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Old 04-11-2024, 02:35 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 11
Year: 2006
Advice for Selling or Scrapping Bus

Howdy!

I really hate that I'm posting this, but I'm at the point I need to get rid of my bus. Don't have the time/money/tools/workshop space to completely rebuild the engine.

TLDR:
Bought bus for $9k in AZ. Drove it back home (Madison, WI). Broke down on the way (ran out of coolant). I took it to numerous mechanics in the area and have talked to pretty much every diesel mechanic in the county, all say it's got a bad head. Quotes range from $15k-25k. So for now, I want to cut my losses and put this dream on hold... start over in the future.

I've called scrap yards in the area, and would really like to get more than they're offering. I totally understand that I'm going to take a loss here, but I want to try and get as much as possible.

I have another partial head and gasket kit for it. If I were to try and sell it as-is, what should I ask for it?

2006 Blue Bird Vision
CAT C7 7.2L (~250k miles)
Cummins 2000 Automatic
29.5 ft
Seats removed
Wheelchair lift removed
Flashers deleted
Stop sign removed
Air brakes, air ride
No rust
AC and heat work great
Needs new batteries
BAD HEAD, potentially more undiagnosed issues
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Old 04-11-2024, 05:31 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Posts: 67
What are you willing to pay for it to be fixed?

What you have to consider is what you will buy next, how much you are going to pay, and what problems it will have with it.

Right now you have a bus. If it's in good condition then all you need is an engine. 15k sounds like a lot unless they are quoting for a full rebuild.

Reviva sells rebuilt engines. Did you ask them for the price of a drop in?

If you get another bus you might have the same issues. You don't know how long an engine is going to last when you buy used busses.
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Old 04-11-2024, 10:37 PM   #3
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Location: Sandpoint, ID
Posts: 550
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird MB-IV
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3 Diesel
Rated Cap: 25
I'm with Heimlich- have a new (used) motor installed for a fraction of that cost. Bitter pill to swallow. Nice bus otherwise.
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Old 04-11-2024, 11:45 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 759
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000 28ft
Engine: Cummins ISB 5.9 24v, MD3060
Rated Cap: 14
If you have room, part it out. There's a lot of valuable parts on that bus. You could probably get more than you paid if you are patient.. might need a forklift or a few friends for some of them.



2000 trans
Air ride
Axles
Tires
Hood
Cooling parts
Injection system
Air compressor etc
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Old 04-12-2024, 08:34 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,914
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
a bad head... how far was it diagnosed? was it diagnosed positively as cracked? or did it just blow a head gasket? a blown head gasket is a pretty straight forward fix, a cracked head is obtaining a used head and putting it on.. my experience is rarely is the engine block ever damaged from an overtemp event.. its most often either a liner seal (something you dont have on a CAT C7) or head related.. Used heads range anywhere from 500 bucks to a couple grand.. and if its a blown gasket you can have the head surfaced and put it back on and live life (watching the temp gauge closer next time).. everybody wants to put a new engine in so the ydont have to deal with the liability of a possible missed item or failure down the road.. there are a lot of Swap shops these days.. they dont truly fix anything they just swap parts.. its much easier work than truly diagnosing broken engines and what may be wrong internally..



honestly though i sure wouldnt give much for a bus that knowingly has been overheated bad enough to be pre-diagnosed with a bad head.. even though I myself could probably fix the thing.. I still would have to deal with paying for a heavy duty tow to wherever I could work on it.. count on at l;east a grand for that... then I have taken the chance that I can fix it for a couple grand.. a running driving really good-shape dust-buster shorty brings about 5K maybe 6 on a good day.. 9K was an overprice on that for sure.. so for me id have to come in total under that to make it worth it.. so I'd pay a grand for the bus.. a grand for the Tow.. and a couple grand to put a head on it.. and i'd be in that $4000 minimum.. and thats if I was local and didnt have to travel to get the bus, and stay someplace while I fix it.. so you can see where the market is.. you wont likely re-coup much on it.. if it was parked someplace where someone could work on it at their will then that would be worth something .. or if it can be filled with coolant and drive for awhile so someone could drive it to their location.. that gives a bit more breathing room on price as there isnt the expensive tow involved..
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Old 04-12-2024, 10:59 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 11
Year: 2006
Thank you all who've replied so far! I had looked around for new (used) engines, and the cost still seems outrageous to me. Obviously I overpaid... a lot. Bought the bus from AAA Bus in Phoenix, because I've never heard anything negative about them. Clearly, should've had it looked over by a third party. Expensive lesson learned!

