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Old 12-22-2019, 12:48 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 14
Chassis: Want Shortie
1990 DT360 with 545

Hi folks, I have found a 1990 Bluebird shortbus with NO rust, 230,000 miles. It's from a school fleet then to YMCA for the duration of its work life. The size/body is perfec for me. I do plan on an engine survey!

My biggest concerns are #1. What mileage can I realistically expect in FL and NC Mountains. #2. Can it even function in the Smokies?? Some posts state that many busses perform poorly in the mtns but the don't state what lenght the bus is. Does a Shortie do better in the mountains?

I know the 545 doesn't have a lock-up function but is that really a deal breaker?

I would really appreciate some knowledgeable assistance here. Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:06 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,019
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
I've gone up and down some big hills with AT545s. Generally speaking they can do it but they aren't very good at it. DT360 isn't particularly powerful and it's possibly geared for a top speed below 60... Fid out the rear axle ratio before making a decision.

However, if you're planning for mountains to be a regular thing rather than a rare exception I would pass and look for something a bit more stout.
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:31 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 514
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
Price $$$ ???


You can find nice buses for cheaps...


I'd pay no more than $800-$1200 for that year bus. But that's me.


And only if I only had $800-$1200
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:47 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Sarasota, FL
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Chassis: Want Shortie
Thanks, I was afraid of that. Mountain travel will be at least half of my plans.
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:48 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: Want Shortie
Thanks. Are there any auction in the South?
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Old 12-22-2019, 02:25 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildmullet View Post
Thanks. Are there any auction in the South?
Govdeals and PublicSurplus are nationwide internet auctions, they list items from every state.
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Old 12-22-2019, 02:52 PM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,516
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Look for a Colorado bus or at least one thats powerful and with lockup.
The mountain buses in CO even got driveline retarders.
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Old 12-22-2019, 04:31 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Sarasota, FL
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Chassis: Want Shortie
Thanks, more great advice.
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:19 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,848
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
my AT545 / DTA360 bus lasted me little less than 2 years doing a lot of ohio to florida trips and some trips to the east coast.. smokies, applalachains, adirondacks.. my transmission gave up and I swapped it with an MT643..
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:31 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Sarasota, FL
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Chassis: Want Shortie
This diesel bus power science is as complex as marine applications, more so as there seem to be more options. Thanks for your advice!
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