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Old 06-24-2018, 06:29 PM   #101
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In Tennessee the bus contractors know all the troopers that do the bus inspections. Over the years they get to know our buses well.

My bus is identical to yours except I have the 466 and it's a 2002 which means the newer dash.

If I brought your bus that you looked at in for inspection this fall pretending it was the same bus I have now and he (without paying much attention beforehand) crawled under the bus, he would stop and slowly creep back out. He would give me a look, get up off the creeper, come over and kiss me on the check and say, "How did you do this? You've made it look brand new!!!!"

Seriously, every bus has dents. Yours looks like it was driven carefully. The scallops on the roof are no big deal at all. If it were getting inspected they wouldn't say a word about it. The backbone of the bus is the "ladder" chassis running through the storage bays. The roof getting crushed a little bit is not an issue. Yeah, I would probably pull down some roof panels and check the bows for cracks but it would be lower down my maintenance list.

Where is he on the price?

The hours are high but with the new tires it appears maintenance was good. I would call the school district and talk to a mechanic. If it's a big district they won't know much but a smaller one will.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:38 PM   #102
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Thanks, I just dont want to get Brokedown (pun intended and apologized for). Im fine adding oil and I do not expect no leaks. I was concerned that the leak was drip drip though. With these engines can you run on a worn seal for long? Do they get steadily worse or can they give and get real bad real quick? Just trying to figure if it is something to address before hitting the road or later. I mean can you drive indifinitly on the bad seal as long as you add oil?
I've never seen a DT with a dry rear main seal. No big deal.

The dents in the roof are the biggest detractor for me. No real way to get rid of them and I just think they're an eyesore.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:39 PM   #103
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I've never seen a DT with a dry rear main seal. No big deal.

The dents in the roof are the biggest detractor for me.
East Coast.
Are they a detractor because of the looks or concern over structural integrity?
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:41 PM   #104
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Use your concerns as leverage for lowering the price. I don't remember if you said what the price was but I would stay under six preferably five or less. It seems to have everything you want. Take it to a mechanic to ease your mind first.
Thats the problem he is sky high on the price. I had a number in mind I could live with to negotiate too, but now I think $4-5k is it and I dont know if he will go that far. For $2k auction I would jump but this one has me a little concerned.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:42 PM   #105
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East Coast.
Are they a detractor because of the looks or concern over structural integrity?
Just looks like pish. Buses are OVERLY structural, the sheet metal doesn't mean squat.
But I'd hate to spend all that time and money on something with body damage. I like nice looking buses with nice looking paint jobs.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:57 PM   #106
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In Tennessee the bus contractors know all the troopers that do the bus inspections. Over the years they get to know our buses well.

My bus is identical to yours except I have the 466 and it's a 2002 which means the newer dash.

If I brought your bus that you looked at in for inspection this fall pretending it was the same bus I have now and he (without paying much attention beforehand) crawled under the bus, he would stop and slowly creep back out. He would give me a look, get up off the creeper, come over and kiss me on the check and say, "How did you do this? You've made it look brand new!!!!"

Seriously, every bus has dents. Yours looks like it was driven carefully. The scallops on the roof are no big deal at all. If it were getting inspected they wouldn't say a word about it. The backbone of the bus is the "ladder" chassis running through the storage bays. The roof getting crushed a little bit is not an issue. Yeah, I would probably pull down some roof panels and check the bows for cracks but it would be lower down my maintenance list.

Where is he on the price?

The hours are high but with the new tires it appears maintenance was good. I would call the school district and talk to a mechanic. If it's a big district they won't know much but a smaller one will.
Ya he is sky high on the price. Like $13k. With all this he will have to come way down or its on to the next one.

Hey yours is identical does that mean I could replace the DT 530 with a DT466 fairly straightforward? Not that I would do it myself. I only ask for reference if say the motor grenaded and I find out that the 530 is way more expensive even to rebuild. It seems those 466 motors are in everything and I never even heard about the 530 until I saw this bus. Just wondering.

I know where he got the bus. I am pretty sure I know the dealer in AZ that sold it to him. He says it is Arizona. Actually, not sure if that was the dealer that sold it or serviced it. There is a sticker on the back of the bus from the dealer. The sticker doesnt look brand new but it certainly isnt 18 years old or it would have no color left in the AZ sun. On the metal above the front window is the AZ DOT cert and a bunch of small stickers that look like oil change stickers. They say "Do Not Remove". They have the International Logo. They have field that say
CAMPAIGN #
VIN
ENG #
COMPLETED
SERVICE LOCATION CODE

Are these service records or are they records of recall fixes or something? Would this indicate that service was outside the district?
Just trying to learn.

