Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-19-2017, 12:37 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
Time to BUY!! Can I get your opinions..

Hey guys,

It's finally, (after a year of planning/saving) time to buy a bus and start my skoolie..

I've been watching the auction sites (I'm in FL currently) and looking online at a few different places (I have family in TX and will be visiting soon).

So, I'm willing (for the right bus) to travel to buy and drive it back.. I've found a couple so far that I'm looking at, but before I go out there to inspect one of them, I wanted to pick everyone's brains out there... so here's a couple:

1. 93 International
https://austin.craigslist.org/cto/6113106756.html

2. 02 Thomas
https://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/6110911925.html

(thanks in advance for the help)

Jay
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2017, 01:12 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: KANSAS CITY
Posts: 736
I PASS ON BOTH BUSES. The 92 is way over priced. So is the 02. With that 02 you are getting electronic ignition. Nothing said about the tires. Don't uy a bus with old tires. What trannys. Most likely AT545 not the best at all.
__________________
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
Versatile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2017, 01:42 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
I agree the '93 is overpriced. I don't like the floor construction in this one either. Looks like a cleaned up floor with black plastic and then plywood on top. None of the walls or ceiling have been removed or insulated. The floor is not the hard part.

Between these two specific buses I'd probably choose the '02. It's missing a lot of information. Yes it's electronic, but it's also likely to have an upgraded transmission in the 1000 or 2000 series. What would kill the deal for me would be finding a 5.9 in that bus. It's likely the 8.3. This bus also has the coveted air ride rear axle. I notice they don't bother scaring us by listing the mileage.

I don't like missing info. It's like squeezing a lemon to get information.
__________________
Robin
Nobody's Business
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback....


I'll keep searching
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2017, 10:46 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
What about a bus from OH, should I be overly concerned about rust due to salt use during the winter?

https://publicsurplus.com/sms/auction/view?auc=1855802
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2017, 10:59 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,860
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
rust is REAL in central ohio here where they salt for every little weather event.. mechanically ohio busses are typically solid as the inspectors are pretty strict on mechanics..
from what I can tell that unit looks clean for an ohio runner...cant see the undercarriage though

even though the engines are CATs.. I noticed some ofthose ohio busses have nice MD3060 transmissions
-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2017, 11:58 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
Yeah, I saw that too..... which caught my attention. I'll try to email them to see if there's more photos available... thanks!
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2017, 02:36 PM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,198
I would agree the 1993 is way overpriced for what it is. $3K would be top $$$ in my book for that bus.

The 2002 Thomas looks like a pretty nice bus. If it has the ISB it is going to be a bit pokey on the hills. Since it has luggage compartments it more likely has the ISC since it obviously was spe'c'ed to be a trip bus occasionally. Air ride is a nice plus but no mileage specified is puzzling. At a $4,500.00 asking price I would be curious as to who is selling it. That price for a bus of that vintage at a dealer seems about half of what most dealers would ask. If it is a private seller one has to wonder why they have the bus for sale in the first place.

I would stay away from the OH Blue Bird mostly because of the Cat engine. I would also suspect that it has a lot more rust underneath than the other buses.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2017, 05:35 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
M1031A1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Quinter, Kansas - Soon South Dakota!
Posts: 1,434
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
JPM,

Sign up on Houston Auto Auction. In June (about three or four weeks from now) there is going to be a huge auction on a number of excellent buses from Katy ISD. They are rust free and LOW MILEAGE!!!!! I can personally vouch for them since I worked on them. Unless otherwise noted, they run well, stop well, and are excellent candidates for conversions to skoolies. Best of luck!

M
__________________
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. — George Washington
M1031A1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2017, 06:09 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
CaptSquid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,261
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
I'd go for the 02 Thomas. I purchased an 03 at $8K.

Like the others said, I'd be leery of the tire condition. And why don't they list the mileage? Although Florida is not known for hills, Texas has been known to have a few. But my 03 handled Montana hills handily, even though gravity seemed to want to win on some hills.

Mine had 128k on the clock and all 6 tires have great tread, so, in a sense, I paid $2k for mine and got the tires thrown in.

