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Old 08-20-2019, 03:40 PM   #1
Almost There
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 84
Year: 2008
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT
Rust: Acceptable Amount or Too Much?

Hello. I'm finalizing my purchase of a 2006 IC CE. The bus served the past 13-years in Connecticut with snow and salt. Body itself looks great -- no rust on any of the yellow; no rust on the wheel wells; and no rust on the stairs or on the seats. But there is rust on the frame and the back bumper. Taking advice from other posts, I don't think I saw any flaking on the metal itself (although the paint is flaking off). The bumper is sketchy from a flaking perspective, but I'm not as concerned with the bumper as I am with the frame. I'm hoping to get some feedback on the amount of rust from the following 2 photos:

Frame (between back tires and back of bus):


Back Bumper:


(I left the photos big for the sake of being able to zoom in)

Aside from the body, the tires are only a year old and look great, and maintenance seemed to be kept up with. At a 107,000 miles, I'm looking at $4000.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:06 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 302
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
If that's the worst of the rust that you see, it really not that bad!

Quick sandblast job, OSHO, the epoxy primer to seal the bare metal.

On the frame, that is simple surface rust.
The floor cross beams do not look bad at all to me ( from the pic that is).

Poor man's sandblaster, pressure washer with a northern tools sandblaster tip to put on the pressure washer.

If you choose not to sandblast, then just brush on some OSPHO to neutralize the rust, then seal with an epoxy primer.

don't use automotive 2k primer as it will breathe allowing moisture to penetrate and make the rust grow again.
You need to seal with an epoxy primer.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:54 PM   #3
shaymcquaid's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Just south of Dallas.
Posts: 127
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 40' MVP-ER
Engine: Cat 3126
“They are always rustier than they look”
That a saying with old BMW’s that hold true. Very true.

The pictures don’t look that bad and I have no idea what your plans are with the bus, but the simple fact the rust exists is problematic ,in my mind anyway🤪

I would definitely stay away from any snow country busses. Especially when buses from dry regions are readily available. Public Surplus . com have a group of Arizona buses about to be sold and for dirt cheap.

My advice for buses and other vehicles is just to avoid the snowy regions and try not to get too attached to any vehicle before you inspect it.

Texas, Arizona and WESTERN Washington state are good places to start.

Good luck at any rate🚌

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Old 08-20-2019, 06:50 PM   #4
Bus Geek
musigenesis's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,261
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
I'm going to second @shaymcquaid here. Your chassis rails are fine, but that pic shows the underside of the floor beams (actually formed from the bent edges of the sheet metal floor) and some possibly severe rust. The bumper also shows severe rust.

It's extremely unlikely that you would only have severe rust in those two places and nowhere else. Check out my build thread if you want to see how big the disparity between the external appearance and the internal rust situation can be (bus courtesy of salty Buffalo, NY).
Rusty 87 build thread
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:35 PM   #5
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Western Oregon
Posts: 875
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue-Bird
Chassis: TC RE 3408
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical/Allison MT643
Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
And I am very happy with my bus from Auburn WA. It rains a lot there, with occasional snow, but they don't salt the roadfs The floor was pretty rusty, no penetrations but a couple of places were close. But otherwise I have yet to find any rust. It was undercoated, and the undercoating is almost completely intact.

I used to live in Northern British Columbia when they still put lots of salt on the roads. Now they use some kind of alcohol that doesn't dissolve vehicles, but heavy salt eats vehicles. Messing with another rusty vehicle is not something I want to do anymore.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:54 PM   #6
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,158
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
that rust doesnt look bad.. sure you can go across the country and find a less riusty bus.. but ultimately like one of the other replies stated alot depends on your plans for the bus.. we see some come through here that have specific ideas for a bus and once those are done they sell it.. if you plan to keep it forever then maybe you go look for something less rusty.. to me that doesnt look bad.. and easily looks like something you powerwash, block sand, and either ospho or rustoleum it and enjoy your bus for years to come..
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