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Author Topic: any comments looking at MCI 9  (Read 3479 times)
scottie
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« on: January 06, 2008, 02:02:24 PM »

HI
happy new year to everyone!!

just got in the door from looking at a 1987 MCI 9 crudsader II
6V92
5 SPEED STANDARD
TIRES,BATTERIES,ALTERNATOR ,EXHAUST MANUFOLD, ALL NEW, ALONG WITH THE TWO FANS? ON EITHER SIDE OF THE ENGINE.
THE BUS STARTED UP RIGHT AWAY,I THINK IT WAS AROUND 40 DEGRESS OUT SIDE TODAY
I DIDNT SEE ANY SMOKE AT ALL.THEY TOLD ME THAT SOMETIMES "BLACK" SMOKE COMES OUT THE EXHAUST..(BUS WAS RUNNING THE DAY BEFORE)
NO WASHROOM
AIR BAG SUSPENSION LOOK NEW TOO
140 GALLON FUEL TANKS
ALL GAUGES WORK, FUEL TOO
NO DENTS OR DAMAGE ON BODY
ALL 3 BAY DOORS OPEN AND CLOSED JUST FINE
420,000 APP. MILES
RECORDS THERE!! FROM FIRST OWNER (GOVERMENT BUS)
THE FLOOR HAS KIND OF A RAMP FROM JUST BEHIND THE DRIVERS SEAT,IN THE MIDDLE  OF THE FLOOR TOWARDS THE BACK OF THE BUS FOR ABOUT 4 FEET??
QUESTIONS...
WERE ANY OF THESE BUSES UNDER COATED? (CANADA) KIND OF LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING UNDERNEATH??
DOES BLACK SMOKE JUST MEAN ITS TOO RICH???
ANY THING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW???
ASKING $15,000.00
SCOTTIE  Huh

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blue_goose
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2008, 02:15:23 PM »

Dosn't sound bad, but if you shop a little you can get a 102 wide with automatic for the same price. 
Jack
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008, 02:21:47 PM »

I would say you are not going to find a 102 with an Auto with less than 500k on the ticker.

of course at the 420k mark I would be planning on a rebuild or transplant in the near future.
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scottie
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 02:29:22 PM »

thanks for the imput
yes i was leaning toward a automatic,but this bus was so close i had to look at it.
there is another one about 4 hours away,its the same as what i looked at today but 1/2 the price,problem is, i call the guy 6 times over the last few days and i cant  get ahold of him ....

hey tekebird are you saying that the DD  engines only do about 400,000 to 500,000 mile between rebuilds??
cheers
scottie  Smiley
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tekebird
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008, 02:39:57 PM »

thats what I be sayin...unless you go to a series 50/60 engine.

id thisa a Canadian Armed Forces Bus?
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2008, 04:38:19 PM »

If the engine doesn't smoke, leak oil, and starts in 40* weather without great balls of smoke,  holds good oil pressure when idling at op temp, it has a lot of miles left in it. Probably more miles than most RV users will ever accrue. 
Generally, a worn engine won't hold visible oil pressure when at operating temps, and you'll see blue smoke from the exhaust once it warms up.  Blue smoke at operating temp is bad news.  White smoke for a minute on cold starts isn't significant. 
Government buses are not run 24-7 an the unit may be in unusually nice condition.  The manual trans will give you an idea of wear and tear.  If it shifts nice and has minimal slop, it's very likely a mechanically good bus.
IF it isn't rusted out.  MC9s can have a ton of rust that'll cause all sorts of issues.  Check around the radiators sheet metal, squirrel cage blowers, engine cradle and related steel (for rust and cracks), and inside the spare tire compartment.   Check in the upper bay areas for rusted crossmembers or rotted flooring.  If it exists, it'll be visible in the bays. 
Has anything been in the bays?  Probably like new.
Does the bus have a sedan door?   
If no major rust problems, you got a nice coach.  Buy it. 
IMHO any 'nice' 102, even an older A3, will bring more than $15K.  Nice coaches will.  There are some rags that'll go for less.  Fuel prices may temporarily depress bus prices...maybe permanently?
Another plus is the lack of a restroom.  No rotted floors or stinky crapper removal. 
I'd look carefully at the coach.  Most government buses are pretty decent coaches.
I've got an 87 NJT that has undercoating-like material on the underside of the bay floors. 
All MC9s have that ramp you describe.  It comes out by removing the screws from the edge strip.  The whole ramp can be removed as a unit.   Flattening the floor is relatively easy.  Definitely something that should be done. 
It blows black smoke because it's an MUI (I'll bet) with manual transmission.  If you give it more fuel than it can burn, it'll make black smoke.  That's not a fault...just something MUIs do.   DDEC was not offered in most 87 year model MC9s...a few transit operators (NJT for one) spec'd  DDEC units.   Most bus owners prefer MUIs.  Easier to find mechanics for MUIs.
The only negative I see, so far, is the manual transmission.  And that isn't a negative in my book, but it is for RV conversion.  It could be converted to auto.  The manual would suit me just fine. 
Buy it!  JR  Wink



