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Old 03-02-2011, 04:03 PM   #11
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

maybe check out youtube and see what you can find and like there?
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:46 PM   #12
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

Yeah, time is running short. There are buses near me but they're super high priced and barely running. For $4 I expect the bus to OPERATE

Found this one ebay'd but its about 20 mins from where I live. Anyone know what something like this might end up going for?

Quote:
2001 Carpenter, 16 passenger, 5 wheelchair school bus with an 800 lb wheelchair lift and Trans Air AC unit, on an IHC 3800 chassis with 166220 miles, VIN # 1HVBBABP51H340535, powered by an IHC model T444E(7.3L) diesel engine. Transmission is an Allison model AT545 automatic. Brakes are hydraulic disc. All wheels are hub pilot. Steer tires are an 11R22.5 LR-G @ 10 & 12/32". Drive tires are an 11R22.5 LR-G Bandag recap @ 15,17,14,and 15/32".
Tad longer than I want, by 5 feet but well dang it LOL Running out of time.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:17 PM   #13
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

Sounds similar in many ways to the bus I just bought, A 99 International Thomas 3600 chassis with T444 and same tranny 130,000 miles 22c/14a capacity no idea how many wheelchairs it would fit but it does have a lift. Everything works great, just came out of school service. I paid $2800 but I bought it from a dealer so I probably pd a bit more than I would have from a private seller. I just went for the convenience factor. I looked at some farther away but then I considered the possibility of mechanical problems with an unfamiliar vehicle a long way from home and decided closer was better even if it cost a bit more. Thankfully the feared mechanical problems never happened. Not sure if this helps but it was my experience and it was within the last couple weeks so the price is current.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:26 PM   #14
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeria
Yeah, time is running short. There are buses near me but they're super high priced and barely running....
I flew out to Kansas and drove my bus 700 miles back to Central Texas so I could get the bus I wanted and at a reasonable price. It may be worth your while to pay $500 for a one-way flight and fuel for the drive home so you can get the bus you want and get it somewhere that prices are cheaper than your area. In the end, you may come out even or ahead, plus get the exact bus you want. I went here: http://ks-bus.com/ but I see now their inventory is more limited than when I made my purchase. Of course this is a dealer and so they are charging retail, but the prices are not as high as other dealers I've seen, they were negotiable, and they picked me up at the airport at no extra charge. Overall, I was happy with my experience. I would rather have gotten a cheaper bus at auction here in Texas, but just wasn't finding the kind of bus I wanted and got impatient, so I found this dealer to be a good fall back plan. To get an idea of high dealer prices check out http://www.floridachurchbus.com/ - crazy high prices!
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachhill
Sounds similar in many ways to the bus I just bought, A 99 International Thomas 3600 chassis with T444 and same tranny 130,000 miles 22c/14a capacity no idea how many wheelchairs it would fit but it does have a lift. Everything works great, just came out of school service. I paid $2800 but I bought it from a dealer so I probably pd a bit more than I would have from a private seller...
I think you got a fantastic deal! A '99 with low miles for $2,800?! From a dealer?! Damn!
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:59 AM   #16
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

That year, miles, size tends to run $2500-3500 from private and resale lots that I watch here in WI-MN-IL. Heading over to look at 3 of them either Monday or Tuesday. 35' long though... eek. Makes me nervous.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:04 PM   #17
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

MY advice is to hold off and wait until you find a cummins 5.9 mated to an mt643 auto trans.

Same exact size as the dt360, parts are more common, but more importantly, fuel mileage is about 50% better with the cummins/643 combo compared to a dt360/at545 trans.

Just my advice. I've driven over 30K miles in junk skoolies. I drove the most miles in a bus with a dt360. it's a great motor, but the fuel economy is not that great.

I always spent far more in Fuel over the life of a skoolie than i actually paid for the bus.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:44 AM   #18
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

2001 Carpenter, 16 passenger, 5 wheelchair school bus with an 800 lb wheelchair lift and Trans Air AC unit, on an IHC 3800 chassis with 166220 miles, VIN # 1HVBBABP51H340535, powered by an IHC model T444E(7.3L) diesel engine. Transmission is an Allison model AT545 automatic. Brakes are hydraulic disc. All wheels are hub pilot. Steer tires are an 11R22.5 LR-G @ 10 & 12/32". Drive tires are an 11R22.5 LR-G Bandag recap @ 15,17,14,and 15/32".


OMG those tires are big. I'm 5'8" and they come to my ribs. Run about $130 each for retreads. I've no CDL so couldn't drive it, but did get to ride with it and talk to mechanic. That is one loud diesel engine. And I know nothing whatsoever about diesel.

Anyone else have comments on this bus?
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:09 PM   #19
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

Yep, those powerstroke engines are loud. My bus (DT466) is quiter than my pickup truck (7.3 Intl.) Regarding the WC lift: I got a bus with one, and actually it was part of my criteria of what I wanted in a bus. But in the end, I re-evaluated my priorities and decided I'd rather have the space for other purposes and just didn't feel like I'd use the lift enough to warrant the loss of space and the extra weight and all the noise it made clanking around back there when driving. It was a big hassle to remove from the bus (requiring three or four strong men and two attempts) and I was not able to find a buyer for the lift and ended up scrapping it for $25.

It's nice that the bus has built-in AC though. I consider that a big plus to not have to run a generator when driving down the road just so you can have AC. That engine/trans combo is okay, but I think Lapeer20m had a very good recommendation about eng/trans combos. But I understand you are pressed for time. Overall, I think diesel is the way to go. Even though diesel fuel costs more at the pump (which is a crime!), you still save money based on better fuel economy, and that's not to mention the greater torque and longevity of the engine. Let's face it, there is a good reason why most all big trucks are diesel powered.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:14 PM   #20
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Re: Possible purchases -- comments?

I noticed the T444 was a loud engine and took it into consideration before buying my bus. At idle and slow speed it sounds alot like our diesel tractor. In the end I figured some careful sound proofing would make it livable. 22.5 is a standard size tire for a semi my old truck steer tires cost about $300 a piece so they are pricey but there is a great selection of heavy duty long lasting tires in that size. My bus has 19.5s on it and I'd like to get some 22.5s to lower the RPMs at highway speed. If you want smaller wheels your welcome to trade for mine, I think you'd be making a mistake, but then what do I know. Keep us updated, I'm enjoy following your search.
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