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Old 09-23-2018, 04:33 AM   #1
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How to buy a $5,000 School Bus for $1,600

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Old 09-23-2018, 08:45 AM   #2
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I just bought a $7500 bus for $1625.
My last shorty was $1760 and I sold it for $4900.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:41 AM   #3
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I just bought a $7500 bus for $1625.
My last shorty was $1760 and I sold it for $4900.
If your bus was worth $7500 you would be selling it right now and you know it.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:46 AM   #4
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If your bus was worth $7500 you would be selling it right now and you know it.
I could easily get that for it. I'm holding on to it for a while since the insurance is paid for the year. I'll have NO problem making several thousand dollars off it if I decide I've had enough of it.
How many buses do you have with 64k original miles, 3400 original hours, air ride, and highway gears? Someone would GLADLY pay a premium for this kind of bus. The lifted stance is the icing on the cake.
This is bus number 5, not my first go-round. I even pull my own seats!
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:01 AM   #5
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I could easily get that for it. I'm holding on to it for a while since the insurance is paid for the year. I'll have NO problem making several thousand dollars off it if I decide I've had enough of it.
How many buses do you have with 64k original miles, 3400 original hours, air ride, and highway gears? Someone would GLADLY pay a premium for this kind of bus. The lifted stance is the icing on the cake.
This is bus number 5, not my first go-round. I even pull my own seats!
That bus was listed nationwide. They got what it was worth from everyone who thought it was worth something, $1625 from you. No one thought it was worth $2k, let alone $7500. I have yet to see you agree that any bus here asking over $5k was worth it, all of a sudden yours is. If yours is worth $7500, mines worth at least $12k
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:41 PM   #6
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I just bought a $7500 bus for $1625.
My last shorty was $1760 and I sold it for $4900.
EastCoastCB That is great deal you found on your bus. You could make money buying buses for people with no clue on what's good and not a good bus. Your ride sounds sweet with low miles and air bags. Are they air bags in front and back? Would you explain the highway gears and lifted stance?
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:19 PM   #7
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So the secret to buying cheap is to buy direct. That's Not much of a secret to me.

I do have a question about that bus. I have seen one withe seats facing the back of the bus.?? That seems so weird to me.

Is this just certain states?
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:04 PM   #8
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EastCoastCB That is great deal you found on your bus. You could make money buying buses for people with no clue on what's good and not a good bus. Your ride sounds sweet with low miles and air bags. Are they air bags in front and back? Would you explain the highway gears and lifted stance?
It just came with a 6" lifted suspension. Simple lifting blocks.
Air ride is rear only. Of my 5 buses so far 3 have had air ride. Its REAL nice to have.

Highway gearing is having a transmission/rear axle combo that doesn't have the engine riding the redline at highway speeds.
At 65, my Cat is running at around 1800 rpm. That's ideal for highway/interstate driving.


I don't want to be a "bus dealer" but I've been buying and selling them a bit the last couple years. I expect to continue as long as there are decent auction buses to be had.

A low mile, rust free bus like this one I just got would be WELL over my estimated price of $7500 at one of the local "dealers". And someone on here or FB would put it on layaway with a down payment higher than I paid to buy the bus.
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:48 PM   #9
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So the secret to buying cheap is to buy direct. That's Not much of a secret to me.

I do have a question about that bus. I have seen one withe seats facing the back of the bus.?? That seems so weird to me.

Is this just certain states?
It mentions in the youtube video it was in Colorado, so maybe to ski or whitewater rafting. I'm not sure about state differences.
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:53 PM   #10
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It just came with a 6" lifted suspension. Simple lifting blocks.
Air ride is rear only. Of my 5 buses so far 3 have had air ride. Its REAL nice to have.

Highway gearing is having a transmission/rear axle combo that doesn't have the engine riding the redline at highway speeds.
At 65, my Cat is running at around 1800 rpm. That's ideal for highway/interstate driving.


I don't want to be a "bus dealer" but I've been buying and selling them a bit the last couple years. I expect to continue as long as there are decent auction buses to be had.

A low mile, rust free bus like this one I just got would be WELL over my estimated price of $7500 at one of the local "dealers". And someone on here or FB would put it on layaway with a down payment higher than I paid to buy the bus.
Air ride sounds wonderful and pretty rare in school buses from what I hear. Is it even possible to have air ride on front or not necessary?

Is there a specific gear ratio that you have on your Cat Engine? is gear ratio something that can be changed once we get our bus or is cost prohibitive to do so?
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:04 PM   #11
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Changing the ring and pinion in the rear end will change what speed the bus goes at a certain RPM. What you gain on one end you lose on the other. If your gearing now only allows 45mph, putting a taller gear in will give you a higher speed at the same RPM. But now it will lose power on the lower end coming from a stop. It's not the motor that determines gear ratios, it's in the tranny and rear end. Lots of buses have air ride front and rear.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:38 PM   #12
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I was distracted here. Back to buses.

Finding all the auction sites was new to me. I'm sure there is more.

govdeals.com
govplanet.com
govliquidation.com
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:51 PM   #13
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I lost a long post I created! I guess I need to save offline just in case.

EastCoast. Your bus seems to be in sweet spot for RPM and MPH. Is that a combination of engine, gear ratio, and transmission? If engine is riding at redline then the engine is working too hard?

