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Old 07-30-2019, 02:01 PM   #1
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IS THIS BUS WORTH 10k? IF NOT, WHY?

So i'm looking at a bus for purchase, please keep in mind that this will be my first skoolie build.

I really need information regarding what your counter price would be for this bus and why?

Im asking because i'm very new to this community and i know little to nothing on what to look for in a bus and what determines its price based on what you see

What are some pros and cons that you see on this bus?

How does one find a vin number? how important are they when doing your research to purchase?

I chose a RE bus because I read that RE are easily accessible in comparison to FE buses. I chose a CAT engine as I also have read that they are more reliable.

I also plan on traveling on highways and intestates more than mountainous areas.

So do all these specs really determine the price or no? how low should I go as an offer?

I'm on a budget of 7500 for a bus, plus an extra 5000 to complete my build temporarily so I can hit the road. However, my instincts tell me that this bus is not worth 10k, maybe 7500?

Bus is already on layaway for the time being, but I plan on making an actual offer. Also did not notice any sort of visible rust, I was able to inspect it last week for over an hour before I made my decision to put it on hold. Tires were in good condition also, although one I noticed needed to be replaced.

The bus is drive-able and came out of Virginia. Thoughts?

However, any sort of information would help. Here are the specs

2002 Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER
3126 Caterpillar Diesel
Allison MD3060 Automatic
Air Brakes
13 Row - 78 Children - 52 Adults
Air Conditioning - passenger side A/C cold - driver's side A/C warm
High Top
Tinted Windows
Air Door
100 Gallon Fuel Tank
Power Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Adjustable Pedals
2 Tool Box Storage
Tilt/telescope wheel
Mileage shown 171,961
GVWR 31,680
62 mph
Inside Height 77 1/2 in
Inside Length 28 ft on floor, 32 ft to rear window
Outside Length 36 1/2 ft
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Johnson City TN
Posts: 100
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC/AMTRANS RE
Engine: 7.3 T444E
Rated Cap: 36000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Dreaming View Post
So i'm looking at a bus for purchase, please keep in mind that this will be my first skoolie build.

I really need information regarding what your counter price would be for this bus and why?

Im asking because i'm very new to this community and i know little to nothing on what to look for in a bus and what determines its price based on what you see

What are some pros and cons that you see on this bus?

How does one find a vin number? how important are they when doing your research to purchase?

I chose a RE bus because I read that RE are easily accessible in comparison to FE buses. I chose a CAT engine as I also have read that they are more reliable.

I also plan on traveling on highways and intestates more than mountainous areas.

So do all these specs really determine the price or no? how low should I go as an offer?

I'm on a budget of 7500 for a bus, plus an extra 5000 to complete my build temporarily so I can hit the road. However, my instincts tell me that this bus is not worth 10k, maybe 7500?

Bus is already on layaway for the time being, but I plan on making an actual offer. Also did not notice any sort of visible rust, I was able to inspect it last week for over an hour before I made my decision to put it on hold. Tires were in good condition also, although one I noticed needed to be replaced.

The bus is drive-able and came out of Virginia. Thoughts?

However, any sort of information would help. Here are the specs

2002 Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER
3126 Caterpillar Diesel
Allison MD3060 Automatic
Air Brakes
13 Row - 78 Children - 52 Adults
Air Conditioning - passenger side A/C cold - driver's side A/C warm
High Top
Tinted Windows
Air Door
100 Gallon Fuel Tank
Power Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Adjustable Pedals
2 Tool Box Storage
Tilt/telescope wheel
Mileage shown 171,961
GVWR 31,680
62 mph
Inside Height 77 1/2 in
Inside Length 28 ft on floor, 32 ft to rear window
Outside Length 36 1/2 ft
I wouldn't shell out that for it... I have a 04 year IC bus and didn't spend half that on it.
I went to a salvage yard that had 70 or so buses to pick from they bought out fleets of buses from a couple of schools.
For that much money it should have brand new tires on it atleast.
And you are prob wondering what shape mine was in, I put over 450 miles on it going home without a problem and the only leak I have is from the trans output shaft (mine too has the Allison MD3060 and you def want that trans they are about the best you can get on a bus).
But it does need a set of tires. Only surface rust on the underside, was well cared for with records. 38.5' long, rear engine.
Like you power and heated mirrors, air ride suspension, but no adjustable pedals is about all that one has mine doesn't.
Mine also only had 89k miles on it when I bought it, but most buses that come out of service have 150-250k miles on them. Pretty sure mine was a substitute bus.
So unless it's had the engine and/or trans rebuilt no way would I give out that much money for what you are looking at.
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 120
Coachwork: In the market
The question is really what is it worth to you. There are people here who don't believe in paying for anything so they're gonna say no way but if it checks all your requirements then its juat a matter of deciding if its in your budget or negotiate. A rule of negotiation is be prepared to walk away no matter how much you may want it because the only thing worse than not getting what you want is getting it but then not being able to afford it.

