Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-05-2015, 01:31 PM   #1
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,087
So you want to buy a bus. Get edjumacated FIRST!!!!

You want to buy a bus? So did we. Before you buy something and come here complaining that it only goes 49mph and you want to go 80, figure it out beforehand. Without singling anyone out, it is getting annoying reading posts every week with someone whining about something they thought would be different.

Rules in bus buying.

1. Understand that you are buying a school bus, not a $400,000 MCI motor coach. Price before conversion.

2. Many of the buses being auctioned off are at the end of their useful life. Choose carefully or you will pay dearly.

3. Know your budget and what it costs to pick up a bus from 2000 miles away. If you find a bus 20 miles away and it is $500 more than a bus 1500 miles away and 149 miles from the closest airport, it is a steal. Don't be a pennywise, pound foolish, tightwad cheapskate and complain about your purchase after the fact. If you are a tightwad, embrace it but don't come here and cry about it.

4. Tires are very expensive. Understand that a bus with good rubber costing $500 more than the same bus with bad rubber is a steal.

5. Rust. IT NEVER SLEEPS!!! Avoid like the plague. Unless you are buying to part it out, I don't see the benefit of buy a bus with rust. I am talking about body cancer not some mild surface rust.

6. Speed. FORGETABOUTIT!!! See Rule 1. There are exceptions to this rule. Cubes, transmission and ratio. If you want a GO FAST BUS, buy a bus with a Cummins 8.3 engine, a MT643 or MD3060 transmission and a 4.10 rearend. End of discussion. I know that some will mention a DT466 engine but the highest HP I have ever seen is a 210hp and the 8.3 engines I have seen are 250. It is best to buy a bus with what you need or want than trying to change it afterwards.

7. Front or rear engine. Your preference. Are you going to haul bikes, canoes, motorcycles, etc? You might want a front engine bus but the are noisier and hotter for the driver. Rear engine is much more quite.

I have more rules but need to run right now. Feel free to add more if you want.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2015, 01:31 PM   #2
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,087
Looks like we are off to a great start with solid advice. To all the noobs looking for a bus, pay attention and learn.

PLEASE DO NOT CLUTTER THIS THREAD WITH QUESTIONS.




Reserved for more knowledge.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2015, 01:56 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,107
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
I agree with all that except the 8.3 vs 466 thing. There are many 466 out there with more than 210hp.
But I like this thread, you did a pretty good job putting that list together. It does get redundant sometimes with new threads that all ask the same questions.


I'll add that if you plan of driving in the mountains, you may want a retarder. Especially out west.

And ALWAYS figure out who will insure a bus for you before buying one. ALWAYS have a very definite place to store or park a bus.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2015, 06:33 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Scooternj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 1,134
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
And find out beforehand how fussy your state/provincial Motor Vehicle Agency is going to be to flip the title and registration.
__________________
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
Well thank you for noticing, Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious on deviantArt
Scooternj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2015, 06:47 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
M1031A1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Russell, Kansas
Posts: 1,113
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Also check to see if your state has a one-way-trip temporary tag like Texas does. For $5 in Texas you're legal to get home.

Have the VIN ready for the insurance company to pre-plan insurance. My agent in Katy, TX is very accustomed to us having off-the-wall vehicles so he's more willing than most to help us out.

Once you get your bus, SERVICE IT!!!!! BEFORE YOU GO HOME SERVICE IT!!!!!! When was the last time the oil was changed? Can YOU verify this? If not, the change the oil, check the transmission fluid, coolant, et.al. Also check the D.O.T. dates on the tires. ANYTHING over nine years old is considered a traffic hazard by most trucking companies. If you can't change the tires plan on going slower than you anticipated to get home safely. Higher speeds = higher tire temperatures = BLOW OUT. I kept my bus below 50 mph to save the engine, but the tires were borderline and another reason to go slow coming home.

M1031
__________________
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. — George Washington
M1031A1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2015, 06:49 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
The Cummins 8.3 mechanical will have more torque to HP ratio than a DT466.

