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Old 05-15-2019, 12:09 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
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Smile Asking for opinions on bus purchase

Good Morning Skoolie Net!

I am a new user that has been reading and following the Skoolie community for a little over a year now and my wife and I are about to purchase our bus and have it converted. We are looking to purchase a bus and drive it to Blue Ridge Conversion to be converted for us as I do not have any space or time to do it myself. It would need to have maximum space and drive cross country several times per year. I am not a very mechanically inclined person when figuring out what would be a good buy or not.

If anyone would be able to take a look at what we found and offer your insights or comments or even hasty remarks that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

https://www.wesellschoolbuses.com/1898/5.html
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:50 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Fingerlakes region NY
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran/Wolfington
Chassis: 3800
Engine: International DT466E 190HP variant
Rated Cap: 72 pax 29500 GVWR
At a glance I noticed itís going to need 6 new tires. Tack an additional $1500-2000 onto whatever the asking price will be after purchase. The engine compartment looks neglected, rusted over components suggests painted baked off over the years and then repeated power washings. Could probably find something cleaner.

That being said itís all dependent on asking price. If they want $1000 and it runs nice then go for it. Wouldnít pay over $2700 in my opinion.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:58 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Great, thanks for the advice. I figured it was probably a pass due to the engine showing the way it does in the pics. I am planning on purchasing a bus now on 422.

https://onlineauction.422sales.com/cgi-bin/mmlist.cgi?bsales67/category/ALL

200k miles
Engine is 6 cylinder 7.6L (466CID) International/Navistar DT466E Diesel
Transmission is Automatic Allison MD 3060 with Keypad
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATHandBanana View Post
Good Morning Skoolie Net!

I am a new user that has been reading and following the Skoolie community for a little over a year now and my wife and I are about to purchase our bus and have it converted. We are looking to purchase a bus and drive it to Blue Ridge Conversion to be converted for us as I do not have any space or time to do it myself. It would need to have maximum space and drive cross country several times per year. I am not a very mechanically inclined person when figuring out what would be a good buy or not.

If anyone would be able to take a look at what we found and offer your insights or comments or even hasty remarks that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

https://www.wesellschoolbuses.com/1898/5.html
They're mostly opportunists with crazy prices. They mostly snag uninitiated custies with their sales shpeel. They have like four different websites and totally spam Craigslist. You can get a better deal on a bus pretty much anywhere.
I'd just buy an already converted coach. You're looking to buy a bus from THE most expensive place possible then take it to a fly by night "converter" and pop down another 50 grand or so. Just don't. Just get something of quality from the get go.
That bus is a rust bucket. That rear wall is rusted out all inside and the engine looks like its been in the ocean for more than a day. Run away.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:36 PM   #5
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when someone doesn't post a price on their website, I already know it'll be expensive. if you are already paying someone to do the conversion that is a middle man. and then if you buy from a dealer. another middle man. that is money down the drain. I think you might be better off finding an already converted skoolie. those tires look toast. cancer is visible all over. engine looks tired. it even looks like a low roof. "automatic" a dealer should be more specific when providing info. what model of tranny? I'd walk away.... in fact run!
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:41 PM   #6
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oh I see asking price is $6500.... oops still way too high.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:52 AM   #7
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I have an extremly low tolerance for rust. I'd run from this rust bucket. You have already said that there is no time to work on it and no time = more money... LOTS more money.

Run Lassie run.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:25 AM   #8
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Old school busses ultimately require some TLC.. either mechanical knowkledge or a good mechanic to fix any issues they may have..



this is actually one of the dealer's more reasonably priced busses.. which is scary as it means there is likely a lot of isuses with it that they cant mark it way up... you can neogitate with them just like a car dealer.. but the tires are indeed shot... a 5.9 in a heavy RE bus is going to work pretty hard to move that much metal esp cross country in the mountains..



the rust on the stairwell and rear wall as ECCB says look really concerning... looks like real rot and not just surface rust or brown-water runoff from rusted screws or rivets..



the folks at that dealer are super nice and generally do purchase mechanically sound busses, however they are one of the highest price places around and often buy riust-bucket northern busses...



for that price you could likely dfind a really nice Rear engine that is nearly rust free and has a bigger engine like the cummins 8.3 or DT-466 or even a high horsepower Caterpillar engine.. (3126)



Im starting to see more and more of the nice Thomas HDX's show up in the auction which are a good riding, solid bus..
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:09 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Hill AFB, Utah
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Great thanks for all the advice. I am now bidding on a bus on 422. Please advise if possible.

https://onlineauction.422sales.com/c...7/category/ALL
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:23 PM   #10
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Fingerlakes region NY
Posts: 195
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran/Wolfington
Chassis: 3800
Engine: International DT466E 190HP variant
Rated Cap: 72 pax 29500 GVWR
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATHandBanana View Post
Great thanks for all the advice. I am now bidding on a bus on 422. Please advise if possible.

https://onlineauction.422sales.com/c...7/category/ALL
To give you a frame of reference for what you should pay:

I paid $2,500 for my bus. 1999 International 3800, 12 window AMTRAN body.
DT466E (195hp variant) and AT545 w/ 4.78 rear gears.
Rear tires were good and fronts were ok.

