Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-26-2019, 08:22 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Rust and Buying on the East Coast

Does anyone have any experience with buying shorties on the East Coast.

I'm in California but I'm considering buying a bus in NJ

The bus is a 2009 GMC Blue Bird Microbird with a V-8 6.6L GM Duramax Diesel with 125,000 Miles.
It's a scheduled depreciation auctioned bus.

I am in Los Angeles and cannot make it out to see the bus in person and the auction is ending before I'd have time to get a mechanic out to inspect it.

There are a lot of pictures of the bus that the auction house posted and I've noticed that they seem to be pretty good about noting rust and other issues relating to the bus.

The undercarriage of the bus appears to have some surface rust that can be cleaned up but I haven't noticed anything that looks disastrous under/on the bus.

I've been emailing the auction contact and they said the engine runs well and the pictures are reflective of the condition of the bus. He assured me the only rust on the bus is surface rust.

He was unable to give any assurance as to the reliability of the bus for a cross country journey (understandable).

My plan was to have to bus looked at in Philly while I stayed with family for a few days before just driving it across the country.

I don't intend to spend more that $1800 on the bus

Any advice or warnings from anyone with experience on this??
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 08:47 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,993
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
I would warn to stay away from any New England state for a bus purchase. Usually would want to live in NJ and buy your bus out west. The 09 may have emission equipment issues. The biggest rust issues will be where you can't see it during inspection, under the floor. That's why if it's rusty outside I would walk. 09 for $1800, there's a reason it's so cheap.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 08:53 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I would warn to stay away from any New England state for a bus purchase. Usually would want to live in NJ and buy your bus out west. The 09 may have emission equipment issues. The biggest rust issues will be where you can't see it during inspection, under the floor. That's why if it's rusty outside I would walk. 09 for $1800, there's a reason it's so cheap.

With regard to the possible emissions issues. Is there a manufacture date that you think would have less likelihood of having emissions equipment problems?

What years do you think I should look at? I've seen some 2003's out here but they have close to 200k mileage. I was hoping to find something under 150k miles
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 08:57 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,985
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolie-O View Post
Does anyone have any experience with buying shorties on the East Coast.

I'm in California but I'm considering buying a bus in NJ

The bus is a 2009 GMC Blue Bird Microbird with a V-8 6.6L GM Duramax Diesel with 125,000 Miles.
It's a scheduled depreciation auctioned bus.

I am in Los Angeles and cannot make it out to see the bus in person and the auction is ending before I'd have time to get a mechanic out to inspect it.

There are a lot of pictures of the bus that the auction house posted and I've noticed that they seem to be pretty good about noting rust and other issues relating to the bus.

The undercarriage of the bus appears to have some surface rust that can be cleaned up but I haven't noticed anything that looks disastrous under/on the bus.

I've been emailing the auction contact and they said the engine runs well and the pictures are reflective of the condition of the bus. He assured me the only rust on the bus is surface rust.

He was unable to give any assurance as to the reliability of the bus for a cross country journey (understandable).

My plan was to have to bus looked at in Philly while I stayed with family for a few days before just driving it across the country.

I don't intend to spend more that $1800 on the bus

Any advice or warnings from anyone with experience on this??
Who are you going to have look at the bus in Philly?
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 08:58 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,993
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolie-O View Post
With regard to the possible emissions issues. Is there a manufacture date that you think would have less likelihood of having emissions equipment problems?

What years do you think I should look at? I've seen some 2003's out here but they have close to 200k mileage. I was hoping to find something under 150k miles
2003 is the cutoff year. 2004 the government made them add all the egr stuff that was very problematic, hard to diagnose and expensive to repair. If it was a fleet maintained bus, 200K is only around 1/2 way to rebuild.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 08:58 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
There's a "2002 Chevrolet school bus. 28 passenger, 6.5 Diesel with Allison Tranny. Overall good condition." in Kansas that looks good in appearance.

It has 146,000 Miles on it.
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:01 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,993
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolie-O View Post
There's a "2002 Chevrolet school bus. 28 passenger, 6.5 Diesel with Allison Tranny. Overall good condition." in Kansas that looks good in appearance.

