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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: harleyman_1000 on July 23, 2013, 08:58:30 AM



Title: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on July 23, 2013, 08:58:30 AM
 Im wondering what it should cost to do a pre bus buy exam? As some of you know Im in the market for my first bus, and am traveling to Phoenix the first week in August to look at and hopefully buy a 1958 Gm 4104 bus. I called a DD mechanic and he said to check the engine, brakes, and auto transmission , he would charge a 1000. He said his rate was 125.00 an hour. Im wondering if he is trying to take advantage of me? I don't know what is all involved in checking out a bus in this way. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: bobofthenorth on July 23, 2013, 09:17:08 AM
That seems high to me.  A no fault DOT inspection should be in the $250 to $350 range.  I don't know what a "bus exam" would do that would be any more detailed than a DOT inspection - maybe some additional engine inspection but I'm not sure exactly what that would consist of.  For that money I'd want a pretty detailed list of what he was going to check before I agreed to do it.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: luvrbus on July 23, 2013, 09:20:20 AM
Try Geoff in Chino Valley Az I have no idea what he charges but he is a bus owner and a good 2 stroke guy someone here will have his number


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on July 23, 2013, 09:26:07 AM
 What all would a dot inspection include?


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Jriddle on July 23, 2013, 09:27:38 AM
What all would a dot inspection include?

Everything that has to do with highway safety.

John


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: treeplanter on July 23, 2013, 09:47:59 AM
Gary Labombard has a cd about pre exam check list, it covers everything you can think of.He rebuilt an Eagle bus to better than new condition after finding out the hard way it was falling apart.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: luvrbus on July 23, 2013, 10:01:49 AM
A dot inspection on that bus would be a waste of time and money if you could even find someone to do it here in AZ they don't do DOT inspections on anything that had ICC brakes even if it has been converted to DD3 or spring brakes all they say is drive safe  

IMO you could open a big can of worms trying to get a DOT inspection here in AZ on that bus,we have a new director of that dept and he brought all of his screw ball ideas from CA with him  


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: John316 on July 23, 2013, 10:45:27 AM
125 is about the going rate for a DD shop to work on a bus or RV. Get used to it, if you go name brand, because that is normal.

I talked to a guy recently that worked at an airport servicing small planes. They are a high quality shop, and going rate is 65 for single engine's, and goes up to 85-95 for the bigger stuff. My comment was, I should probably be flying ;D


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on July 23, 2013, 11:04:14 AM
A dot inspection on that bus would be a waste of time and money if you could even find someone to do it here in AZ they don't do DOT inspections on anything that had ICC brakes even if it has been converted to DD3 or spring brakes all they say is drive safe  

IMO you could open a big can of worms trying to get a DOT inspection here in AZ on that bus,we have a new director of that dept and he brought all of his screw ball ideas from CA with him  

  I have sent Geoff a message asking him if he would be interested in doing an inspection on this bus for me. All I really need is an experienced busnut that knows what to look for and at, and possibly someone that would be interested in solving some known issues like installing a new inverter, and getting the jake brake to work. And even just explaining the basics of bus systems to me. Im not like most of you experienced busnuts in that I don't know anything about buses, but Im hopeful to learn enough from you to be able to do the preventive maintenance, and some on the road repairs while traveling and living in my bus. I learned from my grandfather many years ago (he was dying from cancer from exposure building the first atom bombs back in WW2 IN Tennessee), that it is better to learn from a mans experience than from a book.  


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Utahclaimjumper on July 23, 2013, 02:16:17 PM
 Contact Gary Nickerson at (nine two 8-233-five 0 three 5)  Gary is a long long time GM bus nut/ owner, modifier, specialist,
parts supplier, mechanic and member of Western GM coach club.. Gary recently installed a V730 into a friends 4106 and completed a very clean bulkhead out installation that's totally trouble free.. Gary lives and works in Lake Havasu City, AZ.
  I know no one more knowledgeable about GMCs and conversions, and a good guy to know.>>>Dan


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Barn Owl on July 23, 2013, 04:57:58 PM
Quote
Im not like most of you experienced busnuts in that I don't know anything about buses

Sadly the knowledge is disappearing faster than we can learn it.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Charles in SC on July 23, 2013, 08:23:26 PM
There is a certain amount of gambling involved with buying a bus even if you know all about them. Whatever you buy be sure to get it cheap enough to factor in those repairs that were missed on the inspection. Remember you are dealing with an old vehicle. A lot of folks are not comfortable with that and that is one of the reasons that there are so many stick and staples sold. Charging $125 an hour is not out of range these days. Remember they are sticking their neck out telling you what kind of shape it is in, you are getting a guarantee from them arn't you. If they are charging you full price they should be willing to back them selves up with some money.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: luvrbus on July 23, 2013, 08:29:48 PM
A person would have to be nuts to guarantee or warranty a old bus after doing a 1 day inspection IMO


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Charles in SC on July 23, 2013, 08:37:32 PM
I agree but if I was going to pay a $1000 for it I would want something for my money other than just some yo-yos opinion.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on July 24, 2013, 05:04:15 AM
 Im not going to pay 1000 to have someone look at it. I just want to have a knowledgeable  person look it over. I just don't know what to look for on things like brakes, cooling, and other things which if I knew what to look for would be easy to spot. Can I do a simple inspection of the brakes by crawling under the bus and looking at the pads, or are they even viewable? Can I do a simple pressure test on a bus like you can do on a car?


