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Old 05-02-2018, 09:50 PM   #1
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Should we get this bus?

Looking at getting a 2001 international handicap bus that is totally rust free. We may be able to get it for $5500. It has a t444e engine and I think the at545 tranny.

In many ways it seems like the best bus we are going to find, certainly the best bus we have seen in 6 months of searching.

What I'm wondering about is, it has 200k miles with 12k hours. Does this engine still have alot of life in it? We plan on traveling a lot, so decent engine life is important. I'm guessing it's idled alot, which makes sense being a handicap bus, but I don't know what 12k engine hours really means for the engine life.

Thanks for any help
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:04 PM   #2
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Looking at getting a 2001 international handicap bus that is totally rust free. We may be able to get it for $5500. It has a t444e engine and I think the at545 tranny.

In many ways it seems like the best bus we are going to find, certainly the best bus we have seen in 6 months of searching.

What I'm wondering about is, it has 200k miles with 12k hours. Does this engine still have alot of life in it? We plan on traveling a lot, so decent engine life is important. I'm guessing it's idled alot, which makes sense being a handicap bus, but I don't know what 12k engine hours really means for the engine life.

Thanks for any help
Too much money for a wimpy drivetrain.
Thats a high amount of hours and a decent amount of mileage for the price.

Dealer bus, I take it?

For that kinda money you can find a NICE bus.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:06 PM   #3
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With proper care and maintenance that's a 500k mile motor. 200k is just broken in if well cared for.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:24 PM   #4
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With proper care and maintenance that's a 500k mile motor. 200k is just broken in if well cared for.
not in a bus. Maybe in Craigslist land.
I've had one. Mine had 206k and 16k hours. Well maintained, ran great. But definitely didn't have another 300k left in it.
Was underpowered even in a 6 window shorty.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:50 PM   #5
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Too much money for a wimpy drivetrain.
Thats a high amount of hours and a decent amount of mileage for the price.

Dealer bus, I take it?

For that kinda money you can find a NICE bus.
Craigslist

It's the only decent 9 window we have been able to find with a semi decent drive train. We have about another month till we HAVE to get a bus, so if we dont get this 9 window, we are probably going to have to settle for a full size bus.

Still we would much rather get a full size bus with alot of life left, than the perfect 9 window on the verge of death.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:53 PM   #6
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200k miles on a t444e is ok with us, not preferable, but ok. What I'm really concerned about is the hours. We don't want to buy a bus at the end of an engines life. We want to travel in it full time.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:56 PM   #7
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With proper care and maintenance that's a 500k mile motor. 200k is just broken in if well cared for.
At 12k hours, how many more miles could I be looking at?
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:59 PM   #8
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not in a bus. Maybe in Craigslist land.
I've had one. Mine had 206k and 16k hours. Well maintained, ran great. But definitely didn't have another 300k left in it.
Was underpowered even in a 6 window shorty.
You tell it like it is Brother.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:46 PM   #9
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Well we were really excited about this bus, but so far we got 1 person in favor, 2 against. Not looking good
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:53 PM   #10
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I have a 2000 - 28í International with a t444e - I love it dearly.

It had 297,000 miles on the engine when I got it - 12735 hours. I paid $4,500.

That was almost a year ago - it is still going strong. Iíve put 12,000 miles on it since October - including some nice climbs through Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana (pulling my Subaru).

I am not saying the bus you are looking at will be the same, but I will stand up for the t444E engine.

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Old 05-03-2018, 12:16 AM   #11
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I have a 2000 - 28í International with a t444e - I love it dearly.

It had 297,000 miles on the engine when I got it - 12735 hours. I paid $4,500.

That was almost a year ago - it is still going strong. Iíve put 12,000 miles on it since October - including some nice climbs through Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana (pulling my Subaru).

I am not saying the bus you are looking at will be the same, but I will stand up for the t444E engine.

Attachment 21556
Thanks for saying something. Definitely worth noting. While that is very helpful and insightful, we need our bus to last much longer than a year or even a few years. Its such a difficult call, especially with our time limit. The bus were looking at is perfect for our floor plans and such. But actually knowing that the bus we get should last more than a few years, is more important.

Again, much appreciate your input!
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:15 AM   #12
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Craigslist

It's the only decent 9 window we have been able to find with a semi decent drive train. We have about another month till we HAVE to get a bus, so if we dont get this 9 window, we are probably going to have to settle for a full size bus.

Still we would much rather get a full size bus with alot of life left, than the perfect 9 window on the verge of death.
Just me personally-I'd be less worried about window count.

And man, it would really suck to "need a bus next month".

Dog Rescuer's bus has a 2000 series allison, totally different animal than a 545.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:27 AM   #13
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Thanks for saying something. Definitely worth noting. While that is very helpful and insightful, we need our bus to last much longer than a year or even a few years. Its such a difficult call, especially with our time limit. The bus were looking at is perfect for our floor plans and such. But actually knowing that the bus we get should last more than a few years, is more important.



Again, much appreciate your input!


Any used bus that you get is a gamble, there are no guarantees. There is no one bus combination out there that will guarantee it lasting for years and years. Itís a used vehicle. I have heard of low mileage used buses and buses with low hours not make the journey home from an auction. And I have heard of buses with high or low miles / hours lasting years and years miles and miles.