 
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2008, 05:04:57 PM »

Comment on Engines being worn out.

prior to installing a new 6-71 in my 04 the old engine ran fine, started in cold weather, didn't smoke any ammount to even comment on etc etc.  when it was replaced it was torn down just to see......everyone was ammazed that it was still running the cyl. were not scored but polished to an incredible amount......wasn't using oil, held Pressure etc.

who knows how much longer it would have run.

upon installation the difference was evident.....the new engine had alot more power.....although on real long grades it suffered, it had no issues with any of the highway grades in PA holding good speed and maintaining top gear.

a two stroke detroit will run worn out.... some will not smoke or give you any other indication of wear....some will......

just keep in mind at 500k expect it to let go....sometime in your future.
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tekebird
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 05:20:30 PM »

Rust:  Look here

1. Structure in the rear suspension...I have seen then starting to exfoliate

2. the two pieces of structure that hold the blowers up

3. Look down the side of the bus.....if it is wavey ( painted area) it is rusting on the inside

4. Baggage compartments. Corners of the compartments at the bottom...although not anything bad here it is a good indicator of what type of exposure it had.

5. The fresh air intakes ( plenum) on the sides just aft of the steer wheels......if that area is rusty or paint is bubbling it is rusting inside too.

6. Any bristering under the paint is a sign of something worse elsewhere.


NJT is right most newer buses worth having will bring much more than 15k.

even with the probably...nay expected motor transplant 15k for a nice clean straight bus is not bad, sure there are lower priced shells out there, but it al depends on what you will accept as far as flaws.  Some are happier than a clam with banged up pannels, rust blisters, mismatched well worn tires etc.......because it is the ride they are enjoying.

manual is only an issue if others might have to learn how to drive it ( read wife), or if you ever want to sell it.


Unless you want to do the conversion yourself: because you want to do it is a hobby, have some sort of special design need (16 kids) or something of the like.....you might want to consider a already converted coach.  many good conversions ( home done and Proffessionally done) can be had for less than what you will have in any nicely appointed conversion (just parts) if you do it yourself......and you will not be out hundreds/thousands of man hours.

Same as the condition of the bus.....if you cut corners, bargain shop for bits over 3 years, are OK with metal tent camping etc......it can be done cheaper.

Don't be swayed because it is close
Buy a good platform or a good already done conversion.

and keep in mind...buses are not cheap to fix......so remember that when budgeting......if you can barely afford the bus......or the fuel.......what are you going to do when you have a couple grand repair bill on the road.





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scottie
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 05:49:57 PM »

hi
yes it a x canadaian armed forces bus...how did you know??
a few things i forgot to mention after running the bus for 20 minutes the air pressure gauge read 125 and the oil pressure was just over 25 mark maybe 26/27 is that normal??
also there was two cracked windows on the side and it looked like they were double paine glass and it was the out side ones that were cracked...
there seam to be some rust around the two fans on either side of the engine (squarel cages??) looks like someone might have had a hard time installing the new fans Huh
the three bays looks pretty good for a 21 year old canadaian bus, but like you say its not run 24/7
i did look down the sides of the bus and there were no waves,rust ,dings anywhere.
im looking at doing the conversion my self as a hobby for the next few years...so i can do it my way and watch the buget too...right now im just concerned on the mechinical part of the bus and of course it would be nice if it was straight and in good shape
sorry for the silly questions but im "new" and still learning...
what is a sedan door??
also what  mui stand for???
thanks again
scottie
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buswarrior
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008, 05:57:53 PM »

Hello Scottie.

