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Old 01-24-2018, 09:11 PM   #1
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Is this my unicorn?

I've spent the better part of the last year living on this site and learning everything I can. With that said I think I may have found the unicorn I've been looking for and wanted to get some other opinions.

What I'm looking for is a bus that's got a strong all mechanical drive train, is as close to 35' long as possible, and has decent interior ceiling height. I'm finding the all mechanical buses are getting more and more scarce.

What I've found is a 36' 1982 International with 188k (not sure of the hours but it was previously owned by a volunteer fire dept so I'm guessing not a lot of idling hours), with a DT466 + MT643 drive train. Ceiling height is 72.5" which is a bummer, but I am taking a welding class at my local community college so I'm thinking I could pull off a roof raise if need be. Asking price is $5k, I can probably talk it down a bit.

I'd love some other opinions on this beast.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:18 PM   #2
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That's very much like what i'm looking for, but i'm expecting to pay much less for newer bus. That does look to be in good condition and has a desired drive train. Hope you can talk em down some.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:26 PM   #3
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That looks ok. I don't think that's your unicorn though. I think you're settling because it's been so long. It's probably a good bus. It's got most of the right parts.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:35 PM   #4
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I've spent the better part of the last year living on this site and learning everything I can. With that said I think I may have found the unicorn I've been looking for and wanted to get some other opinions.

What I'm looking for is a bus that's got a strong all mechanical drive train, is as close to 35' long as possible, and has decent interior ceiling height. I'm finding the all mechanical buses are getting more and more scarce.

What I've found is a 36' 1982 International with 188k (not sure of the hours but it was previously owned by a volunteer fire dept so I'm guessing not a lot of idling hours), with a DT466 + MT643 drive train. Ceiling height is 72.5" which is a bummer, but I am taking a welding class at my local community college so I'm thinking I could pull off a roof raise if need be. Asking price is $5k, I can probably talk it down a bit.

I'd love some other opinions on this beast.
Hmmm...sounds really interesting...good luck

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Old 01-24-2018, 10:21 PM   #5
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That looks ok. I don't think that's your unicorn though. I think you're settling because it's been so long. It's probably a good bus. It's got most of the right parts.
That's what I think, too. Nice bus, though. Price seems a little steep to me.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:26 PM   #6
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That's what I think, too. Nice bus, though. Price seems a little steep to me.
He did say "all mechanical"...does that mean no ECM/TCM? Won't find newer rig w/o them...

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Old 01-24-2018, 10:41 PM   #7
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He did say "all mechanical"...does that mean no ECM/TCM? Won't find newer rig w/o them...

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You can find em as new as 98/99 sometimes.
But the early electronic engines weren't bad. Its midway through the 2000's they get crappy.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:47 PM   #8
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You can find em as new as 98/99 sometimes.
But the early electronic engines weren't bad. Its midway through the 2000's they get crappy.
Ok...nice to know...and the really new ones have def...

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Old 01-24-2018, 10:49 PM   #9
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ok...nice to know...and the really new ones have def...

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def, dpf, egr...
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:57 PM   #10
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def, dpf, egr...
I've only heard of DEF...

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Old 01-24-2018, 11:17 PM   #11
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I've only heard of DEF...

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Diesel Particulate Filter ... very bad news if it clogs $$$$$
Diesel Exhaust Fluid .... cheap, not in itself problematic
Exhaust Gas Recirculation ... Early attempt at emissions control. Can go bad, not a major problem.

Cummins 8.3L went from 6C (mechanical) to ISC (electronic) mid-1998
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:21 AM   #12
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That's what I think, too. Nice bus, though. Price seems a little steep to me.
You're right this would definitely be a compromise and the price is high. Maybe I just need to wait until summer for more buses to hit the market but it seems the mechanical engines are getting pretty few and far between and that's one thing I really don't want to compromise on. I'd prefer something 10-15 years newer.

I'm also avoiding front engine flat nose buses as I want it to be as easy to work on as possible.

