Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-29-2019, 12:54 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
Shorty Schoolie Advice

Thinking of buying a shorty to convert for tiny home living. I would likely sell my little 40mpg station wagon and be full-time in the bus. Found one I like that's going for $8500. Dealer says it's an International T444 7.3 powerstroke turbodiesel engine. It has about 220,000 miles. I am just getting started researching all of this and looking for any advice or I formation about this type of bus. Good solid reliable engine? Average mpg In can expect? I know thst can really vary just seeking some info. Thanks in advance!
Scvington22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 01:18 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Seems a little expensive. What’s the bus model and transmission? What year? How many windows? Where’s the bus from?

Some things can make a bus more expensive such as a bus that has a high ceiling like those purchased to haul adults, underbody storage, and transmissions designed for highway use, being 7 to 9 windows.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 01:59 AM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
I guess I don't know the transmission and model. It just says international on the bus and that's the only information he gave. I looked up the VIN and found that it's a 2001. It has 5 windows and is from Phoenix, AZ, used by Mesa Unified school district.
Scvington22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 02:18 AM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
Info from vin decoder-
Manufacturer
Amtran
Model Year
2001
Model
3800
Engine Series
International/Navistar T444 Diesel
Engine Capacity
V-8, 7.3L (444CID)
Fuel Type
Diesel
Vehicle Details
International School Bus
Drive Line Type
4X2
Brake System
Hydraulic
GVWR Class
16,001 - 19,500lbs.
Country
US Produced Incomplete Bus
Scvington22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 03:26 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,164
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
It does seem too high in price. It is from a highly sought after area of the country because it *probably* will not have much rust. Still, seem too high in price.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 08:03 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Yeah, good place to buy a bus. I think there might be a bus named Mr. Beefy on here that is the same. If it is the same it deserves more consideration because it has a preferred transmission and higher headroom.

No trans info. Bummer. That usually doesn’t show up in the VIN. You should find out. The price is a tad high, but some of those key attributes might make it worth it.

Still, mechanical condition is important so...
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 08:29 AM   #7
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,055
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scvington22 View Post
Thinking of buying a shorty to convert for tiny home living. I would likely sell my little 40mpg station wagon and be full-time in the bus. Found one I like that's going for $8500. Dealer says it's an International T444 7.3 powerstroke turbodiesel engine. It has about 220,000 miles. I am just getting started researching all of this and looking for any advice or I formation about this type of bus. Good solid reliable engine? Average mpg In can expect? I know thst can really vary just seeking some info. Thanks in advance!
That's seriously high. Sounds like a $5000 bus on a good day.

I'd let my unicorn shorty go for only $10,000.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/go...-23298-27.html
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 04:47 PM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
It has a remanufactured Allison transmission. Model AT-545RM. Any good?
Scvington22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 05:14 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,055
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scvington22 View Post
It has a remanufactured Allison transmission. Model AT-545RM. Any good?
I've got a reman 545 in mine. For a shorty a 545 isn't a total deal breaker. Its pretty hard to find a pre-2003 (the good buses) with anything other than a 545.
for more than 4 or 5 grand it should be totally decked out though. Sounds like its got a totally bloated price to me.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 06:12 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scvington22 View Post
It has a remanufactured Allison transmission. Model AT-545RM. Any good?
IDK. I think Iíd keep looking. Itís starting to sound like a $5000 bus
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 07:20 PM   #11
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
Alright, well bummer.. he seems pretty firm on price.

Seems to be a shortage of shorties as I start looking. I've been told that the school districts are getting grants for new busses only if they destroy the old?

Anyhow, I'm on a tight budget for the initial purchase so I probably will keep looking for something more reasonable. I appreciate the thoughts and advice.
Scvington22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 07:33 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
You really want a shorty with a cowl. I have a cutaway and dread the day I need to fix it. Still 5 and 6 window cutaways can be found for around $3-5K. Rust free, low miles. If you decide to go that route then look for a Collins. They have flatter roofs so more uniform ceiling inside and better mounting for solar.

