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Old 01-28-2016, 04:08 PM   #1
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Fully loaded.

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/5414462569.html

Would something like this (with solar panels, batteries and such) actually be cheaper to assemble on your own? Maybe this is a better deal simply because power would not be something I would have to deal with.

"1986 International school bus built by Carpenter coach works. This bus is powered by a International 7.8 liter 6 cylinder turbo diesel with a manual transmission. The bus has less than 90k miles on it."

I'm so tempted. Seems good from my research, I'd love done second opinions.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:18 PM   #2
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I have seen some oddly spe'c'ed buses over the years. I can truthfully say I have never seen a bus with a lift door on the driver's side of the bus before. One has to imagine it must have been spe'c'ed to load and unload on one way streets somewhere in an urban setting.

It would appear that it is a CA spe'c bus (4-way and not 8-way overhead lights). I would imagine then it most likely saw service in the Bay area since that is about the only city in CA I know of where there would be an abundance of one way streets.

The bus looks to be in pretty good condition with some nice upgrades and a good power package.

But even considering the solar set up, the gen set, and the paint job I think the asking price is about 2x of what it should be. That is an S-series IHC and the oldest would be about 1979 and the newest would be about 1989. And unless the engine is brand new it just isn't worth more than about $6K.
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Old 01-28-2016, 05:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
I have seen some oddly spe'c'ed buses over the years. I can truthfully say I have never seen a bus with a lift door on the driver's side of the bus before. One has to imagine it must have been spe'c'ed to load and unload on one way streets somewhere in an urban setting.

It would appear that it is a CA spe'c bus (4-way and not 8-way overhead lights). I would imagine then it most likely saw service in the Bay area since that is about the only city in CA I know of where there would be an abundance of one way streets.

The bus looks to be in pretty good condition with some nice upgrades and a good power package.

But even considering the solar set up, the gen set, and the paint job I think the asking price is about 2x of what it should be. That is an S-series IHC and the oldest would be about 1979 and the newest would be about 1989. And unless the engine is brand new it just isn't worth more than about $6K.
Very insightful! You're like a detective using visual clues to unravel the history of the bus. I'm pretty impressed.

Apparently a 1986. Naturally, he says he has 20k worth of recipets of what went into it. And says the "engine is original and in excellent condition".
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Old 02-03-2016, 03:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
And unless the engine is brand new it just isn't worth more than about $6K.
If I could get this bus for $6k do you think it would be worth it? My research shows carpenters to be decent buses, should the original engine be considered a perk or detriment?

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/5414462569.html
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:13 PM   #5
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$6k would be a real good price. There's been alot of money spent on top of the worth of the bus. If its more, you could always earn extra money powering a small village! (Unless you plan on running an oven-blender-pool heater-and both AC's--at the same time. )
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sika View Post
Naturally, he says he has 20k worth of recipets of what went into it. And says the "engine is original and in excellent condition".
Just because he has 20k of parts into it doesn't mean he'll ever recoup that. As everyone knows all cars, trucks, rv's, etc depreciate every year. The thing to look at is how all the electrical was designed and installed. If it was done correctly and professionally then that adds a little value because you're starting with one of the major systems already installed (properly hopefully) which saves you lots of time and $$$. The overall bus itself is not value added though. You'll still have all the normal maintenance and wear items, age related issues, etc. I would go for it if you can get it for a good price and the mechanical systems all check out.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:48 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what all of the solar stuff is worth. But the age of it all would be a big factor in it. I'd say the bare bus is 1-3 grand. That generator is probably worth another 1000. It doesn't look like they've done anything to the interior, so that's not worth much. If the AC works then you can add some more. Cowlitz is probably close at 6000.

Barring no problems with it, I'd say the engine is a good option. The owner doesn't know what they have though because there is no 7.8L international engine. Odds are it's a 466, and based off the size of the turbo, it's a lower hp unit. Could also be a dt360 but from the pictures it looks like a 466. See if you can figure out what trans it has, that might be a plus also.

What's your plans for it? Full time skoolie, travel the continent, or just the weekend get away? That'll determine if it's for you or not.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:59 PM   #8
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Manual transmission, 466 engine.

Eventually it will be my parked home while I build my house, only to be driven for the occasional weekender. But in the mean time I'd love to get a few glorious roadtrips out of it.

It has all sorts of records and has been kept with the school districts buses which, for insurance reasons, are serviced regularly.

We are negotiating now and I'm really nervous about if this is a good decision. Does anyone know a good mechanic in the Sacramento area with a familiarity with school buses?
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:30 AM   #9
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I have a 1992 with 4 way lights.

Is the bus registered commercially? If so, you will need a Class B with air brake and manual trans endorsement.
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:36 AM   #10
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And a passenger endorsement.
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