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Old 05-08-2017, 08:10 AM   #1
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New Member looking for a home

Hello, my name is Scott and I'm a new member here looking for my first bus. We're buying it to downsize, dump the debt and simplify our lives a bit. Its gonna be a full time living arrangement for a while.

I'm trying to figure out what makes bus pricing go together. Why do some buses command $12000 when a very similar one only around half that? Trying to learn.

We can't afford a lemon- not a recreational item, our new home for a while. I've my eyes on a 2005 International, the price tag is a bit much to swallow but if it means a solid bus, I intend to pull the trigger.

Once you have a bus, is there any kind of under coating/process you can do, preferably on the cheap to prevent rust rot?

Thanks for the welcome and any advice/links on buying.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
Hello, my name is Scott and I'm a new member here looking for my first bus. We're buying it to downsize, dump the debt and simplify our lives a bit. Its gonna be a full time living arrangement for a while.

I'm trying to figure out what makes bus pricing go together. Why do some buses command $12000 when a very similar one only around half that? Trying to learn.

We can't afford a lemon- not a recreational item, our new home for a while. I've my eyes on a 2005 International, the price tag is a bit much to swallow but if it means a solid bus, I intend to pull the trigger.

Once you have a bus, is there any kind of under coating/process you can do, preferably on the cheap to prevent rust rot?

Thanks for the welcome and any advice/links on buying.
First advice, read everything you can. Each type/style if bus has its own advantages.
Unless you have a diesel mechanic background you may want to look at earlier busses. 2005 will likely have emissions equipment that is very expensive to repair and replace.
The difference in price could be many things from where you are looking to what the bus has in it, or it's condition.
My advice would be to watch govdeals, public surplus, check out dealers and if you have questions about a particular bus or motor ask here. Everyone has an opinion and sometimes they even overlap lol
Flat front front engined busses have the most living space in a 40ft bus, followed by rear engine busses. The trade off is tighter working conditions on the motor.


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Old 05-08-2017, 08:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
Hello, my name is Scott and I'm a new member here looking for my first bus. We're buying it to downsize, dump the debt and simplify our lives a bit. Its gonna be a full time living arrangement for a while.

I'm trying to figure out what makes bus pricing go together. Why do some buses command $12000 when a very similar one only around half that? Trying to learn.

We can't afford a lemon- not a recreational item, our new home for a while. I've my eyes on a 2005 International, the price tag is a bit much to swallow but if it means a solid bus, I intend to pull the trigger.

Once you have a bus, is there any kind of under coating/process you can do, preferably on the cheap to prevent rust rot?

Thanks for the welcome and any advice/links on buying.
Look for an older bus. The newer the bus, the more PITA the wiring and emmissions stuff gets. IF its an International with the 6.0/365 engine, I'd RUN AWAY from it.
The prices are all over the place because people wanna make money.
Buy direct from a school and you get the same bus a dealer is gonna sell you but for a fraction of the cost.
I've been driving a nice bus I paid $1760 for at auction. Bought it sight unseen. I talked to the bus yard manager, he said it ran great had little rust, and had new tires.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply.

The 2005 International RE200 is a 74 passenger / 13 window pusher with 20,000 miles on it, looks like a higher roof. No exterior rust, tires were in decent condition. Going to see it again today and get a look at the underbelly. As for living space, the pushers seem like our best bet- I'd prefer the engine heat in the back as well.

I would like to add underbelly storage (it doesn't have any, ugh!), wondering how hard that would be.

I'm not a diesel mechanic, but I'm handy. I've no problem going down to the piston on motorcycle engines. I'm already aware of the nightmares of DPF / EGR equipment on my '08 F350, what is there to look out for on the buses? How expensive are we talking?
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:40 AM   #5
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FE has the most usable floor space of the three designs.
Are you planning on driving it a lot or using it mostly as a house?
I'd wonder why the mileage is so low.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
Thanks for the reply.

The 2005 International RE200 is a 74 passenger / 13 window pusher with 20,000 miles on it, looks like a higher roof. No exterior rust, tires were in decent condition. Going to see it again today and get a look at the underbelly. As for living space, the pushers seem like our best bet- I'd prefer the engine heat in the back as well.

I would like to add underbelly storage (it doesn't have any, ugh!), wondering how hard that would be.

