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Old 03-24-2015, 06:56 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: southwest lowsyana
Posts: 542
Year: 1988
Coachwork: ward
Chassis: international
Engine: dt360a
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathos7 View Post
but but but , you didnt want the newer electronic controlled drivetrain.?
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:13 AM   #12
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Looks like a decent start, but its only got a 444E pushing it. That's a lot of bus for that engine, imo.
Price is certainly reasonable and its pretty clean looking. If you never plan to hit any mountain grades, it may do just fine.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:47 AM   #13
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 584
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: I.H.
Engine: DT360
Mine is an 88 Bluebird. No computer control. No glowplugs, and the only other wires seem to be for lights, wipers etc. Its all galvanized and I'd like to meet the guy that says to avoid them.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:47 AM   #14
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Year: 1992
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Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
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Originally Posted by opus View Post
That was probably heard wrong or spoken wrong. BB would be our better bet out of all of them.
Blue Birds are built better than Thomas, ward, ect. They use one piece panels, one piece wheel wells, ect.

Nat
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:51 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 26
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: RE Cummins 5.9
Quote:
Originally Posted by claydbal View Post
but but but , you didnt want the newer electronic controlled drivetrain.?
Yeah I'm just impatient. I'll bide my time until a good one comes around. Is there an easy way to find out what engine some of these buses have? seems like when people post the ads they know nothing about the bus and its hard to tell. I'd never had known that first one was two stroke if someone hadn't pointed it out.

Like this one : 1979 MCI
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:55 AM   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: southwest lowsyana
Posts: 542
Year: 1988
Coachwork: ward
Chassis: international
Engine: dt360a
Rated Cap: 65
kathos, when i was looking for a bus, i knew i wanted a dt. so i scoured the net looking for ways to ID them. most have a label on the engine declaring what it is and the HP rating.

armed with notes, i could ask one question before tAking to the road to look at a bus. "is the engine a v-8 or a straight inline 6?" inline 6 in an IH chassis meant it was a DT!

you will learn about the brazilian ford, the IH v-8s and so forth and be ready to buy whatever it is you want. there is a reason most look for the IH chassis, as parts are readily available and they are super reliable.

also, take time to learn how to ID the transmissions. and how to look for retarders on the driveshaft, and auxilary heaters and such. then you will know the perfect bus for you. cosmetics can be fixed, poor drivetrain choices cannot!
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:07 PM   #17
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Location: Winlcok, WA
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When shopping for a bus you will discover there are as many opinions as there are people on the internet, many of whom purport to be experts.

As to which bus is best you will have the same sort of built in bias in regards to IC, BB, or Thomas as you will asking people which is better Ford, Chevy, or Mopar.

Before you really start shopping you need to determine which type of bus you want--school, transit, or motorcoach.

Each type has definite pluses and minuses.

For the school bus the number one plus is they have built millions of them so their price is relatively cheap. Their big minus is they are built for the most part to go to and from school. As a result they don't always go highway speed.

For the tranist bus the number one plus is they have the greates inside volume of any bus on the road. Some are as high as 96" and most are 102" wide. Their big minus is most left the factory with lots of stops and gos in mind so many of them tach out below 60 MPH and changing gear sets in transit buses can be very expensive.

For motorcoaches the two big pluses for them is they were designed and built to go long distances at highway speeds and they all have huge under the floor luggage comparments. Their really big minus is they are built out of heavy duty components that cost really big $$$$ when something goes wrong. Three axles cost a lot more to maintain than two axles.

Once you determine which type of bus you prefer then you can start getting into specifics as to which power package or manufacturer you want.

I have my personal preferences as to which bus is the best built bus out on the road today. Regardless of which one I think is the best the one I like the least is Blue Bird for a lot of reasons. What I dislike about the BB the most is I really do not like the little "visors" over every side window instead of a drip rail.


Once you determine what are your have to haves and what are your nice to haves you can then start shopping seriously. When you get to that point ther are certain things you need to look at very carefully.
  • The power package needs to be in good condition. Unless you can get the bus for scrap prices, if the power package is no good you can end up spending anywhere from 2X to 10X the purchase price to get the engine and transmission back up to snuff.
  • Make sure the power package is adequate for your purposes. The IC RE bus you posted with the T444E would be okay for puttering around close to home a couple of times per year. That little engine and transmission would drive you nuts the first time you came to a real hill and had to go up the hill at less than 20 MPH.
  • Rust is VERY bad. Going out west and paying a premium for a rust free bus will save you much more in time and $$$ than buying a cheap rust bucket from back east.
  • If you are height challenged inside ceiling height is not a big issue. But if the choice comes down to a bus with 9" windows and a 74" interior height or a bus with 12" windows and a 78" interior height, go with the higher ceiling.
  • Unless you plan on driving the bus lots of miles right away don't worry about the condition of the tires. Most RV tires die of old age and sun damage long before the tread gets anywhere close to worn out.
If I can help you in your search please let me know.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:34 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 26
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: RE Cummins 5.9
Thanks for all the info cow, I appreciate you taking the time to write all that. I will keep that all in mind during my search. With luck I'll eventually chronicle my build process here. Thanks for all the input everyone.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:08 PM   #19
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 6,165
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
I have to say that I do think its a gross overstatement to imply that all the east coast buses are cheap rust buckets.
They will cost less, but they aren't all rust buckets here.
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Old 04-07-2015, 04:21 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 26
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: RE Cummins 5.9
Hey all been on the look out wanted to know what you guys though about this bus

I asked the guy about rust no rust on undercarriage, he was unable to tell me anything about the transmission other than its automatic.
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