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Old 12-11-2006, 05:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 19
What's it worth??

My local school barn is going to list two buses for sealed bid in a few weeks. The one I want to bid on is:

1989 International (mfg date) - Ward body - ameritrans - (sold as new 1991)
International 7.3L diesel w/162k miles - allison 4sp auto
slick for it's age - clean and straight -- tires 75% all around

Head mechanic at the barn says most of their buses sell in the $1,000 range give or take a few hundred. He also said there is absolutely nothing mechanically wrong with the bus and only being taken off line due to age.

What is it really worth? What would be a good bid?

Looking for opinions or comments - I promise not to blame anyone if I pay to much or fail to bid enough. Making the proper bid is my responsibility and I'm just looking for input.


aka pervy
If the spirit lives forever I am as dead now as I will ever be
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:49 PM   #2
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$1000 seems to be about what most people pay for a basic running bus. I'd check and see if service records for that bus are available. Look for problems that seem to be recurring. See if it has had the tranny or motor rebuilt yte. See if the tranny has atleast been serviced. Check for the last time the brakes were done, etc etc etc. The 7.3 is rumored to be a good motor though short on the power. My 6.6 has the same reputation and I've been satisfied so take it for what it's worth. The only bad thing I've heard is about bad harmonics or something in that engine taking out the trans. I read about that on the School Bus Fleet Magazine forums which can be good and bad. Those guys know their stuff, but they also know their opinions which can get in the way of getting the truth.
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:49 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2006
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All service records are available. A plus is the mechanic is a long time friend who has been at the bus barn for over 25 years. The motor has not been rebuilt. I am not sure which allison transmission is in the bus. I'll ask for the drivers name and give them a call for some up close and personal opinions on the bus!

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Old 12-12-2006, 11:16 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Savage, MN
Posts: 472
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Rated Cap: 14
I have a 7.3 in my 25 foot bus. It has enough get up and go for me even when I pull my f250 behind it. It doesn't have the turbo like the newer models have. But a big plus is there are so many ford trucks running around with this motor so parts are everywhere and cheap.

Now myself on the transmissions I think the ones that were really having most of the problems were the ones in the fords that either had a c6 or a e4od transmisssion. But even today most people that buy a ford truck say the transmissions are 100,000 mile transmissions, which means once you hit the 100,000 mile mark it can go anytime.
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:41 AM   #5
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Out of curiosity, how long are these buses? Are they full-sized or shorties?

Sounds like for anywhere near $1K they'd be a good buy.

What kind of use do you have in mind for your conversion (camping, hunting, weekending, vacations, long-distance travel, etc)?

You know...inquiring minds and all that!
Les Lampman
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