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Old 05-24-2024, 05:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2024
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Another "which bus?" Thread

Hi all,

The age old question. This bus or that bus? Both engines are pre-emissions, so that's a wash. The breakdown goes like this:

Bus 1:
Dog nose, front engine, DT466E and Allison MT643 (I suspect, haven't gotten to see the bus in person yet).
77K original miles (!). Seller says engine is in excellent condition, no blow by, and starts very easily. From the video, sounds healthy, but again haven't seen it in person yet.
Seats already removed
Tires near end of calendar life
$5300

Bus 2:
Flat nose, rear engine, Cummins 8.3 with Allison MD3060. Seller states good mechanical condition. I suspect it has highway gearing
215k miles
Seats still in
Underbody pass through storage
Good tires
$6500

Use case: I have a wife and 2 kids. Mostly will use for road tripping as we have family across the country. Might use it as a transition space when we move in 3ish years.

Overall bus one already has some grunt work done and is really low miles. Bus 2 needs more grunt work and is higher miles but a really great configuration.

What are the skoolie community thoughts? Thanks!

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Old 05-24-2024, 07:00 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Toledo OH
Posts: 823
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP-EF
Engine: Cat C7 + Allison 3000PTS
That’s a tough choice. I lean toward the second bus but I also have a flat front bus and just prefer that style. Rear engine is much nicer for the driver. The pass through storage is also really nice, but it also presents a bit of a different situation for positioning water tanks, mini split, and other underbody stuff.

The dog nose also sounds like it’s a bit older, which isn’t bad, but may require some more careful preventive maintenance to replace worn out hoses and stuff like that. DT466s also have issues with coolant pH, so if it’s been sitting more than driving there could be issues with wear inside the engine due to chemical breakdown over time.

Tires will also run you $2000 easily, probably at least $2500 for a set of 6.
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Old 05-25-2024, 09:11 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2023
Location: Canada
Posts: 384
Year: 2001
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E, Allison 2000
Rated Cap: 72
Bus 2 is a much nicer platform. Bus 2 you will need deeper products incase of engine and Trans. failure. If money is no object, Bus 2.

If money is of concern. Bus one.
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Old 05-25-2024, 09:29 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,798
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
I advocate

Bus 2,

Over all on paper, killer drivetrain.

You will find more pleasant highway driving.

Yup more work.

Telephone me please. Please. 7852077600

William
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Old 05-27-2024, 12:59 PM   #5
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I think I'm going to go see Bus #2 tomorrow morning. It's 3 1/2 hours away
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Old 05-28-2024, 10:14 PM   #6
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Saw Bus #2 today. Frankly, it's a pretty awesome looking bus. Not in perfect condition obviously, but it's 20 years old. 78" interior ceilings are nice. Tires look almost new.

I went home and did some reading about the 8.3 ISC. Now I'm paranoid... People say camshaft failure at 9000 hours, very expensive CAPS fuel pump failure, blown head gaskets... It seemed at one point to me that the Cummins 8.3 was well regarded... And I know that it is, but especially either the mechanical pumped or the common rail injection versions over the CAPS version.

Anyways. At 215k miles I know it's seen some wear, but I'd rather not buy a basket case or ticking time bomb. I know that I'm reacting to the worst case scenario, but sometimes it's hard not to after reading Internet articles and forums.
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Old 05-29-2024, 04:57 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2023
Location: Canada
Posts: 384
Year: 2001
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E, Allison 2000
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrQuantum View Post
Saw Bus #2 today. Frankly, it's a pretty awesome looking bus. Not in perfect condition obviously, but it's 20 years old. 78" interior ceilings are nice. Tires look almost new.

I went home and did some reading about the 8.3 ISC. Now I'm paranoid... People say camshaft failure at 9000 hours, very expensive CAPS fuel pump failure, blown head gaskets... It seemed at one point to me that the Cummins 8.3 was well regarded... And I know that it is, but especially either the mechanical pumped or the common rail injection versions over the CAPS version.

Anyways. At 215k miles I know it's seen some wear, but I'd rather not buy a basket case or ticking time bomb. I know that I'm reacting to the worst case scenario, but sometimes it's hard not to after reading Internet articles and forums.

Sometimes reading articles like you did will cause paranoia.

It's kind like your not feeling well, instead of seeing a doctor you google your symptoms. After a couple hours research google will have you convinced your dying the next day.

The 8.3 is a good engine, it does have its flaws. That is why I mentioned if money is no concern, go with bus 2. Otherwise bus 1 will have parts cheaper and more economical.

For what it's worth, we have one of those engines with 800,000kms. It just got pulled from service. Frame rotten. Only thing we did was a valve set.

You could bring it to a Cummins dealer and have it checked over, maybe see if they could do a dyno on it. The local dealer here use to do our trucks.
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Old 05-29-2024, 04:38 PM   #8
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Well, that is encouraging about your ISC lasting that many miles. I've already called a local fleet mechanic and, while not a Cummins specific place, they said they'd be happy to look at it and service it. I might ask them if they're willing to install a supplementary fuel pump to supply positive fuel pressure to the caps system, as has been suggested in other places.

I was able to talk the seller down to $6000. Does that seem like a decent price for what this bus is?
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Old 05-29-2024, 05:07 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2023
Location: Canada
Posts: 384
Year: 2001
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E, Allison 2000
Rated Cap: 72
Your buying alot of bus for $6000 with good tires. It's an awesome cruiser.

Bus 1 needs tires so your over that price point.

Currently looking at one bus local to me.

$1900 Canadian with 18hrs left at auction. Has 7500 hrs and 285,000kms.....think that's 170,000 miles. Just for reference. Will not be surprised if it goes over $5000 at closing but that's Canadian.

I'll likely see it on Facebook market place for $8500 in a couple weeks if not more after it's safetied
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