Something I left out - I actually spoke with the school district that AAA bought it from, and they got rid of it because it has a "bad engine". I am starting to think that yes, the only smart option would be to replace the entire engine. Maybe I'll find a place to store it (my property is too small) and save up for a new engine. I'm just torn, because I don't WANT to give up, but I'm also not made of money!
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Old 04-12-2024, 11:51 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Posts: 67
Can the school district confirm when they sold the bus they disclosed the engine was bad? If that is the case, you might be protected. A buyer can't buy an automobile they know has problems and then resell it without disclosing that known information. Now if they bought it, fixed it, and then resold it that is something else.

Ask the school district specifically what was wrong with the engine. Ask them if it was losing coolant.

Did you overheat the engine a lot or a little? Are you the type of person to watch the gauges and when you see the heat creeping up you pull over and turn the engine off? Or did you not see the heat going up at all?
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Old 04-12-2024, 12:13 PM   #8
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Location: West Ohio
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Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
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Yeah you might have a little legal standing here. Because if the district disclosed to aaa bus that it had issues, and those issues weren't repaired, they as a business were required to inform you of the issues.

If it was purchased privately, those waters are muddied. But from a business, and you have a paper trail of the problem from seller to dealer to you. You have certain rights. I can't think of the term, but it's similar to the effect of lemon laws.

Only way I know they can skirt this is if they said it was an as-is sale, which most of them do. But even then they have to disclose the issues that are known, otherwise it could be considered fraudulent. FYI this is why a lot of dealers don't resell trade-ins, they'd rather send them to auction and buy something else back to sell, that way there is a break in ownership and the "knowing" of the problems present.

Did you contact AAA bus sales during all of this? With their reputation, I can't hardly believe they'd tell you to pound sand, unless it was gross ignorance/negligence/incompetence on your part.
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Old 04-12-2024, 12:24 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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It's the Uniform Commercial Code that protects you. It protects you on As-Is purchases. You can't knowingly sell something that has problems without disclosing them.
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Old 04-12-2024, 01:48 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,914
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
im only going on "bad head".. since thats what the shops you have had it to say needs done...



my experience of school districts is that once a bus reaches a certain age and has a moderate to major issue, they simply sell it as a non-runner.. and they wont typically go more than saying "bad engine".. as they dont want to say "runs and drives but has a bad head gasket" and have someone buy it and try to drive it across the country, break down, and blame the school.. its easy to say "bad engine" so it will be towed and not driven..



I dont know the legalities of an As-Is sale.. it would , though be highly unethical at best if AAA bought a bus sold to them as a non-runner, and just cleaned it up and flipped it without disclosing that it had been sold to them as a non runner.. now if they could produce an independent mechanics report that shows where it was properly checked out then it would be much less of an issue.. and maybe its downright illegal.. esp as a business..



but anyway like i say, if its a head issue, (maybe the school can help with more info). then thats a repair that can be made on a vision wit hthe engine still in the bus.. there are many shops who can check out and even repair / resurface heads.. and used Heads (not whole engines) go for pretty reasonable prices depending on age and such..


ive bought more than one broken vehicle over the years, fixed just the broken stuff and drove it around, gave it away, or re-sold it..



my first diesel ever, a peugeot diesel was given to me because it had a "bad engine".. a blown head gasket, a steamed piston and I was back on the road.. while it wasnt obviously the "best practice" repair to just replace a single piston, just run a light hone through a cylinder and spray lots of brakleen down to get out the metal bits.. the car ran great for many years after that and a lot of miles..
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Old 04-18-2024, 06:20 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
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Location: East TN
Posts: 303
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
It’sa good sized bus and air brakes and air suspension is nice. I would be leaning towards scraping in your situation. It’s going to bleed your bank account dry, especially having to pay to store it somewhere. IF it has a desirable transmission I may opt to fix it. I have a huge shop and tools though.
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Old 05-07-2024, 08:47 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 11
Year: 2006
Wow, I forgot to post an update! Sorry.... I really appreciate all of your responses.
I connected with the seller and got nearly half of my money back. I'm genuinely surprised, and extremely satisfied.

I'm waiting for a call back from our local tech college that has a stellar diesel engine program. Hoping they can use it in their fall semester! Otherwise, i'm just going to let it sit for a bit and consider options.
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Old 05-07-2024, 09:10 AM   #13
Bus Nut
 
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Engine: DT 466 Mech. Spicer 5 speed
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Sounds like a very fair resolution to me.

All of this stuff is older, some of it really older, and no one has a crystal ball. Even if you are mechanically inclined, you can't catch everything.

It's the chance you take, and the reason a $90,000 bus sells for less that 10K used....

Most of the time you sort of win-- but occasionally you can lose.
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Old 05-07-2024, 06:17 PM   #14
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Location: Sandpoint, ID
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird MB-IV
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3 Diesel
Rated Cap: 25
Great news! Good luck!
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