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Old 10-03-2016, 08:20 AM   #21
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
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Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
Well.... as it turns out the IC CE has a major issue with the engine, according to the seller... so I guess it's out and I'll be going with the Thomas after all.
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:41 AM   #22
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 3,104
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
interesting, I wonder what they did to a DT-466E.. thats a pretty tough engine.. unless they got it hot and the coolant went in the oil...

or its the electronic injector system giving them fits... they are known to do that.
-Christopher
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:59 AM   #23
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Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
He didn't say.... guess they're still working on it.

That engine was the only real reason I was even considering it... the Thomas has more of what I want in bodywork and styling.

Actually wish I still had my old coach.... flat nose AND DT-466 engine. Oh well.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:05 AM   #24
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
that motor still scares me..

by the way we wereb oth right on it... it is a Mercedes named engine built by detroit...
I just hear they go through a ton of oil is the main thing...

has to make me wonder - paranoid? maybe.. but the guy has one bus with a busted up DT-466 and nother with an MBE906.. is the MBE decommisioned by a school because it burned so much oil they got tired of it??

https://www.demanddetroit.com/pdf/en..._906_specs.pdf

-Christopher
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:26 AM   #25
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
that motor still scares me..

by the way we wereb oth right on it... it is a Mercedes named engine built by detroit...
I just hear they go through a ton of oil is the main thing...

has to make me wonder - paranoid? maybe.. but the guy has one bus with a busted up DT-466 and nother with an MBE906.. is the MBE decommisioned by a school because it burned so much oil they got tired of it??

https://www.demanddetroit.com/pdf/en..._906_specs.pdf

-Christopher
Anything Mercedes will eat you alive in parts cost and maintenance.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:18 AM   #26
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 613
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
They have several others but the tires on them are all just about gone, and I don't really feel like shelling out another 2-3k on new tires...

I've been looking around at other locations but no one close enough to me has anything I can really afford....

Still looking but I get the feeling I'm just gonna have to take my chances.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:37 AM   #27
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
you dont have to be super close... both of mine were 1000 miles away...

and im not saying the MBE is going to Blow up on you... they actually dont have a huge history of nuking... their biggest issue is some of them use a Ton of oil.. and parts are pricey if you should need engine work to it...

I only question that one as its a little unusual for a school to give up a 10 year od bus that looks to have a beautiful body on it.. ive only ever seen one of these engines in person and it looked and sounded and ran great... the guy just said it went through a quart of oil every 175 miles... and had been using alot of oil (progressively more) for a longtime but it never left him stranded..

if it runs, sounds, and drives good and doesnt crazily smoke then i'd say its a good candidate.. and then id be sure to drive it short distances, check the oil and then take it on a good ride before I started converting it..

I firmly believe every bus should be run a few hundred miles or more before you convert them.. just to make sure it is mechanically sound... and you also get used to the idea of whether a bus is right for you or not...

both of mine I started out driving along, and stopping every 20 or 30 miles to see if I was losing or using antifreeze, oil, trans fluid, etc and how it sounded.. the farther i got the more I learned and had a pretty good acquaintence with my bus after the trip.. (the first one i broke down 450 miles into the trip from a compressor failure...)
-Christopher
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:03 PM   #28
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 613
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
Yea I get what you're saying.... Detroit Diesel has a good reputation, last I heard, so I'm not overly concerned about it, just looking at all my options.

As I may or may not have said, some years back I had a '92 Ward on an International chassis with DT466 engine... that was a thing of beauty, ran like a champ, I drove several thousand miles in it without incident but a dispute with the storage lot where I kept it over raising storage fees every year ended up in my losing it.... I had never gotten around to starting the conversion on it anyway, due to lack of funds. So from that experience I know a bus and I will be good together.

The plan for this one is about the same... drive it around, get used to it, see how it acts, how the fluid levels hold, all that.... if I find it is using a lot of oil that's when I'll see what can be done about it, even if it comes to a rebuild or swap (though it would have to be a major major issue before that would be an option).

Since I have been getting parts ordered and sent in, once I determine the suitability I can start in on the project straight away.

Thanks for the input, has definitely been food for thought.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:51 PM   #29
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
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Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
I went to Indianapolis to check out Jasmine today.... I was hoping to bring her home but I was unable to secure insurance (more on that in a different thread).

