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Old 02-01-2018, 07:20 PM   #1
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Adventures with Thomas the Bus

Today the wife and I drove 2 1/2 hrs south and picked up our bus! We decided to name him Thomas (yeah I know, real original). The drive home was uneventful, he ran fine although for the first 30 minutes I tended to panic when I'm not moving the throttle and he would begin to slow. Then "its the governor, stupid" would echo in my head! I soon became used to it though. We had about a 15 mph headwind and many long mostly gentle hills on our route. It is governed at 60 mph which is 21 RPM. It maintained 60 on all but a few of the steeper hills which it took at 55 mph.

Several questions:
the temperature gauge stayed at 195 or a needles width below which I assume is normal?

The fuel gauge bounced around a lot as the bus swayed, is that normal?

The oil pressure gauge stayed at 25-27 depending on whether the engine was flat out or in town. At an idle at operating temperature it would drop to to what appeared to be about 10 psi. Cause for alarm? From what I read if it were too low the bus would not run at all due to the HEUI pump. Is that correct?

The only gauge that never twitched was the transmission temperature gauge, I will have to check that one out.

As things progress I'm sure I will have lots of questions and I am happy for a place like this to pick the brains of those who know!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg First fill up - ouch!.jpg (186.1 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg Picnic time!.jpg (260.7 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg Thomas at his new home 1.jpg (375.0 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg Home at last 2.jpg (346.3 KB, 37 views)
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:56 PM   #2
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That is a good looking bus!!

Tell us a bit more about it. What engine & transmission? That will make it easier to answer engine/transmission questions.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:37 PM   #3
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It is a 1999 Thomas MVP
Cat 3126B Diesel rear pusher
Allison automatic transmission with overdrive. I don’t know the model yet, has first, second, third and Drive.
And at 60 mph the rpm was 2100, NOT 21!
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Old 02-02-2018, 07:01 AM   #4
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Nice looking bus! Congrats!

As a new skoolie myself, it will be fun to build my bus but also see the others like yourself build yours.

Welcome to the forums and have fun!!

James
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:06 AM   #5
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My best guess is that a 1999 with overdrive would be an MD3060.

I have the same transmission in my bus. I drove it over 300 miles before I saw the transmission temperature go over 150.

I was using my bus as a moving truck. I packed my household goods in it and drove over Snoqualmie pass. Packed full and pulling 4-5% grades definitely brought transmission temperature up a bit but never enough to be of concern.
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:06 PM   #6
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does the transmission handle have Push buttons like a keypad? (thats MD3060) or is it a 'T' handle like in a car, lettered 'R-N-D-3-2-1'(this is MT643 or AT545.. Non Overdriver) or is it lettered 'R-N-D-4-2-1'?(allison 2000 series Overdriver

highly unlikely you have the last optiopn I listed as allison released the 1000/2000 in the late 99 model year.

25-27 on a HEUI engine is a little bit low on oil pressure. . but also the dash gauge is not the way to measure it if you suspect an issue.. get someone to read the ECM for you and that will give you a better reading.. (BEST!! is a mechanical test gauge on the oil pressure test port of the engine).. but the ECM is usually decent.

I would definitely change the oil / fiulter, put it in some nice Rotella T 15W40 T4 oil and drive it around some more..
-Christopher
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Old 02-02-2018, 09:08 PM   #7
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Thanks James, welcome to you as well! The journey will be fun!
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Old 02-02-2018, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
does the transmission handle have Push buttons like a keypad? (thats MD3060) or is it a 'T' handle like in a car, lettered 'R-N-D-3-2-1'(this is MT643 or AT545.. Non Overdriver) or is it lettered 'R-N-D-4-2-1'?(allison 2000 series Overdriver

highly unlikely you have the last optiopn I listed as allison released the 1000/2000 in the late 99 model year.

25-27 on a HEUI engine is a little bit low on oil pressure. . but also the dash gauge is not the way to measure it if you suspect an issue.. get someone to read the ECM for you and that will give you a better reading.. (BEST!! is a mechanical test gauge on the oil pressure test port of the engine).. but the ECM is usually decent.

I would definitely change the oil / fiulter, put it in some nice Rotella T 15W40 T4 oil and drive it around some more..
-Christopher
It is a T handle with a button on the left side and it is labeled R-N-D-3-2-1. When Iím off work week after next I will get under it and look for a plate of some sort. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. If it doesnít run good then itís a huge paperweight!
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Old 02-03-2018, 04:55 PM   #9
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Somehow I got overdrive stuck in my head. I just reread the OP and I was mistaken.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:00 PM   #10
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It is frustrating to have the bus home and not be able to get started on it due to something called a JOB. The alarm goes off at 4:30 AM followed by an hour drive each way with 12 hours on my feet in the middle. For some reason since I hit my 60’s a while back I just don’t bounce back like I used to! We planned to get started pulling seats today but babysitting a sick grand child took presidence. It rained hard this afternoon so I was curious to see if the bus leaked and where. No windows leaked to my surprise. The only leaks I found were from the two roof emergency hatches which did not surprise me. I guess I need to see if I can seal them somehow until we decide whether to install roof AC units or powered vents in those two spots.
Does anyone have experience with mini split AC in a skoolie?
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