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Old 07-16-2017, 09:21 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 16
Hi all,
Sorry that I have not been able to reply. My posts keep saying waiting moderator approval (I think due to being new and pasting links).

My wife and I have found a few more prospects for your input. I will see if I can paste them in as incomplete links to get around the issues I have been having.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:38 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 16
Here are the additional buses we have found and would love your input:
Just replace the (dot) with .
Sorry for the inconvenience. We are trying to find buses that are 40' and as wide as possible (which may rule out school buses), and with under storage (which may make gravel roads more difficult).

(1) https://washingtondc (dot) craigslist (dot) org/nva/cto/d/bci-buses/6154318845(dot)html

(2) here is a school bus that looks like it has under storage.
https://washingtondc (dot) craigslist (dot) org/mld/cto/d/thomas-school-bus-miles-va/6217005673 (dot) html

(3) another school bus that looks like it has under storage.
https://washingtondc (dot) craigslist.org/mld/cto/d/thomas-school-bus-low-miles/6181764588 (dot) html

(4) and one more school bus, not sure it has under storage.
https://martinsburg (dot) craigslist (dot) org/cto/d/international-bus-passenger/6167943299 (dot) html

(5) a few people mentioned the detroit 60, this coach has that and also really like the windows, just very spendy...
https://philadelphia.craigslist (dot) org/cto/d/neoplan/6213318078 (dot) html

(6) not sure this bus is 40'
https://cnj (dot) craigslist (dot) org/ctd/d/freightliner-champion-bus/6217736148 (dot) html

(7) another detroit 60, this time in a 1995 MCI DL3
https://newjersey (dot) craigslist(dot)org/cto/d/mci-dl-coach-bus/6211109436 (dot) html

( 8 ) '99 Bluebird (not much description given, haven't replied yet to ask for more details, kind of rubs me wrong that basic info is just not included in the description.
https://columbus (dot) craigslist (dot) org/cto/d/blue-bird-bus/6170260875 (dot) html

(9) MCI-9 Bus for sale. 1987 6v-92 Detroit. Emailed owner and found out its 40' w/ 350k miles (prob mans I would expect to pay for an engine overhaul and I' guessing that is not cheap). He sent me some more pics, not sure I can upload pics yet as a new user. Here is the listing:
https://buffalo (dot) craigslist (dot) org/rvs/d/mci-bus-conversion/6168637072 (dot) html

Lots of options, hopefully at least one or two will be something you all will say go for.

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at these.
We appreciate it.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:43 AM   #13
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 148
Year: 2000
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 24 + 3 wheel chairs.
What area in NH are you? I loved there for many years - I drove school buses part time for Laidlaw in Derry / Hooksett area. There was a huge Bus auction site in MA and another in CT that we use to bring the retired buses to auction.
I will do some research...

A little pricey - but maybe they will take $4k so it doesn't take up space on their lot
https://www.carsforsale.com/used-car...tails/26871100

But I would look into the auctions - in that area - through public auctions

Public Surplus: Search an auction
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:58 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I am in the Upper Valley, Lebanon/Hanover area. My goodness, quite a transition from upper New England to Florida. We enjoyed a mid 60 degree day yesterday. I am dreading the move to Maryland/VA later this yea as it is so much hotter there. It must have been hard for you at first to deal with that heat. I know I will miss the snow but, life is an adventure, just need to get ready to roll.

I will look into auctions as well. Hoping that some of the listings I posted might work out too (I am not opposed to haggling a bit with the sellers to get prices right).

Thanks so much.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:03 AM   #15
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 148
Year: 2000
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 24 + 3 wheel chairs.
Nice area! I loved that part of NH - I spent some time over in White River Junction (VT) - and have some friends up in Lyme, NH. Beautiful area.
The public auctions are really good - I regret not going that route to get my bus - but I was happy with what I found. I went to Tampa Bus Market - and paid $4k for my bus - but got a good deal - and have still been able to go there to get some parts I needed to replace.
You will find your bus - it is out there waiting for you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AMLbusnoob View Post
I am in the Upper Valley, Lebanon/Hanover area. My goodness, quite a transition from upper New England to Florida. We enjoyed a mid 60 degree day yesterday. I am dreading the move to Maryland/VA later this yea as it is so much hotter there. It must have been hard for you at first to deal with that heat. I know I will miss the snow but, life is an adventure, just need to get ready to roll.

