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Old 02-22-2017, 02:54 PM   #1
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Question Opinion Request: '92 International 7.3 Manual

Greetings everyone !

A quick intro, since this is my first post: Nicholas here; I've been obsessing with everything skoolie over the past few days, and found one locally (I'm from Toronto, Canada).
Love this site, and one of my favourite threads is the one about scooters
(BTW, EastCoastCB, you certainly know your scoots !! I'm the very happy owner of a Helix250, as well)

Anyway, so I wanted to ask your opinion on something converted (seems spartan), that could be restored, as well.
It's this one: 1992 International School Bus | RVs, motorhomes | North Bay | Kijiji



PS: $ CAD 4,000 is about US 3,000 at the moment ...
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:02 PM   #2
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That actually looks like a pretty reasonable price for that set up. At that price you are not ever going to find a Country Coach level of conversion.

That engine and transmission are a good combination but it is not going to be a powerhouse. You are more apt to have clutch and transmission issues with a stick shift than with an automatic. Just think about how many times that bus has shifted from 1st to 3rd gear during the service life. It does take a toll on synchromesh and clutch springs.

It does not mention what kind of brakes. If it has wet brakes you would need to prepare yourself for expensive repairs as you might have to replace/rebuild all of the brake cylinders/pistons and replace all of the rubber hoses.

Air brakes have their own issues although they probably would not be as expensive as wet brake issues.

For the price it is a great place to start. Most people are paying that much or more for a bus just out of service.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 02-23-2017, 03:04 AM   #3
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I think its a fair price.

Decent engine/tranny combo, its painted, and I wouldn't worry too much about the age if it's been used as a camper for the past 6 years (as opposed to being in service all that time.)

The conversion is very spartan, but I think it would be easy enough to tear it out and start from scratch. (You could probably re-use the appliances, sink, etc. - those things can add up to some serious $$$ new.) On the other hand, I think some elbow grease, a rug down the main isle, and a few cans of paint would get you a perfectly functional weekend getaway rig too.



"Is this a good bus" really depends on what you want to do with it. To full-time, you want to insulate - which means you'd be gutting the inside (eventually) anyways. If you're going to drive a lot, you might be pickier about the engine/tranny. If you want to collect a few friends and disappear to a camp site in the woods with a fire pit but don't like having to deal with tents, this is perfect.
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HandaGanda View Post
Greetings everyone !

A quick intro, since this is my first post: Nicholas here; I've been obsessing with everything skoolie over the past few days, and found one locally (I'm from Toronto, Canada).
Love this site, and one of my favourite threads is the one about scooters
(BTW, EastCoastCB, you certainly know your scoots !! I'm the very happy owner of a Helix250, as well)

Anyway, so I wanted to ask your opinion on something converted (seems spartan), that could be restored, as well.
It's this one: 1992 International School Bus | RVs, motorhomes | North Bay | Kijiji



PS: $ CAD 4,000 is about US 3,000 at the moment ...
Welcome, friend!
I definitely do love scooters and buses! Helix is a great scoot, so comfy and fast.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
If you're going to drive a lot, you might be pickier about the engine/tranny. If you want to collect a few friends and disappear to a camp site in the woods with a fire pit but don't like having to deal with tents, this is perfect.
Am I hearing correctly that the navistar isn't necessarily ideal for....collecting a few friends and disappearing to a camp site in the woods...cross country?
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:33 PM   #6
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Am I hearing correctly that the navistar isn't necessarily ideal for....collecting a few friends and disappearing to a camp site in the woods...cross country?
I think the point he was making was that the power package is a little low on HP and would not be the best choice for going across the country on the super slab.

If on the other hand you were wanting it to take you and a few of your closest friends out into the boonies for a few days it would actually be one of the better choices.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:38 PM   #7
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Seems a fair price.

As others have said, that engine and tranny are most likely geared low. Good for starting on a hill with a bus full of kids, or pulling a trailer like the PO seems to have done. Less fun on the highway, probably will max out at around 60 or so. But no biggie if you know what youre signing up for.

Respectfully, I disagree on the manual vs auto. I find manuals to be more durable and easier to work on, and to get better mileage unless you have lock-up overdrive, which only fancy new heavy auto transmissions have. Manual or auto will be making the same number of gear changes... But the reality is a taste and preference thing, so lets leave it at that.

Overall, seems reasonable. The real question is: Have you looked at it in person, and does it "speak" to you?
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:43 PM   #8
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Am I hearing correctly that the navistar isn't necessarily ideal for....collecting a few friends and disappearing to a camp site in the woods...cross country?
It is, and isn't, exactly that

The thing is, the country is pretty big. (US / Canada, same width, right?) If you're thinking of a big road trip, spanning multiple weeks, a bus that likes running at 60mph will be just fine. There is something to be said for not rushing, and watching the world go by out the front window.

If you have a week, and want to hit up points A, B, and C, then the drive time can become an issue. Sometimes you want to enjoy the trip - other times you want to enjoy the destination.


That's why I'd say that this bus is a good middle of the road deal - I wouldn't run to it waving wads of cash, but there's no reason to run away from it either. Plus, it's got the paint and some basic build-out done, which could be daunting for a first-time skoolie.

I have no opinion on the manul vs. auto debate. I don't assume one is automatically better then the other. (Put not intended.)
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Old 02-24-2017, 12:50 PM   #9
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Hey everyone,

Thank you for your thoughts and insights.

Yeah, I thought the same - that this would make a good intro for a newb skoolie; seller didn't get back to me, though (I noticed there are over 5,000 views on the ad - in 3 weeks; wow).

Good question if a vehicle "speaks" to me or not - in my experience buying stuff I only get that feeling after seeing it and speaking to the seller. My favourite type of seller is the meticulous, mechanically inclined, knowledgeable, etc - more likely to maintain something in detail.

Good points on manual vs automatic, too. I'm personally inclined towards standard because that's what I've been driving for the past 100,000 miles (and my car has well over 350k miles on the odo now) - I feel that overall I can put less wear and tear for the conditions and also have an added measure of control.

Didn't know that air brakes tend to have less expensive repairs for old (and probably corroded) buses.

Yep, gutting and insulating is eventually in the cards, since I'm planning on a full-time experiment, and we have little kids as well.

Cheers, mates !!

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Old 02-24-2017, 05:20 PM   #10
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... caught up on the phone with the guy; it's tentatively sold, but I asked him a few questions.

He says the gearing is on the low side - highway sweet spot is somewhere around 55mph, although he had it to 65
Hydraulic brakes that need to be serviced, as well.

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