Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-19-2017, 06:38 PM   #1
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Sarasota
Posts: 76
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 3800 7.3L
WTB Short Bus

I live in Florida and I'm in the market for a short bus that I'll be converting to a food truck. I'd like to have at least 12 feet of space inside. Wheelchair door is nice but not necessary. I also don't want a flat nosed bus and prefer one with the engine out front.

I recently found out about the govdeals and publicsurplus sites (Thanks EastCoastCB) and will keep an eye out there. In the meantime I'll browse some of the classifieds here too but wanted to at least make a post.

Thanks
Marvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 07:36 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
I live in Florida and I'm in the market for a short bus that I'll be converting to a food truck. I'd like to have at least 12 feet of space inside. Wheelchair door is nice but not necessary. I also don't want a flat nosed bus and prefer one with the engine out front.

I recently found out about the govdeals and publicsurplus sites (Thanks EastCoastCB) and will keep an eye out there. In the meantime I'll browse some of the classifieds here too but wanted to at least make a post.

Thanks
Welcome!

Finding something over 12ft will be easy, lots of shorties around right now.

Flat nose > Dog Nose every time though
deftone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 07:46 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,513
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
I live in Florida and I'm in the market for a short bus that I'll be converting to a food truck. I'd like to have at least 12 feet of space inside. Wheelchair door is nice but not necessary. I also don't want a flat nosed bus and prefer one with the engine out front.

I recently found out about the govdeals and publicsurplus sites (Thanks EastCoastCB) and will keep an eye out there. In the meantime I'll browse some of the classifieds here too but wanted to at least make a post.

Thanks
There's a shorty on GovDeals up in GA. A 96. But its got low gearing and would likely top out around 55.
Its only at $1200 last I saw.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 12:34 AM   #4
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Sarasota
Posts: 76
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 3800 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
There's a shorty on GovDeals up in GA. A 96. But its got low gearing and would likely top out around 55.
Its only at $1200 last I saw.
You must be talking about this one...
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...59&acctid=2711

I saw that and saved it as a favorite to see what it hits. It would fit my needs just fine from a design standpoint but without driving it, I'm so hesitant and I'm scared that if I get something miles away and fly there to drive it home, it would break down or be a piece of junk. Many of those on the site say "starts with a boost" which makes me wonder WTF is wrong with it?

Also, if I'm on the highway, I don't want to be topped out at 55 mph. That would be a nightmare of a drive.
Marvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 08:47 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,848
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
You must be talking about this one...
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...59&acctid=2711

I saw that and saved it as a favorite to see what it hits. It would fit my needs just fine from a design standpoint but without driving it, I'm so hesitant and I'm scared that if I get something miles away and fly there to drive it home, it would break down or be a piece of junk. Many of those on the site say "starts with a boost" which makes me wonder WTF is wrong with it?

Also, if I'm on the highway, I don't want to be topped out at 55 mph. That would be a nightmare of a drive.
my DEV bus goes 65 but I drive it at 55 most of the time... its a school bus.. but yeah 513 gears definitely gonna be a 55er if that with a 545 trans...

doesnt look like a bad bus though.

starts with a boost means usually at most the batteries are going bad.. or the bus sat so long the battery is dead.. the 444E has a computer and over a long period of time can drain the batteries if not started..
-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 09:52 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
oricha1984's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 897
Chassis: GMC or Chevrolet, I hope
Engine: gasser probably
Teach me.
Why even consider that shorty with 200k+ miles on it when you can probably find an engine with less miles.
FYI - noob here.

Sent from my BLU LIFE ONE X using Tapatalk
__________________
the more i learn, the less I know what to buy . . .
oricha1984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 10:09 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
That bus is already bleeding! Don't buy a bus that needs a diaper if you can help it.

As always, you're the one that's there. If you want to fix it we'll still support you in spirit.
__________________
Robin
Nobody's Business
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2017, 03:35 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,848
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
A lot depends on a. Engines care , there are plenty of 444s out there for sale with 300k plus.. meaning they can and do last..

If you think about the average vacation or utility bus like many here build, you are likely to run 5-10k a year max on average. At 211k and good care, even if you use 300k you have 10 years of life, most campers need a refresh by that time anyway.. so at that point you may gut the good stuff sell and replace.
I wouldn't recommend a 211k bus for someone full time nomad who is going to run 15k plus a year unless they live minimal and the bus goes cheap.

The main reason against the shorty posted couple posts back here is the 513 or 576 gears, that bus is not a pleasant highway runner, and the 444e won't like running its max rpm all the time...

I didn't see though where it's bleeding or leaking fluids?
Not that 80% of old diesels don't seep oil or trans fluid anyway.

Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2017, 04:12 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,513
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
A lot depends on a. Engines care , there are plenty of 444s out there for sale with 300k plus.. meaning they can and do last..

If you think about the average vacation or utility bus like many here build, you are likely to run 5-10k a year max on average. At 211k and good care, even if you use 300k you have 10 years of life, most campers need a refresh by that time anyway.. so at that point you may gut the good stuff sell and replace.
I wouldn't recommend a 211k bus for someone full time nomad who is going to run 15k plus a year unless they live minimal and the bus goes cheap.

The main reason against the shorty posted couple posts back here is the 513 or 576 gears, that bus is not a pleasant highway runner, and the 444e won't like running its max rpm all the time...

I didn't see though where it's bleeding or leaking fluids?
Not that 80% of old diesels don't seep oil or trans fluid anyway.

