Pulling the trigger... Tomorrow!
Hi all, I've been creeping on the forum for awhile, but just got a thumbs up to purchase a bus from the Master and Commander (wife).
She found a 30' 1992 International B4900, diesel Thomas bus that has been given the green light. We have 4 kids and would be doing a simple conversion for use on weekend or week long getaways. No full time living.
The seller seems to have just acquired it, is not specifically familiar with the specs yet and is out of town for a few weeks. However, due to logistics, I have the opportunity to see it tomorrow with someone standing in for the owner. I don't live anywhere close to where the bus is located, but happen to be in the area this weekend.
I am not particularly concerned with having the 100% most optimal engine/ tranny setup. We likely aren't going to be climbing the Rockies with this rig. But if anyone is particularly familiar with this bus type, I would appreciate any input.
Additionally, I'm handy, but not the most astute auto mechanic and have no experience with diesels or buses. If there are any forum members in the Lodi, CA area available tomorrow, 07/02, who is willing to meet a new friend and help me eye and evaluate this rig, it would be greatly appreciated, and I'd be happy to compensate you for the time.
All feedback is appreciated
Hard to comment until the exact engine & tranny are known. That said...
check the obvious.
Rust: Probably OK if a CA bus but look anyway. Especially around the rear wheel wells (from below) and around the front door/steps. Common areas for rust issues. Take a flashlight.
Tires: Look at the date codes as well as tread condition. It's not uncommon for some of these buses to come with tires that are aged out. If more than 5-7 years old, they may need replacing very soon and a set can run a couple of grand.
Glass: If there are any curved sections, they are usually expensive to replace.
Fuel/Oil leaks: Most diesels have their drips but the wrong drips can be costly. Front and rear main seals, any weeping from the turbo (if it has one), excessive coating on the engine (possible blow by).
Windows (including windshield): ALL Skoolie windows leak. Check for evidence of rain entry around the inside and possibly rust down near the floor below them. Too much indication of water intrusion can mean real problems with the metal floor (hidden under the puke mat and plywood).
Maybe a few others can chime in. There are certainly more steps involved but the above is what came off the top of my head.
Best of luck and welcome to the madness!
Tango's response to your original posting was spot on, in my opinion. What ended up happening with the bus? Did you take it for a test drive? That is the thing I am most apprehensive about when on the search for a bus!
The Villalobos Brood
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