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Old 08-06-2017, 09:03 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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New to Skoolie and seeking advice!

Hey Skoolies,
I've been stalking this website for months and have finally decided to become a member. Mostly because our dream of finally buying the bus is becoming a reality! My partner and I have been pretty certain that we were going to go for a conventional bus and have looked at them with no luck. After talking to a few people and doing for research on the flat nosed pusher busses, we are reconsidering limiting our options.
Max checked out this bus today and said that the minute he took a step up it felt like home. It has a turbo Diesel engine, Allison auto transmission, air brakes, wicked low miles! The guy that owns it is even willing to do a partial trade with us which we are so grateful for!
Wanted to get some input from all of you professionals before we make moves.
We plan on driving this up north from TN in the spring. Will be living in it full time, with our 15 month old, dog and cat... And then hopefully driving her out west to live permanently. Those are our plans anyway, we'll see what life throws at us.

Anyway, any advice on this type of bus, size, impression, etc., would be more than greatly appreciated!!
Thanks,
Cait

72 passenger Thomas School Bus - $4,500 in Cookeville TN - LSN
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:25 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Would love some advice regarding CAT engine

What do you think about this bus??

72 passenger Thomas School Bus - $4,500 in Cookeville TN - LSN

I've read that most people on here don't really love the CAT engines.
Also, do you think the ceiling is too short to insulate floor and possibly ceiling??
Messaged the owner and he said that he thinks it's a 3116 engine.
I can't find info about specific CAT engines and which is most desirable.
Also, would we be paying too much? It has very low miles.
Just need some advice from more experienced people!
Thank you thank you thank you
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaityDid View Post
What do you think about this bus??

72 passenger Thomas School Bus - $4,500 in Cookeville TN - LSN

I've read that most people on here don't really love the CAT engines.
Also, do you think the ceiling is too short to insulate floor and possibly ceiling??
Messaged the owner and he said that he thinks it's a 3116 engine.
I can't find info about specific CAT engines and which is most desirable.
Also, would we be paying too much? It has very low miles.
Just need some advice from more experienced people!
Thank you thank you thank you
I don't see any problem- sure has low miles, but odometers are easy to swap, so grain of salt.

Cat motors are good, just pricey for parts. I suggest going out and driving it- try to hate it It will only make you more knowledgable about buses. bring a measuring tape.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:37 AM   #4
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Not a bad looking bus. I don't like seeing duct tape on things. I know CAT motors, they are the center of my day job, and they are good stout engines. The amount of money invested in producing a high quality long lasting engine compared to companies like cummins is rediculous. Part of the high expense.

Price isn't terrible for a non auction bus, but I'm sure it's quite negotiatable. Go for it.

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Old 08-10-2017, 04:16 AM   #5
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if the mileage is correct, is a good buy, unless of course it idled all day long since it was bought. n if is correct mileage engine n trans are worth more than average...
I like the cat engines, the 3116 can have a few issues, but i have always thought in school busses they can get mistreated... I have seen that lots in the districts i have worked for.
i have 3208 turbo ... like that.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:40 AM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaityDid View Post
What do you think about this bus??

72 passenger Thomas School Bus - $4,500 in Cookeville TN - LSN

I've read that most people on here don't really love the CAT engines.
Also, do you think the ceiling is too short to insulate floor and possibly ceiling??
Messaged the owner and he said that he thinks it's a 3116 engine.
I can't find info about specific CAT engines and which is most desirable.
Also, would we be paying too much? It has very low miles.
Just need some advice from more experienced people!
Thank you thank you thank you
Thats a $1500-$2500 bus on a good day. No one wants those 3116's.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Thats a $1500-$2500 bus on a good day. No one wants those 3116's.
What we could buy it for, yeah. Most private party buses in my area are nearly double that with a 366 propane, haha. Auction vs PvtPrty. I will take Cats all day long over 366'ers.

