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Old 01-15-2022, 10:19 PM   #1
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Exclamation Please help, need opinions! About to travel 7+ hours for a potential purchase.RUST?

Hello!

We are planning to buy a school bus to convert it into a full time home. We like this 2004 Blue Bird with a front Cummins 8.3 engine w/2000 Allison transmission from OH. 213xxx miles, came off from the road in October. My only concern is the rust. The seller said it is just surface rust... What do you guys think? Any opinions would be an incredibly helpful because we are about to travel 7+ hours with a toddler for this bus tomorrow... Thank you!

(The underbelly pictures are not the same bus as the bus pictured, they were just given as an example.)


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Deelya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2022, 10:36 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
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Year: 2005
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Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
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I kind of look at rust the same way you would look at an ice berg....the part you can see won't hurt you.....
Maybe if the price was really good???
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:05 PM   #3
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466 / MD3060
Get photos first!!!!

Don't take "example photos" make them go out there with their phone and take actual photos. If you don't get this bus, your bus is still out there - it took us about 4 months to find ours and it is a unicorn well worth the wait.

Those example photos dont look great either, I would worry about that air tank first (assuming that rusty tank is the air tank), muffler second, and chasis frame third. . . the frame might not be as bad because the metal is thicker = more for the rust to have to eat through. But the compressor and muffler look close to holes to me. . .

I'm no exper though, for sure someone else here knows more than me
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:03 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000 28ft
Engine: Cummins ISB 5.9 24v, MD3060
Rated Cap: 14
Also, that is a TC2000 with a Cummins 5.9 confirmed in the picture. The only engine available in that bus. It's a great engine, just know there's nothing rare about that bus
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Old 01-16-2022, 07:48 AM   #5
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If the seller is wrong about the engine...whether misinformed or intentionally...then I would be pretty suspicious about the accuracy of his/her "just surface rust" claim. And, while an 8.3 would certainly be matched up to a 2000 or 3000 series Allison, the 5.9 might be paired with an AT545...which would also be less desirable, and less valuable, than the drivetrain the seller described.
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Old 01-16-2022, 08:00 AM   #6
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The rust on the underside in those pics is not as bad as it gets (this is as bad as it gets), but:

* That muffler is new-ish but it's connected to much rustier exhaust piping which is very expensive to replace (a lot more than the muffler itself).
* The rust you really need to be concerned about is rust in the body, the part that is resting on top of the chassis rails in that picture (the body includes the roof, walls and floor). Although the underside of a bus in salt-using areas can look very bad, buses generally rust from the inside out; water gets in through gaps in the roof panels, failed light gaskets, and leaking windows, permanently soaks the plywood and then rusts through the floor. You're not really going to know had badly the floor is damaged until you rip up the plywood.

The general advice here would be "don't buy an Ohio bus" or a bus from anywhere in the NE US (especially not from the shores of Lake Erie, where my bus hails from).
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Old 01-16-2022, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
The rust on the underside in those pics is not as bad as it gets (this is as bad as it gets), but:

* That muffler is new-ish but it's connected to much rustier exhaust piping which is very expensive to replace (a lot more than the muffler itself).
* The rust you really need to be concerned about is rust in the body, the part that is resting on top of the chassis rails in that picture (the body includes the roof, walls and floor). Although the underside of a bus in salt-using areas can look very bad, buses generally rust from the inside out; water gets in through gaps in the roof panels, failed light gaskets, and leaking windows, permanently soaks the plywood and then rusts through the floor. You're not really going to know had badly the floor is damaged until you rip up the plywood.

The general advice here would be "don't buy an Ohio bus" or a bus from anywhere in the NE US (especially not from the shores of Lake Erie, where my bus hails from).

This is the worst Iíve ever seen!

OPs pictures donít look terrible. About how mine did. But Iíve now spent months rust prepping and having to replace all types of stuff.
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Old 01-16-2022, 04:13 PM   #8
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
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Engine: International T444e
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Why is the underside the only picture they couldn't supply you? That makes zero sense. Unless, of course, it makes perfect sense to the seller for... reasons.
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:43 PM   #9
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Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
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Year: 2005
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Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
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Deelya.....I'm curious...what did you guys do?
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:31 PM   #10
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Going from the pics. You provided, it looks really clean. That is just surface rust.
GO FOR IT.
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:49 PM   #11
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ok lonejack where are you and what experience do you have to give that opinion/advice?
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