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Old 03-21-2017, 12:44 AM   #1
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Arrow CA registration

Hello guys,

Newbie here. Am ready to pull a trigger on a International 24 seater (17,000 lbs) from PA, and bringing it to CA. The bus' engine sticker shows only 49 state compliant (no CA). I read many threads and searched, but I am still bit confused about the exemption part. And I don't want to assume. Can you guys help?

My understanding is that after it becomes MH category, no Smog is required, and it is exempted from ARB. (https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdie...TBFinalReg.pdf).

Does that mean once converted to MH, it is OK to buy the bus with non-CA compliant engine?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:27 AM   #2
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There's a lot of buses sold in CA that I would assume are compliant. I'm not understanding why you'd go to PA to buy a bus. CA is about the toughest state for air pollution standards. They've sold millions of dollars worth of heavy equipment because it's not compliant with their air standards. I'm doubting PA standards would be compliant with CA standards.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:01 PM   #3
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Yeah, I know its a long shot, but am hoping the exemption clause will work. The PA bus is a good deal, even with transportation. I did look in all CA (craigslist, ebay, calling schools) for the last month. Not much out there, and expensive too. Schools usually have third party Durham, or they trade in the old to the state for Grand money to buy new.

The one in PA is a 2007 IC 24 5 window with wheel chair access and AC. 85k miles. Price is about 7k -7.5k. Comparable setup in CA would be around above 12k+ with more miles.

Or if anyone can suggest where I can look for decent bus in CA, I'd glad to dig it up.

Robin, thanks for your input. Much appreciated!
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:51 PM   #4
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That is a nice looking bus if it's the one I'm thinking of. Did you ever wonder why they're selling a '07 bus? It's not exactly timed out for age and it doesn't have high miles. I've got to ask why and that makes me very cautious.
California is tough on vehicle emissions. I'm not familiar with motorhome rules in CA so maybe it's all good. I'd make sure I had an acceptable bus for CA standards before buying or driving that far. Oh, you said hauling. Wouldn't that be a couple grand for transport?
I'm not saying it's not a good bus. I simply don't know. That bus just makes me raise my eyebrows because it doesn't make sense to me. If you've read other threads it should be clear buses can be had for a lot less.
Honestly I feel bad because your initial investment will be about three times higher than most of us spend on a bus purchase. In fact your hauling expenses will be nearly as much as most of us like to pay for a bus. If CA won't accept that bus what are you going to do? Different states have different specs and emission standards. You'd think school buses would be more standardized in their build, but not so.
It's completely your business and I'm never trying to argue with you. I don't understand why other members here aren't putting out their opinions. I'm no bus expert, but rather just repeating what I've learned or think I've learned.
If you'd like some opinions on the bus, put the link on the Non-affiliated buses for sale thread if you haven't already. Don't worry, we don't knowingly big against each other on this site. Besides, 99% of us already have buses here.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:08 PM   #5
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I agree with Robin. That's a lot of money for a bus. Have you tried public surplus or gov deals? I got my bus from public surplus for $2K, it was a 65 pax bus.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:18 PM   #6
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I know its bit much. Usual capex is about 3-4k, then fix up. But I'd like something smaller (e.g. 5 windows), and newer /less miles (me no mechanic). and they are hard to come by.

I looked everywhere, it's so hard to find a short bus with low miles, unless you go to dealers and get hammered with 30k asking.

Robin, PA bus is from a third party school bus vendor who lost a contracts, thus looking to unload inventory. Same vendor as 2007 IC 24 PASSENGER SCHOOL BUSES -7 AVAILABLE | eBay

Another one is this one: 2007 Chevy G3500 24 Passenger Mini School Bus Duramax Diesel - NO RESERVE! Or I'd keep looking in CA...

Again, thanks for all the input and support.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:43 PM   #7
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The word is there's going to be lots of buses available this spring as school gets out and bus barns start replacing buses. I like that you've got a plan. I hate to see someone pay that much for a bus, but I understand your concerns about mechanical condition. I'm about $8k deep 18 months into my build with this 26' bus, doing it the hard way.

Do you have more time or are you needing a bus immediately? It always makes me nervous when I hear about someone moving out of their apartment immediately following the purchase of a bus. It's hard to live-in while building a bus, but anything is possible.
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:28 PM   #8
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Thanks Robin,

Am in no hurry. Bus project is a fun project for me and to take the fam out on weekends. But thanks for the suggestions. Will keep looking

So, I got my answer after an 30 min wait on the phone with ARB. There are two entities at play here rather than one:

1) DMV - they need to make sure the engine has "California" on the engine sticker, or it is a 50 state sticker. Otherwise no go, and can not register in CA. Regardless if I turn it into a MH or not.

2) CARB - they are only concerning about if it is MH or not. Once it is a MH, then exemption applies. BUT it does not alleviate the DMV requirement.

The rep told me that there are lots of people who did not research and assume that only CARB's MH exemption will work, and got rejected at DMV.

So, the conclusion is that that PA bus will not work in CA. I hope my thread help other CA folks who are looking at ebay, etc and answer their questions.

By the way, generally, how much do people spend in mechanical repair at first when they get the older school bus with high miles e.g. 250k+?
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:11 PM   #9
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Most of us look for buses in the buck fifty mileage range, or lower. As you might expect the ru/bber pieces, including seals, start rotting off of old vehicles. That can be expensive if you're on the road unless you happen to have the tools and either limp to or break down by a parts store. It doesn't seem any different than working with an old farm truck or collectible vehicle.