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Old 08-10-2017, 10:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Charlies.Contingency View Post
What we could buy it for, yeah. Most private party buses in my area are nearly double that with a 366 propane, haha. Auction vs PvtPrty. I will take Cats all day long over 366'ers.

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You can keep em!
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:07 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Decided no go on CAT

The guy wasn't really willing to go down on the price.
Felt a little sketchy because of his story about buying it for his daughter to travel and then quickly selling it. Felt like something was wrong, since he is a mechanic.

Decided to look at county auction busses like most people recommend on here. Just when we looked, about 11 of them went up on the site from the next school district over.
Went and checked them out today. Lots of oil and tranny leaks, most of them had ten year old tires on them! Some had missing parts and needed a lot of work.
Ended up feeling good about two of them.
Blue Bird 8.3 Cummins with the Allison MD3060 tranny.

Wondering what the consensus is about buying a bus that needs ALL new tires? Ugh. Any suggestions on where to get them?
Also, the air filter that they have in them are located above the rear deck level. So we would lose like 2/3's of the right rear window. Seems like we might be able to drop it down?

Thanks for the input. I so appreciate all the advice!!
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:11 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Engine

Picture of the engine on the bus #1 that we liked.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:19 PM   #11
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Engine: 7.3 idi
The 8.3 with the 3060 would be awesome. What kind of miles and body?
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:21 PM   #12
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All new tires is about 1800$ if you can get it cheap enough do it. Is that cummins with the 3060 on an auction?
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:33 PM   #13
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I usually don't even worry about the tires as long as they'll get me and the bus home.
I'd rather have a sweet bus with crap tires than a crappy bus on brand new Michelins.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:30 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Another option... Maybe.

EastCoast- good advice.
We'll see what's to come of it.

Until then, what do ya'll think of this thing??

https://www.copart.com/lot/35832627/
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:35 PM   #15
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also with tires.. if they will get you home safely.. dont replace them till you are ready to travel... if you are going to take a couple years to convert then the cost of tires is something to save for.. putting them on right away means that you have 2 years of tires to dry rot or get flat spots.. or god forbid something happens and you need to quit the project.. so buy the bus, drive it home.. convert it then go get tires..

-Christopher
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:36 PM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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also with tires.. if they will get you home safely.. dont replace them till you are ready to travel... if you are going to take a couple years to convert then the cost of tires is something to save for.. putting them on right away means that you have 2 years of tires to dry rot or get flat spots.. or god forbid something happens and you need to quit the project.. so buy the bus, drive it home.. convert it then go get tires..

-Christopher
Yes! perfectly put!
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
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EastCoast- good advice.
We'll see what's to come of it.

Until then, what do ya'll think of this thing??

https://www.copart.com/lot/35832627/
One door is on the floor, it would need some manner of door repair. Seat belt wrapped around the steering wheel indicates it was towed to where it sits - does it have mechanical problems? I see some body damage in the photo. I'm also told these style of bus bodies are prone to rusting out and there's no way to fix them (yes, I know the skin may be fiberglass but the skeleton is steel, which is what rusts out). You'll want to check it thoroughly for rust, which is fairly likely in MD.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:09 PM   #18
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all the black on the back makes me wonder if it was blowing oil out the exhaust more than normal?

-Christopher
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:24 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Yea, probs not.

Christopher - thanks for taking the time to write that.
Totally makes sense, will take your advice on that.

Not sure about our time line yet. Still need a bus!

Also, not really into the limo bus.
It was offered to us from the mechanic that had the CAT pusher.
$1,500 IF we drive to get it. Otherwise, he wants $3,000.

Putting all of our good vibes and energy on the Blue Bird.
Weighing out our options. It's fun learning about all of the different kinds of busses.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:32 PM   #20
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My father and I have purchased countless vehicles from copart over the past 20+ years. They sell mostly insurance vehicles. Many times we have driven across country to pick up a vehicle just to find out that it was worthless. That point you have to pay Copart to resell it again. Some great deals can be had there but be aware that you can lose your tail really fast.

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