Marc, you are saying if I changed the ring and pinion in the rear end (is that same as gear ratio - An increase or decrease?). That I would be slower off the line and maybe going up a hill (aka torque?).

These questions are basic I know. I was hoping my Uncle Chuck who was a jet mechanic would help me with this build but he died of a heart attack recently. He was good man who helped anyone fix anything if they asked. We all need an Uncle Chuck.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:58 AM   #14
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EastCoast. Your bus seems to be in sweet spot for RPM and MPH. Is that a combination of engine, gear ratio, and transmission? If engine is riding at redline then the engine is working too hard?
Yes, it's a combo of all 3. You have to have the right ratios to allow you to go that fast, and enough power to get you going that fast.

Redline is working the engine too hard. Spinning that fast creates excess heat and friction with very little to gain in power produced. You're desired rpm's at cruising should be between peak torque and peak hp.

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Marc, you are saying if I changed the ring and pinion in the rear end (is that same as gear ratio - An increase or decrease?). That I would be slower off the line and maybe going up a hill (aka torque?).
You would be slower to accelerate. It might only be marginal and you might not even notice it. Going slower up a hill depends on where your speed falls into the transmission gearing. Most times it will slow down, on rare occasions you might gain a few mph because you hit the powerband at the right spot in the gearing.

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These questions are basic I know. I was hoping my Uncle Chuck who was a jet mechanic would help me with this build but he died of a heart attack recently. He was good man who helped anyone fix anything if they asked. We all need an Uncle Chuck.
Sorry to hear that. I send my condolences. Not only is it nice to have someone like that around to help you, but it's nice to recieve the learning experience that you do from them.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:54 AM   #15
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a bus is worth what someone will pay for it at that tijme.. to say its only worth 1650 bux... well thats what it was worth to THOSE someones who saw it at that time... the BEAUTY of buy and sell is that ECCB can very well find other SOMEONES WHO WILL PAY MORE!.. ie take that shorty to a tiny house festival and slap for sale sign on it after all those people get excited and pumped up to go on such an adventure and pretty darn sure that bus is gonna roll down the road while EC rolls to the bank.. its called MARKETING..



a piece of this puzzle is getting busses that the dealers and exporters generally arent after... those are the guys that most times bid up an auction.. and those guys tend to shy away from certain types of busses.. CAT engines, shorties, AT545s seem to be shunned by the exporters.. which gives others a decent chance at a great deal..



despite being "nationally" listed not that many people looking for schoolies really know about the auction sites... or perhaps only know about govdeals and public surplus and not many of the other ones.. all leaves opportunity for those looking to buy a bus on the cheap..



I didnt watch the videos posted but I can say that there have been more than one here who have bought busses for cheap and sold em for much more ..


takes a little work usually to list at the right place and the right time.. just like selling hotrods.. catching people in an excited moment is the BEST way to get big $$ out of a sale...





judging by the number of people we see come here "I bought a bus my life is changing im so excited!!".. and then thats the last we hear of them... my guess is that the marketing-excitement-sale-factor works quite well with school busses like EC has..
-Christopher
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:47 PM   #16
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Thanks Booyah!

Christopher, What kind of buses do exporters generally want?
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:18 PM   #17
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Thanks Booyah!

Christopher, What kind of buses do exporters generally want?

often the ones people wish to convert.. they like the older bigger engine busses.. DT-466 internationals seem to be their absolute favorites from what ive seen.. at least when i can pick them out on an auction..



they go for the big busses.. conventionals and FE it seems.. Cummins powered appears popular.

im sure some are different ones who want different things.. seems they leave alone shorties, and V-8 diesel internationals.



its changing some now as they used to only go after purely mechanical busses but most of those have dried up.. so finding those mechanical DT-466s and cummins 5.9 12 valve is getting tough to impossible to find..



at times you end up bidding against dealerships... those guys are all over the place depending on what they think they can mark up high.. certain dealer in florida buys rusty busses from up north often very mechanically sound, washes em changes the oil and marks them way up.. those guys dont like to pay lots... rusty busses arent as easy to spot as rusty cars so they make sales of them.. most dealers are going to bow out somewhat early unless its a holy-grail bus they can advertise in lights and mark WAY up..



ever since the tiny house movement / small living / RV-living Fad started a few years back, the prices of used school busses has in general gone through the roof... schools used to practically give them away..


the First bus I had long ago.. was sourced from a guy who had bought I think 3 of them for 1500 bucks (for all 3) from a central ohio school district... they all ran.. mine was an A/C'd gasoline chevy shorty that wasnt really very rusty...



nowadays we all read and hear aboutthe Occasional super Auction deal a forum member gets on a great bus but honestly they are fewer and farther between now than 2 years ago when I got back into the Bus "scene"..

-Christopher
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:07 PM   #18
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Ok, school me on how you imbed you tube into your post!
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:32 PM   #19
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often the ones people wish to convert..
Doh!

That's a good summary of what's going on it seems. I wonder if the Southeast floods and hurricanes have added additional buyers too.

Has anyone had any luck going directly to a school district vs an auction?
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:35 PM   #20
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Doh!

That's a good summary of what's going on it seems. I wonder if the Southeast floods and hurricanes have added additional buyers too.

Has anyone had any luck going directly to a school district vs an auction?
Most school districts don't usually have the resources to handle the sales. Most of them run them through Govdeals.com
One thing is for sure, don't be looking to buy any buses from the Carolina coastal region for awhile.
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