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Old 10-14-2016, 04:00 PM   #11
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,705
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 32
Originally Posted by TheRoanBus View Post
Hi Cowlitzcoach,

Wow, your explanation for each question was very detailed and through! Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to respond to my tedious questions. I have been doing my fare share of research, but not having any electrical, and construction experience lends itself to long frustrating hours of trying to figure it out myself. I think the next move for me is to design some floor plans with idea of where the necessities belong and where wires and such go.

Thank you again! I really liking this Skoolie community!

P.S. I enjoyed your response to question 8, about weight, when you said, "For every additional pound you put in the bus it will require an extra expenditure of dead dinosaurs to move it."

~ Live a Life Worth Repeating.
Cowlitzcoach is awesome. A real well of bus knowledge. REAL WORLD bus knowledge!
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:32 PM   #12
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 43
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000
Engine: 7.6 L / DT466
Rated Cap: 72 Pass.
Yeah, Ive probably spent 15 hours researching, of course that includes scrolling through all of the beautifully done skoolies on Pinterest! Ive just learned about skoolies 2 weeks ago and I can't stop thinking about it! Ive never done a big project like this, (college projects are different) and not something I've orchestrated myself. I want to test my passions and give myself a challenge that I can be proud of.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:55 PM   #13
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 266
Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 25.999K
Big project.

Just get started. And know it will be hard sometimes. As mentioned earlier, it NEEDS to be fun!!! Buses get way more SMILES PER GALLON than about any other vehicle!!
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:22 PM   #14
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Darrington, Wa.
Posts: 304
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Genesis/Am-Tran Tall Roof
Chassis: International, 643 transmission
Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
Rated Cap: 86 screaming Monsters
I don't have a smiles per gallon gauge yet.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:28 PM   #15
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 1,647
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Her, me and Molly
Isn't it harder to maintenance the RE since I think the transmission in behind the engine?
The transmission is still behind the engine, the engine is just pointed the other way. Accessibility depends on the manufacturer. On a Bluebird RE the whole back end opens, everything is quite accessible. FEFC buses you have to remove the doghouse and then work through that hole in the floor. FE conventional, in my opinion, it's always a pain to have to reach over the front tires.

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Old 10-14-2016, 08:52 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,615
1. An RE is actually easier to work on than and FE bus has somewhereinusa noted. Everything has to be accessed through the doghouse on an FE and that is not a very big hole. Some regular maintenance items like the serpentine belt are accessed easier by taking the radiator out--which is why it is hinged on the FE to make removing it easier.

Almost everything that needs regular service on an RE bus can be reached while standing on the ground. The transmission is no harder to access than any other transmission. I would highly recommend you do NOT permanently cover any access panels that are in the floor. Some of them have been put in the floor of the bus to reach areas under the bus that you can NOT reach from down below.

I would not take a bus to any old shop. Most truck shops really do not know anything about buses. As a consequence they can mess them up. Most truck mechanics think everything is the same in a bus as in a truck but arranged differently. That is true to a certain extent. But buses have systems most trucks do not have which can mess the process up when it comes time to pop the hood and see what is in the engine compartment. For instance, the serpentine belt and air filters on an FE bus. The more you learn to do yourself the more $$$ you are going to save.

Since most smaller diesel engines use anywhere from 12 quarts to 30 quarts of oil the cost of the oil is going to be substantially higher for a bus than on a car. You will need to change at least one oil filter (some buses have two), at least one fuel filter (most buses have at least two), and if you are lucky an external transmission filter. At the same time doing a regular 30-point safety check which would include brake adjustment, lube the chassis, check the air pressure in all of the tires, and checking the lights will usually run a minimum of $350.00 can go over $1,000.00.

2. I am not familiar with the Yeti products so I have no opinion on how well they work or don't work. What I do know is the quality of solar power products have made quantum leaps in how well they convert sun light into stored power. With the size of the roof of the bus you can put a lot of collectors up there. It is important that you mount them in a way they can be angled to catch the sun. Mounting them flat on the roof might work in CA, AZ, NM, or TX but isn't going to work well going north.
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Old 10-22-2016, 06:44 PM   #17
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Posts: 2
Bus $?

Hi all. I'm new to the site today. My son and I are looking to start a project and want to make sure we get the best bang for our buck. We found a 2003 international 72 passenger. 446 DT diesel, Allison auto, air brakes with 131000 miles. Owner is asking $4000. He says everything works like it should and it drives great. I have not actually seen it yet. Curious if he's in the ballpark with the price? Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2016, 08:51 PM   #18
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 737
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
I think you mean the DT466 engine.... with the Allison transmission it should be the MT643.... can't really beat that combination.

Not really sure where you're located.... if the body and chassis are in good shape then 4000 is a pretty fair price for that rig in most places... though it might be a little high in other places.

If you have a chance to go inspect it and take a test drive it would certainly behoove you to do so, make sure for yourself everything is as it should be.
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:50 PM   #19
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,615
A 2003 most likely has a MD3060 automatic.

At $4K that is not a bad price depending on condition and mileage.

The mileage is actually right in the center of what is typical.

Some operators take better care of their equipment than others. I have seen some Laidlaw buses (the precursor of First Student) that were not very old that were one tow bill away from the crusher. I have seen some district owned buses that were 30-years old that looked almost brand new.

The only other thing I would be concerned about would be rust.

For those of us out here on the left coast bad rust is when the black paint is not longer shiny on the frame rails. For those in the rust belt bad rust is where you can read the classifieds through the holes.
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:02 PM   #20
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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Thanks for the input. I plan ongoing and checking it out. It's only about an hour away. The pics look pretty good but in VT rust can be an issue. We'll see. Thanks.
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