In a 20 year old vehicle, that's new to me, I'm never quite sure how well the maintenance was done. First I like to replace the heater hoses and clamps all the way through to prevent future leaks. Radiator hoses and new clamps if the radiator hoses look questionable at all. I like to put on new belts too. I don't want to break down because I was to cheap to replace the easy things that can cause major problems.

How much you spend on preventative maintenance is up to you, but it's the best and cheapest insurance you can get against breakdowns.

I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck because of a fifty cent hose clamp. That hose clamp is easily worth $100 to you when you're stuck somewhere.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:55 PM   #10
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those 7 on ebay are IC BE's which are a light duty spec bus. im not sure what kind of weight you plan to put into a build but those arent designed to tow , or have a lot of weight put in them..

the VT-365 engine by 2007 year isnt too bad but is still a very sensitive engine... overheat it just ONCE and you ruin it beyond repair.. while they dont have some of the issues that its sister ther powerstroke ford 6.0 had, they stiull can succumb to some of them like poor oil cooler, they do have EGR and the stock cooler is not good and can stick causing over-temp..

if you are someone who likes to tinker and isnt afraid of electronics those busses might be a good buy at 4k or so (only because they appear to be in nice shape and are newer.. but still pre-08 emissions.. so no regen or DEF.. or DPF).. if they were air conditioned then maybe 5k..

my guess is at 07 they probably have original tires.. at least on the rears which would be aging out.. (have to check on that one with the seller)..

the ad says tinted windows but the pics dont reflect it..

they will have allison 1000 transmissions in them which are good but not heavy duty..

-Christopher
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:36 PM   #11
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:33 PM   #12
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Continued confusion

So, I also emailed in for further clarifications. The answer I got back contradicts with the CARB phone representative's answer. Here is the email chain.



++++++++++++++++++
Hello Cris,

First, if the vehicle does in fact meet the definition of a motor home, it would be exempt from the regulation meaning it would not need to be "Compliant" as it is exempt from needing to be compliant.

Second, the regulation that we are discussing is the Truck and Bus regulation, which has nothing to do with smog. The Truck and Bus regulation requires diesel vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) over 14,000 pounds to have PM filter and/or new engines to be installed dependent on the GVWR and the year of the engine currently in the vehicle.

If you have further questions or concerns, please call 1-866-6Diesel (1-866-634-3735), email us, or visit www.arb.ca.gov/truckstop

Thank you for your email.

Samantha A.
Mobile Source Compliance & Outreach Staff
California Air Resources Board
________________________________________
From: Cris Lin [linc313@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:25 AM
To: ARB 8666Diesel
Subject: RE: School Bus conversion Emission requirement question
Hello,

There are two issues at hand.

1) Engine is 49 states compliant. (No California on engine sticker). Are you sure this is also exempted. No mentioning of this in the clauses.
2) Motorhome exemption on smog. Understood as you have described below.

I want to make absolutely sure that the engine is operable in CA, and I would not have problem with registering it in DMV.

Thanks,

Cris Lin


From: ARB 8666Diesel [mailto:8666Diesel@arb.ca.gov]
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:29 AM
To: Cris Lin
Subject: RE: School Bus conversion Emission requirement question

Hello Chris,

According to the Truck and Bus Regulation, Motor homes for non-commercial private use are exempt from the regulation. Be sure that your vehicle meets the definition out lined in the regulation:
"'Motor Home' means a single vehicular unit designed for human habitation for recreational or emergency occupancy and built on, or permanetly attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis, chassis cab, or van, which becomes an integral part of the completed vehicle or a vehicle that exclusively tows a trailer that was originally designed for human habitation for recreational or emergency occupancy."
If your vehicle meets the definition above and is used for non-commercial private use then the vehicle would fall under the list of exempt vehicles. You can find this information under section "(c) Exemptions" and section "(d) Definitions" in the final regulations at the following link: https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdie...tbfinalreg.pdf

If you have further questions or concerns, please call 1-866-6Diesel (1-866-634-3735), email us, or visit www.arb.ca.gov/truckstop

Thank you for your email.

Samantha A.
Mobile Source Compliance & Outreach Staff
California Air Resources Board
________________________________________
From: Cris Lin [linc313@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 3:04 PM
To: ARB 8666Diesel
Subject: School Bus conversion Emission requirement question
Hello,

I can not find a definite answer, thus I am emailing in to seek help.

I am buying a used short school bus where the engine sticker does not mention CA compliant. It weights 17000 lbs. and has about 100k miles. I am planning to convert it into a motorhome. Does it need to be in compliant?

Can I operate this Motorhome in California?

Thank you!

Cris
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for the awesome feedback. I did read up on VT 365 engine. Supposedly after the updates, they are ok. thanks for the valuable warning.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:55 AM   #14
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I get wanting a new(er) bus. . . .But it makes NO sense to but a PA bus, and ship it to CA.

An '07 is 10 years old, and that's 10 years of PA winters and road salt.
That's why the same setup would be more expensive in CA - the condition would be better.

I'm not saying that I'd run from it, but I would wait a few months until the end of the school year when districts start selling their surplus - what's out there for sale jumps up pretty drastically.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:14 PM   #15
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Bought my bus at Buswest in Fontana for$ 3500 ask for David Wronka.
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