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Old 04-14-2018, 07:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: near Christiansburg VA
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Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 44 or 66? 11 rows
2002, Cummins 5.9, Allison 2000, 204K - worth $2800?

All,

I'm needing a bus as a moving van to get across country, then sell at the other end for a proper conversion. This one might be a good choice, and I would love any comments you might have.

The seller is a bus mechanic who buys several buses a year to resell them. He's four hours away. The ad says,
  • 2002 Freightliner Thomas Body School Bus
  • 24V Cummins with 204k miles
  • Allison 2000 overdrive transmission, air brakes and rear air ride suspension.
  • Overall the bus is in good condition and runs good.
  • The bus needs a little cosmetic TLC and a good cleaning but that's about it.
  • I have all of the maintenance records since it was purchased new.
He says the injection pump has been replaced, and it has the low lift pump warning trick installed. Tomorrow he'll be getting me the DOT codes from the front tires (says the backs are recaps, and that the tread is good all around).

Is this worth $2800? What should I look for when I arrive?

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Old 04-14-2018, 08:00 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,256
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
I think $2800 isn't bad.
  1. Steer tires CANNOT be recaps.
  2. Check all the tires.
  3. Start the bus yourself when it's cold. Listen to all the sounds.
  4. Look closely for rust. Stairwells can be nasty.
  5. Some frame rail rust is normal. If you can poke a screwdriver through the rust, RUN AWAY.
  6. Take it for a test run. Listen to the shift points.
  7. Get it out on the highway.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:20 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: near Christiansburg VA
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Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 44 or 66? 11 rows
Thanks, Captain!
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:52 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Pendleton Indiana
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Look it over good,looks to be decent. So are you going to do a conversion or just selling after move. Either way I think you will be ok on it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:30 AM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: near Christiansburg VA
Posts: 692
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 44 or 66? 11 rows
No place to park it to do the conversion, no money to do the conversion, and the county won't let you live in it more than 6 months out of the year. On top of cold weather. Wish we could... but we're planning on selling it at the other end, for a conversion or for someone moving east.

Seems that the price isn't jaw-dropping good, but it feels reasonable to me: would you agree? The fellow selling it runs the bus garage at a large private school, and he posts a lot of helpful stuff on schoolbusfleet.com. Nice guy on the phone.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:13 PM   #6
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I looked at a couple busses this guy had for sale when I first started looking. He was honest and helpful even though I did not buy one of them.
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