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Old 04-23-2017, 05:38 PM   #1
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Newbie in the waiting.....

Hi everyone. I have been living out of a chevy astro van for the past year, and just starting taking a interest into buses when I seen an ad for a bus for real cheap and in good condition. So here I am, exploring this realm. Was wondering if anyone could give me advice, insight, talk, with this deal:

1992 International Bus (i have attached picture files)

Diesel, 139,000, black tinted windows, bullet proof, claiming to be in good condition, its a full-size, clean title status, and the transmissions an automatic.

I emailed the guy and he was stoked that i was interested. I told him that I wanted some info on the bus before coming to check it out, and he told me he was going out of town for the week, and that when he got back, id better have my finances in gear, as i can not find a better deal than this. He said the bus is bullet proof, a big Al diesel, but did not disclose the type of engine or transmission that it is. As far as I know, it could either be a 7.3 or a dt360 engine for a 92 international bus. I would like to buy it, hes selling it for $2500, talk about an upgrade from a 2001 chevy astro cargo van! Do you think this is a decent deal? What should be some things I should find out about the bus for long term? Thanks

Joshua
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dreamingdrywall View Post
Hi everyone. I have been living out of a chevy astro van for the past year, and just starting taking a interest into buses when I seen an ad for a bus for real cheap and in good condition. So here I am, exploring this realm. Was wondering if anyone could give me advice, insight, talk, with this deal:

1992 International Bus (i have attached picture files)

Diesel, 139,000, black tinted windows, bullet proof, claiming to be in good condition, its a full-size, clean title status, and the transmissions an automatic.

I emailed the guy and he was stoked that i was interested. I told him that I wanted some info on the bus before coming to check it out, and he told me he was going out of town for the week, and that when he got back, id better have my finances in gear, as i can not find a better deal than this. He said the bus is bullet proof, a big Al diesel, but did not disclose the type of engine or transmission that it is. As far as I know, it could either be a 7.3 or a dt360 engine for a 92 international bus. I would like to buy it, hes selling it for $2500, talk about an upgrade from a 2001 chevy astro cargo van! Do you think this is a decent deal? What should be some things I should find out about the bus for long term? Thanks

Joshua
It is a good deal. make sure the tires are in good shape they can be costly.
Without knowing what engine/trans is in it it's hard to say what you should be looking for.
Pay a local mechanic to look it over. It is money well spent.
Test drive it.
If it has air brakes, before you go look at it look on YouTube how to do a pre-trip air brake test... Take notes.
If it's hydrolic, it will have an electric booster... It will come on if you press the brakes when the key is off.
Look for hidden rust.
Good luck

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Old 04-23-2017, 06:33 PM   #3
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If it runs decent and the tires aren't all old and cracked, you should buy that. There are occasionally better deals, but if this bus has or was kept up it should still be in pretty good shape. You've got to wonder why the guy is bailing on this bus.

I see what I think are patches on the right side rear wheel well, and they're getting some new color to them. The rust repair can wait until you're ready.

In order to move on up to a decent size bus, that's not such a bad choice. You might find something better if you were able to wait. And by better I mean newer, unless you particularly like that model. It would be good to know the engine, but it's most likely got an Allison 545 behind it.

Don't quote me, I've been wrong before.
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:49 AM   #4
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Ok he was stoked when you replied? And then "you better have your finances in gear because you can't find a better deal"? And then didn't give you any info on it? I see red flags along with alot of rust. In the upcoming months, govdeals.com will have loads that you can choose from. I won my bid for 2,000. I have a 2002 International. Don't hit the panic button and think this deal is going to slip through your fingers...there are plenty of buses to choose from especially June through September.
I'm not getting good vibes from what you say.
Where is this bus? Was it exposed to snow/salt?

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Old 04-24-2017, 09:32 AM   #5
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It is a good deal. make sure the tires are in good shape they can be costly.
Without knowing what engine/trans is in it it's hard to say what you should be looking for.
Pay a local mechanic to look it over. It is money well spent.
Test drive it.
If it has air brakes, before you go look at it look on YouTube how to do a pre-trip air brake test... Take notes.
If it's hydrolic, it will have an electric booster... It will come on if you press the brakes when the key is off.
Look for hidden rust.
Good luck

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Thanks Surf, dually noted. I will do some research into the wheels and airbrakes!
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:35 AM   #6
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If it runs decent and the tires aren't all old and cracked, you should buy that. There are occasionally better deals, but if this bus has or was kept up it should still be in pretty good shape. You've got to wonder why the guy is bailing on this bus.

