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Old 07-26-2015, 07:52 PM   #1
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new member considering purchase

Hi from Oregon - great resource here thank you!

I just got back from looking at a bus with an eye to converting it for living. I am completely new to the RV world, but conventional motor homes and trailers leave me feeling like I'm trapped in a rolling suburban 1990's home nightmare - I need some built-in funkiness!

I am hoping some more knowledgeable folks here (anybody!) will let me know if it's in the ballpark for reasonable cost, and what kind of albatross it might be if it doesnt pan out -

1991 IH 3800 long-nose 36foot bus. DT466 w.turbo and 4spd Allison auto. Air brakes. 161,000 miles. All fluids changed 7 years ago with only 1500 mi since then, Allison had a "full service" whatever that means -300 miles ago.

bus has been gutted and has a working propane heater & stove. 30 amp exterior plug wired to a inside breaker box and 4 100v circuits. 3 45w solar panels on roof charge a deep cycle battery for 12v lights. Has a 110v on-demand water heater for sink and shower. Shower and toilet are "funky" at best, No holding tanks, as the gent has had it hooked to the sewer for the last couple years. Has a small generator mounted under the bus. Funky white latex paint job with most windows painted over. Tires are 22.5" with 95% tread .

knowing there will be a bunch of work to do on the interior, and I fully expect a few surprises, what is the consensus on this rig as a starting point for a mobile living space. I wont be driving it much in the near future, but have some nice private land to park it on while working on, and living aboard it.

If I can get it for 3 grand, am I making a big mistake? Opinions welcome and appreciated!

Thanky!

SodaCreekSam (Dave)
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:39 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,182
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Idk, sounds like is spent the last many years being shoddily converted. 7 years is a long time ago...
How old are those 95% tread tires?
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:19 PM   #3
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old - the side facing the sun are dry, but not yet checking or cracked, The other side is much better. I am on the verge of leaving this one unless he drops the price. I was initially excited because the ad said 6.9 liter with turbo, which I took to be the old pickup motor. Even with the good drivetrain surprise , there is alot of kludging to be undone...
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:28 AM   #4
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Location: Gonvick MN
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Year: 1975
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3208t/10 speed transmission
Quote:
Originally Posted by sodacreeksam View Post
old - the side facing the sun are dry, but not yet checking or cracked, The other side is much better. I am on the verge of leaving this one unless he drops the price. I was initially excited because the ad said 6.9 liter with turbo, which I took to be the old pickup motor. Even with the good drivetrain surprise , there is alot of kludging to be undone...
The DT 466 is way better than any pickup engine.
Don't let that part turn you off.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:09 PM   #5
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thanks folks - I will continue the search and browse this forum for inspiration!
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:44 AM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,173
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
There are a ton of variants of the DT466 that range widely. It would be a good idea to nail down which you have. They go from about 170hp to 350 as I recall with many different injector arrangements. One even has a titanium turbo.

All good motors but if service is ever called for, you'll need to know what ya' got.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:16 AM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 62
Year: 97
Coachwork: Moi
Chassis: International
Engine: 444e...7.3L
Rated Cap: 36
Get the deisel and mechanicals checked out by a mechanic. Its cheaper to pay for an inspection than a lemon. Detroits are good engines easy to work on. Windows are easy to remove and its a snap to bash metal up to fit the hole. I use dryer sides from units I find in the alley. 3000 bucks is a good deal if the mechanical and tires are in as good of shape as you seem to say. An hd mechanic will know for sure.
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