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Old 06-15-2019, 12:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Looking a bit closer, I found this in the ad...

Attachment 34579

Air brake systems don't have cylinders, and the seller is admitting a fluid leak. If a Lucas-Girling hydraulic system is leaking, it's a safe bet it's beginning to have big, expensive problems. Not only do leaks suck air into the system over time, brake fluid is known to attract moisture, which will rust out metal brake lines from the inside. Sorry to rain on your parade, but I would pass on this thing. Chances are, they know what's coming and are trying to dump it off on someone else. Just my $0.02.
"Oil change soonish" either means "we can't believe we've gone this long without one" or "it needed one when we bought and we never did it".
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:57 PM   #22
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"Oil change soonish" either means "we can't believe we've gone this long without one" or "it needed one when we bought and we never did it".
musigenesis - Spot-on, ol' chap! Smashing performance, mate!

HC, there is something to be said for needing immediate housing. I sympathize with you, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Just know that should you choose to do the work yourself, these systems are a monumental PITA to work on -- the reason some shops won't even bother with them.

The cylinder that is leaking poses a problem. Such problems can completely give out, and one place you don't want that to happen is while driving. The fact that the seller says it leaks only when sitting, not driving, suggests it is the hydraulic chamber that engages the parking brake. If memory serves, this is only pressurized when parking brake is engaged, so driving may well not be a problem, but if you plan to use it for long-term housing, it could cause severe long-term fluid loss, and potentially leave you stuck with a parking brake that won't disengage without a lot of work (exactly the reason my previous B-700 is in the junkyard). No doubt bleeding that parking brake cylinder is no quick job.

I do think you should look at other options before buying this one, though. If one part of that system is leaking, it may not be long before the other parts of the system begin having problems as well. We are, after all, talking about a 26-year-old hydraulic system here.

Where are you located? Perhaps I can find something more suitable.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:31 PM   #23
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I am currently in NorCal. I am willing to go to Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Washington maybe. Honestly if it’s a bus of a lifetime that doesn’t need to be taken to San Diego for fixing I’ll pretty much go anywhere.
I also have some vehicles to trade or sell if that helps.
(Subaru 2001 forester blown heads not moving. The heads were resurfaced but there seems to be an electrical issue we can’t resolve. Probably a parts car at this point. The tires are all terrain with a lot of life yet. The tires were$1200 alone.)
(Toyota 2004 sequoia running beautifully. She was recently serviced and kept by a mechanic. Though the tailgate doesn’t open the window still does.)
I’m very thankful of you already. You’ve been quite the help!

Also I’m pretty sure I’ve driven With air brakes from pa-ca a few years back in a 26’ Penske.
That drive was a lot of fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
musigenesis - Spot-on, ol' chap! Smashing performance, mate!

HC, there is something to be said for needing immediate housing. I sympathize with you, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Just know that should you choose to do the work yourself, these systems are a monumental PITA to work on -- the reason some shops won't even bother with them.

The cylinder that is leaking poses a problem. Such problems can completely give out, and one place you don't want that to happen is while driving. The fact that the seller says it leaks only when sitting, not driving, suggests it is the hydraulic chamber that engages the parking brake. If memory serves, this is only pressurized when parking brake is engaged, so driving may well not be a problem, but if you plan to use it for long-term housing, it could cause severe long-term fluid loss, and potentially leave you stuck with a parking brake that won't disengage without a lot of work (exactly the reason my B-700 is in the junkyard). No doubt bleeding that parking brake cylinder is no quick job.

I do think you should look at other options before buying this one, though. If one part of that system is leaking, it may not be long before the other parts of the system begin having problems as well. We are, after all, talking about a 26-year-old hydraulic system here.

Where are you located? Perhaps I can find something more suitable.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:36 PM   #24
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Also less then 25’ in length is ideal
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:06 PM   #25
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Also I’m pretty sure I’ve driven With air brakes from pa-ca a few years back in a 26’ Penske.
That drive was a lot of fun.
Air brakes are not common on a 26-footer rental truck, but it is possible. However, driving a rental truck is not the same as actually knowing the ins and outs of air brake operation. Like I said, they're not as complicated as some think, but there are things you need to know for safety.

Check your inbox on skoolie.net - I found a few possibilities for you. The most promising one is in Idaho, but looks like a good buy.
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:34 PM   #26
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I like the flat nose! I have hope that’ll it’ll be within my size range. I’ll ask about the brakes as you mentioned. I’ve messaged all of these so far. The mini was sold already.
I reached out to the guy in Silverthorne a few days ago and he still hasn’t replied. I tried again.

Thank you!! The bus life can be a little daunting before jumping in.

