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Old 05-13-2020, 12:39 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Larchmont NY
Posts: 73
Engine: Mountains, highways, east to west coast capable
Rated Cap: Wheelchair lift ~34c 24a
Seeking bus, opinions please?

Hi all,

Just to summarize, I’m looking for an 8 window bus with a wheelchair lift to travel part-time throughout the year. Include highways and mountains please!

North Carolina Surplus Bus List has a few listings for 1998 54 pass lift Navistar DT466 Tho Body. My novice interpretation is that this is probably an 8 window, wheelchair lift, Navistar chassis? DT466 engine (good) Thomas body. Mileages 220,000-240,000 for $3500, one at 290,000 miles is $3,000.

There is also a 2004 54 lift International T444E, 310,800 miles for $4000.

Many thanks for your thoughts and opinions!

Barbara
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Old 05-13-2020, 04:30 PM   #2
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Location: Swansboro,NC
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Year: 86
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those mileages are a little high and so are those prices.
and you definitely have to be careful buying an NC bus because unless its an activity bus it is almost definitely governed and rear end geared for 49mph regardless of the motor.
not really rust issues and you would definitely need to verify transmission but i dont remember what year they quit making the 545 but NC loved them and the rear end gearing.
i would also ask what horsepower is there specific built 466 rating at probably 175 to 200.
the state takes care of there buses but they by them brand new specific county purpose built low horsepower usually the cheapest tranny for the job and 6.50 rear end gears for limiting speed.
might just try calling and talking to them?
i have been into several different county bus barns to talk to the mechanics including the states main bus barn 4 hours away from me and they have all always been friendly and full of knowledge to share.
good luck
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Old 05-13-2020, 06:53 PM   #3
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Engine: Mountains, highways, east to west coast capable
Rated Cap: Wheelchair lift ~34c 24a
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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
those mileages are a little high and so are those prices.
Jolly Roger, thank you for your feedback and suggestions. Iíve just started looking, and Iím not in a hurry. I will call on a couple of them and continue my education. Since Iím starting from zero, all info is good info!

Barbara
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:24 PM   #4
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:00 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Larchmont NY
Posts: 73
Engine: Mountains, highways, east to west coast capable
Rated Cap: Wheelchair lift ~34c 24a
Thanks Johnny, I think that should be my #1 priority to remember. Maybe ceiling screws and not rivets is #2!

Barbara
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:02 AM   #6
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
1 no rust
2 desirable drivetrain
3 high headroom
4 tire condition

screws vs rivets is pretty trivial, IMO.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:38 AM   #7
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Larchmont NY
Posts: 73
Engine: Mountains, highways, east to west coast capable
Rated Cap: Wheelchair lift ~34c 24a
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
1 no rust
2 desirable drivetrain
3 high headroom
4 tire condition

screws vs rivets is pretty trivial, IMO.
Thanks! I agree on all points, nice to know Iím heading the right direction here. I still donít understand about drive train, I know it relates to highway speed and mountains. What questions should I ask?

Re: rivets, I have the upper body strength you would expect of ďwomen of a certain ageĒ, despite the gym! I donít want to throw in the towel when I hit the ceiling, so to speak!
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:18 PM   #8
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Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caplansail View Post
Thanks! I agree on all points, nice to know Iím heading the right direction here. I still donít understand about drive train, I know it relates to highway speed and mountains. What questions should I ask?

Re: rivets, I have the upper body strength you would expect of ďwomen of a certain ageĒ, despite the gym! I donít want to throw in the towel when I hit the ceiling, so to speak!
Channel your inner Rosie the Riveter!
You got this

I still have a WWII sheetmetal workers surplus drill my dad picked up...
I love that drill specially designed for smaller hands, and being the size of a 1/4" drill with the power of a 3/8" drill !

This is getting ahead of your getting a bus a little bit but...
One advantage of (quality) air tools is that they are lighter in weight than their electrical counterparts.
Consider the Makita or Dewalt 9.6v cordless tools.
I love my old Makita's for being compact and lightweight.
Sure the 18v tools are the new standard and work very well -- they also weigh a lot more...
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:16 PM   #9
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Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caplansail View Post
Thanks! I agree on all points, nice to know Iím heading the right direction here. I still donít understand about drive train, I know it relates to highway speed and mountains. What questions should I ask?

Re: rivets, I have the upper body strength you would expect of ďwomen of a certain ageĒ, despite the gym! I donít want to throw in the towel when I hit the ceiling, so to speak!
If you get a riveted ceiling, you will need a compressor and an air hammer. I did one of my rows of rivets with a crowbar and a mallet and it was so physically brutal that I (a 6' man who works out regularly) considered abandoning my bus since there was no paperwork anywhere connecting it to me. Then I did one row of rivets with a mallet, punch and chisel and that made me consider setting fire to my bus after abandoning it.

Today - a year later - I took out a row of rivets with an air hammer and it was almost pleasant, comparatively speaking. I don't blame you for prioritizing a screwed-in ceiling, although I think those can be trouble, too, if they're rusted.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:17 PM   #10
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Engine: Cat 3126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
If you get a riveted ceiling, you will need a compressor and an air hammer. I did one of my rows of rivets with a crowbar and a mallet and it was so physically brutal that I (a 6' man who works out regularly) considered abandoning my bus since there was no paperwork anywhere connecting it to me. Then I did one row of rivets with a mallet, punch and chisel and that made me consider setting fire to my bus after abandoning it.

Today - a year later - I took out a row of rivets with an air hammer and it was almost pleasant, comparatively speaking. I don't blame you for prioritizing a screwed-in ceiling, although I think those can be trouble, too, if they're rusted.
You don't have anything approaching a proper air compressor for the job or you'd be done with all those rivets in like an hour.
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