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Old 07-23-2017, 12:37 AM   #1
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What do you think? new bus

So the local bus company has a bus right in my current price range, 2k. He will put okay rubber on it, it was re-sleeved a couple years ago and the heads were just done in 2015? It also had a tranny swap. It was theirs from new, went to the YMCA for 3 years and they did the service, now they traded it back and its available. The Y only put on 15k in 3 years. The bus is a 2004 international with the DT466, 4/5speed auto? With overdrive (5th?), 132k miles. It will do 65 at around 2200-2400. It will not pass inspection because there are a couple cracked floor supports. Mechanically it's sound but there is rust.

Can i just weld up the floor supports? Surface rust can just be ground and patched and bondo-ed as part of the repaint? Wire wheel the underside and put on a new coat of under coating on? The underside didnt look that much worse than the slightly newer/better ones that he will sell for 5k... I can probably get a better back door outta him too.

I'm looking for people's thoughts on if this one is something to get excited about.
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Turtlemaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2017, 03:06 AM   #2
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I have seen a lot worse rust repaired. But you need to understand that rust is like cancer, once it gets started it is very hard to get it to stop.

Yes you can clean things up.

Yes you can weld in new supports.

But at the end of the day you will still have a rusty bus that will always have a rust issue going on.

If you fully understand what you are getting into with it, considering it is most likely pretty good mechanically, it may work out to be a pretty good deal for you.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
I have seen a lot worse rust repaired. But you need to understand that rust is like cancer, once it gets started it is very hard to get it to stop.

Yes you can clean things up.

Yes you can weld in new supports.

But at the end of the day you will still have a rusty bus that will always have a rust issue going on.

If you fully understand what you are getting into with it, considering it is most likely pretty good mechanically, it may work out to be a pretty good deal for you.
I agree with the constant rust part but will say I would pass on the bus. Between the resleeve, heads and trans swap, this bus has had a hard life.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:07 PM   #4
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So cleaning off the rust and doing rust conversion is not enough to kill the "cancer"?

The bus guy loves these motors as they can be re-sleeved instead of boring the block or whatever. I was thinking the work was a bonus because it has already been done, now I don't have to worry about it... wrong tree to bark at?

-Turtle
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:15 PM   #5
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I wouldnt say that the in-frame rebuild is a bad thing.. its a DT-466, it got run hard and they replaced the transmission.. likely a nice allison 2000 series.. its probably geared low to run 2200-2400 highway with a .74 overdrive. that bus likely has some get up and go..

rust can be ongoing.. but if its sealed up then it slows it down.. and maybe it slows it down enough you dont care..

it does sound like its probably been run a bit hard.. but maybe I look at things differently, if its cheap I say go for it.. sounds like it got a new lease on life and just needs some metal work to be a runner..
-Christopher
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:46 PM   #6
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Mine is a 97 DT466 and failed DOT. There is a rust hole near the cross member but not on it. The engine runs like a goddamn beast and I don't care if it has rust. It will suit my needs for many years to come. I plan on cutting out the hole anyways and coating it. The school simply didn't coat it ever and they didn't care to because they replace busses all the time and treat em like ****. Mine came from the south and didn't have an undercoat to begin with, so the body is in spectacular shape but the frame suffered from the winter.

It is work, but once the rust is removed and sealed, it will be a work horse. Yours...well...it is a lot more severe than mine and I can see some warping on the frame, likely due to the rust weakening the metal. It is a tough call but I can say I got mine a lot cheaper than what they are asking for yours...if u can get them to go down considering the work ahead, I'd consider it.

Don't be afraid of rebuilds, the DT is made for it, most of the time they are service overhauled because they are required, not because they needed it. Rust on the parts don't matter as much either because those can be replaced. Care for the frame!

Also...be careful of sand blasting it. If anything ospho the insides and rust bullet and undercoat, wait a year or two and see how the coat holds.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:53 PM   #7
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noob here, but I wonder why even consider a bus with rust problems.
These big buses go for auction on weekly/daily basis. So many of them to pick from.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:45 AM   #8
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noob here, but I wonder why even consider a bus with rust problems.
These big buses go for auction on weekly/daily basis. So many of them to pick from.
My thoughts too!
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:01 AM   #9
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all depends on someone's skill set.. some have the skills , tools, and materials to fix it like its walking across the street... others have the skill set to buy a bus with a broken engine that no one would touch... or a ford 6.0 and bulletproof it because thats their skills..

on this bus, I didnt realize it was bad enoug hto have eaten the frame.. I probably would stay away from huge frame rot.. but rusty ribs not bother me as much.

a bus for 1000 bucks like that would be perfect candidate for ECCB;s shorty upbuild!
-Christopher
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:00 PM   #10
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I did not see any major rust on the frame. I can go back out and look again. I live in WI so pretty much any bus I get will need frame cleaning, treating, coating. I'm not too hot on the online auctions... don't really want to pay a re-seller top dollar and then hope it will make it hundreds of miles home. This bus is 15 minutes away from me. The girls were napping in the truck so I headed over to look at it.

My skill set, and that of family, would be able to do all body work to this rig. It's just a big step and I am trying to not just jump off the bridge while my bungee is still in the trunk...

I miss remembered my notes, it will do 65 at 2000-2200 RPM. Guy said the fleet (400 buses) average 8-10 MPG, city and country routes. Still mulling this over and trying to convince the spouse that I'm not completely insane... She did start looking at Pinterest at least...
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:16 PM   #11
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Classic first bus mistake is buying the first one that comes along because its close to home.
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:47 PM   #12
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Gotta start somewhere tho. I admit mine isn't perfect, but it's gonna be a great learning tool for any future projects
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:32 PM   #13
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and I am trying to not just jump off the bridge while my bungee is still in the trunk...


Best line on the internet today. Good advice also.
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