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Old 04-23-2020, 02:57 PM   #21
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Location: Moved to Zealand!
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Year: 2002
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Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
This bus looks really, really bad as far as rust is concerned (and we haven't seen the wheel wells at all which are likely to be the worst area). I think it's in the same class as my bus, which means it's fixable but will require massive extra effort.

OP, nothing but respect if you go ahead with this of course, but you're looking at a lot of extra rust remediation work. I would definitely say to pass this bus up.
But it has an MD3060...

I'd say this is similar to my bus in rustiness...

1SkoolieNoob --
There are two big differences in our scenarios though:
1) My bus was free and even delivered to me for 'free'
2) I already own a welder and enjoy the fixing process --

#1 is easy to measure/budget but #2 is just or even more important while harder to measure/budget -- do you want to own a welder and become good at using it? If you don't enjoy metal fabrication I can see where some of what you'll find to repair will really stretch your mental budget...

Do they salt in Cincinnati? I'm kinda surprised it looks as ratty as my R.I. bus...

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Old 04-23-2020, 03:56 PM   #22
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Thank you everyone for the great feedback!

This has been a difficult decision. Some ideas were put into my head to consider how long are we planning on living in this bus and how long does it need to last? If I don't treat the rust 100% now what would be the repercussions? Or how long until then?
One major consideration is not so much how long you will need it, but whether it will pass required safety inspections. A rusty bus will only get worse without attention and believe me, you don't want a $2000 tow bill to get it to the scrapyard because it broke in half going down the road. Especially after spending the time, effort, and money to do a conversion.

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Originally Posted by 1SkoolieNoob View Post
I'm going with the majority on this and going to keep looking further south. I need a solid foundation for my Fam so we can get this conversion started! Not the delay of the rust repair. Shout out from KCMO, I'll share what we end up going with!
I've run across a few decent buses here in Virginia. Private sellers mostly, that backed out on a conversion. Can get you info if you like. Just need a little info on what you're looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
Do they salt in Cincinnati? I'm kinda surprised it looks as ratty as my R.I. bus...
Ohio is definitely part of the rust belt. Consider that the Cleveland / Akron area borders the Great Lakes... So, yes, I'm sure they use their fair share of salt there.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:52 PM   #23
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Engine: DT466E / MD3060
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Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post

I've run across a few decent buses here in Virginia. Private sellers mostly, that backed out on a conversion. Can get you info if you like. Just need a little info on what you're looking for.

That would be great, thank you!

Well we are interested in a 40' give or take a few feet. Preferably Rear engine or Dog nose an older late 90's earlier 00's.

After reading a bunch of reviews from here I'm leaning towards the Navistar DT466 or DT466e. I like cummins but think the 5.9 may be a bit under powered for the size were looking for so open to the bigger models. Also considering a CAT, I think it was the 3126 predecessor to the c7 I believe. Allison Trans. Also RUST FREE is now on my watch list more than before. Trying to stay near the $5k mark.

Has anyone had any luck with going through auctions? I was interested in one in NM but they were not letting anyone into the yard currently for inspections due to the vid19. So that was a deal breaker.

Any thoughts, or opinions on any of this would be very welcomed.
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Old 04-23-2020, 06:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
One major consideration is not so much how long you will need it, but whether it will pass required safety inspections. A rusty bus will only get worse without attention and believe me, you don't want a $2000 tow bill to get it to the scrapyard because it broke in half going down the road. Especially after spending the time, effort, and money to do a conversion.

I've run across a few decent buses here in Virginia. Private sellers mostly, that backed out on a conversion. Can get you info if you like. Just need a little info on what you're looking for.

Ohio is definitely part of the rust belt. Consider that the Cleveland / Akron area borders the Great Lakes... So, yes, I'm sure they use their fair share of salt there.
There is a huge difference between the rust in these pix and a bus breaking in half...
More realistic concern are brake lines, oil feed lines, etc. being weakened to failure while on the road -- but a though inspection will reveal things to a trained eye very readily...

I recently moved to Ohio -- lake effect is doesn't seem to extend much past an hours drive south of the lake itself. Denver CO spread more salt this winter than Columbus OH for example...
I got parts off an OH bus at a junkyard to fix mine -- I was super jealous how rust free and clean this OH bus being scrapped was compared to mine... I suspect leaking roofs & windows are an equal part of the equation...
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Old 04-23-2020, 06:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by banman View Post
There is a huge difference between the rust in these pix and a bus breaking in half...
More realistic concern are brake lines, oil feed lines, etc. being weakened to failure while on the road -- but a though inspection will reveal things to a trained eye very readily...
Trouble is, you should be more concerned about what you CAN'T see in this situation. Floorboard rusted around the pedals? No thanks, I'll pass.

Noob, you seem to have a solid wish list. Keep in mind that around '02-'04 you start having to deal with emissions equipment, and don't buy a MaxxForce if you can help it. Rarely do you find the perfect bus, sometimes there are trade-offs as to what you can live with vs what you must have.

UPDATE: Check your inbox, I found a total of 20 that I thought might interest you, but the FIRST one I sent you I think fits your wish list perfectly, sent the others just in case.
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:58 PM   #26
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical/Allison MT643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
... I suspect leaking roofs & windows are an equal part of the equation...

