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Old 02-05-2017, 07:21 PM   #1
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Is this a good deal?

I've been wanting to do a Skoolie tiny house project for some time now. I've been looking for something that could house My wife and I and 2 children full time and occasionally sleep up to 4 other children. Our children range from ages 4 - 17. We have a 4 & 6 year old that are ours full time and four teenagers that we split time with our previous spouses. I know maybe TMI but this is my first post and I wanted to paint a good picture for our compacity needs. I'm all for full time bus living but I've been unable to completely get my wife onboard. I'm going to move forward anyway and at the worst we'd end up with a cool RV or emergency housing if we ever had any unforeseen crisis, but full time is what I'm hoping to sell my wife on if I can wow her with the conversion. Anyways it's a 1992 bluebird flat nose front engine. It has 13 windows so I assume it's a 78 passenger from what I've read. I was initially looking for a 14-15 row bus but they are hard to find and I'm going to have to finiance this project in small bites. This bus has a little more than 150k miles on it. The guy I'm buying it from owns a big truck fleet shop and says it's been gone thru mechanically and fully serviced with the works including new battery. I didn't drive it but it fired right up and sounded great. It has a 5.9 Cummins with Allison auto trans. One thing I like is it has 4 "belly storage" tool boxes on each side and I can stand up straight in the bus with no issues and I'm 5'11". Floor feels solid and there's no visible rust that I could see. I've been looking for a while and i haven't seen a bus with this mileage and in this shape for less than $3500-10000. I've looked at auctions but I don't like that you don't know what your getting and this one is supposedly been gone thru and driven by mechanics that specialize in these kinds of vehicles. This one is $1500. Should I snatch it up?? Thanks!!
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:23 PM   #2
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If it isn't a rust bucket that's a great price.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:28 PM   #3
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If it isn't a rust bucket that's a great price.
Paint is faded and it's obvious that it's been sitting outdoors. It was used as a church bus after the school retired it. I couldn't find any rust and it seems solid. I would eventually paint it regardless unless I found one that wasn't school bus yellow. Thanks for the input!!
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:33 PM   #4
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Paint is faded and it's obvious that it's been sitting outdoors. It was used as a church bus after the school retired it. I couldn't find any rust and it seems solid. I would eventually paint it regardless unless I found one that wasn't school bus yellow. Thanks for the input!!
Oh I wasn't talking about, like, the paint job, man.
I meant like rust on the frame and all the fasteners and crevices... Surface rust and paint imperfections are irrelevant to me in a used bus purchase!
For reference- see my bus. I shoulda named it "Krusty".
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:37 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Jrcorkerin;183699]...unless I found one that wasn't school bus yellow. /QUOTE]

Lots of luck with that.

For that price, but it.
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:52 PM   #6
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Pull the trigger.

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Old 02-06-2017, 01:20 AM   #7
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Pull the trigger.

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Hey, now. That's not how we do it. You gotta reel 'em in reaaaal slow.
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:21 PM   #8
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Sounds pretty decent. Mileage is at about my ceiling. Speaking of ceiling, even with a 78" I might do a roof raise. I'm also looking without any luck for a 14-15 row. Best I've found is $2500 to $3500. If runs solid, grab it up.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:13 PM   #9
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Sounds pretty decent. Mileage is at about my ceiling. Speaking of ceiling, even with a 78" I might do a roof raise. I'm also looking without any luck for a 14-15 row. Best I've found is $2500 to $3500. If runs solid, grab it up.
Thanks! Yeah I've looked at raising roofs. I would like to have more height to allow for more insulation, head room, bunk space etc. I'm in construction and spent a very little time as a diesel mechanic right out of college many moons ago, but I have no experience at welding or metal fab so it's a little intimidating unless I can find some affordable help.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:13 PM   #10
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Pull the trigger.

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Thanks for the input!
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:17 PM   #11
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Thanks! Yeah I've looked at raising roofs. I would like to have more height to allow for more insulation, head room, bunk space etc. I'm in construction and spent a very little time as a diesel mechanic right out of college many moons ago, but I have no experience at welding or metal fab so it's a little intimidating unless I can find some affordable help.
Once I've used my bus as a guinea pig and gain a smidgen or two of confidence I'd gladly help out.
For cheap/free.
But still wrapping my head around my current project is daunting at the moment.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:35 PM   #12
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Thanks! Yeah I've looked at raising roofs. I would like to have more height to allow for more insulation, head room, bunk space etc. I'm in construction and spent a very little time as a diesel mechanic right out of college many moons ago, but I have no experience at welding or metal fab so it's a little intimidating unless I can find some affordable help.
I have about 1/2 an hr experience welding. 25 minutes of that was on abad circuit. 120v MIGs need a 20amp breaker. 15 amp will trip every 10 seconds (literally). Anywho, I'm not letting the lack of experience worry me. If you can figure out the voodoo that is fire without a spark then welding without a flame is cake.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:29 PM   #13
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Speaking plainly: I think you would be an utter idjit NOT to buy that bus, if in fact it was as advertised! Thats a screaming deal.

