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Old 06-04-2019, 11:26 PM   #1
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Opinion on 'short' buses

I've been on the look-out for a shorter bus but not one based on a van frame.

I'm looking at a 2004 28 feet long flat nose bus. Millage is 200K and engine is a 5.9L Cummins. It's a tad longer than I would like but seems maneuverable enough. Is it worth paying 6-7K for a frame with that much millage?

My ideal bus would be a flat nose, 25-26 feet long.... but does that even exist?
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:47 PM   #2
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I know almost zero about these things so I will give an opinion. I bought a 2006 with 200k miles on for $2100. It has some rust (live in the north, long winters, salty roads), but runs good. I guess if it is in tip top shape. No rust and doesn't need any repairs, but unlikely with a lot of miles. I have seen some with a lot less miles in that price range, but then again, never looked closely at them.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:52 PM   #3
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I don't think so. I think you can actually have a problem that there's too much weight hanging in FRONT of the front axle. You've got the engine and the stairs almost hanging in front of the front axle, with a lot of empty space to balance it out in the back.

With a conventional bus, the engine is in front of you, but it's more on top of the axle then hanging in front of it.

It's difficult to say if $7k is a good price or not. It's about what I'm looking at paying for a shortie - BUT - it's loaded, and there's not a speck of rust on it. (I'm also at a point where time is an important factor - I'll have the ability to be self-employed and travel for a few months in the fall, then back to a normal day job - so I need to buy soon if I want time to convert before I hit the road.)

To put it in perspective, for $7k, it better be rust-free, air ride, air conditioning, and something better then an AT545 behind the engine.

Where are you / where are you looking? I will have to travel to go get my shortie - things in New England rot away way to fast.
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred-qc View Post

My ideal bus would be a flat nose, 25-26 feet long.... but does that even exist?
An 8-window Bluebird TC1000 or TC2000 would be about 25 ft long, if you can find one. My 6 window full-size conventional is just shy of 24 ft. bumper-to-bumper.
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred-qc View Post
I've been on the look-out for a shorter bus but not one based on a van frame.

I'm looking at a 2004 28 feet long flat nose bus. Millage is 200K and engine is a 5.9L Cummins. It's a tad longer than I would like but seems maneuverable enough. Is it worth paying 6-7K for a frame with that much millage?

My ideal bus would be a flat nose, 25-26 feet long.... but does that even exist?
I wouldn't pay more than about 3 or 4 grand for any bus but I'm cheap and only buy from schools.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:12 AM   #6
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I wouldn't pay more than about 3 or 4 grand for any bus but I'm cheap and only buy from schools.
I second that! I went to a salvage yard that had bought a crap ton of buses from several schools, had 70 to pick from.
Whatever you do, don't buy a "church" bus.
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:40 PM   #7
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Where is that salvage yard?!? Lol
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:52 PM   #8
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Ruckersville, Virginia, they aren't the least bit friendly and IF you go make sure to go early, I drove in the snow and got there an hour before they closed and they refused to care I had cash in hand so I had to stay overnight and wait till the morning. You couldn't pay them to apologize for nothing.
Only reason I'd even recommend them is they have a huge inventory of buses and a good amount of med duty trucks as well, they had some coach buses too.
I drove over 7+ hours to get there (was a little later than planned because it was snowing, but they couldn't have cared any less) figuring atleast I'd find something worth buying rather than driving hours to look at just one somewhere and it not being worth the hassle.
Got to test drive it for almost an hour without anyone going with me to pester me either which I will say I did like that. I hate going on a test drive and having to hear someone running their mouth trying to distract me from evaluating what I'm thinking of buying.
Other than that though buying the bus was alot of fun, especially looking at the others and having a real pick rather than just buying what I could find in my price range. Can't complain about my buy though, it had 3/4 a tank of fuel and I had no problems driving it 450+ miles home. I didn't even have a plate on it and still managed to have no problems on the road trip at all, even though I had a state trooper follow me a good 15 miles before deciding he had better things to do.

ANYWAYS, it's M and M salvage google them, they have a website with their inventory listed in a easy manner to compare buses (length, engine, trans, mfg, mileage).
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