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Old 08-07-2020, 06:54 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 28
First time buyers in need of some help

Hello everyone,

My boyfriend, my puppy Ranger and myself were planning on converting a school bus so that we cousins travel throughout the U.S. I stumbled across a 2003 Thomas Blue Bird short bus. Itís a flat nose, 9 window diesel with only 155,000 miles on it. Theyíre asking 10k for it and I donít know much when it comes to purchasing a school bus. Anyone have any advice for me? Is that too much? We weíre trying to keep the school bus with a 30 ft max so that itís easier to find parking and get into parks.

HELP! Weíre finally ready to make our purchase.
RoadRanger20 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 07:11 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,076
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
That is *WAY* overpriced. The info is wrong, and incomplete. It is *Either* a Thomas, or a Blue Bird, but not both. You'll want to find out which engine it has, don't simply accept a generic "diesel" as an answer, you want to know which manufacturer and model. Examples include IH T444E or DT466, Cummins 5.9 or Cummins 8.3, Cat 3126 or Cat C7. There are a few others but these are what you're likely to find in many buses. Find out what transmission is has, and again, do *Not* accept a generic "Allison Automatic" (pretty much the only company to supply automatic transmissions for school buses). You'll want to avoid the AT545 (and its AT-variant brothers), it's a good transmission for a lot of stop and go use but ill suited for a highway cruiser. The MT645 is somewhat better but still may give a limited top speed (no overdrive). Lastly see if you can get the rear axle gear ratio. This, along with your transmission type, will determine your highway cruising speed (a low geared axle with an overdrive will go faster than one without overdrive). Typical ratios might be 5.38 (with overdrive is alright, with no overdrive you'll top out around 55 MPH), 4.44 (with no overdrive should top out around 65).



Keep in mind a larger engine will produce considerably more power for highway cruising, and the fuel economy difference will be negligible.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2020, 12:10 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 28
Reply for 2003 bus

He said that he is going to send me a photo of the title tonight.

In the description with the photo it says:

3126 Cat Diesel Engine
155,000 miles
Allison 2000 AutomaticTransmission

Anything else I should ask?
How much do you think this bus is really worth?

Thanks for helping me
RoadRanger20 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2020, 01:21 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 409
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadRanger20 View Post
He said that he is going to send me a photo of the title tonight.

In the description with the photo it says:

3126 Cat Diesel Engine
155,000 miles
Allison 2000 AutomaticTransmission

Anything else I should ask?
How much do you think this bus is really worth?

Thanks for helping me
That is really not enough information to offer an accurate price however I would not be afraid of that engine/trans combo if in good mechanical condition.
Where is it located?where is it from? Rust?
If that model with those miles was in very good condition with little rust I would not be paying more than $4500 and that's only if it really fits what I was looking for. That is not a $10000 bus.
Shop wisely
Cheers
Oscar1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 01:13 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 28
Talking New bus

Iím in the process of buying a new bus within the next couple of months. Instead of a full sized bus, Iím looking at getting a short or mid sized bus that way itís easier to get into most parks and find parking. My goal once I buy this bus is to travel throughout the US to both National and State parks. I would need a bus that would be good for long hauls and driving through mountains with incline. Iíve found this bus, but I need a little help on whether or not this would be a good option. Hereís some of the info Iíve received from the current owner of the bus..

1991 International/Navistar
Caterpillar
New batteries, tires and repaired engine
$4,500
28 feet in length
44k miles on it
Model 3700
Engine capacity V8 7.3 liter
Break system air
Diesel
Drive line type 4x2
No rust in or outside of the bus

Any suggestions? Pros? Cons?
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