More torque = More power in big heavy pieces of iron.

In the Mechanical factory set engines available in school buses, The 8.3 Cummins will always have more power than a DT466.
Now in newer electronic versions of the same engines, DT466 engines come 300hp and beyond. However you can also get 400hp in a electronic Cummins 8.3.

Hard to argue raw cubic inches and stroke length.

For the record I like both engines. Furthermore, both engines are extremely reliable, and built with wet sleeves, making them rebuildable in the bus, without having to remove them.

Side by side, one almost looks like the others big brother.

Nat
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2015, 09:11 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal View Post
You want to buy a bus? So did we. Before you buy something and come here complaining that it only goes 49mph and you want to go 80, figure it out beforehand. Without singling anyone out, it is getting annoying reading posts every week with someone whining about something they thought would be different.

Rules in bus buying.

1. Understand that you are buying a school bus, not a $400,000 MCI motor coach. Price before conversion.

2. Many of the buses being auctioned off are at the end of their useful life. Choose carefully or you will pay dearly.

3. Know your budget and what it costs to pick up a bus from 2000 miles away. If you find a bus 20 miles away and it is $500 more than a bus 1500 miles away and 149 miles from the closest airport, it is a steal. Don't be a pennywise, pound foolish, tightwad cheapskate and complain about your purchase after the fact. If you are a tightwad, embrace it but don't come here and cry about it.

4. Tires are very expensive. Understand that a bus with good rubber costing $500 more than the same bus with bad rubber is a steal.

5. Rust. IT NEVER SLEEPS!!! Avoid like the plague. Unless you are buying to part it out, I don't see the benefit of buy a bus with rust. I am talking about body cancer not some mild surface rust.

6. Speed. FORGETABOUTIT!!! See Rule 1. There are exceptions to this rule. Cubes, transmission and ratio. If you want a GO FAST BUS, buy a bus with a Cummins 8.3 engine, a MT643 or MD3060 transmission and a 4.10 rearend. End of discussion. I know that some will mention a DT466 engine but the highest HP I have ever seen is a 210hp and the 8.3 engines I have seen are 250. It is best to buy a bus with what you need or want than trying to change it afterwards.

7. Front or rear engine. Your preference. Are you going to haul bikes, canoes, motorcycles, etc? You might want a front engine bus but the are noisier and hotter for the driver. Rear engine is much more quite.

I have more rules but need to run right now. Feel free to add more if you want.
Great advice and thank you for posting. I have been struggling with the price of the bus we are interested in but it has everything I want.
Emidd27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2015, 07:53 AM   #8
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: southwest lowsyana
Posts: 542
Year: 1988
Coachwork: ward
Chassis: international
Engine: dt360a
Rated Cap: 65
great thread crazycal!
claydbal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2015, 09:04 AM   #9
Site Team
 
bansil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,039
Before doing your floor plan and starting to build it...get under your bus for awhile and look at what is in the way, BEFORE hand a rear engine bus can not be plumbed the same as a front engine if bathroom area is in say the rear


Consider where you plan to go and even your yard/driveway before selection, I had to go with a front engine bus due to the slope of our driveway and the places we go have lots of steep in and outs, rear engine and conventionally MH's get high centered alot
__________________
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 08-06-2015, 09:28 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Scooternj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 1,134
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil View Post
Before doing your floor plan and starting to build it...get under your bus for awhile and look at what is in the way, BEFORE hand a rear engine bus can not be plumbed the same as a front engine if bathroom area is in say the rear
Agreed. I'm already looking to have to change where I put my kitchen sink or at least the drain pipe because, as it stands now, it's over the fuel fill.

And this has been mentioned previously in a numerous build threads- Lay out your floor plan with tape and cardboard, or even just sidewalk chalk and see how it holds up when scaled up to 1:1
__________________
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
Well thank you for noticing, Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious on deviantArt
Scooternj 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


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.