I see what I think are patches on the right side rear wheel well, and they're getting some new color to them. The rust repair can wait until you're ready.

In order to move on up to a decent size bus, that's not such a bad choice. You might find something better if you were able to wait. And by better I mean newer, unless you particularly like that model. It would be good to know the engine, but it's most likely got an Allison 545 behind it.

Don't quote me, I've been wrong before.
Robin, I could wait for a newer bus, but the question is, would the newer buses come as such a great deal around $2500? With 139,000 on it, does not a diesel engine have an average lifespan of 400,000? If not, I would rather wait for a better deal, let me know your thoughts.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:39 AM   #7
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Tobeamiss: I was getting a hunch like this too. It's out of Minnesota, so snow is definitely part of the equation. If it is badly rusted, what would be the worse conditions from this long term? I'm not liking how the guy didn't give me any info either.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:41 AM   #8
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Robin, I could wait for a newer bus, but the question is, would the newer buses come as such a great deal around $2500? With 139,000 on it, does not a diesel engine have an average lifespan of 400,000? If not, I would rather wait for a better deal, let me know your thoughts.
As info, a diesel or any other engine can last many more than 400k with proper maintenance, if it is used within its specifications. It can also not last 200k if misused.
Just like any used vehicle, try and get service records. That can be some peace of mind.
That said, I don't have any on my bus, but I believe that I have a strong motor that will last 400+

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Old 04-24-2017, 10:53 AM   #9
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Why wait?

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Robin, I could wait for a newer bus, but the question is, would the newer buses come as such a great deal around $2500? With 139,000 on it, does not a diesel engine have an average lifespan of 400,000? If not, I would rather wait for a better deal, let me know your thoughts.
The bus you've found doesn't sound like a bad bus based on the small amount of information the seller provided. The 139k is lower than the bus I bought. The problem is the seller is holding back information that should be out there for everybody to see from the beginning. It's not that there's bad information about that bus. It's that there's information withheld, and that raises the hair on everybody's neck.

That bus could turn out to be ok, but chances are the seller is purposely withholding information. The seller likely has studied buses before making his purchase, but while selling the bus he suddenly knows nothing? It indicates he's hiding something IMO.

I did see what I think are rust patches, and the patches seem to be rusting. Are you good at metalwork? It's hard to guess just how deep that rust goes, but the fact that it's showing on the exterior means it could run deep.
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:51 PM   #10
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Having looked at a lot of MN buses before we bought ours (I'm in the Duluth area) I can say that Rust is a huge deal here. Though I'm sure you already know that. If this bus has spent the entirety of its 25 year life in MN is possible that there's more than just a little rust to look after. Not impossible but not ideal...

I looked at a few 1992 buses recently while we were bus shopping. All of them were driven in MN from the date of purchase and all of them had really rusted out frames. Structurally, they looked ready to fail any day. Some had holes straight through the chassis frame. The best thing I would think to do would be to ask for pictures of the underbelly or go see it yourself.

Rust isn't completely unmanageable... it just adds a lot more work into the early stages of the process if you want to do it right.

But that's all just my own thoughts. To each their own.

If you are in fact looking for a Bus in MN (specifically the Duluth area) let me know. We bought ours from a local bus depot and I know he has more in good (running) condition for not too much more than what you are seeing here.
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:03 PM   #11
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Living in the rust belt you could easily sell those aluminum wheels they use on buses back there. Lots of bus owners want shiny wheels.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:38 PM   #12
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Thanks big time, I may take you up on that offer. I emailed the guy letting him know that I will buy if I get the bus facts and its worth it, but if no facts, then no buy. He emailed me back the facts, so I am going to check it out when he gets back into town, and if its good Im going to buy it.


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Having looked at a lot of MN buses before we bought ours (I'm in the Duluth area) I can say that Rust is a huge deal here. Though I'm sure you already know that. If this bus has spent the entirety of its 25 year life in MN is possible that there's more than just a little rust to look after. Not impossible but not ideal...

