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Old 06-25-2010, 04:17 PM   #1
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Bus searching

Looking at four buses this week but I have questions.

Can anyone gimme a source and rough idea of what batteries for buses cost?

Can a 5 speed do 65 on the highway? What about a 4 speed?

More to come as I find more buses! Hope it doesn't take all summer

**EDIT**

Is this an actual government auction? Some of these buses are looking pretty good
http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Ma ... &mycat=94H
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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Re: Bus searching

Great, thanks Smitty!

Anyone have views on this one:
1979 International, Manual Transmission, 366 cu.in. gas motor
They want $2k which I think is a bit much. How hard would parts for that be to get?
The tires are some 8 years old so no doubt dry rot and need replacement fast.
The bus is already an RV conversion (most of which has to be removed, doesn't fit what I need). The electrical and plumbing already in there is plus, I know nothing of wiring/plumbing my own.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: Bus searching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeria
Great, thanks Smitty!

Anyone have views on this one:
1979 International, Manual Transmission, 366 cu.in. gas motor
They want $2k which I think is a bit much. How hard would parts for that be to get?
The tires are some 8 years old so no doubt dry rot and need replacement fast.
The bus is already an RV conversion (most of which has to be removed, doesn't fit what I need). The electrical and plumbing already in there is plus, I know nothing of wiring/plumbing my own.
Hold-out for a better deal.....and unless you can re-use nearly 100% of what's there, why pay for it from someone else's conversion?

Smitty
The tires are the big red flag in my mind. If they don't care about the basics, what kind of maintenance do they do to the rest of the bus? I'm always suspicious of someone else's wiring unless they are a licensed electrician selling with a warranty.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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Re: Bus searching

Yeah, think I'll pass on that one. Guy won't do a few hundred and swears the tires are great for 8 years sitting on concrete uncovered.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:01 AM   #5
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Re: Bus searching

A few buses on eBay. Any comments?

1986 International School Bus (37 feet bumper to bumper, 27 interior he says)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... K:MEWAX:IT
thedieselstop.com forum has a post saying that 6. plus engines are less hardy and eat more fuel than lower litre International engines and that parts are more expensive.

Not sure about this one, he doens't list much nor show many pictures.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... K:MEWAX:IT

1996 Blue Bird GMC School Bus Tinted Windows Air Brakes (65psg, 36' he says)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... K:MEWAX:IT
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
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Re: Bus searching

I think the first one appears to be a decent deal- it's got the factory raised roof and the mileage (if accurate) is relatively low.
Also the price isn't horrible, yet, with only a couple more days of bidding. Don't know diddly about diesels in general, though, other than what I pick up here and there.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:44 PM   #7
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Re: Bus searching

#1 should be your best bet. The International diesel is a strong running engine. The only drawback to this one is the Dayton rims. I've never been a fan of Daytons for many reasons, but some like them.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
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Re: Bus searching

Well... I just can't make myself do the air brakes thing. Darn it.

I did find this unusual thing. Not sure how well it would work as a skoolie but someone here might like it?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ABIA-bus ... 43a05a0f83
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:45 PM   #9
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Re: Bus searching

Don't be afraid of air brakes, just learn about them. There is a reason big rigs have air brakes. Another advantage is you don't have to change fluid, or bleed air out of 'em.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:25 PM   #10
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Re: Bus searching

I've come across a lot of these little buses, not sure what they are called. Thinking of driving down to check this baby out. She fits most our needs, minus I've no clue where the tanks (water, propane, black) would go. Is there a downside to have thing these compared to conventional skoolies?
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:46 PM   #11
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Re: Bus searching

They seemed to be very popular with the Baptist Churches in Atlanta. At least it seemed every time I saw in (mostly NC) they had lettering indicating they were from a Baptist Church in the Atlanta area. I'm assuming they were enroute to one of the Christian Retreats in Asheville.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:45 PM   #12
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Re: Bus searching

RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN! That is a Starcraft, aka "Starcrap". I worked for a company that had four. Three shook themselves to pieces in <100,000 miles. The fourth ate over $10,000 in repairs in 2 years, including a transmission, two A/C compressors, an alternator, a steering box, and two (!!) complete front end rebuilds. (All before 100K!) As a bonus, they have undersized wiring, ergonomics bordering on the bizarre (stereos in the overhead & totally out of sight, AIC boxes that jam into the driver's leg, panels behind the driver that block the seat from going back more than halfway, interior lights ABOVE the luggage racks, really weak air conditioning, marginal rear heat, and tended to have major structural problems.

As a bonus, that one has a 6.0 diesel, one of the biggest turds ever crapped on an unsuspecting public.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:40 PM   #13
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Re: Bus searching

lol Thanks for the input! Guess that's why the starcrafts I see are the bottom of the price list, pretty cheap.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #14
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Re: Bus searching

well there is a good one or two to a batch.

the shuttle buses are okay. usually little better on fuel, not as huge feeling and are fiberglass. but then again each type has its own class of plus and minuses. mine is a goshen which is a distant relative to the star crap and the eldarado and a few others.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:42 PM   #15
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Re: Bus searching

Goshen (made by Supreme Truck Body Company) is unrelated to Starcraft...IIRC, it's related to Startrans, which is also unrelated to Starcraft.

El Dorado, Champion, and a couple others are all made by Thor Industries. Also to avoid: Metrotrans (may be out of business). Company had two, both were turds. One was junked due to structural failure with 75,000 miles. Goshen, Champion, El-Dorado, Turtle Top/Terra Transit, and Glaval were pretty good. The big thing to watch for is water leakage!
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:32 PM   #16
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Re: Bus searching

Dang tempting lol


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1980-Joh ... 3a5d7e6cf0
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:09 PM   #17
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Re: Bus searching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeria
I love that roof, I would definetly be able to see the race track and everyone would be able to see me but I think the other people on trailers around me would be pissed! I think that thing would be major top heavy also. Wonder if that entire deck goes up and down?
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:57 AM   #18
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Re: Bus searching

Yeah, the search is still going on. grrr

I have noticed that Bluebirds seem to be cheaper than most others, Fords being even cheaper. hmm

So talking to Midwest Transit now since I can't find anything private or cheaper than Midwest has over the last few months. Buying from them means nearly double the prices I'm seeing from private owners, but so far they're the only ones that carry buses the right length and all. More grrrsss

Anyone know what a 3wheelchair+25psg bus would be roughly in length? They've one listed but say it won't actually arrive for a few weeks so can't give me measurements.

They're trying to sell me on a 92kmile engine, 97 Bluebird 65psg (4 feet longer than I would like or feel comfortable driving) for some $2500. That seem a deal? $900 to ship it to me
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:04 PM   #19
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Re: Bus searching

I got my bus from www.ks-bus.com in Lawrence KS. They are a dealer, but prices are reasonable and they are negotiable. Not sure how far that is from where you are in wisconsin... probably at least 500 miles.
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