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Old 07-02-2020, 08:22 PM   #1
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Searching 2 yrs now. This just came up. Help?

Hello. I've been searching for a skoolie for over a year now and came upon this conversion. Does anyone know much about this particular make and model? He says it has a C7 in it (Cat 3116 if I am researching right.) I don't know much about the short bus scene since I've mainly only researched regular ones.
I figured this was a hell of a deal. It's an older man. He said he bought a big fifth wheel to take out with his grand kids, so he decided to get rid of the skoolie.
I included some screenshots of the listing and pulled some from a video he sent me. It has a full size fridge, full size tub/shower, and I'm guessing that's a queen size bed.
Feel free to drop any facts or opinions. Thank you.
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:34 PM   #2
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The C7 was made from 2003-2009, so unless that bus was re-engined it's too old to have a C7.

Looks like the original ceiling is still in place so no insulation there. The interior doesn't look too great, so unless you're cool with it and cool with it being uninsulated (except maybe the floor) you'll still have to demo the whole bus and start from scratch.

Seems to be a Nature's Head composting toilet? Those are a grand. Maybe the bus plus all the gear that comes with it is fair at $6,000, but I dunno.
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:49 PM   #3
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It depends on how close it is to what you want... From a financial standpoint, he's got a few things going for him...

That Nature's Head toilet costs about $1,000, but it's only WORTH $1,000 if you really want a composting toilet. It looks like there's a good size propane-fired tankless water heater. That could be worth $200 to $500 new. Figure the bus is probably worth $2,000 or so. Shore power/water connections are done. Presumably it has tanks and a decent battery setup. All the rest of the stuff (and having a jump start on a project) is probably worth the other $4,000. Hell, having a properly gutted and insulated shell could be worth that

From a design and craftsmanship perspective, I don't think it looks so hot, but do YOU like it?

A few questions I'd ask:

Did you rip out the floor? If so, how did you treat the rust underneath? How is it insulated? How is it wired? Details on the house battery system?

If it's not insulated, I'd probably just walk away. You'd have to rip out almost everything to do it right. If you can inspect it, pay special attention to the wiring. Bad plumbing sucks. Bad wiring kills. If the wiring looks like a hack job, either resign yourself to gutting the wiring and starting over or walk away.

Just my two cents... If this isn't the one for you, I hope you find that one soon.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone View Post
I don't know much about the short bus scene

This is very much an aside but I wouldn't consider a 9 window dognose to be anywhere close to a short bus.




As to the bus itself, I think the value of a converted or partially converted bus is massively tied to whether you like the conversion and will for the most part keep it as is, or whether you would redo it (in which case its value to you might not be worth much more than an unconverted bus + the cost of the materials you could reuse/recycle into your build or sell off).


6k seems like a pretty decent deal if its mechanically sound, low rust, and a build you can live with. In my part of the country, its not uncommon for completely stock buses sell for around that price.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:50 PM   #5
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You either have to love it, or be unwilling or unable to build what you want if it isn't exactly that, or want to be on the road now so much that you'll put up with it in order for this to be a good deal. It could also be a transitional bus for you to get your feet wet and sell it on when you have a better sense of what you want. In that case you better get it cheap, so you can sell it on cheaply without having to wait for another guy that it really makes sense for.

I think $6k is too much, but I don't like this build and neither, apparently, does the owner. On paper the bus should be much preferable for hanging out with the grand kids on a trip- but the 5th wheel trailer probably does everything so much better once its parked that its worth having them cooped up in the dual cab on the road.

Just my $.02...
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Old 07-03-2020, 04:59 AM   #6
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On paper the bus should be much preferable for hanging out with the grand kids on a trip- but the 5th wheel trailer probably does everything so much better once its parked that its worth having them cooped up in the dual cab on the road.
Seller might have also looked it up and realized his grandkids can't legally ride unbuckled in an RV (Pennsylvania is like that, at least).
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Old 07-03-2020, 07:58 AM   #7
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that engine has no computer if its a 3116. so a c7 would be a difficult swap without major eletrical upgrade. i love the 3116 as it will not be affected by any emp and can run without any electricity. juice is just needed to start it as far as 6k it would take you more than that to get to what that bus has even if you put zero value on your labor! test drive before you plunk your money down
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Old 07-03-2020, 09:03 AM   #8
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At that price point you really can't go wrong, as it would take more than that to build it out to where appears it is today.
Having said that, and as others have already said, you'll have to decide what you want in a skoolie and either grab this one or wait until another one comes along.

If it is close to you, inspect it closely underneath, as rust is not a good thing to have to deal with immediately after purchase.
Good luck...
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:40 AM   #9
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Drive train changes are doable but expensive -- the 3116 is NOT a 3126 or the latter C7. The 3116 while reliable is way less hp than the other 2...

Confirm what engine is there. Does the transmission and axle gear allow you to drive the speeds you want to travel at?
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:58 AM   #10
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Drive train changes are doable but expensive -- the 3116 is NOT a 3126 or the latter C7. The 3116 while reliable is way less hp than the other 2...

Confirm what engine is there. Does the transmission and axle gear allow you to drive the speeds you want to travel at?
The problem with the 3116 isn't hp, its the injectors. If you ever have to replace one its quite the experience. It caused one member here to sell their bus and start over.
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:51 AM   #11
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I think that vintage would be a CAT 3116 also, mine is.
What is the mileage on it, and what transmission?
Mine I have had to 85 mph with a standard 5 speed transmission. Backed it off as I ran out of road.


A lot to be said for these ol girls!


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Old 07-03-2020, 11:54 AM   #12
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But 3116 injectors are cheap being mechanical
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:55 AM   #13
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Yes I had mine up to 80 but did not top it either as I'm otr and dont want a ticket
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Old 07-03-2020, 12:11 PM   #14
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But 3116 injectors are cheap being mechanical
There's a bit of work involved in getting them in properly. the injector cups are no fun.
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Old 07-03-2020, 12:50 PM   #15
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I would not want to be doing any injector work on that engine! I had no idea it was so involved for a MEUI 3116.


I did the o-rings and wiring harness for the HEUI injectors on my T444e. It was child's play. Thank goodness...


Adept Ape mentions that some 3116s are HEUI, but they are rare. I expect parts would be difficult to find in that case, unless the parts are the same as the 3126.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:53 PM   #16
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There are a lot of newer units with less wear and tear- if no I sultion your only hope other than stripping everything would be spray insulation on the underside. Might be better off getting a newer unit and starting fresh. Then you would know exactly what your dealing with.
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