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Old 10-19-2016, 07:05 PM   #1
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Bus at auction has "Trans Control Module Issue" - advice?

I am interested in a bus, which looks good EXCEPT for the note on the auction posting, "Transmission Control Module Issue". Their starting bid is $1k while the others they are offering start at $2k. My guess is that the south-of-the-border shippers will ignore this one and bid up the other buses to well over $3k. Looks like a new module, programmed, might cost me $1100-1500. Maybe. Thoughts?
  • 2005 International conventional. though per the VIN it might be a 2006
  • 64 passenger (Door, 1 wide window, and ten normal windows on rt side).
  • 186,585 miles
  • "body rust" per listing - will inspect tomorrow
  • Air brakes
  • DT466 engine
  • Allison 3060 transmission, I believe (but will verify tomorrow)
  • VIN 4DRBUAAN76A152174

This bus comes from our local school district, which is meticulous about maintenance and will give me all of the service records from day of purchase. I will be inspecting it tomorrow and will check for tire wear and date, as well as getting the transmission model and serial number so I can get a firm quote on the module.

Any comments appreciated.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:56 PM   #2
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It would be one to watch, but with much caution. If the bid goes up to $2K and you have to do the work ($1100-1500) this could cost as much or more than a road ready one.
The DT466E is a good engine, the non-E is preferred, but still good.
I would be afraid of the rust issue. It might be worth the cost to fly and drive for a bus that has no rust.
I just bought a 1985 Blue bird for $1500 and a 1991 Ward for $825, both 66 passenger and both rust free.
If you could get a deal like that, even $1000 for the flight and fuel would get you a rust free bus at a good price.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:07 PM   #3
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Hi,

I saw those busses online. Some nice looking ones. Did you see the 93 is Montross VA? I'm in Richmond. Happy to visit if you pass through

Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:14 PM   #4
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Hi,

I saw those busses online. Some nice looking ones. Did you see the 93 is Montross VA? I'm in Richmond. Happy to visit if you pass through

Good luck!
Thanks! I can't image buying one of these, to be frank: I want to stay married. But this will give me a good idea of what might be available come the time we're preparing to move. (We want to pull the seats and use the shell as a moving van and metal tent combo to get across country, then sell it to someone at the other end.)

These are in Christiansburg VA and can be viewed at Public Surplus: Government Surplus Auctions if anyone else is interested. If you want me to look at one of 'em specifically, post question before 1 PM Eastern on 10/20.
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:03 AM   #5
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the TCM "issue" could actually be a transmission issue.. on many of these transmissions, separate diagnostics are pulled from the TCM.. the TCM wil lset its own codes if the transmission goes int oa failure.. its not just as easy as going and biuying a TCM and plugging it in.. those have ot be programmed first for the application they are going into.. an Allison dealer would have to program it to your Bus;s VIN or it may not properly talk to the engine or control the transmission in a manner consistent with your bus..

a TCM issue could also mean it is failing to talk to the ECM.. in that case the transmission goes into a Limp-mode.. every allisons limp mode is different.. some just shut-down and fail to operate, others run only in 2nd gear or reverse..

I am a computer guy but at an auction I would be inclined to pass.. only because I wouldnt have the ability to jump in and get more info about the TCM issues...

-Christopher
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:40 AM   #6
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I doubt that i would by that bus. Why buy a bus that needs a $1000 plus in reprs right off. Will it need to be towed?
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:49 PM   #7
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Turns out the problem is one which shows up intermittently: it displays "Restricted Device" or some such (I'll call him back if it's important) once every fifty times you put it into gear, or a few times in a row, perhaps. You turn the rig off, start it again, and usually you're good to go. It worked fine today when I looked at it. Considering my use, it might be OK just to run it as is. BUT... we're having no luck with insurance, and we won't really need the rig for a few years (it will be a moving van for us). So we've broken out the popcorn and will be watching the bidding on this and the other rigs they have. Thanks for the input...
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:48 PM   #8
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THAT BUS WENT FOR $4309 !!!

Were some people... um... kinda enthusiastic about that bus? Sure seems like it would have been a decent deal at $1000 - maybe even $1500. But $4309 ?!?
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:38 AM   #9
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Woulda been ten grand here in FL.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:30 PM   #10
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Was it fellow skoolie enthusiasts that were bidding it up?
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:39 PM   #11
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Was it fellow skoolie enthusiasts that were bidding it up?
Even the mechanic here in Virginia said that the "no-speak-English" folks (his words) snapped up every bus they could for shipment south.
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:46 AM   #12
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Even the mechanic here in Virginia said that the "no-speak-English" folks (his words) snapped up every bus they could for shipment south.
Around here EVERY bus is pretty much going to the exporters. They'll pay whatever they have to pay to win pretty much every auction.
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:58 AM   #13
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Around here EVERY bus is pretty much going to the exporters. They'll pay whatever they have to pay to win pretty much every auction.
and they buy from dealers too.. I was talking to the folks at BGA the other day and they were driving something like 20 busses from their lot down to the shipping containers in miami... really nice busses.. and we knopw BGA busses arent the cheapest out there..

when i got my shortie in texas, the day i picked it up, a whole group of guys came all at once and were picking up like nearly all of the mechanical DT-466 busses 10 of them.. all to go for export.. those guys came prepared too.. they had trucks and tools, batteries, parts, etc... I got the idea it wasnt their first time at buying a bunch of busses to go to mexico...

I have no idea what they do with so many busses but im always seeing them in florida headed south presumably to the ports of tampa and miami.. sometimes they are using a 14 row nus to flat tow another 14 row bus..

-Christopher
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:29 AM   #14
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and they buy from dealers too.. I was talking to the folks at BGA the other day and they were driving something like 20 busses from their lot down to the shipping containers in miami... really nice busses.. and we knopw BGA busses arent the cheapest out there..

when i got my shortie in texas, the day i picked it up, a whole group of guys came all at once and were picking up like nearly all of the mechanical DT-466 busses 10 of them.. all to go for export.. those guys came prepared too.. they had trucks and tools, batteries, parts, etc... I got the idea it wasnt their first time at buying a bunch of busses to go to mexico...

I have no idea what they do with so many busses but im always seeing them in florida headed south presumably to the ports of tampa and miami.. sometimes they are using a 14 row nus to flat tow another 14 row bus..

-Christopher
Yeah, with all the exporters and "dealers" here, FL is pretty hopeless for really great bus deals.
Why I went up to good ole Kentucky!
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