I will look into auctions as well. Hoping that some of the listings I posted might work out too (I am not opposed to haggling a bit with the sellers to get prices right).

Thanks so much.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:27 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 614
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMLbusnoob View Post
Here are the additional buses we have found and would love your input:
We are trying to find buses that are 40' and as wide as possible (which may rule out school buses), and with under storage (which may make gravel roads more difficult).

(1) https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...154318845.html

(2) here is a school bus that looks like it has under storage.
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...217005673.html

(3) another school bus that looks like it has under storage.
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...181764588.html

(4) and one more school bus, not sure it has under storage.
https://martinsburg.craigslist.org/c...167943299.html

(5) a few people mentioned the detroit 60, this coach has that and also really like the windows, just very spendy...
https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/...213318078.html

(6) not sure this bus is 40'
https://cnj.craigslist.org/ctd/d/fre...217736148.html

(7) another detroit 60, this time in a 1995 MCI DL3
https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto...211109436.html

( 8 ) '99 Bluebird (not much description given, haven't replied yet to ask for more details, kind of rubs me wrong that basic info is just not included in the description.
https://columbus.craigslist.org/cto/...170260875.html

(9) MCI-9 Bus for sale. 1987 6v-92 Detroit. Emailed owner and found out its 40' w/ 350k miles (prob mans I would expect to pay for an engine overhaul and I' guessing that is not cheap). He sent me some more pics, not sure I can upload pics yet as a new user. Here is the listing:
https://buffalo.craigslist.org/rvs/d...168637072.html

Lots of options, hopefully at least one or two will be something you all will say go for.

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at these.
We appreciate it.
First, there's no need to modify the links. I fixed that here.

#1: Seller has 2 of these, kinda pricey and being a 2008 it will likely have emissions hardware which will be expensive to fix when (there is no if) it needs it. I'd leave these for coach operators if it were me.

#2: It's yellow, not gold. Way too much money for a school bus. Also a 2008 and same about the emissions. Pass on this one.

#3: Same as #2. Not familiar with the 4.8L L4 diesel but I expect it won't have a lot of power on the highway.

#4: Much more reasonable price and older (which means no emissions hardware to worry about). T444e engine is adequate at best in a full length bus. That engine will likely need injectors soon (and the associated valve cover gaskets/wiring harness; it's sort of made as one piece) somewhere around the 200K mark and each injector is about $200 (there's 8 of them. I have the same engine but in a shorty and this work was recently done by the seller right before it was surplussed, which is one reason I bought it). On the plus side, these are very common engines and very easy to find parts for. They are relatively easy to work on (or find someone to work on) and otherwise have a good reputation if you don't mind the marginal power they produce.

#5: Quite spendy, a very good candidate for a coach line. The 60 series Detroit should go a million miles. Quite a bit more than I'd want to spend, considering you'll probably end up removing the seats and interior...

#6: It might be 40'. Being a 2007 I'm not sure about emissions hardware, or what size engine it has.

#7: Not a bad price for a coach. If you don't mind the price, this could be a good candidate. Detroit engine should go a million miles (same engine used in road tractors) and move on down the road when you drive it.

#8: I agree about the lack of details. I'd avoid a 5.9 Cummins (*NOT* "Cummings"! There is no "g" in Cummins!) but not becuase it's a bad engine. It's merely adequate in a full length bus and won't fly up any mountains, though it will do the task. I'd haggle on the asking price but otherwise this could be a good candidate.

#9: These buses were known to go many millions of miles for Greyhound (and others). The mileage alone does not indicate if the engine needs a rebuild; it could simply be broken in at that mileage. Seller did indicate some needed repairs and (in my view) that goes a long way toward honesty and full disclosure, and for the most part these needed repairs would not prevent driving it home. Despite the age, many parts should still be readily available.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:04 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 16
Goodness Brad!
Thank you for such detailed feedback. We really appreciate it. The wife is pleased as well because she is rooting for the MCI 9 bus in Buffalo (9). She likes the work he has done to the exterior; I suppose it is not a bad looker. If it and the Netplan were same price, the Neoplan would be my fave (but that bight be a given...).

