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Old 07-07-2014, 11:53 PM   #1
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Looking for 40ft pusher

Hello all,

I have been lurking around skoolie.net for a long time and have decided to get more serious about purchasing a school bus in order to convert it into a full time live aboard, along with my trusting and loving girlfriend . One concern is space, Id like if possible to have as much space for storage and the essentials that are currently provided by our small apartment. After cursing the forums for months I felt that now that I am getting more serious, it would be a good time to introduce myself.

I really enjoy the friendly community here, and was hoping some of you could help me keep an eye out for the bus that I am searching for. My budget for the bus is around 4k, although I am flexible if I can find the perfect bus. I live in Maryland, and finding a bus with low rust seems to be quite the challenge. I especially have trouble finding long rear engined models. Does anyone know of places to look around maryland other than craigslist and ebay? I have not had much luck on govdeals or publicsurplus either. I did find one 99 40 ft thomas pusher with ~140k miles for 4k. What condition should I expect for that price, would it be worth looking at? I value everyone's experience and connections here. Hopefully soon I can start my own build thread like all those brave souls before me!
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:52 PM   #2
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Re: Looking for 40ft pusher

Quote:
Originally Posted by girsnoopy
I did find one 99 40 ft thomas pusher with ~140k miles for 4k. What condition should I expect for that price, would it be worth looking at?
unless you go far south you will have rust. Depending on the engine and transmission combo 4K could be a good price. You should look for one with a 5.9 cummins or a 8.3 cummins and a mt643 or md3060 for the transmission.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:13 AM   #3
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Re: Looking for 40ft pusher

Head west.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: Looking for 40ft pusher

Check out the surplus sites......

http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/browse/cataucs?catid=4

http://www.govdeals.com/

http://www.govliquidation.com/

http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/gsaauctions/

http://www.usa.gov/shopping/auctions/surplus.shtml

http://www.municibid.com/

Best of luck in your seach for the perfect bus..... It;s out there!!!
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:02 PM   #5
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Location: Arizona via Baton Rouge
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
Re: Looking for 40ft pusher

I don't know if you are still in the market for a 40 foot RE but I got mine in TN for $4500. If you check out my build thread at the bottom of my post you can see it. As far as the condition of the bus it's very average. But the thing I wanted was a larger RE as well.

1 thing I did get burned on was there was a missing cylinder on my cat 3126B. Which after getting the ECM off and to the Cat dealer for diagnostics, found out it went bad. $1800 for a rebuilt one since it is no longer made due to epa regulations. And after he updated the firm ware on the ecm it showed 49000+ hrs of run time but no mileage. The Cat tech told me they multiply that by 45 miles for an average distance traveled. (Yup, the odometer read 173,000 - in reality it had over 2 mil miles on it. It was a charter bus after its school bus days) Rebuild kit........$7200. So after all the math, I found a used motor for $4500 in Miami.

So my best advice, make sure all the gauges work and the odometer is functioning properly. Drive the thing and if you can't, make them take you for a ride in it. Then decide if 80% of what you paid for it is worth the investment. Because with a 40' pusher, bargaining may not be in your favor.

Mine isn't a Cinderella story yet, but when she's done, I may just live in it and rent out my house!

-Doc
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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Re: Looking for 40ft pusher

Thats why I always suggest folks go off the hour meter and not the mileage. Gives you a better realistic view of the engine condition. That and an oil sample.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:29 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for 40ft pusher

I have also been having trouble finding the long ones, even checking all of those auction sites. Rear engine and 40' long are bonuses for me, but not absolute requirements. The main feature I wanted was a locking transmission (e.g. MD 3060) to make highway cruising more efficient. I'm curious to know how people manage to find all of these buses.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:14 AM   #8
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Re: Looking for 40ft pusher

LOTS of looking.
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:54 PM   #9
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Year: 1986
Coachwork: Crown Super Coach
Chassis: Built on a Crown Chassis
Engine: 300HP BIG CAM TURBO 855
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Re: Looking for 40ft pusher

First let me say good luck.............Second let me say that you had ought to go on some of the RV forums and read about these Allison transmissions in their various Alltech permeation's:

Just do a Google search of some of the Codes that can be thrown back, especially by the MD 3060.....try codes 2215.....or 2515 for starters and read the expense and all the possibilities that can leave you in "limp mode".

I've experienced these Allison transmissions first hand and functioning properly they are wonders of man's ingenuity: Not functioning properly they will require all of Man's ingenuity just to figure out WTF is going on: They can be shut down by the ECU receiving "cross talk" from other electrical devices, alternators, generators, they will throw back codes, you will replace sensors, solenoids, have service calls, maybe even tows to Allison, where they will check clutch pack ports, or even hood up to the buses software........all of this translates into money and expense, and if you are on the road, many splendid hours in places you never dreamed you be "living" in...........

Stay mechanical is my advice. You don't have a shop foreman or a fleet maintenance crew to walk through all the possibilities when these fail: The transmission is typically fine. But ground problems, open wires, moisture etc etc can shut you down.

I have a 40 foot pusher: It is not a schoolie. It is fully mechanical, cruises at 70 effortlessly and easily, rides like a giant lincoln and has a heavy duty drive train, unlike a schoolie......it has the L10 Cummins Turbo..........with 98K on it, and the Zf Ecomat auto 4 speed transmission, german built and bullet proof.........if you'd like to discuss your plans more, or have any questions give me a shout off the page......I'll give it to you straight..........Just spent a month on the mainland, drove all my machines and put 3400 miles on my Crown......went from 7000 ft. and did the entire coast from Oregon to San Diego and back again.........I have six buses, I have to cull the heard.............Moki
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