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Old 07-09-2017, 06:56 PM   #21
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 27
Thanks CaptSquid!
Yes, $3300 is for sure a great price. 'Available NOW. 2003 IC RE SCHOOL TRANSIT RE. Capacity is 78Lug Passengers DIESEL fueled with AIR Brakes and a T444 Engine.'
Are they good buses compared to the Bluebird etc.? Does the body rust easy? What about the engine, are they good quality and last a long time?
Again, this is all new to me and have lots to learn.
Thanks!
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:35 PM   #22
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,181
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I have a T-444E in my Red Bus.. its a 190 HP variant.. its plenty powerful for a short bus, if the 03 is a 210 or 230 HP and has something other than an AT545 transmission then it has a chance at doing just fine under normal conditions.. take it in the mountains and it will slow down on the uphills, as a diesel V-8 doesnt have the brute torque that an inline 6 like a cummins or a DT-466 has. if you dont mind poulling hills in the slkow lane, no issues..

the T-444E is made by international, and is Very similar to the ford powerstroke 7.3 used in the diesel pickups and vans from 94-03. they are a good engine.. (international made them for ford).

I run my short T-444E bus regularly to florida and back and out to the east coast and the engine has been fine.

any body can rust just like a car.. esp here in the midwest.. best thing is to ask for lots of pictures of the underside to gauge the severity of any rust.. usually if the ribs are really rusty you can have issues with some of the body panels.. school busses almost always leak water inside at some point in their lives..
-Christopher
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:46 PM   #23
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,330
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by WimMorre View Post
That's a great deal. But how did you know if the bus had lots of rust, the engine, the tires etc. without seeing it in person? How did it turn out for you? Did you have a lot of work to do on it?
Thanks for the places to check out out west. There is of course the option of buying it there and building it once we get out there, a year or so from now, but would prefer to get started here and now and just drive it out there. Ready and done, you know...
Thanks
If you are asking about my Bluebird:

It was a Western Oregon bus. No salt/chemicals on the road. I had a pretty good idea that it would not have rust issues.

The auction listing indicated the mileage and that it had no known issues.

I drove it 300+ miles today over three passes in 75-90 degree temps. Ran great!

I have had the bus for 10 months and so far I have had to do the following:

Add 1.5 gallons of coolant to bring it up to level.

Change the oil.

To be fair. I did have an issue with the windshield wipers today when I tried to clean the bugs.

I have put a couple thousand miles on it so far.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:56 PM   #24
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,330
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
Try this: 2001 IC
That link comes up as a 2003 with 114k miles.

I think that in 2003 they had quit installing the AT-545. All of the '03s I have looked at had 2000/3000 series transmissions. If this one has 114k on a 7.3 and a 2000/3000 series trans I would take a serious look at it. For $3300 if it has no issues it is a really good deal.

I still prefer the wet sleeve 6's. The DT-466 and Cummins 8.3. But the 7.3 (T444) is a very good motor.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:40 PM   #25
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 27
Wow, you guys sure know your stuff!

Hi Christopher and Steve,
I called the place today about the 03 IC and he told me that for that price there's probably something wrong with it. And to for sure come out first and take a look...

I don't feel too comfortable about bidding on one, because I'm a bit worried that there might be something wrong with it and i'd be stuck with it.
I do like the idea of seeing one up close and even being able to have it inspected by a mechanic. I know it'll cost more at a dealer, but in the long run might be better.

Anyway, I found another place today in Indiana called Kerlinbus and they have several 84 seaters, 5.9 cummins and others, but no 8.3. He told me that he hasn't had one of those in his lot in over 3 years. And that they go quickly with a high interest from the people of Guatemala.
So do you guys think that we only plan on driving it out west and then park it for at least 5 years that a 5.9 would do? I'd like to have the 8.3 but... Unless I found one in WA in a few weeks when we're down there, but would have to drive it back to OH and let me plane ticket go. (which would be ok I guess).
I can keep looking this summer, but I'm also ready to get started and go to work on one.

