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Old 02-27-2018, 12:12 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Seattle
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Is this the one for me?

I just recently joined here so that I can ask questions, and introduced myself in the New Members forum.

I live in Seattle, and I'm considering the following bus.
I'm eager for your advice on whether this is the right place to start or not.

Harlow's Buses in Spokane has a 2001 International 3800 (65 passenger, 23' wheelbase, 29k GVWR) with an HT466 (DT466E high-torque) ahead of an Allison MD3060. They say one cylinder (#5) is leaking fuel into the oil, but they can do the resleeve job in their shop there; otherwise in pretty good shape - fresh from a near-by school district in rural Idaho where deer do much more damage than salt; faded paint, air brakes, power steering. Maybe 120k miles, I'll confirm.

They're asking $4k for the bus as-is, and I've asked for pictures (especially re: rust), overall length, and a quote on the work needed to make it all solid (about $2k for parts on the main job; labor? other issues?). I can probably get them to roll delivering it to their near-by branch (Aurora WA) in the total deal, or for ~$500 more at worst.

I actually like the fact that both the engine and transmission have computers (but still pre-MaxxForce), especially since most of the all-mechanicals in this line (pre-94) are getting pretty long in the tooth for everything else, even if the motor itself could still have years to go. I know the HEUI can be a pain (but I don't know how much), but if that mostly means I just need to be extra-diligent about my oil, that has long-term benefits too.

If you don't read my intro, here's the short version: I'd like to get the platform right the first time so I can have few regrets making this my decades-from-now retirement home, so I can build up an extensive interior. I have good basic skills, but only basic, and enough budget to get by. I'm already looking at the legal, logistic, etc. in WA, and have pretty-good storage where I live.

The question now is: which bus to start from, for how much?
I'm fond of the look and access of conventional dog-noses.

What do you think about the price they're asking here,
this bus itself (vs. going back to searching in general),
and what other questions I should be asking?

Gratefully,
~M@.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:07 AM   #2
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I would be surprised if the repair bill came in under $5000, so now you are $9000 in the hole and the bus still isn't home.

That's a great deal of money for the bus you described and only you can decide if it's worth it. All I can say is that many of us got more bus for half the money buying at auction, but I appreciate that's not for everyone.

Good Luck, and welcome.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:16 AM   #3
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something seems wrong here.. leaking fuel into the oil doesnt normally require a re-sleeve.. leaking coolant into the oil is when a resleeve would be needed.. fuel into the oil is most commonly a bad HEUI injector or a bad injector O-ring.. in extreme rare cases a cracked head..
-Christopher
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:44 AM   #4
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Agreed with Christopher, that seems like the wrong symptom for the proposed fix.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:47 AM   #5
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It's clear that you've been doing some reading on this subject. I'm thinking you didn't get to the part where we say not to buy a bus that already needs repair.

Honestly this sounds like a mechanic shop setting themselves up by selling a $3500 bus and getting thousands of extra dollars from the repair bill. Then if you can't pay the thousands until you're tapped out, who ends up with the bus? The shop does. There's a shop in my town like that.

Here's an idea. Tell us what you're looking for specifically and let us help you find a bus that isn't in immediate need of repair. Maybe you aren't using the right search techniques, or perhaps you aren't comfortable with auctions.

Use;
GovDeal
Public Surplus

There are many more sources but these are a couple favorites. So, don't get on that bus Gus. Make a new plan Stan.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:15 AM   #6
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Welcome!

That bus, in proper running condition, sounds great. Personally, I would not buy it broken with a plan to fix it.

A suggestion: Talk to the folks at Harlow's and get more detail on the issues and ask them what their price will be repaired and delivered.

I came very close to buying a bus from them. I did a bit of checking and they are a big dealer of new and used buses in the region. They appear to have a very good reputation. It's been two years but I did speak with a couple of folks who bought buses from them and heard good things.

Good luck on your quest.

S.
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
It's clear that you've been doing some reading on this subject. I'm thinking you didn't get to the part where we say not to buy a bus that already needs repair.

Honestly this sounds like a mechanic shop setting themselves up by selling a $3500 bus and getting thousands of extra dollars from the repair bill. Then if you can't pay the thousands until you're tapped out, who ends up with the bus? The shop does. There's a shop in my town like that.

Here's an idea. Tell us what you're looking for specifically and let us help you find a bus that isn't in immediate need of repair. Maybe you aren't using the right search techniques, or perhaps you aren't comfortable with auctions.

Use;
GovDeal
Public Surplus

There are many more sources but these are a couple favorites. So, don't get on that bus Gus. Make a new plan Stan.
Just slip out the back, Jack

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