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Old 07-05-2019, 04:05 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Feedback on Shuttle Buses up for auction

Hi, I've been following Skoolie for several months with the hopes of our nonprofit receiving a grant to retrofit a bus into a Book Bus---a nonprofit bookstore on wheels. Lo and behold, we did. Yay!

We are under a time crunch so waiting for the "right" bus is not necessarily an option. I've been searching for either a short bus HC accessible or a shuttle bus HC accessible.

Several shuttles buses are up for auction in one county over. I would love feedback on the specs before heading over to look at in person.

Thanks so much!

https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2366701
https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2366659
https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2366704
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookBusVA View Post
Hi, I've been following Skoolie for several months with the hopes of our nonprofit receiving a grant to retrofit a bus into a Book Bus---a nonprofit bookstore on wheels. Lo and behold, we did. Yay!

We are under a time crunch so waiting for the "right" bus is not necessarily an option. I've been searching for either a short bus HC accessible or a shuttle bus HC accessible.

Several shuttles buses are up for auction in one county over. I would love feedback on the specs before heading over to look at in person.

Thanks so much!

https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2366701
https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2366659
https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2366704
Books are very heavy in concentration. Here's the catch, do you want a diesel or a gasser? The Ford gasoline powered bus is not as heavy duty as the diesel Chevy. The gas Chevy is about the same as the Ford. So, you need to buy according to however many books you plan on transporting. I've owned five diesel Chevys, but from the mid '80s when they were built for reliability and economy. Dang near indestructible back then. The diesels GM has made since the 2000s have not held up nearly so well due to all the EPA garbage mandated. However, that can also be said about most diesel engines today.

So, to give you an idea, diesels built after the '04/'06 time frame are not nearly as desirable as diesels built before then. The '10 Ford has the larger 6.8L engine, but it's not based upon the more reliable 302 or 289 engine. I've heard about this engine being a poorly designed engine, but I have no real world experience with it. The smaller Chevy gas engine also has issues with mid-year changes. Usually the shop has to use the VIN number to get the right parts.

If it were me I'd wait for an older shuttle to come up. Namely a shuttle from '01 or older with the Ford 7.3L diesel engine or an older (2000 or older) Chevy with the 6.2L or 6.5L diesel engine. Same for the gassers....

Newer is not always better.......

I understand the time crunch, but there are reasons why these shuttles are being surplused....

M
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:15 PM   #3
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The fact that you are seemingly having to rush into a purchase, is a risky situation for you or whoever is financing this project.
Due diligence in selecting the right candidate to go whole hog on from the outset is something you should consider more carefully, as what seems nice and right initially might not work and thus be a waste of both time and money.

Depending on the weight you plan on hauling, a school bus might turn out to be a better candidate than a non metallic bodied shuttle bus.

A bookmobile will bring joy to whoever steps foot aboard, and their safety is also something to consider, long term.

Good luck in your search and your conversion project!
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:34 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thank you for your honest feedback. It's exactly what I was looking for.

I guess it's counterintuitive to me that older is better.

Here are three others I've considered but was worried about the mileage and age.

https://charlottesville.craigslist.o...915578129.html
https://delaware.craigslist.org/rvs/...896171357.html
https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/...914788315.html

And yes having to the rush the job is not great but that's how grants work.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:34 AM   #5
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While its difficult to get a real feel for the current and actual condition of the chassis from those pics, the Philadelphia offering looks the most promising. Rust is a serious concern on that one, as well as the others, but a good inspection will determine it's real condition.

The interior is basically stripped for whatever you will need to outfit the bus with, which is a bonus.
The gas engine, in my opinion only, is a better powerplant than a diesel of that vintage.

Typically, the mechanical maintenance is maintained religiously throughout the life of a bus in service to a municipality, but every one is different to some degree.

It appears that it is offered private sale vs directly from the school district. There is some markup in price as a result. While it is not outrageously priced, scouring the web auction sites might get you something more affordable?
One example:
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...=&category=94H
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookBusVA View Post
Thank you for your honest feedback. It's exactly what I was looking for.

I guess it's counterintuitive to me that older is better.