Any key phrases or parts I should be wary of. Things like “oil change soon”
“Leaky brakes” 6.0L ford power stoke...
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:36 PM   #27
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I didn’t think they were air, but for some reason my boyfriend does... but I drove the whole way, but his memory works better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Air brakes are not common on a 26-footer rental truck, but it is possible. However, driving a rental truck is not the same as actually knowing the ins and outs of air brake operation. Like I said, they're not as complicated as some think, but there are things you need to know for safety.


Check your inbox on skoolie.net - I found a few possibilities for you. The most promising one is in Idaho, but looks like a good buy.
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:07 PM   #28
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Any key phrases or parts I should be wary of. Things like “oil change soon”
“Leaky brakes” 6.0L ford power stoke...
Leaks of any kind can be a red flag. Older Detroit 2-strokes are known for leaking, but you're not likely to be looking for anything that has one of those. Detroit 2-strokes, BTW, are excellent engines and run forever, but near-impossible to find a mechanic that knows what to do with them these days.

Rust is quite common in larger skoolies, especially from areas where road salt is common.

Don't confuse the Navistar DT360 with the 6.0 PowerStroke, I understand the DT360 is a much better engine, though it is similar displacement. The Caterpillar 3116 and 3126 are known for cooling system problems, avoid them.

I would avoid the 8.2 Detroit, they were a one-off fuel saver engine that just did not age well. They are common in many skoolies of the 80s. Gassers are generally not a problem, but are thirsty, and some can be a problem getting parts for, many have long been out of production. Older GM-chassis skoolies used a 366 CID V-8 that hasn't been produced in years, for example -- which though similar in displacement, is not to be confused with the 6.0L LS engine commonly found in today's shorties.

Ford buses could be had with 429s and 370s. They are kissing cousins, being based on the same block, but I'm told the 370 had issues with valves, some kind of alternate material or something, could be a myth. Smaller van based skoolies generally had the same engines offered in any HD pickup built by the manufacturer (GM 5.7, 6.0, 6.2, 6.5, 6.6, Ford 7.5, 7.3, 5.8 )

I'm sure others will have more to add, but the better diesel engines include the Navistar DT360, DT466, and T444 (aka 7.3), 5.9 Cummins (12-valve preferable to 24-valve), and 8.3 Cummins.

Some flat-nose buses are front-engine, which can be tiresome for some when driving. Others are pushers, and some find these more preferable for the reduction in noise. Both present their own unique challenges in serviceability, which is why some of us prefer conventional dog-nose buses. I am one such individual, though I do recommend a flip-forward nose over an alligator-style hood, they make the bus much more serviceable.

While there's nothing wrong with hydraulic brakes (assuming it's not the LG system), remember that it may be necessary to gear the transmission down and descend hills slowly, on and off the brakes (we truckers call this 'snub' braking). Reason being that skoolies are not likely to have an engine brake, which larger, heavier trucks use to save the brakes on long hills. It is possible to overheat the brakes, and in some extreme cases, hydraulic brake fluid has been known to boil and render the brakes inoperative -- the reason larger vehicles have air brakes. So now you see why I prefer air brakes, myself. It's really not a concern on the smaller van-based ones, however.

Skoolies with automatics generally had one of two, the Allison AT545, or the Allison MT643. One is more desirable, though I can never remember which one, as I prefer manuals myself. I'm sure someone here will weigh in on that one.

Something that can be helpful in determining a bill of health for a particular bus's engine... Oil analysis. This is particularly important for diesels. Oil analysis can detect trace amounts of bearing material, coolant and other contaminants in the engine oil even before they start causing problems, thus giving you an idea of why that bus that is worth $5000 is 'priced to sell' at $2500.

And this is what you look for to determine air-brake equipped....

Air Brake Knob.png
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:15 PM   #29
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It would help to know your budget. Are you prepared to paint it?

How small/big?
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:40 PM   #30
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Crown

I know nothing about this bus. Just ran across it. 10 speed manual tranny sounds fun, unless you’re trying to smoke and drink coffee

https://redding.craigslist.org/cto/d...907880672.html
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:49 PM   #31
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Pretty! Piles of potential...
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:10 PM   #32
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The original CL ad for that Ford chassis bus had me holding my sides from laughter when they said “Recent work done: checked air filter”.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:15 PM   #33
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Oh, come on!
"Still great."
How can ya lose..?
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:30 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
I know nothing about this bus. Just ran across it. 10 speed manual tranny sounds fun, unless you’re trying to smoke and drink coffee

https://redding.craigslist.org/cto/d...907880672.html
And added BONUS POINTS for driving it on the 299 out of Burney!

