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Old 06-04-2016, 12:09 PM   #11
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[url=http://texoma.craigslist.org/rvs/5601242062.html]converted 40' bus / toy hauler[/url

No conNection to me.
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1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:11 PM   #12
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Nice find! But, it's even crazier for me than the first one. For what I want to do, I'd have to strip the interior and start over. Nice engine; what's a retarder? Is that a Jake brake? If so, what does 4 stages mean?

The paint job has to go. The other one is already white, and I could live for a long time before I needed to change that. The Jackson Pollock treatment, not so much. Also, since it's a toy hauler/garage, maybe it's been cut up to make getting bikes in and out easier. A minus for me.

I have a request in for the VIN. I hope to be able to take that to Thomas and get a build sheet. That will have a lot of information. If it's got a desirable transmission and is geared for the highway, so much the better.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
...I have a request in for the VIN. I hope to be able to take that to Thomas and get a build sheet. That will have a lot of information. If it's got a desirable transmission and is geared for the highway, so much the better.
If you find an online tool to view the build sheets, please post it!

[This one shows the engine and type of brakes: http://www.gates.com/catalogs-and-re...r/vin-decoder]
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:26 PM   #14
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Nope. I've had good luck in the past just contacting the company directly and asking for the build sheet. "I'm considering purchasing" etc etc. I can't remember if I've done that with Thomas though. One company asked me for a phone number and called me basically to verify that I existed and wasn't a corporate entity.

In each case before I could show an online ad for the vehicle; this time I've only got pics of it sitting by the side of the road with a "For Sale" sign on it, but Thomas could easily look at that and see that the bus in the picture matches the bus they built with that VIN.

We shall see what we shall see.
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Old 06-05-2016, 03:05 PM   #15
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i like the prison windows! cool looking bus. and you dont have to worry about curtains.

its got all the right things, maybe a bit pricey but, its got all the right things.
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:01 PM   #16
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
As far as pulling VIN's - Mine's an IH chassis and when I called my local IH parts seller, he asked for the VIN and pulled it. Got the specs, service history, and basically everything he had access to through IH. If your chassis was made by a company other than Thomas, you can try that route (Ford, IH, Freightliner, etc).
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:45 PM   #17
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This just in! (Actually about a day ago)
















https://youtu.be/sXnp2eQGHKg

https://youtu.be/uJh7NHc67rM
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:05 PM   #18
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So: next steps?

It's 1800 miles and a $500 plane flight away, but it's damn near the perfect bus. Those prison bus portholes will force me to unskin-sketch in frames-reskin with new windows, which is sorta right where the fantasy was going anyway. Anybody want a porthole?

Is the 6CTA mechanical engine vs the ISC as desirable as the 444 vs the 444e? Do I get the same simplicity and ease of diagnosis as is rumored for other mech engines?

The only reference I can find about an out-of-town prepurchase inspection is "be prepared to spend a lot of money." Nothing about "Boy am I glad I went there!" Any idea how much is a lot? How to go about finding out which shop in Boise is honest and which one is run by the seller's brother-in-law?

My buddy says the tires are all mismatched and look "old and tired". (This is the same guy who thought 6 pictures was enough.) That's a bargaining chip.I have not started negotiating with the owner yet; it says $7500 in the window. 1589.x hours on the tach agrees well with the claimed 61K miles.

I spent 1/2 hour on the phone with a service rep at Thomas who completely gets and digs the idea of skoolies. I found out the rear is 5.29 and the gas tank is 100 gallons and has a heated pickup. Rear sounds high, but he said that his records indicate that 5th was unlocked on the Allison and 6th might be; he didn't understand the annotation in the record. If I can get to .75 on the Allison (a SWAG, I admit) I can get to 65 at 2K RPM which is all I'd ever want. And if I can get to or already have 6th, how sweet it is!

This looks like the proverbial unicorn from here, but the idea of letting go of that much money sight unseen has me a little deer-in-the-headlights. I'm looking for ideas as to how to move myself off the balance point of this dilemma. Work with me here.

I am also getting significant pushback from SWMBO, which is quite different than what she thought about the project when it was hypothetical. But that's on me to manage.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:29 PM   #19
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Year: 1946
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Sounds pretty sweet! And I just might be interested in some portholes...do you know the size?
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Sounds pretty sweet! And I just might be interested in some portholes...do you know the size?
Nope, but I am assuming that they fit nicely in between standard school bus bows. What're they? 24" OC or similar? Different from mfr to mfr?

I'm serious, btw. If I do snag this, I will give those away for the low low price of $shipping. I've gotten too much good advice and plain ol' entertainment out of this community, and it would be a small enough payback.
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