Craigslist seems to be where a lot of people begin their searches. I don't know why, though. I had no luck with them. I went to Midwest Transit to find mine.
CaptSquid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 07:21 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
Here's one:

1998 Genesis AmTran DT466 Diesel Allison AT545 Automatic Air Brakes 12 row Florida 72 passenger used bus@ BGA School Buses, Inc. Hudson, FL



I've seen a couple people post about buying from this place here in FL. They are bit expensive, but a few buyers swear by their service/trustworthiness...

Looking over the bus, assuming they'd come down on the price, do you guys think there's too much rust showing on this one in the photos.... I'm a bit afraid what I'd find once I start tearing into something like this one.
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 07:29 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
this one looks interesting on GovDeals..

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...68&acctid=4678
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 07:43 AM   #13
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,547
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpm9909 View Post
Here's one:

1998 Genesis AmTran DT466 Diesel Allison AT545 Automatic Air Brakes 12 row Florida 72 passenger used bus@ BGA School Buses, Inc. Hudson, FL



I've seen a couple people post about buying from this place here in FL. They are bit expensive, but a few buyers swear by their service/trustworthiness...

Looking over the bus, assuming they'd come down on the price, do you guys think there's too much rust showing on this one in the photos.... I'm a bit afraid what I'd find once I start tearing into something like this one.
That place is a TOTAL ripoff. TOTAL RIPOFF.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 07:49 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
That place is a TOTAL ripoff. TOTAL RIPOFF.
Thanks EC.... do you know if they're willing to negotiate, or would you avoid outright?
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 08:22 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,547
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpm9909 View Post
Thanks EC.... do you know if they're willing to negotiate, or would you avoid outright?
Their prices are SO far beyond reality that I find them laughable. They export them to other countries at such inflated prices here in FL, that the stealerships can gouge the prices to the point its silly to buy here.
Buses in FL aren't well-cared-for. OUr schools run em into the ground, in general. BGA buys the same buses as you or I, sticks a HUGE price on em, and MAYBE sprays em down with a pressure washer.
They had a 99 RE bus last I was on their site- with a price of TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!
They don't do anything special to the buses, they're just flipping them.
Cut out the middle man, have a bit of patience and snag a sweet bus for cheap, like I did twice now.
My 40' 1992 Ward was 2100 on govdeals, my NICE 1998 6 window shorty was 1760 on Public Surplus.
Buses out west and slightly north of FL are SO much nicer and so much cheaper than I've written off FL and most of GA and SC entirely. The shorty I got from Aurora CO School district even came with NEW tires. For less than two grand. A friend drove it back the 1800 miles to FL for me. Its my daily driver and runs like a CHAMP.
No need to pay dealer prices, this is a DIY world!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 09:07 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Their prices are SO far beyond reality that I find them laughable. They export them to other countries at such inflated prices here in FL, that the stealerships can gouge the prices to the point its silly to buy here.
Buses in FL aren't well-cared-for. OUr schools run em into the ground, in general. BGA buys the same buses as you or I, sticks a HUGE price on em, and MAYBE sprays em down with a pressure washer.
They had a 99 RE bus last I was on their site- with a price of TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!
They don't do anything special to the buses, they're just flipping them.
Cut out the middle man, have a bit of patience and snag a sweet bus for cheap, like I did twice now.
My 40' 1992 Ward was 2100 on govdeals, my NICE 1998 6 window shorty was 1760 on Public Surplus.
Buses out west and slightly north of FL are SO much nicer and so much cheaper than I've written off FL and most of GA and SC entirely. The shorty I got from Aurora CO School district even came with NEW tires. For less than two grand. A friend drove it back the 1800 miles to FL for me. Its my daily driver and runs like a CHAMP.
No need to pay dealer prices, this is a DIY world!
awesome, I appreciate the advice.... at the risk of taking up too much of your time, what's your opinion on this one:

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...ccess#question
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 09:09 AM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,860
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
heres the deal guys..