Actually not that bad. I drove a 32 foot Southwind pulling a pickup on 299 West of I-5
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:39 PM   #35
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I have some hopeful news. After some more searching and asking about buses. Most of which were sold already.

A few weeks back I stumbled across a Craigslist post for a bus yard in Wolfe creek Oregon. I’m going to try to find a more recent post by the guy.
He is a mechanic who collects buses fixes them under the hood and sells them.
Has anyone heard of this guy particularly?

My initial goal was something under 25” $5000 on initial purchase, with about as much to put into her initially, and then at the end of the summer I’ll be ready to put at least that much into her with a maintenance savings.

I almost went with an apartment which would have cost me close 20,000 this year. Instead I’d like to put that towards my bus over the course of the year.

I found a 32” flatnose 7.3 Paired to an Allison trans with air brakes. Waiting for mileage info.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:43 PM   #36
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This bus is very appealing. Could turn it into Alison’s restaurant...takes me back to my aunts salon, the smell of perms and cigs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
I know nothing about this bus. Just ran across it. 10 speed manual tranny sounds fun, unless you’re trying to smoke and drink coffee

https://redding.craigslist.org/cto/d...907880672.html
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:46 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by HenrysCat View Post
I have some hopeful news. After some more searching and asking about buses. Most of which were sold already.

I found a 32” flatnose 7.3 Paired to an Allison trans with air brakes. Waiting for mileage info.
It's got my vote. Find out which Allison model trans. Ask for an oil analysis just to be sure.
Quote:
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This bus is very appealing. Could turn it into Alison’s restaurant.
What was that old song?
"You can get, anything you want... at Alice's restaurant..." ��
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:10 AM   #38
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To clarify, you want an oil analysis for the motor oil, and a fluid analysis for the trans as well. Here is a story explaining why.

Former member bought a bus not knowing there was coolant cross-contaminating the transmission fluid inside the radiator. Transmission died within a month, and the buyer found that the transmission cooler had been disconnected and bypassed with a loop of hose running right back into the transmission, which likely exacerbated the coolant contamination with overheating. Maybe the dealer knew about it, maybe they didn't. Maybe they were the one that did it, maybe they weren't.

Fact remains, this 'dealer' refused to offer the member any real help. Stated he offered the member a torque converter, which was useless, as the clutches had fried from coolant contamination. Also made statements alluding to greatly inflated values of the dead bus (in parts). Well, that's just great... Except it wasn't purchased to use for parts, now, was it?

That's what we members here call a 'tail light warranty'. Meaning the bus is under warranty until the tail lights disappear from the seller's view. Applies longer when they are on, I guess, as another member stated. All around, the fellow was very combative, and cost himself at least one sale to a member here who was in the market. Shame people have to be that way, but...

*breaks into song*

"This is the world we live in.... OHH-OHHHH-OH...
And these are the hands we're given.... OHHH-OHHHH-OH..."

Come to think of it, I think the bus in question was a Genesis... Or maybe they scrapped it and bought a Genesis...

*Emmett Brown 'deep-thought' look*

But I digress... Moral of the story is, trust everyone, but cut the cards.

'Dealer' was FCB, by the way, so I would be interested in some info on this fellow you are in touch with. This was ten years ago, but I understand this guy had a son who got involved. I'm sure they are on the up and up, but you never know, it never hurts to do some checking. Might even get him a bit of business through the site here if he is truly selling good buses. I can give you a link to the thread that this situation ensued, though it is missing a great deal of the convo, as site changes wound up deleting a number of accounts... Including mine...


Anyway, here's how you tell the AT545 from the MT643, and what makes the MT643 better.... Note, the AT545 is not a bad transmission, it's just not as strong and beneficial as the MT643. The bus you're looking at may not be either, I understand Allison has an entirely new line of models in recent years.

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Old 06-16-2019, 09:22 AM   #39
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Quote:
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The original CL ad for that Ford chassis bus had me holding my sides from laughter when they said “Recent work done: checked air filter”.
YES! me too!!!!
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:16 PM   #40
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I also found this bus from the same dealer. i think i may be in love unless someone can dissuade me.
1992 AmTran
189,000
32 foot International bus
5.9 cummins six cylinder turbo Diesel engine with the P 7100 injection pump
MT 643 Allison automatic with lock up torque converter
All gauges and lights work as they should
the asking price is 5500.

The engine is in the front. Would extra insulation be enough for noise and heat? Considering I can pick between the two once I arrive it may come down to the feel of each bus in particular. Thoughts and advice?

A pro to this bus would be that I wouldnt need to paint it any time soon as it is white with a red top.
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