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Old 04-21-2018, 10:48 PM   #1
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How about this bus

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=83&acctid=8263

What do you guys think of this? It's like 1000 miles from home and hasn't been driven in two years

Btw I plan on raising the roof and full timing with two of us. Trying to keep enough cash in the budget for a solid solar setup. I need to get a bus here so I can get it in my friends shop. All I'm looking at near me are very rusty and that's alot of work I don't want.
Thank for advice/opinions
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:03 PM   #2
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At first sight it looks decent.

Pity the engine is the 5.9 and not the 8.3. That's disappointing in an activity bus.

Tires need changing for 11R and there is an error in the VIN#.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:12 PM   #3
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Yeah the 5.9 isn't great the push button shifter makes me a bit happier
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:48 PM   #4
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Yeah the 5.9 isn't great the push button shifter makes me a bit happier
It most likely has a 2000 series transmission. That will be fine.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:02 AM   #5
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I have a pretty small budget compaired to alot of people here but I don't want a pile of rust.

My friend is a rockstar with a wrench, and has his own shop. So cutting welding and things will be lots cheaper for me. I just hope to find a good base soon, as I'd like to be on the road by Wisconsin winter. I probably won't be done by then but hopefully a livable setup to work on while roaming
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:09 AM   #6
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That bus looks like it has been rode hard and put up wet.

If they were serious about selling that bus they should have spent a few $$$ and cleaned it up before pictures were taken.

I find it hard to believe that a school stopped having activities that required a bus. If the reason it was not used is because they got a new bus it would make more sense.

The top price I would go would be $2500.00.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:14 AM   #7
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I'm kind of glad they didn't clean it, makes me think they are not putting lipstick on a pig and trying to pass it off

Thanks for the opinion on price it's about in the range I was thinking
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Is the 5.9 really that bad?

With that trans will it do acceptable highway speed? I'm not looking to do 75-80 but I'll be crossing the mountains on 80 for sure
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:16 PM   #9
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the pushbutton shifter is one of the 3000 series not a 2000.. and its a great transmission.. the 5.9 is a great engine.. there were a few fixes to perform on them.. they arent real powerful though... the 3000 series trans will help.. highway speed si determined by gears as well as engine.. so even with overdrive if it is geared real low its not gonna fly..

as for mountains, just go slow... with the 3060 trans you wont be burning up your trans on the uphills.. and you'll have some good hiolding power on the downhills..

the 5'9's biggest nemesis was the tappet cover can spring a (bad) oil leak.. or the killer dowel pin can fall out and grind up all your timing gears...

-Christopher
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:18 PM   #10
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24 valve Cummins do not have the killer dowel pin
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:51 AM   #11
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But I can swap rearend gears to get a little better highway speed at expense of low end right?
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:54 AM   #12
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But I can swap rearend gears to get a little better highway speed at expense of low end right?
Yes, and I plan to do this very thing. You'll want to reprogram your speedometer, of course.
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:55 AM   #13
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The 5.9L Cummins 6BT engine is one of the best light/medium duty diesel engines ever developed. For what it is it is great! But one has to understand what it is or you will be disappointed.

The 5.9L left Cummins in a lot of different HP/Torque ratings that was determined many times by how the end used spe'c'ed an engine.

I have seen them spe'c'ed as low as 160 HP. In Dodge pickups the HP ratings were well over 300 HP. All from basically the same engine with different pumps and injectors or pump settings.

But at the end of the day, it is still only 5.9L and as every hot rodder will tell you the secret of more go is more cubic inches. An 8.3L Cummins 6CT rated at 250 HP will have anywhere from half again to twice as much torque as a 6BT rated at 250 HP.

HP will make you go fast but the torque is what will keep you going fast.
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Old 04-23-2018, 01:04 AM   #14
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But I can swap rearend gears to get a little better highway speed at expense of low end right?
The answer to you question is sort of yes and no.

Yes you can get lower RPM's to go the same speed at the expense of off the line acceleration. But you reach a point where you won't have enough HP to push the brick shape through the air.