It sounds like a good bus and similar to what I'm looking for. I would not agree that REs are easier engine access though but I expect they are most comfortable riding without the engine right next to you so I'm willing to accept that tradeoff.

Nothing wrong with Cats but can be pricey to fix because their parts network is proprietary.

I'm not sure if Thomases are a favorite here but nothing wrong with them, I just think its a Ford/Chevy thing. Everyone has their preferences.

Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:35 PM   #4
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Location: E Central Tejas
Posts: 1,997
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: IH 3800, 8 window
Engine: T444E w/ Spicer 5-speed MT
Rated Cap: I prefer broad-brims hats
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Well phrased, and better parsed!
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:43 PM   #5
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Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 442
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
$10K is high!
Peruse the auction sites and observe selling prices. Nary a one sells at the price you're facing.
The dealers snap up multiple busses at auction, wash them maybe clean interior and pop them out for high prices.
Your dealer likely paid half of their asking price, and stands to make a hefty profit when a newbie skoolie comes along. That's what they're counting on, and it's the American Way!

Good luck...
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:51 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Johnson City TN
Posts: 100
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC/AMTRANS RE
Engine: 7.3 T444E
Rated Cap: 36000lbs
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Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
$10K is high!
Peruse the auction sites and observe selling prices. Nary a one sells at the price you're facing.
The dealers snap up multiple busses at auction, wash them maybe clean interior and pop them out for high prices.
Your dealer likely paid half of their asking price, and stands to make a hefty profit when a newbie skoolie comes along. That's what they're counting on, and it's the American Way!

Good luck...
What you said buddy.
People can say what it's worth to YOU, but in reality that is just words to make a man feel less ripped off.
It's not some rare gem, buses are easy to snatch up, you may have to drive a few hours but all the same for thousands of dollars overpaying making a road trip is more worthwhile than feeding a greedy seller.
I say go low ball them with cash in hand and let em see it, if they don't like it then just say "thank you, I'll find one elsewhere" and do it.
People selling stuff at insane prices like that are just praying for a sucker, don't be the sucker.
10k for that isn't a good starting price, even if they haggle it's still going to be far over what it's worth. THEN if you do buy it and it needs alot of work you really won't be a happy camper..
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:06 PM   #7
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 7,139
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
I would not use how easy the engine is to work on as a deciding factor. I would place more emphasis on a motor that requires the least amount of repairs.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickBaptist View Post
What you said buddy.
People can say what it's worth to YOU, but in reality that is just words to make a man feel less ripped off.
It's not some rare gem, buses are easy to snatch up, you may have to drive a few hours but all the same for thousands of dollars overpaying making a road trip is more worthwhile than feeding a greedy seller.
I say go low ball them with cash in hand and let em see it, if they don't like it then just say "thank you, I'll find one elsewhere" and do it.
People selling stuff at insane prices like that are just praying for a sucker, don't be the sucker.
10k for that isn't a good starting price, even if they haggle it's still going to be far over what it's worth. THEN if you do buy it and it needs alot of work you really won't be a happy camper..
This is all good information. What do you think is the ideal price for a bus of this kind?
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:23 PM   #9
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and what sort of motors are those?
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:26 PM   #10
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 7,139
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Dreaming View Post
and what sort of motors are those?
I've heard very few if any issues on the DT466E that I have, some newer ones had timing cover issues with the coolant. I'd rather have a well maintained less desirable motor over a desirable motor that's easier to work on but is on it's last 1000 miles before rebuild. The 8.3 is a great motor, but not often found in an FE.
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