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Old 08-12-2020, 02:31 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 28
Older Vs. Newer Bus

Hello,

Veteran travelers, but first time school bus buyers. There’s so many things to look for when buying a bus and I don’t know half of them. I’ve found a few 1988 Mid sized school buses that have low miles and are great condition. Is it bad to purchase a bus that old...or harder to find the parts when need be? Should I stick to buying a bus that’s the year 2000 or newer?

HELP ME!
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:38 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 275
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
First you got to know why you want a bus and what you plan to do with it.

If you can find a gas engine bus, take note that your fuel mileage will be terrible!

Diesel engine bus much more preferred but which diesel engine you choose sometimes is a matter of personal preference and price and availability.

Transmissions - some people still swear by having a manual trans but above all, stay away from anything with an allison at545 as this tranny is not suitable for long haul driving especially in the mountains.

Most folks will stay within the mechanical diesel pump engines versus the electronic engines but me personally, I would stay away from any 6.0 diesels and anything that says Maxforce .

Your question is really broad but again, you first need to know what you want to do with the bus, that will help you answer your questions...
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:56 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Kansas
Posts: 125
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12v
Rated Cap: 60
Yeah thats really broad but in general, in my experience, older diesels are where its at. The electronic engines are great when they run, and harder to diagnose and repair when they dont. Emissions engines (after 05) you can expect to work on the emissions system alot.

I have a 96 12v cummins....which is all mechanical, no electronics. My dream engine, parts are readily available as there are thousands still on the road, and thousands more being rebuilt and used in aftermarket projects.

If i was looking, a 12 valve 5.9 cummins, a International DT466 or DT466e would be my engines of choice. The DT466 is probably the most prolific mid size diesel engine out there. Those are located in 2005 and older. You would have zero problems at all getting parts for these engines for the forseeable future.

Not doing the work yourself? Got a mechanic you love and trust? Ask him what he is comfortable working on and familiar with!
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:00 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 28
We plan on hitting as many National and States parks as we can across the U.S.
we would need a bus for long hauls and different terrain (including mountains with steep elevation).
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:14 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 28
I’m in the process of buying a new bus within the next couple of months. Instead of a full sized bus, I’m looking at getting a short or mid sized bus that way it’s 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. I’ve found this bus, but I need a little help on whether or not this would be a good option. Here’s some of the info I’ve 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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Old 08-13-2020, 10:05 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Kansas
Posts: 125
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12v
Rated Cap: 60
Seems strange. 44k is almost no miles for a 91...you say it has a cat engine but you also say its a 7.3 v8 diesel which is a Ford motor.

Too vague...repaired engine, what was wrong and what was done to fix it. Does it have service records?

Something doesn't seem to add up there.

Also don't list the transmission or the rear end ratio so its impossible to know what speed its geared for.
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:10 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 159
No matter what I'd steer clear of a Van chassis bus,....unless you just want to park/live in it. they are the worst to work on by far.
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