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Old 05-09-2022, 11:10 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 11
Here goes nothing...

Going to purchase my first bus tomorrow. Mechanically it looks sound and has really low miles on it, but the tires are trash and a lot of the windows are broken or missing. it has a 7.3 idi and allison tranny with only 40,000 miles on it. Its a 3800 series.... what would be the wow I have to buy it price? Just want to make sure I'm not gonna screw myself on the negotiation price just because I got the fever.

Thanks for any advice, and looking forward to this project! It's gonna be a fun family bonding experience.

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Old 05-10-2022, 01:08 PM   #2
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Location: mid Mo.
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Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
Sometimes they steal all the good tires off the bus and put them on other more needy buses, batteries too. Low miles makes it worth more, like say $4000, maybe 5? Get the best bus you can afford so you can spend all your time on the conversion, you won't regret it. My guess so others can pitch in on this one.
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Old 05-10-2022, 01:54 PM   #3
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Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
start lowest

the bottom of the barrel is going to be the price of scrap metal.... so $1000 to $1200 in my area for non van based bus...

not much value in 7.3 id engines or 545 transmissions these days.... if you are lucky $500 for the engine and $500 for the transmission if you part it out.......

If they have to jump start it... you know batteries are going to be toast.... check wipers, turn signals, horn, blower motors for defrosters/heaters....

the great big 8d batteries $200 each, different used tires on rims that will work $200 or more each... new tires, name brand $450 each lights $15 to $25 each

Dont even have the money in your pocket.... be prepared to start low enough to maybe be insulting...... work from there. this sounds like a bus that is the last runt in the litter......

I am really bad about negotiating, I have a friend that spent 20 years in the middle east.... she is really good about haggling on price..... I have the money she does the talking.

hope this helps

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Old 05-10-2022, 02:15 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 11
Thanks for the info! So I did the deed today and bought a 93 international with a wheelchair lift, 7.3 idi na with an Allison tranny with 27,000 miles for $3500. Needs windows, tires, and it looks like they bought two new truck batteries in it….
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Old 05-10-2022, 02:25 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 11
I started at 1000 (which is less than half of what he paid) and nearly got thrown off the lot��
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Old 05-10-2022, 04:56 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 998
Year: 1996
Coachwork: AmTran (Now Navistar)
Engine: DT444E (7.3L) International
Rated Cap: 31,800 pounds
Originally Posted by New2School View Post
I started at 1000 (which is less than half of what he paid) and nearly got thrown off the lot��

You should be embarrassed by your first offer and he should be offended. So you did good.
Me, I make my first offer, they counter after huffing, and I make my counter to their counter lower than MY first offer. That's sends them into a fit and I start walking.
We usually end up back to my first offer.

Not sure I agree with the idea that the 7.3 isn't worth much. They're good solid rigs. The 7.3 SuperDuty and DT444E are essentially the same (though newer variants). Is your new rig a 93 or 94 with the optional Turbo or is it normally aspirated?
I would suggest joining the DieselStop forums as there is a massive wealth of information on the 7.3's over there. I know, I have one in my F350 and another in my 40' RE AmTran though mine are both factory turbo'd.

Here's some info on your new engine:
YouTube: HAMSkoolie WEB:
We've done so much, for so long, with so little, we now do the impossible, overnight, with nothing. US Marines -- 6531, 3521. . . .Ret ASE brakes & elect. Ret (auto and aviation mech). Extra Class HAM, NAUI/PADI OpenWater diver
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Old 05-10-2022, 10:39 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 11
Thanks for the info…I typically will play the negotiating game correctly, but he said he was going to send it to auction, so I figured shoot your shot.
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Old 05-23-2022, 11:54 AM   #8
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Baja often, Oregon frequently
Posts: 320
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Our hot little grubbies...
Chassis: Ford CF8000 ExpeditionVehicle
Engine: Cummins 505ci mechanical
Rated Cap: Three RedHeelers
Originally Posted by New2School View Post
Going are trash...gonna...
Most heavy-truck tires are a major investment.
Some sellers keep a set of 'stand-up' tires in case they want to sell the rig.
The seller mounts the beaters while keeping the serviceable to mount on the next rig.
Every buyer adjusts the bid to compensate for a set of six or ten new tires.
Of course, heavy-truck use is individualized... a set of street tires is inappropriate for mud, gravel, or rough tracks to remote mountain lakes and isolated Baja beaches.
Accordingly, tires tend to get swapped, moreso prior to selling the rig.
Those stand-ups are also useful for storage trailers to give the delusion of a non-permanent structure to reduce real-estate taxes.
Although... some might argue the reduction in property values from a rancid reeking paint-peeling junk trailer reduces the tax burden automatically, perhaps a separate subject for another time.
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