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Old 08-13-2018, 09:51 AM   #1
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Thinking about pulling the trigger on this bus...

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/c...651406458.html

It's 30'
Dt466e
Transmission is a 2000 series
Arizona bus so it should be just free
It checks all of the boxes of what I'm looking for other than the price. I was planning on a budget of $3500 for a bus but if I can get this one closer to $5500 I may pull a small loan. Am I jumping the gun or is this a fair deal to have the exact bus I want? The only thing that worries me from the pictures is the missing switches from the console. That tells me that someone who didn't know/care has had their paws on it so I may find more stuff repaired in the same fashion. I figure it's worth running anything I'm looking at by this group before buying. I've got a lot of time invested in research and planning, I'm a little nervous and I don't want to buy a bus twice.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:41 AM   #2
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Hey Rojo,

I am sure others are going to jump in and tell you that this is is a $2000 bus at auction.

I personally think that a bus equipped like that one is will bring a premium at auction. I suspect closer to $4k. AT AUCTION.

I bought my bus at auction, rented a car, drove 6 hours and picked up the bus. I had no clue if I would make it home without trouble. I just bought a vehicle without prior inspection or test drive.

Buying at auction has risks. Ask 01Marc about his first auction bus.

So..... I am of the opinion that buying from a dealer or private party does give you the advantage of being able to have a mechanic check it out and test drive it. I think that this adds significant value.

IMHO: If the bus checks out and drives nice AND it suits your needs, I would consider $5500. It better be a good match though.....
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:14 PM   #3
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I know the obvious answer is if I can find one at auction I can get it cheaper. What I'm looking for in a bus is 30 feet, flat nose, with a diesel engine and any transmission other than the AT545. I plan to basically full-time it in my bus and it needs to be able to do long trips. I'm rather partial to the DT466 because of its praise for its reliability and they put that engine in a ton of trucks so parts will be readily available. With 2 years of research I have my mind made up on what I need for my build and as far as I can tell an international Fe 300 is the bus I'm looking for. Hearing that these will go for $4000 at auction makes me feel better. The other one that I have found on Craigslist at a dealership has an asking price of almost 10,000.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:18 PM   #4
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id consider that bus at 5500 but not at 7500... couple of notes..



1. it is Air-conditioned, a dealer will charge a premium for A/C, so if you want and plan to keep the road A/C then the extra $$ over a "4K auction bus" is worth it.. however if you plan to just rip it out then you are pasying a premioum for something that ends up in the trash..



2. its worth a call to international dealer with the VIN to verify the transmission, engine fasctory rated HP, and the rear gear ratio... that will give you an idea of what kind of drivetrain it has.. (the bus dealer may have all the info for you as well)


-Christopher
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:59 PM   #5
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The photos don't give enough information to say a whole lot, but here's some things that make a bus command a premium price:

. Mechanical drivetrain - Nope
. Bigger engine - Yep
. Better than AT545 - Yep
. Air conditioning - Yes but they don't mention if it works!
- Dual air conditioning - Unknown, I only see one in the photos
- Undercarriage storage - nope
- Air ride - Not mentioned, probably not
- Air brakes hold air - Not mentioned
- Newer tires - Not mentioned, probably not
- Low miles - Nope
- Newer batteries - Not mentioned
- Clean interior - Well I don't actually see any mcdonalds bags
- Intact cockpit - Nope those switches are busted up
- Nice comfy driver's seat - Nope that seat is nasty
- Good overall condition - Yep
- HIgh headroom - Not mentioned but common on handy buses
- Includes service records - Not mentioned, probably not

These are the factors that separate a $1500 bus from a $5000 bus.

If the tires are crap, that's $2500 on the low side. If the air conditioner doesn't work, that's $500-$1000 to fix. If it uses big batteries, a replacement set could run $900. if the air system leaks you can spend hundreds just figuring out where it leaks from... You get the idea.

As Christopher mentioned, if you're not using the AC, you're barking up the wrong tree, If you ARE using the AC, and especially if it's a single unit, you better make sure that thing makes it snow in there because 2% of the cooling might make it to the driver from there.

