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Old 02-11-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
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Not a school bus, but still....

So I'm looking for a bus on craigslist, and come across this:

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ctd/1595564112.html

Wadda-y'all think? Not much info given. I'll have to call them up later today and get the full scoop.
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #2
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
750,000 miles

Nothing against it, just doesn't trip my trigger. I don't want to high-center on speedbumps

Smitty
That's a lot of miles, but I've also read that these highway coaches are built for 4 million miles. Of course, I assume there would be numerous repowers during that period. I wonder how 750K miles on a coach like this compares to say, 200K miles on a school bus?
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

I drove a coach that had wound up 3,000,000 miles...it was one of the best-driving vehicles I have ever driven. None of the half-dozen coaches I drove had less than half a million miles on them...the "lowest" mileage was about 505K on a Prevost. Highest was that 4106, though we also had an MCI (I think a 7) with 1,800,000 miles. The MCI's engine (Detroit 60) had been in-framed twice (close to 550K since the last IFO), the Prevost's (big Cat, I think a 550HP 3406) once. The two lowest-mileage buses (the Prevost and a 630,000-mile VanHool) were the problem children...I took the 4106 on many long runs without a problem. The MCI was towed in once in 3+ years.

The VanHool burned to the ground from an electrical fire a year after they got it.

The MCI was turned down from 500HP and 90MPH to 350HP and 70MPH after the boss got popped for 82MPH on the Mass Pike. Two days after a speech about "excessive speed" at a drivers' meeting. Oops.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:25 AM   #4
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

If it is clean, and rust free, and runs out well- that would not be a bad price even with close to 1 million miles. I have some friends over in the small NE Oregon town of Lostine, they own Moffit Bros Transportation Co. They have an MCI with over 1 million on the clock, it is detroit powered with a manual trans, they want $10,000 for it, it is in nice shape and runs very strong.
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:47 AM   #5
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

If only it would hold some dirt bikes inside.
Also, what a pain when you get off the freeway, check that ground clearance! Forget about getting to a trailhead, or around many corners unscathed once off the main thoroughfares.
But, for eating up miles on interstates, probably a nice way to go.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

It might actually sit higher...I wonder if the airbags are partially (or totally) deflated in the pic.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

Okay, so I called the dealer on this bus today. It's still for sale, and they haven't been running it through the Saturday auction line lately. The lady I spoke with didn't know much about it but their records indicate that it has 116K miles. Unbelievable, literally. Probably more like 1 million, plus 116K miles. Anyway it has a DD 8V92 engine and Allison transmission, not sure what model. "The Boss" is supposed to call me back with that info tomorrow. It's a 47 passenger bus (that's ADULT passengers) with rear toilet/lavatory. I'm thinking I might go down and look at it this weekend.

With the above added info, any opinions on this deal?
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:18 PM   #8
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

I don't see anywhere the price.
Look for floor rot, it's terminal in these unit, I have read.

If you have never been in a commercial coach before, you will see the bathroom is nothing to shout about. Room to pee, bend over, but that's about it.

Still, lots of folks love these buses. They get fully reconditioned, and driven twice again as many miles by retirees, etc. They are very serviceable, and customizable. If you have the money, that is. Nicer than a skoolie to be sure, but you will pay for that pleasure.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:34 PM   #9
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

Post your questions on www.busnut.com for a coach...they are familiar with them.

I will say an 8V92 (especially an 8V92TA) is a barn-burner, might be 400HP!
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

Their website lists a "buy it now" price of $5900.00. I wonder how negotiable they are on it? (That may be a moot point if it's junk.)

What do you think the fuel economy might be for a bus like this with a 8V92?
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:39 PM   #11
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

I'd expect 8-10MPG, depending on the driver's right foot and the gearing.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

Okay, so I went and looked at this bus today. It seems to be in reasonably good condition, and man are those basement luggage compartments HUGE!! Ceiling center height is 6' 5", interior length from front firewall to rear seatback is 36' and interior width is 7' 6".

Couldn't start it--batteries must be discharged. I'll have to go in on a weekday when the person who knows how to operate it is in. I'll also have to get it mechanically checked out. This is a consignment and the auction service is a partnership with the adjacent Ford Dealership. The service department includes commercial vehicle specialists, so maybe I can get it checked right there.

