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Old 04-09-2018, 10:49 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2
Question About to pull the trigger on the first bus I looked at!!

Hi Everyone, I've been reading and researching on this forum for awhile and am planning to buy a bus and convert it to a Skoolie within the next year, 6 months preferably if we can. I have a question right out of the gate about buying a bus. From what I've read on here, the drivetrain is key when picking your canvas, although a lot of the opinions online make me feel like drivetrain preference is almost like what pickup you like, it's all about preference. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

Anyway, a bus came up for sale in the town next to mine, and I'm thinking about buying it, but I'm a little hesitant cause it is the first bus I've even looked at. The body is great, 84 pass. RE Thomas Saf-t-liner, plenty of storage and only light rust around the wheel wells and a spot on the rear hatch. Drivetrain's a CAT 3126 and Allison MD3060. I know the tranny is good, but haven't really seen any glaring reviews about the CAT engine, but haven't seen any horror stories to speak of either. So my question is, should I pull the trigger on it right now and go for the CAT, or should I wait a bit (which I can wait probably up to 4/5 months) before buying something, in the hopes I can get the same quality body and tranny, but with a DT466 or maybe a Cummins 8.3? Any advice, input, or opinions you guys can provide would be much appreciated. I'm really into it because it's just being retired from the school and has under 150K miles, but hesitant due to it being a lower powered CAT engine. Also, we are planning to do the ALCAN next summer, so 7-8K miles round trip easy right out the gate😃!

One more fun fact, this is pretty much my first (non work-related) online forum! So don't be afraid to shame me when I have terrible edicate .


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Old 04-11-2018, 07:07 AM   #2
Bus Geek
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Sounds fine if you want a 40 foot bus.

Price is key. The next 4 to 5 months are the peak season for bus sales, so if you wait you will have lots of choice, but if this bus is okay and it meets your needs, go for it.

There wasn't too much to go on in the description about condition. In good, clean, running order ... late nineties to early 2000s and it could be worth up to around $4k.
Steve Bracken

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Old 04-11-2018, 09:21 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,482
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Your edicate is okay, it's your spelling that's terrible, it's etiquette. Welcome to the addiction.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:29 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 751
Check as to what a set of new tires will cost. Buy a bus with near new tires.
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:35 PM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2
Thank You

Hi everyone, thanks for the input. I decided to hold off until bus season to get what I really want, a 40 ft. FE with dt466, t444 or a cummins(preferrably the 8.3!). Good thing too, the bus I mentioned ended up going for $8,100! That seems crazy high, right?

Also, I'm sure there is a thread about this but is there any benefit to buying from a dealer? Do they usually put new tires on?
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buying advice, caterpiller 3126, drivetrain, engine

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