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Old 12-01-2016, 10:50 PM   #1
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Which Shorty to buy in Canada?

Hello all,

Long-time vehicle builder, 1st time looking into a bus project. I am going to be buying a "short-bus" very soon, for all the group road trips my friends and I take (hunting, fishing, etc..). I have $6,000CDN to spend, which seems to make things more complex because I am seeing lot more options than I expected to find. I know for a fact I want a diesel engine..so I started reading the forum and there is just sooooo much information, so many models and so many conflicting opinions; I thought I would post a thread instead. I am after two main things, the most reliable engine/trans combo and the best possible fuel economy, towing capacity is not so much of a concern, heaviest thing I'll pull is a tin fishing boat..I am not opposed to making necessary modifications to increase MPG and will be gutting the interior regardless. I am not married to any specific brand. 90% of the time this vehicle will be hwy driven for long journeys (500-750km +), primarily driven in the spring through late fall, needs to accommodate seating and gear for 10 people. If it was your money..what do you buy and why? Thanks all...

BN
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:18 AM   #2
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Location: Canada eh?
Posts: 99
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Corbeil - RAMROD
Chassis: IH 3800 66 Pass
Engine: 7.3 IH IDI NA w AT545 hyd
Hey BN,

Where in Canada? I haven't checked Kijiji in a while but that is where I found my bus. Most of them are overpriced so you really have to be picky, at least in AB from when I was looking.

If you gather a couple of options - I can help with suggesting which ones would be best for you and save you some time.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:02 AM   #3
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Here in BC there is a few busses for sale. 1 even done up here in Prince George BC.

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Old 12-02-2016, 06:59 AM   #4
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I am located in Toronto..no issue traveling within the province for the right unit.

BN
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:03 AM   #5
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No problem good luck with the search.
Gordon

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Old 12-02-2016, 07:05 AM   #6
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I have found a used mini bus dealer offering the following. Mini buses for 19 people with T444E V8 diesel in the Ford E-350 model & a 6.5L V8 in the Chev 3500 series model. Both have auto trani’s with over drive and are single rear wheel chassis. Also, wheel chair units with the T444E V8 diesel, Fords auto with over drive, body painted white with dark windows and a wheel chair lift in the front right corner and are a dual rear wheel chassis. All 2002-2005 units and the same price. Thoughts?
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:30 PM   #7
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Personally, I would prefer a dual-wheel bus, no-matter how small.
First off, you end up with two "spare" tires in case of an emergency.
Second off, stuff gets heavy fast.

I would go for the ford, the international engine is better than the chev.
Literally every Chevrolet vehicle I have driven has broken down...
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:45 PM   #8
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Welcome! Glad you're here. Good luck with your search. It seems the right bus has a way of finding us
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boostnut View Post
I have found a used mini bus dealer offering the following. Mini buses for 19 people with T444E V8 diesel in the Ford E-350 model & a 6.5L V8 in the Chev 3500 series model. Both have auto traniís with over drive and are single rear wheel chassis. Also, wheel chair units with the T444E V8 diesel, Fords auto with over drive, body painted white with dark windows and a wheel chair lift in the front right corner and are a dual rear wheel chassis. All 2002-2005 units and the same price. Thoughts?

Have you tried an actual bus company? That's where I got mine, just east of Guelph. They only have long buses and coaches....but there are other bus companies out there. Picked it up for 2 grand.

As you will already know, Ontario loves there salt in the winter time and finding a decent bus after it's expiry date will be tough.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:15 AM   #10
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Great point about the weight and spare tires...seems many are dual wheeled that I am seeing. Any fuel mileage differences between the engines?
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:16 AM   #11
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I have started talking with several companies that have lots of stock..just a matter of picking which one I want
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:14 PM   #12
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I have started talking with several companies that have lots of stock..just a matter of picking which one I want
You right in T.O.?
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:22 PM   #13
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You right in T.O.?
Correct..just outside, Hamilton area.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:59 PM   #14
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Hi Boostnut,

I live in Oakville so we are practically neighbours. Couple questions regarding insurance. Insurance companies in Ontario, cost and classification of your built as bus or RV?.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:28 PM   #15
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Hi Boostnut.

i have a 2000 e350 based Corbiel 5 windiow short bus with the 7.3 diesel, single wheel, living just north of guelph.

im about half way through my project and happy to answer any question you have about this sort of bus. im not going full motorhome, but needed a good tow vehicle that could handle a few extra people on board and the occasional overnight.

Hope this is usefull for you.

Gyronaut.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:57 AM   #16
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I would avoid getting a 6.0 powered bus. The 7.3 is the way to go. 1996-2003
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:34 PM   #17
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Found one..

Managed to find a beautiful, 2003 Ford Handi bus, 5 window with 120,000kms on it. Best part..has a 7.3 in it. Already begun the weekend warrior conversion on it...

BN
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:26 PM   #18
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i'm kind of curious about locating a medium bus....36 seat ?......should I be looking somewhere other than Ontario though ?
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:13 PM   #19
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hey all.....I'm an Oakville guy too...….currently on short term in Montreal. Apart from bus model......my insurance broker seems deaf when I say "school bus"....it took me 4 emails to explain I'm looking to buy and insure a mini-bus.....but NOT to use as a bus. So …...with her saying it's next to impossible to get insurance for a "schoolbus"......or even a ford E350 with 20 seats removed, Im curious about bus dealers and insurance. I don't have a real place to park it and work on it too....so I might be getting a slow start.
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