You think if I called that dealer they would give me some info? What would I look forward in the district to ask questions? Do they call it a motor pool or service depot? I have no idea what I am even looking for.

Thank you.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:00 PM   #107
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Just looks like pish. Buses are OVERLY structural, the sheet metal doesn't mean squat.
But I'd hate to spend all that time and money on something with body damage. I like nice looking buses with nice looking paint jobs.
Bondo is the other sticky stuff that you can sand right? LOL

When I raise the roof (and still stick to the 3 month schedule) I will fix it.
So that will be never?
Yup.

Bus on


but wait, if I take off the ceiling panels back there (screws baby screws) I should be able to asses and possibly pop them out.......could work.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:08 PM   #108
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A closer look at the roof issues........Wait, why bother? Are we still talking about the bus you won't ever own because the seller is $8k out of your budget? Main seal replacement runs $1300-$1500. Looking at that bus it is super clean, but not $8k worth. Some dealer bought that at auction for $3k, sold it to the new seller for $8k and now they're trying for $13k, not gonna happen.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:09 PM   #109
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Check PNW_Steve's thread if you want to know how easy it isn't to pull a dent out of a bus!

For 13k that bus should come with a second bus. I like the bus but I don't play in that market. I might have 13k sunk into both m buses combined plus the entire 9 month trip around the US we did in the short bus last year. I'll probably end up around 9k total into the new bus including the complete conversion.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:18 PM   #110
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Boojie,
Thank you for the in depth reply. I wont knowingly "steal" someones bus.
I agree with the 90mph thing. I have seen threads about that and all I can think is "why would I even want to go that fast in a bus full of carpentry". If I can maintain 55-65 most of the time I am happy (without burning trannys up). So, I looked at that Amtram and fell in love..... and then the succuBUS turned on me. I will do a separate post on that now. Take a look and let me know what you think.
90 might be extreme, but when you're in Montana and the next civilization is 5 hours away and the posted speed limit is 80mph, it's nice to be able to do better than 65. I'm sure if I unlocked 6th it would do 90, because it'll do 85 in 5th now.
My trip last week was 3600miles over 56hrs. I ran most of the time on cruise at 75MPH. Giving me a 65mph average. If I had set the cruise at 60 and averaged 50mph it would have added 16hrs to the trip. That's why i go faster on the long runs.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:20 PM   #111
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Yep, use the roof and hours as leverage. Also it's too old and high mileage to go back into service so remind him unless he's got an exporter buying it he's gonna be selling it to someone like you that's gonna convert it and those kind of people are cheap.

It's not my money but if he came down to 7k I would pull the trigger. It's pretty rare to get that engine. 5 or 6k without a doubt.

I would be concerned until I bought it as far a psychology goes. It's a nice bus.

Things I would check:

The driveshaft bearings. At some point those fail. Have a competent mechanic look at it to see if it's been replaced. I don't think it's that expensive to replace.

The front kingpins. Was there any play in the steering? The mechanic can hold the wheel while you rock (hard) the steering. There should be little to no play in it. This is an item that has probably been maintained because it won't pass school bus inspection otherwise.

Brake pads. Were they within limits? Did you brake pretty hard to see if it pulled or cammed over? Slack adjusters are easy to adjust but it will give you another indication of maintenance.

Did the transmission readout on the dash have a 5 or 6 illuminated? 5 is fine but it means you have another gear to unlock if you wanted 6.

Oil. Was it nice and black? Do you know when the oil change was? Any evidence of coolant in the oil?

Coolant. What color is it? Any evidence of oil or diesel in it?

Does the bus sit level? In the pictures it looks ok. If it has lean it may mean some springs are wearing out or the rear air ride isn't adjusting correctly.

Does your local school district own the buses or it local contractors? If it's local contractors get in touch with them and see who their mechanics are and have one come check the bus. If the school district owns the buses talk to one of their mechanics and see if they'll come check it.

Oh yeah, the screws are nice but make sure you don't strip one out. Every once in a while a few of them are stubborn and you may have to use an extractor.

Local, big engine, no rust, heavy duty chassis. If he comes down in price I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Rick
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:38 PM   #112
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The leak at the seal? All of them leak there. Sure, replace it but it wouldn't be at the top of my list. Mine leaks and I've put 20k on it with the leak. It's the least of my mechanic's worries.