A few years ago when my m-I-l passed away I purchased a bus in Grand Rapids, MI to transport treasures to WA state. What I got was an S-series IHC chassis with a Thomas 12-row bus body. Under the hood was a T444 and AT545. It was geared to go 65 MPH with my foot flat to the floor.

As I headed west on I-80 I was able to maintain 60-65 MPH on the flat but on any sort of grade I would lose 5-15 MPH and on the steep parts I was down to 20-25 MPH. Out on the flat when a semi- with a big van trailer would pass me I would be able to draft behind them at their speed until we got to a grade and I couldn't keep up any longer. Behind the semi-trucks I saw speeds in excess of 70 MPH.

What I learned from that was even if I had faster gears I wouldn't have been able to go any faster. The engine was working as hard as it could and there wasn't enough more go to overcome the frontal area of the bus.

So yes you can change the rear end gearing on your bus but it won't necessarily mean you can go faster. It will just mean that when you finally do get up to speed your RPM's will be lower and you will be downshifting a lot sooner and more often on every grade.
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Old 04-23-2018, 01:09 AM   #15
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The answer to you question is sort of yes and no.

Yes you can get lower RPM's to go the same speed at the expense of off the line acceleration. But you reach a point where you won't have enough HP to push the brick shape through the air.

A few years ago when my m-I-l passed away I purchased a bus in Grand Rapids, MI to transport treasures to WA state. What I got was an S-series IHC chassis with a Thomas 12-row bus body. Under the hood was a T444 and AT545. It was geared to go 65 MPH with my foot flat to the floor.

As I headed west on I-80 I was able to maintain 60-65 MPH on the flat but on any sort of grade I would lose 5-15 MPH and on the steep parts I was down to 20-25 MPH. Out on the flat when a semi- with a big van trailer would pass me I would be able to draft behind them at their speed until we got to a grade and I couldn't keep up any longer. Behind the semi-trucks I saw speeds in excess of 70 MPH.

What I learned from that was even if I had faster gears I wouldn't have been able to go any faster. The engine was working as hard as it could and there wasn't enough more go to overcome the frontal area of the bus.

So yes you can change the rear end gearing on your bus but it won't necessarily mean you can go faster. It will just mean that when you finally do get up to speed your RPM's will be lower and you will be downshifting a lot sooner and more often on every grade.
Agreed.

Which is why the buses destined for highway use tend to come with higher gearing AND torquier engines.

That said, some buses are geared very conservatively, and there is often room for improvement.
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Old 04-23-2018, 01:19 AM   #16
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I agree no gear change is going to make it a race car I'm more interested in keeping rpms down on long trips. High rpm for long periods makes for higher repairs
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:19 AM   #17
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Well I don't think that's my bus, I'm high bidder at 2110 and reserve is not met. Don't think I want to go higher. At least without seeing it in person, but I'm not going to take the time off work for a bus they probably want to much for.


So the search continues......
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:22 AM   #18
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Well I don't think that's my bus, I'm high bidder at 2110 and reserve is not met. Don't think I want to go higher. At least without seeing it in person, but I'm not going to take the time off work for a bus they probably want to much for.


So the search continues......
Heck I may take a swing at it, then.
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:01 AM   #19
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heres the thing about reserves.. if you win and the reserve isnt met, the seller can (and many do) still sell it at the auction bidder price.. esp if its a 2nd oir 3rd listing or the bidding has gone somewhat close to the reserve. I would still bid till you hit your own personal limit vs jumping out because you think you wont make the reserve..

Getting RPMs down seems to surely help MPG's after trans swap my bus is now Over-geared.. and in top gear its only good for flat ground but the low RPMs make it a nice cruiser with great MPGs (for a school bus)... however as mentioned it takes more power (and fuel) to go faster! so if you re-gear to get more speed and your engine is already gfood torque and HP you'll make out well.. if you are running the engine at 100% load factor all the time after a re-gear you'll likely gain a couple MPH but lose a lot in MPG..
-Christopher
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:10 AM   #20
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I was kinda hoping theyd sell at a lower price they have relisted already, but who knows someone may be willing to pay their price
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