Sounds like a nice coach. Mechanicals can be repaired and replaced, having a fresh looking coach from the beginning is a good thing.

The dealer that has it didn't pay that high, and few, if any, of the 3rd tier companies around here are going to buy a manual equipped MC9... They want wide bodies and automatics. You have some room and some time to negotiate.

As for the drivetrain, I know where there is a low mileage 8V71 and Allison that will bolt in.

MUI is a mechanical unit injection, mechanical fuel injectors, DDEC is computer controlled electric injectors.
A sedan door is a one piece door hinged at the front, Bi-fold is the two piece doors that open in the middle, like a transit bus.

If you want some help, e-mail is in my profile.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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scottie
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 06:05:58 PM »

ok so its got a sedan door,and mui.......im learning thanks
the other one im trying to get a hold of i think is in your neck of the woods (416) area code
thanks for your offer buswarrior
scottie Smiley
oh yah the air  did work but the heat does!! so many things to remember  Undecided
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tekebird
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2008, 06:21:25 PM »

Canadian Armed forces bus  Canadian Govt bus with no restroom.

Don't know if this is the one but there was one on ebay I think some time back...it was at a used car lot.

maybe same one.....he wanted more then.

how did you check the A/C it's winter

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scottie
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2008, 04:05:52 AM »

im not sure but i dont think this one was on ebay.
i know there is one in southern ontario,at a dealers lot,it might have been that one.
as for the air,we didnt try it the guy just told me it didnt work
after running the bus for 20 minutes  is it normal for the air pressure to be at 125 and the oil pressure at about 27
thanks
scottie
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buswarrior
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2008, 07:24:30 AM »

Yes, air is fine.

The dash gauges for oil pressure are notoriously unreliable as the years go by, so you don't make purchasing decisions based on their readings.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2008, 09:32:38 AM »

Scottie,
I have a friend in Niagara on the Lake that bought a used canadian govt. 9 for a conversion platform. And you can bank on the records! If it says it's been done it has! We were amazed at how well it had been maintained! And if my memorie is correct there is some sort of law that they have to replace or rebuild all the items you mentioned (and more), before disposing of them. (some sorta liability issue about selling un-roadworthy coaches) Now before any of you more knowledgable canooks go get'n riled up, I am merely stating what Steve told me he was told & the condition of hjs coach backed it up! FWIW Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2008, 10:25:13 AM »

My 89 eagle has the 6V92. It had 405,000 miles on it and the engine was replaced at 388,000 by NJT. I don't think this series goes much over 400,000.
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2008, 02:50:36 PM »

If it's already in Canada and You are also. There's half the battle already done.

Remember if you buy one that has to be retitled or imported into Canada, You will be spending a lot of time and money on the "technicalities".

There are lots of messages in the archives about the pains that you have to go through converting a bus in Canada and getting inspections and modifications approved to make it a motorhome.

Dave....
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scottie
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2008, 03:49:19 PM »

yes thats true.being allready here in canada,ontario for that matter and 1/2 a hour drive from my place  does make it tempting.
im trying to weigh the good points and bad points.
if i were to make a serious offer i would have to get a dd guy to check it out for me first and take (or go for) a drive...dam ive never driven anything that big before, 5 ton truck is about the closest thing .
time to do some heavy thinking  Undecided
thanks everyone for your input.......
scottie
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2008, 04:37:24 PM »

HIghly recommend the 102" wide buses- that extra 6" makes a big difference inside-I know, I have a 40 x 102 transit bus with large windows, and we never feel the need for a slide out.  Personally, I would look for a 102C3.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2008, 05:53:39 PM »

I'd consider it long and hard, and then I'd hold out for the wide body. And if you're hesitant about driving a non-synchro stick, stay with a 102" and auto. Some people will tell you otherwise, but most that do are retired or not-retired road jockeys that think the harder it is to drive the more macho, tsk tsk. (LOL)
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2008, 08:53:44 PM »

HIghly recommend the 102" wide buses- that extra 6" makes a big difference inside-I know, I have a 40 x 102 transit bus with large windows, and we never feel the need for a slide out.  Personally, I would look for a 102C3.  Good Luck, TomC


