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Old 12-08-2019, 04:08 PM   #1
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Looking at this bus for my build... looking for opinions

Hey guys! Iíve been reading on this site and many others trying to gather the info to start my build and make it as painless as possible!

Iím looking at a 40ft 2008 Thomas school bus with a 6.4L Mercedes in it. The bus Is newly inspected and is still currently used to haul students. I am able to purchase the bus for 3,200$ Which from what Iíve been able to see is a steal.

I was wondering if anyone on here has left the factory ceiling and added furring strips and then ship lap over that, I donít really want to remove and add new insulation as I plan on using this bus for weekend and week long excursions and to keep the cost and workload reasonable.

Iím thinking just remove the corner trim pieces I have circled.

Thanks!
Rob
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:12 PM   #2
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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I hear Mercedes are very expensive to work on and require factory technicians that are few and far between.
We also try and shy away from buses newer than 03 due to problematic emission equipment that is problematic, hard to diagnose and very expensive to repair. The best Skoolie platforms are the earlier mechanical version.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:42 PM   #3
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
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Year: 1996
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Engine: T444E 7.3L
Not a bad bus and price seems reasonable. Remember that Mercedes engines are expensive to fix, but pretty reliable.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I hear Mercedes are very expensive to work on and require factory technicians that are few and far between.
We also try and shy away from buses newer than 03 due to problematic emission equipment that is problematic, hard to diagnose and very expensive to repair. The best Skoolie platforms are the earlier mechanical version.
What Marc said..

I have heard Mercedes owners gripe about the availability of parts and service. The nearest shop to me that will work on them is about 135 miles away. Also, I have heard talk of it taking a week or two to get parts.

As far as daily driving goes, the folks that I have talked to that drive them daily say good things to say about them until the first big breakdown.

I am with Marc on the issues on 2004 and later buses. The emissions equipment technology is not mature. New standards took effect in 2004 and again in 2007. The manufactures have not done very well at producing reliable engines that meet emissions standards. I suspect that they will get it figured out eventually. But for the time being the consensus is that 2003 and earlier buses are much easier and cheaper to keep on the road.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:10 PM   #5
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Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
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Year: 1996
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Engine: DT466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjw444 View Post

I was wondering if anyone on here has left the factory ceiling and added furring strips and then ship lap over that, I donít really want to remove and add new insulation as I plan on using this bus for weekend and week long excursions and to keep the cost and workload reasonable.
Rob
We left the factory ceiling and added furring strips, 1/2" pink foamboard, then wood covering that. It made a noticeable difference in both hot and cold weather, with very little loss of headroom. Took a full day to do, so not so bad if you're looking for a quick improvement without gutting the ceiling.
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