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: luvrbus on July 24, 2013, 05:38:28 AM
Have you checked with Kevin the azdieselman here on the board do like I told you buy the test kits from Empire pull samples on the coolant,oil,rear gear and,transmission ,check for cracks and welds, sloppily steering,uneven tire wear 

If the guy checks the turbo,pulls the air box inspection covers and checks the pistons and rings for wear that is about all one can do to check the engine,the jakes will be a minor problem, it's a roll of the dice Scott this is why I don't do inspections on 50 +year old buses.

A 1000 bucks may save you 15 to 20 grand on the engine alone but I would be sure he knows the 6v92

good luck


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Utahclaimjumper on July 24, 2013, 06:03:23 AM
 Many of those questions can be determined by driving the bus for a distancing enough to warm the engine to operating temps. and check the overall handling, performance, stopping, and systems checks. >>>Dan


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: eagle19952 on July 24, 2013, 06:34:22 AM
Here's the best inspection your going to get IMO,
take your money and buy $500 worth of diesel and have the owner drive the coach at least 1/2 way to Prescott...then you drive it back to Phoenix....I think it's us 17 hiway ??
If the seller says no, then pass on the bus.

PS I would tell the owner to get the jakes fixed first if it is a simple matter...and you'll add that cost to what you'll pay for the coach.

PSS all my coach miles are without Jakes, Jakes are over rated, again my opinion...that doesn't mean I wouldn't have them, it just means that you don't need them.
I have done Tioga Pass and the Canadian/Alaska Hiway without and lots more....
pssss...by the time you get back to Phoenix you may not still want a coach....just saying.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: luvrbus on July 24, 2013, 07:14:39 AM
60 to Globe would be a better test once you leave AJ it's all up hill on a 2 lane road most places


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: eagle19952 on July 24, 2013, 07:18:08 AM
here's another PS.. :)
When I bought my coach, in 2002 the place I bought it from (handling the sale for the previous owner, who also had maintained the coach in a lease fleet in San Antonio TX) insisted that 1/2 the money I paid be put in escrow to cover any repairs that needed to be done in the event of a failure.
That's how confident he was in the bus condition. he said this as I was putting on coveralls to go underneath....I never got the coveralls past my knees...he just asked me where was I going first, and when I would be back.
I have worked in the H. Equipment, construction business for 35 years.
after a trip to Alaska and back....they cashed my check.
Good luck whatever you decide. The coach you are looking at must be a hot rod... ;D


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on July 24, 2013, 07:23:51 AM
Have you checked with Kevin the azdieselman here on the board do like I told you buy the test kits from Empire pull samples on the coolant,oil,rear gear and,transmission ,check for cracks and welds, sloppily steering,uneven tire wear 

If the guy checks the turbo,pulls the air box inspection covers and checks the pistons and rings for wear that is about all one can do to check the engine,the jakes will be a minor problem, it's a roll of the dice Scott this is why I don't do inspections on 50 +year old buses.

A 1000 bucks may save you 15 to 20 grand on the engine alone but I would be sure he knows the 6v92

good luck


 Yes I have talked with Kevin. Kevin is friends with the bus owner and is who put me in touch with Ed(the owner). Kevin said that he really isn't that familiar with the bus. I called about the oil analysis, and the company said it is taking about 2 weeks to get the results back, and the owner will only be in town about a week to show it, so Im not to sure about how I can even get it done?


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: eagle19952 on July 24, 2013, 07:26:48 AM
60 to Globe would be a better test once you leave AJ it's all up hill on a 2 lane road most places

That would work too but it would not put him in the direction of Chino Valley... ;D
And I would want to go where CoachNet would go... ;D


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on July 24, 2013, 07:28:59 AM
 Does anyone have  Geoff's number?


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: eagle19952 on July 24, 2013, 07:33:55 AM
I don't post numbers ...but you can find it here...unless I am on your ignore list.... ;D
http://www.generaldieselservice.com/ (http://www.generaldieselservice.com/)


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: B_K on July 24, 2013, 03:32:38 PM
Oil sample testing can be done almost instantly these days @ your big rig oil change shops like "Speedco" and others.

(or atleast they claim they can when selling you the service while paying them for an oil change)

Just take them a sample and tell them you need it tested. ;)
;D  BK  ;D



Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: luvrbus on July 24, 2013, 05:11:53 PM
I guess Empire doesn't want to fool with a 1 time deal I overnight my samples and they send me the results around noon by e mail of the next day I am guessing it takes a 4 hr turn around 


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Geoff on July 24, 2013, 05:38:47 PM
Harleyman called me today and I told him I would look at the bus and do a complete DOT inspection plus check out the engine, transmission, electrical and see how the chassis and hoses (underneath) look. 

