Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-16-2016, 06:20 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9
Help me buy the right bus

Hey folks,

I have been searching for a bus for a few years now. Just when I think I found "THE" bus, something goes awry.

This is what we want to do. I want a bus to travel the country with my family. We want to head out west to Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, California and the PNW. We would like to do a lot of boondocking out West. We eventually want to head back East and travel around NY, VT, MA, ME and head into Canada.

This is what we want to know. What engine/trans combo do we want. Every bus that I think is "THE" one has either a CAT which I don't want or a DT466 with an AT545. I know the DT466 is fine but everyone is making me nervous with the AT545. Is it really as scary as everyone makes it sound going down hill. I guess going up hill real slow will grow old quick. Do I want that combo out West. I found a bus out in Reno with the DT466/AT545 but hesitate because of what I have read. We will driving a maximum of 4 hours on travel days, will this cause a problem with a bus that is made for stop and go?

I find most advertised have a CAT or DT466 bus usually the AT545.

I am willing to travel to get it. I would like a transit style, RE or FE.

Thanks again for all the help. I have learned a lot here.
TravelingMommaof3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 08:01 PM   #2
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,087
My choice would be an 8.3 Cummins mechanical with a MD3060 because of over drive. Second choice would be a MT643 trans, same engine. Next would be a DT466 mechanical with the same transmissions in the order I gave.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 08:14 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal View Post
My choice would be an 8.3 Cummins mechanical with a MD3060 because of over drive. Second choice would be a MT643 trans, same engine. Next would be a DT466 mechanical with the same transmissions in the order I gave.
What buses would these combos be on, Thomas, BB, etc. Gov auctions usually have a CAT or 5.9 L and searchtempest has the AT545. Are these options few and far between?
TravelingMommaof3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 09:44 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,846
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
Send a message via Yahoo to Robin97396
Cal has it. 8.3 with a 3000 series automatic.

Not all the sellers bother listing what transmission is in the bus. It's us Skoolie folks that are so picky. MT643 is good. There's also an older MT640 that is reported to be quite good.
You know what they say, "you got to kiss a lot of frogs." It's not hard to find a bus, but it is sometimes hard to find the right one. Besides, now you're going to be a bus expert after looking at all these buses.
Robin97396 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2016, 02:47 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9
Is this reasonable for its age

1988 Blue Bird All American 8.3 Cummins

It has the 8.3, not sure about trans.
TravelingMommaof3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2016, 05:45 PM   #6
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelingMommaof3 View Post
1988 Blue Bird All American 8.3 Cummins

It has the 8.3, not sure about trans.

Probably a MT643.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2016, 05:59 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,846
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
Send a message via Yahoo to Robin97396
Damn that's a lot of seats. Lots of room when you get them out though. That's pretty serious rolling real estate.

Although it's a nice looking and apparently low mileage bus the price seems kind of high for an '88. People are buying '98s for less than half of this asking price. I'm not an expert on buses, but if you use SearchTempest you can look for that specific model of bus and compare prices. You need to follow some auctions so you can see what different buses are selling for. This is a dealer or reseller price on your '88, in my opinion.
Robin97396 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2016, 05:07 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
That BB is a little high on the price and a little low on the mileage. That bus is almost 30-years old. If it has been in regular service all this time it should have well over 200K miles. Mileage that low makes me suspect the odometer has been changed.

The Cummins 8.3/ISC and the IHC DT455/530 are the best choices in engines. In a Type 'D' with 250+ HP neither engine will be coupled to an Allison AT500, 1000, or 2000 series transmission.

For your purposes you do need to be looking for a Type 'D' bus that was set up for trips. Buses set up for trips will have the big HP and highway gearing to get the bus down the road at highway speeds. They will also have luggage compartments, some of which will pass through under the floor. Some will even come with air suspension in the rear and some will come with front and rear air suspension. Air suspension will ride much smoother than any steel spring suspension.

Be prepared to pay more for a trip bus as they cost more when new and there are a lot fewer of them. In this case, desirability and scarcity will make the price higher.

While the FE buses are not bad, if you plan on doing a lot of highway miles having the engine in the rear is a big plus. No matter how much sound deadening materials you use an engine that is six inches from you is going to be a louder than one that is 40' away from you.

Getting back to the BB in the CL listing, it looks like a pretty good bus in reasonable condition. I think making an offer of less than $4K and not paying anything more than $5K would be a reasonable price to pay.

Good luck!
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2016, 06:33 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,094
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
That BB is a little high on the price and a little low on the mileage. That bus is almost 30-years old. If it has been in regular service all this time it should have well over 200K miles. Mileage that low makes me suspect the odometer has been changed.

The Cummins 8.3/ISC and the IHC DT455/530 are the best choices in engines. In a Type 'D' with 250+ HP neither engine will be coupled to an Allison AT500, 1000, or 2000 series transmission.

For your purposes you do need to be looking for a Type 'D' bus that was set up for trips. Buses set up for trips will have the big HP and highway gearing to get the bus down the road at highway speeds. They will also have luggage compartments, some of which will pass through under the floor. Some will even come with air suspension in the rear and some will come with front and rear air suspension. Air suspension will ride much smoother than any steel spring suspension.

Be prepared to pay more for a trip bus as they cost more when new and there are a lot fewer of them. In this case, desirability and scarcity will make the price higher.

While the FE buses are not bad, if you plan on doing a lot of highway miles having the engine in the rear is a big plus. No matter how much sound deadening materials you use an engine that is six inches from you is going to be a louder than one that is 40' away from you.

Getting back to the BB in the CL listing, it looks like a pretty good bus in reasonable condition. I think making an offer of less than $4K and not paying anything more than $5K would be a reasonable price to pay.

Good luck!
Couldn't agree more.

I think for the most part CL is a horrible place to bus shop. Overpriced "field queens" and stuff that's sat around and now they want double what they paid.
Of course once in a while a deal pops up. CL is great but you have to watch like a hawk for any kind of good deal. The good deals don't sit on there for months.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2016, 08:41 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 266
1998 Blue Bird All American RE 84 Passenger School Bus

This is the kind of bus that most people should be looking for-8.3 cummins, MT643 and a rear engine setup.
WIbluebird 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


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.