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Old 02-28-2018, 04:28 PM   #1
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a $900 bus?

well, i started a thread recently about a $1500 bus in Lubbock...

i'm having issues with that deal and, here's another bus...

a 2002 Thomas for $900 that needs a motor...

and it may be closer to me

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Old 02-28-2018, 04:33 PM   #2
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I would pass. A replacement motor is very likely to greatly exceed the cost of buying a running bus at an auction.


If you had a project in mind, such as installing a much bigger motor, then the old motor (or lack thereof) won't make any difference.
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Old 02-28-2018, 04:38 PM   #3
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yeah, having no motor would be a great advantage if I can get a mechanic to guide me through a rebuild...
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:02 PM   #4
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I'm looking to do just that, since i don't think the chassis/body/engine /tranny combo I want was actually built. So far the only thing holding me back for the $500-$1000 buses is the tow bill is a deal breaker. With the tow bill added i could just as easily buy a trashed running bus to get home to do a swap.
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:25 PM   #5
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If you start rebuilding a motor you are going to run into a bunch of hidden costs... Tools, hoist rentals, tools.., parts. $$$ Not to mention a lot of time that would be better spent on better things such as interior restoration.

Personally I would pass. actually I would run.
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:32 PM   #6
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i'm looking at the education benefit...idk if I can find a mechanic to help me though...i'm already wage slave for a major corporation...wouldn't be hard to be a slave to my dreams
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:34 PM   #7
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you think the tow would be that high? have you considered ushipit? private contractors bid on the loads
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:40 PM   #8
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This first couple of years sure feels like being a slave to the dream, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I'd pass on that beast, and I haven't even looked at it closely. Sorry but that whole idea just sounds like a lot of expense followed by disappointment, and if you succeed you end up with a normal bus at a likely higher than average cost.

Not saying you don't have skills. If you had a nice shop, lots of time and money, you might make it if you don't run out of money. Your local mechanics would drain you like a bank card machine.

That's a hard job with 3 or 4 guys that know what they're doing. Rapid removal and replacement of major components was my specialty training. I had my own mech team. The engines 40 years ago seemed a lot simpler to work on. Back then my hands didn't swell up every time I picked up a wrench either.

My team, of 5 total, usually processed 10 to 13 trucks per day. These were usually engine swaps but also included transmission, clutches, axles, valve bodies, fuel pumps or whatever was needed. It was an ideal shop with a huge crane and stocks of parts. Everything was laid out so it was a production environment.

We felt like moles. We'd go into the shop early while it was still dark and at the end of the day we came out when it was dark again. It's pretty hard to keep an eye on 50 mechanics so you can figure we had some extra curricular projects in the background. Anybody familiar with the GammaGoat? Those were much faster without the trailer, easily breaking 80 mph.

But I digress. Point is unless you’ve got a good diesel shop to work in, this would likely not be a good learning experience. This kind of thing is something you’d set up for a kid that you didn’t like very much. I wouldn’t try it here in my driveway, not to say it couldn’t be done.

I’d rather see you driving a bus than working on a bus. Or am I preaching to to the quire? Don't remember where your minds at.
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:03 PM   #9
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lots of great insight...with prices this low...they probably came to that same, here's the situation i'm in...1)I want a better place to live; it don't have to be a bus...2)I want land; a place of my own...3) transportation and am looking at a Ice Bear 150 trike....

I can't do all three at once...we know about the bus...the land i'm looking at is $500dn and less than $300/mo on a 15yr note...and the trike is just less than $3000 new...

i'd rather have the bus in Lubbock (which needs a tranny)...the buses are gonna be gone before I pay off the scooter and ain't no telling about the land...I got to go look at it(and that's the orzarks; 12hr away)...

so which would pursue? i'm kinda thinking screw the long-term investments and go for the trike...on the other hand i'd really love having 5 to 8 acres for my retirement in 7yr...and if I had the bus AND a storage spot I could get out of this dump (it's a bunkhouse)

hopefully I didn't leave out so many words that my reply don't make sense
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:09 PM   #10
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I have dreams like that to and I have a lot of mechanicking skills and even pricing the stuff for my old ford truck that I would like to do the stuff for my heavy Chevy work truck that I have to do and then my bus comes into the picture? All in a gravel driveway. So much fun at times?
Depending on what motor was in that bus an exact replacement to get all the wiring,turbo,radiator hoses .engine mounts,transmission mounts, and every little thing associated with trying to replace exactly what was there with out being the one that did it?
Will be time and money consuming in itself.
Finding an upgrade motor that will fit with all of the wiring harnesses motor mounts dipstick tubes,hoses,power steering pump and hoses AC compressor and on and on will not likely happen because the upgraded motor was not made to be in a school bus and will might not have all the correct sensors to match the wiring and another on and on money pit.
Even if you have a good school mechanic to help he probably can guess at all of that to put a different motor and tranny in but none of that's cheap
Just the motor and tranny are 2000$ each and upwards much less the stuff I just mentioned.
Ain't gonna say pass but am gonna say that in my opinion it would be a 10-15 grand and several years before I would even think about building on an un solid platform.
I didn't get the powertrain I wanted but I did get a solid one for 2400$
With all the schools records from the day it was ordered until the day it was sold to me.
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