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Old 01-07-2016, 04:21 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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300k miles

is tht to many miles to start with in a conversion. are the risks just too high for trouble in the near future. found the bus after months of searching however its got just under 300k miles and it has me worried. its a hard model to find which is why im tempted to to just buy it. it runs and works according to the ad.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:49 AM   #2
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Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Well, is it a gasser or diesel? Previous owner(s)? Has the engine been rebuilt? There's quite a bit of information lacking to make a fair assessment of the situation in order to help. Pics would help as well......
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:49 AM   #3
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300K miles is a lot of miles for a school bus.

It would be helpful to know what the history is of this bus and which power package it has.

If the bus was used in normal daily route service a T444(E) and a Cummins B/C-series is going to be getting to the end of the expected service life. A DT466 probably about 80% of the service life. A big cam Cummins or 2-cycle DD about 50%.

If the bus was used as a trip bus in MT or WY and the bus is only ten years old it should still have a lot of life left in it.
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:26 AM   #4
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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My bus is running superbly at a quarter million miles. Purred the whole way home to FL from KY.

edit to add- DT466 w/643 is what my bus came with.
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:39 AM   #5
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i got my bus @ 300k and have put another 15k on it since owning it. i don't think i'll put more than another 100k on it, but if it runs forever, i just may. the cost of running it seems to keep its mileage down.

its a cummins 5.9 with an at545. the transmission is at the useful end of life and will be replaced soon, but the motor seems real strong.

i think some oil tests will help you in the judging the life left in your engine.
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:49 PM   #6
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there very little info,
Engine: Cummins 5.9 B Series Diesel
Transmission: AT545 Automatic
1997.
im assuming in was just a school bus on washington state
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:56 PM   #7
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im going to assume for a standard bus its prob on its last stretch of life, assuming parts are gonna start dying soon.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:17 PM   #8
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American Rear Engine
Engine: C-8.3-300 Cummins MD3060
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Go on publicsurplus.com and Washington state has about ten buses up for
auction the best ones are the Bluebird All Americans with the 8.3 Cummins
and the MD3060 Allison transmission. They have basement storage and appear
to be rust free.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:33 PM   #9
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Yep, I'd love to have one of those!
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:51 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
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Thts exactly where I was looking. I've been looking for a tc1000 for a while. So if anyone has a better understanding of bluebirds lmk what u think of starting a $25k+ project on a 300k miles bus.
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:04 PM   #11
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I think you'd be as crazy as rest of us!

edit to add-
according to CL ads, 300k is "barely broken in"
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:51 PM   #12
Skoolie
 
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Well do lot of people start busses with 300k miles, I haven't seen to many, kinda of seems like too many miles,feel like I'm gonna be hit with issue after issue with this one. Or do most busses last well into the 500k mark? I'm expecting some issues I just don't want to find half the bus needs to be repaired wI thin a year or so
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:58 PM   #13
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Depends on a lot of things but they mostly come down to maintenance. For example...the Cummins "B" series engines are designed to go 500K, but...without top notch and consistent maintenance, you can fry one at 100K. Same with trannies and everything else on board. Some buses will make a half-million miles with no issues and others will drop dead or fall apart leaving the barn for the first time. Some of it is luck but most of it is care. A good reason to shop for a rig that comes with full maintenance logs like those many school districts keep.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:10 AM   #14
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I wouldn't drop 25k on a bus with 300k on the clock unless you know the maintenance history and it's a helluva deal.

If you've got a budget, drop and extra grand or two on the bus itself. You'll get a HUGE return on that money. It is the best bang for your buck I GURANRAANARANRATEEEEEE IT
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:33 AM   #15
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On average school buses travel about 10K per year. More miles when they are new and tapering off to very few in the last years as they move into the spare line.

In WA state where the longest reimbursement schedule for a bus of that vintage was 15-years, keeping that bus for almost 20-years tells me one of two things. Either it was a great bus or the district didn't have very many $$$ and has to keep equipment long after they have been depreciated out.

At not quite 20-years, 300K is a lot of miles. It means that bus has gone almost 50% farther every year than most buses.

Knowing where the bus saw service will tell you a lot about the bus. If it came from a small district and it was the only bus of that size the mileage would make some sense. If it came from a large district it most likely means the district doesn't spend a lot on buses and wants to get the last dime's worth of use out of a bus before they send it down the road.

As far as records are concerned, you have less than 50% chance of getting records from WA state school districts. Liability and comebacks are the reason given for not letting records go with the bus.
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