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Old 02-10-2017, 10:45 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Beech Grove, IN
Posts: 55
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 35
I visited a local dealer once to get a feel for the size of bus I wanted to focus in on and looked for around 3 months online while I accumulated some cash.

I had planned on going as high as $5k to get a rust free 6 window conventional with air ride and a DT466, and found some that looked good in Florida, but the 1100 mile trip was going to involve some coordination. While browsing around I stumbled on a 6 window in Covington, TN with springs and a T444e for $2500 that just grabbed me for some reason. My wife and I drove down the next day and bought it.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:12 PM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 933
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Took us THREE years of searching before we found Heavy Fuel in Wasco CA. Talked to the mechanic super. and found out the engine was swapped out two years prior with only 30K miles on it. Paid $2K cash with the on-line auction. We were the ONLY bidders due to the bus being restricted to only out-of-state bidders could win the bus. Flew out, met a long time friend, had some fun, got the bus, and drove her home in 1600 miles/three days IIRC... Heck, the thread is here somewhere..... Hope this helps.....

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Old 02-11-2017, 01:13 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
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I really do not think you will find a bus with the spe'c's you want in a yellow bus. Most lift equipped buses are NOT set up for trip work. Most are spe'c'ed for to/from route work and rarely see speeds in excess of 35 MPH. As a consequence rarely will you see anything more than about 210 HP in lift equipped bus.

I am not saying there aren't some out there. It is just that lift equipped Type 'D' buses are pretty uncommon.

Having said that, I have seen a couple in the last couple of years. One was an IC RE that was in the Tacoma, WA school district fleet. That school district contracts the majority of the transportation needs but reserves all of the special needs transportation for their in house transportation department. Their fleet is almost 100% buses that are less than full size. They had two IC RE buses in the fleet. One that did and one that did not have a lift. As to when the lift equipped bus might show up in used inventory somewhere I have no idea.

The second bus was a Blue Bird Q-bus 102"x40' lift equipped bus with a Cummins ISC that sold last fall at the Chehalis Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers auction. It was purchased originally by a contractor for a transit agency in CA where it put on quite a few miles in a few short years. The company lost the contract and sold off the buses. This particular bus then went through at least three more owners before it went to auction where it sold for $3K.

As I said, there are a few out there like what you want but don't get so set on a lift and pass up a really nice non-lift equipped bus.

Good luck on your quest!
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:58 AM   #14
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Posts: 133
I'm about to post my bus for sale. I bought it to convert. I'm slowly coming to terms that I just have too much going on to convert it and convert it right. Any how:

2000 40' AmTran RE with 466E 250hp & MD3060 150K miles. I replaced the rear end so now it goes 85mph (trust me) it goes. No rust!

The drivers front Kingpin has been replaced with a "Keyser", passinger side is great but I have the Keyser pin for that also.

I bought the bus in Orlando Florida, drove it to WV. Took a church group to Orlando and back and tooled around
WV in it. Going to Florida I had a retired school bus driver as a 2nd driver and he kept inching past 85. It's too quite he would say. Lol. I just took it out for about 50 miles in October.

I replaced the alternator with a 200amp, upgraded the speaker, installed 12v power points thru the bus for the church group and added a mid heater.

I can deliver anywhere in the US and will post photos/videos with in a few days. The Re is not a cheap bus and the rear end /kingpin was a $2.5K job. The speedometer is 25% off (slow) due to the rear end change. I'm asking $12.5K. I drive truck for a living so I was very selective when I bought then and looked as several prior to buying this. Some I look at were absolute junk yet never described that way.

