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Old 06-28-2017, 04:03 PM   #1
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Looking for a Salvage/Shell of a bus - Ideas?

Hey all. I work for a brewery in San Diego, CA, and we are opening up a new location. One of the things we want to do is install a school bus as part of an art installation. I'm looking for something around 30 feet long. No engine is fine. No seats is fine. I really just need a shell or to get it as cheap as possible.

I've been looking at auctions, but half of them don't even list bus lengths. I have read some on these forums with the whole 2.5' per window, but that seems to be a little dubious.

Like this bus, the auction company won't say how long it is:
https://www.salvagetrucksauction.com...vada/id/1/pg/1

Help? Thoughts on good places to find an intact bus that doesn't need to run?
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:32 AM   #2
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As cheap as some of the running buses sell for at auction and as expensive as it is to tow a broken one I would think that, unless you find one really close to home, you are better off buying a bus that can be driven to the location.

The 30" width on the windows is a "rule of thumb" that will get you an approximate length. The bus in that auction is likely 30'-32' long.

Maybe someone here has a 10 window BB FE that they can measure and give you a more exact measurement?
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by carnevoodoo View Post
Hey all. I work for a brewery in San Diego, CA
Sweet, give yourself a plug. There are plenty of beer fans here and some of us even homebrew.

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I've been looking at auctions, but half of them don't even list bus lengths. I have read some on these forums with the whole 2.5' per window, but that seems to be a little dubious.
Window count is the quickest easiest way but as you mention windows and doors vary. It is "good enough" if you are looking for a bus that is "around 30 ft". But if you have a pillar in the middle of your space and 32 feet isn't going to work then you need to be more careful.

Safest bet is to look up the VIN. The bus you posted is a Blue Bird.


Blue Bird link in general...
Unit Dashboard | Portal

That specific bus...
Unit Dashboard | Portal

Wheel base is 146". I do not know the rule of thumb on overhang but my bus is 40 feet, 13 row, 84 passenger, and 277" wheel base. Assuming equal overhangs, I've got 8 feet in front and 8 in the rear to make my 40 feet. Your bus ... 12 ft + 16ft ~ 28 foot bus so Steve is probably close.

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Help? Thoughts on good places to find an intact bus that doesn't need to run?
Do you care if it is a flat nose or dog nose? And since you don't care about running, check teh local scrap yards.

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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
As cheap as some of the running buses sell for at auction and as expensive as it is to tow a broken one I would think that, unless you find one really close to home, you are better off buying a bus that can be driven to the location.
I dunno the brewery business nor the hippy dippy Cali laws but maybe it has to be clean of fluids, engine, etc for it to be in a restaurant? Ripping all of that out of a running bus may cost more than the bus itself. He really needs a junk yard bus just before it goes in the crusher. A few extra dents and dings will add character anyway.

Hillbilly Hot Dogs
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:06 PM   #4
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Wheel base is 146". I do not know the rule of thumb on overhang but my bus is 40 feet, 13 row, 84 passenger, and 277" wheel base. Assuming equal overhangs, I've got 8 feet in front and 8 in the rear to make my 40 feet. Your bus ... 12 ft + 16ft ~ 28 foot bus so Steve is probably close.

Mine has 10' of rear overhang and 7' of front.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:28 AM   #5
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Mine has 10' of rear overhang and 7' of front.
Interesting; measured from where to where? I'll have to check mine this afternoon.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:55 AM   #6
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Interesting; measured from where to where? I'll have to check mine this afternoon.

Center of the hub to either the outside wall or bumper (I don't remember which).

When I measured, my wheelbase was 23', front overhang was 7', and rear overhang was 10'. I rounded them off, but all were within an inch or two or being in increments of feet.
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