One more question. What the difference between all the transmissions? Automatic I understand, but what about AT545, 2500, 3000, MD... different manufacturers? Is one better than the other? and do they ever go bad or is not that common?

Thanks so much guys!
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:59 PM   #26
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 11,161
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Just find a closer auction or one that a forum member can inspect.
All three folks I know who've gotten dealer buses had to make immediate repairs. There's no magic bullet for getting a bus and having nothing go wrong. But when you buy an auction bus, you can use the THOUSANDS you save to fix whatever comes up.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:14 PM   #27
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,181
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
im one of those.. I got a bus from a dealer... it ran great... 450 miles into my trip my Air-brakes compressor went bad..

these are used vehicles like any other..

my auction bus has run great... I recently did a transmission. but I got the bus so cheap that even with all ive done to it im still less money than i have into my dealer bus and ive got one fantastic little bus..

my dealer bus has run great since that incident, but ive still replaced some parts... fan clutch, Tires, and i had to add the A/C...

theres no magic sauce.. theres people here who break down the minute they get a bus, theres others who drive for yearsd and never do anything to it.. like any used vehicle...

dealewrs MAY repair something thats obvious when they get a bus but will mark up the price plus labor / markup to reflect..

most of the auctions ive seen do tell if the bus runs and drives or not.. and if they wont answer when you ask, then you bid on another bus.. these onli e auctions last a long time.. days or weeks so you have plenty of time to ask the seller a Q, see if theres a forum member in the area who can go look at it for you, etc..


some auctions post the service records for a bus.. or you can ask for them via the auction site.. this lets you know what has been done to a bus in its lifetime...

only you can make the choice where you buy a bus.. keep any and all options alive.. and the more time you can take to find a type of bus that fits your needs and also busses to look at then the better informed and more likely to score a good deal you are...

-Christopher
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:49 PM   #28
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,330
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by WimMorre View Post
Hi Christopher and Steve,
I called the place today about the 03 IC and he told me that for that price there's probably something wrong with it. And to for sure come out first and take a look...

I don't feel too comfortable about bidding on one, because I'm a bit worried that there might be something wrong with it and i'd be stuck with it.
I do like the idea of seeing one up close and even being able to have it inspected by a mechanic. I know it'll cost more at a dealer, but in the long run might be better.

Anyway, I found another place today in Indiana called Kerlinbus and they have several 84 seaters, 5.9 cummins and others, but no 8.3. He told me that he hasn't had one of those in his lot in over 3 years. And that they go quickly with a high interest from the people of Guatemala.
So do you guys think that we only plan on driving it out west and then park it for at least 5 years that a 5.9 would do? I'd like to have the 8.3 but... Unless I found one in WA in a few weeks when we're down there, but would have to drive it back to OH and let me plane ticket go. (which would be ok I guess).
I can keep looking this summer, but I'm also ready to get started and go to work on one.

One more question. What the difference between all the transmissions? Automatic I understand, but what about AT545, 2500, 3000, MD... different manufacturers? Is one better than the other? and do they ever go bad or is not that common?

Thanks so much guys!

If you are going to drive it to a destination and park it for 5 years then I would be much less concerned about drivetrain. A 5.9/AT-545 equipped
bus will cross the country. It will simply require a bit more patience for the trip.

Short answer on the transmissions:
545 - 4 speed, no lockup, no overdrive
643/647 - 4 speed, lockup, no overdrive
2000/3000 series - 6 speed, lockup, double overdrive. However, most skoolies have 6th gear disabled leaving you with a 5 speed overdrive. Some have been successful with getting the 6th gear unlocked. I am working on that for mine.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:51 PM   #29
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,330
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I wish I had been thinking earlier. Somewhere today I saw a 5.9 equipped bus for sale in Marysville, WA.

Look at today's posts and you should find it.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:21 PM   #30
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 27
Hi Bus geek,
Yes, I agree with you. Man, not easy to make a decision. I'll just keep looking and reading and see what comes next. I just need to be patient, which is not always easy for me, I am excited indeed!
Thanks,
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