I would recommend having a diesel mechanic look it over. If you can get the maintenance records - that may help with your decision.

290,000 miles in 12,000 hours is not bad as it is driving and picking up students. Thatís about 25 miles driven per hour for a route bus. In colder climates, buses may sit idling for an hour or more in the morning.

I am hoping my bus lasts for at least another 300k miles - if not more. But, being realistic, I have contingency plans - and I am prepared to regularly maintain it and treat it well.

There is no guarantee that any used bus will last for years and years.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:51 AM   #14
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Just me personally-I'd be less worried about window count.

And man, it would really suck to "need a bus next month".

Dog Rescuer's bus has a 2000 series allison, totally different animal than a 545.
We need a bus that is bigger than an 8 window for our floor plan, 10 windows would still be a significant improvement over a full sized 40 ft bus.

We've been looking for the right bus for about 6 months now. We've been living in an uninsulated van for the last 2 years and don't want to spend another winter in it. We are trying to get a bus in the next month, so that we can have part of the conversion finished (at least up to the point of spray foam) before winter.

Very good point about dog rescuers tranny.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:59 AM   #15
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Any used bus that you get is a gamble, there are no guarantees. There is no one bus combination out there that will guarantee it lasting for years and years. Itís a used vehicle. I have heard of low mileage used buses and buses with low hours not make the journey home from an auction. And I have heard of buses with high or low miles / hours lasting years and years miles and miles.

I would recommend having a diesel mechanic look it over. If you can get the maintenance records - that may help with your decision.

290,000 miles in 12,000 hours is not bad as it is driving and picking up students. Thatís about 25 miles driven per hour for a route bus. In colder climates, buses may sit idling for an hour or more in the morning.

I am hoping my bus lasts for at least another 300k miles - if not more. But, being realistic, I have contingency plans - and I am prepared to regularly maintain it and treat it well.

There is no guarantee that any used bus will last for years and years.
Word. We realize there is no garuntees, such is life lol. We are willing to make a gamble on a bus, but we want to make a smart gamble. Although I do have to say, if we won a bus on auction and it didn't make it home, we would be very very sad.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:11 PM   #16
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Word. We realize there is no garuntees, such is life lol. We are willing to make a gamble on a bus, but we want to make a smart gamble. Although I do have to say, if we won a bus on auction and it didn't make it home, we would be very very sad.
Many of the initial issues they have are more a result of sitting a long time before sale, rather than serious mechanical faults.

Few people who check carefully beforehand end up needing new engines or transmissions.

Be aware though that things like radiators and intercoolers can be very expensive and you are not going to fit a new set of tires, even with re-caps on the rear, for under $1000.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:25 PM   #17
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Many of the initial issues they have are more a result of sitting a long time before sale, rather than serious mechanical faults.

Few people who check carefully beforehand end up needing new engines or transmissions.

Be aware though that things like radiators and intercoolers can be very expensive and you are not going to fit a new set of tires, even with re-caps on the rear, for under $1000.
That's an interesting point I hadn't really thought of. So would u say sitting a long time is worse on a bus than lots of idling?

Also, around how long is likely to be too long for a bus to be sitting?
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:32 PM   #18
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We need a bus that is bigger than an 8 window for our floor plan, 10 windows would still be a significant improvement over a full sized 40 ft bus.

We've been looking for the right bus for about 6 months now. We've been living in an uninsulated van for the last 2 years and don't want to spend another winter in it. We are trying to get a bus in the next month, so that we can have part of the conversion finished (at least up to the point of spray foam) before winter.

Very good point about dog rescuers tranny.
I started out looking for the same size bus as you, and like you found them to be few and far between in the bus market. The day i bought my bus i was bidding on a shorter bus through til the last 20 minutes when the price got too high for me just like all of them did, so i switched to the 11 window from the same school ending in 15 minutes that nobody was looking at and snagged it for $2047 out the door, 150kmiles 9k hours(honestly dont remember hours, im guessing).

Im not meaning do it exactly as i did, but since the shorter bus i wanted was always selling for higher than what i wanted to spend, and more difficult to find, i ended up deciding on going for a bigger bus that typically could be found cheaper because there was so many more available. Now that i have my big bus, I get to add a rear garage for storage that I wouldnt have had before.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:53 PM   #19
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I started out looking for the same size bus as you, and like you found them to be few and far between in the bus market. The day i bought my bus i was bidding on a shorter bus through til the last 20 minutes when the price got too high for me just like all of them did, so i switched to the 11 window from the same school ending in 15 minutes that nobody was looking at and snagged it for $2047 out the door, 150kmiles 9k hours(honestly dont remember hours, im guessing).

Im not meaning do it exactly as i did, but since the shorter bus i wanted was always selling for higher than what i wanted to spend, and more difficult to find, i ended up deciding on going for a bigger bus that typically could be found cheaper because there was so many more available. Now that i have my big bus, I get to add a rear garage for storage that I wouldnt have had before.
That seems to be the direction we are heading. We already have plans on what to do with the space if we end up in a full size bus. But driving it and parking it will be more of a pain, and there will be national and state parks we won't be able to take it to.
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:53 PM   #20
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Kendall, be patient. we have both been looking for the same bus. It took me 8 months of searching and bidding before I snagged this bus.

https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2048134

It was worth the wait. you can do it...
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