I live in AZ and would prefer as local a bus as I can get. But I'm not the only one looking for an AZ bus and the ones I've watched go pretty high at auction, many for not much less than what they're asking for this one.

I guess I'm a little worried that as I wait and search for that perfect bus the mechanical engine bus pool will dry up so I'm considering settling for less than perfect.

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Old 01-25-2018, 12:34 AM   #13
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You're right this would definitely be a compromise and the price is high. Maybe I just need to wait until summer for more buses to hit the market but it seems the mechanical engines are getting pretty few and far between and that's one thing I really don't want to compromise on. I'd prefer something 10-15 years newer.

I'm also avoiding front engine flat nose buses as I want it to be as easy to work on as possible.

I live in AZ and would prefer as local a bus as I can get. But I'm not the only one looking for an AZ bus and the ones I've watched go pretty high at auction, many for not much less than what they're asking for this one.

I guess I'm a little worried that as I wait and search for that perfect bus the mechanical engine bus pool will dry up so I'm considering settling for less than perfect.

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It could be the one...I'm kinda leery of buying something somebody started...unless I know a bit about their skill set...BUT if you're fond of the powertrain and can do most of your maintenance then make that jump...lol...I saw a 62 Mack somebody was showing off on YT...oh yeah...that would be a great project...bottom line: you know your budget and skills...good luck

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Old 01-25-2018, 12:38 AM   #14
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Diesel Particulate Filter ... very bad news if it clogs $$$$$
Diesel Exhaust Fluid .... cheap, not in itself problematic
Exhaust Gas Recirculation ... Early attempt at emissions control. Can go bad, not a major problem.

Cummins 8.3L went from 6C (mechanical) to ISC (electronic) mid-1998
That dpf sounds like the cat in a car

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Old 01-25-2018, 12:47 AM   #15
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The sad reality is that in the not very distant future...all the mechanical buses will be gone leaving nothing but the PITA, all electronic, 500 sensor, computerized, EPA BS monstrosities for Skoolie builders to try and deal with.

No one but a tiny handful of electro-tech, programming whizzes with tons of exotic gear will be able to deal with the damned things. And I am 100% convinced that is exactly the plan.

To me, the real challenge to engineers is to design and build something that is genuinely simple and economical to maintain and operate.

Something "elegant" in the original sense of the word.

But unfortunately, they (and Detroit) would much rather produce overly complex crap that you have to take back to them even for what should be the simplest maintenance or repairs.

The most complicated thing in life to achieve...is simplicity. Regrettably, I don't see it in our future.


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Old 01-25-2018, 12:51 AM   #16
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The sad reality is that in the not very distant future...all the mechanical buses will be gone leaving nothing but the PITA, all electronic, 500 sensor, computerized, EPA BS monstrosities for Skoolie builders to try and deal with.

No one but a tiny handful of electro-tech, programming whizzes with tons of exotic gear will be able to deal with the damned things. And I am 100% convinced that is exactly the plan.

To me, the real challenge to engineers is to design and build something that is genuinely simple and economical to maintain and operate.

Something "elegant" in the original sense of the word.

But unfortunately, they (and Detroit) would much rather produce overly complex crap that you have to take back to them even for what should be the simplest maintenance or repairs.

The most complicated thing in life to achieve...is simplicity. Regrettably, I don't see it in our future.


End of Rant.
I'm with you...

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Old 01-25-2018, 01:30 AM   #17
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Only you know what your unicorn is.
But if you want my opinion, I'd pass on that bus because of the stud-piloted wheels.

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Old 01-25-2018, 01:56 AM   #18
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Only you know what your unicorn is.
But if you want my opinion, I'd pass on that bus because of the stud-piloted wheels.

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Oh?

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Old 01-25-2018, 07:36 AM   #19
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Only you know what your unicorn is.
But if you want my opinion, I'd pass on that bus because of the stud-piloted wheels.

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All my buses have been stud pilot, what am I missing out on??
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:38 AM   #20
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All my buses have been stud pilot, what am I missing out on??
The wonderful world of hub-piloted wheels.

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