The trip up was worthwhile though... I did give her a pretty thorough inspection followed by a test drive. Mechanically she looks to be in pretty good shape for her age... some rust was evident in the engine bay but that's to be expected. She turned right over and she handles beautifully. Her instrumentation is fairly complete, and all gauges work properly save one (more on that in a minute). Down the left side, oil pressure, water temp, trans temp. Tach next, then speedo.... down the right side, fuel level, primary air, secondary air. Voltage is part of the digital readout with the odometer, trip odometer and hour meter.

All the lights were functional (including the warning flashers). Her brake/tail and turn signal lights on the rear are already LED so that's some more fundage I can save.

Over the course of an hour or so spent inspecting and driving, I did find out a few things that are going to influence my build.

First, the good...

1) She already has an air seat, so I won't have to worry about that (and will save the cost of one).

2) The underbay storage.... instead of two compartments, it is one full-width compartment. That will simplify some things hopefully, and will also give me a protected area to hang my fresh water tank... and maybe my grey water tank too, if there's room. Probably going with a composting toilet so won't have black water to deal with.

3) The air doors already have a locking mechanism built in. Not great, but better than nothing. I'll have to tinker with it a little to get them to secure better.

4) There is some free space in the engine bay where I can install any components that would need to be close to the engine for any reason.

And a couple of things that are really neither good nor bad, but things that I'll have to work around or figure out...

5) There is a full-width rear seat mounted to/over the rear engine housing. Gonna have to figure out how to get that out.

6) There was a repair done to the floor. Not sure if it is just a surface repair or if it goes all the way through to the crossmembers underneath the body. Either way when I lay new plywood on the floor it will not be visible, but it will have to be addressed if there's a hole in the metal.

Now, the not so great... nothing that was a deal breaker but still things that will need to be fixed.

7) Her body does have some surface rust which was not visible in the photos... again nothing really major, and to be expected for a bus of her age, nothing that a wire brush on a drill motor won't take care of.

The coolant reservoir cap was missing... that should only be a few bucks at a truck stop or engine service facility.

9) This was the biggest issue but still not a deal breaker.... the speedometer is way off. Apparently this is a fairly common issue with these buses, and a replacement sensor should fix it (part is less than $100).

Since I was unable to get insurance on her today, I'll have to have her delivered to me (which should be comparable to the cost of the fuel I would have had to purchase to get her home). Hopefully this will happen soon and I can start on the build.
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My bus - Jasmine - External Build Website - YouTube Channel - TN/KY Meetup Group
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:49 AM   #30
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I think Thomas makes a pretty good coach.

But Jasmine is sounding like something to run away from very quickly and not something you would want to run towards.

Items that would cause me concern:
  • The MBE engine is a money pit. Some might call it a Detroit Diesel engine but it is all European engineering that few mechanics understand. When it runs right it is great engine. But when anything goes wrong your only recourse is to take it to a Freightliner or Detroit dealer. And that won't guarantee that there is someone at that franchise that knows anything about it.
  • Electrical gremlins are the bane of existence in newer equipment. That bus is new enough that is going to have some multiplexing going on. With multiplexing, unless you understand the wiring diagram and how everything receives a signal to operate you could end up with a bus that won't run or if it will run it won't run correctly.
  • Rust is never good in a bus. You can chase your tale for weeks trying to convert all of the rust only to discover it bubbling up somewhere else. I noticed in one picture the paint appears to be a different color yellow around the rear wheel well. Around here that is usually indicative of running chains and having a set come loose and bang the living stuffing out of the side of the bus. I have also seen repairs in those areas on buses that have become rotted.
  • The price makes me suspicious that there is something really wrong with that bus. Buses priced in that price range are usually at least five years older and many thousands more miles.
Jasmine appears to be a pretty nice bus and the short wheelbase is not very common. But at the price quoted I would look somewhere else.

Midwest Transit in Kankakee, IL (and other locations) has a huge inventory of used buses that can meet just about any person's needs and pocket book. If you go there ask for Rick Hanson. I have purchased about 30 buses from him over the years and have had satisfied customers for almost all of them. Used Vehicles with keyword "School" for Sale - Midwest Transit
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