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Old 01-23-2020, 03:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Montevallo, AL
Posts: 21
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
Taking the Plunge

Good afternoon, all!

My name is Tyler, and I am a music teacher in central Alabama. Tomorrow I will be going to look at the 1989 Carpenter S-1700 school bus, and hopefully decide if I'm going to take the $2,200 plunge on this bad boy! Lots of high hopes, as many engine components have recently been replaced, and the current owner supposedly has a record of all maintenance from the school district.

I've done my best to do as much research on this bus before I make the journey up to town to check it out. The bus itself spent its life in the rural-suburban area outside of Atlanta, so rust should be minimal. The bus does have the IH IDI 7.3L in it, which from my understanding is the predecessor to the T444E, so I know that it'll be an easily maintained and reliable engine, even if it is a little slower than most.

Lastly, from what I can tell in the photos, this bus is in absolutely fantastic condition considering its age. I will return to update you all on my experience as soon as I return from the viewing! Excited to join the community
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:31 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,924
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
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Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
I'm not too far from Atlanta if a second set of eyes might be helpful.
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Old 01-23-2020, 04:25 PM   #3
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Location: Swansboro,NC
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Year: 86
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Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
transmission and rear axle gearing are as important.
not knowing what you do or dont know
IF i was you and had the oppurtunity that brad has offered to have a second set of eyes that knows what they are looking i would PM right now before you respond to me.
he is close to you willing to help.
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Old 01-23-2020, 04:27 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 2,299
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
This probably isn't super-important in your case, but just FYI Carpenter buses about 15 years ago (well after they were out of business) had an advisory issued by the NHTSA: https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/people/injury.../carpenterbus/. Basically, the buses built at their Mitchell plant (but not at their Richmond plant) are highly likely to have defective welds in the roof structure. Easy way to tell is by looking at the rub rails on the side; if all four rails are evenly-spaced top to bottom, it's a Mitchell build.

Since you'd be demoing the bus, it would be fairly easy to check on the welds and repair them as necessary. Or you could just not worry about it - it would only be a potential problem in the event of a rollover accident, which don't seem very common in skoolies.
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Old 01-23-2020, 04:51 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Montevallo, AL
Posts: 21
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I'm not too far from Atlanta if a second set of eyes might be helpful.
Hey Brad! Thank you for the offer! I'm actually heading to Birmingham to check the bus out - it was driven from Atlanta to Birmingham just recently by the owner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
This probably isn't super-important in your case, but just FYI Carpenter buses about 15 years ago (well after they were out of business) had an advisory issued by the NHTSA: https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/people/injury.../carpenterbus/. Basically, the buses built at their Mitchell plant (but not at their Richmond plant) are highly likely to have defective welds in the roof structure. Easy way to tell is by looking at the rub rails on the side; if all four rails are evenly-spaced top to bottom, it's a Mitchell build.

Since you'd be demoing the bus, it would be fairly easy to check on the welds and repair them as necessary. Or you could just not worry about it - it would only be a potential problem in the event of a rollover accident, which don't seem very common in skoolies.
Thanks for the heads up! Looking at the photos, it appears to be a Mitchell build. I'm not too worried about rolling her, though!
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