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Old 01-03-2021, 08:00 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
feeling like this may be the one - 2014 e450 with 6.8 v10

111k miles and asking $9500.

titled as RV and has screws instead of rivets. A bit more than my budget, but seems like the shorties are priced as such?

I was initially interested im diesel, but after a little scare with the 6.0 psd, more open to gas.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2014-Ford-E...V/313359683954

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Old 01-03-2021, 08:46 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmagician View Post
I was initially interested im diesel, but after a little scare with the 6.0 psd, more open to gas.

Well...keep in mind that was just that one engine. There are lots of great diesels out there, so if your initial equation led you to a diesel then the same basis for that decision is still valid. It was just the one you were looking at has a bad track record.


This looks like a nice bus, for sure, and fairly new. But man...that's a lot of money. If it's in your budget and it's the one true bus for you, checking all your boxes, then go for it! But I do question the accuracy of the sellers assertion that most buses are taken out of service due to an inability to pass inspection. I've recently seen buses with brand new tires (still with the mold nibs on them) that were well maintained until their replacement time came up...and usually the maintenance folks are not the same ones who plan retirement timing. We have two buses with recent engine rebuilds, which were then sold in a replacement cycle.


Having said all that, you have to do you! Nobody else knows your needs and comfort and gut like you do. So, if this feels right to you then I don't think anyone will see anything wrong with the bus itself. If you're excited, we're excited too!
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:27 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Thank you for such a quick a encouraging reply! Learning to temper my excitement with patience and diligence .

After some more combing through the forums, I found a lead on a few 7.3 psd Ford cutaways, which is exactly what I'm looking for. Hoping one of them is a 5 window/23 footer! I'll give them a call tomorrow and to get more info.
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:29 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
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Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,126
I admire your willingness to be open and patient! It's easy to get caught up...


Just as an example of what's available, and what I'd be looking at seriously (if we needed a shorty!), here's a bus that sold last month for $3960...plus the fees, so probably $4500 all in. I'd sure rather have a good diesel with 150k miles than a gasser with 110k... It was in Kansas and isn't super pretty, but if I were repainting it (and it didn't have cancerous rust), that's not a factor in our mind. But, everyone has a different list and tolerance for "surprises."



The right bus is out there, if you're patient - but along with the patience, you have to be willing to jump when you see the right one. The trick is knowing what you want and being willing to hunt for it.


Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 6.53.08 PM.jpg
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:48 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Thank you for sharing! This really captures pretty much exactly what I'm looking for in a shorty, and gives me much hope that what I'm seeking is out there and that it's not a pipe dream (7.3 dt cutaway 5 window - though the rust appears to be more than I'd like, but honestly I'm not familiar enough to know when it's beyond the point of being repairable).

This looks like an auction site. I've started to get a pulse of publicsurplus.com and govdeals.com, and will continue to keep an eye on them to see if I come across my shorty. Are there any other particular sites you would recommend I keep a pulse on?

Thank you again! I'm feeling a gust of wind in my sails to stay on the search
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:08 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
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I saw that rust, but to me (in the photos) it looks like surface corrosion...not cancerous rust. It doesn't look "bubbled" or deep - but that's just in the photo. For almost all of these sites, there's a contact person of whom you can ask questions. And of course, it doesn't hurt to get eyes on and look at it. Some respected people here advise to never buy sight unseen, and for many people that's the right call and wise advice. But if you have the tolerance (financial and mental) for some risk, then buying from an auction site can be a good deal. There's a 1999 International shorty, with a DT466 engine and a wheelchair lift (that can be a bonus, or you can remove it and have a nice big door), on GovDeals.com that's at $3100 right now and it closes tomorrow. It might go to $4000 or $4500, maybe? Just a guess, based on others we've watched.


We've bought through GovDeals, PurpleWave, and PublicSurplus. GovDeals usually lists more info about the condition. PurpleWave is free of reserves, so things sell for whatever they go for...but they usually lack narrative details about condition...but they tend to have more photos and, sometimes, a video showing it driving.


Buying "remotely" from a private seller is one thing, but buying from a school district or government agency in a place that does regular maintenance is another. We've actually been very happy with all of our auction purchases, but we did our research and went in with our eyes open. Like I said, though, it all depends on risk tolerance and comfort.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:25 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
I appreciate this, and you! I did notice that via a few days ago, but I don't have a class B license . may be something worth getting if it opens up more options. seems like these DT466 motors are built like tanks and are highly regarded from what I've read in this forum so far.

I hadn't heard of Purple Wave. will add that to the list. Thank you once again and looking forward to the search and (hopefully) sharing updates soon!
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:34 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
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Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,103
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmagician View Post
111k miles and asking $9500.

titled as RV and has screws instead of rivets. A bit more than my budget, but seems like the shorties are priced as such?

I was initially interested im diesel, but after a little scare with the 6.0 psd, more open to gas.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2014-Ford-E...V/313359683954
The rust here is pretty minor.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:37 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
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...I don't have a class B license . may be something worth getting if it opens up more options.

