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Old 12-17-2019, 01:01 AM   #1
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Maybe this is a good buy?

Weíre hoping weíve found our new school bus to convert! Itís a Thomas 2001 Freightliner, 22 foot...just the right length for our front driveway. Guy told me that it doesnít have any rust issues. It has 260,000 miles. He has two identical ones. 3126. We read up on that engine and saw that it has some problems with the HEUI system. Thereís a picture of that below. We donít know if itís the rubber or steel encased system. He said the black spots were from rubberized spray used on the bottom of the bus not oil. Engine photos look clean. Undercarriage looks like surface rust only in small area. He said he doesnít know if it runs 65 because he bought it from the school and heís in rural area...no highways home:/. How much does it cost to change a govenor setting? To change gearing? He said it has a switch that is labeled something like speed governor?!? We donít want to be stuck in North Carolina with a bus that needs major repairs before we attempt to drive it to Oregon. He talked about ECM capability of giving it more horsepower. Do we need that since we wonít be towing? Would that make it use more diesel to run?
Doesnít have maintrecords. Said he bought it from the school. Said school usually does good job of taking care of itís buses.
Does bother me that he didnít know what the tranny is. Just says that itís an Allison...so is that code for 545;/? Iíve seen several times now where sellers wonít put it in their description, but, when asked say its the 545. I have read that some of you have had no problems with your 545s running on short buses and not towing anything. Thatís how weíre planning to run. Havenít heard much about it Paired with the 3126. Have heard some of you like that engine and...some of you donít. The thing that could be really nice about this bus is that it looks like tall ceiling. Heíll be calling back tomorrow with those measurements. Husband is 6í1 1/2Ē and we need a tall bus. Donít want to do a roof raise!
Itís a big commitment. We would have to fly across the country and drive it home to Oregon. Thatís several mountain ranges! We would want to be sure it ran at 65 and did well over the mountains. Not my fav time of year to travel, but, short buses are in demand now and the ones out here in Oregon are expensive 6000 to 9500, unconverted!
How do you all handle long range purchases? Is there way to ask them to do a diagnostic and we pay for it? Closest diesel mechanic to him is 30 miles away in Greensboro.

https://greensboro.craigslist.org/hv...032425066.html

https://imgur.com/a/LVRSKzF
https://imgur.com/a/KoyawqA
https://imgur.com/a/4ktzWM0
https://imgur.com/a/MJdX2L0
https://youtu.be/ZdImkCwdwxc

Thanks,
Karen and Todd
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:05 AM   #2
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The price is certainly reasonable.
I have a bus very similar to that one and I love mine.
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:35 AM   #3
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Based on the shifter (1-2-3-D), it appears to be the 545, but in a shortie it will probably be okay.
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:27 AM   #4
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Engine area looks clean so no evidence of major oil leaks.

Honestly I'd bite, that is a good price and you don't always see those high roof shorties. I liked the few Freightliner chassis buses I drove a few years back, although the ones I drove had the 5.9 Cummins and Bluebird body.

Does Thomas have a VIN lookup on their website that would give you any clues?
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:44 AM   #5
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Also has air brakes and an air-ride suspension.

The pic of the shifter in the craigslist ad is just too blury for me to make out what's above the D after the 1 2 D

A 'D' inside a circle is the 'universal' symbol for overdrive. 2001 was the transition year for thomas switching to the A-2000 5sp tranny.

My shifter looks like this. (please ignore the cigarettes -- they came with the bus -- they are not mine!)
IMG_1413.jpg

I personally like the CAT engine from the little bit of work I've done on mine to resurrect it (my bus was free to a good home...)

I think the biggest deal will be the ceiling height -- mines 6' 5Ĺ" but I've got the full length body -- maybe I'll shorten it.

Paying an independent shop to check the bus out before you fly across the country seems like a great way to spend $150 bucks or so...

I've done my share of x-country adventures -- if you have a hard time you must be back before losing your day job... Either you don't have time to stress this imho OR you need a bail out plan for the "at risk" person.
Having this sh!t worked out BEFORE hand makes for lasting relationships

Looks like a nice bus -- good luck!
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
Engine area looks clean so no evidence of major oil leaks.

Honestly I'd bite, that is a good price and you don't always see those high roof shorties. I liked the few Freightliner chassis buses I drove a few years back, although the ones I drove had the 5.9 Cummins and Bluebird body.

Does Thomas have a VIN lookup on their website that would give you any clues?
Giving the VIN to your local FREIGHTLINER will. They will be able to pull up a diagram of every bolt used on the chassis build -- few things impress me -- this does!

(They won't be able to tell you about what Thomas did after delivery...)
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
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I have a 61" monitor. The pic in the ad when blown way up shows 1,2,D,OD.
Allison 2000, air brakes, air ride, high headroom shorty. If it runs n drives good its a heck of a deal.
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:01 AM   #8
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I have a 61" monitor. The pic in the ad when blown way up shows 1,2,D,OD.
Allison 2000, air brakes, air ride, high headroom shorty. If it runs n drives good its a heck of a deal.
Sweet! Buy the bus!

