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Old 07-25-2019, 10:18 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Screwed By Seller - Any Advice?

I could use some advice about how to proceed here. I purchased a bus from a private individual in a different state (Arkansas)...long story short, the engine overheated and it broke down before I could get it home. I had it towed to the local International dealer and it turns out the engine needs to be replaced. The repair cost through them is WAY more than I can afford ($14k). The seller is basically refusing to take any responsibility and claims everything was fine when he sold it.

Before anyone scolds me for it, I already know my big mistake here was not having a mechanic inspect the bus before handing over the cash...this has been a VERY painful lesson learned, and hopefully this post can help someone else avoid the same mistake. The bus came from a nearby school district, had all the maintenance records, new tires and batteries and ran great at the seller's house. I didn't notice until it was too late that the temperature gauge wasn't working. I'm located in Texas and now stuck with a broken down bus in Arkansas. As they say, buyer beware.

I now need to figure out how to resolve the situation. It seems like my options are:

A) Cut my losses and try to scrap the bus (salvage yard). The problem is, I've called around and none of the local yards want to take it off my hands.

B) Try to find a lower-priced diesel mechanic in that state to replace the engine for me (a used engine is probably all I could afford)...basically just bite the bullet and try to save the bus, even though I would have more money poured into it than I should have. At least I would have a reliable conversion platform

C) Lawyer up and take the seller to court...but I don't think the law would be completely on my side here (and this option might end up costing even more in the long run, be even more painful and still not work out in my favor). It's not fair, but it is what it is.

Anyway, maybe I'm missing a better solution here? What would you recommend? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:55 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your bad luck.... Others may chime in about any legal recourse, but I see that you have a DT-466. One of the good things about these engines is you can rebuild them in-frame. Unless you really broke things, the engine doesn't need to be replaced. It gets fixed with a kit that includes new sleeves, pistons, rings, bearings and gaskets. I've heard estimates around the $6k range for doing one of these rebuilds. The kit is about $1k if you feel inclined to DIY.

Good luck on whatever direction you decide to go.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:17 AM   #3
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What did you pay initially for the bus? If it's the usual 2 to 4 grand, seems like just starting over with a new bus would be by far the most practical strategy. There's always the concern that there might be a bunch of other things wrong with the bus - in addition to the engine and the temperature gauge. Don't get me wrong, I'm the king of sunk costs myself, but it's something to consider (obviously doesn't solve the problem of how to dispose of the old one - maybe a local Craigslist ad for a free bus would do the trick).
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
One of the good things about these engines is you can rebuild them in-frame. Unless you really broke things, the engine doesn't need to be replaced.
I really broke things. The block is bad...unfortunately an in-frame rebuild isn't an option.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:32 AM   #5
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That sucks like Electrux!!! Sorry 'bout your luck.
Don't expect you'd much notice the temp gauge was bust, even after a protracted idle.
In-frame rebuild certainly is an option on the 466. You'll have to weigh the pros & cons of whether going that way is ultimately worth it to you.
Before lawyering up, I'd like to point out 2 things. First: it was purchased, and is now dry-docked, in Arkansas. And second:
Bill n Hillary are lawyers. Nuff said...
Don't expect it would work out shiny for you. Sketchy tho I'd bet the seller is.
Good luck, neighbor!!! 🤞
EDIT: Saw your reply after typing this.
Hoo boy...
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:37 AM   #6
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Your sale was likely "As Is" which means you probably have no recourse against the seller. You may look into replacing the engine with a good used motor.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:38 AM   #7
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Dealership = stealership so yeah $14k is way too much to pay. A private diesel shop should be much more competitive on price. I think the question you need to ask yourself is how much more are you willing or able to sink into this bus. Figuring if you had a buy budget and a build out budget, at what point will the math no longer add up. Then from there you can decide if any repair quote is going to be within your budget. Remember to factor towing from current location to new shop as part of the equation. And not wishing to assume, but I am aware that many start these projects on a shoestring budget to begin with so a major repair expense right up front can often sink the project before its even started but I'm hoping that's not the situation in which you find yourself. Also I don't know what the cost could be to simply abandon it but I'm guessing the dealership will start adding up days of storage fees to try to recoup their costs. Please keep us informed what happens.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post
That sucks like Electrux!!! Sorry 'bout your luck.
Don't expect you'd much notice the temp gauge was bust, even after a protracted idle.
In-frame rebuild certainly is an option on the 466. You'll have to weigh the pros & cons of whether going that way is ultimately worth it to you.
Before lawyering up, I'd like to point out 2 things. First: it was purchased, and is now dry-docked, in Arkansas. And second:
Bill n Hillary are lawyers...
Don't expect it would work out shiny for you. Sketchy tho I'd bet the seller is.
Good luck, neighbor!!! 🤞
EDIT: Saw your reply after typing this.
Hoo boy...
The harsh reality is you bought this bus "as is" It is not the sellers responsibility for your bad luck. How much do you stand to lose if you can find someone to scrap it?
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:47 AM   #9
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The harsh reality is you bought this bus "as is" It is not the sellers responsibility for your bad luck. How much do you stand to lose if you can find someone to scrap it?
Yep...I'm thinking the same. I found one big truck salvage yard near Little Rock that is considering taking it. I'm waiting to hear back how much they might give me for it.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
A private diesel shop should be much more competitive on price.
If I could find a good private individual diesel mechanic or an affordable shop to install a used engine for me, I would probably do that. If anyone has recommendations in the Little Rock area, I would welcome them.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:57 AM   #11
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If I could find a good private individual diesel mechanic or an affordable shop to install a used engine for me, I would probably do that. If anyone has recommendations in the Little Rock area, I would welcome them.
Maybe give this guy a call: https://littlerock.craigslist.org/ao...940265229.html (don't know him personally, just found this on Craigslist).

