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Old 07-30-2012, 01:17 PM   #1
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Toronto Bus - eventually

My wife and I live in Toronto and are saving up to get a short bus hopefully in the spring time. I am looking all over the place for a bus that won't break the bank but was wondering if anyone could give some insight on what specifically I should be looking for on/in the vehicle. Anyone know any spots in southern ontario that I could check out for a vehicle?
We are planning to do the conversion (hopefully a veggie conversion as well) over next summer and head out for a few months in the fall of 2013. Since we live in toronto we only have a small parking space so a short bus is required.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

This bus is cheap and close enough that I could probably bike to.
However cheap doesn't mean good, it just means I'd have money left over to upgrade!
Thoughts? http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehi...AdIdZ400776539
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

damn that's cheap for a deisel also
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

Buy it now! Dirt cheap. And the 1st gen Powerstroke is probably the best motor to run on grease. Look + smell the tranny fliud on the dipstick-check for major oil leaks-and rot around the rear wheel arches. You're not gonna find a better price out there.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

The price is good and the mileage is OK but you'll want to do a pretty good inspection before buying. Look for:

Good tires - a set of 6 will run around $1500 US.

Brakes - Also quite expensive to replace. The parts alone for my 24' E-450 dually FRONT brakes came to $375. replacing all 4 would have run almost $800 US with me doing the installation. The brake pedal should be high and firm and there should be no pulsation when the brakes are applied. Look at the rotors too. They should be smooth with no deep scratches.

Transmission - Repairing a trans takes major bucks (loonies). Check for trans fluid that's a dirty red and/or with a burned smell. Good fluid should be red. Good way to check is to wipe the dipstick on a white rag or napkin and look at the color. It should shift about how your car does, not harsh or squishy.

Body and floor - If it has a fiberglass body check for soft spots in the walls or ceiling caused by water leaking between the inner and outer wall skins. This can delaminate the skins and leave you with a fun fix. The inner body panels will mask the softness so check from the outside. A rotted floor, whether steel or plywood, will require a good deal of work to repair. This isn't an expensive fix but it is a pain. Some buses have problems with leaky wheel wells.

Batteries - Most diesels have two starting batteries. Not massively expensive to replace but nice if you don't have to. Also, check the battery guage on the dash to verify that the alternator is charging the batteries.

Fluid leaks - Look underneath for leaks at the transmission, oil pan, cooling system, axle ends and differential. Some are easy to fix, others, not so much.

Good sevice records are a plus while a bus that's been sitting for a few years is a minus. Ask the present owner lots of questions about what their plans were for it and what's been repaired (and when). I believe you guys have fairly strict vehicle inspections up there that many of us on this side of the border don't have to deal with. The government may well be your biggest impediment to getting your bus on the road cheaply.

As a practical matter, for the price they're asking you'll be getting a bus with medium-to-high mileage and almost certainly some mechanical issues. If you have some mechanical skills, or know someone who does, plan to budget about $2000 for repairs. If you'll be relying on the repair shop the price goes up dramatically.

The Powerstroke diesel is considered to be a great engine to run on veggie, and a great engine in general.

Where will you park it? - Many HOA's are not bus friendly and zoning laws may trip you up too. Check before you buy.

That said, if you're handy and want something to keep you busy for a summer or so, a short-bus conversion can be a great project, but expect the final cost to be considerably higher than you planned.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

it would be a good idea to get the transmission pressure tested before you buy at a transmission shop, but at that cheap price, installing a rebuilt one wouldnt make it all that expensive. also, look at how well they have maintained the engine.. like fluids changed, and so forth. its a good idea to also check things like the brakes and u joints... fwiw
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #7
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

PLUS'''''S

Ford

Diesel 7.3.....best diesel engine ford ever made!!! .. got em down here on craigslist with 300,000-400,000 miles and still going......

Bluebird body ....... very best

Price can be beat.... down here anyway

At that price take it to a dealer or garage and have it checked if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself.

If it's big enough. why not?
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:27 AM   #8
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

That bus is made by a Canadian company for Blue Bird. I had one before. The body was aluminum. Mine was a school bus. It might be different than a shuttle bus, but I doubt it. If you go to YouTube, there are videos of how they make their buses.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:50 PM   #9
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
The price is good and the mileage is OK but you'll want to do a pretty good inspection before buying. Look for:

Good tires - a set of 6 will run around $1500 US.

Brakes - Also quite expensive to replace. The parts alone for my 24' E-450 dually FRONT brakes came to $375. replacing all 4 would have run almost $800 US with me doing the installation. The brake pedal should be high and firm and there should be no pulsation when the brakes are applied. Look at the rotors too. They should be smooth with no deep scratches.

Transmission - Repairing a trans takes major bucks (loonies). Check for trans fluid that's a dirty red and/or with a burned smell. Good fluid should be red. Good way to check is to wipe the dipstick on a white rag or napkin and look at the color. It should shift about how your car does, not harsh or squishy.

Body and floor - If it has a fiberglass body check for soft spots in the walls or ceiling caused by water leaking between the inner and outer wall skins. This can delaminate the skins and leave you with a fun fix. The inner body panels will mask the softness so check from the outside. A rotted floor, whether steel or plywood, will require a good deal of work to repair. This isn't an expensive fix but it is a pain. Some buses have problems with leaky wheel wells.

Batteries - Most diesels have two starting batteries. Not massively expensive to replace but nice if you don't have to. Also, check the battery guage on the dash to verify that the alternator is charging the batteries.

Fluid leaks - Look underneath for leaks at the transmission, oil pan, cooling system, axle ends and differential. Some are easy to fix, others, not so much.

Good sevice records are a plus while a bus that's been sitting for a few years is a minus. Ask the present owner lots of questions about what their plans were for it and what's been repaired (and when). I believe you guys have fairly strict vehicle inspections up there that many of us on this side of the border don't have to deal with. The government may well be your biggest impediment to getting your bus on the road cheaply.

As a practical matter, for the price they're asking you'll be getting a bus with medium-to-high mileage and almost certainly some mechanical issues. If you have some mechanical skills, or know someone who does, plan to budget about $2000 for repairs. If you'll be relying on the repair shop the price goes up dramatically.

The Powerstroke diesel is considered to be a great engine to run on veggie, and a great engine in general.

Where will you park it? - Many HOA's are not bus friendly and zoning laws may trip you up too. Check before you buy.

That said, if you're handy and want something to keep you busy for a summer or so, a short-bus conversion can be a great project, but expect the final cost to be considerably higher than you planned.

WHAT HE SAID!!! lol
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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Re: Toronto Bus - eventually

A friend of mine told me that a guy on his street is gung ho for veggie conversions and fuel economy in general. I heard he's a bit of a wierdo perhaps but might be the perfect person to come and see the bus with me. I'm not very mechanically minded (at least not yet) so I'll need someone with me to inspect it more thoroughly.
I appreciate the list of things to look out for!
We weren't planning on buying until the spring but maybe at this price we could get it now and have it gutted and painted before winter hits.
Anyone have a good resource for starting out with veggie conversion? A book or something would be great! I need to understand it.
Thanks!
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