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Old 03-08-2018, 12:53 PM   #1
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Good price or no?

I've spoken to a good dealer in an area where buses are mostly rust free due to location. Found one that fits exactly what I have been looking for but the price is a little high.

Basically its a DT466 diesel (not 466e), Allison Tx, only 70k confirmed actual mileage, 15 window (plus wider driver window, so 16 total). Really good condition all round. $12,000

I know a good price for a super long skoolie should be around $1500-2000 at auction but due to timescale I don't have the luxury of being able to wait for one to come up at auctions, and I don't live in the US so can't inspect any before auction, etc. Unfortunately I know I pretty much have to resort to buying at a higher price from a dealer (sucks I know).

So that price seems high, but it's for a bus in really good condition, all the requirement of an engine/transmission combo and bus size i was looking for. I also have to factor in that it'll be coming to england so I need to minimise the potential for any failure or faults or problems as possible and the dealer said he has a few similar but wouldn't want me to go with those in case anything happened even though they're in good condition. This particular one he said he's super confident about, and it's solid. He said others he has at a similar price, he won't sell to me because he wouldn't want me to be getting any problems. He seems genuinely wanting to help as all his business is word of mouth and he sells to a lot of skoolie converters so he knows it only takes one to youtube or instagram not to go anywhere near his dealership. Anyway, I can only give him the benefit of the doubt at this stage.

So wondered what your thoughts were? I know it seems like a high price, but interested in your opinions and thoughts based on all the info like it meeting my criteria, shipping distance, circumstances, engine/transmission combo, condition, mileage, etc.

Sorry for being quite vague, I didn't want to give too much detail, pics or links at this stage in case someone snapped up the bus.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:45 PM   #2
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Would be easier to answer your questions if we knew what year it was? Either way, that price seems way too high. Most of us shy away from anything newer than a 2004 due to the new and improved electric EGR and emission system that seem to develop hard to diagnose and expensive repairs. Check CraigsList in Tampa, There is a dealer there that is over priced like most dealers, but about half what your looking at. The only thing negative I've heard about them is the pricing, but it might just fit your needs.
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:17 PM   #3
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o1marc, good point mate. It's a 2005. I didn't want anything newer than that for similar reasons to what you mentioned. I was looking at between 1999-2004 with DT466 and Allison DT643 or similar. this 2005 has those. I'm normally of the opinion that new is better but with buses it certainly doesn't seem to be the case from what I read. I was surprised to see the DT466 (not the 466e) on a 2005 from what others have been saying but again i'm very, very far from an expert or knowledgeable on these.

I agree it does seem massively overpriced. I'm just going off it being low mileage, great condition from what they've said. It's also had a total respray to the colour i was going to paint it anyway (which will save me the cost of doing that). For what's been done to it, that probably would've cost be a few grand anyway so if I factor that in, realistic relative price is probably around $9k. Still high I know. But yeah, I'm factoring in that some of the work is done for me so realistically i'm paying about $9k factoring that in, offsetting the work I now don't need to do.

Second thing is, I could pay a lot less, but get problems and it cost me way more to have an engine or parts shipped to england so its a trade off i guess. So if you know of an easy way I can just get a green card without getting married and just move to the US with my 3 dogs then that'd be so much easier haha

I'll have a look at the dealer in Tampa although I heard Florida is probably the worst state to get a bus from?
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Old 03-08-2018, 05:57 PM   #4
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It's worth remembering that the $1-2K buses are generally for standard route buses that are going to have compromises in some areas, often the drivetrain, extras or condition.

Even at auction the better buses attract higher prices than that.

I was prepared to go to $4k at auction to get the bus I wanted, and I ended up paying $3960 for a bus that pretty much fulfills the wishlist of most who want a full size ... including no rust and a high ceiling.

So were I looking at a dealership for the same bus I would have to budget at least $10k ... and that's a lot of building materials for no apparent gain, and certainly not $6k worth.

I searched quite a while for mine, because I knew what I wanted and I knew how much I was prepared to pay. I missed one I bid on, and I let a few others go when the price went high.

Eventually, I got what I wanted at a very fair price, but I had to kiss a lot of frogs along the way.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:42 PM   #5
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Sounds like you got a great deal mate.

I wish I was in a position to be able to keep holding on for a good auction. Iíve been looking for months and nothing has been suitable.

I know what you mean though Twigg mate. For what I want, I found some but for one reason or another theyíre just werenít quite there. Either they didnít have the right engine or they had the engine but a lesser transmission, or they had both but the Bus was too small, or everything was right but the condition wasnít that great, or everything was what I wanted but it was rear engine not FE, etc, etc. Basically Iím after a DT466, Allison 643 or 3020, FE, 40ft Thomas/international/bluebird (whichever), so depending on the bus, 15-16 windows, 1999-2004/5, obviously as good condition as possible.

So this one Iíve seen is essentially everything Iím looking for and great condition but around $9k ($12k obviously but when I factor in thereís about $3k of work done to it that I wonít need to do but wouldíve done anyway so evens out). Still about 2.5x what I wanted to pay though. Annoyingly though it means shipping it is gonna cost me a fortune

Was quoted $4849 (for the roll on roll off ocean price), plus ground shipping at $2.80 per mile (so itís location is about 1200 miles from the nearest port. Works out around $3500 on top. Then Iíll have to pay tax on all that when it gets here. Just annoying having to have it shipped. Could do with finding one really close to the port to save ground shipping cost and not have to pay $12k for the Bus.