Christopher
I think Robin was referring to the ones the op is considering purchasing,
Of the two at Tampa bus market, one had 280k and the other had leaky power steering and chips in windshield. At 4500 they surely aren't bargains.
OP is wanting a food truck.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2017, 04:16 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,848
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Yeah those def seem like passers.. I'd offer the eBay guy 4500 for those BE in PA before I'd pay that for those two..
A BE would make a good food truck with small wheels, lower to ground.
Perfect food truck would be a Thomas vista or a p30 style

Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2017, 04:25 AM   #11
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,513
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Yeah those def seem like passers.. I'd offer the eBay guy 4500 for those BE in PA before I'd pay that for those two..
A BE would make a good food truck with small wheels, lower to ground.
Perfect food truck would be a Thomas vista or a p30 style

Christopher
Having ridden in some Vista's I'd have to say they'd beat your equipment to death!
They're some rough riding suckers.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2017, 10:39 AM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
Yes, I was referring to the photo of the leaky underbelly on the bus that looks like you'd need regular additions of oil during any trip.

Often there seem to be two conversations going on the same thread. Then there's the other times when I just get confused.

10k a year is a good estimate for a live-in. Seals and gaskets by themselves are not that expensive, but putting them in properly usually is quite expensive or at the least a PITA.
__________________
Robin
Nobody's Business
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 12:45 AM   #13
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Sarasota
Posts: 76
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 3800 7.3L
Well, I went to Tampa Bus Market today to look at the new one that came in on Friday. He was just finishing up with two guys and there was a lady in front of me who came in a hearse with tags from Ohio. Turns out that she was there to buy the new one and ended up paying for it without even driving it. Oh well, it wasn't meant to be.

However, I test drove the original one that I went to go see last week to see if the power steering was fixed and how fast it went on the highway. The guys there had it fixed and it was smooth as butter and it hit 65 on I4 with no problems.

That being said, the ScanGauge was neat to play with and I didn't see anything that raised any red flags so I decided to buy that one. It's a 2001 with 188k miles. Just in the time that I was there, he sold 4 buses! Seems to do pretty well and at prices half of BGA, it makes sense.

I'm excited to get started on the project! He also said he would fix the couple of gauges that weren't working, remove the seats, and wheelchair lift at no charge!

Marvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 04:40 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,848
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Congrats on your new bus!! Before you get too deep into your project, take the bus out on the freeway for a good longer drive.. the 444E in some cases can run hot due to bad fan clutch, clogged radiator or such. Driving I4 inland a ways seems to be a good test, ESP when it's in the mid 80s like today will be.
65 seems to push the temps up on these if not careful. And you do t see it in a short drive , it's a slow creep, so many of these busses never saw long road trips in summer heat .. your bus may have been brought to the dealer in winter or from closer by, driving it before you convert it also lets you in on any other quirks it may have as well
Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 04:48 AM   #15
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Sarasota
Posts: 76
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 3800 7.3L
Thanks for the tip. Yeah, I have a 1 1/2 drive down to Sarasota when I pick it up in a day or two so it'll definitely get a chance to get hot on that trip. Hopefully all goes well though. I'll keep you all posted on the progress and I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions along the way.
Marvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 05:52 AM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,848
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
That's def a good test drive, I know mine creeps when I drive it from st Pete to university plaza mall down there.. use the engine temp from your scangauge not your dash gauge , I also monitor oil temp as a reference to how hard I'm working the engine.

I've got a new fan clutch and have its setting pretty low, on a 65 mph push I'll still see temps higher than I like at 212 or so water,
The Ford guys seem to run em there all day(7.3 powerstroke is the 444e basically).

I use a different scan display so I'm not sure what all PID the scangauge can see, I have the consumer version for years in my cars but not the diesel one.

I also have the navistar programmer if you ever need to change a setting
Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 06:34 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,019
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
My Vista runs cold until you get it on the highway, then it still doesn't get past 160 or so on the dial..
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 07:03 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,513
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
My Vista runs cold until you get it on the highway, then it still doesn't get past 160 or so on the dial..
I'd doubt that the gauge is accurate. Or maybe you have the world's coolest running 444E!!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 07:19 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,019
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Well my bus is pretty cool.
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 07:20 PM   #20
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,848
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
or he is cruising at 55 or so on the highway.,..

I ran to orlando and back today.. it was 91 on the route 4... had 1/2 my turbo cooler covered just so when the fan kicked in it would suck more air from the radiator than the turbo... I saw a temp of 214 once.. I was running cruise set at 64...

I know I shouldnt be running with 1/2 a turbo cooler exposed.. its an experiment

so this confirms the theory that the cooling system is probably sized to the absolute Limit of what was required.. so ANY LOSS in cooling system performance means they warm up...

as I neared back to st pete and the outside temp dropped to the low 80s.. I saw 207 and never above except when i floored it to merge from I-4 to 275 in downtown tampa... it ran up to 210 briefly then right back down..

I had the engine working pretty hard.. since i was running 64-65 and had the A/C maxxed...

I cant remember if brokedown has the split radiator in his vista or not.. polus the vista sits lower and the sloped windshield is much more aerodynamic than a regular school bus.. so its possible he runs cooler, however that engine came stock with a 190 thermostat so itd be hard to believe its really sitting at 160... Id be reading what the computer thinks the temp is...
-Christopher
cadillackid 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 06:47 PM.


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