I found this being offered by a school district 15 miles away, and I need advice. Bidding on this would be a year or two early from current plans, and I had best have good support before presenting this idea to the Chief Financial Officer. Thanks...
Is it a good idea or bad idea to consider this bus?
- Per the ad, "1995 Int'l 3800;
- 7.3L V8 OHV 16V ("T444" per the VIN);
- Runs good;
- Tires good";
- Per the VIN and a call to the Int'l dealer, it has a Spicer manual transmission (forgot to ask how many gears);
- Per the VIN and courtesy of the Gates Corporation, it has hydraulic brakes.
The goal is to gut it, load it with our belongings, and move across country. We might use it for camping and farm vehicle stuff between now and then (ought to get a fair number of square bales in the back). We would be selling it on our arrival in Idaho.* One bit of counsel I've received is to buy the cheapest bus I can and run it as purchased since I'll be passing it on at the other end.
How much should one expect to pay for it?
Good things I see:
Bad things I see:
- A mechanical engine is easier to work on (based on the year I *think* it is mechanical - anybody know?);
- T444 is a proven platform and folks can work on 'em;
- Hydraulic brakes may give a bit better road feel;
- Manual transmission will help with downgrades through compression;
- Manual transmission may scare away some bidders;
- From a local school district so likely to have records
- From a local school district so likely to have accessibility to mechanics
- From a local school district so might even be able to find the driver that might know its quirks
- Nearby so no long trip to pick it up; and
- T444, manual, age, time of year, and they only have three on the block suggests that the south-of-the-border buyers might be less interested in this auction.
- T444 is underpowered by comparison with the DT466 (note: one trip across country);
- T444 can't be rebuilt in-frame like one can with a DT466 (likely won't need to rebuild it- gonna sell it at the other end);
- Hydraulic brakes fail giving no braking while air brakes fail to stop you for-reals (and they sound cool). Note that I have a mechanic pal who can inspect and repair or upgrade the brakes and the lines;
- Unknown miles or hours (though I'll get that from them tomorrow);
- Unknown #gears / rear end ratio / top speed (though I'll try to get that from them tomorrow, or will try to track down the old driver and see what he or she says);
- This district may not have the money that some others have, so they might not be able to keep up the maintenance of their buses like the rich guys (though I heard this from the staff at the richer district so it might have an element of rivalry... still, this district is selling a '95, a '96 and a '97 while the richer district is selling '02s and '03s);
- Might be a T444e: I'll check;
- Might have ridiculously high mileage: I'll check.
Here's the link: https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...=4&acctid=9253
(let me know if you choose to bid; I don't want to inflate the price against a pal when I might be best off to walk.
* Much as I would love to convert it and live in it to save on rent, I can't see putting my wife through those physical and social rigors or putting up the dough to do it right. Not to mention the logistics: no real place to park it and so on. And we want be near our new grandbaby and I need a job so the nomadic lifestyle is out.