Once your rig is registered as an RV or Motorhome, you no longer need the Commercial Driver's License...so unless you plan to buy several buses, it's quite a bit of work to get one for just one drive home. I have one, because we do in fact regularly buy buses - but for most, it's not necessary and I think 99% of the skoolie buyers just drive home with the Class D...almost always without issue. Since you're not actually carrying passengers or freight for hire, it's a bit of a gray area and most people have no issues with it. I'm actually a retired police officer and I can honestly say I'd never have cited someone for driving their school bus home, just because it had empty seats and didn't have a bed/stove/sink. That seems just silly.


Having said all that, it's good to learn about big vehicle handling and safety. And research air brakes, if your bus will have them. Just because it's legal to drive a bus-shaped RV, it's not necessarily a good idea to just jump in and go...



In this case, which happens but is rare, the seller is requiring the Class B for liability reasons. If that's the only impediment, I'll bet you could find someone on CraigsList (did I just date myself?) with a CDL who'd drive it out the gate for you for $50
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Old 01-04-2021, 12:24 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
OH MY WORD I THINK YOU'VE HELPED ME FIND MINE!

This one is right down the road from me (30 mins) and has less 100k miles for $7600! 2000 international 3800 with a t444e motor. while a bit more pricy, less miles and ease of acquiring while being able to see in person has me PUMPED! perhaps I can haggle a bit too
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Old 01-04-2021, 03:28 AM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 1,028
Year: 2007
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Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmagician View Post
OH MY WORD I THINK YOU'VE HELPED ME FIND MINE!

This one is right down the road from me (30 mins) and has less 100k miles for $7600! 2000 international 3800 with a t444e motor. while a bit more pricy, less miles and ease of acquiring while being able to see in person has me PUMPED! perhaps I can haggle a bit too
Slow down and investigate that bus carefully, while it could happen that's very low miles for a twenty year old bus and there would need to be a valid reason for it. Low miles could also mean high hours, if it was an events or team bus it could have spent lots of hours at idle.
Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 01-04-2021, 07:37 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
looks to be at 2907 hours.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:05 AM   #13
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,103
Year: 2003
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Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
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Originally Posted by madmagician View Post
looks to be at 2907 hours.
This would be a good time in the process to buy a Bluefire device, which you can plug into a bus' data port and get the true mileage on the engine. This will help you evaluate potential buses and you can use the device for an electronic dashboard on the bus you eventually buy.

I will pile on and also say that you should RELAX and not get super-excited about any particular bus. Falling in love with a bus before you've done all the research generally leads to mistakes, and there's no worse mistake you can make with a skoolie than this one you have to make right at the beginning. There are a lot of fish in the fish store, as my grandfather used to say.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:54 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
that's fair advice, and a good reminder.

Thanks for the insight on the device. I'll order one to have as I explore buses.

Looks like this bus acquired most of its miles by 2003. Has 73k by 2003 according to vehicle history report, and has been acquiring a very low amount since. Just came out of service in Nov of this year, so curious what it's been up to the last 17 years...
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:22 AM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
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... so curious what it's been up to the last 17 years...

Twice, buses we've bought had similar life experiences to that. After the first stage as a route bus, they got demoted to training buses. So they still got maintained and used, but not nearly as much as during their youth. That might be the case here?
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:39 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
that very helpful, and sounds very possible. It has an inspection sticker through oct 2021 which leads me to believe it's been maintained during the low mileage stretch, and belonged to the a local school board here in north GA its whole life . They were the only owner before the dealer who is currently selling it purchased the bus from an auto auction in Nov. The miles on the title are 97xxx from the school board.
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Old 01-04-2021, 11:40 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
The initial photo wasn't that clear - it's actually at 4907 hours
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:09 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
ended up snagging the shorty on govdeals for $3500 after taxes and fees! Thank you for all the feedback and guidance.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:23 PM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
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Originally Posted by madmagician View Post
ended up snagging the shorty on govdeals for $3500 after taxes and fees! Thank you for all the feedback and guidance.

Right on! I had a bid watch on that (not bidding, just watching) and was happy to see it go for a good price...and I'm happy you got it. It looked like a good platform.
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:34 PM   #20
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
This would be a good time in the process to buy a Bluefire device, which you can plug into a bus' data port and get the true mileage on the engine. This will help you evaluate potential buses and you can use the device for an electronic dashboard on the bus you eventually buy.

I want to echo, and +1, musigensis's advise. I take a Bluefire with me for every bus drive home...it's a must have, in my mind. The Bluefire has a 9-pin connector on it, but for your bus (and most older rigs) you'll need the 6-pin adapter. I urge you to get the Bluefire device from their website, so you get the right one (there are different versions for Android, Apple, or both). They don't sell the adapter cable, but they have an Amazon link to it.


Here are some pics of my travel setup. I take a Bluefire, the adapter cable, and a tablet mount which will clamp to handrails or support posts. On their site, they have "dashboard" templates you can download and customize. Some of these are quite fancy and have digital versions of analog gauges. But for our drive-it-home shakedown trips, we use one of the dashboards that's just a bunch of data fields and it will show everything the bus OBD port reports. Some of the data isn't mapped right for all vehicles, and some fields don't show up at all. But this will let you see what's available and it can give you good diagnostic info during your drive. We spotted a turbo issue on one, by being able to see the boost pressure.photo_2021-01-04 19.33.08.jpeg

photo_2021-01-04 19.33.26.jpeg

photo_2021-01-04 19.33.34.jpeg
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