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Old 06-26-2017, 10:43 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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31ft rear engine bus -- is this as rare as I think?

Hi everyone, first time poster here. I'm looking at this bus right now: http://www.ebay.com/itm/132234493129

The seller actually has four of these that are pretty much identical. I'm keen on this particular model because it's a rear engine, but it's also relatively short. I've combed through GovDeals and every other source I could find, and this is the only listing I've found for an RE model this short. The seller says it's 31.5ft long.

Problem is, it seems pricey for the mileage, even if I can haggle it down a bit... So my question is, are RE buses this short actually as rare as I think they are?

Also, is there anything about this bus that jumps out as a potential problem to those of you with more experienced eyes?

Thanks! So excited to become a part of this community. =)
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:04 AM   #2
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That is a good looking bus.

I can't say that I have seen any other RE's that short. FE's in the 30' range are pretty common.

I would have reservations about a Mercedes powered bus with 200k miles on it. Mercedes has a reputation here as building good engines that happen to be expensive to work on and at times difficult to find people qualified (or willing) to work on it.

IMHO: For what most of us are doing with these buses you may be better served with an International or Cummins powered bus.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:15 AM   #3
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2004 Thomas Saf-T-Liner School Bus MBE906 6.4L LEV Turbo Diesel Chair Lift | eBay

Yeah, that's essentially a 10 window. Counting the windows is a little funny on that one since it has an emergency exit door on both sides and they use those weird skinny windows with filler panels next to the doors.

The shortest RE I've ever seen before was an 11 window, which is about 34'.

But yeah, that Mercedes engine would be a deal breaker for me because of the cost of parts.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:07 PM   #4
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I wonder if a SWB pusher would be front-light? Having all that weight hanging behind the rear axle is fine if there's sufficient weight to counteract it, but if not I could see it getting interesting in wet or icy conditions. If it will be converted, at least have your fresh water tank as far forward as possible.

John
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:13 PM   #5
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I like everything but that engine. Everything on it is absurdly expensive and difficult to get serviced. And at 200K...it is about to get really expensive to own.
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:11 PM   #6
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I like everything but that engine. Everything on it is absurdly expensive and difficult to get serviced. And at 200K...it is about to get really expensive to own.
Sounds a bit "clicky". Save for a repower with an ISC?
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:56 PM   #7
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Interesting looking bus but DAMN that's already more than I'd spend on it and its nowhere near the end of the auction!
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:19 PM   #8
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Mine has a Mercedes with 405000 miles. No leaks. No smoke.
Later j
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:29 PM   #9
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Really appreciate all the comments! I was figuring if I bought it I'd plan for the possibility of repowering with a Cummins somewhere down the line if the MBE became too troublesome... Unfortunately it looks like I'm going to have to put this scheme on pause for a while due to some unrelated life events. So it goes... Hope someone out there finds a cool use for this bus!
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Interesting looking bus but DAMN that's already more than I'd spend on it and its nowhere near the end of the auction!
It isn't actually an auction. There's no option to bid on it, only to click the "buy it now".

So it's basically a classified ad.
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:20 AM   #11
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As far as I'm aware MB stopped making those engines due to C.A.R.B. requirements. Some engine parts are now made out of that rare earth element called unobtanium....... Buyer be ware.......

My two cents worth.

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Old 06-29-2017, 12:45 AM   #12
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I got the impression that the MBE906 has been used in all sorts of big trucks and whatnot for at least a decade. Can it really be that hard to get parts for it?
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:39 AM   #13
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the MBE906 is commonplace in a lot of freightliner / thomas school busses and FL series trucks.. they have a reputation for drinking oil.. run it low even once and its done...

-Christopher
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cromulence police View Post
Problem is, it seems pricey for the mileage, even if I can haggle it down a bit... So my question is, are RE buses this short actually as rare as I think they are?
I believe Hartford county, MD has 9 row flat noses. I do not recall if they are FE or RE tho.

Also not sure I understand your need. Are you looking for a shortie? I bought mine for $3807 after auction fees but it's a 40 footer. $6000 better be a damn clean and low mileage bus.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:56 AM   #15
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The MB engines remind me of the little girl who had a little curl...

"...when she was good, she was very,very good and when she was bad she was horrid".
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
Also not sure I understand your need. Are you looking for a shortie? I bought mine for $3807 after auction fees but it's a 40 footer. $6000 better be a damn clean and low mileage bus.
I was looking for a bus that would be big enough to live in full-time, and tall enough for me (6'2") to stand up in (both of which ruled out shorties), but not so long that it would be impossible to park it on the street in Brooklyn, where I planned on living for part of the year.

I wanted a pusher for quiet driving, because it seems like pushers are shorter than conventionals with the same usable space, and because repairs seem easier than on FE flat-noses.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cromulence police View Post
I was looking for a bus that would be big enough to live in full-time, and tall enough for me (6'2") to stand up in (both of which ruled out shorties), but not so long that it would be impossible to park it on the street in Brooklyn, where I planned on living for part of the year.
I'm also 6'2" and have a 6'2" bus. They also come in a 78" ceiling. Either get one of those or look at a roof raise. FYI, ... A roof raise in a Thomas means you do it below the windows or lose even more ceiling width. The windows on Thomas buses lean inward.

Fix the Brooklyn part ASAP. Then get a real bus. Only partly kidding. If you're going to live in the bus, get as much sq footage as you can. If there was a 45~50 foot bus, I would have gone for that. I haven't gotten myself into a pickle driving/parking the 40 (yet).
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