Overall I'm laughing at their asking price for a bus that doesn't tick my boxes. Around half their asking price would be good if most of the "unknown" items on my list were changed to Yep. If they get them all (they don't) then $5500 starts to make sense.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:10 PM   #6
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A couple of things catch my eye. The bus is pictured on a school bus yard, school selling directly on Craigslist is unusual. But I find this might be a benefit. If the school ran those buses through an auction, that bus would go for $2-$3K. School is hoping to get a bunch more than it's worth. If in fact it is at a school, I would offer them $3500 and see what they say. If it's in really good shape and it's really what I wanted (that motor and trans), I'd go a little higher. But at over $5k I'd keep looking. I had to go 2500 miles for mine, but got a 37', flat nose, FE 466, 3060, and only paid $3500, down from $4k. Mine has 250k on it, but is in very good shape and has all the bells and whistles including cruise at 80mph.
The second bus I bought at a $900 reserve to ensure I got it. If I had bid less than reserve and I was high bidder, the school said they would sell it to me for what they could get. Next lowest bid was $600.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:17 PM   #7
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I called and talked the dealership, sounds like an actual dealership and not a school selling it. He said that the rated horsepower for the engine is 195, it is an Allison 2500, didn't know what the rear end ratio was, but says that this bus will hold a steady 70 miles per hour on the freeway. Claims that there are no engine leaks and that the tires are in good shape but I forgot to ask for tread depth measurements and what the date on the tires were. If I have more questions he said he'd be willing to do a video walkaround of the bus and get in it and drive it to prove what its actual top speed it is. the guy at the other end of the phone was nice enough and seemed really knowledgeable. The lowest I could talk him down to was $5900, with tax and fees I'm looking at about $6250. For the right bus in perfect condition it doesn't seem unreasonable to go over what I initially intended to spend but if I cant get this down to 5500 out the door I'd feel like a fool buying it.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:20 PM   #8
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Keep looking. Check back in a week or so on this bus and see if they are more negotiable at that point. It's not like there's a line forming to pay asking price on it.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
I called and talked the dealership, sounds like an actual dealership and not a school selling it. He said that the rated horsepower for the engine is 195, it is an Allison 2500, didn't know what the rear end ratio was, but says that this bus will hold a steady 70 miles per hour on the freeway. Claims that there are no engine leaks and that the tires are in good shape but I forgot to ask for tread depth measurements and what the date on the tires were. If I have more questions he said he'd be willing to do a video walkaround of the bus and get in it and drive it to prove what its actual top speed it is. the guy at the other end of the phone was nice enough and seemed really knowledgeable. The lowest I could talk him down to was $5900, with tax and fees I'm looking at about $6250. For the right bus in perfect condition it doesn't seem unreasonable to go over what I initially intended to spend but if I cant get this down to 5500 out the door I'd feel like a fool buying it.
If you're not in a rush Colorado has some fantastic buses and when they come up at auctions they're not terribly expensive.
A lot of CO districts spec high HP engines with magnetic driveline retarders, high headroom, air ride, etc.
I have had a Colorado bus and it was nice and they took good care of it.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:39 PM   #10
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That's true Marc, the longer it sits there the bigger my end of the bargaining stick gets until it sells. I'm sure I can get him to come down more if I'm patient.
East coast, I'm not really in a hurry right now but my goal was to have a bus by the end of summer and have it converted enough I might be able to stay in it partially by December. Long story short I've converted my mom's detached garage into a living space as a way to kind of practice what it might be like to live in a school bus and as a way to save a lot of money quickly. I love my mom to death for letting me do this to her garage. I'm sitting pretty comfortable at the moment so there's no real rush, but sooner is better than later and I kind of have that money burning a hole in my pocket feeling right now I guess. I'm willing to travel pretty far for a decent bus so it doesn't have to be from Colorado but if it does come from here there is better chance that it might have a Webasto heater which I plan on using to heat the floors and possibly domestic hot water as well.
I guess the bottom line is I know exactly how much I'd be willing to pay for my bus if it was top-tier but I wouldn't say that this one is, and I'm not sure that I could talk this guy down to a price that I would really feel comfortable with.
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