School Bus Conversion Resources

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Sierrick 06-21-2019 05:00 PM

In need of advice
 
Hello all!
Big thanks to everyone on here for their wealth of knowledge. We have been doing our research and have narrowed down the skoolie right for us. As we start the search we are still clueless as to how important somethings are and are in desperate need of advice.
We found a bus that fits our needs but still have big questions. The bus is a high top 04 Flatnose FE International holding a DT466 coupled with MD3060 trans. The bus 80k miles and 60k hours on the engine . The asking price is 4.5k but we think we can dicker to half that.
We have 3 major concerns and limited knowledge to the subjects. The first is the year of the bus is 04 a decent pick for conversion? I know we dont want a computerized engine but cant find an exact answer as to what year to look for . The second and probaly most major is signs of rust around the fuel tank and rear bumper. The rest of the bus a little surface rust but the spots on tank are a deep red color with some possible flaking. Lastly the rear tires have minor cracking around the walls (possibly from retreading). We dont know how finacially burdensome or detrimental these red flags are . Any advice from some exprienced folks would be greatly apprcieated.
Thank you for your time!

Kinson 06-21-2019 05:53 PM

Hey there! Any DT466 built after 1994 will be electronic. The cutoff year varies with each engine. 2004 was also the year that emissions equipment was added(Egr, different turbo/injection system). That hour figure seems like a typo and ask if the odometer has ever been replaced. Check the tire date codes of all the tires. Even if they look adequate, they may be too old. The rust could be judged by pictures if possible, however there is a posting requirement in order to share urls. :baconflag:

o1marc 06-21-2019 06:03 PM

I would not be opposed to a 2004 model, while the EPA mandate was introduced in 04 I haven't heard much issues with that year. That drive train is IMHO, the best out there with the exception of the 8.3. Go to the UserCP and fill out your profile telling us where you are. It can help us help you in deciding on a bus. Speedometer is likely not accurate. If it's from anywhere in the rust belt, there's a chance of talking him down to half due to inevitable rust issues on the floor. If not, there's no way I would sell that bus for half the asking price. I paid $3500 for my 99.

Brad_SwiftFur 06-21-2019 08:06 PM

Hold the phone. Wait-a-minute. Did a little math. 60K hours? That didn't sound right. Mine's showing 212K miles and around 10K hours....


There's 8760 hours in a year. 15 years is roughly 131400 hours ... so at 60K hours it would have had to run 12-ish hours a day, 365 days a year. Methinks it's a typo. If the 80K is anywhere near accurate, then 6K hours sounds more reasonable.

o1marc 06-21-2019 08:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur (Post 333678)
Hold the phone. Wait-a-minute. Did a little math. 60K hours? That didn't sound right. Mine's showing 212K miles and around 10K hours....


There's 8760 hours in a year. 15 years is roughly 131400 hours ... so at 60K hours it would have had to run 12-ish hours a day, 365 days a year. Methinks it's a typo. If the 80K is anywhere near accurate, then 6K hours sounds more reasonable.

That bus typically would have 150k at that age. Unless that bus sat idling all day waiting to drive a few miles I would suspect a dash change somewhere in it's infancy.

musigenesis 06-21-2019 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sierrick (Post 333638)
Hello all!
Big thanks to everyone on here for their wealth of knowledge. We have been doing our research and have narrowed down the skoolie right for us. As we start the search we are still clueless as to how important somethings are and are in desperate need of advice.
We found a bus that fits our needs but still have big questions. The bus is a high top 04 Flatnose FE International holding a DT466 coupled with MD3060 trans. The bus 80k miles and 60k hours on the engine . The asking price is 4.5k but we think we can dicker to half that.
We have 3 major concerns and limited knowledge to the subjects. The first is the year of the bus is 04 a decent pick for conversion? I know we dont want a computerized engine but cant find an exact answer as to what year to look for . The second and probaly most major is signs of rust around the fuel tank and rear bumper. The rest of the bus a little surface rust but the spots on tank are a deep red color with some possible flaking. Lastly the rear tires have minor cracking around the walls (possibly from retreading). We dont know how finacially burdensome or detrimental these red flags are . Any advice from some exprienced folks would be greatly apprcieated.
Thank you for your time!

I assume you're checking out the bus in person? Get up in the wheel wells (from outside underneath) with a screwdriver and poke around near the joint between the well and the surrounding floor. This is a spot that usually accumulates a lot of corrosion, and you will probably be able to poke all the way through (or at least through to the plywood layer of the floor in a few places). If you can poke through everywhere (or if you can see the inside of the bus) then it's pretty major. Also check the channel/stiffener on the underside that mounts the mud flaps, you may have a lot of corrosion in that member as well. The only way to really get a handle on how much damage there is here is to get the plywood floor up, but you obviously can't do that until you've bought it.


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