UMMM HMMMM.  And start saving another $20K for a 'nice' Canadian 102C3.   Wink
A nice auto, 4 stroke, C3 could be closer to $40K, and up, than you might guess.  Every charter operator is looking for nice used C3s, and H3s.  And any other restroom equipped, auto, 102" wide bus.
You'll never know the difference as long as you stay out of 102" coaches.  That's easy enough. 
May I posit that your clean, manual shift, non-restroom gov MC9 may be a much better bus than most affordable C3s that are on the market.   
Driving a 102" isn't really any different than driving a 96".  Watch the toll booths~
The manual shift, 96" width, non-restroom is the reason the MC9 has not been sold.   
If the unit is relatively rust free, it's worth what they are asking.  And it'll sell in the spring to some converter that's reading these posts and now busily looking for the bus' location. 
However, I would agree with Buswarrior, during the snow season you may be able to negogiate a better price.   Even though the bus is "worth" $15K...in reality it's only worth what it'll bring.
The bus is not in demand for fare service.  So only converters and churches would be interested...and now more than a few are aware of the existance of the coach.... Shocked.   
For my money, I'd rather have a nice, relatively low mileage manual MC9 that has not been converted, than an unknown converted bus.   Converted buses are sold cheap for a reason.  You'll have to redo an unknown amount of the conversion.  And you'll have to figure out how in the hell the rest of it works. Be very careful with home-grown conversions. 
Follow Christy and Larry Hicks tales of "tempbus."  They bought a really nice factory converted GM..."tempbus" to fill in until "bigbus" (MCI MC9) was completed.  How bad can it be?   Huh  Even factory conversions can be a nightmare.  When traveling in "tempbus," shall we say that they live in interesting times.  Wink
Still, "tempbus" is a nice piece of equipment. 
Owner converted coaches have the extreme benefit of, even though it may not be perfect, the converter knows how it works.  You can easily diagnose and repair most issues that arise.  Huge benefit. 
Now, if money ain't an issue..... Roll Eyes
Another thing...as long as the engine's running well when you buy the bus (no water in the oil, running on all 6 cylinders), if you keep oil and water in a 6V92, and don't operate it above 2100 RPM, it'll run for a long time.  Even in an essentially 'worn out' condition. What typically kills these engines is oil, wrong oil or lack thereof.  Eventually, they'll use so much that it'll literally leak or burn gallons on a 500 mile trip.  That's a sign.  Keep the coolant up (don't overheat) and the correct oil in the correct quantity and treat the engine with some respect,  used like an RV, it'll likely last for as long as you keep the bus.  I do not garuntee that last statement.  Cool

BTW, OTR AC won't work for long in any event.   It's nice as long as it works.  Cost more to repair than the bus is worth.  Unless you're an HVAC guy, plan around the OTR AC.   

My dos centavos, JR



   


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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2008, 09:19:48 PM »

ok, scottie, when am I giving you driving lessons?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2008, 09:51:35 PM »

don;t be scared off the Coach A/C

we have four buses with it two GM's and two MCI's

they are not that difficult or expensive to maintain and you will never cool your bus faster.

JMHO
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scottie
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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2008, 04:10:49 AM »

good morning
the guy just emailed me back who owns the bus and told me to make a offer ..maybe ill low ball him and see what he says....
gee buswarrior i might take you up on your offer for driveing lessons lol Grin...when i went to look at the bus,and they ran it for about 20 minutes the guy was leaveing and ask if i knew how to shut it off...i figured if hes asking me how to shut it off ,there must be more to it that turning a key lol so i sayed no ...i think he push on the e brake ,pushed on the brake pedal and hit somw button Huh??
ill keep you informed
scottie  Undecided
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buswarrior
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2008, 06:56:10 AM »

I'm a fairly critical test pilot, too.

For a Tim Horton's lunch, count me in!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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scottie
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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2008, 08:11:40 AM »

WOW
thats a deal!!!
okay one tim hortons lunch comeing up!! (maybe some cold beers after that )
i email the guy back and low ball him,im sure they will not accept my offer,but if they do its a good deal and ill put up with the 5 speed
thanks buswarrior
scottie
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lyndon
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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2008, 09:31:41 PM »

Hey scottie, your initial description could have been our bus. Subsequent posts explained why. We own a Canadian Forces bus, a veteran of CFB Gagetown.

