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Old 04-16-2018, 06:35 PM   #1
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TOTAL NOOB - What's too old and too many miles?

I am completely new to this. I haven't even got a bus yet!

How old is too old and how many miles is too many? Is something like what I've listed below worth converting? Do these things hold up?

Year: 1995
Mileage: 199,000
Running Condition: yes
Engine: Diesel DT 466
Transmission: allison
Body Style: Thomas
Brakes: Hydraulic

1995 School bus in Running Condition.

Condition: FAIR
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by msmarko View Post
I am completely new to this. I haven't even got a bus yet!

How old is too old and how many miles is too many? Is something like what I've listed below worth converting? Do these things hold up?

Year: 1995
Mileage: 199,000
Running Condition: yes
Engine: Diesel DT 466
Transmission: allison
Body Style: Thomas
Brakes: Hydraulic

1995 School bus in Running Condition.

Condition: FAIR
Sounds ok to me. Mechanical DT's are TOTALLY worth buying. WHat's the price??
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:38 PM   #3
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Year: 1999
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Definite possible maybe.

Engine's got a good reputation. If everything else checks ok, I would get an oil analysis if permitted.

Allison has many different flavors - some more desirable than others. Many discussions on here about the different models. If seller doesn't know which it is, there should be a data plate on the side specifying the model. A fluid analysis would give indication of wear.

Brakes- if maintained properly, not a deal breaker for me, but I prefer air.

You don't mention where it is from, but some areas of the country are more prone to corrosion issues than others (north east vs south west). Minor surface rust isn't a problem, but cancerous rust is.

Tires are expensive, and can cost more than many bus purchase prices.

Steering gear is $500-600 for parts alone.

Gotta look at the whole package - with a mechanic's eye and an accountant's pencil.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:44 PM   #4
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Interesting bit on the DT466: Building The Legendary Navistar DT466 - Diesel Power Magazine

I would not hesitate to buy at DT466 powered bus with 200k miles just based on the miles. You would want to look at the same stuff that you would on any other purchase. Coolant in oil, oil in coolant, blow-by-blow and so on.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:40 PM   #5
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Year: 1999
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IMHO the oldest and newest I would be interested in would be between 98-04. Reason being anything older will be in the same price range as an 04 can be had. Mileage makes a big difference if they were all cared for properly. While the 95 example would not fit my years, mileage makes up for the years, so it would be price dependent on whether the 95 is a deal or not. Newer than 04 runs into electrical gremlins that I just care to avoid, always frustrating, time consuming and expensive.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:44 PM   #6
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Well so far on this site I've seen everything from 1946 to 2008.

It's completely a matter of what you want it for, and how much you want to do.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:49 PM   #7
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Well so far on this site I've seen everything from 1946 to 2008.

It's completely a matter of what you want it for, and how much you want to do.
Yup, back to cubic dollars, how fast do you want to go.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:07 AM   #8
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age plays a factor in bopdy condition too... while a nice mechanical non computer drivetrain is often a great find.. a 23 year old bus may have more hidden rust as. well than a 2004..

some here are Ok with electronic engines so they dont have to do metal work... others avoid electronic engines and buy older because they can weld in their sleep but dont have the skills or tools to troubleshoot the computerized engines..
and the general consensus is that busses newer than 2007 are prone to many more issues due to complex electronic smog / emissions controls. vs busses ewven from 2006 and earlier..
-Christopher
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:38 PM   #9
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Its going for $1200
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:48 PM   #10
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It's in Florida. I'd like to make a live aboard off grid art and video production vehicle that can sleep and support my crew and sometimes companions, up to 6. I'm a documentary photographer and filmmaker. Want to travel EVERYWHERE we can in such a thing, be happy and safe and avoid hypocrisy, eat well, discover the world and produce great work.
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