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Old 06-10-2019, 05:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Should I buy this bus?

Hi everyone!

If you have the time, let me know what you think of this bus. I'll give you all the information that I currently have but please let me know if I should ask more questions from the seller.

Model: 1997 International 3800 (Looks like 35ft to me, would you agree?
Engine: DT466
Trans: A/T
Axle Configuration: S/A (what does this mean?)
Miles: 130,000
Other: Spring suspension
Location: Maryland, but possibly ran in Ohio
Rust: I don't see much but it's been painted so I'm not sure. Does the undercarriage and engine look like an okay amount of rust?
Cost: What would you pay?

Here is an album of photos: https://imgur.com/a/QWiXoKK

I am from out of state so I can't look at it myself. Currently in touch with a diesel mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection. I wanted to get your opinions as well and see if there are any specific questions I should ask the seller or the diesel mechanic. Thank you! I appreciate your time
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaivgrant View Post
Hi everyone!

If you have the time, let me know what you think of this bus. I'll give you all the information that I currently have but please let me know if I should ask more questions from the seller.

Model: 1997 International 3800 (Looks like 35ft to me, would you agree?
Engine: DT466
Trans: A/T
Axle Configuration: S/A (what does this mean?)
Miles: 130,000
Other: Spring suspension
Location: Maryland, but possibly ran in Ohio
Rust: I don't see much but it's been painted so I'm not sure. Does the undercarriage and engine look like an okay amount of rust?
Cost: What would you pay?

Here is an album of photos: https://imgur.com/a/QWiXoKK

I am from out of state so I can't look at it myself. Currently in touch with a diesel mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection. I wanted to get your opinions as well and see if there are any specific questions I should ask the seller or the diesel mechanic. Thank you! I appreciate your time
'SA' means 'single axle'
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
'SA' means 'single axle'
Thanks Sleddgracer! Do you know anything more about that? Does it impact speed? Is a single axle a good or a bad thing?
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kaivgrant View Post
Thanks Sleddgracer! Do you know anything more about that? Does it impact speed? Is a single axle a good or a bad thing?
a tandem axle would be found on a heavier vehicle, not needed on a school bus - more tires on the ground = poorer mileage
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaivgrant View Post
Hi everyone!

If you have the time, let me know what you think of this bus. I'll give you all the information that I currently have but please let me know if I should ask more questions from the seller.

Model: 1997 International 3800 (Looks like 35ft to me, would you agree?
Engine: DT466
Trans: A/T
Axle Configuration: S/A (what does this mean?)
Miles: 130,000
Other: Spring suspension
Location: Maryland, but possibly ran in Ohio
Rust: I don't see much but it's been painted so I'm not sure. Does the undercarriage and engine look like an okay amount of rust?
Cost: What would you pay?

Here is an album of photos: https://imgur.com/a/QWiXoKK

I am from out of state so I can't look at it myself. Currently in touch with a diesel mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection. I wanted to get your opinions as well and see if there are any specific questions I should ask the seller or the diesel mechanic. Thank you! I appreciate your time
I'd pay like $1500 tops. Low headroom, no air ride, dirty as hell, and from the rust belt.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:17 AM   #6
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Its worth about $1500.
What would I pay for it? I wouldn't.

That bus has low headroom, and looks pretty well beat. The rust that you can see is a sign that there's going to be a lot more that you can't see - yet. Its low headroom, probably a low-spec transmission, and if you don't know the gearing, it may well top out at 55. On the plus side, it's not yellow, but it still looks like someone bought it to make a party bus, got 1/8 of the way through painting it, and gave up.

There's better choices out there.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
Its worth about $1500.
What would I pay for it? I wouldn't.

That bus has low headroom, and looks pretty well beat. The rust that you can see is a sign that there's going to be a lot more that you can't see - yet. Its low headroom, probably a low-spec transmission, and if you don't know the gearing, it may well top out at 55. On the plus side, it's not yellow, but it still looks like someone bought it to make a party bus, got 1/8 of the way through painting it, and gave up.

There's better choices out there.
I would agree. It does look pretty beat down, it also has the old style split rims.

However the filters and belts all look pretty new, as does the rubber so those are pluses. It looks like it would be a good work bus, but I don't think I would use it as a base for a skoolie. $1500 tops
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Willie_McCoy View Post
I would agree. It does look pretty beat down, it also has the old style split rims.

