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Old 06-21-2018, 10:23 AM   #41
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I like that one. How's the price?

For reference, I bought a 1996 32' with dual air, 160k miles, and no handy lift for 2k. I'm a big fan of the mechanical Cummins, the less exciting part is that the TC2000 front engine models all have AT545 transmissions.

The panels on the driver's side are: Electrical panel (all wiring goes here, lever to open is behind the driver's seat), battery tray, and AC condensers.

Check this thing for rust. I know a guy with a 1991 or so model that is almost 100% rust. The frame, the air brake tanks, everything under it is orange.

If there isn't a rust issue, I like this bus a lot.

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Old 06-21-2018, 10:24 AM   #42
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http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/cu...tml#post276407 ?
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:47 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I like that one. How's the price?

For reference, I bought a 1996 32' with dual air, 160k miles, and no handy lift for 2k. I'm a big fan of the mechanical Cummins, the less exciting part is that the TC2000 front engine models all have AT545 transmissions.

The panels on the driver's side are: Electrical panel (all wiring goes here, lever to open is behind the driver's seat), battery tray, and AC condensers.

Check this thing for rust. I know a guy with a 1991 or so model that is almost 100% rust. The frame, the air brake tanks, everything under it is orange.

If there isn't a rust issue, I like this bus a lot.
He is asking 6500 but he just put it up today and I havent looked at it or tried to negotiate. I think 6500 is way too much but much closer to what I would pay then the other ones I have looked at.
I like what david.george said about the smaller buses, but I also want to make sure I can fit the fam-o-four on board. I will see if I can look at it today and check the rust issue then report back.
BTW - anything I should worry about with the wheelchair lift? Is it tied into any systems that make it a pain to remove? Does it have any benefit or drawback vs other non lift buses that I should know about (other than getting my fat ass in the bus)?

Is that 545 really that bad? Does it even out the 5.9 cummins or is it still a desirable bus?
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:49 AM   #44
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Dapplecreek -
Thanks. I saw that listed somewhere and reached out to them already. Very nice bus. My biggest reservation on that one is that I wanted to build bunks for my kids so they had their own space. Not sure how I could reconfigure this to do that given that they have made all the hard fixed decisions on plumbing, electrical, etc. Also, not local so would have to travel far just to look at it.

Still a nice job and nice bus.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:44 AM   #45
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He is asking 6500 but he just put it up today and I havent looked at it or tried to negotiate. I think 6500 is way too much but much closer to what I would pay then the other ones I have looked at.
I like what david.george said about the smaller buses, but I also want to make sure I can fit the fam-o-four on board. I will see if I can look at it today and check the rust issue then report back.
BTW - anything I should worry about with the wheelchair lift? Is it tied into any systems that make it a pain to remove? Does it have any benefit or drawback vs other non lift buses that I should know about (other than getting my fat ass in the bus)?

Is that 545 really that bad? Does it even out the 5.9 cummins or is it still a desirable bus?
545 sucks on the highway. The friction puts more heat into the cooling system.
6500 for that bus is robbery.

WC lift is easy to remove, doesn't affect anything.
But you're looking at low end stuff for top dollar, man.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:45 AM   #46
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Dapplecreek -
Thanks. I saw that listed somewhere and reached out to them already. Very nice bus. My biggest reservation on that one is that I wanted to build bunks for my kids so they had their own space. Not sure how I could reconfigure this to do that given that they have made all the hard fixed decisions on plumbing, electrical, etc. Also, not local so would have to travel far just to look at it.

