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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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