I think we will reach out to the seller, we will let you know what we learn.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:33 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Posts: 614
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
RE: M's opinion above, where he was referring to the older GMC and more specifically the older Detroit 2-stroke engines...

It's true that these mechanical engines lack the same torque of a more modern 60 series Detroit, but I'd argue the same for many more modern V-style diesels. You'll want and need that torque when moving a heavy load up a mountain, but how many of us haul around heavy trailers? (I don't really expect an answer for this, it's more of a "food for thought" question.) On the other hand, the 2-strokers will boogey on down the road when it's flat. How many of you remember being passed by the older Greyhound buses on the highways? It was not uncommon to see 'em running well above 75 MPH.

It's also true that the younger kids going to diesel school rarely see these old mechanical beasts. There's no emissions hardware, or computerized gadgets on them. Many of these engines have all of about 4 wires on 'em. Starter, oil pressure, coolant temperature, and alternator. Maybe a fuel shut-off solenoid. Any reasonably handy shade-tree mechanic can work on them. Why do you think Greyhound ran so many of them for so many millions of miles? Some of the older ones were said to have well over 3 million miles by the time they were retired. Sure, the engines and transmissions probably saw a number of rebuilds over the years, but that just goes to show how durable the buses were.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:38 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MD near DC
Posts: 591
Hey! Welcome! I'm in MD right now; 1/2way between the Capital Beltway and Columbia MD. Where are you headed for down here? I'm actually less than a year from retirement and I've already got the retirement place bought in Keene NH. So, I'm headed north and will cancel you out.

Do your homework! Very very difficult to find a place to park a bus in Metro DC, let alone work on one. I _think_ I have a line on a place in Annapolis, about 35 miles from me, but it's one of the things that's keeping me from pulling the trigger on this project. Make sure you know where you're going to end up.

Of course, if you're not planning to move to BaltoWash, all bets are off.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:33 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
Hey! Welcome! I'm in MD right now; 1/2way between the Capital Beltway and Columbia MD. Where are you headed for down here? I'm actually less than a year from retirement and I've already got the retirement place bought in Keene NH. So, I'm headed north and will cancel you out.

Do your homework! Very very difficult to find a place to park a bus in Metro DC, let alone work on one. I _think_ I have a line on a place in Annapolis, about 35 miles from me, but it's one of the things that's keeping me from pulling the trigger on this project. Make sure you know where you're going to end up.

Of course, if you're not planning to move to BaltoWash, all bets are off.
Keene is a ways South of me, but still gets a lot of the nice cool weather we enjoy. It has been ranging from mid-60s to low 80s for the highs this past week or so. Be warned though, 80+ degrees is damn hot (imo) at least in NH. But you will find it pleasant. I drove around Bethesda to Frederick and back down through Dickerson, Poolesville, Potomac one day looking at places and learning I can't stand the traffic and can't afford anything South of Poolesville, and man alive, if I slowed down for too long in the Jeep with the top down, the heat was overwhelming (yep, thats right, the wife, dog and I drove the Jeep, top down from NH to Missouri on a road trip, tent camped when we needed some shut eye, MD was the hottest place along the way, VT, & rural PA were the prettiest, though Poolesville & Dickerson, MD were heavily forested w/ that old time feel).
I drove for an entire day just to explore Maryland between Poolesville and Middletown, just checking out the little roads and towns that felt most like home in NH. I saw a ton of deer, I guess most people in MD aren't hunters, smaller deer than in NH, but big racks on those bucks, more for me But again, the traffic and the heat is killer.

Far South in NH you will get more MA traffic but still should be very pleasant. Typically up where I am, a mile = a minute in terms of speeds and lack of traffic, even during rush hour. It may be a place I will move back to someday. the downsides are kind of evened out: not a lot of industry, hence no traffic, but then, property values don't rise the way they seem to elsewhere. I imagine my property that I am selling now won't be too much more in 10-20 yrs than it is right now, but who knows.

