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Old 08-08-2019, 09:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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School Bus - Should I buy it? Should I?

I've got a truck for sale for $3,800 and had a guy ask me if I'd be willing to trade for his bus project. Looks like he got it from this yard, since he was saying he brought it back from San Diego: https://ventura.craigslist.org/ctd/d...942849482.html
Sounds like he's a little down and out, just had his truck stolen and doesn't have a great place to store the bus any more - just looking for a commuter while he finishes school.

Anyway, it's a 2000 F450 with a 7.3 turbo diesel - couple videos I saw sound like it's running pretty healthy. Not running this second because of missing heater lines from tearing out extra heating, but that should be pretty easy to fix and fire up before signing anything. Has 187k miles.

I was told that since it's it's over 14k gvwr it's smog exempt. He has it registered as a flatbed pickup truck at the moment, but on non-op. Eventually converting to an RV registration down the line, anyone know if it'd be able to retain smog exemption? Would it be based on weight?

Kind of on the fence with this one, but it'd be a sweet project I wasn't looking for. It'd also be sweet to just get cash for the truck I've got for sale, but no one seems to be biting lately.

What say the PBB? Look like a good platform, or anything to check over with this thing? I'm not familiar with the 7.3 or anything else on this rig. Going to go check it out in person tomorrow or over the weekend, get vin and look for any back fees, etc.

Last photo is it's current status. He's been working on 'converting to a tiny home' or something along those lines...
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Video of it running when they first picked it up:

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Old 08-08-2019, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you trying to help the guy out, or do you actually want a school bus project?

I'm inclined to say don't buy it, but I suppose it matters what truck you're selling.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you trying to help the guy out, or do you actually want a school bus project?

I'm inclined to say don't buy it, but I suppose it matters what truck you're selling.
I'm not trying to help the guy out. In the back of my mind, I'm always looking for projects like this, but it'd probably end up sitting for a little while. Truck I'm selling is a '93 2wd Toyota pickup.

I'm honestly on the fence, and will probably take cash for my truck if someone offers it first...
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Working on powerstrokes in a van chassis sucks from what I've read. Might be cool to have a schoolie, but specifically one with a MDT chassis. I'd pass.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think if it's mechanically solid, you're getting the better end of the deal, there is a segment of people that want to travel or live in a 7.3 van, sometimes they have money, but you'll need to hold it until they can sell it

If you can store that, I'd add a cheap house battery, solar panel, charger, inverter, some usb ports, maybe a 12v vent fan and a small fresh water tank, and advertise it in Seattle for 10k

Then consider converting to 4wd and listing for 22k

As long as you don't make anything too specific, I'd bet every dollar and hour you spent would be profitable
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think if it's mechanically solid, you're getting the better end of the deal, there is a segment of people that want to travel or live in a 7.3 van, sometimes they have money, but you'll need to hold it until they can sell it

If you can store that, I'd add a cheap house battery, solar panel, charger, inverter, some usb ports, maybe a 12v vent fan and a small fresh water tank, and advertise it in Seattle for 10k

Then consider converting to 4wd and listing for 22k

As long as you don't make anything too specific, I'd bet every dollar and hour you spent would be profitable
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd make that trade in a heartbeat
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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SAS sChOOL bus..
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Neighbor bought a c/l short bus and parked it behind his fence, it is now a play house, he has 2 youngsters, most popular house on his street.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If itís not running, Iíd assume itís a basket case.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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SAS sChOOL bus..
It might be in ford, or general, but there is a very similar bus, maybe 7.3 srw that got a junkyard axle swap and goes to all the mud events, looks like a blast, and an easy swap

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If itís not running, Iíd assume itís a basket case.
Usually would agree with this, but I can see where the guy was building it out, tell him to hook it up before the trade and good enough for me
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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With a gvw of 14k it will be illegal to operate in ca after the first of the year. I'll bet the seller knows that and that's why he disclosed the registration change
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think if it's mechanically solid, you're getting the better end of the deal, there is a segment of people that want to travel or live in a 7.3 van, sometimes they have money, but you'll need to hold it until they can sell it

If you can store that, I'd add a cheap house battery, solar panel, charger, inverter, some usb ports, maybe a 12v vent fan and a small fresh water tank, and advertise it in Seattle for 10k

Then consider converting to 4wd and listing for 22k

As long as you don't make anything too specific, I'd bet every dollar and hour you spent would be profitable
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I'd make that trade in a heartbeat
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SAS sChOOL bus..
This was my immediate response - hard not to picture it with an SAS and the biggest tires I can legally run on the roadway, with enough uptravel to make it dangerous. Close to stock ride height - I ain't afraid to cut sheetmetal... I don't know who's going to pay for all of that, but that's always my first thought

Or yeah, just finish out the floor, throw some paneling on the walls, add a few accessories and sell it to some tiny house or #vanlife fags...


