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Old 05-30-2016, 12:47 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: SafTLiner
Engine: CAT 3126
Won a pretty nice bus at auction, but then I realized it had a CAT3126

Thomas bus with nice belly storage, 84 passenger, rear engine...ticked all the boxes I wanted. I recalled seeing it had a DT466, but must've mixed up some listings. Low and behold, I win the auction and realize it's a CAT3126.

Now I wonder, should I purchase, convert and possibly sell, or take the chance with this bus, OR pass on the auction? 126k miles on it, says it was in regular service up until mid last year. 3500.00

I've felt like most reading says to avoid the CAT like the plague.

Need some advice.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:03 PM   #2
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Nothing wrong with a 3126. Lots and lots of vehicles run them with no issues.

Check how many hours it has on it. Dont judge by mileage.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opus View Post
Check how many hours it has on it. Don't judge by mileage.
What sort of miles would make one want to consider another bus?

What sort of hours would make one want to consider another bus?
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:15 PM   #4
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Well, if it were me, I'd double check the auction listing. Did it specify the bus had a DT466? If so, I'd likely be backing out of the sale due to "incorrect info in listing". Bidding on an auction is supposed to be a binding contract, but they are obligated to hold up their end of the contract too, by having "what you bid on", "as described", etc.

If the auction did indeed correctly specify the Cat engine and you bid anyway, you're down to three options. First would be the dishonorable way out by skipping out on the auction (strongly discouraged). This leaves making good on your bid, owning your mistake and picking up the bus. I said three options, didn't I? Well, at this point you can either keep the bus, or turn around and resell it. The Cat engines aren't terrible, they are just a little harder (and pricier) to get parts for than, say, an IH or Cummins engine.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:51 PM   #5
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I would have no problems taking a cat 3126 powered pusher, I did take it over 3116 any day. Probably the only reason you have gotten a poor impression of cat on this forum is because when it comes to repairs their parts are proprietary.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:57 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Well, if it were me, I'd double check the auction listing. Did it specify the bus had a DT466? If so, I'd likely be backing out of the sale due to "incorrect info in listing". Bidding on an auction is supposed to be a binding contract, but they are obligated to hold up their end of the contract too, by having "what you bid on", "as described", etc.

If the auction did indeed correctly specify the Cat engine and you bid anyway, you're down to three options. First would be the dishonorable way out by skipping out on the auction (strongly discouraged). This leaves making good on your bid, owning your mistake and picking up the bus. I said three options, didn't I? Well, at this point you can either keep the bus, or turn around and resell it. The Cat engines aren't terrible, they are just a little harder (and pricier) to get parts for than, say, an IH or Cummins engine.
Auction says 3126, I just bid and was recalling in my mind that it was a dt, because thats generally wht I was looking for.

Here is the bus

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Old 05-30-2016, 02:09 PM   #7
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At least you got something for which parts can be had!

Mine is a Carpenter (which is long out of business), with the IH 9 Liter engine (long out of production). Fortunately, from what I'm told, these engines were pretty solid as long as they weren't abused.

I'd say go for it. I've driven a couple Cat engines over the years. They're about as good as any other.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:33 PM   #8
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That's exactly correct. The general impulse on this forum is that Cats are adequate, but expensive by design. Proprietorial parts management seems to make most people upset, especially if you're the one paying for the parts.

That is a nice looking bus, and I've gotten the info mixed up on auctions previously myself. You don't need auction advise after the fact, but if there's a next time just be more discriminating until you are only watching two or three vehicles. Pasting the information into a spreadsheet helps solidly narrow it down.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
with the IH 9 Liter engine (long out of production). Fortunately, from what I'm told, these engines were pretty solid as long as they weren't abused.
Boy, we run a fleet of those things hard. I liked that engine....for what it was. Never had an issue with them.
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:25 PM   #10
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: SafTLiner
Engine: CAT 3126
I have the ability to a mutual withdraw, and I am only bound contractually if the bus is exactly as described. Therefore, payment is only due upon post inspection. I have the ability to withdraw if it comes down to it.

I'm inclined to move forward though. The bus appears clean, and received maintenance up until last year. If I could get a few good years out of it, and 75k miles that'd be fantastically worth it.

In the end though, you have to have the mental clarity to see that investing 50k dollars in a school bus conversion is a fools game though, as return on investment is going to be difficult. I intend to invest 12,500.00 total and not a dime more. At that number, I need at least 1.5 yrs of living in it to realize full ROI at my current housing cost rate. The extra benefit being I have weekend mobility to leave my area and realize a higher quality of life.

With any bus though, I realize it's a dice roll. Some people buy them and they run forever, some blow up on the way home. It's a gamble either way. Seeing what kind of blow by and maintenance and hours it has will be the first step I suppose, more than anything. We'll see.
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