For anyone out there who knows.. is the white knob to the left of the steering wheel for an air door?
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:36 PM   #36
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

13k hrs=about 650k miles.
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Old 12-17-2014, 03:01 PM   #37
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

Perhaps this is just how it goes in a bus hunt, but turns out the IH *doesn't* have a retarder. It has an MD-3060/CR which I erroneously assumed meant retarder. Turns out it's Close Ratio. Dang.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:06 PM   #38
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

Self,

Yes that's the air powered door switch you have pointed at. However, there is also an override switch near the ignition switch as well. Hope this helps.

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Old 12-17-2014, 07:41 PM   #39
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

Ooooouch! 13k hours... Next...

That is seriously high time.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:04 PM   #40
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Re: Yet another "is this a good deal" thread

Yeah, at this point the IH is going to be a negotiating tool to try getting the Thomas for less. 13k hours, with 12x,xxx miles, a close ratio transmission, and a 55mph governor all say: *lots* of city driving when not idling. Booo.
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