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Old 09-07-2017, 11:31 PM   #1
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Looking forward to retirement project

Hi All,
I've been lurking for a while and am gaining all sorts of valuable knowledge for my own bus conversion project. I'm aiming to get started on this in the near future, and I am looking at some Thomas Freightliner buses on the Northwest Bus Sales website. I was wondering whether anyone had experience with that outfit. Do their prices seem reasonable? They list a few in the $20,000 range for a 30 passenger bus with a cat engine and around 140,000 miles. I've seen mixed reviews for the Cat engines, but I know a truck driver who swears by them. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

It's great having this community to share ideas.

Best regards,
runciblefish

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Old 09-07-2017, 11:52 PM   #2
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Welcome!

I have never heared anything bad about CAT motors but that the parts are more expensive and that they are not wet sleeve like the dt466, which means the motor can be rebuilt in frame with new cylinder liners and does not need to be rebored or even honed. Pretty neato. Wouldn't kick a cat out of bed for a great price though.
Perhaps the right deal will arrive and make the decision easy for you
Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by runciblefish View Post
I was wondering whether anyone had experience with that outfit. Do their prices seem reasonable? They list a few in the $20,000 range for a 30 passenger bus with a cat engine and around 140,000 miles.
No. $20,000 is ....high.
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:19 AM   #4
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nw bus sales are good people in my opinion. however you can get a good school bus.. re... for less than 3k... have seen good ones half that. my thomas came from eastern washington with a 3208 turbo and i have seen those from the school dist many tmes for 2k and less, with good maintenence. nw usually has pretty good coach busses for the 20k price... n dont be afraid to call the school dstricts and bus companies like first student and mid colombia which always has spares sitting around.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information

I appreciate any and all advice folks here can provide. I now see that I was looking at the wrong link when I referred to Northwest Bus Sales. The site where I saw the buses I mentioned is actually "Rocky Mountain Bus Sales," which seems to have a good selection, but somewhat higher prices.

I am also concerned about the emissions requirements for commercial vehicles. It seems ridiculous to have to license a bus as a commercial vehicle, particularly if it requires upgraded emission equipment, for just a few weeks while the bus is being converted. Does anyone have knowledge or experience with this gray area between when you buy a bus and when you get it converted. Maybe I'm missing something, I wanted to avoid a non-operational status because I'll need to drive it a bit to get some of the work done.

Unfortunately, our DMV here in California doesn't seem to have any way to make inquiries, short of scheduling an appointment (three week wait time). So I can't just contact them to find out what to do. My current understanding is that I would have to buy the bus and insure it as a commercial vehicle before I can drive it somewhere where I can work on it. Presumably, I'd also have to license it as a commercial vehicle during that interim period. If there is no requirement to upgrade the emissions equipment to get it licensed, then it's no big deal. I'm just a bit paranoid about dealing with the bureaucracy.

When I moved here a decade ago with my 16-year old daughter, the DMV could not get right with the idea that she had a valid driver's license from another state; they insisted that she had to go back to a learner's permit. I spent over three hours arguing with them about the "full faith and credit" clause of the constitution, where every state agrees to respect every other state's licenses. They really dug their heels in and would not agree, but I refused to leave, and eventually they called enough supervisors and were able to find somebody who knew the right code to enter to get my daughter's license validated. If you know you're right, you can succeed by standing firm, but in this case I don't know what is right.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:47 PM   #6
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$20k for a short bus... No. You can get 6 short buses in good shape for $20k. Don't buy the first bus you look at, particularly if its at a price premium like that.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:17 PM   #7
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$20k for a short bus... No. You can get 6 short buses in good shape for $20k. Don't buy the first bus you look at, particularly if its at a price premium like that.
Kinda like marrying the first...erm, nevermind.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runciblefish View Post
I appreciate any and all advice folks here can provide. I now see that I was looking at the wrong link when I referred to Northwest Bus Sales. The site where I saw the buses I mentioned is actually "Rocky Mountain Bus Sales," which seems to have a good selection, but somewhat higher prices.

I am also concerned about the emissions requirements for commercial vehicles. It seems ridiculous to have to license a bus as a commercial vehicle, particularly if it requires upgraded emission equipment, for just a few weeks while the bus is being converted. Does anyone have knowledge or experience with this gray area between when you buy a bus and when you get it converted. Maybe I'm missing something, I wanted to avoid a non-operational status because I'll need to drive it a bit to get some of the work done.

Unfortunately, our DMV here in California doesn't seem to have any way to make inquiries, short of scheduling an appointment (three week wait time). So I can't just contact them to find out what to do. My current understanding is that I would have to buy the bus and insure it as a commercial vehicle before I can drive it somewhere where I can work on it. Presumably, I'd also have to license it as a commercial vehicle during that interim period. If there is no requirement to upgrade the emissions equipment to get it licensed, then it's no big deal. I'm just a bit paranoid about dealing with the bureaucracy.

When I moved here a decade ago with my 16-year old daughter, the DMV could not get right with the idea that she had a valid driver's license from another state; they insisted that she had to go back to a learner's permit. I spent over three hours arguing with them about the "full faith and credit" clause of the constitution, where every state agrees to respect every other state's licenses. They really dug their heels in and would not agree, but I refused to leave, and eventually they called enough supervisors and were able to find somebody who knew the right code to enter to get my daughter's license validated. If you know you're right, you can succeed by standing firm, but in this case I don't know what is right.
first this is what one expects in cal. go to ore for lic, registration. second, also do like i do and have secondary international lic good in all states
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