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Old 12-03-2018, 11:56 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Smile Finding the Right Bus

Hey everyone,

I've been doing research for years on skoolies and conversions, and while I've learned a lot about the conversion process, but I don't know much about what buses are best, including engines and potential problems based on year and make and model and all that. I've found two buses in the Seattle area I'm interested in, does anyone have anything to say about either of them?

First: a 7-window 1988 International School Bus, listed for $6500
https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/c...755728084.html

Second: a 6-window 2000 Blue Bird Freightliner Short Bus, listed for $9000
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/c...749915810.html
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:34 PM   #2
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Honest opinion: I'm not the kind of guy who would respond to a craigslist ad and offer them half. Normally because that just feels insulting. In this case, it would be because neither bus is worth half of the listed price.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:43 PM   #3
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These mid sized busses are harder to find, but those two are way over-priced.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Honest opinion: I'm not the kind of guy who would respond to a craigslist ad and offer them half. Normally because that just feels insulting. In this case, it would be because neither bus is worth half of the listed price.
This is gospel.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:23 PM   #5
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These mid sized busses are harder to find, but those two are way over-priced.
I've never had any problem finding a 6 window for less than two grand.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:46 PM   #6
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First bus has the 6.9 IH engine. Not a bad engine, but assuming it's stock, no powerhouse either. Not worth $6500 to me.


Second bus shows having the 3126 Cat engine. Not worth $9K to me either.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:49 AM   #7
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I would agree with pretty much everything above and add that the mileage on both is creeping up on 300k.

These are great platforms for our use but they don't run forever. When I was shopping I stuck with buses with under 200k miles.


For comparison, I have bought two buses in the last couple of years:

Thomas short bus 123k miles $2500
Bluebird A3RE 180k miles $3400

You may want to give Harlow's bus sales. They have a good reputation for a dealer....

There are also lots of good buses on the auction sites. Mine came from Seattle and Salem. Neither had any rust issues.

Good luck with your quest.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice! I checked out Harlow's Bus Sales and found a listing for a 6-window bus that's cheaper, and it only has 93k miles.
This is it
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat_te_chu View Post
Thanks for the advice! I checked out Harlow's Bus Sales and found a listing for a 6-window bus that's cheaper, and it only has 93k miles.
This is it
Good looking bus.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:34 PM   #10
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Much better. Still a dealer premium but those last ones made me physically ache.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mat_te_chu View Post
Thanks for the advice! I checked out Harlow's Bus Sales and found a listing for a 6-window bus that's cheaper, and it only has 93k miles.
This is it
Nice lil bus!
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mat_te_chu View Post
Thanks for the advice! I checked out Harlow's Bus Sales and found a listing for a 6-window bus that's cheaper, and it only has 93k miles.
This is it
A lot less miles, and a 466 upgrade to boot.

Depending on how it runs, tires, tranny, and rust.......this might be a pretty good deal. Pricing in general is continuing to rise.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Honest opinion: I'm not the kind of guy who would respond to a craigslist ad and offer them half. Normally because that just feels insulting. In this case, it would be because neither bus is worth half of the listed price.
I agree but then I did pay too much for my bus. It depends on your situation.


For me I found almost the right bus at an auction about 8 miles from my house. After I thought about the delivery cost, pain and risk of a long distance inspection and delivery, I paid the price.



On craigs list, most things are over priced because they expect to come down. On these I agree, about 1/2 is about right, at least on the 9k one, the 6.5k is a little closer, I would go 4k, if it was next door. Only because I like the size and the fact that its a real truck chassis.

The real question is what do you know about the engine and trans.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:42 AM   #14
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I like it.

The 466 is nice, and that's really low mileage.

The price is fine to me - auctions are great, if you have the time to just hop on a plane and rent a car/get a ride to your bus and drive off into the sunset. Having a day job puts a bit of a damper on that sometimes.
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Old 12-15-2018, 05:21 PM   #15
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When looking at a bus or any "Overpriced" item advertised for sale just ask the seller this question when it comes to discuss price:

I see you are asking X for your Bus/item. How did you come up with your asking price???

You will be amazed at some of the answers seller's will give.

Make the seller tell YOU why their asking price is realistic based upon item location, item condition and the true market value for that item. Having said that at the end of this conversation in most all situations the seller will freely admit they KNOW they are overpriced, why they are overpriced which really makes no difference anyway, acknowledge the fact that they will take way less money than their asking price and THEN the real price negotiation can begin!
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:40 PM   #16
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thats a nice little DT466 bird... be sure that windshield isnt broken anywhere.. it has the optional single piece curved windshield which is rather pricey if its cracked.. .. and remember even at a dealer you can make offers.. just like a usded car dealer..
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Old 12-17-2018, 02:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat_te_chu View Post
Hey everyone,

I've been doing research for years on skoolies and conversions, and while I've learned a lot about the conversion process, but I don't know much about what buses are best, including engines and potential problems based on year and make and model and all that. I've found two buses in the Seattle area I'm interested in, does anyone have anything to say about either of them?

First: a 7-window 1988 International School Bus, listed for $6500
https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/c...755728084.html

Second: a 6-window 2000 Blue Bird Freightliner Short Bus, listed for $9000
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/c...749915810.html
If you're looking to spend that type of dough I would check out nwbus.com if you havent already. Those buses are pretty high mileage seems.. I found my bus on offerup strangely, there are vehicles posted there that dont make it to Craigslist for some reason.
Cheers
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