Needless to say, i passed on that bucket.
The search continues though. The grey blue bird above also had significantly more rust than expected from the pictures, and had a few minor mechanical things. It needs a replacement fuel gauge, and the seller mentioned having some previous issues with the starter. He had replaced the starter, and used some generic solenoids that occasionally fail. He said when this happens he just disconnects the battery and reconnects it, and it starts up fine. I don't know much of anything about that stuff, so it maybe worries me more or less than it should.
I'm thinking about bidding on this recently retired 2001 Freightliner/Thomas that's located in northern Wisconsin. There's some exterior rust, and the tires aren't great but it's supposedly a good runner. It's got a Cummins engine and a manual transmission. It's going for $1,200 right now, and the auction ends tomorrow. The driving tires will need to be retreaded.
The other prospect is a partially converted 1991 Blue Bird. It's got a cummins engine, and allison automatic transmission with about 130K miles on it. It's got two rooftop AC units and comes with a generator. It's got a nice paint job with some surface rust, and I believe the roof is painted coated in Bus Kote. The seller says the only known mechanical issues are an untrustworthy fuel gauge, and an emergency brake that could need some work. The steering tires are good and the rear tires are new. He's asking $4,000.
What do you guys think?
I will post some pictures of each bus.
Decisions, Decisions- and so many choices! I would go with the bus with the least rust, a Cummins if possible, transmission choice would be third on the list. A front engine bus is nice for ease of engine servicing, and more protection for the driver in the rare case of a collision.
- Roving Reporter
- Posts: 243
- Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:34 pm
- Location: Northern California foggy coast
Navistar DT engine, unknown best year
Cummins B Series engine , attempt to get one made prior to 1996..
I've been researching for the past 6 months or so, and the consensus definitely seems to be that the Cummins is the best, but I've also heard good things about the DT466.
I passed on the yellow bus. The auction ended today at $2,000. A good price, but I decided that the Blue Bluebird would better meet my needs. I'm going to try to set up an inspection by a mechanic from a nearby trucking place that works on buses and semis. What should I ask for in his inspection? How much should I expect to pay him?
thank you again. I hope to be a proud bus owner soon. Once I get my rig, expect regular posts of my progress.
- Seasoned Nomadicista
- Posts: 340
- Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:19 am
- Location: Winlock, WA
On a vehicle as large as a full size bus the cost of maintaining wet brakes will end up eating you alive. Air brakes, when not in use, do not have as serious problems of moisture in the braking system. It is particularly a problem if the bus will be sitting for any appreciable amount of time during periods of high humdity and/or cold.
Even without hearing about the rust issues in the green bus I would have said give it a pass since the owner obviously didn't know what he had. I have never seen an IHC conventional bus chassis that had a Cummins enigne in it. Most of the chassis of that vintage had the T444, the DT466, or the DV550.
If the yellow bus had air brakes the $2K price would have been a bargain for you.
As you go out and about checking for buses stay away from any bus that has a V-8 engine. V-type engines don't pull hills as well and usually use more fuel than inline engines of the same rating.
Good luck on your search.
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