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Old 09-05-2018, 11:26 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Potential bus buy [ Help! ]

So the last bus I was pondering the guy just never wanted to do anything to TRY and sell it (I asked for measurements, and more details) and he wouldn't budge. So I started my search again. And I found this bus. The guy said he'd take $2100 for.

I'm a skeptic. But here are the specs

160,000 miles (I think it has more and the odometer is broke?) Cause he said he doesn't know the miles previously, but I asked and he said 160k (this isn't accurate my bet). No AC. it is a 1992 thomas bus.


It has a 8.7 Cummings Diesel + Automatic transmission.


Tops at 65MPH!


It has been a church bus past 14 years drove for 6 hours every Sunday.




I asked him if he would trust it cross country and he said No cause it was too old (which I guess is a valid reason). I am no mechanic. I am a programmer. It seems like a good buy. But that's my worry; too good to be true. Any additional questions I should ask before I drive 6 hours for a $2100 purchase and drive it home? Also it is originally listed for $3k.





Here is a picture:

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Old 09-05-2018, 01:26 PM   #2
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Hi,

Ask him again what engine it has and see if he comes back with one that actually exists. Also, the transmission model is really important, if it's an AT54% or similar you might be sad. Top speed of 65 sounds like an AT545 with 4.78 gears and 22r tires, which is common. I see it has nice storage compartments but I'd look for other features as those aren't that hard to add.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:34 PM   #3
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Yeah I have asked him twice and he said 8.7 cummins. You think he means 8.3 (That's just what I thought, but I'm a noob and didn't want to rule out the possibility of an 8.7 existing).


edit: he responded with "C model Cummins", that's an 8.3, right?


Would I be sad because it can't gear or is there something else wrong? I am perfectly happy if top speed is 65mph. ha.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:52 PM   #4
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If he means ISC, that refers to the 8.3. Everybody loves the 8.3, it's a good motor.

If your top speed is 65, your cruising speed will be more like 50-55. Also, it's too old to have an actual speed limiter, it will instead have a governor on the injection pump... THis limits engine RPM, so effectively you're redlining when you hit it.

If it has an AT545, that implies it has a very low tune version of the 8.3 engine, as anything higher would tear it apart. It could be something else, but can't tell from a photo. If I'm wrong about the transmission and it's something stronger (MT643 is a likely option) but with silly gears, it is possible to change the rear end gearing although in practice nobody is actually doing it.

Is it local to you? And does it have air conditioning?
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:00 PM   #5
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No on the air conditioning (I have an RV rooftop one I want to install). it is 400 miles away (6 hours).





Yeah, I think he does mean ISC 8.3.





Ah, so it's probably impossible to ever drive it above 55MPH for long distances. Which is kinda eh, but I guess we'd get to where we are going slowly. He said tires are good apparently. I need to ask about the batteries still.
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:06 PM   #6
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55 might be fine. Especially if its an MT543 or something else with a lock-up gear. The 545 has a bad reputation because it doesn't have a lock-up gear, so it's constantly on the torque converter... Which takes a huge amount of your horsepower and makes heat instead of doing something useful like rotating the driveshaft. That also means there can be a sweep of several hundred RPM at a given speed depending on how far you push the pedal down...

Here's something I wrote that I hope will help you with some of the basics and probably answer your next several questions. https://wanderlounge.net/things-to-l...-buying-a-bus/
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:34 PM   #7
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If the bus is in reasonable condition and is equipped with storage bays, 8.3 & MT643 I would think $2100 a bargain.

Will the seller let you drive it to a mechanic for inspection?
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:54 PM   #8
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that hinders if it isn't 8.3 & MT643, right? Or would you still consider it a bargain if it has an AT545. And yeah that would generally be my next thing to ask him if I could drive it to a mechanic. Know any good mechanics in the Daytona area? ha
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reganade View Post
that hinders if it isn't 8.3 & MT643, right? Or would you still consider it a bargain if it has an AT545. And yeah that would generally be my next thing to ask him if I could drive it to a mechanic. Know any good mechanics in the Daytona area? ha
If it has an 8.3 then it VERY unlikely to have an AT545. The 8.3, in typical configuration, makes too much hp/torque for the 545.

I don't know when the 3060 was introduced. AFIK: A push-button shifter would indicate a 3060. A "T" handle shifter it likely has the 643.



Before I go as far as saying that they don't exist just because I have never seen one.......

Anyone here ever seen an 8.3 equipped bus with an AT545?
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:15 PM   #10
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OK......

Where is the service door in that bus?

Picture threw me off..... It appears that we are seeing the curb side of the bus and there is no service door.

Then I looked at the name on the front. It is reversed. The picture is mirrored and we are looking at the street side. Doooh!
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:37 PM   #11
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After some research I don't think the 8.3 ever had an AT545 in a bus from the factory, so given its age it is likely a MT643 or similar.
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:53 PM   #12
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haha yeah. Apparently he just sold it. I wonder if he really did or just annoyed that I kept asking him questions and then telling him I couldn't find an 8.7 diesel cummins engine. oh well. i'll keep looking. But thank you. I actually learned a decent amount from this.
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