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Old 07-23-2016, 10:50 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 18
Need help. About to buy a bus

hello and thank you for taking the time to read my post. I would like to find out all information about this bus I am about to buy. It is a 1990 International Bus with 11 windows. I know it has a diesel engine. I wanted to find out what the gross vehicle weight of this bus might be because I would like to know whether or not I would have to have a CDL to drive it. are these good buses? And what would one pay for something like this in OK condition runs and drives. thank you so much for your responses looking forward to them.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:04 AM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
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It won't let me post a picture otherwise I would. Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:22 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
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Hi and

A 66pax International is going to be somewhere around a 30k GVWR. If retitled as an RV, no bus should require a CDL. $2500 seems to be a reasonable going price. Pay special attention to rust, on the body, undercarriage, floor, wheel wells, etc. Rust is a time and money pit.

If you could share what engine and transmission it has, we could be more critical.

You have to have a few posts under your belt before you can upload images. It's an anti-spam measure.

Good luck!
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:06 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusFiend View Post
Hi and

A 66pax International is going to be somewhere around a 30k GVWR. If retitled as an RV, no bus should require a CDL. $2500 seems to be a reasonable going price. Pay special attention to rust, on the body, undercarriage, floor, wheel wells, etc. Rust is a time and money pit.

If you could share what engine and transmission it has, we could be more critical.

You have to have a few posts under your belt before you can upload images. It's an anti-spam measure.

Good luck!
thank you so much for your reply. Are you 100% sure that you will not need a CDL if the bus is registered as a private RV? I was looking on the Texas Department of Public Safety website and they said any vehicle over 26000 gross vehicle weight has to have a CDL in order to drive it? also I did find another bus that looks very similar to this one and it said that it was a little over 25,000 gross vehicle weight so maybe I'm okay?
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:23 PM   #5
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Ahhhh... Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarketingman View Post
thank you so much for your reply. Are you 100% sure that you will not need a CDL if the bus is registered as a private RV? I was looking on the Texas Department of Public Safety website and they said any vehicle over 26000 gross vehicle weight has to have a CDL in order to drive it? also I did find another bus that looks very similar to this one and it said that it was a little over 25,000 gross vehicle weight so maybe I'm okay?
Ah Texas... An RV with a GVWR of greater than 26k lbs is supposed to require a different non-CDL class license, IIRC. There are other Texans here that will speak up. Every bus has a DOT tag on it, listing GVWR and GAWR, usually along with tire and inflation specs.

Good luck!
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:27 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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and where are these dot tags usually located at? Thanks. also you say a different non CDL license is that just a regular drivers license with a special class to it?
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:38 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
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Most DOT tags are just inside the main door, on or under the "dash" or in the driver's cockpit. It's been a long time since I've looked for a DOT tag in a skoolie. The tag should be fairly obvious, like the one on the door jam of your car.

Texas has a classified licensing system, in addition to the CDL.

https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/Driver.../dlClasses.htm
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:38 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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okay, thank you for that. Also is there a way that you can look up the specs on it with the VIN number?
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:53 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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nevermind I found a way to look it up. Thank you.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:55 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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https://youtu.be/m3edBNqpNEc

Here's a link to a video of it. Let me know what you all think... Tia.
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:30 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarketingman View Post
https://youtu.be/m3edBNqpNEc

Here's a link to a video of it. Let me know what you all think... Tia.

It's kinda rough, 27,500 GVWR. You'd need the special license. It probably has the Allison AT545... meh... Any holes or squishiness means the steel flooring is rusted badly and will need to be repaired... It has too much rust for my taste. If you're willing to deal with the rust and can get it for $1000-1500, it may be worth a shot. I would not personally buy it without seeing/driving it.

Good luck!
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:18 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I'm getting it for $1,000. It sounds like it runs really well. Although I don't know much about diesel engines. but it does sound good. And it's really only Squishy in that one spot I walk the rest of it and couldn't find any other areas there is some Rust underneath the bus but not a lot seems to be more surface rust than anything. the transmission you mention, is that a good one?
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:50 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
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The Allison AT545 is a workhorse, used in buses and trucks for years. It's major drawbacks are no overdrive and no lockup torque converter. These are not a worry when you drive a stop & go, 25 mile school route. Taking a 500 mile road trip or climbing the Rockies (and coming back down!), you'll probably wish for a different transmission.

Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:05 AM   #14
Almost There
 
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Those InT 7.3L engines last forever. It is the same as the Ford Powerstroke 7.3 engine made for Ford by International. For $1000 you could probably patch up the rust and have a good RV.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusFiend View Post
The Allison AT545 is a workhorse, used in buses and trucks for years. It's major drawbacks are no overdrive and no lockup torque converter. These are not a worry when you drive a stop & go, 25 mile school route. Taking a 500 mile road trip or climbing the Rockies (and coming back down!), you'll probably wish for a different transmission.

Good luck!

ive already driven a few road trips on myt AT545.. total of 2500 miles in 2 months and ayt times a 643 or overdrive mught be nice but the 545 seems to kick me along just fine and it hasnt blown up
-Christopher
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:24 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
ive already driven a few road trips on myt AT545.. total of 2500 miles in 2 months and ayt times a 643 or overdrive mught be nice but the 545 seems to kick me along just fine and it hasnt blown up
-Christopher
There is a reason why the 545 was still used long after the 643 hit the market. The 545 is a perfectly capable tranny and just fine for many people. On a long road trip, an extra mile or two per gallon can make a big difference; 15-30% difference. For those of us traveling 8-10k miles a year, that could be a significant savings. For those of us whose skoolie will barely see 10k miles in its entire life with us, not so much.

Towing adds another consideration, as does mountainous travel. I simply believe knowing what we're getting ourselves into before we jump is important.
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:40 PM   #17
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Before you do much else. Crawl under it and hand feel every inch of brake line you can touch.
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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 07-27-2016, 01:08 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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thank you so much busfiend for all your help. I do have a question for you. Are the wheels supposed to turn real easy whenever it's sitting in park? I was wondering if these buses have power steering and if so are they supposed to turn easy while it's parked. also do you know how I would find out which transmission does bus have?
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:05 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarketingman View Post
thank you so much busfiend for all your help. I do have a question for you. Are the wheels supposed to turn real easy whenever it's sitting in park? I was wondering if these buses have power steering and if so are they supposed to turn easy while it's parked. also do you know how I would find out which transmission does bus have?
The bus shouldn't have a "PARK". To park the bus, you leave the transmission in neutral and apply the parking brakes.

That bus should indeed have power steering. It's been many decades now that power steering has been standard. With the bus running, the steering wheel should turn rather easily.

There should be a service tag on the tranny, identifying the model.

Good luck!
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:20 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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thanks again. My mistake, you're right, no parking just neutral. So yeah my bus wheels do not turn very easy would it be safe to assume that the power steering is out? Any idea on what something like that would cost to replace?
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