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Old 05-19-2018, 04:22 PM   #1
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I think I found the one.

Hi folks,
I'm new here. Been lurking for some time, until I was absolutely sure I wanted to join all you skoolie folks. I've read so many threads on here about how to choose a good bus, and I think I've found the one for me. She's a 1996 Ford B800 CE with a 5.9L Cummins and a 5 spd manual. Let me know what you think, just please don't bid on her.

~Alf

https://www.purplewave.com/auction/180530/item/DD2768

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Old 05-19-2018, 04:38 PM   #2
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I think tires are on the shopping list soon, other than that nothing jumps out at me that says run away. I'd like a closer look at the rust underneath but other pics make it look not bad.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:47 PM   #3
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Nice looking bus.

Like Marc said, check closely for rust issues.

The mechanical 5.9 and 5 speed with only 117k miles is nice. Not a speed demon but definitely a desirable setup.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:26 PM   #4
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Looks good to me.

I can see a few things I might rust treat under the bus on the back, but the picture of the floor looks good.

Also looks good that the front axle looks like it was kept clean/painted over the life of the bus.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:30 PM   #5
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Great bus. Welcome aboard.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:38 PM   #6
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Honestly with the paint, it wouldn't surprise me if it was painted on just for the auction. It looks a little too fresh, but it looks fairly well taken care of, and the pictures and video make it hard to hide serious issues.

I decided to start looking for the Cummins 12v instead of the DT466 mechanical, due to the sheer number of parts availability and familiarity. I'm pretty handy with automotive work myself (my first degree), so I feel confident that I can fix just about anything that goes wrong with it with maybe just the purchase of a few more tools.

I know people say it's underpowered, but those blocks have proven their capability to handle serious power, and with the p pump and simplicity of a strictly mechanical system, it should be no problem for long.

Wish me luck,
~Alf
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djdalfaro View Post
Honestly with the paint, it wouldn't surprise me if it was painted on just for the auction. It looks a little too fresh, but it looks fairly well taken care of, and the pictures and video make it hard to hide serious issues.

I decided to start looking for the Cummins 12v instead of the DT466 mechanical, due to the sheer number of parts availability and familiarity. I'm pretty handy with automotive work myself (my first degree), so I feel confident that I can fix just about anything that goes wrong with it with maybe just the purchase of a few more tools.

I know people say it's underpowered, but those blocks have proven their capability to handle serious power, and with the p pump and simplicity of a strictly mechanical system, it should be no problem for long.

Wish me luck,
~Alf

Keep in mind that while the 5.9 can make a lot of power but it comes at the expense of longevity and reliability.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:06 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that while the 5.9 can make a lot of power but it comes at the expense of longevity and reliability.

Yeah. Stupid physics... Im not ctrying to hot rod a bus, I just don't want to have any problems climbing the rockies.


~Alf
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:35 PM   #9
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Yeah. Stupid physics... Im not ctrying to hot rod a bus, I just don't want to have any problems climbing the rockies.


~Alf
The DT466 is hands down the best diesel bus engine. The Cummings is good but the DT466 beats it hands down IMHO.

It's a beast of an engine..... pretty much bullet proof, lots of parts for decent "diesel" prices and can be rebuilt if need be in the bus.

The gearing of the bus means the most as far as pulling hills..... Power second. The DT466 has the juice.

Also, for me......if I was running the rockies a lot, I'd prefer a manual tranny as well. Sure helps on them downgrades!

If I would buy a diesel school bus.........the DT466 would, by far, be my first choice. Preferably with mechanical fuel injection.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:49 PM   #10
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The DT466 is hands down the best diesel bus engine. The Cummings is good but the DT466 beats it hands down IMHO.

It's a beast of an engine..... pretty much bullet proof, lots of parts for decent "diesel" prices and can be rebuilt if need be in the bus.

The gearing of the bus means the most as far as pulling hills..... Power second. The DT466 has the juice.

Also, for me......if I was running the rockies a lot, I'd prefer a manual tranny as well. Sure helps on them downgrades!

If I would buy a diesel school bus.........the DT466 would, by far, be my first choice. Preferably with mechanical fuel injection.

I'm not trying to suggest that the 5.9 Cummins has the same power as the 7.6 DT. I have neither, but what I have learned from doing a whole heck lot of research is



1. The cast iron 5.9 is plenty strong enough to make 500hp without digging too deeply into the engine or my pockets.


2. While the DT has a faithful following in MDT circles, the 6BT has an equally if not larger following in the LDT arena which means an abundance of cheap parts and cheaper information.


