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Old 05-19-2017, 12:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
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Time to BUY!! Can I get your opinions..

Hey guys,

It's finally, (after a year of planning/saving) time to buy a bus and start my skoolie..

I've been watching the auction sites (I'm in FL currently) and looking online at a few different places (I have family in TX and will be visiting soon).

So, I'm willing (for the right bus) to travel to buy and drive it back.. I've found a couple so far that I'm looking at, but before I go out there to inspect one of them, I wanted to pick everyone's brains out there... so here's a couple:

1. 93 International
https://austin.craigslist.org/cto/6113106756.html

2. 02 Thomas
https://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/6110911925.html

(thanks in advance for the help)

Jay
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:12 PM   #2
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I PASS ON BOTH BUSES. The 92 is way over priced. So is the 02. With that 02 you are getting electronic ignition. Nothing said about the tires. Don't uy a bus with old tires. What trannys. Most likely AT545 not the best at all.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:42 PM   #3
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I agree the '93 is overpriced. I don't like the floor construction in this one either. Looks like a cleaned up floor with black plastic and then plywood on top. None of the walls or ceiling have been removed or insulated. The floor is not the hard part.

Between these two specific buses I'd probably choose the '02. It's missing a lot of information. Yes it's electronic, but it's also likely to have an upgraded transmission in the 1000 or 2000 series. What would kill the deal for me would be finding a 5.9 in that bus. It's likely the 8.3. This bus also has the coveted air ride rear axle. I notice they don't bother scaring us by listing the mileage.

I don't like missing info. It's like squeezing a lemon to get information.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 56
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback....


I'll keep searching
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:46 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
What about a bus from OH, should I be overly concerned about rust due to salt use during the winter?

https://publicsurplus.com/sms/auction/view?auc=1855802
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:59 AM   #6
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rust is REAL in central ohio here where they salt for every little weather event.. mechanically ohio busses are typically solid as the inspectors are pretty strict on mechanics..
from what I can tell that unit looks clean for an ohio runner...cant see the undercarriage though

even though the engines are CATs.. I noticed some ofthose ohio busses have nice MD3060 transmissions
-Christopher
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:58 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
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Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
Yeah, I saw that too..... which caught my attention. I'll try to email them to see if there's more photos available... thanks!
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:36 PM   #8
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I would agree the 1993 is way overpriced for what it is. $3K would be top $$$ in my book for that bus.

The 2002 Thomas looks like a pretty nice bus. If it has the ISB it is going to be a bit pokey on the hills. Since it has luggage compartments it more likely has the ISC since it obviously was spe'c'ed to be a trip bus occasionally. Air ride is a nice plus but no mileage specified is puzzling. At a $4,500.00 asking price I would be curious as to who is selling it. That price for a bus of that vintage at a dealer seems about half of what most dealers would ask. If it is a private seller one has to wonder why they have the bus for sale in the first place.

I would stay away from the OH Blue Bird mostly because of the Cat engine. I would also suspect that it has a lot more rust underneath than the other buses.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:35 PM   #9
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JPM,

Sign up on Houston Auto Auction. In June (about three or four weeks from now) there is going to be a huge auction on a number of excellent buses from Katy ISD. They are rust free and LOW MILEAGE!!!!! I can personally vouch for them since I worked on them. Unless otherwise noted, they run well, stop well, and are excellent candidates for conversions to skoolies. Best of luck!

M
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:09 PM   #10
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I'd go for the 02 Thomas. I purchased an 03 at $8K.

Like the others said, I'd be leery of the tire condition. And why don't they list the mileage? Although Florida is not known for hills, Texas has been known to have a few. But my 03 handled Montana hills handily, even though gravity seemed to want to win on some hills.

Mine had 128k on the clock and all 6 tires have great tread, so, in a sense, I paid $2k for mine and got the tires thrown in.

Craigslist seems to be where a lot of people begin their searches. I don't know why, though. I had no luck with them. I went to Midwest Transit to find mine.
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