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Old 04-02-2019, 02:18 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Newbie from NC pricing buses

Looking for a bus that is under 30' bumper to bumper, having a hard time finding something decent, seems like everyone here finds amazing deals, maybe I haven't been looking long enough. Looking for opinions on what I have found, what I should go look at, and what isn't worth the time. Everyone says they have good tires.

1998 International 3600, Dt466E, AT545, 140k, maintenance records, $4k

1990 Bluebird TC/2000 FE, cummins 5.9, AT545, 80k miles, rebuilt transmission, 30' bumper to bumper, $4k (delivered)

2001 GMC 3500 cutaway, 6.5lT (I know...I know), 4L80, 90k miles $5.5k

2004 Thomas, C7, Allison 2000, FE flatnose, 9000hrs, odo shows 40k, $5k

Thanks to everyone, looks like a great forum here.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:10 PM   #2
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Year: 2004
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I’m sure you’ll get more experienced folks responding. We’re relatively new to this world. Ours looks very similar to the 2004 Thomas you’ve listed. We love it. All the gurus say to stay away from anything newer than 2004...emissions & overall quality drops with the more recent stuff. Guessing the odometer is wrong at 40K with 9000 hrs! We got ours out of Washington because that seems to be a hotbed for solid, no rust busses. We spent $4K on ours, more than some would pay but feel great about it.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:13 PM   #3
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You don't check tires by how much tread or how new they look. Look for a date code on the tire to see how old they are. Some may be so old they are ready to come apart, but look good with lots of tread left.
I can almost guarantee you the mileage listed on all your buses are not accurate. I would bet everyone has had the dash replaced. I personally will never own a bus with an AT545.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
You don't check tires by how much tread or how new they look. Look for a date code on the tire to see how old they are. Some may be so old they are ready to come apart, but look good with lots of tread left.
I can almost guarantee you the mileage listed on all your buses are not accurate. I would bet everyone has had the dash replaced. I personally will never own a bus with an AT545.
Very familiar with tires and DOT date codes, will check everything out, my statement was more to show it is a variable I cannot attest to, other then the sellers starements.
Familiar with the AT545 hatred, sounds like a 643 swap is pretty straight forward....no big, heavy hauls are planned for the immediate future, so I would just keep my eyes open for a swap in the future.

Opinions on prices, or other details, issues a newbie to the skoolie world might overlook?
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:59 PM   #5
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Location: Swansboro,NC
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Where are you at in NC.
My local NC school district has some up for sale and there is a huge bus barn in between Raleigh/Durham and Winston Salem.
I found mine at a bus barn and NC makes them keep strict maintenance records.
Don't know for a fact? But I doubt the Charlotte,mecklenburg area buses have the 545?
One because of the interstate travel in between off ramps and two because of the hills.
I have always had good luck with stopping by the bus barns,pulling right up to the mechanics bays and walking in like you have been there before.
Either look for the older mechanic or ask the first one you see which one the boss man is.
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:44 PM   #6
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There are multiple threads on here about the AT545 transmissions. They aren't built in a way to allow you to use the engine to slow down in the mountains. Not having that can be a hairy ride to the bottom if your brakes fade from too much use.


On flat-and-level you just have to watch out for extra heat in the 545s over the other transmissions.


Please look up the collective wisdom on here about the various transmissions....
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:59 PM   #7
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If you buy a NC bus set aside money to regear it. Most of the buses there are geared/limited to 45-50 mph.
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:51 PM   #8
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Everything has pros and cons, but none of the listings look particularly promising. Unless there is some reason you absolutely must start now, keep looking.
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:39 PM   #9
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Don't know for sure but I am thinking the newer ones with computer control may only be speed limited in the computer and not geared for a specific speed range like the older mechanical buses.
I have heard the mechanics talk about when they accept new buses driven down hear at interstate speeds they have to re-set the speed for activity or route bus.
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:54 PM   #10
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http://www.skoolie.net/forums/editpo...tpost&p=317799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
Don't know for sure but I am thinking the newer ones with computer control may only be speed limited in the computer and not geared for a specific speed range like the older mechanical buses.
I have heard the mechanics talk about when they accept new buses driven down hear at interstate speeds they have to re-set the speed for activity or route bus.
While governed in the computer the gearing will still limit the top speed.
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