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Old 04-16-2015, 09:23 PM   #1
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Searching for a bus, need advice on model

Hello everyone! School Bus 1989
I am currently looking at this 1989 Diesel. School Bus 1989

I contacted the owner about it, wanting to know why the rebuilt status. He said "It belonged to Fayetteville school district and schools do not have to buy tags apparently so it just has the Bill of Origin from when it was bought new has never been tagged at all. So not rebuilt at all just only option has to choose from list. Will check miles and tranny when get off work. Lights work ontop, door alarm. Can send motor pics if needed."


I haven't heard back from him yet on this, but can anyone tell me anything about the schools not needing tags? Is this true? Also, does anyone have any advice on this model? I am entirely new to this and currently on the hunt.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:23 AM   #2
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mine was a trade in, it came with the original title made out to school with 17 miles on it in 96 in nc. mayby its state to state
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:00 AM   #3
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some states/districts don't ever tag their buses.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:54 AM   #4
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Thats about $1000 too much.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:29 PM   #5
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Thats about $1000 too much.
Good to know! I offered him 1400 because that is all I have saved so far. A decent bus for conversion can be had for that then? Adding a huge dose of patience and waiting to that may help.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:44 PM   #6
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Year: 1995
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Not sure. I dont know much about the 8.2 engine. How long has it been sitting, etc. It looks rough to me, to be honest.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:08 PM   #7
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He said it has no rust, and everything works- it fires up instantly. The bus is less than two hours away, so it wouldn't be a big deal to check out. I am new to this, and really wondering if a decent bus for conversion can be had for 1500.

Should I check with schools since it is near the end of school year? Does anyone know who you contact for that sort of thing?
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:02 PM   #8
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The price for the bus is about what it is worth.

There are several things I don't like about the bus but they are more personal preference rather than problems for you.

First, the 8.2L is an okay engine. The problem with it is GM stopped making them a long time ago. So there are no parts in the GM inventory for those engines. It is also getting difficult to find anyone who knows those engines and what the work arounds were. It is a good engine for what it is but it isn't a powerhouse and isn't particularly easy on fuel.

Second, that is a low roof model. There isn't a lot of headroom in that bus. If you are close to or over 6' tall your head is going to be rubbing the overhead.

Third, that is a Ward body. At the time that bus was built Ward was the bargain basement brand of bus. Most of them were put together pretty poorly. I remember a brand new Ward bus of that vintage that you could slide your fingers between the upper and lower sash of almost every window.

Lastly, the GM chassis was a good choice back in the day. However, like the engine, GM stopped making medium duty trucks a long time ago and chassis parts are difficult to find.

In regards to where else you could go to find buses, you are going to have to have a larger amount saved in your bus fund. Even with scrap prices low like they are right now we can take buses like that in trade and drive them straight to the scrap metal dealer and get almost what the asking price is for this bus. In other words, you are going to find it difficult to get any bus for less than $2K.

We have in our inventory several buses whose asking price is $5,000.00 or less. Many of those low priced buses are in really good shape and would make excellent candidates for conversion. They will have much better engines and they will have trucks underneath them that will not have issues when it comes time to find parts for them. Bus Inventory - Harlow's Bus Sales, Inc.

Contact me if you would like to chat about buses or if you are interested in one of the buses in our inventory.

Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:20 PM   #9
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By the way, my bus was a Harlow bus, and I am beyond pleased with it.
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:22 PM   #10
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Year: 1992
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fwiw I like the way my 1992 Ward is put toghether. I much prefer it to the Thomas I had before. YMMV.
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