Still a nice job and nice bus.
If you can build a bus from scratch in a few months, rearranging a few interior bits should be childs play.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:37 PM   #47
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If you can build a bus from scratch in a few months, rearranging a few interior bits should be childs play.
Yes, not too worried about the changes but I would be much more comfortable if I could go look at the bus ahead of time. If it was local I would be all over it. My biggest fear with having to modify is the old can-o-worms principle. I have gotten into many projects with the thought of "just changing one thing" only to spend a lot of time cursing and lamenting that I would have been better off starting from scratch. Not saying that is the case here but I just dont know. Some times you pull that string and the whole sweater unravels. I wish there was a local auction!!!
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:09 PM   #48
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MARC-
I hear you. In looking around you are 100% right the dealer markup is just that and nothing more. I would pay a little mark up just to get what I want fast but not that much. For example, if you wanted to sell your $3500 bus for $4500 (maybe $5000 if you drive it to vegas) well that is a markup I could swallow. But 10-12k markup no way. I keep watching auctions hoping to score. What auction did you get your bus from? You got a real good one there, how is it running?
My build thread is "The Bucket list". I paid $3500, for the bus, 2 airfares looking at and picking up the bus ($540), approx. $1500 in fuel home,and a few essentials and I'm already close to $6k in this bus. My bus was purchased from an auction in Boulder,Montana around Nov.last year. The buyers used it to run 15 kids and grand kids around in. They used it only once so decided to flip it and listed it on CraigsList in Twin Falls, Id. for $4K, we settled on $3500. He later told me he won the auction at $2800. When people offer $500 to deliver a bus I hope that is over and above expenses. It costs almost $900 in fuel alone to go to Vegas from Atl.
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:58 PM   #49
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My build thread is "The Bucket list". I paid $3500, for the bus, 2 airfares looking at and picking up the bus ($540), approx. $1500 in fuel home,and a few essentials and I'm already close to $6k in this bus. My bus was purchased from an auction in Boulder,Montana around Nov.last year. The buyers used it to run 15 kids and grand kids around in. They used it only once so decided to flip it and listed it on CraigsList in Twin Falls, Id. for $4K, we settled on $3500. He later told me he won the auction at $2800. When people offer $500 to deliver a bus I hope that is over and above expenses. It costs almost $900 in fuel alone to go to Vegas from Atl.
Marc-
Thanks for those honest numbers. I tend to forget how these add up when everyone is talking about 2-3k auction buses. If there was an AZ/NV/SOCAL auction I would go but to travel the country looking for the amazing bus deal seems expensive. I dont fly but if I did I would have to factor in each trip that did NOT result in a buy. I assume I wont get the first one I look at. Then the fuel and whatnots to get it home. I cant even imagine what tow cost would be. Anyone have an idea on what it costs to have a bus delivered across the country? Any per mile quotes? So, if I find the "right" bus and its local and its 4-6k well that might not be that bad a deal at all don't you think?

Does anyone on here do an auction service deal? I have had buddies in the past that would go to car dealer auctions for me and charge a flat $500 over or something to bid and deliver the car I wanted. Anyone know anyone doing something similar in the school bus world? Most of the upcoming auctions are Midwest or east coast and out of range for me.
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:02 PM   #50
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545 sucks on the highway. The friction puts more heat into the cooling system.
6500 for that bus is robbery.

WC lift is easy to remove, doesn't affect anything.
But you're looking at low end stuff for top dollar, man.
is there anything that can be done about the 545? A trans cooler? Software remap (does it have that overdrive that can be unlocked)? Sorry for the ignorance Im trying to learn all these mechanical bits. Is the 545 a showstopper for the kind of cruising I want to do?
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:17 PM   #51
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Marc-
Thanks for those honest numbers. I tend to forget how these add up when everyone is talking about 2-3k auction buses. If there was an AZ/NV/SOCAL auction I would go but to travel the country looking for the amazing bus deal seems expensive. I dont fly but if I did I would have to factor in each trip that did NOT result in a buy. I assume I wont get the first one I look at. Then the fuel and whatnots to get it home. I cant even imagine what tow cost would be. Anyone have an idea on what it costs to have a bus delivered across the country? Any per mile quotes? So, if I find the "right" bus and its local and its 4-6k well that might not be that bad a deal at all don't you think?

Does anyone on here do an auction service deal? I have had buddies in the past that would go to car dealer auctions for me and charge a flat $500 over or something to bid and deliver the car I wanted. Anyone know anyone doing something similar in the school bus world? Most of the upcoming auctions are Midwest or east coast and out of range for me.
I may consider picking up buses and delivering them, but $500 would be my minimum fee, plus airfare, fuel home, hotel if needed, ANY incidentals. Plus more depending on how far away. Towing I have found to be a minimum $200 to hook up, $800 for a 45 mile tow. God knows I wouldn't want to pay to tow one across country.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:28 PM   #52
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is there anything that can be done about the 545? A trans cooler? Software remap (does it have that overdrive that can be unlocked)? Sorry for the ignorance Im trying to learn all these mechanical bits. Is the 545 a showstopper for the kind of cruising I want to do?
Replacement is the only remedy. Its just a 4 speed slushbox with NO lockup and no OD. I've had a few and hated them.
Folks drive all over with that transmission FWIW, but its FAR from ideal for highway/interstate duty. That's a local route bus.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:05 PM   #53
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I've read a few people who found significant improvement in their AT545' performance after installing a cooler. This is something I'm looking into as I intend on driving the newer, heavier bus up the same mountains the old, slightly lighter one struggled with!

