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Old 08-02-2019, 11:00 PM   #41
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: BC Rockies
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Year: 93
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
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Well hopefully some more astute members can chime in tomorrow, best of luck on that.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:13 AM   #42
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General advice - shop for a repair shop when you don't need a big repair. Get advice from a local school bus garage - they won't do the work but probably know the competent mechanics in the area. Have the shop do an oil change and pay for an hour for them to look over your entire bus. Talk to other local bus owners. Use the force. Trust your instincts. One place near me charged dealer prices (they were a large truck repair facility) but ran my OBD2 scan for free and told me that I could hold off on the work but should be aware of it. Expensive but I can trust them. I got an emergency tow to another for a bad fuel pump. $900 later, after dropping the tank and changing the pump, it told me it was a bad ground connection. Honest but didn't offer a discount on the pump work. Lost a transmission line 200 miles from home. The GMC dealer replaced it for $700, then told me the tranny was bad, wouldn't go into reverse, should they replace it for $4200? Big dealership. They had backed my bus into its parking space. I was able to drive it home. The bus garage I bought it from connected me to a local truck shop who put a used tranny in for $1200 (the garage knew the bus it came out of and was sure it was a good one - the bus was being scrapped for a different problem). They have given me good results from looking over both my buses and are now my go-to place. I will bring them cookies every time I go. If you can't do the work yourself, this is *VITAL* to your bus ownership.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:58 AM   #43
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Originally Posted by nords View Post
General advice - shop for a repair shop when you don't need a big repair. Get advice from a local school bus garage - they won't do the work but probably know the competent mechanics in the area. Have the shop do an oil change and pay for an hour for them to look over your entire bus. Talk to other local bus owners. Use the force. Trust your instincts. One place near me charged dealer prices (they were a large truck repair facility) but ran my OBD2 scan for free and told me that I could hold off on the work but should be aware of it. Expensive but I can trust them. I got an emergency tow to another for a bad fuel pump. $900 later, after dropping the tank and changing the pump, it told me it was a bad ground connection. Honest but didn't offer a discount on the pump work. Lost a transmission line 200 miles from home. The GMC dealer replaced it for $700, then told me the tranny was bad, wouldn't go into reverse, should they replace it for $4200? Big dealership. They had backed my bus into its parking space. I was able to drive it home. The bus garage I bought it from connected me to a local truck shop who put a used tranny in for $1200 (the garage knew the bus it came out of and was sure it was a good one - the bus was being scrapped for a different problem). They have given me good results from looking over both my buses and are now my go-to place. I will bring them cookies every time I go. If you can't do the work yourself, this is *VITAL* to your bus ownership.
I went to my local school bus yard to ask about getting some side help on the bus. They were totally uncooperative, said they didn't allow their mechanics to do side work and sent me on my way.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:04 PM   #44
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Join Date: May 2016
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I went to my local school bus yard to ask about getting some side help on the bus. They were totally uncooperative, said they didn't allow their mechanics to do side work and sent me on my way.
I have asked the same thing at three bus yards and got a similar response. All three told me "no, our guys work on buses all week, they don't want to work on your bus in their off time".

The managers at all three were friendly and spent time answering questions. The last one spent 30 minutes giving me detailed instructions on how to do what I was wanting to hire someone to do......
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:31 PM   #45
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a month ago I bought a starter for a 454 gas - top of the line, lifetime warrantee, with my discount, taxes included, it was $110 - took my stepson 1/2 hour to install it ( and I'd bet he stopped for a smoke ) -seeing the price difference between diesel and gas maintenance and repairs is one thing that makes me nervous ( scared ) about buying an old diesel bus - I know there are going to be repairs needed - a statement I made a while ago about estimating the cost of diesel repairs was to take the cost of repairing a gas model and add a 0(zero) is close to reality - doesn't take many of those added on 0's (zeros ) to buy a lot of gas
took my stepson 1/2 hour to install it

Take him on every trip.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:24 PM   #46
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I went to my local school bus yard to ask about getting some side help on the bus. They were totally uncooperative, said they didn't allow their mechanics to do side work and sent me on my way.
Yeah, I have never gotten a bus garage to do the work or have a mechanic who would do it after hours. I am only suggesting asking them for the names of local places they would recommend. If they do give you advice (like the other person got), it is nice to respond with something non-alcoholic. We have a local place called The Cookie Factory, which is my go-to for thank you stuff. Just drop it off and say you appreciated the advice. The next time you come in, you will get more advice, quite willingly. Of course, it depends on the person. Some people just don't give a crap. No cookies for them.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:05 PM   #47
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Google your starter for a price. Did you keep the old one?
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:19 PM   #48
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I went to my local school bus yard to ask about getting some side help on the bus. They were totally uncooperative, said they didn't allow their mechanics to do side work and sent me on my way.
Why the 'confused' icon? Isn't this like the 4th or 5th time you've said that an establishment had refused your business?
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:50 AM   #49
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Johnson City TN
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Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC/AMTRANS RE
Engine: 7.3 T444E
Rated Cap: 36000lbs
If you are going to rely on shops to do your work for you then get ready to be ripped off is all I can say with the upmost respect. Hope you have plenty of money to burn.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:51 PM   #50
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Shop for parts online just like anything else you buy. After you know the starter price; then see how much was labor.
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