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Old 10-12-2020, 07:04 PM   #1
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Engine: Cummins 5.9
Newbie, trying to be patient on first bus buy

I'm excited and ready to start my first bus, trying my best to be patient and wait for the right one to come along. Trying to hold out for a pre-04 with a Cummins, DT466, or T444, or maybe a Cat 3126, preferably 35', and any transmission but the AT545. How long did everyone wait for "the one" to come along?
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:15 PM   #2
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Location: Philadelphia
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
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I waited about three weeks. I recommend waiting longer than that.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:50 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: Cummins 8.3L ISC - 315HP
Rated Cap: Lots of kids.
I researched exactly what I wanted for a while and then ended up pulling the trigger after a couple months of heavy searching. I used search tempest for eBay and craigslist as well as govdeals, publicsurplus, and a few dealer websites. I knew what I wanted, with a little flexibility, so I mostly just had to fight off the urge of wanting to settle for something different. Just stick with what you want and be patient. There are a lot of busses out there and “the one” will spring up eventually.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:58 PM   #4
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Better to wait for one that checks off af least most of your boxes rather than try to make what isn't what you want into what you want.

Another member just posted about the fairly new bus they bought, and I had to be the one to tell them they were sold a bill of goods on a lame horse due to a known problem engine. Choose wisely. If you like, I can send you a sort of buyer's guide I've compiled.
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:54 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Arkansas
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Chassis: Freightliner Fs-65
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Better to wait for one that checks off af least most of your boxes rather than try to make what isn't what you want into what you want.

Another member just posted about the fairly new bus they bought, and I had to be the one to tell them they were sold a bill of goods on a lame horse due to a known problem engine. Choose wisely. If you like, I can send you a sort of buyer's guide I've compiled.
I would appreciate any information you may have. I have already saved your pre-trip inspection list, quite an exhaustive and helpful list.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:05 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Arkansas
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner Fs-65
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeydipped View Post
I researched exactly what I wanted for a while and then ended up pulling the trigger after a couple months of heavy searching. I used search tempest for eBay and craigslist as well as govdeals, publicsurplus, and a few dealer websites. I knew what I wanted, with a little flexibility, so I mostly just had to fight off the urge of wanting to settle for something different. Just stick with what you want and be patient. There are a lot of busses out there and “the one” will spring up eventually.
Thank you, I did not know about tempest, that has really helped search more efficiently.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wf4x4 View Post
I would appreciate any information you may have. I have already saved your pre-trip inspection list, quite an exhaustive and helpful list.
Sent you a PM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:50 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 64
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 8.3
From when we decided to do this to actually buying the bus was about 3 months for us. We made a passing bid at our dream bus 2,000 miles away that quickly outran our budget. I think the final cost was over $6k for a Bluebird All Americans with the 8.3L, MD3060, under bay storage, and drive train retarder. A heck of a price but with travel cost we couldn't swing it. A little deterred we decided to visit a lot about 100 miles away from home that didn't have their inventory online. Found the same bus, minus the storage and drive train retarder with a fair amount of rust for $3k. Went home and sat in the idea for a week or two, went back to test drive it and it ran like a dream. Talked them down to $2,500 off the lot and drove it home that afternoon.20200714_150722.jpg
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:02 AM   #9
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Year: 1991
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
all my busses just kind of happened.. I had a bus id left forlorn in an iondoor garage for 6 years that then got burned in a fire.. that fire "re-ignited" my lost interest in busses so i went and got another one.. the next one i was trying to play on auction site to learn and won.. ha! next one some guy called and said "dude that sister bus to the one you rode to school is for sale".. me? "oh cool im flying across the country and driving a 40 year old bus id never seen home 3000 miles". and the latest one was like "yeah we need to get of 7 busses really quickly.. interested?" me: 'um yeah kind of '.. "OK here.. its yours".. ha!! kinda seems like busses chase me down rather than the other way!
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Old 10-20-2020, 03:56 AM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
You are the bus whisperer ... they seek you out!
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Old 10-24-2020, 04:52 PM   #11
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Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 6
Year: 2008
Coachwork: ?? Idk what this is asking ??
Chassis: IC
Engine: VT365
Rated Cap: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wf4x4 View Post
I'm excited and ready to start my first bus, trying my best to be patient and wait for the right one to come along. Trying to hold out for a pre-04 with a Cummins, DT466, or T444, or maybe a Cat 3126, preferably 35', and any transmission but the AT545. How long did everyone wait for "the one" to come along?
Been wishing for 30 years, starting seriously looking about 2 months ago, bought my bus last weekend.
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Old 10-24-2020, 05:02 PM   #12
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Join Date: Feb 2019
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
There is no "magic" amount of time when your bus will present itself to you.

As others have said, it might take awhile depending on your wants and most importantly, your needs.

Member Cheese wagon has put together a couple of really important" primers" for the novice bus buyer to read and hopefully follow.

Check out the PM he sent you that likely links you to his sage prose, and best of luck in your search...
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Old 10-24-2020, 05:24 PM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Early on I almost bid on a 72 passenger bluebird when CA was forcing everyone to upgrade emissions and firefighting agencies were unloading their fleets. I got cold feet and let it get away. As I recall there were 5 and they all went for less than $2500. That hurt. It took a long time for another to come along. But by then I had done a lot of research and decided that what I really needed was a short bus that would fit in the driveway so I could work on it at the house. In the end I’m glad I waited to better evaluate my wants/needs.
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:06 PM   #14
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Location: Regina, SK
Posts: 42
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EGR's are not that bad. I would go to a 07 to avoid DEF systems.
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:51 PM   #15
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Posts: 2
Can I get a copy as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Better to wait for one that checks off af least most of your boxes rather than try to make what isn't what you want into what you want.

Another member just posted about the fairly new bus they bought, and I had to be the one to tell them they were sold a bill of goods on a lame horse due to a known problem engine. Choose wisely. If you like, I can send you a sort of buyer's guide I've compiled.

I'm headed to St Louis this weekend to take a look at my first prospect. I'm wondering I could get a copy of your check list as well? Super appreciative of your time and expertise!!
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:05 AM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2016
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Engine: DT466E
PM Sent...........
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:35 AM   #17
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Wait!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wf4x4 View Post
I'm excited and ready to start my first bus, trying my best to be patient and wait for the right one to come along. Trying to hold out for a pre-04 with a Cummins, DT466, or T444, or maybe a Cat 3126, preferably 35', and any transmission but the AT545. How long did everyone wait for "the one" to come along?
I waited nearly a year, then hovered over the auction button, pulled the trigger and prayed: sight unseen 1997 BB with a 8.3 Cummins. really I got lucky, that's all. gave up underneath storage for a pusher and engine I could live with. (underneath storage!)
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:19 AM   #18
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It doesn’t matter how much time you wait . Just don’t get to the point where you settle just because your itching for a bus. Just avoid rust unless you like a higher stress working environment!
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:09 AM   #19
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodnut36 View Post
It doesnít matter how much time you wait . Just donít get to the point where you settle just because your itching for a bus. Just avoid rust unless you like a higher stress working environment!
... or just like to make rust remediation repairs.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:17 PM   #20
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Year: 2007
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner // 1218S
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It took us about 6 weeks.
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