View Poll Results: WHICH BUS?
stock# 15270 - 1991 International/Thomas, 7.3 Diesel, auto, 66 pass 1 20.00%
stock# 15588 - 1991 Chev/Bluebird, 8.2, 5 speed, 66 pass 1 20.00%
stock# 15588 - 1991 Chev/Bluebird, 8.2, 5 speed, 66 pass 1 20.00%
stock# 15141 - 1991 International/Thomas, 7.3, 6 speed, 66 pass 2 40.00%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-20-2006, 01:56 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Help me pick a bus

I am looking right now, but trying to decide what will work best for me.

What I want:
---66-72 pass. size bus for conversion
---ability to run 65-70 highway (will regear if know it will help)
---would like 10mpg, but not below 8mpg (i'll give this up before speed)
---cost below $5k for bus (bus only, not conversion)
---need to tow 7k to 9.5k lbs trailer on occassion
---economical to maintain (why I lean to the Intl 7.3)

Here are some options I like, from http://www.taylorbus.com (you can go there, pick 'search used buses' and search on the stock numbers below if you want to see pics and more specs). I am not looking to buy one of these specific buses right now, they just represent what I think may work for me.

The four that may do the job:

stock# 15270 - 1991 International/Thomas, 7.3 Diesel, auto, 66 pass

stock# 15588 - 1991 Chev/Bluebird, 8.2, 5 speed, 66 pass

stock# 14621 - 1993 Amtran/Genesis, DTA360, auto, 66 pass

stock# 15141 - 1991 International/Thomas, 7.3, 6 speed, 66 pass

edit: I tried to hot-link these, but their software timed out when I went back later, so if you want to see them, you have to go through their listing search.

To make it easy, i've made it a poll. But PLEASE make a post and tell me why you picked the one you did! (Or what other models/combos you would recommend I look for)

EDIT: I made a mistake in the poll, the 3rd option should be "stock# 14621 - 1993 Amtran/Genesis, DTA360, auto, 66 pass". Could an admin fix this, please?
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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I made a mistake in the poll, the 3rd option should be "stock# 14621 - 1993 Amtran/Genesis, DTA360, auto, 66 pass". Could an admin fix this, please?
B
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Old 07-20-2006, 04:01 PM   #3
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My TC2000 gets 10mpg at 65mph but can run 75 on the highway. I haven't towed with it yet but I bet it would tow fine, seems to have lots of power. The 5.9 Cummins is siad to be a good motor. I wouldnt want to work on it though, as it is a flat nose, front engine bus.

I paid $1,850 for it 2 years ago.

I hear the 7.3's lack power....
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Old 07-20-2006, 04:14 PM   #4
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I'd kinda ignored them, as we don't have any in NC, and taylorbus (i'm looking at their website as they aren't far away (bus lot in Knoxville, TN) has them, but starting at 6500 and going up. My $5k limit isn't absolute, and I don't know how pricing does on them at other places (or how negotiable their prices are).

I see some of them in their inventory are 5.9 and others show as 5.9T, which I assume is turbo. Is yours turbo or NA?

A couple of other questions if you don't mind. What's your rear ratio? What is the interior height of the TC2000's, floor to center (high point) of ceiling?

Thanks for the response.
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Old 07-20-2006, 04:17 PM   #5
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My vote for a bus

My choise for a bus would be.........
Crown, Crown, Crown, Crown, Crown or Crown.
Gilligs are nice, Thomas if it is a pusher, Blue Birds are easy to work on and of course not to forget.... Crown.
Crown buses have it all, lots of parts available, easy to drive, tremendous power, many choises of trans, all years look like a new year, easy to work on, fun to drive, a new bus to those folks east of the Mississippi River and good resale value. Yep, I have and drive a Crown bus. Frank
Diesel is best.....
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:50 PM   #6
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I'm sure Crowns do have lots of parts available....if you live in the right area. Many of us have never SEEN a Crown or Gillig A good idea might be to look at what the districts in your locale run. Though price is always a factor, often times they will choose features and such that fit the area well. For instance...you will not find many buses in northern Minnesota with air brakes because with our extreme temperatures they can be a maintenance headache and the stopping power just isn't necessary with our topography.

Of the motors you listed, I think just about everyone would give the DT360 a solid vote of confidence. The 7.3 is supposed to be good depending on which generation you get. The 8.2 is either loved or hated.

Your goal of 70 mph and 8 mpg is kind of up there, but is possible. I'm sure my 6.6 Ford could do 70 with the correct gearing and governor setup, but my mileage would likely suffer. I currently get 8.5 or so going 62, but can get well over 10 going 45. If speed and mileage are priorities, an MT643 Allison would probably been one of your best bets in terms of auto trannies. The AT545 a whole lot of us have was used forever and is considered fairly reliable, but it emasculates motors and sucks down gas. Of course they are cheap and easy to maintain and you can darn near buy one at Seven 11.

The manual transmission will get you the same benefits as the MT643, but they are harder to drive and will have lower resale value. Also, when something goes wrong with a manual tranny, it often goes VERY wrong. While a throwout bearing itself might be cheap, pulling the transmission and clutch to replace it isn't.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:17 PM   #7
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of those choices, i think the dt360 is the only good motor.

i think i would choose the detroit over the 7.3 liter. We can't keep the 7.3's running in our ambulances, i'd hate to see what a full size skoolie does to one. That motor is a dog even in a van chassis.

that's my 2 cents....i'm sure lots of other people will have their own opinions
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:21 PM   #8
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Working engines are inlines and go Team Leafspring
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:37 AM   #9
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If I had to make a guess...and anyone can correct me if I am wrong here...but I believe that the 7.3 was no longer being put in that bus that year. I was under the impression that they began putting the DT series in with the new body style. However, this is just my observation here. I would ask them what kind of motor is in each of the 7.3 listings. It might be the DT 466. If so...jump on it. My DT 360 wasnt gutsy but was very reliable. Before you buy check the DCA in the coolant.

My DT360 91 International Thomas pulled a 7,000lb trailer very well (until you hit a hill).
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:21 PM   #10
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The T444E (7.3) was used up until very recently when it was replaced by the VT360 (6.0 "Powerstroke" if you will). Like I said...there are many generations, each with their good and bad points. The newer it is the more electronic it is which tends to mean more power and better economy, but I know I sure couldn't fix one if it had a problem.
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