And it seems DT466s can be had on eBay for as little as 2 grand.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:01 PM   #12
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A good running used motor is the way to go if you think the rest is worth saving. This of course has its own risks.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Maybe give this guy a call: https://littlerock.craigslist.org/ao...940265229.html (don't know him personally, just found this on Craigslist).
Thanks so much for sharing the link. I contacted him and he doesn't do diesel
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:11 PM   #14
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Thanks so much for sharing the link. I contacted him and he doesn't do diesel
Oh, that sucks. I had hopes.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:14 PM   #15
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Is the rest of the bus worth keeping? Looks like a used engine is almost $5K. Youíll also be paying someone to install it. Along with incidentals like fluids, youíre probably looking at 8K. Unless the bus is exceptional, your best course may be to walk away from it.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:23 PM   #16
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Is the rest of the bus worth keeping? Looks like a used engine is almost $5K. You’ll also be paying someone to install it. Along with incidentals like fluids, you’re probably looking at 8K. Unless the bus is exceptional, your best course may be to walk away from it.
It could honestly go either way. The bus has an MT643 transmission, no rust, a high ceiling and 8 basement storage compartments. I'd keep it if I could get the engine replaced at a low enough cost, but I'm totally willing to walk away if I can find someone to take it off my hands.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:39 PM   #17
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If you are thinking it’s worth keeping, probably the best course is to try to find a motor locally. If you can’t find local, then start searching adjacent cities.

I’m just doing internet research and don’t know any of these people or businesses

Home

Here’s a dt466 for 2500. Probably can get it for 2. Of course you need to make sure it’s the right motor and it is in good shape.

https://littlerock.craigslist.org/pt...937893920.html

Here’s a mobile diesel mechanic

https://littlerock.craigslist.org/ao...933522848.html
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:41 PM   #18
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Strip of all that can be yanked and has future value first, if you have to go the scrap route...
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:36 PM   #19
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Option B, then A

Option C is a waste unless you have family that is a lawyer and time to burn. Even then, the court won't do anything, it's merely a bully tactic to scare them into a refund.

At the end of the day, all sales from private individuals are usually as is. The seller has no responsibility to you, and is therefore not liable for any damages or refunds.

Only you can determine it's worth. Most on here feel that you can get a "new" bus for the cost of fixing what you have. I, like a few others, would rather spend the money on the repairs and know that I have something that's good to go. Then again, I do my own repairs so my cost is cheaper.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:43 PM   #20
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Store it a farm etc to get a cheap rate. Go back to Tx and lick your wounds and think on it a month or so. Maybe farmers can set you up with a mechanic etc.
$14k is a lot of money to walk away from.
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