Purchased in August '07, we had found pretty much exactly the shell we were looking for:

  • well maintained
  • relatively low mileage for its age
  • already in Canada
  • rebuilt 6V92
  • 5 speed standard (a feature to me, but not for all)
  • no lav to tear out!
  • new or nearly new Michelins all around, including spare, with snow treads on the drives
  • complete CFB service records

Downside:

  • neglected for a year by interim owner, one battery left dried up and lube overdue
  • NB safety inspection promised, not delivered -- extra cost $2300 for mandatory AB safety and related repairs (rusted/leaking exhaust pipe, tie rod end and a bunch of minor stuff)
  • relative location (but what a ride back!)

So far, we've found no major problems beyond the initial safety issues already addressed and the usual rust, not unexpected coming from the NB climate. It runs great and used around 5 liters of oil (~1.5 US gal.) in the 2900 mile return trip. Pretty much everything works but the cruise, and I just found a broken switch while doing a lube on the clutch linkage.

A lowball offer is probably a good move, though. We payed under $14,000 FWIW. Of course, you have to consider the
current condition, but it sounds like a decent bus.

Happy hunting!

Don
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2008, 04:02:46 AM »

hi don
gee thats the bus im looking at to a tee!!!
i did get a e mail back with his counter offer,he even offered me a tax receipt for most of the purchase price (its a church that own it now)..
so you like the 5 speed mmmm maybe i should just try it and see for my self,just about all the cars/trucks/motorcycles/toys i own are standard...
good luck with your work
scottie
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2008, 11:00:24 AM »

hi don
gee thats the bus im looking at to a tee!!!
i did get a e mail back with his counter offer,he even offered me a tax receipt for most of the purchase price (its a church that own it now)..
so you like the 5 speed mmmm maybe i should just try it and see for my self,just about all the cars/trucks/motorcycles/toys i own are standard...
good luck with your work
scottie

Scottie just becareful of the maintance of it since it's been owned by the church. Not all but a lot of churchs maintance program is praying that GOD will take care of it and get them home! LOL! Sorry to say, but sadly true! On the other hand some churches (few and far between) go that step when maintaining them and are fanatics about it! The church that used to own Frank's AKA Slowrider's bus was that way! When they'd bring it to our shop and drop it off they'd tell me "do this, this, and check it completely over and let us know what else needs done!" Everytime I ever called them and told them of anything I found needing repaired or replaced they said "well do it, it has to be done!" But they were a definetely a rare case as many say "well what can we do to it to get by for a while", or "oh gosh we don't have the $ for that! It'll have to wait!"  So please do be sure and take an experienced nut or bus mechanic with you for the inspection before any $ changes hands! I'd say buswarrior would be as qualified as any nut, as any to ask for assistance in your neck of the woods! FWIW happy hunting!
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2008, 07:57:03 PM »

Scottie, BK makes a good point about the maintenance program of the current owners; we did not give much consideration to what happened after the excellent military program, and definitely had a few issues. A second set of eyes, especially objective and experienced eyes might save you some grief.

Nevertheless, I can think of some commonsense ways to gain insight into their maintenance policies, without even getting under the bus! (You've probably heard the safety warnings about under).

  • Do they have good records and receipts?
  • Are all the fluid levels where the should be? (Engine/transmission oil, coolant, batteries, even WW fluid).
  • Is there fresh grease on the belt tensioner shafts?
  • Are the fluids reasonably clean?
  • Are all the tires inflated to the same pressure (within a few psi at most)?
  • Do all of the lights work?
  • Are wiper blades worn?

If more than a few of these items are deficient, their program is lax, but if everything checks out, they probably have been diligent in the routine maintenance. None of these are expensive to fix, so there only excuse for deficiencies would be the prayer program, as BK eloquently pointed out.

I'll bet there's a hundred other ways to tell, too.

Don
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Don
1988 MC-9
scottie
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« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2008, 04:03:28 AM »

very true
as far as i know the church group only had it for 2 or 3 years.they told me most of the kids they bused around have drivers licences now  and use their car now to get to their meeting or what ever..and it wasnt worth keeping it and thats why their selling it.
it went from the goverments hands(1st owner) to a auction house where the church bought it and put new batteries in it along with a exhaust maniufold,regulator,and a few other things,plus getting it to pass the safety check.i think he told me they had $20,000.00 into it.
the guy call me again the night before and left a message.im sure they didnt get many calls on it...
ill get back to him and see what he has to say,then maybe the next step is to bring a D.D. guy out and a "bus nut" for  a test drive  Shocked
scottie
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