I looked at a few 1992 buses recently while we were bus shopping. All of them were driven in MN from the date of purchase and all of them had really rusted out frames. Structurally, they looked ready to fail any day. Some had holes straight through the chassis frame. The best thing I would think to do would be to ask for pictures of the underbelly or go see it yourself.

Rust isn't completely unmanageable... it just adds a lot more work into the early stages of the process if you want to do it right.

But that's all just my own thoughts. To each their own.

If you are in fact looking for a Bus in MN (specifically the Duluth area) let me know. We bought ours from a local bus depot and I know he has more in good (running) condition for not too much more than what you are seeing here.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:54 PM   #13
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Most of us here believe that if a seller withholds information there is something wrong with the sale. Craigslist adds deserve more scrutiny than auctions IMO. Some people are flipping the buses, but others are dumping them because there is something seriously wrong. They just want to get their money back, even if it screws you over.
I think you'd have gone to see that bus by now if you were serious about it. You know there's something wrong with the way the seller is acting. It's good to look at it and figure out what's wrong with it just for practice, but be careful about buying it.
There's a lot of people here that will help you locate a decent bus, unless you're in a hurry.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:35 PM   #14
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Thank you Robin, I appreciate it. I haven't looked at it yet, he ended up going out of town for a week, and when he gets back hes going to check the type of engine and transmission. When I pressed him for more info, he gave me more info, that the rust isn't bad underneath, the bus was used for the wisconsin state fair, and the tires are in good condition. I am going to take someone who knows diesel mechanic engines with when I go look at it, hes going to contact me when he gets back, if its no good, I will have wasted a trip, but if its good, I will buy. I believe what you are saying, and I will take extra care now in this situation.

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Most of us here believe that if a seller withholds information there is something wrong with the sale. Craigslist adds deserve more scrutiny than auctions IMO. Some people are flipping the buses, but others are dumping them because there is something seriously wrong. They just want to get their money back, even if it screws you over.
I think you'd have gone to see that bus by now if you were serious about it. You know there's something wrong with the way the seller is acting. It's good to look at it and figure out what's wrong with it just for practice, but be careful about buying it.
There's a lot of people here that will help you locate a decent bus, unless you're in a hurry.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:56 PM   #15
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No problem. What bothers me is this guy keeps putting you off. People that want to sell something don't withhold information like that normally unless they're hiding something. Then again there's always a chance he's actually busy. Are you pretty sold on that bus?
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:14 PM   #16
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Right, ripping off people and taking advantage of people like that is not cool. It could go either way, I know if it looks good in person, and my friend who knows mechanics gives it an okay, then I am sold on it. If theres major problems with it, I will continue my search.

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No problem. What bothers me is this guy keeps putting you off. People that want to sell something don't withhold information like that normally unless they're hiding something. Then again there's always a chance he's actually busy. Are you pretty sold on that bus?
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:04 PM   #17
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Living in the rust belt you could easily sell those aluminum wheels they use on buses back there. Lots of bus owners want shiny wheels.
Not me, I've always hated chrome, want to be driving not polishing.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:18 PM   #18
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Not me, I've always hated chrome, want to be driving not polishing.
Aluminum doesn't HAVE to be polished. I actually like the brushed appearance much better.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:44 PM   #19
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Hate to be "that guy", but when I buy commercial vehicles- and I buy many- I do not go by the odometer and hour meter. I can change either of those out in a few minutes. Do not pin your decision to those instruments.

Things like compression tests are something that is a more reliable metric.

Sitting vehicles should be avoided as Mother Earth tries to reclaim her plundered resources. aka rust.

*Wrong post reply, not u, CB.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:17 PM   #20
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Going to check out the bus this Saturday. I've got my list of things to make sure are good, and a friend that knows a decent amount about mechanics, and a diesel mechanic that i am going to send pics of any problems i see. He said he got the bus from the Wisconsin State Fair and that it has been well-maintained, tires are in good shape, and everything runs pretty good. The only thing's wrong with it is the back door window is busted out and one back side window is cracked. I will find out more info when I see it!
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