I don't have a crystal ball to read the future but I can can tell if a bus is roadworthy...

When I bought my bus I was only able to drive it in a circle around the parking lot.

I advised that no matter how well you inspect a bus when it is 50 years old you never know what could go wrong.

--Geoff


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: sdc53 on July 25, 2013, 12:10:31 AM
Have you looked at many buses yet?  I don't think I'd hire a mechanic until you've laid eyes on it yourself, driven it, and make sure you like it.  I can't tell you how many buses I drove or flew to look at when bus shopping based on pictures, and was disappointed.  It still sticks in my craw how much time and money I wasted kissing frogs.  Pictures just don't show enough detail to really even let you determine general condition and workmanship like your eyes can.  Plan a second trip if needed, or stick around for an extra day...


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Hobie on July 25, 2013, 07:21:42 AM
Adding to sdc53:   good advice.  also must pass the smell test, literally.  Some really funky smelling units out there! 


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: lvmci on July 25, 2013, 08:12:03 AM
Hi Harleyman, I looked at 12 conversions of all sorts drove 4, 2 wouldnt start, ended up buying the first one, some you come away saying, what was that smell? Lvmci...


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Purplewillie on July 25, 2013, 10:38:02 AM
Oh ya  " the smell"
We looked at 10 or so busses over a 2 year period bus shopping
Mark


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: LowTide on July 25, 2013, 01:30:50 PM
that smell? Lvmci...

Reminds me a Lynyrd Skynyrd song ;)

I hope he finds a good one. I posted links to s few buses for sale in phoenix for him to look over before making any decision.....well worth the look if you ask me ;)


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: sdc53 on July 26, 2013, 12:35:25 AM
Yeah.. One of them was a really clean 4104 with a funky smell, presumably coming from the tanks... I told the seller to dump 'em and put some freshener in there before I brought the wife down to look at it.  He did and it still stunk.  We didn't buy that one.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on July 30, 2013, 03:01:23 AM
 Im trying to look at as many as I can before buying 1.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: LowTide on July 30, 2013, 12:40:30 PM
Im trying to look at as many as I can before buying 1.

Did you make it to Phoenix yet? What have you looked at?


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on July 31, 2013, 10:19:14 AM
 No not yet. My son and I are leaving St.Louis August 3rd and driving straight there.


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: sdc53 on August 05, 2013, 10:38:07 PM
How was it? Did you buy it?


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: siberyd on August 06, 2013, 05:01:33 AM
I know he made it to Phoenix. He was posting major cities he was passing through on FB. When he got to Phoenix he posted a pic of a bus's steeringwheel.

Siberyd


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: LowTide on August 06, 2013, 11:11:00 AM
I know he made it to Phoenix. He was posting major cities he was passing through on FB. When he got to Phoenix he posted a pic of a bus's steeringwheel.

Siberyd

Steering wheel? Must be the mystery bus ;)


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: boxcarOkie on August 06, 2013, 02:05:49 PM
(http://i582.photobucket.com/albums/ss263/boxcarokie/y8ujy5am.jpeg)

By the time I get to Phoenix she will be rising.  She will look in the mirror and slowly comb her hair ....

Hahahahahahahahaa... I think I just hurt myself.

BCO-CTA


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: Van on August 06, 2013, 04:59:39 PM
([url]http://http://i582.photobucket.com/albums/ss263/boxcarokie/y8ujy5am.jpeg[/url])

By the time I get to Phoenix she will be rising.  She will look in the mirror and slowly comb her hair ....

Hahahahahahahahaa... I think I just hurt myself.

BCO-CTA


I love that song! ;D
(http://i457.photobucket.com/albums/qq292/cwvanhagen/Avatars_Funny_Cat_With_Headphones.gif)


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: boxcarOkie on August 06, 2013, 05:09:13 PM
  That should have been labeled "before and after" shot.  It don't look nuthin like that now.

(http://i582.photobucket.com/albums/ss263/boxcarokie/DSC01390.jpg)

But that old telephone will just keep on ringin' ... I am halfway to Amarillo by now ...

BCO-CTA


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on August 06, 2013, 08:17:37 PM
I bout the bus and it is  at Gepff's shop having some work done.  Actually my son and I are staying in it, and are lost in Geoffs neiborhood and he isn't answering his phone. So if anyone knows his address pm it to me please :)


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: usbusin on August 06, 2013, 08:28:06 PM
Here is his web site, if that helps.

http://generaldieselservice.com/ (http://generaldieselservice.com/)



Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: luvrbus on August 06, 2013, 08:36:12 PM
He lives Chino Valley I thought,Harleyman the old bus made it Prescott, Chino Valley that is a good climb for a test

good luck


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: bansil on August 07, 2013, 03:17:11 AM
so what did you end up with?

I don't facebook :-*


Title: Re: Pre buy bus exam
Post by: harleyman_1000 on August 08, 2013, 07:57:24 AM
 I bought a 1958 Gm 4104, and Im already having engine work done  :(  Welcome me to the bus world