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Old 07-17-2015, 08:54 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Question Engine options, and price advise please.

Hey everyone! I'm new to this board and new to school busses.
Currently i'm doing lots of research to get formilliar with the different busses, engines and drivetrains there are available.
Because i'm Dutch and English/American is not my fisrt language I find it a bit hard to search for the right information or the right places to look for a school bus.

I've had some help from people in my introduction topic on what to avoid and what to look for.
Based on that information, along with what type of bus I feel attracted to I came to the conclusion I would like to buy a bus with the following specs:
- Dognose bus
- Early 90's without to much engine electronics
- GMC brand (really like the looks of the nose/grill)
- Diesel engine
- full size, I'm not sure how to translate it but the bus I'm looking for is as long as possible, I think it's 40ft. Or 70+ pax?? Correct me if i'm wrong. (I've seen the onse I like to have 12 side windows, not sure if this is saying anything but I assume they are just a bit longer then the onse with 11 or les side windows??)

So now my question is:
What engines do the GMC's come with?
i've found a few gasoline powered onse and some diesel powered Cat 3216's but I read a lot of bad stuff about the 3216's and the gas engines are not what i'm looking for.
Are they even available with a DT466 or orher powerfull diesel engine?

I also read a lot of story's from people saying 3 to $5000,- is expensive for a bus.
Is this just for the very common 1999 ~ 2005 Internationals or is this also expensive for an early 90's GMC? (Can't seem to find a lot of them so I assume they are rare?)

I found this website who has a couple of these busses for sale but i'm not sure about the price of any of the busses they sell, seems a little high to me.
Can anyone tell me something about this?
Are these A grade busses or are these so good the price is justified or is this just a website trying their luck?

The website i'm talking about is:
Lease WALLISVILLE Used Buses Houston Dallas INTERSTATE BUS SALESINC

Any help would be awesome!
Kind regards Bryce.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:01 PM   #2
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A GMC Diesel is going to be a Cat.
They are going to cost a LOT to fix.
For parts availability and ease of repair, I'd have to urge you to look past the hood logo, and go for an International or something with a Cummins.
I'd expect to pay $2000-$4000 for a good bus. It all depends though.
These two are EXCELLENT and would go through REAL MOUNTAINS better than others... they have retarders. I would get one of these or something like it!

Public Surplus: Auction #1398705

Public Surplus: Auction #1396492
These two buses have 245 HP, Driveline retarders, underside storade bins, and are in good shape. Little to no rust. These are build for the mountains and will still cruise at 70-75mph.
I put in a bid on one but was outbid and can't afford to go any higher!
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:05 PM   #3
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Bryce,

I concur. My bus is a mule. She'll pull through the mountains. But like CB said, look at those options he's posted. They are good candidates for a strong engine and proper mountain gearing. GMC makes some of the cheapest buses on the market. Worry about dependability FIRST, then if money allows put your own spin on the vehicle to make it more yours. International, Thomas, BlueBird all make a better bus than GMC, IMO.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:12 AM   #4
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Sad the GMC didn't came with a better engine.
But you are right, better forget about the GMC, looks aren't everything.
Thanks for the info!

But whats up with this website I posted? They ask like 25.000,- for some Internationals? Are they in their right mind?
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:18 AM   #5
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When i'm ready to actually buy a bus I keep a look on those auctions.
They seem to go fairly cheap.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
When i'm ready to actually buy a bus I keep a look on those auctions.
They seem to go fairly cheap.
Hi Bryce, I am also interested in buying a bus- a mini school bus or possible shuttle bus and checked the prices at auctions. Very much do-able. From NYC, where are you from?
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:48 AM   #7
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Amsterdam

Looks like "young peoples" may actually get BOTH those Colorado buses for $3500!
Dang...
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
But whats up with this website I posted? They ask like 25.000,- for some Internationals? Are they in their right mind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
Because they're a dealer. Dealers will almost *always* jack up their prices, even after they buy the buses at auction. Your best bet is to ditch the dealer and go straight for the originating school district.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boysnberrygirl View Post
Hi Bryce, I am also interested in buying a bus- a mini school bus or possible shuttle bus and checked the prices at auctions. Very much do-able. From NYC, where are you from?
I'm from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Quote:
Looks like "young peoples" may actually get BOTH those Colorado buses for $3500!
Dang...
He has got himself a sweet deal then.