If you are still able to look at other options throughout the state to retire to, my absolute favorite areas are North of Lebanon, look into Lyme, Orford, Dorchester (interesting thing about Dorchester, one family, the Greens, own about half of Dorchester probably a couple thousand acres of forest, but they make it open to the public for hiking, hunting, etc, they own a logging co I think).
What you have to watch in NH are the property taxes. We do not have income taxes which is fantastic. But, if you own an expensive piece of property, you will experience those taxes. Most towns in NH have a formula that works out to around $30-$40 per $1,000 of assessed property value (property taxes north of $10k are easy to achieve...

As per our Bus plans. We are thinking of buying a property with no dwelling and living out of the bus as we build something, a garage (big garage!, our house now has a 3 stall garage deep enough for 2 small cars back to back with an unfinished upstairs work area, other than the land/privacy that will be the hardest thing to give up).
Or, finding a place that needs renovation and living out of the bus while we make those changes (that way we can spend a few years living out of the bus and make the changes at a more affordable pace). What we learned living here on lots of land in a 4 bdrm house is that we love being able to walk out the front door and just hike our own property, the wildlife and privacy are great, but would prefer a much smaller, much less expensive, much easier to clean house. Give me land, a huge garage and a tiny house with no neighbors in sight and I am happy! Now if we can find that within a reasonable commute to Bethesda for my wife's job (too bad she can't work remotely like me), we will have it made.

Update on our bus search. I have been speaking with a very nice gentleman who has a bus that clearly needs work but seems to be upfront about everything. It is one of the buses I sought everyone's input on already. It is this guy:
1987 MCI-9 40foot already started some conversions on it. https://buffalo.craigslist.org/rvs/d...168637072.html

Here is a transcript of his last communication with me (please let me know if this is a pass or pursue situation, he is flexible on the price):

I never had a issue with this motor. I think it is rather strong. Blows smoke when you start it but not when you are running it. Detroit motors all leak oil and this does down the rubber drain lines but no major leaks anywhere.
The transmission had the lights come on a few times but has always shifted smooth. I was worried about the hills in PA but it took those very well.
I did have an issue with the fuel once. I went to get some fuel for a very short trip. The fuel gauge was never fully true and the speedometer only works when it rains (must need an alignment). Anyway the RV stopped as I pulled out of the gas station and quit. Luckily I was on a hill and rolled it back into a parking spot. I tried everything to get it to run. Called a road service and they sent out a kid to tell me he had no idea. They towed it 15 miles ($750) and had it in the shop for 5 days. Finally told me it lost the prime and had no fuel in the lines. The put a air hose in the tank to push the fuel into the motor. Charged me $1,700 for that. Oh I was pissed.
Well it happen again the next week. So I fixed it myself. I got 10ft of hose. Found an extra dead end line on top of the fuel tank. Took the fuel filters off next to the motor. Got on the roof and poured a couple gallons of fuel in the hose to gravity feed it the 30ft back to the motor - not pushing it with air. I heard the fuel hitting the pan under the filters and closed it up. Worked like a charm. Ever since I shut the tank lines off and park it nose up and starts every time. So might be an air leak in the fuel line but could never find it.
You have to remember this is a 30 year old machine.
Needs an air dryer for the front to level the bus out while riding = $300. It never bothered me when I drove it and you don't notice it that much.
The kneel function doesn't work and might be part of the air dryer?
Has a new lobe in the passenger rear side.
Brake pads = $1,000 - install is $1,500 to $2,000 probably.
Muffler could possibly be welded I'd think.
Windshield had a small chip but had it sealed.
Windows are all good and will give the RV windows that I bought for it = 4 windows at $150 each - $600.The standard bus windows in it now are $400 each x 14 windows = $2,000 worth of glass.
Drivers tag wheel seal is leaking and might need attention.
No rust except maybe in the forward AC area / is a small hole in the body under the passenger side door but very small. I can get you a picture of those areas.
No forward AC but the rear might be able to charge and might work.
Can't think of anything else we worked on or needed attention.
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