I have one bus from them and one bus i got off an auction..

both busses are pretty much equal... other than I paid 3X for the bus from BGA vs the bus from auction..

the bus I got from BGA runs great after I put 3K worth of new tires on it, an air compressor, and a few other parts..

the auction bus Runs great other than I damaged its transmission due to my own ignorance.. and I put a few other parts on it to solve factory deficiencies...

the BGA people are great to work with, hard to talk down and as EC mentioned way over-priced..

they typically will buy busses from areas of the country in which mechanical soundness is important but you will often find rust on their busses as its the northern states which tend to demand best practice mechanical inspections...

they sometimes service the busses and do little minor fixups.. they do have services like painting (which is reasonable compared to a automotive pro shop).. they charge arm and a leg for things like seat removal, etc..

they seem to be trustworthy as far as people andtheir business.. but you definitely $$PAY$$ when you go there... go online to auction sites such as govdeals, public surplus, 422 sales, etc and find a bus similar to the one you linked and noticed what they have sold for...

they go to the same auctions we can go to and buy the same busses and then mark em up..

do I regret getting a bus from them? no I dont, because last year i needed a bus for a purpose and needed it pretty quickly, and needed the ability to crawl around ab unch of busses to find the one that met my needs.. and they fulfilled that.. do I have way too much money in that bus? sure I likely do.. but my purpose and experience i gained from the lab setups i ran in it have earned my 6X that since,

if money is not an object they give you the ability to learn about busses, and crawl around, drive a bunch of different types.... and they are knowledgeable..

if you are on a budget and have time to spare then Steer clear and learn from folks here how to research, find, bid on, and get you a bus for much less money...

I realize their Lay-A-way program is popular and it may suit you if you need to pay on a bus over time.. but there are other creative ways to get cheap financing for your bus if you need to pay for it over time..

most times auction busses are bought on credit card.. if you have good credit, go sign up for one of these cards like the Citi diamond preferred.. 0 annual fee and 0% interest on PURCHASES for 21 months.. thats free money to pay over time for your bus...

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 09:18 AM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: KANSAS CITY
Posts: 736
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Their prices are SO far beyond reality that I find them laughable. They export them to other countries at such inflated prices here in FL, that the stealerships can gouge the prices to the point its silly to buy here.
Buses in FL aren't well-cared-for. OUr schools run em into the ground, in general. BGA buys the same buses as you or I, sticks a HUGE price on em, and MAYBE sprays em down with a pressure washer.
They had a 99 RE bus last I was on their site- with a price of TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!
They don't do anything special to the buses, they're just flipping them.
Cut out the middle man, have a bit of patience and snag a sweet bus for cheap, like I did twice now.
My 40' 1992 Ward was 2100 on govdeals, my NICE 1998 6 window shorty was 1760 on Public Surplus.
Buses out west and slightly north of FL are SO much nicer and so much cheaper than I've written off FL and most of GA and SC entirely. The shorty I got from Aurora CO School district even came with NEW tires. For less than two grand. A friend drove it back the 1800 miles to FL for me. Its my daily driver and runs like a CHAMP.
No need to pay dealer prices, this is a DIY world!

Listen to this man!
__________________
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
Versatile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 09:31 AM   #19
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,547
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpm9909 View Post
awesome, I appreciate the advice.... at the risk of taking up too much of your time, what's your opinion on this one:

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...ccess#question
Quote:
1992 Bluebird TC2000 83 Passenger, Cummins Diesel 5.9L - 210 HP front engine, 545 Transmission, Hydraulic Brakes, 156,944 Miles
Know issues: dead batteries
Sounds and looks like a low-spec bus. that's a LOT of bus for a 5.9 and a 545 trans.
Look for a bus with a DT466, or a Cummins 8.3 if you're looking for a full size bus. OD trans is a plus, too.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 10:58 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
jpm9909's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 57
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas 140HS 84 pass
Engine: RE 5.9L ER6BTA230 w/ MT643 Trans
Rated Cap: 84
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...ccess#question

this one's out in CA, so it'd have to have really good tires to drive back to Tampa! lol

how much is a reasonable budget for a new set of tires, 2-300 ea ?
__________________
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
jpm9909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×