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Old 12-23-2008, 12:45 PM   #1
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A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Hi all,
Been thinking bout this for a year. Been reading about it for a month. I have just found a bus, but I think I want and would like some opinions from the informed people of this forum. I have found a 1991 IH/Ward 72 pass. bus. The owner says it has a DT466 w/turbo and an Allison mt643 trans.
He says it's from our local school district, but has no maintainence records for it. He claims he saw the records when he bought the buses but the district would not give him the records. He claims the oil showed to be changed every 3000 mi. but was not sure as to any repairs, as he had bought several busses and didn't keep track. The bus does not have an odometer, but does have an hour-meter (Hours unknown) Claims about 250,000 miles. Body in great shape. He wanted 2,500.00 for the one i wanted originally. (same year and drivetrain, less miles) Said I could get this for $2,000.00

What do Yall think?
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:43 PM   #2
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

a lot of unknowns......

if it's somewhat local you can go to the school district and read the old service records most likely. in michigan i think they have to keep the records for at least 7 years after they sell the bus.

250k is a lot of miles, but my first bus had that many and proved to be a great bus....

the powertrain is pretty awesome dt466 and mt643. couldn't hurt to double check....the dt360 and dt466 look nearly identical.

$2K seems reasonable, but perhaps a bit steep for a bus with that number of miles, although it is an impressive setup with that powertrain. (how's that for a run on sentance?)

try and talk him down a bit.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:15 PM   #3
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Hi Papabear!!

Welcome to the craziness!!! You're definetely at the right place to find answers to all of your conversion questions. I agree, one-hundred percent, with Smitty...take your time in planning your bus conversion, and don't rush out and buy the first coach you see. I would be a little leary of "fire sales" as well. Speaking from personal experience, it is very easy to get caught up in the excitement and make a "hair-trigger" purchase, only to question yourself later as to 1) why you baught it, and 2) what the hell you're going to do with it!!! So do your research and preliminary planning ahead of time...and HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Thanks to all that replied. I'll keep on shopping through the winter. Maybe the one I'm looking at will still be there at a reduced price. IT'S JUST KILL'IN ME TO DRIVE BY IT! But your all right, I don't need a 40' tub-o-sheeit parked in the driveway. Any Ideas how to spring this all on my wife? I would still like some clean clothes, warn meals and hot lov'in.....
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:22 AM   #5
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Smitty: while fuel prices are down, and one would think bus prices would go up; scrap steel prices have gone into the cellar,

Thus prices for an old used school bus are probably really, really low.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:36 PM   #6
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

The dt466 is known as the million mile engine. I f it has been taken care of there is no reason why the drivetrain should not be strong. You can also have you fluids analyzed to see what has been happening. They can detect what kind of metal particles are in it and where they came from. My bus as it turned out had been hauling heavy set tourists for twenty years through the colorado winters. It had 245grand on it when I bought it for 2000 bucks. It has only come to run smoother after converting to use wvo and cranking over the continental divide 10 times or so, as well as rolling through the 10,000ft air. I wouldn't think that you should pay more than 2000 on a bus to be converted. The fact is that busses are and will be in surplus mode for as long as they are made. They usually have to be retired before they reach 15 or 20yrs because of insuring them for the kids. See if bus guy will let you take it on a test run towards the nearest person to give it a once over. If not, just keep looking. There are some huge bus yards that have hundreds of busses that have just entered into retirement. Put some time into searching and eventually you will hit the one that is right. AS for the wife, I found that she was into it as well when I layed out how cheaply we could travel. No lodging costs;extremely minimal fuel costs(and that was when diesel was at like 4.80gl);room for the dogs;home cookin' not impulse hunger stops;big,huge and safe the list went on and on. Just make sure it's cozy for her or the lovin' might suffer.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:23 AM   #7
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Dear Recycler and others,
Thanks for the replies. I did get a chance to talk to the actual mechanic that has serviced it for the last 12 years. He stated there were three busses just like it that the pulled from service and auctioned last year. States "I wish I had them back, They were a lot more reliable than the newer ones were getting in, and the drive train is bullet proof." He assured me he would not have a problem driving coast to coast with them. Anyway, I'll make the guy an offer topday and see what happens. Again, Thanks all!
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Are you a new owner yet papabear?
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:08 PM   #9
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Well, it's official. The bus I've been looking at locally is coming to my house. I think I paid a couple hundred to much, but it has the drivetrain and gears that i wanted. (DT466/Allison Mt643/4:56 final drive and ground clearance) Settled on $1,700.00 I found a couple others around the country (Newer, less miles) but it seemed to be harder to find the drivetrain combo I wanted, and I wanted the 466 with no electronics on it (call me old school-ie) AND having it 5 miles away as opposed to 1000 miles made a difference. SOOOOOOO anyway........THE MADNESS BEGINS! I'LL TELL THE LITTLE LADY ABOUT IT NEXT WEEK Maybe thanks alll!
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:33 PM   #10
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Congratulations to you, proud new Papa(bear)! Try to post some baby pictures (before Mama throws you from the train)!
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:02 PM   #11
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Well, here it is! Just got to get it home and hide it behind the house........ya sure. Just a couple quick ideas in photo shop.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bus pic1.jpg (60.7 KB, 438 views)
File Type: jpg bus pic2.jpg (46.2 KB, 433 views)
File Type: jpg bus pic3.jpg (29.6 KB, 432 views)
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:08 PM   #12
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

