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Old 02-02-2006, 04:58 PM   #1
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Which of these buses should I choose?

Check these buses out....

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/81-Passe ... otohosting

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/84-Passe ... dZViewItem

I am partial to the first bus...

I like these buses for there size and rear engine setup, however the storage space and headroom are the kicker.

The whole midwest rust issue and the price (seem high to you?) are the major drawbacks for me.

I have contacted the seller and he has been more than helpfull and answered my questions quickly, however someting tells me I should put a little more research into finding a bus locally rather than using Ebay.

What do you all think?
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:28 PM   #2
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Just as an FYI - the second one is not a rear engine bus...
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, does any one have a problem with the front mounted engine featured in the second bus? Seems like that would make working on it a challange?
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:49 PM   #4
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I don't have one but have ridden in them and the biggest thing about front engine anything is the noise it makes. A secondary concern is the fact that the flat nosed bus with the front engine has a huge engine cowling that makes it difficult to work around. At least with the not flat nosed buses the engine is out front and the room inside is the room inside. Does that make sense? I have owned a Class A front engine motorhome, not a bus, but even the roar of that 460 under the cowling in the front was enough to make discussion at highway speeds not possible. When you add the noise of the diesel and the fact that buses tend to have less insulation because of their "bare bones" nature of construction I personally think it would be better to have the rear engine. Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:17 PM   #5
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If those two were my only choice I would go with the first one. I have several reasons for choosing the Thomas. The first reason is it has a Cat3116 which in my opinion is a heavier duty engine which is better suited for a bus. Second is that it is a rear engine so less noise, heat, and wasted space, I don't want to have to work around the drive shaft. Do you know what transmission the two buses have? If one or the other has an MT-643 that is the bus I would buy. The AT-545 is ok but I would take the MT-643 any day. Is the Thomas a high roof model? The thomas I am buying has an interior height of 6'6" which is important to me since I am 6'3". Since these buses are in WI be sure to look for rust. Make sure they have good rubber and they drive straight.

The main reasons I chose a rear engine bus is because they ride a little better and are much quieter in the front. I also want to have a passenger seat next to mine and the doghouse on a front engine would prevent that. I don't like having to change the oil in the interior either. I also plan to have lots of storage and don't want to deal withe the drive shaft going down the center from front to back.

Some of the things that matter to me don't matter to others so do what makes you happy.
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Old 02-03-2006, 11:01 AM   #6
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I have a Blue Bird TC2000 (like the 2nd bus) and noise is defiantly an issue, the engine is basically right next to you while your driving and believe me you can hear it.

As far as the "huge" engine cover being in the way I have no clue what these guys are talking about... The engine cover is where in a normal school bus the top of the stairs are, and you wouldn’t build anything there anyway. For this reason the stairs are angled into the bus but I’d say this takes up maybe a total of 2 sq feet of building space.

What do you plan on doing with the rear of the bus? I planned on having a storage area for my Yamaha Raptor 660 (quad), which is partly why I choose the front engine. Another reason why I chose mine over a rear engine model is the price. I paid less then $2,000 for mine, I think if your spending $4,000+ & you don’t plan on hauling quads or dirt bikes in the back I'd get the rear engine.

Oh and I have heard from several people that Blue Bird makes the best busses. I don’t know if that’s true or not, its just what I've heard. I've only driven/worked on/converted 1 bus (my bluebird) and don't really have anything to compare it too.
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Old 02-03-2006, 01:54 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info, I will find out about that transmission. Do you think that price is too high?
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:23 PM   #8
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Yeah I think there over priced. I paid $1,850 for my 91 TC2000 AT545 with 158,000 miles on it. It has 5.9L Diesel, hydraulic brakes, and was a 72 passenger bus. I see that one has storage compartments under the floor - that is very cool I wish mine had that. I would think you could pick one up for around $2,000 or less.
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Old 02-03-2006, 06:10 PM   #9
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For that high of miles and coming from the rust belt I think they are both overpriced. You might call or email Greg (http://flbus.tripod.com/). He has some Carpenter buses that have had the welds re done in Ohio. They are a little more expensive but not too bad. They are also high ceiling models so they may be better for you. Most of them are front engine though. I have known him for a few years now and I am buying my bus from him. He is an honest guy. You might also check esurplus they usually have some buses in fact they have a nice lookin bookmobile right now.

http://www.publicsurplus.com/IANAuction ... &catid=402
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:03 PM   #10
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that's a sweet looking bookmobile. Too bad there aren't better photo's posted.

-Richard
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