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Old 04-04-2018, 01:34 AM   #1
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So new I don't have feet yet

Hey everyone as it says I'm so new and have almost no idea what I'm doing. Did a bit of research to the point I have blue prints drawn up for how I want my skoolie to look. I went through a vocational school so the inside of the bus/house I'm comfortable with....but the bus itself....im clueless😣😣😣. What are some things I should look out for? I pretty much have what type of bus I want A 12 window Blue Bird Vision found one that's a 2007 for $12,000 is that a good price? Wow dragging on sorry😓😓
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:09 AM   #2
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Hey everyone as it says I'm so new and have almost no idea what I'm doing. Did a bit of research to the point I have blue prints drawn up for how I want my skoolie to look. I went through a vocational school so the inside of the bus/house I'm comfortable with....but the bus itself....im clueless😣😣😣. What are some things I should look out for? I pretty much have what type of bus I want A 12 window Blue Bird Vision found one that's a 2007 for $12,000 is that a good price? Wow dragging on sorry😓😓
It's a good price for the market it is aimed at.

At 10 years old it can be put right back into service as a school, day-care or church bus. Buses hold a decent price until they hit around 15-years-old, then the bottom drops out of the price.

Unfortunately, by 2007 they were so encumbered by emissions equipment, the bottom might drop out of the engine before the price falls.

Generally we look to recommend buses 2004 and earlier. They have the bonus of more reliable engines and much lower prices, while remaining in good condition for our purposes.

I would suggest you spend a little time browsing a few auction sites to get a feel of the market. Three to start with are:

publicsurplus.com
Govdeals.com
purplewave.com

Good luck
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:51 PM   #3
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What does it mean "bottom might drop out of the engine...." is that literal!??
What would be a good recommended budget for the bus including possible maintenance costs
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:43 PM   #4
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What does it mean "bottom might drop out of the engine...." is that literal!??
What would be a good recommended budget for the bus including possible maintenance costs
I mean that the emissions controls loaded onto those engines made for some of the most unreliable buses ever produced.

Maintenance costs are "how long is a piece of string?" If you get a good one, all you need to do is perform scheduled servicing and drive it. If you get an unreliable, or broken bus the costs could be from a few hundred dollars, to thousands.

In the main, buses that are sold as "running". and that have no significant engine blow-by, are a decent choice.

From the mid-90s through 2004 they usually range in price from $1000 to $5000 at auction.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:04 PM   #5
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Cool thanks alot I might find something pretty nice
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:23 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forums and good luck with your bus hunt! What part of Jersey are you from? My wife and I are working on a short Skoolie in Morris County.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:29 PM   #7
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Thanks😁😁 we are in Middlesex county. My fiancee and I are getting all our plans together to begin our skoolie project after we get married😀 we are looking at a 72 passenger/12 window Blue Bird
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:31 AM   #8
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I would second the vote for something pre-2004.

I am not sure exactly why you are only considering a Blue Bird. The IC/AmTrans and the Thomas buses are very good alternatives.

The most important things for which you need to be concerned about is the power package and rust.

The Allison AT500 series automatic transmission is an adequate transmission and can go a really long way with few problems. Part of their design limitations is in most cases the transmission does not lock up in any gear. Non-lockup can result in a lots of heat when climbing a hill and can cook a transmission. The MT600 and HT700 series have lock up torque convertors so they will not get nearly as hot going up the hill and they will tend to hold back while going back down the other side--which can save a lot of wear and tear on your service brakes.

The most common engines found in school buses are CAT, Cummins, and IHC. Mercedes-Benz and Brazillian Ford engines can be found in some buses. The best engines are the big inline sixes from Cummins and IHC. They could be found in school buses with HP ratings starting at 235 HP and going over 300 HP. As any hot rodder will tell you, you can't beat cubic inches. And the bigger engines just do a better job for what you will be doing with it.

As far as rust is concerned, consider rust like cancer. A little surface rust that can be scrubbed off and converted is not a big deal. But if the rust has gotten below the surface and needs any surgery to repair you need to find another bus.

And then one other thing to consider. Most larger buses have air brakes. You really do NOT want a bus with hydraulic brakes. It isn't that hydraulic brakes won't do the job. It is just that air brakes can sit for years and work without having to rebuild a brake system that has rusted from the inside out.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:44 AM   #9
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in your avatar it says you are looking for a vision. Id look for a Gen 1 high top vision if thats the style you want, bluebird was making their own chassis for the visions with various engine variants.. the Gen 1 seems to be the most reliable of the visions (at least thats what I hear from the people who actually drive / drove them for school busses carrying kids).

there were a lot of different engines and trans around.. most of the visions ive seen have the desirable allison 2000 series transmissions.
-Christopher
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:45 AM   #10
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:24 PM   #11
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I was looking at a particular blue Bird for awhile and kinda got a little set on it but getting more info I would broaden my search ������ but still they same to have what I like that's why I wanted a vision
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