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Old 03-19-2020, 11:33 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Talking Could this be love...or just a one-nighter?

Y'all, I am proud to announce that I found a bus! The only problem is, I have not been able to find much info on this particular engine. Does that mean it's a dud? I am looking at a 2005 IC VT 365, automatic transmission, chair lift, six window AND he's a tallboy!!! My hard requirements for a bus are that it's a 78 inch ceiling height, under 30 feet long, automatic transmission, good tires, and minimal rust. This checks all of those boxes. It has about 200,000 miles. They want $4000, but I'm trying to get it down to about $3500. The place that selling it, also deals in scrap metal so I offered to let them keep the seats and the chairlift, but they weren't having it Thoughts?
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:48 AM   #2
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VT-365 is a very bad engine (just search the forum here). Run away from this bus - it's a one-nighter with the local meth whore.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:00 PM   #3
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OH no! Really?? Thanks for the heads up. I searched the forum but couldn't find anything. I'm a bartender in NC so no work for at least the next 2 weeks. I was hoping I could use this time to get a jump start on my Skoolie...sigh...back to the drawing board...
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KatTravels View Post
OH no! Really?? Thanks for the heads up. I searched the forum but couldn't find anything. I'm a bartender in NC so no work for at least the next 2 weeks. I was hoping I could use this time to get a jump start on my Skoolie...sigh...back to the drawing board...
Generally speaking, you want a bus from 2003 or earlier, with a DT466 (found on Internationals) or some flavor of Cummins engine (the T444 is also an OK engine, especially on short buses). CAT engines are less universally-approved, but some users here (who have them) think highly of them so they wouldn't be a death sentence.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:22 PM   #5
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I've been paying special attention to the DT466, because I've read on here that they are good, but unfortunately, haven't been able to find one in the size bus I need and within a 7 hour drive. I'll keep my eyes peeled. I did find a 1987 Thomas built Chevrolet (not sure what transmission) but the bumpers and areas around the top lights look very rusty. I figure if you can already see rust in some blurry photos online, it's 100 times worse in person...
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:25 PM   #6
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I figure if you can already see rust in some blurry photos online, it's 100 times worse in person...
This is absolutely correct. My bus is one of the biggest rust disasters in skoolie history (if I may be so bold) but it looked fantastic in the listing pictures (which, like many for sale buses, included no photos of the underside). If you can see clear rust in a picture, it's more like your life would be at risk even going under the bus.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:34 PM   #7
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avoid the vt365.

My preference is the Cat 3126 but the 444E, DT466, Cummins 5.9 and 8.3 are all good engines. Pre 2004 and as clean and nice and you can find.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatTravels View Post
Y'all, I am proud to announce that I found a bus! The only problem is, I have not been able to find much info on this particular engine. Does that mean it's a dud? I am looking at a 2005 IC VT 365, automatic transmission, chair lift, six window AND he's a tallboy!!! My hard requirements for a bus are that it's a 78 inch ceiling height, under 30 feet long, automatic transmission, good tires, and minimal rust. This checks all of those boxes. It has about 200,000 miles. They want $4000, but I'm trying to get it down to about $3500. The place that selling it, also deals in scrap metal so I offered to let them keep the seats and the chairlift, but they weren't having it Thoughts?



Have you driven this bus yet? If not do so and put it thru its paces. Notice how it starts and warms up, steers, brakes, how it runs at all speeds, shifting ok, instruments working?
Then decide on your price if you like it. Have to agree with others saying not that engine, but it has other nice features as well.


Good luck,


John
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:28 PM   #9
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Maybe this one?

I just found one on govdeals that I had initially discounted due to size, but, well, I'm desperate. It's a 1990 Chevy/Thomas built with 8.2 engine and 545 tranny...the only thing I'm worried about is the steering box is leaking and speedometer doesn't work. Do those sound like expensive fixes? If not, the price and location are right
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatTravels View Post
I just found one on govdeals that I had initially discounted due to size, but, well, I'm desperate. It's a 1990 Chevy/Thomas built with 8.2 engine and 545 tranny...the only thing I'm worried about is the steering box is leaking and speedometer doesn't work. Do those sound like expensive fixes? If not, the price and location are right
If you plan on more travel than just putting around own then
not that engine and transmission if you have time to keep looking.
Most NC buses with that engine tranny combo has the rear end geared for 49mph top speed unless of course you are coasting down hill and then its all brakes to slow you down cause the transmission wont help.
if you use it for just trips around town it will be ok for awhile but the pld school mechanics that really know how to work on them are about aged out of the bussiness and very rarely passed down there knowledge.