I'm not a diesel mechanic, but I'm handy. I've no problem going down to the piston on motorcycle engines. I'm already aware of the nightmares of DPF / EGR equipment on my '08 F350, what is there to look out for on the buses? How expensive are we talking?
I bought a 2002 Bluebird rear engine All American with a hundred and fifty thousand miles on it. 72 passenger with the 5.9 Cummins engine.
Body in good shape. Under belly storage. Some rust but nothing structural or any cancer, 1900. And that was from a dealer. I had an oil leak l, but it showed up on the 800 mile ride home and I was able to add oil and make it safely without damage.
Parts for the motor can be picked up at almost any parts store. And it cruises at 70.
Look around. If you can't find better than your first bus, then buy it lol
Look around.

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Old 05-08-2017, 08:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
IF its an International with the 6.0/365 engine, I'd RUN AWAY from it.
That's what it looks like...
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:53 AM   #8
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FE has the most usable floor space of the three designs.
Are you planning on driving it a lot or using it mostly as a house?
I'd wonder why the mileage is so low.
May end up driving it quite a bit looking for places to live around the country.
Floor space: I figured I'd put the bed directly over the engine box in the back, have some storage underneath it. Not too hurt by the lost room, more the price tag ($9500).

Mileage, I think they said they used it for events.

I'm nervous buying something hundreds of miles away I can't see/inspect in person, and this one I even can test drive. But if its really possible to find something at $2000 thats usable.... might be worth some risk.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
May end up driving it quite a bit looking for places to live around the country.
Floor space: I figured I'd put the bed directly over the engine box in the back, have some storage underneath it. Not too hurt by the lost room, more the price tag ($9500).

Mileage, I think they said they used it for events.

I'm nervous buying something hundreds of miles away I can't see/inspect in person, and this one I even can test drive. But if its really possible to find something at $2000 thats usable.... might be worth some risk.
RUN from that bus man.
For cross country touring you want an 8.3 Cummins or a DT466. Look for one that has a transmission with OD.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:00 AM   #10
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RUN from that bus man.
For cross country touring you want an 8.3 Cummins or a DT466. Look for one that has a transmission with OD.
Will do. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:07 AM   #11
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Cheapest undercoating is used motor oil.
It is really "old school".
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:16 AM   #12
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Cheapest undercoating is used motor oil.
It is really "old school".
I have a few gallons I have been saving up. I am trying to figure out how to apply it best. I tried a bit in a pump sprayer, but it just made a mess

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Old 05-08-2017, 01:59 PM   #13
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Okay, on the advice I've received here I think I found something that matches my criteria.
1999 Bluebird All American 75, pusher/rear engine, Cummins 8.3. Around $9k.

Underbody storage, looks absolutely immaculate. No rust anywhere, their body shop goes through it.

Odometer discrepancy? 23000 miles ish, but the timer shows 13000 hours.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:02 PM   #14
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That's a good engine. And a nice bus.


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Old 05-08-2017, 02:15 PM   #15
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With that many hours it seems quite obvious the gage cluster has been replaced, or maybe they forgot and left that bus idling on the weekends to get that many hours.

It's hard to say, the engine could have been replaced. Without records who knows.

If it runs decent now, it will likely last you for as long as you care to drive it.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:00 PM   #16
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Naw...they only ran it 1.7 miles each hour. Short route.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:37 PM   #17
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If you want to keep your costs down go for a non-computerized anything International DT 466 or dt360 I took my dt360 with a 78 passenger Thomas body from Minneapolis to San Francisco up every Mountain to and from (we took the northern route through Montana Oregon Washington Utah Idaho) and didn't use a lick of oil we had absolutely problems you have to go to the early nineties to find a non-computerized non censored DT

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Old 05-08-2017, 04:45 PM   #18
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If you want to keep your costs down go for a non-computerized anything International DT 466 or dt360 I took my dt360 with a 78 passenger Thomas body from Minneapolis to San Francisco up every Mountain to and from (we took the northern route through Montana Oregon Washington Utah Idaho) and didn't use a lick of oil we had absolutely problems you have to go to the early nineties to find a non-computerized non censored DT

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I hasve one of each.. a 2000 compurtized T-444E, and a 1991 All mechanical DT-360, while neither are powerhouses.. that DT-360 is solid, sure i slow down in the hills with it but it never runs hot, ive driven that bus like 15k miles in the last year with no issues from the engine..

the T-444E is in a MUCH Lighter bus.. and while its electronics have been flawless in the 5-6K ive driven it, it defimitely is MUCH more complex than the mechanical DT-360 and likes to run warm on the highway..
-Christopher
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