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Old 02-14-2018, 04:39 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 17
Bus Purchase Help

Hey everyone! So grateful to be apart of such a giving community of people! My wife and I missed out on our last chance to get the bus we wanted. We have narrowed down our choices to the following 3 buses and need help/feedback/opinions and whatever else you want to throw at us before we make the purchase.

Option 1 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Mot...taeNTh&vxp=mtr

Option 2 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/1996-VANHOO...53.m1438.l2649

Option 3 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-MCI-D-...53.m1438.l2649

Anything you can offer will her greatly appreciated! Have been researching for almost a year but know that there are things that I haven't thought of that someone else already has or will! Grateful for your help!
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:55 PM   #2
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
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None of them are skoolies. The only one that disclosed it's mileage is high at over 400k. The other 2 not disclosing mileage concerns me. That said, I like all 3 coaches. I'd look closer at each's amenities and decide for my application which one to choose. I kinda like the looks of the Eagle.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:07 PM   #3
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Location: Wright City MO
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/Allison
Rated Cap: 74
The mileage bothers me too figure at least an inframe into the price.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:37 PM   #4
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Year: 1999
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Engine: Cat 3126
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Most of those kind of coaches are capable of going a million pretty easily.
My friend Steve drove for lots of bands in CA in the 90's. He bought a brand new MCI and put a million on it in only a few years.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:53 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
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My Eagle 10 had close to 800k miles on it when I sold it and it was a great running rig.

It did have significant work done though. In frame rebuilds, trans replaced etc.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:33 PM   #6
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Location: Wright City MO
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins/Allison
Rated Cap: 74
That's correct the coach is capable of going a million plus miles but the powerplant is not. in most cases the power is inframed as part of planned maintenance.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:40 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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So I probably should have mentioned that my wife and I are planning on living full-time on the bus for 2 years. Not going to be doing much if any travel during that time. Don't know if that helps clarify the milage conversation. I totally understand the amount of miles being a concern. I have been in contact with both sellers who didn't list the milage. Have all of that information, fluid changes and service receipts.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:18 AM   #8
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Eagles are great looking coaches but they have a few issues you need to be aware of before purchase. First, they are really bad for rust no matter where they were in service. The joke is if you listen really closing when they are parked you can hear the tinkle of rust flakes dropping off of it. Next, it has a bogey axle rather than a tag axle. This can make getting around corners more of a problem. The vast majority of Eagles had 2-cycle DD diesels in them. The early ones had 8V-71's and then 8V-71T's. Newer ones got 6V-92's or 8V-92's. The vintage this one is it could be any of those engines. It also doesn't say which transmission or if it has power steering. Lastly, all Eagles had torsalastic torsion bars mounted in rubber bushings for their suspension. When they are set up correctly and the torsion bars have enough adjustment they are the best driving bus on the road. If they are not set up and adjusted correctly there is no bus that drives worse. If the torsion bars do not have any adjustment left it is going to cost a TON of $$$ to get them rebuilt/refurbishes/replaced. Most Eagle specific parts are now few and far between. Most Eagles that vintage were 96" wide coaches. If the asking price was half I might be interested.

The vintage and dual headlights suggest to me that the Van Hool is a T-940 and not a T-840. Most had Cummins L10 engines in them and would move right along. Working on them can be a bit of challenge as VH tended to write extra lines of code in both the engine and transmission control units that do not allow them to work on standard Cummins or Allison diagnostic tools. A VH specific diagnostic tool is required. Electrical issues can be a challenge as well since it uses European designs that are very different from American--everything is hot all the time and flipping the switch has the circuit going to ground. There are also very specific 12-VDC and 24-VDC systems that can cost you a ton if you put 24-VDC to something on the 12-VDC side of the system. VH parts are only available from VH and can be expensive and slow arriving. The T-800 and T-900 coaches were known for rust. They also had a tendency to lose the seals in the thremopane windows that would allow water to drip down the walls and rot the floors. The T-800 and T-900 coaches were 96" wide. At the asking price I would pass. At half the price I might be interested.

The MCI D4000 is the workhorse in the industry. There are probably more D4000/4500's in service than all other coach buses combined. Parts are readily available from MCI, US Coach, Caylor Supply, and half a dozen other bus only wrecking yards and parts houses around the country. MCI also used pretty much off the shelf parts and pieces with very little that was MCI OEM specific. The engine is the DD Series 60. It came in two sizes, one just over 11L and one just under 13L. Both were used. Depending upon where it first saw service determined which engine was ordered. If it was Peter Pan in New England running to NYC and back it was probably the smaller engine. If it was Arrow in Denver it more probably got the bigger engine. Regardless of the engine (some had Cat and some had Cummins) the vast majority had the Allison B-500 transmission with built in retarder. Some had the optional jake brake. A few of them got the ZF and even fewer got the Voith transmission. If it doesn't have the Allison, walk away quickly from it. ZF and Voith make good products but their product support is virtually zero unless you are spending $10K per month in parts. Some had steerable tag axles and some didn't. Most operators locked them because with them locked it was one less thing to be worried about. And even with them locked the D-models turned sharper than the -8, -9, -10, and -12 models. All D-models are 102" wide coaches. It appears to be in the livery of Coach USA. Depending on which terminal it was based it could have had really good preventative maintenance or really poor. Rust can be an issue so you need to look very closely at the suspension attachment points. At $10K I would be interested. At $15K I would be interested if I could see documentation that it has had recent major engine or transmission work and all eight tires and the spare had a good amount of rubber left on them.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:15 AM   #9
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Get more information on the MCI, I like eagles but you need it looked over good, it's advantage is no computers, all mechanical
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
Get more information on the MCI, I like eagles but you need it looked over good, it's advantage is no computers, all mechanical

Not true!

The D-models all came with electronically controlled engines like the DD Series 60 and electronically controlled transmissions like the Allison B-500.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:26 AM   #11
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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I meant the eagle he posted
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