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Old 12-21-2015, 08:17 PM   #1
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Trying to Decide between Two Buses

I am looking to buy my first bus to convert. I am trying to decide between these two:

1) 1993 International Genesis DTA360 Diesel, Auto, Hydraulic Brakes 8 row@ BGA School Buses, Inc. Hudson, FL

2) 2004 International Bus, Jacksonville FL - 113560700 - CommercialTruckTrader.com

The biggest differences I can discern are:

#1 = bump out giving me more headroom, painted, good tires, no rust that I could find *I have looked at this one in person

#2 = bigger DT466, 11 years newer *I plan to go look at this one soon

Any opinions on which I should go with? Although #2 is newer, maybe the 1993 was a better year?
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:01 AM   #2
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I would say that the first one is $9000 to expensive. I would pay $2000 without AC.
The second one is still way to overpriced. I would pay $4000-$5000 without AC.
I don't know how AC affects bus prices but I don't think it's that much.

Keep in mind that international "IC" busses are bout 5 inches narrower than say a blue bird or Thomas. The rear caps appear to rust out really badly also.

I think you should keep looking.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:20 AM   #3
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The 04 looks like its got a big ding over the 3rd window.

I've got a 9 window flat nosed bus. It's a 1988 bluebird tc2000 w/ 5.9 Cummins and AT545. I paid $2,500. It has 16x,xxx miles and 8,800 hours on it. No air conditioning.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:31 AM   #4
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Update on Bus #1

Thank you for this helpful advice. It was just what I was looking for.

I just received more info on bus #1. I can get it for $9500. It has 4 new tires on the back, and the two on the front have about 80% tread left on them. The engine was also rebuilt about 40k miles ago. I am finding out what the "rebuild" entailed. Looking at the engine and other mechanical components, you can tell that this bus has just had a full service (new filters, fluids, grease). The paint job is brand new, and they did a commendable, professional job of it. They have also removed and covered with riveted panels the red/yellow blinker lights in front and rear. I guess all of this should add up to about $4000 in value, correct?

Thank you again for the experienced advice.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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Hank is incorrect about the widths of buses. All full size Type 'C' and Type 'D' buses are 96" wide.

The fact bus #1 is painted white does lend some additional value to the bus.

I would agree that both are way overpriced for what they are.

IMHO, I would go with the bus with the DT466. The DTA360 is a good little engine but in bus #1 it is the 170 HP version. If you ever expect to do highway miles and go over mountains you will find 170 HP lacking in the go department.

The two real advantages I see that bus #1 has are it is already painted white and it is a mechanically controlled bus. Painting a bus is a lot of work but you can do it in your driveway and get a credible job for a lot less than $4K. Electronics usually have no problems by the time buses are as old as bus #2 is.

All in all, both appear to be good buses. Both are waaaaaaaaaaay over priced.

At the end of the day I always say go with the one with the better engine.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:10 PM   #6
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Very helpful. Thank you. While my lanky frame would REALLY appreciate the bumped up roof on #1, I am leaning towards the larger engine and rawness of #2...if I can get it for about half of what they are asking. Will post if/when I pull the trigger.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:49 PM   #7
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I vote for....Keep looking.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hank's P-O-S View Post
I would say that the first one is $9000 to expensive. I would pay $2000 without AC.
The second one is still way to overpriced. I would pay $4000-$5000 without AC.
I don't know how AC affects bus prices but I don't think it's that much.

Keep in mind that international "IC" busses are bout 5 inches narrower than say a blue bird or Thomas. The rear caps appear to rust out really badly also.

I think you should keep looking.
That's wishful thinking. $2k for a short bus with 102k miles, A/C, and painted already. I don't think so. It looks like no rust. 4 new 11R22.5 tires would be at least $1200 for cheap Chinese. A cheap paint job would be at least $2k. How much is A/C worth to you? With the way the prices are going on the auction sites, this bus would bring at least $4-6k.

Also, the seller is a dealer. He is in business to MAKE MONEY, not give stuff away. What makes you think that he will do all the legwork and not mark it up.

I do agree that the prices are too high but they are just a starting point. The post by cowlitzcoach is spot on but I wouldn't want the second bus with the electronics.

Last thought, how far away is the bus? Is it in your backyard? That could be worth anywhere from $500 to $2000 to get a bus home. Airfare, fuel, meals, lodging, money for repairs.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:18 PM   #9
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I vote for....Keep looking.

Deals do come up sometimes. Someone just bought a bus in Spokane for $1300. It looked like a nice bus. But those deals don't come along every day.
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:08 PM   #10
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Thanks, crazycal. Bus #1 is close enough that I could pick it up quite easy and drive it home. I am thinking that if I could pay $8500 (considering the very good condition it is in), I'd be on the high end of an acceptable deal. Part of the that price would be the fact that I love the look and feel of that bus. It's a little brute.

I am having second thoughts on its DTA360 engine though since I do plan on driving out west over some formidable terrain. At the same time, I don't mind going a bit slower than buses equipped with the DT466, and I like the idea of gaining a couple more miles per gallon. The bus is 27.5 feet long, so I do not feel that it is grossly underpowered. I am trying to stick to just under a 30 foot rig so that I can access most national park campgrounds.
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