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Old 08-15-2020, 10:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by tlzimmerman View Post
Not to mention heavy duty pickups need pretty much the same maintenance a bus does.

There is a lot more miles left in my 3000 dollar bus than there is in a 3000 pickup.
Gotta agree with you 100% on this one
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:19 PM   #22
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Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
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Originally Posted by ladybird_bus View Post
Okay so I'm still thinking about this particular bus.


What can you engine gurus tell me from these two photos? Do they suggest anything to you one way or the other?
Parsimony...

1) If all this bus needed was a simple fix; it would already be fixed.

2) In my younger daze I used a lot of Blazers, 5/4 Ton p'ups and then Hummers with the 6.x engine. They were all decent work trucks (vehicles assigned to an army helicopter line unit) but none of them had what I'd call an excess of power which means in a bus they'd be underpowered imo...

3) I got my bus for FREE after the owner agreed to cover the tow-charge to get rid of it. That means I think you're paying ~ $3000 TOO MUCH for a non-running bus (sure that brings tears to the current owners eyes but that's not my problem OR YOURS...

The best thing I see about this bus so far is:
If the bus can drive 20 mph and you don't have to drive it too far then you can at least save yourself the cost of towing...

If you can tell us that this bus has 6 new quality tires on it that would help...

I agree removing the seats can be a huge time suck and totally unpleasant task.
Grab a couple hungry dudes from the HD parking lot and pay them to get the f-ing seats out. Offer to pay them well and they'll do a quick, clean demo for a couple three hundred bucks on whatever other bus you end up with.

Paying for demo work is waaaaay cheaper than engine work...
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ladybird_bus View Post
Well sure. The problem for me is though, how do you know? They are always older engines on these buses and there are things you can educate yourself about to check on, but what if you just happen to have bought a bus that seemed to be running great and was well maintained (as far as you can tell) but stuff is going to wear out anyway and you end up having to spend thousands more on top of that $6k the first year? Versus buying a bus for $3k that possibly has the same issue but it's already happened so you can get it fixed for $1500 and come out ahead of the game?


I don't know if I'm explaining it very well but this is the biggest concern and frustration I have constantly with making a choice. So much of it just seems like a crap shoot. I've been researching for several years and I still feel like for every permutation of engine and chassis etc you get as many people saying "don't bother, that one is nothing but trouble" as say "well maybe but I've had [x] number of them and they've always been great for me". Or vica versa.
More CRAP and less "shoot" in a bus that's got mechanical issues right off the bat.
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Old 08-15-2020, 02:02 PM   #24
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Ladybird, what the crew is trying to tell you is YES, you should be talked out of the bus. Look at it a few ways:

1. Markets/Money. The bus is worth $3000, minus the cost of new fuel injectors, minus the cost to get it to the mechanic or to your house. If you you can't change the injectors yourself, or you aren't certain that's all that's wrong with it, then the bus is worth less than zero to you. The seller would have to pay you to take it, because the costs (even discounting the likelihood of other problems) exceeds the value for you. That's the cold hard dollars of it.

2. Mongrelization. This bus has a swapped motor the seller didn't explain to you, and known (and perhaps unknown) serious operational problems. You stated your limited ability to deal with diagnosing and repairing the bus yourself. That's really the only kind of purchaser that can make out well on this bus- somebody who can sort it out for themself. For that person, this bus is a crapshoot. If you need to pay a mechanic to make this bus right, then you are running headlong into a costly minefield heartbreak.

3. Desire. I think you're busdrunk on this unit because its almost exactly what you want and easy to get. Take a deep breath. You've been seeing buses that guys are asking too much for and getting frustrated. You may well be in a tight market for what you want, but the market for used buses is very inefficient everywhere. Innefficient means (unlike an efficient market, like for gasoline, where supply and demand are steady, there are tons of transactions, everybody pays within a few percentage points of the same price, and the products are all about the same,) that for used buses there is spotty supply, very limited demand, and relatively few transactions. The transactions that do actually happen are widely distributed between insanely great deals and heartless ripoffs. It takes discipline and patience to trade well in any such market. Hang in there, and stick to your goals. The perfect bus for you is just as likely to show up in the next town over as the wrong one.

Like so many things in life, and something I always tell customers when I think they are getting out over their skis: "your choices are Good; Fast and Cheap- but you can only have two of them." Which two are entirely up to you.

I'll go out on a short but sturdy limb here- this is not the right bus for you, IMHO...
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Old 08-15-2020, 05:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlzimmerman View Post
Not to mention heavy duty pickups need pretty much the same maintenance a bus does.

There is a lot more miles left in my 3000 dollar bus than there is in a 3000 pickup.
I agree the demand for trucks is about 10,000 times more than a 40ft bus, so their prices are higher. The bus will become a $30,000 house with a $3,000 drivetrain after a quality motorhome conversion.
The issue I have the same for RV motorhomes. You setup camp and then need some milk or something.

I did just look around, and here is a 1989 Ford F-350 1-ton truck with 90,000 miles for $3,500, so there are trucks that have plenty of life left at low prices.

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Old 08-19-2020, 09:28 PM   #26
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Wouldn't do it

My cummins 5.9 turbo in a 40 footer is more powerful and stronger, for $5000 than the 6.2 30 footer that I put a AM General 6.5 turbo in. Sometimes the problem with GM diesels is as little as no return flow to the tank from the injector overflow. My Thomas died on I 10 outside of San Antonio. Three days stripping it and then driving straight to Quartzsite Arizona, I knew right away the difference in engines was remarkable.
If it doesnt start do not buy it.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:42 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
I agree the demand for trucks is about 10,000 times more than a 40ft bus, so their prices are higher. The bus will become a $30,000 house with a $3,000 drivetrain after a quality motorhome conversion.
The issue I have the same for RV motorhomes. You setup camp and then need some milk or something.

I did just look around, and here is a 1989 Ford F-350 1-ton truck with 90,000 miles for $3,500, so there are trucks that have plenty of life left at low prices.

Gasser? Something is wrong or that's a heckuva deal for a tonner with a service bed.

Sure getting a gallon of milk is harder.......but putting 10 hours with 4 kids elbow to elbow in an old 3000 pickup with no AC and a radio that sorta works is a lot different than cruising to the national parks with full entertainment systems and your own bathrooms and full on beds.

It's all about tradeoffs.
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Old 08-20-2020, 12:13 AM   #28
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The later 6.5L Diesel had most of the kinks worked out. That would be '94 on. So far as power, the later 6.5 can be "hopped up" to make more power.



https://www.thedieselpage.com/65book.htm



If you don't know engines and are dependent on others for mechanical repairs, pass on any vehicle that has preexisting mechanical issues. You might also consider looking at gas engines instead of Diesels. I almost bought a Ford 7.3 truck with 400,000 miles until I saw how much it costs to fix these things. $600 for one injector and there are eight! For that price you can get a new gas crate engine.
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Old 08-20-2020, 12:24 AM   #29
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If that engine is running in this configuration, it may be missing more than just the air cleaner. At best the engine is running in limp-home mode. What ECM codes are active?
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:02 AM   #30
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Hopefully, by now, you've moved on from the money pit you describe.

As others have said, keep looking, it takes awhile to find the right one...
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