However the filters and belts all look pretty new, as does the rubber so those are pluses. It looks like it would be a good work bus, but I don't think I would use it as a base for a skoolie. $1500 tops
They're just regular Dayton wheels. The old widowmaker splits have been LONG gone.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:39 AM   #9
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Knee deep in rubber. DT466 is a great engine. You don't want a AT545 Tranny you want a MT643. Crawl under it and look for rust.Especially under rear wheel wheels. You don't need a mechanic to go inspect the engine. What condition are batteries? Exhaust? I think a great deal for $1500.00.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:53 AM   #10
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Just a generalized perspective...


When you see one area of obvious neglect (like the fact it has as much dirt inside as the yard it's parked in), you can pretty much bet the rest of the vehicle has been neglected as well. Just my gut feel: The owner(s) approach to vehicle maintenance is likely 'drive it till it blows up'.


I wouldn't buy it.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
a tandem axle would be found on a heavier vehicle, not needed on a school bus - more tires on the ground = poorer mileage
Good to know, thanks Sleddgracer
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I'd pay like $1500 tops. Low headroom, no air ride, dirty as hell, and from the rust belt.
Other's have mentioned the headroom - how do you know it's low?
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Versatile View Post
Knee deep in rubber. DT466 is a great engine. You don't want a AT545 Tranny you want a MT643. Crawl under it and look for rust.Especially under rear wheel wheels. You don't need a mechanic to go inspect the engine. What condition are batteries? Exhaust? I think a great deal for $1500.00.

Why don't you think I need a mechanic to inspect the engine? I am from out of state so I can't go in person unfortunately. Not new to researching Skoolie's but new to understanding all the nuts and bolts. Thanks for your help!
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:55 PM   #14
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Other's have mentioned the headroom - how do you know it's low?
Can see it.
The wondows are even or lower than the service door and drivers window on low headroom buses.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:19 PM   #15
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Can see it.
The wondows are even or lower than the service door and drivers window on low headroom buses.
Good to know, thanks! Can you tell approx how high the ceiling is?
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:31 PM   #16
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Why don't you think I need a mechanic to inspect the engine? I am from out of state so I can't go in person unfortunately. Not new to researching Skoolie's but new to understanding all the nuts and bolts. Thanks for your help!

If they are telling you that the engine is good then you can generally with a DT466 is. You need to know how everything else is. You can park in some lot's and in a day look like that. Add so dew and it gets worse real quick. You won't know unless you go see. Myself i wouldn't buy a bus unseen. Buying unseen is just a toss of the coin.

'
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:43 PM   #17
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I went back and looked at the photos again and I can see that someone spent some money on it in the past. Definitely check it out.Where is the bus. Maybe a forum member could go look.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:47 PM   #18
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Good to know, thanks! Can you tell approx how high the ceiling is?
Around 72 inches +/-
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:52 PM   #19
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If they are telling you that the engine is good then you can generally with a DT466 is.
Quote:
Myself i wouldn't buy a bus unseen. Buying unseen is just a toss of the coin.'
These two quotes seem contradictory. On one hand, you suggest that if the seller says the engine's good, it is, all because he said so and it's a DT466. On the other, you say you wouldn't buy a bus sight-unseen and suggest doing so is a bad call.

Using this logic, why not just ask the seller about the rest of the bus? His words concerning the engine are apparently beyond reproach. Why wouldn't he be telling truth about the rest of the bus?

And regarding rust, the OP doesn't need to even show up to look underneath. The pictures provided tell the story. If the heavy-metal items pictured havee that much rust, do you really expect the thin sheet-metal to be better off?
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:09 PM   #20
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These two quotes seem contradictory. On one hand, you suggest that if the seller says the engine's good, it is, all because he said so and it's a DT466. On the other, you say you wouldn't buy a bus sight-unseen and suggest doing so is a bad call.

Using this logic, why not just ask the seller about the rest of the bus? His words concerning the engine are apparently beyond reproach. Why wouldn't he be telling truth about the rest of the bus?

And regarding rust, the OP doesn't need to even show up to look underneath. The pictures provided tell the story. If the heavy-metal items pictured have that much rust, do you really expect the thin sheet-metal to be better off?
What rust are you talking about?
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