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Old 05-20-2021, 12:57 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: MA
Posts: 354
Year: 2008
Coachwork: IH
Chassis: IC SB CE-300 39ft
Engine: DT466 w/Allison 2500
Rated Cap: 29500
2004 CE300 HUC brake problem

I think I found the perfect bus for my conversion project, a well maintained 2008 IH CE300 school bus with just over 120,000 miles. All systems are good, body is solid, no rust anywhere (surprised for a New England bus, my guess is that they washed the undercarriage regularly), engine starts right up, transmission shifts smoothly and the governor has already been modified to be able to regularly do 65 mph on the road.

However, there was a bunch of brake fluid underneath the cockpit. The mechanic says the problem is something called an HUC. (Scratch that, it's an HCU.) They said that's why they decided to sell it (they have a ton of other buses) and not bother fixing it. They told me they will fix it for me for $800 + the part, which they think they have a used one for $500.

Sound about right or is someone trying to charge me too much? I was planning on lowering my offer my half that so that I split the cost of labor and the part with the owner.

Other than that the bus is in excellent shape, recent tires all around, frame is solid and rust free, all systems work.

(They also have a 2012 for sale but it's almost twice as expensive and twice as complicated to work on because of all the tech).

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Old 05-20-2021, 01:22 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: MA
Posts: 354
Year: 2008
Coachwork: IH
Chassis: IC SB CE-300 39ft
Engine: DT466 w/Allison 2500
Rated Cap: 29500
Well, called the local dealer, the ballpark estimate is between $4k and $7k or more including parts and potential labor, depending on what else they find in the process. A reman HCU is about $3600. I think I will negotiate with the seller and his mechanic.
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Old 05-20-2021, 01:38 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 1,064
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Please do not walk away from this bus. RUN from this thing. Our local district has had a lot of problems with these and are phasing them out.
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Old 05-20-2021, 01:43 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: MA
Posts: 354
Year: 2008
Coachwork: IH
Chassis: IC SB CE-300 39ft
Engine: DT466 w/Allison 2500
Rated Cap: 29500
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
Please do not walk away from this bus. RUN from this thing. Our local district has had a lot of problems with these and are phasing them out.
This doesn't tell me anything. The seller has thirty of them, from 2012 onwards, that they operate every day. The chief mech swears by them and they only have two of them for sale. You need to be a lot more specific, because it could very well be that the problem with your fleet is not the buses but rather those who operate and/or maintain them.
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Old 05-20-2021, 04:03 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 1,064
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Most of these late model hydraulic brake systems are very costly to repair. Bus or truck. In the truck world this was a way to avoid class B CDL drivers. In the bus world it avoided air brake endorcements. That makes finding drivers less of a pain. As far as how they work, when in good shape they are very nice. I've driven them and like them. I would not own one at all. The Wabco system is the worst of the bunch. The parking brake systems are all problematic. These are not new problems. There have been plenty of recalls since the early 2000's. I remember the Lucas Girling systems on all of the Ford medium duty trucks and buses, just a disaster. Air brakes are not for everyone because you have to learn how to use them but, it is far less expensive to get them repaired. These systems have a lot of electro mechanical components that are sensitive to moisture and wiring damage. 3600 dollars is a lot of money to spend on brake repairs. But it is your money.
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Old 05-20-2021, 04:13 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: MA
Posts: 354
Year: 2008
Coachwork: IH
Chassis: IC SB CE-300 39ft
Engine: DT466 w/Allison 2500
Rated Cap: 29500
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
3600 dollars is a lot of money to spend on brake repairs. But it is your money.
I have no intention of spending that kind of money. I already found a used unit in good working condition for $500.

BTW, Wabco, the maker of the HCU, was acquired in 2020 by a much larger German company, ZF Friedrichshafen. It is one of the world's largest suppliers, with almost 40 billion euros ($45 billion) of yearly sales. Its 160,000 employees make everything from vehicle transmissions to braking and automated-driving technology. The company was original founded by Ferdinand von Zeppelin (yes, that Zeppelin) to make gears for his airships. Wabco was listed in the US, but it is not a US company, it was based out of Bern, Switzerland. ZF also bought TRW, another big player in the auto and truck industry, among others. 90% of the company's shares are controlled by the Zeppelin Foundation, which is managed by the city of Friedrichshafen.
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