wow looks like it will do wheelies you may want to wait to bob off the back until you tell the wife..you mat need the living space! is that fozzy?
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:36 AM   #13
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Nice looking bus. I like that not much hangs over the back wheels. Cool roof line as well. check out my website to get some ideas of how to raise your roof, or maybe how not to raise your roof. www.fuzzytravel.com/waalner
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:59 AM   #14
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Lady Franklin, Thanks for the link. I think I'll take a couple of your ideas for my roof lift transition. Although my meager 12" lift will be nothing like you have ventured. So many great ideas and inovations in this forum. Thanks again
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:05 PM   #15
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

CONGRATS on your new bundle of joy. As long as my tax check comes in next week(its due in via direct deposit Friday & its killing me), I should have mine the weekend of Valentines day. So I decided to start hitting the streets locally to see whats out in the Roanoke Va area. Not anything that either I could afford or want. Looks like I am going to head to North Carolina (about 2 hours away) to the district it was driven in. Spoke to the guy today and so far looks good. I even went to a local truck/bus dealer and asked permission, then went into a few busses with a tape measure to get some numbers and pictures. Felt real sad as I didn't want to leave.

Keep sending the pictures and remember this... no matter how mad you get...this IS fun LOL!!

And guess what... THE WIFE WANTS ME TO GET IT!! And..... wants to help me work on it... ACTUALLY work on it!! HOLY COW!!!!

Scott
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #16
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Scott - Congrats on the wife buy-in, That will help. Good luck on your search. Once you get one and get to the the stage of all the seats removed, you'll sit there for awhile and just imagine all the possibilities that can happen. I've been looking for a damaged travel trailer to scavange things like holding tanks, stove, toilet, etc. Buying all that new starts to add up. Either way is still cheaper that a new RV and you'll have a better product in the end.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:46 PM   #17
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

Hey Papabear...

You think it will take for me to obtain a bus to have those thoughts? I am already having SWEET DREAMS at night about the bus. Its like I've been there before. Maybe I was a Skoolie in a former life. And as far as some supplies... try these 2 forums: craigslist.com and www.freecycle.org . I found somebody that GAVE me free of charge a 1970 Shasta camper last year. I was able to get some things out of it and I will finish stripping it down to the trailer and have a flatbed when I get back to Fla in May. I was able to get a stove and a holding tank out of it. (plus the trailer). On craigslist, hunt in the FREE section. I found a free toilet recently left over from a remodel. Only needs a seat.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:30 PM   #18
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Re: A Brand "Newbie" to the Schoolie

I know what you mean. Thanks for the links, I'll give them a look
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