Well now I know what I need I can continue my research. (Early 90's International with DT466, longest dognoze model available)
Next up is finding out what it will cost to ship it.
I've send some emails to dealers who are formilliar with exporting to Europe, i'll post prices here as soon as they get back to me.

I have some friends living in Colorado so thats a big bonus for me.
They are willing to help me with the auctions and shipping.

Now I have to go find a camping who will let me stay the year around.
(Most canpings in The Netherlands will close between October and March)
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:50 AM   #10
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Just reclaim some seabed, and power that thing on whale oil!
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:27 AM   #11
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Whaha lol, I already live on reclaimed seabed.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:40 PM   #12
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So I just found out a diesel engine is not gonna work with our tax system.
It's a bit complicated but i'll try to explain.

When your vehicle is 40 years old or older, its excluded from any taxes.
When your vehicle is 25 years or older and it is a gasoline engine you pay €120,- roadtax a year. (Sweet deal considering I won't be driving it much the first couple years)
The diesel and Lpg engines are taxed fully, about €300,- to €350,- a month for 15.mt camperbus. (Ridicules)

If I buy a bus that isn't 25 years old yet I can park it on a camp site and suspend it for a year, it will cost me about €30,- every year.

So... Tax wise my first choise should be an early 90's gasser with good power and propper gearing for 70mph topspeed and still has climbing capabilities.

What engines are available and which ones would be my best choise?
And what transmission should I look for? (Or avoid)

Kind regards Bryce.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:23 AM   #13
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How much would the insurance be?
At a dollar a mile, gas will eat up lots of difference...
But in case, here are some gassers that will likely go cheap
Public Surplus: Auction #1403608

A GMC Gasser would probably be ok... Funny how that worked out!
I know my 85' Ford chassis Thomas was aweful. I wouldn't reccomend one of those.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:22 PM   #14
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I have no idea about the insurance yet, I'll contact my agent about that.

Yes driving it will be a lot more expensive compared to diesel but €4200,- a year or €120,- a year roadtax is a big difference.
€4200,- is just to much.
I won't be driving it a whole lot the first couple years cause i'm working to pay of the mortgage on my house.
And when I start drivin it, I'll go to the south of Europe and park it for a couple of months so a gasser is the way to go for me.

I'm not a really big Ford fan anyway's, so the GMC would be just fine.
Is the 454ci. the biggest engine available?
And what tranny should I look for?

Kind regards Bryce.
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Old 07-19-2015, 02:58 PM   #15
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GM's could be 454's or 427's.
MOST are going to be 366's. The 366 is adequate for the job. They will pretty much all have Allison 545's for transmissions. This is not the desirable choice as they have no lockup.
They aren't going to be anything you want to be up in the Alps driving. With little to no engine braking and no auxillary braking system, the REAL mountains will be pretty tough to tackle.
For living in it and traveling around a bit, a gas engine will be fine.
Not trying to sound negative or anything. Just giving you the truth about what a full size gas GMC school bus is going to be capable of.
I live 30 miles from disney, its flat and easy. My last bus was a gas bus and it struggled even here in the Sunshine State.
As I said- will be fine for a mobile home, but not so much for transcontinental travel and mountains.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:01 PM   #16
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That sure doesn't sound to good, but thanks for mentioning!
Now I understand what everyone is saying, there is no perfect bus.
But there is no way i'm not doing this so I might just give up some power.
First priority is to start living in it, not traveling in it.
It's sure not ideal but i'll find my way.

There is also an option to buy a diesel and register it as a truck to haul stuff with.
Will cost around €500,- a year roadtax.
Just a little bit on the wrong site of the law but it might just slip through the cracks.
Don't know if I want to worry about it every time I take it on a trip.

This is a hard one... I let this one sink in for a couple of day's. ;) lol.
Thanks for your advice!
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