If there was an easy swap between at545 and something like MT643 I'd be looking into that.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:09 PM   #54
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I've read a few people who found significant improvement in their AT545' performance after installing a cooler. This is something I'm looking into as I intend on driving the newer, heavier bus up the same mountains the old, slightly lighter one struggled with!

If there was an easy swap between at545 and something like MT643 I'd be looking into that.
Easy is relative, but this is not a big job if you have the replacement tranny and all related parts. I was quoted $1300 to change a mainseal. swapping the tranny is the same job.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:18 PM   #55
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Id probably do it myself but it really would require that they be more or less a direct fit swap or it becomes a bigger job than I can do in a field. As it stands I've been looking at add-on coolers for my 545, that's an easy job I can do for under $300.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:28 PM   #56
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Id probably do it myself but it really would require that they be more or less a direct fit swap or it becomes a bigger job than I can do in a field. As it stands I've been looking at add-on coolers for my 545, that's an easy job I can do for under $300.
Add on coolers are only a bit of a bandaid. it's definitely gona help.

The slippage can't be stopped.

If I find you a free/cheap 643, would you be interested?
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:56 PM   #57
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From what I've read the swap on a 5.9 6BT series requires a modified driveshaft, a bellhousing adapter, flexplate, cooling line fittings, and who knows what else... So at the moment I'm gonna call that a no!

Adding a cooler should total less than the bellhousing adapter. Obviously a 643 would be better but let's save some upgrades for next year.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:46 AM   #58
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1991 bluebird tc2000 5.9 cummins report

So, I went to go see that 91 TC2000 FE Handy Bus with the wheelchair ramp.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Check this thing for rust. I know a guy with a 1991 or so model that is almost 100% rust. The frame, the air brake tanks, everything under it is orange.

If there isn't a rust issue, I like this bus a lot.
NO RUST ON THE BUS. I MEAN LIKE ALMOST NONE. THE DESERT HAS ITS ADVANTAGES.
Not sure if I should even pursue this one now. The 545 is an issue, but mostly I found out that it has sat for about 5 years and the guy just got it started again last month. Is this bad for buses like it is for automobiles? I am assuming we would rather have them consistently operating then sitting in the dry desert rotting. I feel like things are going to break regularly as I start driving it around. It is also shorter inside it seems and has a really short wheelbase (like its unusually short). Aside from the dead bird and BONE in the back of the bus, the free vise grip attached to what I think is a fuel line was a nice bonus but not enough to get me to pull the trigger. I passed up free tools so.....
1. Sat for 5 years
2. Was bio he said they changed out tank and lines converted back to regular diesel.
3. 545 trans
4. Started right up
5. Air came to pressure in less than 2 minutes
6. No rust
7. Free vise grip pliers.
8. Cummins 5.9 mech
9. Dual AC- one side blew cold the other blew hot.

What do you guys think?











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Old 06-22-2018, 10:14 AM   #59
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I'm not singing the praises of the 545 but I bough my second bus with one agree 30k miles of driving the first one. It's not a deal breaker to me. Seems like the rear end gear ratio on still unknown? Try to find that out, any number bigger then 4.78 is bad.

Sitting isn't great but it's less bad on a bus. The tires might be distorted from sitting for a long time, possibly enough to require replacement. Seems like they might be pretty old as well. Did you check their date stamps? New tires on that will set you back 2 grand or more. Even if you are making peace with the price he is asking that would turn me off right away.

One AC is better than none, without looking at it it's hard to know what would be necessary to bring the other one back up. Could be something cheap, could be something expensive. I have put about 1200 into repairs on my systems and they seemed to work fine when I bought it.

Again, what I don't like just is the price. That money should buy you an All American with better everything. The tc2000 is a fine bus but it was the budget model, and the right price is 1/3 what he is asking.
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:22 AM   #60
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That's a $2000 bus man.
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