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Old 03-01-2007, 10:56 PM   #1
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Location: Tullahoma, Tennessee
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Year: 2002
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Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E (250h.p.)
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Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!

Well, well, well... I need some therapy... Maybe ya'll will understand... My wife says, "So, are you excited?" and all I can say is, "Huh?"

She's an 84 passenger '85 Thomas SafTLiner RE 3208NA 210hp with automatic chains. Oooooh! (Does anybody know how to get the automatic chains to work?)

She also ran out of fuel 6 blocks down the road. I now know how to bleed injector lines.

My children love it. For about 670 miles they were at the back window seeing how many semi's they could get to honk at them. Quite a few. So many that I had to honk back at a few of them . Did I say she also has air horns? Oooooh!

She really seems to be nice! The tires are almost brand new (at least 90%) and it's obvious that it was well maintained. No rust. I was able to talk to the school district's mechanics and they were all positive about it. They've been running their fleet on biodiesel the past few years so I don't know how that's affected it (They run cleaner with it don't they?).

On the way home she ran ~55-60mph at 2600 rpm (I understand the non turbo runs about 500rpm higher than the turbo ones?). There's very little play in the steering and it runs nice and straight. I filled up every 200 miles (I DO NOT want to run out again!!) and on the first tank got 12mpg. The next 3 tanks were 7mpg. Temp. stayed slightly below 180. It has a tranny oil temp gauge! which barely moved up from resting.

She doesn't smoke at idle but under load will put out a little black smoke. The exhaust comes out the side so I can watch it in the mirror. On my second tank I tried to stay out of the throttle to see if mileage would improve but apparently it didn't. She also uses a little oil (not sure yet exactly how much - maybe 3~4 qts. for 700 miles?) I talked to the head mechanic here who has a lot of experience on the 3208s and he said it all sounds typical. He said I should turn up the fuel and it should run 70 no problem. It'd be nice to have a lower ratio on the rear end.

So now the fun begins...!!!!
Rick
Pictures of the new baby are on the way...
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:28 PM   #2
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Sounds like another winner!
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:06 AM   #3
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Congrats. Being crazy is not a bad thing. I actually enjoy it when people think I'm nuts. They leave you alone!
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:44 AM   #4
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Automatic chains? Cool! We have them on our fire trucks at the station. You have to be moving a few miles an hour before deploying them. There should be a switch that activates them, and they swing down on air pressure. There is a wheel that rubs on the tire and the chains hang from the wheel, so the swing around and around and throw themselves under the tire so you can drive over them. You can only go so fast (maybe 30 or so) with them - but it's better than zero!
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:21 AM   #5
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we have a sticker with instructions printed inside one of our firetrucks. I'll try to either copy it down or take a photo so you can see. I belive the ones we have are insta-chain brand. I've only used them a couple times. There is a switch for the chains. If i remember correctly you push the button once and it engages the chains, push it twice and it pickes the chains up and out of the way.

minimum speed varies depending on the model chain you use. Some start working at like 6mph and others at 12. I read all about htem some time ago, but it's been a year or so.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:33 PM   #6
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Seems the Safe-T-Liner is getting to be a very popular unit!!
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:24 PM   #7
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tullahoma, Tennessee
Posts: 214
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E (250h.p.)
Rated Cap: 81
Yeah, personally I like the way they look compared to the BB RE's I was kinda wondering if any of the SafTLiner folks would want to barter on anything; i.e. I was thinking about doing a one-off fiberglass air dam off the front bumper and realizing it might be pretty easy to do 2 or 3 once I got the mold made, etc.
Rick
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:54 PM   #8
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Just an air dam? I'd be interested in changing the whole front...mine has a couple dents in one corner and I'd like to cover them up!!
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You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:09 AM   #9
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Glad to hear you settled on a bus and got what sounds like a winner!

Good to see another Thomas ER on the site (makes it easier to swipe ideas!).

I didn't get the auto-chains but I did get rear wheel sanders...that ought to be fun.
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:19 AM   #10
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My bus came from Arizona. It came with auto-chains, rear wheel sander and 4wd.
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