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Old 07-31-2020, 08:44 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 14
Thoughts on this Bus?

Hey experts! Hoping for some feedback on this bus. We're going to take a look at it tomorrow so this is all we have for now:
1996 School bus Handicap accessible
$4,799
Seller's description
Low 30000 miles running driving school bus. Could definitely use new tires front tire is a mark in it on side but all tires hold air drove it 5 miles home was gonna concert to a motor home but donít have time
Dt444e motor an Allison transmission
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...21370299002770


The seller says minimal rust but we'll take a good look tomorrow. I know it needs tires so we're looking at cost on those.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:02 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Montana/Texas
Posts: 563
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT 466e/MT 643!
Rated Cap: 16
A few things that stick out:

There is no Dt444e engine. It is either a DT466e or a T444E. Most likely the T444e...
I *highly* doubt the mileage is 30000...
Also, there are many models of Allison transmissions, most likely an AT545, which isn't exactly the the most desirable, but not horrible in a shorty...

For me, the price seems a bit on the high side too...especially since the tires would need replacement as well...

John
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:42 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,234
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Cool bus. is that 30k or 300k? Needing tires, that price is kinda high.
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:47 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Cool bus. is that 30k or 300k? Needing tires, that price is kinda high.
Theoretically it is 30k but there's no way that could possibly be accurate.
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:49 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbloem1974 View Post
A few things that stick out:

There is no Dt444e engine. It is either a DT466e or a T444E. Most likely the T444e...
I *highly* doubt the mileage is 30000...
Also, there are many models of Allison transmissions, most likely an AT545, which isn't exactly the the most desirable, but not horrible in a shorty...

For me, the price seems a bit on the high side too...especially since the tires would need replacement as well...

John
Thank you for the feedback! That's not an engine I know anything about. We live in Upstate SC so mountains are an every trip thing. Assuming we're content in the slow lane and downshifting, any concerns you'd share about this engine/transmission combo?
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:48 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 14
Guys, thank you so much for your feedback! We are moving on from this one due to the tires and my husband's new requirement that the bus has AC

That said, we really are super new to this process and would really appreciate any feedback on a couple more under consideration. Our needs/limitations are:
Less than 30 feet (parking limitation that we can't work around)
Functional AC (we'll add a mini-split later for while stopped if needed)
Room for a family of 3 + our scuba gear at at times 2 large dogs
For travel rather than full time
Our favorite bus (a TC1000) is available in Phoenix but that's a really long way from SC. Would ideally like to find something closer.

Here are a couple of additional options I ran across today:
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...82830813034136
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...29301623802352
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:00 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Eastern Shore of VA and Fleming County, KY
Posts: 54
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: CAT 3126E210
Between those two, I'd go with the 1998. Lower cost, has a/c, and doesn't appear to have been tinkered with much unlike the other one. I think the DT466E will be cheaper to maintain as well.

The 2nd bus definitely had air brakes, and I think I saw the yellow diamond in one of the pics for the first one too. The 2nd bus is more expensive, has definitely been modified a bit, and no sign of any A/C system (unless I just missed seeing it).

Good luck!
jim
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:58 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 14
One more to toss in the mix:
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...66552534780631

It is a 2006 with a C7 and I've seen some very mixed feedback.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:20 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Eastern Shore of VA and Fleming County, KY
Posts: 54
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: CAT 3126E210
That's a Thomas bus. Thomas makes some nice bus bodies.

One thing to know is they have 3 different roof heights. Low, medium, and high. If you look at the second picture, you can see the roof drops behind the driver. This is a lower roofed bus. If it runs straight back, it's a medium, and if it rises, it's a high top. If head clearance is important to you, you'll really want a high top for a Thomas.

I don't know much about the C7 engine, but it's more electronic than my 3126 (which it replaced). My guess is that makes repairs more expensive. There's probably more emissions related stuff on there too. Alison 2500 transmission. I know nothing about those.

Very clean. I didn't see any signs of rust under there.

Air brakes. No AC.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:30 PM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,234
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwm2 View Post
One more to toss in the mix:
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...66552534780631

It is a 2006 with a C7 and I've seen some very mixed feedback.
low headroom.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:11 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,397
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
It’s yellow so it was likely a school bus before being a church bus. Very unlikely 30K.

Based on the sketchy info I’d pass
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