Here are three others I've considered but was worried about the mileage and age.

https://charlottesville.craigslist.o...915578129.html
https://delaware.craigslist.org/rvs/...896171357.html
https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/...914788315.html

And yes having to the rush the job is not great but that's how grants work.
The GM gas engines are as good as it gets in a newer short bus. The 6.0 is an excellent engine. I've got one in a work truck and its a really tough, powerful, reliable engine.
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:25 PM   #7
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BBVA;

Give this one serious consideration:

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...39&acctid=3174

It has the very durable 7.3L Ford/International diesel engine and respectable mileage/condition.

It's worth getting!

M
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:20 PM   #8
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^...Expect a feeding frenzy in purchase price to breakout 10 minutes before the bidding ends in 6 days on that cutaway Ford!
There are 31 bids on it right now, and the price is up to $3,100+.
It does look like a good candidate, other than it being of non metallic outer structure, but a thorough underside chassis inspection would be advised...
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:59 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thank you! I'll keep my eyes on it!
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:12 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Actually one more question: what should be th ehighest I'm willing to go?

Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:25 PM   #11
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That C5500 looks pretty good.

I see you listed some yellow school buses. Can you keep it yellow? Are you prepared to paint? A professional paint job is super expensive, but a rattle can artist could do something cool for a bookmobile.

Whatever you buy should be inspected before you buy it!

Those public surplus listings show the agency that’s liquidating them. An ambitious person could find the fleet manager and maybe even the mechanic that did maintenance so that you may get history that way.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookBusVA View Post
Actually one more question: what should be th ehighest I'm willing to go?

Thanks!
As low as possible from what you've posted! Your overall budget or grant will dictate a $ amount.

Another thing to factor in somehow: Are you going to do all of the work, mechanically and body wise to get to the final product/vehicle?
If not, the budget can get blown up really fast when you have to find sources to perform the needed tasks required in the conversion process...
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:51 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hi, friends.

Thoughts on this one.

The engine is a Chevy 350 5.7 V8 gas engine. Needs a carburetor adjustment or replacement

Reason I like it is: Ceiling is done, and floor and walls have been ripped out which will save me money in retrofitting. Granted it may be a wash if I have to replace carburetor.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...ssenger_banner
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:04 AM   #14
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I thought I had posted this already but don't see if.

What do you think about this one? https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...ssenger_banner

The engine is a Chevy 350 5.7 V8 gas engine. Needs a new carburator.

I like it because the seats are out, the ceiling is done, and the floor and walls have been strip, which could save me money with my contractor.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BookBusVA View Post
Actually one more question: what should be th ehighest I'm willing to go?

Thanks!
For which bus?

It’s kind of hard without seeing in person. Please consider having anything you bid on inspected. It’s hard to do at auction. The most you are likely to get is a stationary inspection.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookBusVA View Post
I thought I had posted this already but don't see if.

What do you think about this one? https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...ssenger_banner

The engine is a Chevy 350 5.7 V8 gas engine. Needs a new carburator.

I like it because the seats are out, the ceiling is done, and the floor and walls have been strip, which could save me money with my contractor.
If you arenít prepared to do mechanic work yourself, or have a slush fund for that, donít buy anything that readily needs engine work. If itís got to be towed itís worth no more than the price of scrap.

The work stripping the inside is easy and requires for less experience and tools than mechanical work. Keep looking.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:08 PM   #17
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The ad says it is a '97. If so it came from the factory with TBI not a carb . Either the seller doesn't know what he is talking about or someone has been monkeying around with the fuel delivery. As a side note if the engine has been running as rich as the seller says, and has been for any length of time, the cylinder walls could be worn because the excessive fuel washes away the oil leaving a dry cylinder wall--which wears rapidly. I think I'd pass on that one.
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:22 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
x2 on passing on this one.
The engine probably needs freshening internally, and the cost to do that would outweigh the bonus work already done inside this one.

But if you could get it for somewhere in the $2,000.00 range, it might be worth putting a new GM crate engine in...
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/n...et?prefilter=1
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:39 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
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This is all such great feedback. I so appreciate your taking time.

Two more have popped up near me. Have reached out to learn more.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...ssenger_banner
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...ssenger_banner
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:25 AM   #20
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180K+ miles is a lot for a gasoline engine. I would think that for a gasoline engine that an any more than 100K you are probably going to be doing work on it sooner than you like.

That one in Maryland doesn’t have enough info, but what info is available would make me pass on it.
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