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Old 02-03-2020, 09:13 PM   #1
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Unhappy Should I do this?

Hello,
I'm totally new to this and although I enjoy camping and have no problem roughing it, I'm kind of apprehensive about actually following through. I'm a senior engineering student living in Portland, OR and have my eye on a bone-stock 1979 Crown Supercoach for sale - Not willing to flex on this, I'm pretty dead set on this type of bus. Should I do this? I have enough money for the bus and that's about it at the moment. I am working and have a full time engineering job lined up after school. I think it would be super cool to live in a bus for a few years but it is actually worth it? I'm kind of a risk-taker/adventure seeker and think it would be a blast, but maybe I need some sense talked into me. Please help, any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:32 PM   #2
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Besides the possible big expense of repairs and tires;

Can you afford to store it and insure it?

Doing a conversion takes a bunch of money too.

You’re a student. Are you going to have time to do it?

It’s good you’re reaching out and asking before you go and do it. Shows you’re smart.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:36 PM   #3
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from the post the words that jump out are "dead set" and "enough $ for the bus and that's it at the moment"

If you read you'll see that buses often experience unexpected issues that require time and $ or you'll have nothing more than a paperweight.

But if you're looking for some confirmation bais I'll be the first cheerleader and say, "sure, go for it"...even though I really wanna say, "you might want to rethink your priorities"
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:43 PM   #4
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It would have to sit for about 2 months until I'm done with school, so no I don't have time for it at the moment. I could probably scrape by until then when I have a real salary coming in. Also thanks, I never claim to be smart but every now and then I surprise myself.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:01 PM   #5
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Well, those are nice buses and getting harder to find. If it doesn’t have mechanical problems or need new tires and you have an inexpensive place to store it, your risk might be on the low side as long as you don’t tear it apart until you know you have the resources to finish it.

Your resale market is still a small number so it could take time to move it if you do need to sell.

Can you give us an idea of how much you’re spending on it?
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:06 AM   #6
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I'd be spending about $5500 on the bus. Not sure of the exact condition of the tires and running gear but it's still in service hauling kids around so I assume it's in good enough shape??
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:11 AM   #7
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I’m not an expert but that sounds like a pretty good deal.
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:32 AM   #8
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$5,500.00 for a Crown is not a bad price if everything works.



At a guess I would say it most probably is a Detroit Diesel 6-71 engine. That vintage the odds are it has a 5-speed manual but many had an Allison as well. It is pretty unlikely if it is a WA or OR spe'c bus to have a 10-speed. Even less likely to have a Cummins 855. If it does have a DD, that vintage may or may not have a turbo.


Understanding how expensive it is to keep a bus is part of the purchase price. A DD 6-71 with a Lubrafiner oil filter will take 36-42 quarts of Delo 100 40 weight oil, one oil filter, one Lubrafiner filter, and one primary and one secondary fuel filter. A Cummins 855 with a Lubrafiner oil filter will require the same filters and 40-46 quarts of Delo 400 40 weight oil (make sure it is not LE rated oil as it won't have the lubricity needed to keep the cam shaft lubricated). In other words, well over $100.00 just to do an oil change.



WA and OR are not all that persnikety about changing the color but getting a space in an RV park is much easier if the bus isn't still National School Bus Chrome Yellow. A cheap one color paint job at a shop is going to start around $5,000.00 for something like fleet white with cheap paint. If you do it yourself the materials alone will cost well over $1,000.00 if you go with something simple like cheap fleet white.



I am not saying yes or no but just be aware that the purchase price is just the first step in a LOT of expenses.


Good luck and keep us posted as to your progress. Photos would be nice!
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:07 PM   #9
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If I found a Crown in good shape for $5500 I would buy it in a heartbeat.

But if it needs tires you are looking at $2400 to $4000. If that 671 is getting tired and needs a rebuild the cost starts around $12k last I heard from my DD mechanic. Emphasis on the "starts at"

Repairs can be spendy on these rigs. If you don't have the budget to keep it up then you wind up with $5500 yard art. Or worse, you wind up paying $100 a month or more for storage on a bus you can't drive.

Good luck.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:36 PM   #10
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Here are some photos. Doesn't look like anything is falling apart but not great pictures so hard to tell. I'm dangerously close to just going for it on this one
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:29 AM   #11
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Hi Jack!

Have you spoken to the seller on this particular bus? I have attempted to reach out to the seller a week or so ago but have yet to get a response. Also, are you in the area of that bus at the moment?

Would your budget have room for a pre purchase inspection? I've also seen people that have offered to do some inspections for others, but I can't speak to terms, etc.

I'm asking these questions not to discourage you in some dastardly effort to buy the bus myself, but instead to figure out what's up with the seller as well as encourage you to consider the advice of knowledgeable people on this board (of which I am not one).
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jackkennedy View Post
Here are some photos. Doesn't look like anything is falling apart but not great pictures so hard to tell. I'm dangerously close to just going for it on this one

That looks an awful lot like a CA spe'c bus. It doesn't have the extra rub rail or the mirrors that WA spe'c requires. The CA state license plate also suggests a refugee from CARB rules.


It looks to be in pretty good shape in terms of body and interior. But the expensive parts are the engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes. You can spend $10K faster than saying $10K if any of the major systems are not up to snuff.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:57 PM   #13
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Already job in hand? Your salary is only going to go up. Some people are on seriously low budgets here (looks in mirror).
I don't think you'll regret it.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:35 AM   #14
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Advice: Don’t go to Dallas!!
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:08 AM   #15
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You have a job lined up then go for it, you just won’t have a lot of time to work on it. It’s only $5500 but I’d offer less. Always a good idea to get it checked out before buying but that can be pricey.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:21 PM   #16
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Advice: Donít go to Dallas!!
Right, Fort Worth is much nicer!
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:31 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jackkennedy View Post
Hello,
I'm totally new to this and although I enjoy camping and have no problem roughing it, I'm kind of apprehensive about actually following through. I'm a senior engineering student living in Portland, OR and have my eye on a bone-stock 1979 Crown Supercoach for sale - Not willing to flex on this, I'm pretty dead set on this type of bus. Should I do this? I have enough money for the bus and that's about it at the moment. I am working and have a full time engineering job lined up after school. I think it would be super cool to live in a bus for a few years but it is actually worth it? I'm kind of a risk-taker/adventure seeker and think it would be a blast, but maybe I need some sense talked into me. Please help, any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated!
Y'know, if someone had told me a 3rd person story about a guy they knew who just graduated with an engineering degree and a job and bought this bus to convert, I'd be saying "lucky bastard!". If you've got a place lined up to work on it or at least store it while you show up at your new job and figure out your living situation, etc., I'd say go for it. It's gonna be a long while before the stars align this well again.



And for what it's worth, that bus is going to be a complete babe magnet.
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