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Old 08-22-2021, 04:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 5
Is this a good short bus? (Newbie question)


I've been looking for a 5 window bus for about 5 weeks with minimal luck. I came across this one which has 143k, available in NJ and some of the things that I liked about it are:

- it is gasoline (I know people prefer diesel, but I heard the Chevy 3500 6.0l was a good gasoline engine).

- the handicap door

- the fact it is only 21.5 ft long.

The negotiated price is 5500 (if he manages to make the rear ac work). I don't want a vehicle without ac while traveling, since we only will be using it in the summer.

I noticed something very peculiar about this bus in that the floor is raised and it doesn't have wheel wells in the inside which is a big plus for me. Another thing I notice is that under the bus there seems to be an additional sheet metal under the floor. I guess when the floor was raised above the wheel wells they covered the gap with another sheet metal so the actual floor looked very clean underneath the bottom one. Not sure if I'm explaining myself very clearly.

I know everybody recommends buying a bus from other states but it is so difficult for me buying outside the salt belt.

What do you guys think of the price and rust condition of this bus?

I'm not planning on living in it. Like I said, it is meant for trips during the summer time, primarily.
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leoesu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2021, 04:59 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 157
Year: 2009
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 6.6 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: ?
Hi there. I picked up my short bus 2009 6.6 diesel with approx 120k miles for $6k. Mechanically it was very sound which I really lucked out on as I know nothing about mechanics. It did test drive well. It is from way upstate NY so there was a fair amount of rust underneath. The one you are looking at looks much better than mine. With my limited scope of knowledge I would think this is a reasonable deal if it is what you are looking for and it is mechanically sound. Best wishes, Elizabeth.
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Old 08-22-2021, 05:53 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,409
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
N.J. bus will be a rust bucket. Price seems high, what year is it?
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
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Old 08-22-2021, 08:39 PM   #4
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It is a 2006
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Old 08-23-2021, 04:18 PM   #5
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I’m brand new here, came to look around for inspiration/ideas for a short bus conversion. I have experience with the GM 6.0 gas engine. It is a rock solid performer, and is sought after in classic pickup trucks (my other hobby) as well as other old cars as a modern swap. It has a 300K mile duty cycle, so I wouldn’t worry about buying one with 143K miles.

I live in NJ as well. Can’t comment on how the salt affects bus bodies, however you should inspect the fuel and brake lines on the vehicle. The brine solution they’re now using here really gets everywhere and fuel/brake lines are a soft target (no pun intended). The good news is if you are mechanically inclined they aren’t that hard to replace.

Disk brake calipers are also a potential rust issue, and salt has a habit of drying out ball joint boots and other rubber parts, but I’d expect a 15 year old truck to need all those things freshened up anyway.

Looks like the exhaust system has been repaired, so the district/company that owned that bus kept up with maintenance, which is a good sign.

Frame rot is unlikely unless the bus was really abused and not cared for.
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Old 08-23-2021, 05:51 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,099
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
That underside doesn't look bad at all for a NJ bus.
Rusty 87 build thread
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