Tried various Craigslistís in a few different areas within a few states and found dealers (thatís how I originally found this dealer). Gov deals hasnít had what Iím looking for for months. Public surplus is ALWAYS down, 98% of the time that I try to get on it, the site is down so I gave up on it. Tried a few other auction sites like roller auctions and online pros but again, nothing close to what Iím wanting. If only I had more time to sit tight and await all my wish list to show up at an auction.

Anyone know someone that does quality fake IDs? I reckon should just move over there and save all those costs, I could do a half decent accent and pretend to be American. Will work for food or do someoneís bus build for them once Iím done mine haha
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:47 PM   #6
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I just bought mine from Public surplus and have not had any issues logging into their site, ever.

https://www.publicsurplus.com
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I just bought mine from Public surplus and have not had any issues logging into their site, ever.

https://www.publicsurplus.com
Oh weird, I can literally almost never get on it. The times Iíve been able to it would crash after a few clicks. I just tried from your link and same again on both safari and Firefox, just wonít have it. I get a blank page on both my iPhone and laptop. Damnit.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBusHome View Post
Oh weird, I can literally almost never get on it. The times Iíve been able to it would crash after a few clicks. I just tried from your link and same again on both safari and Firefox, just wonít have it. I get a blank page on both my iPhone and laptop. Damnit.
It's an issue on your end then, not PS fault.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBusHome View Post
Sounds like you got a great deal mate.

I wish I was in a position to be able to keep holding on for a good auction. Iíve been looking for months and nothing has been suitable.

I know what you mean though Twigg mate. For what I want, I found some but for one reason or another theyíre just werenít quite there. Either they didnít have the right engine or they had the engine but a lesser transmission, or they had both but the Bus was too small, or everything was right but the condition wasnít that great, or everything was what I wanted but it was rear engine not FE, etc, etc. Basically Iím after a DT466, Allison 643 or 3020, FE, 40ft Thomas/international/bluebird (whichever), so depending on the bus, 15-16 windows, 1999-2004/5, obviously as good condition as possible.

So this one Iíve seen is essentially everything Iím looking for and great condition but around $9k ($12k obviously but when I factor in thereís about $3k of work done to it that I wonít need to do but wouldíve done anyway so evens out). Still about 2.5x what I wanted to pay though. Annoyingly though it means shipping it is gonna cost me a fortune

Was quoted $4849 (for the roll on roll off ocean price), plus ground shipping at $2.80 per mile (so itís location is about 1200 miles from the nearest port. Works out around $3500 on top. Then Iíll have to pay tax on all that when it gets here. Just annoying having to have it shipped. Could do with finding one really close to the port to save ground shipping cost and not have to pay $12k for the Bus.

Tried various Craigslistís in a few different areas within a few states and found dealers (thatís how I originally found this dealer). Gov deals hasnít had what Iím looking for for months. Public surplus is ALWAYS down, 98% of the time that I try to get on it, the site is down so I gave up on it. Tried a few other auction sites like roller auctions and online pros but again, nothing close to what Iím wanting. If only I had more time to sit tight and await all my wish list to show up at an auction.

Anyone know someone that does quality fake IDs? I reckon should just move over there and save all those costs, I could do a half decent accent and pretend to be American. Will work for food or do someoneís bus build for them once Iím done mine haha
Worth bearing in mind that peak season for bus sales will soon be upon us.

I'd avoid Craigslist.

When you buy at auction you can usually weed out the obvious duds, and what you are getting is coming straight from a school fleet. Given the distance involved, a good, clean bus from a school (via an auction site) will save you the cost of shipping.

It's just a thought.

For example ... You could have had my bus, at Southampton docks, for the selling price of the one you are looking at and that still needs shipping.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBusHome View Post
o1marc, good point mate. It's a 2005. I didn't want anything newer than that for similar reasons to what you mentioned. I was looking at between 1999-2004 with DT466 and Allison DT643 or similar. this 2005 has those. I'm normally of the opinion that new is better but with buses it certainly doesn't seem to be the case from what I read. I was surprised to see the DT466 (not the 466e) on a 2005 from what others have been saying but again i'm very, very far from an expert or knowledgeable on these.
For whatever reason, lots of people list the engine as a DT466 when in fact it is a DT466e. I have seen many auctions do this. A 2005 is going to be the ďeĒ engine.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asetechrail View Post
For whatever reason, lots of people list the engine as a DT466 when in fact it is a DT466e. I have seen many auctions do this. A 2005 is going to be the ďeĒ engine.
I heard that some of the early "E"s were not badged, so a selling district would simply put what was on the hood of the bus, or the documents they have.

Serial numbers are a great help for identifying the actual engine.

Some made it very easy ... Cummins changed the entire series when they gave the 8.3 an electronic brain. It went from the "6C" to the "ISC".
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
I heard that some of the early "E"s were not badged, so a selling district would simply put what was on the hood of the bus, or the documents they have.

Serial numbers are a great help for identifying the actual engine.

Some made it very easy ... Cummins changed the entire series when they gave the 8.3 an electronic brain. It went from the "6C" to the "ISC".
I have the fully mechanical DT466. It was my second choice when it came to engines. My first choice would have been the Cummins 6CTA8.3 I am happy with what I have after driving it around a bunch. I have gotten 11 to 12 mpg running around empty so am hoping to get 10 once itís completely built out.
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:43 PM   #13
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I also live overseas, and use a VPN. I have noticed recently that some sites that appear to be down are just blocking me because of the VPN. I don't know why. Turn off your VPN and try again.
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