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...!!!!
Pictures of the new baby are on the way...