I feel like I paid about $500 too much for my bus. It need a Camshaft positioning sensor to get home. ($180)

But it suits my needs and I like how it looks!

That model youíre bidding on is a low roof model as well. Iím damn near a dwarf so my low roof model doesnít bother me. Donít go over $2,750 on it. There are hundreds out there with high roof options, underbody storage, and anything else youíd want.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:51 PM   #11
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So did you win it or pass up a great bus? Worth twice what it sold for. If I had known about it would be mine.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:12 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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So did you win it or pass up a great bus? Worth twice what it sold for. If I had known about it would be mine.
Nope, reserve was never met. They called the next day and said seller set reserve at 7500. Told them no thanks way out of my price range. So now...Ö the search continues.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:40 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
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Anyone use Western Bus Sales or hear anything about them? They have a few busses close to my price range and desired model but show very little information on the busses without contacting them. What do you experts think?

https://www.westernbus.com/bus/1989-blue-bird

https://www.westernbus.com/bus/2005-ihc-amtran

https://www.westernbus.com/bus/1997-blue-bird-1


I am biased toward the blue birds because I like the look. And of course the price is slightly cheaper as well. But I hear that the DT engine would be the better choice. I don't know. Growing desperate at this point but don't want to be stuck with a poor buy. Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:18 PM   #14
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Engine: DT466/3060
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATHandBanana View Post
Anyone use Western Bus Sales or hear anything about them? They have a few busses close to my price range and desired model but show very little information on the busses without contacting them. What do you experts think?

https://www.westernbus.com/bus/1989-blue-bird

https://www.westernbus.com/bus/2005-ihc-amtran

https://www.westernbus.com/bus/1997-blue-bird-1


I am biased toward the blue birds because I like the look. And of course the price is slightly cheaper as well. But I hear that the DT engine would be the better choice. I don't know. Growing desperate at this point but don't want to be stuck with a poor buy. Thanks!
All 3 are over priced by $2K. The BB mileage would concern me. The AmTran would be my choice if it were older. The 2nd BB is way over priced for a 5.9/545, mileage is suspect. Am Trans are a much better bus than a BB IMHO.
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:41 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Hill AFB, Utah
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Great thanks for the advice. I'm gonna offer 3500 cash for the AmTran and see what they counter offer. It's a dealer so I don't expect to get it for an auction price. It's been tough finding an auction bus that would be in decent enough condition without being able to check it out before buying.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:49 PM   #16
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Engine: 350 Chevy
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If you're in a rush to locate and buy a bus, unfortunately you might not get the best bang for your buck.
Your best option would be to find one already converted or one that is almost there with minor adjustments to get it fully functional.
It took me 9 months of scouring the auction sites and many online retail sales sites to finally find a rust free good running unit.
It's a bit on the small side, but its just me in it and it will work for what I need.

Good luck on your search and try to not make a hasty decision on something that might turn into a huge money pit or might not be suitable for the road...
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
If you're in a rush to locate and buy a bus, unfortunately you might not get the best bang for your buck.
Your best option would be to find one already converted or one that is almost there with minor adjustments to get it fully functional.
It took me 9 months of scouring the auction sites and many online retail sales sites to finally find a rust free good running unit.
It's a bit on the small side, but its just me in it and it will work for what I need.

Good luck on your search and try to not make a hasty decision on something that might turn into a huge money pit or might not be suitable for the road...
I was determined to start with the "foundation " that matched my wants. It took me well over a year of checking the auction sites daily to find mine.

You will be well served to find a bus that fits your needs, even if it takes some time.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:46 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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They dropped it to $4900. Claims it is from WA from a school district and is rust free.

Should I have any concern with this particular bus making it 10-12K miles a year through the mountains from Arizona through Idaho, Utah, Colorado, etc.?

Thanks!

https://www.westernbus.com/bus/2005-ihc-amtran
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:15 PM   #19
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Join Date: Dec 2017
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Year: 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATHandBanana View Post
They dropped it to $4900. Claims it is from WA from a school district and is rust free.

Should I have any concern with this particular bus making it 10-12K miles a year through the mountains from Arizona through Idaho, Utah, Colorado, etc.?

Thanks!

https://www.westernbus.com/bus/2005-ihc-amtran
Wash. buses are usually pretty good. I went from Atl. to Butte to get a Wash bus and it is a fine example.
The bus linked is priced right if it's near you. By the time I got mine home I had $5k after fuel/ purchase/airfare, hotel. This one is 6 years newer, but has the correct drive train. The only concern is it's an EPA bus.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:30 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Hill AFB, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Wash. buses are usually pretty good. I went from Atl. to Butte to get a Wash bus and it is a fine example.
The bus linked is priced right if it's near you. By the time I got mine home I had $5k after fuel/ purchase/airfare, hotel. This one is 6 years newer, but has the correct drive train. The only concern is it's an EPA bus.
What do you mean EPA bus?

This is less than 2 hours from me.
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