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Old 02-11-2017, 08:18 AM   #15
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IMG_20160305_0950180_rewind.jpg the app keeps crashing when I try to post a photo. I bought a little white bus first. Mistake. It was a rust bucket and junk. I learned and still learning that you often pay for what you get. Find a great deal, then you get home and discover all the things that need fixed. With my bus, I have a tail light to replace and fluid/tire check and I'm ready to travel. I do have a Air compressor and air dryer on hand as the current one is starting to pass oil. But that's it. It's in Terra Alta WV 26764 -304-698-2698

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Old 02-11-2017, 08:34 AM   #16
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,296
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
my FIRST bus was part of a business deal went wrong, I got paid with a shortie gasser Bluebird.. I built up the motor in it a bit and then psychologiucally was in a bad space so it ended up parked inside a shared garage for 5 years.. then got burned in a fire.. i collected insurance money and that re-ignited my interest in having a bus.. I then built a lofty set of goals and a short set of time.. the DEV came from a bus dealer.. yes I paid too much for it, but its been a darn good bus, made my goals, and 13000 miles in 8 months...

RedByrd came about as me more or less wanting to learn how the government auctions worked.. I put in a pretty low bid on a shortie.. a forum member looked at all the busses in that auction and said they all were in pretty good shape... I won the bid..

I have found alot has to do with the area you are bidding in (geographically) and also the type of busses.. if you are in the south bidding on nice big powerful busses, the exporters are too..

dealers like to buy northern busses with some rust cheaply and then mark them up..

the desirable busses will go for more money generally..

the little shorties like I and ECCB got are not the most desirable busses for the masses.. they have 545's and are short so not a lot of space for the conversion that general populous wants.. and only certain exporters want shorties..

if you can find a Niche-style bus that fits your needs you may find less bidding competition..
-Christopher
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:45 AM   #17
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 5,692
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Spent about two years looking for a vintage rig. I originally wanted a Chevy COE that I could just build a box onto. Turns out they are hard to come by in any kind of reasonable shape. Then, about a year in it happened. Saw a couple of Chevy Skoolies from the "war years"...1942 to early '47...and fell in love. What they call "The Art Deco" series. I knew it would mean spending way more time and money than building a later model rig, but then...that "Love" thing usually does get you in such trouble. No looking back now. Gotta just keep pushing onward.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:46 AM   #18
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 133
Government auctions can be good. Be careful though. As I left the Air Force more and more maintenance work was being taken over by contractors who did not work on a cost+. We had to fight for any of our equipment to be fixed and even more so for it to be done right. They even started using Chinese parts/tires when they were required to buy American. I really missed the GI's.

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Old 02-14-2017, 08:00 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
250 miles one way is a bit on the long side. 250 round trip is no problem. If it's one way, there had better be something worthwhile there. Beach, mountain, city I've never been to, etc. Something to make an overnight worth while. I'll go a lot further (1,000+) to buy a bus if I have a people that can look at it for me.
Depends on how you look at it....If I travel that far, I have talked to someone, and have got the low-down, and have a pretty good feel (or think I do) on what I am going to see. However, I don't let that cloud my judgement when I'm evaluating the vehicle. Always want to have a critical eye, and don't want to let the distance traveled cloud your judgement. If I see something I don't like (read $$$) then I pass. I don't think I've ever gone on a long distance look-see by myself, so worst case scenario, I look at it as a pleasant roadtrip with either a good friend or my wife....I like roadtrips Gotta enjoy the journey!
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:20 AM   #20
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 1,837
Year: 1999
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, AT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhobryan View Post
I don't think I've ever gone on a long distance look-see by myself, so worst case scenario, I look at it as a pleasant roadtrip with either a good friend or my wife....I like roadtrips Gotta enjoy the journey!
Oh I get all that.

I took the gf on the trip to VA. It was about 3 1/2 hrs. Only problem with that is she's usually asleep by the end of my street. My daughter is usually asleep by the end of my driveway. My driveway is a parking pad, a sidewalk, and 2 feet of grade to the road.

If the snoring gets too loud, I'll do a sudden lane change or brake check. SQUIRREL!!! Didn't you see it? Big fat fluffy guy. I just saved his life.
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