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If it’s not running, I’d assume it’s a basket case.
I really don't think he's had it that long, and it was running pretty solid before he started stripping out the interior. He said it had a rear A/C and heater that he pulled out, hence the missing heater hose. I'm under the impression that it runs just fine, but needs a few dollars worth of heater hose to retain it's coolant. I'll know a lot more if I go look at it in person...


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With a gvw of 14k it will be illegal to operate in ca after the first of the year. I'll bet the seller knows that and that's why he disclosed the registration change
And why is that? If you're speaking about the lack of DEF, I believe that's for commercial vehicles and does not apply to RV/house car/personal rigs?


This probably is not going to happen - I wasn't really planning taking on another project, but I'm not 100% out yet. Once I decide to pass on it, I can PM the guy's info if anyone else wants it. I think he just needs a clean DD so he can finish up school...
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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With a gvw of 14k it will be illegal to operate in ca after the first of the year. I'll bet the seller knows that and that's why he disclosed the registration change
back story?
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/prog...bus-regulation

As heavy-duty on-road vehicles are such a significant source of pollutants, the Truck and Bus Regulation is one of the most far-reaching and important tools to reduce smog-forming and toxic emissions and protect public health in disadvantaged communities. It is a key element in CARB's Diesel Risk reduction plan and the State Implementation Plan, both of which are designed to provide clean air for Californians by helping to meet state and federal health-protective standards. Starting January 1, 2020, SB1 only allows vehicles compliant with this regulation to be registered by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/prog...bus-regulation

As heavy-duty on-road vehicles are such a significant source of pollutants, the Truck and Bus Regulation is one of the most far-reaching and important tools to reduce smog-forming and toxic emissions and protect public health in disadvantaged communities. It is a key element in CARB's Diesel Risk reduction plan and the State Implementation Plan, both of which are designed to provide clean air for Californians by helping to meet state and federal health-protective standards. Starting January 1, 2020, SB1 only allows vehicles compliant with this regulation to be registered by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Read that link and doesnít really go into specifics - but Ďtruck and busí to me reads as a commercial requirement. I doubt owning a Ď01 diesel motor home would fall under what theyíre talking about there...
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/prog...bus-regulation

As heavy-duty on-road vehicles are such a significant source of pollutants, the Truck and Bus Regulation is one of the most far-reaching and important tools to reduce smog-forming and toxic emissions and protect public health in disadvantaged communities. It is a key element in CARB's Diesel Risk reduction plan and the State Implementation Plan, both of which are designed to provide clean air for Californians by helping to meet state and federal health-protective standards. Starting January 1, 2020, SB1 only allows vehicles compliant with this regulation to be registered by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/msprog/trucks...egs/dmvreg.htm
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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So does that apply to recreational vehicles? I'd think that anyone owning a diesel motorhome will not need to scrap or repower it... Anybody know anything on this - I'm not seeing where the line is between commercial and recreational in any of the links posted above. Or how that'd affect a commercial vehicle being re-registered as a recreational
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I could argue this 2 ways Chris.

CONS: You aren't looking for a project, and want the cash, so skip it. 7.3 in a van IS a pain to work on too. The E40D/4R100 is about to shit the bed though with 187k stop &go miles.

PROS: Yes, a 7.3 with 187k miles is awesome. The way around the CARB law is to convert it with the DMV to a "housecar" (what I did with the F800). As soon as its a motorhome, the smog disappears. This could be your accomodations/tow rig for desert trips. You have the fabrication skill set to finish what he started.

Ultimately, I think you should decide if you actually want this thing for a purpose in your life. 🍻
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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So does that apply to recreational vehicles? I'd think that anyone owning a diesel motorhome will not need to scrap or repower it... Anybody know anything on this - I'm not seeing where the line is between commercial and recreational in any of the links posted above. Or how that'd affect a commercial vehicle being re-registered as a recreational



No it does not. The key would be to change it to an "rv" before January.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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No it does not. The key would be to change it to an "rv" before January.
So registration can't be changed to recreational after January? Where are you seeing that?


I decided to pass on this thing. If anyone else is interested I can PM you his contact info. Link to pics/vid he sent me is here:
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...FrQWhEQ1NKbFdB
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