It has 146,000 Miles on it.
What Allison trans is it? The AT545 is the least desirable. Not saying it's bad, but it has its limitations.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:02 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
That's very useful information!!

I've been researching as much as I can. The more I've found out about the emissions upgrades stuff the more they seem like they should be avoided.

I am pretty set on the Bluebird and it appears they're all Diesel engines. I plan to avoid the Ford's because it seems like they've had a ton of problems with the motors on their diesel cutaways
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:05 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
I'd have to contact the seller to find out. It doesn't state what tranny it has in it.
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:07 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Who are you going to have look at the bus in Philly?
I was going to go to a mechanic recommended by a family member. I don't have a name yet.
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:12 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,985
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolie-O View Post
I was going to go to a mechanic recommended by a family member. I don't have a name yet.
I'm asking because I'm in Philly and I'm not sure if the mechanic who has my bus currently is reliable and trustworthy or not, so if you know of a good one I'd love to check them out. Or if my guy turns out good I could recommend him.

I've been driving around looking at land in NJ lately. If your bus is nearby I wouldn't mind taking a look at it and giving you a report. I'm not an expert on mechanical stuff but I've been dealing with rust in my own bus and I think I could give a good evaluation of that part, at least.
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:26 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I'm asking because I'm in Philly and I'm not sure if the mechanic who has my bus currently is reliable and trustworthy or not, so if you know of a good one I'd love to check them out. Or if my guy turns out good I could recommend him.

I've been driving around looking at land in NJ lately. If your bus is nearby I wouldn't mind taking a look at it and giving you a report. I'm not an expert on mechanical stuff but I've been dealing with rust in my own bus and I think I could give a good evaluation of that part, at least.

The bus is in Bellmawr, NJ. I think I may abandon my pursuit of it though. I've seen a couple older ones up for auction in some states closer to me and out of the salt belt. I'm paranoid about potential rust issues..

I'll be glad to give you the name of the mechanic my family member uses once I get it..

Also, thanks for offering to go by a check out the bus!
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:33 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,985
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolie-O View Post
The bus is in Bellmawr, NJ. I think I may abandon my pursuit of it though. I've seen a couple older ones up for auction in some states closer to me and out of the salt belt. I'm paranoid about potential rust issues..

I'll be glad to give you the name of the mechanic my family member uses once I get it..

Also, thanks for offering to go by a check out the bus!
Bellmawr is actually on my way to one of the plots of land in NJ that I'm looking at, so let me know if you ever want me to take a gander.

I think you'd do well, however, to just avoid buses from around here entirely because of the rust problems - they're all going to have it to some extent. There are so many areas nearer to you (the southwest, texas etc.) that you can find rust-free buses.

I will definitely take the mechanic's name when you have it, thanks very much.
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2019, 09:59 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Mountain Gnome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 514
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
I don't remember if it was Jersey or N.Virginia, but the bus I looked at for sale from there: you could crush the frame in places with 2 fingers, it was so rusty.
Consider that modern diesels past about 1997ish (my history is lame) have higher pressure fuel injectors that need replacing (with rebuilt ones) about every 150K miles. So a bus that has "lower miles" might actually be ready to need this very expensive overhaul (especially expensive in Cat motors since you need special tools, from what I read looking for my bus). A diesel bus with 200K miles likely has this done already, and you got another 100K to go. The rest of the motor will get 1,000,000 miles if you keep her lubed and cool, so no worries there.
Rubber bushings in the suspension & steering, plastic trim and accessories, all wear out in older buses with lower-pressure fuel injectors that will last longer, and as time goes on, it will be harder to get parts.
I got a 1999 bus from Arizona, rust free, 163K miles, rebuilt injectors included, but the suspension and steering will need help in a couple years or less.
Mountain Gnome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2019, 03:50 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 20,220
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolie-O View Post
Does anyone have any experience with buying shorties on the East Coast.

I'm in California but I'm considering buying a bus in NJ

The bus is a 2009 GMC Blue Bird Microbird with a V-8 6.6L GM Duramax Diesel with 125,000 Miles.
It's a scheduled depreciation auctioned bus.