Except for a few, very small rock chips or something like that, my bus from Western WA had no visible rust. But when I took up the rotten plywood subfloor, the top of the metal was very rusty, especially curbside near the middle of the bus. No holes, but several thin spots, all caused by leaking windows. That turned out to be fairly easy to fix, but leaking around the windows is something you should definitely look for. It might be a good idea to take a thin-bladed pocketknife to poke around and see how rotten the plywood is because rotten plywood = rusty floor.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:59 PM   #27
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Wow, Thank you so soo much Cheese Wagon! I can't believe the effort you put into sending me all of those links! Very much appreciated!

I'm going to follow up/look into 6 of them. I agree with you on the first link.

I feel like the answer to my original question about rust has been answered. Should I start a new thread to continue my bus search? Classifieds, Buy Sell Swap Forum??

I can already sense the great skoolie community hospitality through this site!
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:04 PM   #28
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I have respiratory problems that put me at high risk during this COVID situation, so family has asked me to stay home, and I really have nothing better to do. A lot of it is just knowing where to look.

Besides, I don't mind investing a few minutes poking around to help someone make a better choice. I don't claim to be the Skoolie Messiah or anything, (as some do), but I like to think I (as well as others) have helped to save a few people from poor choices / decisions that would have ruined the experience for them.

I see no harm in keeping your search in this thread, unless you'd rather start a new one. The admin might want to create a forum for this sort of thing -- Maybe a YEA - NAY shopper's category or something...

The only relevant thread in the Classifieds would be for to respond to ads posted there for buses you might be interested in, or the 'Unaffiliated buses thread' -- which probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but has become a bit of a mess, methinks.

Keep in mind, I make no guarantee that the buses I found have zero rust, but they are far less likely to have bad rust if they are from the southern part of the country. Without knowing where the bus originally came from, I would still ask for pics of frame rails and such just to be sure before you hop on a plane to go get it. Videos of the engine running, etc.

Lots you can do to verify over the Internet. I actually found about five more that I thought could be a plan B, but I passed because the sellers obviously have no clue about what people want to know when buying.

Your thanks is well-noted... But you should have been here about ten years ago. Still some good members here, but we had a lot more back then. A lot of the old-school crew is gone due to some changes that came about when RV Life took over.

One other thing, I do have a Class A CDL and might be able to help you with getting it home.
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
I actually found about five more that I thought could be a plan B, but I passed because the sellers obviously have no clue about what people want to know when buying.
Clueless seller = happy buyer, sometimes.

Sorry to hear about your respiratory problems, man. Stay safe through this.
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:30 PM   #30
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Clueless seller = happy buyer, sometimes.
Maybe so, but I would think most would understand you want to hear the engine running, not the kick-ass stereo you put in it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Sorry to hear about your respiratory problems, man. Stay safe through this.
The kind words are appreciated. Not much else I can do.

I am living proof that secondhand cigarette smoke is dangerous. If you know anyone that smokes around their children, smack them in the head for me and for their kids. I honestly think it's ridiculous that any smoker would think it's okay to smoke around others, especially those they don't know.
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Old 04-27-2020, 04:49 PM   #31
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** update **

Hello,

I want to thank everyone again for all the replies on this thread!

I decided against the 01' IC RE3000 near Cincinnati due to the unanimous advice to avoid that RUSTED bus! They were asking $4250 and were going to sell it to me at $3500.

When I first started looking for a bus we came across one near our home base that was way out of our price range. It was damn near identical to the one in Cincy. 01' IC RE3000, AMTRAM badged, DT466E under 170k miles (differences are 84 instead 90 pass. minus one under storage compartment, about 40k more miles and rust free instead of rusted out!) They were asking $12k and said the lowest they'd go is $9k, I offered $5k.

I followed up recently and stuck with my same original offer, this time I also used the leverage of the cheaper Cincy bus. Saying I'd pay the $1500 more due to the location/convenience. He told me to come and check out the bus.
My wife and I checked out the bus this morning and everything looks great! No rust underneath (primarily ran in FL), runs and sounds great! Just a super dusty interior and one cracked window. I believe some rust will be on the floor near that window but should be very minimal compared to the Cincy bus. The highlight of this trip was that they accepted our $5k offer without any questions!

Now I am looking for a diesel or fleet mechanic to look it over for a pre-purchase inspection. Any recommendations on where to look?? (school district fleet mechanic for side work or just a diesel mechanic??)

We found a local insurance company that would cover us on a bus under personal use with just liability. We'll use this until our conversion is near completion.

community, look forward to photos and conversion updates in the near future from us!
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Old 04-27-2020, 07:06 PM   #32
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awesome news! well done! you'll be thanking yourself later when you're spending those hours chillaxing in the mountains, as opposed to grinding and patching rust spots...

Congrats!
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Old 04-29-2020, 10:03 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SkoolieNoob View Post
Glad to hear no regrets with Rusty 87. Seeing your thread has given me a bit of motivation that anything is possible. Here are the photos I'm working with. I appreciate your input and feedback.



Attachment 43650
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I hate to see anyone bite the rust bullet. So much better to take a flight, train,automobile, or hitchhike to a rust free vehicle than spend your first two years remediating rust. Run away! We bought our present bus from Arizona. Zero rust. More time to spend making our home on the road, home
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:21 AM   #34
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Hard pass on that one. You can find a bus in much better condition for 2k
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:58 AM   #35
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Hard pass on that one. You can find a bus in much better condition for 2k
I'm sure you were referencing the original bus pictured, but you might want to clarify that, OP has referenced another bus since then.
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