Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-02-2016, 05:11 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Justin McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 160
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
Want to make the leap!

Hello from Texas! I am new to this site, but have been reading the posts since the beginning of the year, trying to do as much research as possible. My wife and I want to make the leap into starting a Skoolie project. We have 4 kids, so are looking for something larger, probably an 83 passenger bus.

We have finally saved up enough money to make a bus purchase and have watching the auction sites. We noticed some nice busses up in Tennessee that look good: https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...timingWithin=1But they are a bit far away.

We did find a local auction that ends Monday and wanted to get your opinion on what they are selling.

Its a 1997 Thomas 83 Passenger School Bus (Saf-T-Liner MVP ER). It has 235,871 miles (18,660 hours) with an engine rebuild at 150,889. It has a Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine, Auto (MT 643) with Air Brakes. Body is mostly in good shape, a few dents and dings, but nothing major. Its a Texas bus so it has absolutely no rust (at least visible rust) The maintenance logbook looked standard, with no major issues and had routine maintenance performed.

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/HJizPA]

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GRwqEw]

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GRFnHv]

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GRwqHN]

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GRFnJH]

I am thinking that since it has a smaller engine with lots of miles, I would not want to be spending much on this bus, but wanted to see if you guys thought it would be worth pursuing at all.

I would be grateful for any advice!
Justin McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 05:40 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
GreyCoyote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Welcome! Where in Texas are you? Lots of us floating around here. Zip 77534 here.

According to your photos, that bus only has about 80k on the new engine! And thats not much if it was properly maintained. Could be a real steal. Certainly looks cosmetically in good shape.

Tires condition?

Hey: you've got the good trans. I'm liking this bus...
__________________
"You can finally say you have enough horsepower when you leave two black streaks from corner to corner"
(Mark Donohue, famed TransAm driver)
GreyCoyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 05:47 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
Justin McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 160
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
Thanks for the reply! Good to know there is a community here in Texas. 76013

Tires have good tread, but have some sidewall weathering.

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/HmXUeb]
Justin McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 10:07 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin McCormick View Post
Hello from Texas! I am new to this site, but have been reading the posts since the beginning of the year, trying to do as much research as possible. My wife and I want to make the leap into starting a Skoolie project. We have 4 kids, so are looking for something larger, probably an 83 passenger bus.

We have finally saved up enough money to make a bus purchase and have watching the auction sites. We noticed some nice busses up in Tennessee that look good: https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...timingWithin=1But they are a bit far away.

We did find a local auction that ends Monday and wanted to get your opinion on what they are selling.

Its a 1997 Thomas 83 Passenger School Bus (Saf-T-Liner MVP ER). It has 235,871 miles (18,660 hours) with an engine rebuild at 150,889. It has a Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine, Auto (MT 643) with Air Brakes. Body is mostly in good shape, a few dents and dings, but nothing major. Its a Texas bus so it has absolutely no rust (at least visible rust) The maintenance logbook looked standard, with no major issues and had routine maintenance performed.

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/HJizPA]

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GRwqEw]

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GRFnHv]

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GRwqHN]

[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GRFnJH]

I am thinking that since it has a smaller engine with lots of miles, I would not want to be spending much on this bus, but wanted to see if you guys thought it would be worth pursuing at all.

I would be grateful for any advice!

I agree on this bus being a good find. It's close to you, has low mileage on the replacement engine, and has a desired engine/tranny combo and is the size bus you want. I would go for it if your inspection checks out to your satisfaction.
dgorila1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 10:53 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
2kool4skool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 783
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children, 1 cat
Welcome!!


Look like caps to me...
__________________
Don and Mary
2kool4skool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 11:43 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,169
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Howdy & Welcome from yet another Tejano! --- Houston here. Looks pretty sweet actually. Fairly high miles but a rebuilt 5.9 is a great engine and the 643 is a bonus.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 11:48 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: chicago, il
Posts: 220
Year: 2003
Chassis: IC CE
Engine: T444
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kool4skool View Post
Welcome!!


Look like caps to me...
are there three numbers or 4 on the tires one and two that is a bad sign for tires a very bad sign, it is not weathering it is dry rot. That tire would need to be replaced, it has a great chance of blowout in its current condition.
Azuleslight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 12:50 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 924
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
I'd put those tires on my trailer and run 'em until they're bald.

The 5.9 Cummins engine is pretty good, except the ones with the "53" casting number (which I think was from '99 - '02 or so?). The earlier ones had a KDP (Killer Dowel Pin, I think it was), in which a dowel pin can come out and fall into the timing gears - a rebuilt likely took care of this when it was apart.

Other than that, looks good, I'd say go for it.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 07:31 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
That Thomas looks like a pretty nice bus.

Since it is an MVP model it was built and priced like a Blue Bird TC2000--a value priced model made with lighter duty parts and pieces than the
HDX/Westcoaster or the All American. The most significant difference would be the axle and brake sizing. For someone in TX that shouldn't be a problem. For those of us out here on the left coast there is no such thing as too much brake surface.

The rebuilt motor is a plus. The rear engine is nice for noise and heat while driving. Coach A/C in a school bus is usually a $$$$ pit and doesn't really cool the driver off while going down the road. I would not pay extra for a school bus with A/C.

Top pricing would be in the $5K neighborhood.

The buses at the auction site look to be fair buses. I would rate those buses as in the same sort of price range
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 07:49 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
Justin McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 160
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
Thanks for the response and welcomes!

@2kool4skool: I assume caps means its been retread? The shop mechanic did mention that.

@Azuleslight: not sure I understand about the numbers. I posted another picture here:
[IMG][url=https://flic.kr/p/GSCedK]

@Brad_SwiftFur: That is great info, thanks!

@cowlitzcoach: I appreciate the price estimate, that will help in the bidding. I looked up the cost of those tires (aprox $500 each new) and knowing that they may need replaced sooner rather than latter, will have to take that into consideration as well.
Justin McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.