Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-05-2016, 06:22 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Dapplecreek's Avatar
 
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
Good or bad choice? Need advice - please...

I found this being offered by a school district 15 miles away, and I need advice. Bidding on this would be a year or two early from current plans, and I had best have good support before presenting this idea to the Chief Financial Officer. Thanks...
  • Per the ad, "1995 Int'l 3800;
  • 7.3L V8 OHV 16V ("T444" per the VIN);
  • Diesel/CNG;
  • Runs good;
  • Tires good";
  • Per the VIN and a call to the Int'l dealer, it has a Spicer manual transmission (forgot to ask how many gears);
  • Per the VIN and courtesy of the Gates Corporation, it has hydraulic brakes.
Is it a good idea or bad idea to consider this bus? The goal is to gut it, load it with our belongings, and move across country. We might use it for camping and farm vehicle stuff between now and then (ought to get a fair number of square bales in the back). We would be selling it on our arrival in Idaho.* One bit of counsel I've received is to buy the cheapest bus I can and run it as purchased since I'll be passing it on at the other end.

How much should one expect to pay for it?

Good things I see:
  • A mechanical engine is easier to work on (based on the year I *think* it is mechanical - anybody know?);
  • T444 is a proven platform and folks can work on 'em;
  • Hydraulic brakes may give a bit better road feel;
  • Manual transmission will help with downgrades through compression;
  • Manual transmission may scare away some bidders;
  • From a local school district so likely to have records
  • From a local school district so likely to have accessibility to mechanics
  • From a local school district so might even be able to find the driver that might know its quirks
  • Nearby so no long trip to pick it up; and
  • T444, manual, age, time of year, and they only have three on the block suggests that the south-of-the-border buyers might be less interested in this auction.
Bad things I see:
  • T444 is underpowered by comparison with the DT466 (note: one trip across country);
  • T444 can't be rebuilt in-frame like one can with a DT466 (likely won't need to rebuild it- gonna sell it at the other end);
  • Hydraulic brakes fail giving no braking while air brakes fail to stop you for-reals (and they sound cool). Note that I have a mechanic pal who can inspect and repair or upgrade the brakes and the lines;
  • Unknown miles or hours (though I'll get that from them tomorrow);
  • Unknown #gears / rear end ratio / top speed (though I'll try to get that from them tomorrow, or will try to track down the old driver and see what he or she says);
  • This district may not have the money that some others have, so they might not be able to keep up the maintenance of their buses like the rich guys (though I heard this from the staff at the richer district so it might have an element of rivalry... still, this district is selling a '95, a '96 and a '97 while the richer district is selling '02s and '03s);
  • Might be a T444e: I'll check;
  • Might have ridiculously high mileage: I'll check.

Here's the link: https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...=4&acctid=9253 (let me know if you choose to bid; I don't want to inflate the price against a pal when I might be best off to walk.






* Much as I would love to convert it and live in it to save on rent, I can't see putting my wife through those physical and social rigors or putting up the dough to do it right. Not to mention the logistics: no real place to park it and so on. And we want be near our new grandbaby and I need a job so the nomadic lifestyle is out.
Dapplecreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2016, 08:59 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,719
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Its a 444E. Decent engines.
For your purposes it may suit you. But only if its CHEAP.
Find out how good the tires are and go from there. If it needs any mechanical work to make it across the country (likely) it could turn into an expensive move in a lower powered lower spec bus.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2016, 09:16 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Dapplecreek's Avatar
 
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Its a 444E. Decent engines.
For your purposes it may suit you. But only if its CHEAP.
Find out how good the tires are and go from there. If it needs any mechanical work to make it across the country (likely) it could turn into an expensive move in a lower powered lower spec bus.
Thanks! (The PM was to ask you to respond)

What is "CHEAP"? $1500?

Reckon I should wait and spend $3000 on a 2002 DT466/Allison3060 likely to come up soon from the richer district?
Dapplecreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2016, 09:45 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
AlleyCat67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 737
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dapplecreek View Post
Reckon I should wait and spend $3000 on a 2002 DT466/Allison3060 likely to come up soon from the richer district?
That would most likely be the better choice.... engine is much more desirable than the T444E.

That manual transmission is attractive for the reasons you stated... and for the record it probably has 5 or 6 gears, though it looks like it has a splitter along the top edge of the shift knob so it could well be 8 or 10. But the Allison 3060 is a good transmission as well and pairs well with the DT466.

So if it was me I would wait and go after the other one.
__________________
My bus - Jasmine - External Build Website - YouTube Channel - TN/KY Meetup Group
As a level 1 burglar, Bilbo got a pony when he accompanied the level 60 dwarves on the Smaug the Dragon raid. Those powerlevelers probably invited him solely so he could trigger fellowship attacks for them.
AlleyCat67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2016, 05:44 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
bansil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,158
I would not buy because of one thing...Hydraulic brakes one rusted line or...and no brakes or a leaky master cylinder or wheel cylander etc

There is a reason all OTR trucks have air brakes, they work and fewer problems

I do like the manual transmission, engine is small (mine is smaller )
__________________
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton
bansil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2016, 06:04 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Dapplecreek's Avatar
 
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
Thanks, all! I will save my coins and wait for the 466/3060
Dapplecreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2016, 06:28 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
AlleyCat67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 737
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil View Post
I would not buy because of one thing...Hydraulic brakes one rusted line or...and no brakes or a leaky master cylinder or wheel cylander etc
Exactly why I (and most of us) prefer air brakes.... in the event of brake failure I'd rather not be able to GO than not be able to STOP.
__________________
My bus - Jasmine - External Build Website - YouTube Channel - TN/KY Meetup Group
As a level 1 burglar, Bilbo got a pony when he accompanied the level 60 dwarves on the Smaug the Dragon raid. Those powerlevelers probably invited him solely so he could trigger fellowship attacks for them.
AlleyCat67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2016, 08:37 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: KANSAS CITY
Posts: 686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dapplecreek View Post
Thanks, all! I will save my coins and wait for the 466/3060
I see by the wear on the seat that they get maximum usage out of their busses.

Be ready be quick. They go fast.

We all have to consider the price; but putting up with a bus that doesn't fit your needs is a daily misery.
__________________
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
Versatile 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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×