Take a southern route west to x - the rocky's then wind north...

I went to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in late Dec a few years back.

My companion and I were the ONLY one's there -- amazing!
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Old 12-17-2019, 12:55 PM   #9
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Hey I have that bus with an Allison 2000. I can let you have it for $2850, asking more locally.
Retired from school in Apr.

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/c...038741490.html


Where are you located? Go to the UserCP and fill out your profile with your location, it'll help answer your questions.
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Old 12-17-2019, 01:26 PM   #10
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when did you get that Marc? thats a cute little bus.. a little cheaper and id have to buy it just so i could tune it and make it faster than ECCB's...



to the OP

here you travel across the country to buy busses and take them to oregon... and im always seem super nice classics in oregon.. i go to oregon to buy busses lolol
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Old 12-17-2019, 01:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
when did you get that Marc? thats a cute little bus.. a little cheaper and id have to buy it just so i could tune it and make it faster than ECCB's...



to the OP

here you travel across the country to buy busses and take them to oregon... and im always seem super nice classics in oregon.. i go to oregon to buy busses lolol
I think yours already is faster. Help me fix that lol.
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Old 12-17-2019, 01:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
when did you get that Marc? thats a cute little bus.. a little cheaper and id have to buy it just so i could tune it and make it faster than ECCB's...



to the OP

here you travel across the country to buy busses and take them to oregon... and im always seem super nice classics in oregon.. i go to oregon to buy busses lolol
Sent you a PM
Why would anyone leave the PNW to search for a bus from the east. My best buses have been from Wa/Or.
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Old 12-17-2019, 02:13 PM   #13
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For that price I dunno why anyone would be spending similar money swapping the trans in a 5 window Vista.
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Old 12-17-2019, 02:27 PM   #14
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Sent you a PM
Why would anyone leave the PNW to search for a bus from the east. My best buses have been from Wa/Or.
Three for me so far. Oregon and Washington turn out some nice buses.

I have also seen a few Arizona and Colorado buses that have tempted me.
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Old 12-17-2019, 02:33 PM   #15
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Three for me so far. Oregon and Washington turn out some nice buses.

I have also seen a few Arizona and Colorado buses that have tempted me.
Wyoming buses are pretty nice too. Mine was fully decked out (AC, full understorage, etc) which was surprising considering the district that ordered it was a tiny little town out in the middle of nowhere. Google Earth images show their bus lot to be packed with similiar buses so it defenitely wasn't limited to trip buses.

I've yet to see any Wyoming buses on the auction sites. It would be interesting to see where they get sold.
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Old 12-17-2019, 02:43 PM   #16
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Three for me so far. Oregon and Washington turn out some nice buses.

I have also seen a few Arizona and Colorado buses that have tempted me.
You don't count because you're local to those deals.
God knows how many buses I would have now if I lived there.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:43 PM   #17
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If you're counting on it being 22', one of the pics has a label saying it's 24'. Nice bus though. I have similar. Good luck.

Joe
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:22 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the input!

Thanks for all the input. I want to make sure we buy the right bus that fits our need and donít want to feel rushed into a decision...especially driving across country! Went out and remeasured area where we want to park it and have realized it will be like threading a needle every time we back her in:/. Have you all seen many, or any!, short school buses that are 22 foot with the high roof in them and a body like this Freightliner? PNW Steve, where are you buying your buses. We were told at Western bus sales that there is a shortage of shorties on the west coast because of some legislation that required schools to scrap the old buses in order to get the funding for new buses. My other half is becoming convinced that I am chasing a Unicorn!
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:38 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the input. I want to make sure we buy the right bus that fits our need and donít want to feel rushed into a decision...especially driving across country! Went out and remeasured area where we want to park it and have realized it will be like threading a needle every time we back her in:/. Have you all seen many, or any!, short school buses that are 22 foot with the high roof in them and a body like this Freightliner? PNW Steve, where are you buying your buses. We were told at Western bus sales that there is a shortage of shorties on the west coast because of some legislation that required schools to scrap the old buses in order to get the funding for new buses. My other half is becoming convinced that I am chasing a Unicorn!
It's easier, but you will pay double price for a bus from one of those dealers. You want to be watching Govdeals.com and Publicsurplus.com for the best deals. Figure the dealer paid half the asking price from the same auction we get ours from. I'm in Ga. but went to Butte,Mt for my Genesis from Mead county Wash. and just brought back a bus from Beaverton, Or.
The reasoning for the lack of shorties doesn't make sense, the same rules apply for the long buses, there's no shortage of those. I think there are just less shorties out there overall.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:44 PM   #20
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Have you all seen many, or any!, short school buses that are 22 foot with the high roof in them and a body like this Freightliner?
My 5 window Vista was 24 ft nose to tail and was the shortest non-cutaway bus I've seen. I've seen a bunch of 4 window cutaways. Personally I'd remove a chunk of the house before I'd get a cutaway... My Vista never did me wrong but it was challenging and limited for 2 people and a cat.
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