Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-02-2019, 12:33 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
geminusprime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 181
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Vista 3600
Engine: DT466E / AT545
Rated Cap: 72
1996 Thomas 5.9 Cummins for $4500 - Worth It?

I'm trying to figure out if this is a good deal (and the model, but going to check it out tomorrow hopefully). AC unit knocks off $500, so $4000 for the bus itself. Considering the work already done, I'm leaning towards getting this one. Good deal, or should I pass?

I've come to terms with accepting a Cummins 5.9L. I know it's no DT466 but it's also no MBE/CAT.


https://charlotte.craigslist.org/rvs...761507938.html


1996 Thomas
fuel: diesel
odometer: 212000
title status: clean
transmission: automatic
International chassis, 5.9L inline 6 Cummins diesel engine. Allison transmission. Well maintained through its life with the school district. Has good tires, fresh batteries, everything works as it should.

The seats have been removed, the floor has been welded to cover the bolt holes. A proper marine-grade sealant has been applied front to back of what will be the living quarters. A subframe has been built, and that's where it ends.


Also included is a brand new roof mounted A/C unit.

P.S. - I hope this is the right subforum. It's not a 40', I assume that means it's considered a short bus. Sorry if that's wrong.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 00i0i_g8HEROnozI0_600x450.jpg (22.6 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg 00F0F_4NE9V4pcUy4_600x450.jpg (75.4 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg 00F0F_lJzTebWr5aa_600x450.jpg (67.5 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg 00w0w_huTaqjw3qgI_600x450.jpg (17.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 00g0g_d6nMWA1tI6p_600x450.jpg (30.3 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 00A0A_6Pj7LDt0obG_600x450.jpg (26.0 KB, 12 views)
geminusprime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2019, 05:34 AM   #2
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Pasadena Tx
Posts: 79
If the cummins is fully mechanical and has been well maintained, from my experience with them, that's just under it's half life span before any major work would have to be done to it. I own a 28 foot step van with the 3.9 in it and absolutely love it. My worry would be the transmission. 545 or 643?? If it's a 545 then it's probably getting tired. With that said, I would look at doing a swap for the 643. It's not as hard as some make it out to be. Unfortunately transmission shops shy away from doing swaps. So unless you have a friend that works at one, you're pretty much doing it yourself. Plenty of help and info here if you plan on it. Based on the miles, the fact that it has the split rims, and IF it does have a 545 trans, depending on how long it's been posted, show up with 3000.00 cash. That is if you think it's the bus you really want.
jimburke77502 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2019, 06:00 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 16,826
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Don't knock Cat. Up to 2004 they're just as good as any school bus engine. Better than many.
Price seems high to me. Especially for having a 545 transmission and low headroom. Overall that's a low spec bus.
For that kind of money you could do a little better. The old Fords are pretty crude machines. I owned one. The ride is atrocious.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2019, 09:14 PM   #4
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Pasadena Tx
Posts: 79
You're absolutely right. Wasn't knocking cat at all. If it was a cat in that bus, I would have said pretty much what you said. After 2004, from what I've seen and read, all of them are not as good as the older ones. Mostly due to all the emission restrictions and how they've computerized every little thing. I don't know who's worse, the engineers or the EPA telling them how to make a good motor.
jimburke77502 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2019, 09:29 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 16,826
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimburke77502 View Post
You're absolutely right. Wasn't knocking cat at all. If it was a cat in that bus, I would have said pretty much what you said. After 2004, from what I've seen and read, all of them are not as good as the older ones. Mostly due to all the emission restrictions and how they've computerized every little thing. I don't know who's worse, the engineers or the EPA telling them how to make a good motor.
Best engine I've had in a bus was my mechanical DT466. Man that thing was solid and dependable.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2019, 10:15 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Asetechrail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Kalispell, MT
Posts: 270
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Amtran Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Best engine I've had in a bus was my mechanical DT466. Man that thing was solid and dependable.
Just got done with a trip in my bus with mechanical DT466. Had it loaded down pretty heavy with all my tools and a lot of household stuff. It purred right along the whole way at 65 mph. Only time it slowed down was on long 8% pulls. I would just drop a gear and it would pull those passes at 45 to 50 mph.
Asetechrail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2019, 10:50 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
geminusprime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 181
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Vista 3600
Engine: DT466E / AT545
Rated Cap: 72
I've passed on this one, overall it's just not worth it. I have a deep craving for the DT466, and even though it's not a CAT/MBE it's also not a Detroit.