I watched my engine being rebuilt by the best mechanic in the area and within a couple thousand miles after the rebuild there was oil on the engine. There's a lot of pressure in the oil lines.

And brand new buses can have air leakdown overnight, enough to trip the buzzer. Some buses, like mine will hold pressure for several days or even a week or more.

Price. Yes, go to an auction and buy a bus cheap. Better yet, find a school district that does sealed bids and buy one for $500. I've bought a bus at auction before and it does feel nice knowing how little I paid for a big hunk of metal. But it sounds like you want to get going.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:39 PM   #113
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[B]Is this the TIRE DATE CODE?
1/09/2014
"1914" means the tire was manufactured in the 19th week of 2014.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:53 PM   #114
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You can actually convert a 466 to a 530 with a top end rebuild. Rebuild kits are about $1200. Parts are interchangeable. No big deal.

No way would I go from a 530 to 466.

The stickers are recalls. Another sign of maintenance. Is there an Arizona bus inspection sticker on the outside of the bus? On the windshield or bumpers usually. That will tell you when it was last in service.

Does the seller not know the district it came from? Call the dealer he bought it from. They may be jerks since they know they won't be making a sale but maybe not.

Almost every school district has a transportation department. Just look them up and ask to speak to a mechanic. Better yet go by and stick your head in. It's summer break so they shouldn't be in crisis mode.

No, I wouldn't pay his asking price. He may have the bus a long time at that price.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:07 PM   #115
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"1914" means the tire was manufactured in the 19th week of 2014.
Thanks for the heads up. They make more sense now.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:08 PM   #116
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A closer look at the roof issues........Wait, why bother? Are we still talking about the bus you won't ever own because the seller is $8k out of your budget? Main seal replacement runs $1300-$1500. Looking at that bus it is super clean, but not $8k worth. Some dealer bought that at auction for $3k, sold it to the new seller for $8k and now they're trying for $13k, not gonna happen.
Your right its not gonna happen. I will try but I think we are too far off.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:09 PM   #117
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Check PNW_Steve's thread if you want to know how easy it isn't to pull a dent out of a bus!

For 13k that bus should come with a second bus. I like the bus but I don't play in that market. I might have 13k sunk into both m buses combined plus the entire 9 month trip around the US we did in the short bus last year. I'll probably end up around 9k total into the new bus including the complete conversion.
Let me get one of those
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:11 PM   #118
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You can actually convert a 466 to a 530 with a top end rebuild. Rebuild kits are about $1200. Parts are interchangeable. No big deal.

No way would I go from a 530 to 466.

The stickers are recalls. Another sign of maintenance. Is there an Arizona bus inspection sticker on the outside of the bus? On the windshield or bumpers usually. That will tell you when it was last in service.

Does the seller not know the district it came from? Call the dealer he bought it from. They may be jerks since they know they won't be making a sale but maybe not.

Almost every school district has a transportation department. Just look them up and ask to speak to a mechanic. Better yet go by and stick your head in. It's summer break so they shouldn't be in crisis mode.

No, I wouldn't pay his asking price. He may have the bus a long time at that price.
Like I said Im going to try, but if he doesnt come right Im moving on. Got another to look at tomorrow and im lining up some down AZ and CA I might just go on a road trip and stay out until I find it. Pressure is an amazing motivator.
Thanks for the checklist I am going to look at all that next time. Tomorrow I start calling mechanics and yards. Wish me luck.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:58 AM   #119
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Find out what the tranny is on this.
Pictures show AC.

In Nevada.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/19...tml#post277137
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:44 AM   #120
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You can actually convert a 466 to a 530 with a top end rebuild. Rebuild kits are about $1200. Parts are interchangeable. No big deal.

No way would I go from a 530 to 466.

The stickers are recalls. Another sign of maintenance. Is there an Arizona bus inspection sticker on the outside of the bus? On the windshield or bumpers usually. That will tell you when it was last in service.

Does the seller not know the district it came from? Call the dealer he bought it from. They may be jerks since they know they won't be making a sale but maybe not.

Almost every school district has a transportation department. Just look them up and ask to speak to a mechanic. Better yet go by and stick your head in. It's summer break so they shouldn't be in crisis mode.

No, I wouldn't pay his asking price. He may have the bus a long time at that price.
That isn't right. The 530 is a longer stroke. The top end is the same as a 466HT. The crank is not.
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