I confirmed that the engine is a DD 8V92, but couldn't confirm the Allison transmission model. Some surprises: keyless pushbutton start. No odometer! The dealer got the milage (116K) from a meter on the rear axle! The meter only has six digits, so it would have to reset to zero after each million miles. So no way to tell how many millions of miles it has traveled, but I'm sure it must be at least one million, maybe two, or even three. I have no idea how such high mileage would affect a rig like this, as far as wear and tear goes.

Lots of stainless steel. even the floors of the luggage compartments appear to be stainless. I could easily insulate the cabin floor from underneath, by fastening insulation sheets to the underside, inside the luggage compartments. I could probably fit a 100 to 200 gallon freshwater tank, both holding tanks and even a 100 gallon WVO tank all in one storage compartment with room left over. The diesel tank is just behind the front wheels and is 145 gallons capacity.

I had a vague uneasy feeling when I was looking at this rig however. Pehaps I'm just intimidated by the scale of the potential project, and a bit concerned about the lack of service records. I think that I should only make an offer if the rig passes mechanical inspection with flying colors. The last thing I want to deal with is engine or transmission problems. The conversion itself will tax my abilities and time quite enough, thank you.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:50 AM   #13
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

I will tell you when I showed up to pick up my bus I had a sinking WTF did I just do moment. My friend who was with me was thinking the same. They look huge when you actually buy one for the first time even more so the first time you drive it.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:38 PM   #14
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

www.busnut.com--there are a bunch of people who know everything you need to know about coaches and Detroit Diesels.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:14 AM   #15
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
http://www.busnut.com--there are a bunch of people who know everything you need to know about coaches and Detroit Diesels.
Isn't that the members-only Yahoo Group run by "Arkie?" I've seen some of his revolting posts on this site, and would not want to get anywhere near such a person. Anyway, I like skoolie.net and the people who post here. I think most of the information available here would be applicable and useful to highway coach conversions as well.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:44 AM   #16
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

Nothing to do with Arky...it's a bit like this site, except geared to coach conversions rather than skoolies. LINK
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:48 AM   #17
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

I'd expect 8-10MPG, depending on the driver's right foot and the gearing.

It will be closer to 6 to 8mpg .

These units all ride on air bags , so if more ground clearence is usually required they can easily be re adjusted higher.

These are fine back roads coaches , tho the 35 ft'ers are far more handy.NONE are OK to use offroad

It will weigh close to 30,000lbs BEFORE the conversion , and none have positraction.

If you want to go in the woods one of the Intl with front and rear wheel drive woulds be only choice.

These are great highway coaches , but the list of required PM is long and not cheap.

Great if you need a traveling home , but not for off road use.

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Old 03-10-2010, 11:49 AM   #18
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

I'd expect 8-10MPG, depending on the driver's right foot and the gearing.

It will be closer to 6 to 8mpg .

These units all ride on air bags , so if more ground clearence is usually required they can easily be re adjusted higher.

These are fine back roads coaches , tho the 35 ft'ers are far more handy.NONE are OK to use offroad

It will weigh close to 30,000lbs BEFORE the conversion , and none have positraction.

If you want to go in the woods one of the Intl with front and rear wheel drive woulds be only choice.

These are great highway coaches , but the list of required PM is long and not cheap.

Great if you need a traveling home , but not for off road use.

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Old 03-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #19
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

Well, this bus sold, but there's another one locally on craigslist, a 1983 MC9. This other one has a 6V92 engine and 4 speed Auto (doesn't say whether it's an Allison). I've heard that the 8V92 is the one to get, but does anyone here know what the downside is to a 6V92? I assume it's a smaller engine with 6 cylinders, but other than that I know nothing. Would it be underpowered? Better fuel economy? Okay at hiway speed?
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:32 AM   #20
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Re: Not a school bus, but still....

A 6V92 (especially a 6V92TA, which many were) will have plenty of power...probably 325-375HP. Not the barn-burner the 8V92TA would be, but adequate (and probably uses less fuel), fine for a highway runner. Remember: that's what these coaches were built for! The transmission would probably be an Allison HT700-series, MAYBE (doubtful) an MT643.
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