DUUUUUUDE! Pull the trigger! Do it now!
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:52 AM   #14
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Once I've used my bus as a guinea pig and gain a smidgen or two of confidence I'd gladly help out.
For cheap/free.
But still wrapping my head around my current project is daunting at the moment.
That's a very generous offer. When I get to that point I may reach out for advice at least. Any idea of the estimated cost of materials to do a roof raise. I've looked at a few forums and seen it done through pics but I'm not familiar with steel costs. I'm sure it fluctuates like fuel.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:57 AM   #15
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Speaking plainly: I think you would be an utter idjit NOT to buy that bus, if in fact it was as advertised! Thats a screaming deal.

DUUUUUUDE! Pull the trigger! Do it now!
I already did before I posted this thread ��. Guess I just wanted some assurance. It wasn't even advertised. I've been searching the web, Craigslists and everything else for a year. I just happen to drive by this one one day. I figured since it was sitting at a truck shop cuz someone was having work done to it. Then I drove by another day and it had a for sale sign in the window. He let me put a deposit down on it and I'll be picking it up in two weeks! ��
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:57 AM   #16
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That's a very generous offer. When I get to that point I may reach out for advice at least. Any idea of the estimated cost of materials to do a roof raise. I've looked at a few forums and seen it done through pics but I'm not familiar with steel costs. I'm sure it fluctuates like fuel.
it goes up and down a little.
Steel is sorta pricey rt now even though scrap prices and LOW.
Depends on how you do the raise and what bus you have, etc.
But plan on spending maybe a grand or so on tools and supplies.
Once this raise I'm doing is over I'll be able to tell you about what I spent.
I've got $450 in rivets, not sure if I bought too many or not enough yet. I still haven't gotten a price on the channel. But I will soon.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:30 AM   #17
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it goes up and down a little.
Steel is sorta pricey rt now even though scrap prices and LOW.
Depends on how you do the raise and what bus you have, etc.
But plan on spending maybe a grand or so on tools and supplies.
Once this raise I'm doing is over I'll be able to tell you about what I spent.
I've got $450 in rivets, not sure if I bought too many or not enough yet. I still haven't gotten a price on the channel. But I will soon.
I don't know squat about roof raises (yet) either but $450 in rivets?!!? I don't know what a rivet costs but holy hell!!

A 2x8 foot sheet of 16 gauge (.060" thick) cold rolled steel is $55 a sheet. 4x10 foot (if you cut it down to 2 pieces yourself) is even cheaper at $110 each. You're getting an extra 2 feet in length. So, assuming you're doing less than a 24" rise on a 40 foot bus, you need 5 sheets. Your rivets are damn near the same price as the sheet metal????
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:36 AM   #18
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I bought 2000 really good, closed end rivets in stainless. Bling!

I can get steel for cheaper than some folks. My stepdad is a foreman at a steel fab shop and gets steel for the same price as the company- at wholesale price.

All the rivets are because the bus is 40 feet long and the skins are riveted. a lot. So for every rivet I drill I have to replace it with one. Then there's the raise and skinning over the windows. Yeah, it takes a lot of rivets. Hopefully I'll have some left over for future projects.
These rivets are already here. fastest shipping I ever got on any product!
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:44 AM   #19
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I bought 2000 really good, closed end rivets in stainless. Bling!
Why???
Quote:

I can get steel for cheaper than some folks. My stepdad is a foreman at a steel fab shop and gets steel for the same price as the company- at wholesale price.

All the rivets are because the bus is 40 feet long and the skins are riveted. a lot. So for every rivet I drill I have to replace it with one. Then there's the raise and skinning over the windows. Yeah, it takes a lot of rivets. Hopefully I'll have some left over for future projects.
These rivets are already here. fastest shipping I ever got on any product!
What kind of rivet is a school bus rivet? A 100 count box of 3/16 diam, 1/5 long, solid, steel rivet is $7.20. That's 6250 rivets. Granted a bus has a metric **** ton of rivets but really???
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Old 02-07-2017, 02:26 PM   #20
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Why???
What kind of rivet is a school bus rivet? A 100 count box of 3/16 diam, 1/5 long, solid, steel rivet is $7.20. That's 6250 rivets. Granted a bus has a metric **** ton of rivets but really???
Buses don't use 3/16" rivets.
Try to find 1/4" CLOSED END blind rivets cheap.... go ahead.

I asked no one came up with anything.
Cost of doing business. Why I laugh when you consider the fuel to pick up a bus as a major expense.
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