Hello from a long-time newbie
Hello to everyone!
I have been a member since 2015 and frequently visit the site...dreaming and getting ideas, but not finding what I want or at least not throwing down the cash!:/ I have had a couple I couldn't get due to logistics or being outbid.
My list for a bus has been exclusive enough that I might find a bus or even several that fit some of the criteria, but lacking in some major area or that I'm simply just not able to acquire at the time.
The list mainly consists of:
A 66 passenger or larger(I don't mind downsizing, but I do have my limit).
A DT466, Cummins 8.3L or another engine large and venerable enough.
Ideally a MT643 transmission. I will be driving it over the Rockies while towing my Jeep, so the lockup in 3rd & 4th gears is desirable.
As clean as possible.
I am eyeing 2 buses at auction that have most of what I want: 8.3 L Cummins, MT643, 78 passenger, mostly clean...I say mostly, because the buses do have some rust being in the upper mid-west. I went and inspected them and it doesn't appear the rust is insurmountable, but it would require some repair.
My question is this: Do I avoid these at all costs because there is some rust even though they have nearly everything I am looking for, I have been looking for over a year to find the right combination, I could drive it home in less than a day, I talked to the mechanic and got his thoughts and the history(s)??
Or, if I feel the rust I have seen is worth the risk considering they have what I need/want and will probably go for less than what I have saved, leaving me cash for repairs and getting to bus-iness working on the conversion(very important)?
I was watching a couple of auctions in Arizona for mid-90s 84 passenger All American FE's with a 8.3L Cummins/MT643 precisely to avoid rust, but they went for around $7500 or more and I haven't saved that much cash.
I have a personal reason that gives a strong sense of urgency to get this finished - my father has Alzheimer's and I'm not sure how much longer he will maintain the level of cognition he currently has, but I don't have the option of just moving to the area right now. The converted bus would allow me the ability to spend more time with him...while he still knows me and can interact and remember our remaining time together without worrying about a place for me to live. Don't get me wrong, he's not at that stage just yet, but I don't want to wait or put it off to find the "perfect" bus only to have him get to that stage and think "If only I had sped things up!"
I guess my question boils down to this: If my conversion plans are more of an emergency stop-gap to get me to the area with a place to live until I can built a small home, is the little rust I witnessed, something I should avoid absolutely even though the bus is perfect otherwise or just preferably to make things easier to deal with?