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Old 09-21-2016, 01:05 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Johnston County, NC
Posts: 17
Year: 1990
Chassis: Blue Bird tc/2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 L L6 diesel
Rated Cap: 48 (12 windows)
Skoolie Wannabee in NC


I am planning to purchase a 60-65 passenger school bus in the next month or two. So... I have a few questions:

I am in Johnston County (near Raleigh). NC counties sell their own school buses. Does anyone out there know which NC counties have the best maintenance of their buses?

I am considering a 65-pax 1996 International 3600 Vista 7.6L L6 Diesel bus with 178,195 miles - Is this a decent model?

Thanks for your comments. I'm sure I will have a lot more questions ...
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Statesville, North Carolina
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Year: 1993
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Engine: International Navistar DT360
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We got our from Burlington and it's in great condition as far as chassis, tires, etc. The bus garage guy hid a coolant leak from us, though, and we had to do a rebuild of the engine. That being said, if you make sure to DEMAND the paperwork on the bus maintenance history before buying, they have some pretty nice condition buses. I'd stay away from the mountains and coast due to rust, but even they don't have much rust compared to other states. I visited a few garages in the Piedmont and they were all decent.
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:48 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Johnston County, NC
Posts: 17
Year: 1990
Chassis: Blue Bird tc/2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 L L6 diesel
Rated Cap: 48 (12 windows)
Thanks so much for your input! I will definitely get a maintenance report.
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:47 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North carolina
Posts: 552
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Detroit 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
I was working just north of Raleigh around the mebane/Graham area a couple months ago and seen just off of I-40/85 around exit 145-152 on the left heading north/west
A huge to me bus maintenance barn. I don't know if it was that counties or the state's itself?
I always wanted to stop and talk to them but I was only in the area on the weekends.
I bought my bus from the beach county I live in and the maintenance was great with full maintenance records from the day the state bought and delivered it to the county. Very minimal rust for an 86 beach bus.
The only complaint I have is my power train but that is on me not the ones that sold it to me.
The busses around here were built for stop and go on the back roads not to much highway speeds. Make sure to look for the right power train for your intended purpose from the start. It might cost more upfront but will save more money for your build in the end.
For example? I bought a good solid platform for 2800$ to begin with,have salvaged,pillaged,plundered to build my interior and am 90 % done inside and have salvaged holding tanks underside that I am tying in now. I am 4000$ in but now I want bigger rim/tires 2000$ new/used rear end or differential with better gearing 1500-3000$ cause my bus will only do 49-mph and I would like to do at least 55-60?
That want kinda of debates what I want for a generator,storage bins, AC and several other little odd and ends that could be accumulated a little at a time?
Not trying to scare you just wish I would have found much less spent time on this forum before I made my choice and not after I was 2-years in? Again my choice so no complaints here just some advice from experience.

Good luck
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:46 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
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Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
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got mine from Charlotte, no rust well maintained.
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:08 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Johnston County, NC
Posts: 17
Year: 1990
Chassis: Blue Bird tc/2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 L L6 diesel
Rated Cap: 48 (12 windows)
Thanks for your insight.

If anyone is interested in a NC bus, here is the website to see what is available:

North Carolina School Bus Surplus System
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:14 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Johnston County, NC
Posts: 17
Year: 1990
Chassis: Blue Bird tc/2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 L L6 diesel
Rated Cap: 48 (12 windows)
What would be the right power train for highway travel (up to 60mph?) - I plan on living in one spot pretty much full time but would like to take it across country every year or so.

My understanding is that when I am not traveling, I need to run the motor for 30-60 minutes every week and keep the oil changed on schedule. Anything else I need to know?
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:35 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 430
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom +1
alternatively if you're in Charlotte right now apparently you could just go loot the sh!t out of a bus and claim it as your own...
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:48 PM   #9
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Location: WNC
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Welcome, I'm in Asheville. Not too far away!
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:35 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Johnston County, NC
Posts: 17
Year: 1990
Chassis: Blue Bird tc/2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 L L6 diesel
Rated Cap: 48 (12 windows)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHooligan View Post
Welcome, I'm in Asheville. Not too far away!
Not too far at all! Until last year, I lived in Haywood County - just down the road from you!
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