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Old 02-09-2021, 04:55 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Question thoughts on a newer bus... please help (increased budget)

Hey guys... so in my original budget I had 5-7,000 to work with. I did the research on engines and transmissions (as best as I could) and settled on looking for a 2000-2003 with a DT 466 and to avoid at AT545 as I want a full size bus (72 pax if possible) that could handle west coast driving as I have family there.

Enter my new issue. I was just generously offered help with my build. Everything from financing to building to the tune of 25k. It's basically a promised pay raise that's been tough to follow through on because of the pandemic but this is one way he can defiantly help me out. He wants me to consider newer buses 2008 ish and spend about 12,000 as he wants me to have something that lasts. My issues is that I haven't researched newer busses but do remember there being issues with the emissions control features. Are there good options that are newer or should I stick to my original plan and get an older bus? I appreciate any advice.
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Old 02-09-2021, 05:22 PM   #2
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You are correct that newer means more emissions controls and those equate to higher cost of ownership. I'm not sure I understand the circumstance that encourages all this newfound capital but that's not relevant to the question so I'll put that aside except to say that while it's probably nice to have that financial situation up front where is that same generosity going to be when you have expensive repairs down the road. That's the question I would be asking. You could get saddled with a white elephant going the proposed route and we wouldn't want you to look back regretfully. Not saying you will but it's a possibility.
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Old 02-09-2021, 05:29 PM   #3
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You are correct that newer means more emissions controls and those equate to higher cost of ownership. I'm not sure I understand the circumstance that encourages all this newfound capital but that's not relevant to the question so I'll put that aside except to say that while it's probably nice to have that financial situation up front where is that same generosity going to be when you have expensive repairs down the road. That's the question I would be asking. You could get saddled with a white elephant going the proposed route and we wouldn't want you to look back regretfully. Not saying you will but it's a possibility.
Basically it would be in lieu of a raise I was supposed to get but things got a little tight due to Covid. He could give me the cash now but I would pay income taxes on it. His idea is to help with the conversion and then give me the title.

I would feel a little more comfortable going with what I already researched... but I want to make sure I'm not missing a good opportunity to buy a newer bus if that would be a good idea and it outweighs the emissions issues. But you are right... the repair costs would be mine and mine alone. Also.. if my budget is 25k.. I would have more to spend on the inside if I went with the 2002ish model. I am having a hard time finding one though.
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Old 02-09-2021, 06:16 PM   #4
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Great, buy a bus for $5k and keep the rest to cover repairs in the future.
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Old 02-09-2021, 06:47 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=BeNimble;425636]Great, buy a bus for $5k and keep the rest to cover repairs in the future.[/QUOTE

So stick with the older bus and have him pay for the build including installation of solar and electrical etc. I could get the rest to use for repairs but then Iím paying income tax on it.
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Old 02-09-2021, 06:53 PM   #6
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Please, tell us what you plan to do with this bus you are buying and why. That may clear some things up for us to better help you.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:29 PM   #7
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?
a promised pay raise that never happened because of the virus mess?
but promise to help make up for not getting your pay raise??
it was supposed to be your pay raise over a specific amount of time and he wants to compensate you for it and help you with your bus build which is good but he you have done your research in what you want and now he is offering opinions of what he wants to buy without listening to your research and wants.
and you can call BS on me anytime.
but i am a skilled tradesman for almost anything but paint so i can say that?
for your situation i think your boss means well and is struggling which is understandable for the last year but you need to be the one picking the platform and demo and what goes into the construction.
for that price finished and he owes you money now?
i say give me what you owe me and i will bring what i buy here as i need help.
i think you are in a tough spot but making good decisions can and will get you out of that.
my opinion is always rough because i grew up rough? i am somewhat civilized now but still deal with buttheads as a living but almost everyone that seems to have good intentions are not interested in you.
sorry
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Old 02-09-2021, 11:30 PM   #8
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?
a promised pay raise that never happened because of the virus mess?
but promise to help make up for not getting your pay raise??
it was supposed to be your pay raise over a specific amount of time and he wants to compensate you for it and help you with your bus build which is good but he you have done your research in what you want and now he is offering opinions of what he wants to buy without listening to your research and wants.
and you can call BS on me anytime.
but i am a skilled tradesman for almost anything but paint so i can say that?
for your situation i think your boss means well and is struggling which is understandable for the last year but you need to be the one picking the platform and demo and what goes into the construction.
for that price finished and he owes you money now?
i say give me what you owe me and i will bring what i buy here as i need help.
i think you are in a tough spot but making good decisions can and will get you out of that.
my opinion is always rough because i grew up rough? i am somewhat civilized now but still deal with buttheads as a living but almost everyone that seems to have good intentions are not interested in you.
sorry
I was trying to simplify for the sake of the post. Let me start by saying I’ve worked for him for over 10 years and he is a genuinely good guy. The business is coming into a lump sum of money and he wants to help me.. it really is that simple. He gave me a raise 2 years ago. We talked about more money for me starting next year but with Covid and him getting older... the business is going in a slightly different direction. His offer to help me this way is simply a way to save me income tax and use business resources to get the bus done quickly and efficiently. I still have full control... he just suggested a newer bus because he thought it would be better and that it was just a question of budget. I still think I want to stick with the 2003 ish bus plan but just want to make sure that I’m not missing a good opportunity to get a newer bus... thank you for your insight.. it seems you think I should stick with the original.. older bus idea.
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Old 02-09-2021, 11:38 PM   #9
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Please, tell us what you plan to do with this bus you are buying and why. That may clear some things up for us to better help you.
I plan to live in part time for the next 2 years (as I transition to virtual work) and then full time after that. 2 adults and one teen in the bus. I gave more info about my situation in my last response to this post. My boss has the resources to help and wants to help me complete the bus as he knows itís been a long time dream of mine and Iíve worked for him helping him out for many years. He will be downsizing in 2 years so after that I will no longer have access to a storage/build site. Thatís why I started now and he felt like offering help to show his gratitude for the work Iíve put into his business. It really is that simple. Iím mostly just wanting to know if a newer bus is bad idea... I donít want expensive repairs down the road if I can avoid some of them simply by choosing the right year bus.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:21 AM   #10
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You are much better off staying with pre 2004 engines.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) started in 2004.
EGR takes some exhaust gas, cools it and puts I back into the intake of the engine to reduce combustion temperatures. EGR can have the cooler plug up with soot or start leaking. The valve that lets exhaust back into the system can also quit working.

