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Old 02-26-2017, 02:56 PM   #1
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Bus Hunting

Hey guys, new to the Skoolie hunt for a decent bus. My wife and are excited and she is already drawing floor plans on graph paper. My question is regarding a bus that has already began a conversion. It's a 2002 Bluebird with a 3162 caterpillar engine and Allison transmission. All seats are out, new ceiling ac, new generator mounted underneath bus. The seller just doesn't have time to complete the project. Everything looks good, sounds good, engine ran well and test drive went well. My concern is when I looks under the bus it appeared to have quite a bit of rust which the seller said was just surface rust. I am attaching some pics of the rust to get any thoughts you may have. We are very interested in the bus until I saw this concern.
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Old 02-26-2017, 03:05 PM   #2
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Hey guys, new to the Skoolie hunt for a decent bus. My wife and are excited and she is already drawing floor plans on graph paper. My question is regarding a bus that has already began a conversion. It's a 2002 Bluebird with a 3162 caterpillar engine and Allison transmission. All seats are out, new ceiling ac, new generator mounted underneath bus. The seller just doesn't have time to complete the project. Everything looks good, sounds good, engine ran well and test drive went well. My concern is when I looks under the bus it appeared to have quite a bit of rust which the seller said was just surface rust. I am attaching some pics of the rust to get any thoughts you may have. We are very interested in the bus until I saw this concern.
It's something to bargain with! And nothing a coiple days of pressure washing, treating with rust converter, and painting won't solve.
This is my opinion, coming from the northeast where any vehicle over 10yrs old looks worse than that.


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Old 02-26-2017, 07:14 PM   #3
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That's rustier than anything I'd buy. And its got a cat?
I'd say pass man, there are plenty of fish in the sea, don't take on someone else's failed project that's been sitting. Get it fresh from a school. For full skoolie satisfaction.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:16 PM   #4
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That's rustier than anything I'd buy. And its got a cat?
I'd say pass man, there are plenty of fish in the sea, don't take on someone else's failed project that's been sitting. Get it fresh from a school. For full skoolie satisfaction.
Yeah. I am not afraid of a cat... But I am terrified what it would cost to fix one. Lol.
They aren't less dependable than Navistar or Cummins from what I have researched. They just cost a ton to get parts for.

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Old 02-26-2017, 07:20 PM   #5
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Cat made some GREAT engines. If your boss is buying it for you to operate- they're great. Especially if your boss is paying for the repairs and maintenance.
I may come across as totally hating Cat, but I don't. I just think the Cummins and IC's are much saner/safer choices for the average guy or gal.
My dream is a bus just like my 98 3800 shorty but with a Cat 3406. Those were damn good engines.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:25 PM   #6
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Cat made some GREAT engines. If your boss is buying it for you to operate- they're great. Especially if your boss is paying for the repairs and maintenance.
I may come across as totally hating Cat, but I don't. I just think the Cummins and IC's are much saner/safer choices for the average guy or gal.
My dream is a bus just like my 98 3800 shorty but with a Cat 3406. Those were damn good engines.
Yeah, anything mechanical. I think the 3116 was the last mechanical? They were the lead up to the c7 I think. I had never thought about cost of repairs until I was going to own it lol.

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Old 02-27-2017, 04:27 AM   #7
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My dream is a bus just like my 98 3800 shorty but with a Cat 3406. Those were damn good engines.
I ran my trucking company with three 3406 Cats, the B and C models. Put well over one MILLION miles EACH on them without a major, just a valve job at 280K miles on each. LOVE the 3406 engines!!!!!! The 425s RAN!!!!
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:05 AM   #8
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Not a fan of rust. To easy to find a nice rust free southern bus with just what you want.

Best of luck and welcome!

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Old 02-27-2017, 07:58 AM   #9
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Yeah, anything mechanical. I think the 3116 was the last mechanical? They were the lead up to the c7 I think. I had never thought about cost of repairs until I was going to own it lol.

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That's the engine that gave Cat motors a bad reputation.

The 3126, as stated, wasn't a bad engine but parts are expensive.

The 3116, on the other hand, was a bad engine. The problem lies in the injector/cup design. When (not if) they start failing, there's only about a 50% chance that a new replacement injector will work correctly, because of the design of the cup. Once it's installed, if it doesn't work right Cat will gladly let you exchange it for another one. What they won't do is reimburse you for the 8 hours it takes to tear everything back down and swap the injector out a second time. And the new injector they give you? There's still only about a 50% chance that one will work.
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:06 AM   #10
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That's the engine that gave Cat motors a bad reputation.

The 3126, as stated, wasn't a bad engine but parts are expensive.

The 3116, on the other hand, was a bad engine. The problem lies in the injector/cup design. When (not if) they start failing, there's only about a 50% chance that a new replacement injector will work correctly, because of the design of the cup. Once it's installed, if it doesn't work right Cat will gladly let you exchange it for another one. What they won't do is reimburse you for the 8 hours it takes to tear everything back down and swap the injector out a second time. And the new injector they give you? There's still only about a 50% chance that one will work.
Ahhh. Thank you. I have no experience with cat, at all.

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Old 02-27-2017, 08:20 AM   #11
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thats easy rust... I dont see anything bad other than the carrier bearing looks a little worse for the wear so id probably repack or replace that...

with a mnore southern bus you likely can find one you dont have to do anythig with... but that rust looks like something you blast off, treat and move on...

and you should be able to pick that up cheap.. if you cant get it really cheap then yes move on.
-Christopher
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:38 AM   #12
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what is going on with the rear leaf spring pack?
That leaf spring pack clamp should not be there nor installed like that.
And IIRC there should not be any leaf ends resting on the front eye of the main leaf.
To me it looks like someone cobbled up the leaf springs using what they could find in the junk yard.
There might be a broke leaf in there that they are trying to not replace.
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