And welcome from NC
i used to live in Apex and live and work all around the area doing construction on and around all the various colleges and i also helped build the
hurricanes hockey arena.
good luck
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:29 PM   #11
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i have the 8.2/545 transmission with 6.50 rear gears in a 60 passenger bus and am looking into regearing the rear,transmission swap and engine upgrade.
just because i didnt have/find the resources of this sight until after purchase and took the bus barn mechanics advice.
just north of you and just south of Graham/Mebane is a huge bus barn on the left and a few years ago when i was working in the area i stopped and talked to them about some stuff on my bus and they were friendly and willing to talk.
you might be able to talk to them and see what they have coming up for sale.
my local county(onslow) sells directly to the public and i think they have some for sale now my 1986 bus was 2000$ direct from them with there full maintenance since the day it was delivered to them including the order/build sheet and all wiring diagrams.
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
i have the 8.2/545 transmission with 6.50 rear gears in a 60 passenger bus and am looking into regearing the rear,transmission swap and engine upgrade.
just because i didnt have/find the resources of this sight until after purchase and took the bus barn mechanics advice.
just north of you and just south of Graham/Mebane is a huge bus barn on the left and a few years ago when i was working in the area i stopped and talked to them about some stuff on my bus and they were friendly and willing to talk.
you might be able to talk to them and see what they have coming up for sale.
my local county(onslow) sells directly to the public and i think they have some for sale now my 1986 bus was 2000$ direct from them with there full maintenance since the day it was delivered to them including the order/build sheet and all wiring diagrams.
Oh my goodness, thanks so much for all of the suggestions!!! I’ve been thinking about this since last August, but have felt very overwhelmed with all the choices elsewhere, yet lack of choices here! I’m a bartender so I have NOTHING to do but chase up on any leads for the foreseeable future haha. Much love to you all! Stay safe!!
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Have you driven this bus yet? If not do so and put it thru its paces. Notice how it starts and warms up, steers, brakes, how it runs at all speeds, shifting ok, instruments working?
Then decide on your price if you like it. Have to agree with others saying not that engine, but it has other nice features as well.


Good luck,


John
I have not driven it, because it is about 4 Hours drive from where I live and I currently only own a motorcycle. After hearing the comments from this thread, I’m thinking it’s really not worth even looking at. After seeing the negative feedback about that engine, I took another look at the photos, scrutinizing them as closely as possible. It looks like the engine light is on in one of the photos. Lol time to move on...thanks for your advice!!
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
avoid the vt365.

My preference is the Cat 3126 but the 444E, DT466, Cummins 5.9 and 8.3 are all good engines. Pre 2004 and as clean and nice and you can find.
Will do! After reading all of your thoughtful comments on other threads, I have learned to take your word as law haha. I wrote your advice down so I can keep it in mind when I’m looking at future busses.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:23 PM   #15
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Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
That is high, but well placed praise of ECCB. He can also give you pointers on buyin from auctions!
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:48 AM   #16
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Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
KatTravels, I think you're on the right track by asking here before buying. I was so close to pulling the trigger and buying what I thought was a super awesome cool dream bus, but I figured I'd make an account here and ask for opinions, and they told me to run far away. That bus ended up being on the market for YEARS because no one would buy it, and I'm super glad I didn't.


But also don't rush! I was actively looking for a bus for an entire year before I finally bought one. At that time, I wasn't 100% ready to start the conversion, but I knew (based on my year of looking) that this was truly a rare good deal. So even though I bought it early, and it just sat in my driveway for a year as an empty metal shell before I started building it out, I am super pleased with my decision. And now I have Argo!
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:53 PM   #17
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Location: Central Florida
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: Iternational
Engine: DT530E MD3060
Rated Cap: 80
I have the DT530E with the 3060 and it drives like a dream...
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:23 PM   #18
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Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
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Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatTravels View Post
I just found one on govdeals that I had initially discounted due to size, but, well, I'm desperate. It's a 1990 Chevy/Thomas built with 8.2 engine and 545 tranny...the only thing I'm worried about is the steering box is leaking and speedometer doesn't work. Do those sound like expensive fixes? If not, the price and location are right
Dont let desperation cloud your judgement... I stalked my bus for 13 months, and finally got a better deal than I could have dreamed. And it was the only bus I looked at!
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:25 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Yall rock

Yall are seriously the best, thank you so much for all of the advice and for making sure that I dont get into a potentially bad situation with a bus that isnt going to last as far as the local grocery store 😝 Im checking out a former church bus in the next couple days...seller wasnt sure of the engine/transmission model, but the size is right and very little rust. Ill keep yall updated!
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:05 PM   #20
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Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArgobus View Post
KatTravels, I think you're on the right track by asking here before buying. I was so close to pulling the trigger and buying what I thought was a super awesome cool dream bus, but I figured I'd make an account here and ask for opinions, and they told me to run far away. That bus ended up being on the market for YEARS because no one would buy it, and I'm super glad I didn't.


But also don't rush! I was actively looking for a bus for an entire year before I finally bought one. At that time, I wasn't 100% ready to start the conversion, but I knew (based on my year of looking) that this was truly a rare good deal. So even though I bought it early, and it just sat in my driveway for a year as an empty metal shell before I started building it out, I am super pleased with my decision. And now I have Argo!
Good advice. Read, learn, ask and then buy.

I like the comparison of some folks tendency to buy then ask to a firing squad that goes " Ready, Fire, Aim"........ Probably better to get your aim right before you pull the trigger.
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