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Old 02-04-2020, 01:54 PM   #1
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2004 international 3800 DT 466E good buy?

New to the Forum so thanks for the help in advance, i have always been interested in converting a school bus and now i might have the opportunity to finally live a somewhat nomadic life.

so i found a school bus id like to convert, but i wanted to get all your experienced opinions if this is a good deal or not. ill have to drive half way across the country to pick this bus up so any advice and information on this bus specifically, good or bad, would be greatly appreciated before i make the commitment for the buy.

The bus in question is a 2004 bluebird international 3800, engine is a DT 466E with a Allison 3000 automatic transmission with 107,xxx miles on the bus. the interior looks incredibly good, the engine and undercarriage looks decent but then again I'm not an expert and I've seen very limited amount of buses so its hard for me to compare and make an educated decision. it was originally located in Indianapolis so it might have some rust but its hard for me to tell if its detrimental rust or manageable. its tall, the seller said head clearance is 6'5" so thats a plus because im 6'4"

so the final contemplation, is it worth the almost $9,000 the seller wants. if this is not worth the $9,000 what is a reasonable amount to offer?

thanks in advance,
Jaro
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:01 PM   #2
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That is a very desirable configuration. You get the last year of the pre-emission motor and the nicer Allison 3000 series. Also the high roof and AC are nice to have as well.

Price is high in my opinion but everybody and their mother want these short/mid length full size buses. If you were willing to go to a regular length you'd get the same thing at maybe a quarter of his asking price.
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:05 PM   #3
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That's almost the bus i have. Mine is an amtran push. I paid 2500. That's a nice setup. Saying that i have to add 9000 is way to much for that config. Waytoo much
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:40 PM   #4
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That's almost the bus i have. Mine is an amtran push. I paid 2500. That's a nice setup. Saying that i have to add 9000 is way to much for that config. Waytoo much
You have an 8-window pusher?
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Old 02-04-2020, 03:06 PM   #5
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I thought 2004 was the start of the 'emission' engines? Either way, the price seems pretty high. Maybe 5k or so?
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice so far, if i was to purchase this id have to fly out and drive a fair amount back, what are somethings i should bee looking at when i go take a look?
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:59 AM   #7
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That is a very desirable configuration. You get the last year of the pre-emission motor and the nicer Allison 3000 series. Also the high roof and AC are nice to have as well.

Price is high in my opinion but everybody and their mother want these short/mid length full size buses. If you were willing to go to a regular length you'd get the same thing at maybe a quarter of his asking price.
I pretty much agree with Wibluebird. Very nice looking bus. Could you find something comparable for 1/4 the price? I think that is a bit optimistic. Maybe 1/3 of the price.

$9k is quite high.

Good luck.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:02 PM   #8
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We bought almost this exact bus for 9K and realized afterwards that we got screwed.

2 things:
- The 2004-2006 version of this engine has known problems. We have to keep our maintenance perfect and driven regularly, otherwise we have troubles with starting.
- The seller insisted there was only 79K on the engine...seemed too good to be true at the time of purchase, and turns out it was...the actual engine mileage was 179K. We plan to drive this thing to 500K+ miles so we don't care, but we would've paid much less.

Lastly, despite the above mentioned things, we really love this bus. Ours is a 6-window 24 footer with an ADA door in the back (we would NEVER buy a bus without the wheelchair door as we use it 100% of the time and it allowed us to build out the back configuration much more practically than the rear door would have). Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:25 PM   #9
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Buy the time you get it, get it home, do some work, get it registered as an RV you’re in around 3K
It’s in need of body work and if they don’t have the maintenance records you are getting a pig in a poke.
But if it’s what you want I wouldn’t offer more than 5K
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:52 PM   #10
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You have an 8-window pusher?
No. I have the full length 40 footer. Haha
And 9 grand is way too much
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:50 PM   #11
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9K is way way to much, agree with others I would offer maybe 4K. Some of the members here myself in included have a finished bus for 10-12K range.
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:39 PM   #12
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thanks all for the advice, i turned this one down. the search continues
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:24 PM   #13
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thanks all for the advice, i turned this one down. the search continues
Woo hoo! Every bus passed on is a victory of sorts.
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:53 AM   #14
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Woo hoo! Every bus passed on is a victory of sorts.
At least every high-priced bus.
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