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Old 08-05-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
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To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

Hello all! So I'm lookin to buy a bus and I found a 2001 International Amtran RE T444E 109,000ish miles on it selling from a dealer for $7,500.00. I went to look at it and its huge! and in really nice shape fresh out of the school system...I wanted more info on it so I contacted the county and gave them the VIN and they said that, when they parted with it, it had low oil pressure probably from a thrust bearing going bad and so the crank shaft and bearing would need to be replaced. They also said that it had to be towed off the lot because of a rear axle seal leak, and that was this past January 2013. I know that the bus is currently running because we drove it around the lot...does that mean that the axle has been repaired? I've shared this information with the dealer and am awaiting a response but I wanted to compare his thoughts with everyone here!
Now I'm new to this so I have no idea how serious or how common these problems are, so any information, opinion, advice will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!!
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:43 PM   #2
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

I bought my bus directly from the school district for $2000 at online auction, spoke with the bus barn guys etc. This site is full of helpful people who may be aware of a bus that might be a great deal. If you were to tell us a bit about what you are looking for and where you are looking at some of us might be able to point you towards a better deal than you currently see. I would not buy from a dealer, but that may just be me.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:05 PM   #3
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

Dealers have a large markup. I got a 1999 Thomas straight from school district and paid $2600.00. I even got the maintenance records for the bus. You can do a lot with that $5000.00 extra.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:54 PM   #4
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

I might be willing to pay that much for the bus if it was in perfect condition, but with what amounts to a major engine overhaul needed, I would not pay that much. Really, I just wouldn't buy it period.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

That is way too much money for that bus, esp. with known issues
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

okay well how about this...the dealer responded and says that there is no way that the school district told me about the right bus bc this bus doesn't have those problems and is in great shape...the dealer also says that after a final recheck, if any of those problems suddenly turn up then they will be fixed before me driving it off of the lot.

i would also not buy a bus for this much unless i knew it was in perfect condition...the dealer says it is and the school district says it wasn't when it left them...perhaps its been repaired. this is a tough decision for me...I've been really sold on it for a while now and calling the school was the last step for me. It would be very frustrating to start all over again
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #7
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

Walk away!

There is a vested interest in the "Dealer" telling you whatever he needs to. The school district on the other hand has already made their money on the bus. I'd believe the bus mechanics.
I understand how time consuming it is to find the right bus, but believe me and the other bus owners on this board, you will want to find the best bus you can for the least amount of money. $7500 is way too much money to spend on a school bus. Cut that dollar figure in half and look for a mid 90s bus. I'd even recommend a fly and drive if you found the right bus.
Don't worry, you'll get to spend all $7500 of your dollars, just don't do it on the purchase price. Good luck.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

I understand where you are coming from. I thought I had found the bus back in March from a dealer for $7,500.00. When I looked at it in more detail, I found that the air pressure took more than 3 mins to get to 90 psi. That would fail inspection. Also found a fuel leak around the injectors, they said just need to tighten, but could see where it had leaked for quite a while. I just kept find other small things and they would not come down in price.

It was hard to walk away; I almost went back for it.

I had to wait until July to get the bus I have now, and not one thing wrong with it. The school district just did an oil and filter change and I got a full tank of gas because they always fill before summer break, that way they are ready for the next year.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:46 AM   #9
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by syke
...$7500 is way too much money to spend on a school bus. Cut that dollar figure in half and look for a mid 90s bus...
Syke makes a very good point here. If you get a bus that is just a few years older, but has similar mileage, you can get it for half that price. I understand your position, and I paid through the nose to get my bus from a dealer because I was looking for something very specific. But even then, I paid about half your listed price for my 1996 bus with 165,000 miles. I could have gotten it for $1,000 less than what I paid if I could have found one at an auction or private party, but I may never have found what I wanted. So it's a trade-off between opportunity, timing, and ideal specifications. But, $7,500 is really on the very high end for that bus in perfect condition. Also, I think AmTran buses tend to go cheaper than Bluebird and Thomas, etc., so I think it may be one of the lesser quality bodies. Don't take my word on that though, I base that statement on hazy memory. But still, you might want to do a bit more research.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:30 PM   #10
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 2001 Amtran low oil pressure

Like everyone else said. Too much money, especially for that engine. Buy direct from a school district!
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