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Old 05-23-2009, 12:08 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Genesis
Engine: Detroit
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Should I Buy It?

Went and looked at 'my' bus this evening. Man it's a thing of beauty! The sound is wonderful. The exterior has some rust, but nothing drastic. The interior looks great, except for the seats, which don't count 'cause they're coming out. But man-o-man, it's got 25 feet of living space (187 sq.ft!!). My cousin, the mechanic, said its International engine is "pretty much bulletproof". He also said it needed some work, but said no more than $2000 to get it up to what he'd consider cross country traveling.

I had the money in my pocket and was willing to hand it over except for two things...

1) The place I was going to keep it and work on it fell through. I can't keep it at home - no space. There is a marina/RV storage place down the street that I'm going to enquire about tomorrow, but everything in there looks like regular RVs... no skoolies or odd vehicles. It won't hurt to ask, though.

2) The bus is governed to less than 55 mph. That's not so bad on back roads and city driving, but if I want to go cross country, I'd like to go interstate occasionally. Being limited to 50-53 mph would be a bit dangerous when everyone else is whizzing past at 70-85 mph!

One other minor concern was the overall length of the bus. At approximately 32' to 34', I'm not sure if it's too long to get into some spots. How long is too long when it comes to visiting national parks and such? The wheel base was 21 foot.

Does anyone else have a bus this long that they take to "rustic" parking areas? If so, what were you experiences with driving a long bus over rough roads?

You can see the bus on my YouTube site here:
And I've posted a lot of new photos of the bus in the gallery (including engine shots).
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skoolies/TygerCub/
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:06 AM   #2
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Re: Should I Buy It?

So... how much is it? I hope it's next to nothin if it needs $2000 to be road worthy for long trips.

The top speed seems painfully slow, check the gear ratio. You can turn the governer up, but if you have too low of gears it wont matter much.

Any leaks?
How are the tires?
What are your plans for it?

Length seems standard to me, with my bus I usually pull into 2 parking spots and it fits fine.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Should I Buy It?

i usually spend less than $2K to buy a bus and spend zero dollars to make it road worthy for cross country travel.

what kinds of repairs does the bus need?
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:39 AM   #4
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Re: Should I Buy It?

This has been keeping me up thinking about it.

I took my cousin along to check the mechanics out because he works on heavy equipment all day for a construction company. He seemed to think the bus was a steal at $2500. The cheaper buses in the area ($15k to $2K) were brands he didn't recommend due to lack of easy-to-find parts and/or bad experiences keeping things running at the shop. He specifically said stay away from the GMC trucks because the vehicles he's dealt with had reliability issues.

Unfortunately, he's out for the weekend, or I'd have him post all the technical details. But if I understood him correctly, roughly $1500 of the "repair" costs for the International were for 6 brand new tires (not retreads), which was something I wanted for long-term safety's sake. The rest was for tuneup, fixing whatever was going on with the turbo charger (which he said was sounding a little funny), and two other items that I don't remember right now. He also wanted to get a better look at the kingpins. I remember that those are very important, but am still fuzzy about what, exactly, they are and what they do.

Don't get me wrong. Except for lack of speed, the bus is travel worthy. The extra money I am willing to throw at it is to ensure long-term reliability. I'll be living here, after all.

He said he could put a different transmission in to get a better top end speed. My concern is the added expense over and above the aforementioned items. But considering I want to go coast-to-coast - several times - being limited to 53mph tops is neither realistic nor safe on highways.

Grrr.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: Should I Buy It?

what motor does it have in it? Many diesels can easily be "turned up" for free. you can increase your rpm's and your hp. if it goes 53 now, you can probably get about 60 mph out of it or more without spending any money
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:35 PM   #6
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Year: 1995
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Re: Should I Buy It?

Okay, just spoke with Tommy (cousin mechanic extraordinare), and he said the engine was a DT 366 international. His TWO recommended repairs included: 1) replace the exhaust manifold gasket & 2) check out the turbo while he's in the same area.

The new tires are my idea, which he liked because he said I could buy larger diameter tires to get a slight increase in speed. His other recommendation was to change the gear ratio... with the understanding that I'd get better speed, but have diminished towing and up-hill climbing capability.

Since I hope to go coast to coast in this thing and eventually have to climb in elevation through mountain ranges, I don't want something that's going to crawl along at 25 mph in a 55 mph roadway. The guy who is selling this bus has never had it anywhere but flat land. He has no idea what it can and can't do going up a hill other than an overpass, which is hardly distance enough for it to lose all its top speed (little tho that may be).

Even if the bus is perfect in every other way, I'm thinking a DT 366 just isn't going to be enough to get the job done for me.
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