EGR can cause some problems but is not as bad as the diesel particulate filters (DPF) that started with the 2007 emission requirements. DPF filter the soot out of diesel exhaust and then clean out the DPF by getting it really hot. Over time the filter would have to be cleaned or replaced and the sensors and systems the burned out the soot can fail.

Then starting in 2010 the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) systems were required. They had their own problems.

If there is a problem with any of these emission system it can cost thousands of dollars to have repaired.

Ted
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TJones View Post
You are much better off staying with pre 2004 engines.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) started in 2004.
EGR takes some exhaust gas, cools it and puts I back into the intake of the engine to reduce combustion temperatures. EGR can have the cooler plug up with soot or start leaking. The valve that lets exhaust back into the system can also quit working.

EGR can cause some problems but is not as bad as the diesel particulate filters (DPF) that started with the 2007 emission requirements. DPF filter the soot out of diesel exhaust and then clean out the DPF by getting it really hot. Over time the filter would have to be cleaned or replaced and the sensors and systems the burned out the soot can fail.

Then starting in 2010 the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) systems were required. They had their own problems.

If there is a problem with any of these emission system it can cost thousands of dollars to have repaired.

Ted

Nicely written. This gives some data the OP can give the boss about why a newer bus may not be the best choice in the long run.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:56 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
You are much better off staying with pre 2004 engines.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) started in 2004.
EGR takes some exhaust gas, cools it and puts I back into the intake of the engine to reduce combustion temperatures. EGR can have the cooler plug up with soot or start leaking. The valve that lets exhaust back into the system can also quit working.

EGR can cause some problems but is not as bad as the diesel particulate filters (DPF) that started with the 2007 emission requirements. DPF filter the soot out of diesel exhaust and then clean out the DPF by getting it really hot. Over time the filter would have to be cleaned or replaced and the sensors and systems the burned out the soot can fail.

Then starting in 2010 the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) systems were required. They had their own problems.

If there is a problem with any of these emission system it can cost thousands of dollars to have repaired.

Ted
Thank you Ted. This will definitely help when I try to explain why I was looking at the older buses. I knew there was ďsome emissions stuffĒ but this is a much better explanation. I appreciate it. Iím going to stick with the original plan. Now to find that perfect bus. Iíve been browsing for a while but now that Iím ready.. I canít seem to find ďthe oneĒ. Iím trying to be patient. Thanks again for your reply.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:28 AM   #13
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The only other caveat is where do you plan to go with it. California is a huge catalyst behind all that sucky emissions crap and as such will not welcome your pre-emissions bus. If you get it titled as an RV I think there is an exemption carved out but even then I wouldn't put it past them to cancel that as well. Just another factor to consider.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:18 AM   #14
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Your welcome. It's hard to be patient but it is worth waiting to find a bus with a good drive train in good condition. It seems the better busses with minimal rust come from the west coast or desert south west. You'll be happier if your time and money are spent looking vs making major repairs before you can start your conversion.

Ted
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:22 AM   #15
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The only other caveat is where do you plan to go with it. California is a huge catalyst behind all that sucky emissions crap and as such will not welcome your pre-emissions bus. If you get it titled as an RV I think there is an exemption carved out but even then I wouldn't put it past them to cancel that as well. Just another factor to consider.
As Sehnsucht just said. Currently if you are an out of state resident with an out of state motorhome you can drive in to Kommifornia. Just be aware of the agriculture inspection stations. These are now beginning to be manned on a part time basis by CARB inspectors / A holes in order to collect data. If you are a Kommifornia resident you can keep your old diesel powered motorhome. How long? Nobody knows. If and when, and more than likely when they include them in the truck and bus program it will have to be 2011 or newer. As it is now you can not drive into Kommifornia with a pre 2011 diesel powered truck or bus. The fines for violating this are severe. Right now 17 other states have already adopted Kommifornia vehicle pollution standards, including where I live NM. All new vehicles sold here must have Kommifornia emission certification. But, as others have stated the maintenance and repair on newer post emission diesel engines is very costly. So beware my friend.
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:45 PM   #16
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I wouldn't let a 545 dissuade me from a really nice bus.

Can upgrade it for less than it cost to maintain an emissions bus.
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:49 PM   #17
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EastCoastCB is right. You could buy a MT643 core rebuild it and do the modifications for less than buying a DPF when it craps out. Not if.
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:54 PM   #18
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My bus has a fresh reman 545. Putting a beefy cooler on it, running transynd.
IF it ever goes out I'll be shopping for a 643 or even maybe an A2000.
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:01 PM   #19
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East Coast CB, how heavy is your bus? And do you tow a car behind you?
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Old 02-10-2021, 05:34 PM   #20
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East Coast CB, how heavy is your bus? And do you tow a car behind you?
Haven't weighed it. GVWR is 29k.
I'd guess around 14 or 15 as it is.

Nah, I don't tow.

I wouldn't hesitate to though.
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