Right now I'm planning on heading up to Virginia tomorrow to look at a TC2000 DT466 that I saw on ebay that's been listed several times at $3990 but nobody bought it. Nice engine and exactly what I'm looking for, but likely the dealer's going to quote higher than his low ebay price.

My destination is busesforsale.com on Friday, which used to be Bargain Bus News apparently. I've seen their owners ad on here that wasn't all too well received, but I finally called the place and the guy seemed to have all the info I needed. Looking at the $3900 deals for the Thomas 3800's with DT466's. I'm okay with a 545 which is in all of the ones on the lot (I think).

He also said the buses ran at 60-65 max highway, and the limiting factor was the governor, not rear end gearing. I'm perfectly fine with 60 (or 55, any maybe 50).

He did call me back and let me know the $3900 are the "bargain" buses, and that they have a few others in a similar price range. Not sure if that was a sales tactic, but they also have a TC2000 that I'm eying anyways (although it's "estimated" at 200k miles, so yeah....).

Assuming the general dealer markup and that I can find one that's suitably rust free (or at least to a tolerable level), is $3900 a decent price for a DT466 3800 in the 2001-2006 range?

If so, any specific years I should look for or avoid, or anything else on the 3800's I should pay attention to?
geminusprime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2019, 05:33 AM   #8
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Pasadena Tx
Posts: 79
Good luck on that. All I can say is that you'll know your bus when you see it. I'm watching on on CL that I know the history on and know that the guy has had it posted multiple times with no luck of selling. The thing about a vin # and google, you can find out ALL you need to know. https://houston.craigslist.org/cto/d...9.html.....The fact that I know what he paid for it, and how long he's had it sitting will definitely be in my favor.
jimburke77502 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2019, 06:23 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 10,902
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the 545 is fine unless you are goingto climb mountains.. a DT466E in front of a 545 will be the lowest spec 466E that was made... (175 HP low torque model)its easy to crank up the power on the 466E to 215 HP plus however the 545 wont take it...



I would think long and hard about a 466E / AT545 combo for 4 grand, unless you are planning to mainly flatland, or if its a shorty then I think youd be happy, otherwise its going to be a slow moving rig on any hills..



be sure to install good fluid, and a nice external cooler on the 545 and it will probably last you a good while.. and make sure the electronic modulator works, bad modulators were a source of failures in these trans on electronic engines.. I roasted one this way.


if you can talk them down to 3 grand on a rust free 466E / AT545 with decent tires then I think you drive one home...



remember tires arent trivial.. bus tires cost real money..



-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2019, 06:35 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 16,826
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by geminusprime View Post
I've passed on this one, overall it's just not worth it. I have a deep craving for the DT466, and even though it's not a CAT/MBE it's also not a Detroit.

Right now I'm planning on heading up to Virginia tomorrow to look at a TC2000 DT466 that I saw on ebay that's been listed several times at $3990 but nobody bought it. Nice engine and exactly what I'm looking for, but likely the dealer's going to quote higher than his low ebay price.

My destination is busesforsale.com on Friday, which used to be Bargain Bus News apparently. I've seen their owners ad on here that wasn't all too well received, but I finally called the place and the guy seemed to have all the info I needed. Looking at the $3900 deals for the Thomas 3800's with DT466's. I'm okay with a 545 which is in all of the ones on the lot (I think).

He also said the buses ran at 60-65 max highway, and the limiting factor was the governor, not rear end gearing. I'm perfectly fine with 60 (or 55, any maybe 50).

He did call me back and let me know the $3900 are the "bargain" buses, and that they have a few others in a similar price range. Not sure if that was a sales tactic, but they also have a TC2000 that I'm eying anyways (although it's "estimated" at 200k miles, so yeah....).

Assuming the general dealer markup and that I can find one that's suitably rust free (or at least to a tolerable level), is $3900 a decent price for a DT466 3800 in the 2001-2006 range?

If so, any specific years I should look for or avoid, or anything else on the 3800's I should pay attention to?
Most expensive folks to buy a used school bus from.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.