You should define what you want out of your bus. Youíll find that shorter buses have limited under body real estate for tanks which may limit what you do.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 11:54 AM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
I'm wanting a shorty because it's just me and my dog and I wouldn't feel comfortable manuevering a large one. I want to do a pretty basic conversion with just a bed, sink, wood stove, and a couple other things. I've been looking around a couple months now and am wanting to get started as soon as possible building out .

There's a 1994 Ford E350 7.3 International locally. He wants $6000. Has a solar system and new deep cycle battery plus wood stove included. 200,000 miles. I don't understand the cutaway vs cowl fully.. I know what I want out of the build I'm just not educated enough about the machine that is bus..
Scvington22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 01:14 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Why are these buses that youíre looking at so expensive?

A bus with a cowl is going to be easier to work on which is important for your wallet if someone else is going to work on it and easier on your sanity if you are doing it yourself. A cutaway is mechanically similar, but the engine is crammed into a tighter space, often requiring more stuff to be removed to get to what needs fixed. The advantage of a cutaway bus is that parts are more readily available and less expensive.

What state do you live?

I would look at auctions. Youíre right to look for buses in the Southwestern states. The only problem is getting inspection before you bid if itís not local to you. A lot of people on this site will tell you to have patience because many have spent a long time to find their bus. I can also tell you from experience that moving slow helps in the decision making process.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 02:14 AM   #15
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 8
Im trying to find out the visible difference between a cutaway and cowl. How do you tell?

I live in Oregon and these prices seem to be the norm around here. I've called just about every bus dealer, Craigslist ad, school district,and auction nearby and if they've had short buses they've been $6000 or well above that. I am looking into the non-local auctions more now.
Scvington22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 07:02 AM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,088
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scvington22 View Post
Im trying to find out the visible difference between a cutaway and cowl. How do you tell?

I live in Oregon and these prices seem to be the norm around here. I've called just about every bus dealer, Craigslist ad, school district,and auction nearby and if they've had short buses they've been $6000 or well above that. I am looking into the non-local auctions more now.

A cutaway has a van front end, that being the everything from just behind the front doors forward. Everything behind that is "cutoff" for the bus body. In reality it is just built that way they do not cut up good van bodys to do it. The van cutaways are normally on a one ton chassis, like the one ton pickups except longer.

The cowl forward is really just your basic everyday school bus. If you look at it closely the front hood , fenders and the part just behind the hood(cowl) is all that is used from a truck body. These buses are normally built on a medium duty truck chassis, like large moving trucks. So larger heavier duty, more durable,and can be more expensive to maintain
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 12:20 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Fingerlakes NY
Posts: 12
I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a shortie with a cowl, but so far have only found 2 and both had shitty engines unfortunately. But I'm also only looking locally because I don't have time to travel cross country to get my bus, so maybe you'll have better luck.
Sirirah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 04:52 PM   #18
Bus Crazy
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,372
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirirah View Post
I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a shortie with a cowl, but so far have only found 2 and both had shitty engines unfortunately. But I'm also only looking locally because I don't have time to travel cross country to get my bus, so maybe you'll have better luck.
If you have a time shortage, you probably don't want a bus from anywhere near NY, unless you're going to have lots of extra time later for rust remediation and repair (by "lots" I mean waaaaaay more time than it takes to fly somewhere and drive back). My bus came from near Buffalo, and you can check out my build thread to see what salty winters can do to a bus.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 08:18 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,618
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
You really want a shorty with a cowl. I have a cutaway and dread the day I need to fix it. Still 5 and 6 window cutaways can be found for around $3-5K. Rust free, low miles. If you decide to go that route then look for a Collins. They have flatter roofs so more uniform ceiling inside and better mounting for solar.

You should define what you want out of your bus. You’ll find that shorter buses have limited under body real estate for tanks which may limit what you do.
What he said

I bought a cutaway and found it to be a major PITA to work on. I talked to the fleet service manager with our local power company who maintained a bunch of E450 vans. He told me that for many repairs they lifted the body off the chassis to access certain parts of the engine.

I sold it. Unlikely that I would buy another one. Now I am on the hunt for a 5-7 window CE.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 08:57 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
Posts: 14
Just as important...maybe even more so, how many hours are on it?
some have hour meters, some don't.
BarnYardCamp 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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×