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Old 06-17-2016, 06:51 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 3
Ready to buy a bus! But no idea what to look for!

Hi folks!

As the title said, I'm ready to tackle my bus conversion project.

I have around $3500 max to spend on a bus. I've found several in my area for lower price point, but not sure what year, model, or type of bus I should be looking at. Just FYI: This bus will mostly just be sitting in our backyard, and will only be driven about 2 times a year when visiting the wife's family, so I'm not too worried about gas or mileage.

Bus 1: https://southjersey.craigslist.org/cto/5605229731.html

Bus 2: https://cnj.craigslist.org/cto/5618821159.html

Bus 3: https://newyork.craigslist.org/jsy/cto/5617507003.html

Bus 4: https://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/for/5629149480.html

etc.

So yeah - I need help! What should I be looking for? I'm looking to build something like this: Adventure Seekers Hit the Road in a Cozy School Bus Home (so it can't be a short bus, and should have the emergency exit at the back, not a window exit but door)

Thanks in advance everyone for any tips!

David.
davidvanbeveren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 04:24 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
The 1999 bus looks to be about the best of the bunch that you have picked out.

The 2002 most likely has the VT365 and that engine has problems. It was so bad IHC changed the name to MaxxForce7. Changing the name didn't solve the problems.

The GMC is gas powered. Every time you go to take it out on the road you are going to have to spend time dealing with the water in the fuel and the destruction ethanol blended fuel does to gas tanks, gas lines, and soft parts in the fuel system.

The Thomas Type 'D' is a good bus but it has the Cat engine in it.

The bus in the link is a great minimalist conversion--everything there is needed and put in with the least amount of materials possible. It isn't a bad way to do things as it is much easier to move things or change things out with a build like this one. If you do a conversion like the Broccoli bus making changes down the road will require major renovation.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 07:23 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 252
Just a thought... If you know it's going to be sitting 10-11 months out of the year they I'd expect to have to spend $$ on it every time you go to use it. It's amazing how much more stuff seems to break when it's not in use!
jake_blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 08:33 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 3
Cowlitzcoach, THANK YOU!

Sorry - I know *nothing* of buses, thanks for spending your time teaching me. You said the 1999 was the best of the bunch, would you recommend I buy that one, or would you recommend waiting for a better one?

Basically, are you telling me the 1999 is the best of the worst?

Thanks!

Still doing my own research, but it doesn't beat asking experts here.
davidvanbeveren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 10:38 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
Of the buses you linked up, the 1999 appears to be the best of the bunch.

Personally, I would look for a bus with air brakes. Air brakes rarely have issues resulting from sitting around. Hydraulic brakes, by their nature, have a tendency of going bad just sitting around. The brake fluid is hydroscopic (attracts water). Water in brake fluid drastically lowers the boiling point of the brake fluid and can boil away on the way down a long hill leaving you with no brakes before you get to the bottom of the hill. The water also tends to cause rust in the lines and moving parts which will cause failure.

Air brakes, on the other hand, are only pressurized when you have air pressure in the system and you apply the service brake. The spring brake (also known as the emergency/parking brake) is very positive and will stop the bus if you should lose all air pressure.

You can still have some issues with air brakes from sitting around (like linings becoming rusted and stuck to the drums and not releasing). But they are easily fixed or worked around compared to the major time and expense if you have to do a brake job every time you go to take the bus out after sitting for a year.

Your budget for a bus seems to be within reason. Just don't be in a hurry just because a bus happens to be close by or is the only bus for sale close by.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 11:50 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 3
Awesome! Can't thank you enough.

Funny actually, I just found TWO of them with airbrakes within my budget exactly:

https://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/cto/5642964078.html

https://longisland.craigslist.org/cto/5628550940.html

I apologize for asking so much.
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