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Old 06-11-2016, 05:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
...I am also getting significant pushback from SWMBO...
Dear Mr. Fox,

I am writing this from my scars, as it were.

I have embarked on many courses of action in the past, in which my wife was neither not consulted or in which I went against her wishes. In nearly all of those instances, her advice would have saved me tremendous grief.

My policy now is (in the absence of a burning bush to the contrary) to involve her early and with full information, and to lead as a good husband... and stop in my tracks if she has reservations. Certainly I've lost a number of good deals in that process, but overall this has protected our family from a lot of trouble, and the quality of our relationship is better now than it ever has been.

Yes, this looks like abdication and being 'whipped. I prefer to think of it as making full use of the helper God gave me (kinda like He said I needed). Call it what you will: I've tried it both ways and choose this way.

I would hate to see you lose a good deal on a bus, but I would encourage you to be willing to walk away from it, to tell her so, lay out all the positives and negatives, and ask her for her counsel. If she says to bail on the idea, I would encourage you to do so. Sure, you'll pass up on a possibly good deal. But you'll reap benefits.

I won't think the worse of you if you don't follow my advice, of course - you're a big boy and I'm just an old guy trying to save you some grief. And not that you or anyone else would care what I thought, of course! But I'm giving you the best I've got to give here.

Wishing you and SWMBO the best...

-Tim
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:10 PM   #22
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Happy wife=Happy life!
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
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.
Isn't that the one that was on one of the auctions last year?
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:26 PM   #24
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Mr. Cowlitz, I'd be interested in any thoughts you had on the Cummins 6CTA.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:01 PM   #25
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Snowflake, Arizona
Posts: 323
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American Rear Engine
Engine: C-8.3-300 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 Prisoners
My converted prison bus has the 8.3 Cummins and Allison 6 spd trans
with 6th gear locked out so only 5 speeds available. It cruises at 65mph
at 2000 rpm with a 5.38 rear ratio. I also have a hydraulic retarder with
six positions and going over the continental divide with a 4000lb trailer on
back I never had to go any higher than number 3 on the retarder and never
had to use the brakes to hold me back on the down hills. Looks like this one
your looking at also has dual air conditioners as well. For longevity my bus
has 320,000 miles on the chassis and 9200 hours on the engine and will
do 85mph at 2400 rpm. The reason I bought Mine is that I figured the
vehicle that would get the best maintenance would be one that is hauling
prisoners. You don't want to break down on the road with a bus load of
bad guys on board. Besides my wife liked that it had two toilets installed.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:45 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgorila1 View Post
Happy wife=Happy life!
Or you can give her two black eyes & say "Now I've told you twice not gonna tell you again"
:h ide:
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:28 AM   #27
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Location: Manitou Springs, CO
Posts: 173
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Ward
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAOLIK View Post
Just going to throw out some hippie bullshit here. Something to consider is that a prison bus will not have the same good energy a school bus has from transporting a bunch of little brats every day. Some food for your thoughts.
That is ridiculous! (But exactly what I was thinking too!)
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:41 AM   #28
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Location: Danglebury, Tejas
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
I dont know what I believe, but I'll tell you this: I dont think you can drive a skoolie any great distance without believing its talking to you. You just get a vibe, a notional itch in the back of your brain, that tells you when its happy, or about to be expensively sad.

I'd drive that thing and listen to what its trying to tell you. It may be screaming "take me home!"'or "leave me alone!", but you'll never know until you drive it.

Your real job is to just listen.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:30 PM   #29
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,951
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
wow 2 air conditioners!!!

I want that front heater!!! that would replace my nasty-ass one nicely!!!

this bus has the same power cutoff switch mine does.. I love that switch!! makes it nice to not worry about battery parasitic discharge

-Christopher
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:33 PM   #30
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,951
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyCoyote View Post
I dont know what I believe, but I'll tell you this: I dont think you can drive a skoolie any great distance without believing its talking to you. You just get a vibe, a notional itch in the back of your brain, that tells you when its happy, or about to be expensively sad.

I'd drive that thing and listen to what its trying to tell you. It may be screaming "take me home!"'or "leave me alone!", but you'll never know until you drive it.

Your real job is to just listen.

My skoolie talksto me every time I drive it... and whatever its saying I dont know in the form of words.. but I damn sure know I smile everytime I climb up in that Big boy seat and start up that Diesel engine!!! and an even bigger grin when I pull that big-boy knob out as i arrive somewhere and the bus makes that awesome Whoosh!!!

1800 miles in a skoolie is a dream come true!!! for me it was 1100 miles and a breakdown but still a dream..!!

Drive and enjoy!!

-Christopher
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