I am in Los Angeles and cannot make it out to see the bus in person and the auction is ending before I'd have time to get a mechanic out to inspect it.

There are a lot of pictures of the bus that the auction house posted and I've noticed that they seem to be pretty good about noting rust and other issues relating to the bus.

The undercarriage of the bus appears to have some surface rust that can be cleaned up but I haven't noticed anything that looks disastrous under/on the bus.

I've been emailing the auction contact and they said the engine runs well and the pictures are reflective of the condition of the bus. He assured me the only rust on the bus is surface rust.

He was unable to give any assurance as to the reliability of the bus for a cross country journey (understandable).

My plan was to have to bus looked at in Philly while I stayed with family for a few days before just driving it across the country.

I don't intend to spend more that $1800 on the bus

Any advice or warnings from anyone with experience on this??
You're in BUS HEAVEN! WHy would you shop the rust belt?
Ca has the top of the line stuff and it goes cheap there.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2019, 04:04 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Gnome View Post
I don't remember if it was Jersey or N.Virginia, but the bus I looked at for sale from there: you could crush the frame in places with 2 fingers, it was so rusty.
Consider that modern diesels past about 1997ish (my history is lame) have higher pressure fuel injectors that need replacing (with rebuilt ones) about every 150K miles. So a bus that has "lower miles" might actually be ready to need this very expensive overhaul (especially expensive in Cat motors since you need special tools, from what I read looking for my bus). A diesel bus with 200K miles likely has this done already, and you got another 100K to go. The rest of the motor will get 1,000,000 miles if you keep her lubed and cool, so no worries there.
Rubber bushings in the suspension & steering, plastic trim and accessories, all wear out in older buses with lower-pressure fuel injectors that will last longer, and as time goes on, it will be harder to get parts.
I got a 1999 bus from Arizona, rust free, 163K miles, rebuilt injectors included, but the suspension and steering will need help in a couple years or less.

That's extremely useful information. I really hope I can secure one of the 2 buses I'm currently looking at out here on the west coast. Both are fleet maintained and around 200k. So hopefully, as you say, the injectors have already been replaced.The seller said they can provide the maintenance records so I think that should be telling.

Thanks for your insight!!
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2019, 04:09 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
You're in BUS HEAVEN! WHy would you shop the rust belt?
Ca has the top of the line stuff and it goes cheap there.
With all the helpful information I'm getting on this thread I think I'm now better prepared to take a more educated approach to what I'm looking for. Hopefully I'll have a nice little shorty soon..
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2019, 04:16 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Gnome View Post
I don't remember if it was Jersey or N.Virginia, but the bus I looked at for sale from there: you could crush the frame in places with 2 fingers, it was so rusty.
Consider that modern diesels past about 1997ish (my history is lame) have higher pressure fuel injectors that need replacing (with rebuilt ones) about every 150K miles. So a bus that has "lower miles" might actually be ready to need this very expensive overhaul (especially expensive in Cat motors since you need special tools, from what I read looking for my bus). A diesel bus with 200K miles likely has this done already, and you got another 100K to go. The rest of the motor will get 1,000,000 miles if you keep her lubed and cool, so no worries there.
Rubber bushings in the suspension & steering, plastic trim and accessories, all wear out in older buses with lower-pressure fuel injectors that will last longer, and as time goes on, it will be harder to get parts.
I got a 1999 bus from Arizona, rust free, 163K miles, rebuilt injectors included, but the suspension and steering will need help in a couple years or less.
Turns out the bus I'm looking at hasn't had the injectors replaced but has had the pumps replaced. How much does it cost to have the injectors replaced??
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2019, 04:57 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
I just priced the Injector pump replacement and the injector replacement. I'm assuming you were talking about the pumps. Looks like the pumps are about 4 times the cost of just getting the injectors replaced.
Koolie-O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2019, 04:56 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Compass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Troy, VT
Posts: 11
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT 466 Int.
Rated Cap: Depends on gender
I bought a 1999 International 3800 from NJ a couple of years ago. The underside had been undercoated, and the bed was generally quite solid.
Compass is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×