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Old 11-13-2019, 01:32 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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We think we might’ve found our bus?

Hi all,
We’ve been scouring the ads from all over and think we may have found a good buy. It’s got all our points we like, length, height, we think it’s a good engine, and we like the style. We’re thinking it’s probably a bit overpriced and we would have to fly into Co from Oregon to pick it up and drive it home so we incur those costs. What do you seasoned folks think?
https://boulder.craigslist.org/cto/d...011498577.html
Thanks again,
Karen and Todd
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:38 AM   #2
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T444 is a good engine, good reputation for reliability and parts availability, not so much for a lot of power. Asking price is a bit high, but with recent repair work (with receipts) and tires, that adds some value. A/C is a good thing. Couldn't tell if it had air or hydraulic brakes - both are good but people have their preferences. Seats gutted. Mileage is a bit high - I wouldn't believe the million mile claim for the engine (not without at least 1 rebuild) and even by 300K they can need a lot of care to keep them going or close to a rebuild (and some are going strong at 500K+, so it depends a lot on its history).


Gear ratio and transmission are unknowns (Probably an AT545? Not a highly desirable transmission for road cruising) As such the top speed is unknown (Look for gear ratios in the low 4's or high 3's). Fuel capacity? (If long road trips with minimal stopping is a thing you want). Low profile tires (Look to be 19.5's) won't ride as smoothly as 22.5's (and admittedly smooth ride is a relative thing in a bus).
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:54 AM   #3
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I'd just as soon not buy from a seller claiming its a "million mile engine".
Arizona had a ton of those for sale this year and last. They went for about half the asking price of this one. Maybe even less.
They won't even remove the piano they put in?

IF you're patient those buses may pop up in AZ again. They were on Public Surplus.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:52 AM   #4
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IF you're patient those buses may pop up in AZ again. They were on Public Surplus.

There's a couple on PS right now.



https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/li...t?orgid=173643
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:28 AM   #5
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Ah, see? There ya go!


Those appear to be 3800's. Basically the same thing but the op is asking about a 3400. Only advantage with the truck cab type would be the drivers door.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:35 AM   #6
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The ad says that it has been PM'd, new hoses, belts and tires. That ads some value but I think that they are still a little high.

If that bus were to pass muster with a local mechanic I would probably consider $5k.

One thing that I chuckled at in the ad:

" Famed 3400 T444E diesel engine (these things will run a million miles, truckers love them"
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:50 AM   #7
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One thing that I chuckled at in the ad:

" Famed 3400 T444E diesel engine (these things will run a million miles, truckers love them"
I still see some hot shotters running out of the auto auctions with 7.3 F350/F450 duallies pulling those 3 car wedge trailers.
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:26 PM   #8
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Imho- $3500
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:29 PM   #9
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TO me $4500-$5500 would be a fair asking price. If the tires are NEW and its got new belts and hoses etc.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:21 PM   #10
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Imho- $3500
With tires like what typically come on a retired bus I would agree. Throw in $2000 for the tires. . Belts, hoses and fluids $500+

If the bus is as presented I don't think that $5k is out of line.

You generally can get buses cheaper at auctions compared to dealers or private party. But, you are buying a used vehicle without inspecting it the way that you could if you were buying from a private party or dealer.

I bought my Bluebird at auction. I am thrilled to death with it. I feel like I stole it @ $3450.

Look around at the various thread and you will find where some folks have not had such good luck.

A few here have taken the time off, bought one way plane ticket and rented a car to go to pick up a bus that they have purchased at auction only to find that the bus was not in the condition advertised. So they got the seller to refund the purchase price. Then they got to buy another one way ticket home purchased on the day of travel. $$$ and no bus.

Just a cautionary tale. Many of us have had good success. I have purchased from Govdeals twice and Publicsurplus and am happy with all three.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:34 PM   #11
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In general sellers on Govdeals or Public Surplus are pretty honest about the condition of the buses as they are simply looking to dispose of them in a trouble free manner with the possible exception of some states (Florida being a BIG one!).

On the other hand, heavily detailed auction listings tend to drive the bidding up. We've had forum members in here get screaming auction deals on buses that were listed with incorrect/missing details and 1 or no photos.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
In general sellers on Govdeals or Public Surplus are pretty honest about the condition of the buses as they are simply looking to dispose of them in a trouble free manner with the possible exception of some states (Florida being a BIG one!).

On the other hand, heavily detailed auction listings tend to drive the bidding up. We've had forum members in here get screaming auction deals on buses that were listed with incorrect/missing details and 1 or no photos.
That would be me. THere were few pics of my bus and they were blurry horrible angles. Horrible description, too. So I threw out a low bid and WON!
Best bus I've had.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:41 PM   #13
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I bought mine on Govdeals and the listing had not a lot of information, only like 4 pics. I called the bus shop and talked to the tech and foreman/manager there and got a lot of info the listing lacked. They had a 2500 reserve and I bought it for that amount (+ 10% for the auction site), but I got *FULL* maintenance records from day 1, and some expensive work (injectors) had been done within the last year.


Bus was as advertised, traveled up and drove home with no problems. Several were surplussed and sold simply because "We got some new ones recently that were automatics, and now we can't get these old grannies to drive the 5-speeds any more."
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:45 PM   #14
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New tires, recent service, no wheel wells, and no rust are very good, but pushing 300k might let you negotiate the price some.
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:27 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Decided against this one!

Well, we sent the owner a list of questions, to which they responded that they didn’t know what kind of transmission the bus had, but they were told not to run the bus too hot and had to stop several times in the mountains to let it cool down:/! Not the kind of traveling we’re interested in and sounds like a bus that is on it’s mechanical way down.
Back to the hunt
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleth2 View Post
Well, we sent the owner a list of questions, to which they responded that they didn’t know what kind of transmission the bus had, but they were told not to run the bus too hot and had to stop several times in the mountains to let it cool down:/! Not the kind of traveling we’re interested in and sounds like a bus that is on it’s mechanical way down.
Back to the hunt
Yup, description sounds like an AT545.
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