3. I can hope to have a few mpg advantage in the 5.9 vs the 466.


And if I don't like it. I can try swapping in a 8.3


~Alf
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:10 AM   #11
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I'd crawl all under that bus looking for the rust.
My van is from NE and stuff gets pretty rusted up there.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:36 AM   #12
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I love my 8.3.

By the way ..... The 8.3 is the best engine available in a bus...
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:26 PM   #13
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my 2nd vote is for any engine that has a large following.. that means aftermarket (less expensive than dealer) parts.. the 5.9 and 444E may not spin the tires on the pavement but there sure are a lot of parts out there and a lot of competition.. along with reasonably priced reman / rebuilt complete engines out there as well so if you should happen on the unfortunate circumstance of blowing one to pieces its not as hard to deal with..

the DT-series navistar engines are likely at the top of my list simply because there is a large availability of parts and the wet sleeve design means as long as you dont Nuke a bearing (spin a man or toss a rod) you can rebuild such engine for a couple grand and not have to pull the block.. the cummins 8.3 is in this realm too..

caterpillar and mercedes engines up until the emissions stuff are some of the most reliable out there.. they are designed and do last a long time.. they are just more expensive with a much lesser pool of parts to grab from..

emissions engines are for those not afraid of electronics.. they can be had often in a bus much cheaper because everyone is afraid of them.. many times the issues can be mitigated by proper operation and some PM.. even the C7 cat and navistar VT-365 are solid as long as you PM and are vigilant with them.

some engines just plain suck - MaxxForce 7...

-Christopher
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:49 PM   #14
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my 2nd vote is for any engine that has a large following.. that means aftermarket (less expensive than dealer) parts.. the 5.9 and 444E may not spin the tires on the pavement but there sure are a lot of parts out there and a lot of competition.. along with reasonably priced reman / rebuilt complete engines out there as well so if you should happen on the unfortunate circumstance of blowing one to pieces its not as hard to deal with..

the DT-series navistar engines are likely at the top of my list simply because there is a large availability of parts and the wet sleeve design means as long as you dont Nuke a bearing (spin a man or toss a rod) you can rebuild such engine for a couple grand and not have to pull the block.. the cummins 8.3 is in this realm too..

caterpillar and mercedes engines up until the emissions stuff are some of the most reliable out there.. they are designed and do last a long time.. they are just more expensive with a much lesser pool of parts to grab from..

emissions engines are for those not afraid of electronics.. they can be had often in a bus much cheaper because everyone is afraid of them.. many times the issues can be mitigated by proper operation and some PM.. even the C7 cat and navistar VT-365 are solid as long as you PM and are vigilant with them.

some engines just plain suck - MaxxForce 7...

-Christopher
I wouldnt take anything Navistar/International has built since 05. And I'm a pretty loyal IC guy. But they just plain sucked at coping with emissions and they lost their status rear quick from 2003-2005. Not just because of the added emissions junk... the quality of their products just TANKED and never recovered.
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:52 PM   #15
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I love my 8.3.

By the way ..... The 8.3 is the best engine available in a bus...
Yep. I'd put my favorite school bus engines as- 855 cummins, 2 stroke Detroits, 8.3's, DT's, then 5.9 Cummins and 7.3 Navistar tied for last.

All the above are good engines, I just put them in MY order of badassness.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:06 PM   #16
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Yep. I'd put my favorite school bus engines as- 855 cummins, 2 stroke Detroits, 8.3's, DT's, then 5.9 Cummins and 7.3 Navistar tied for last.

All the above are good engines, I just put them in MY order of badassness.
When you add the 855 and the DD motors to the mix I would have to agree. I miss my 8v71...
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:16 PM   #17
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When you add the 855 and the DD motors to the mix I would have to agree. I miss my 8v71...
I only included them because of Crowns and Gilligs. Which are probably .0001% of the actual school buses out there.
But man, an 855 with a RR 10 speed with OD would be the ULTIMATE!
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:49 AM   #18
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But man, an 855 with a RR 10 speed with OD would be the ULTIMATE!
Yes it would!!!

Especially in a Crown with a well executed roof raise......
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:52 AM   #19
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djdalfaro,

Did you wind up buying that bus?
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:44 PM   #20
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djdalfaro,

Did you wind up buying that bus?
No, somebody wants to pay more than I'm willing to without seeing it. It's probably a good thing though. My plant is in the middle of a turnaround, and so I can't take the time off to go get it. I'll pick up the search after I get back from summer vacation. Taking the kids on our first road trip. I told my wife I'm tired of giving all our vacation money to Disney.
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