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Author Topic: How about the pre-purchase inspection...  (Read 665 times)
Geom
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1966 PD4107




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« on: June 23, 2013, 10:55:18 PM »

So I'm pretty certain I want a pre-purchase inspection on whatever bus we get.

What should one expect out of a pre-purchase inspection done right?
How many hours are reasonable?
What things/systems should be expected checked? And how?
What results would you expect listed out?
What kind of questions would you be looking to ask or make sure they check?

As far as interviewing the potential shop, what kinds of questions would you have for them, or expect them to know, to assess their capability?

This would be on a GM 410x.

Thanks
George
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 11:09:41 PM by Geom » Logged

1966 GM 4107
6v92 Turbo
V730
Jon
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 04:09:35 AM »

You would be amazed at how much you will learn and how capable you are at doing part of, if not all of your own pre-purchase inspection.

A long drive during which the engine and transmission can come up to temperature, and which hopefully can include a long steep climb will enable you to listen to the engine, watch the gauges especially noting coolant temps and oil pressure, and get a sense of how well the coach runs. You can watch the air pressure gauges to see if they are holding steady or cycling repeatedly. You can do a DOT brake check. Lay on the ground and shine a flashlight at the rear side of all the wheels. They should be bone dry. Oil on the wheels and tires indicates hub seal leaks.

Since tires are such an expensive part of a coach you can look at dates and sidewall cracks. You can check date codes on batteries. You can get a sense of a coach's care by a visual inspection. A coach with a rat's nest of wires, dripping oil, and a generally unkempt condition speaks to its maintenance history. Since the house portion is going to be unique just start working all the systems. Find out what each knob and switch does. Run water and flush the toilet. Operate the air conditioners. Use an IR gun to measure supply and return air on the AC units and expect the temperature differential to be no less than 15 degrees. And the greater the temperature spread the better.

But the bottom line is going to be your gut. You may want a coach so bad you can taste it, but for once step back and look at it objectively. If it looks crappy, it is. If the seller says "they all do that" chances are he is lying. If something doesn't work and the seller says "that's an easy repair" then you know he is lying.

If you have done your detailed inspection and still want an outside opinion then take it to a reliable shop that has expertise in coaches. The coach should at least be capable of passing a DOT commercial inspection. That will take in all the lights, brakes, etc.

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Jon

Current coach 2006 Prevost, Liberty conversion
Knoxville, TN
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 11:50:58 AM »

i'd see who's been using their bus in the area where you want to buy, make out a list of important issues and questions of your own for them to add to their list, and ask another busnut to inspect it for you.  That's what we did and for the most part, we are happy with the result (ignoring the rear tv/vcr inspection- T.M.I.)  Now that i've got a few years under my belt, even i'd be comfortable inspecting one, although mine my not be as thorough on engines as some would be.

If it's anywhere in GA or SC, i'd contact john Vickrey.  Engines, frame, general knowledge and a good person to know. (although he's in the top of MI right at the moment) South FL, Jack Conrad same endorsement. (although he's too busy in NC kayaking).
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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
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