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Old 10-26-2017, 10:49 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Pensacola, Fl
Posts: 19
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: not sure
Engine: 8.3L L6 Diesel
Rated Cap: not sure
8.3L L6 Diesel

Can someone please tell me if this is a good engine or not? It's on a 2000 Thomas which is currently in Maryland. Was decommissioned recently from Virginia or I've been told. Am going next week to check it out. It suppose to to have 53000 miles on it. Don't know if it's the original miles or not.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:18 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 36
Skytz,

8.3 are good engines. You just need to determine the contion of the engine you are looking at. Milage is not always accurate, odometers sometimes get replaced. If it is an ISC it should be possible for a shop to check the milage on the engine computer against the odometer. Get the service records if available. If the engine had a history of being overheated beware. Oil sampling can tell you if there are any unseen problems like coolant, fuel, or high levels of wear metals in the oil.

Ted
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:05 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,425
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I'll go along with Tjones on all points.

The 8.3 is one of the most well regarded engines installed in school buses.
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Old 10-27-2017, 12:05 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by skytz View Post
Can someone please tell me if this is a good engine or not? It's on a 2000 Thomas which is currently in Maryland. Was decommissioned recently from Virginia or I've been told. Am going next week to check it out. It suppose to to have 53000 miles on it. Don't know if it's the original miles or not.
Check the "Hours" meter. at 50k that should be around 3000 hours or so. If it's wildly higher then it's likely the engine has done more miles.

With that engine, anything under 250k is nothing to worry about as long as the oil is good and has been regularly changed. Usual checks apply ... no horrible smoke, not oil in coolant, etc.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:27 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Kansas
Posts: 209
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins, 643
I ran a blow by test on my 8.3 before buying and while it doesn't prove the engine will last any longer the good results gave me the warm and fuzzy I needed to make the purchase.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,556
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
I ran a blow by test on my 8.3 before buying and while it doesn't prove the engine will last any longer the good results gave me the warm and fuzzy I needed to make the purchase.

how do you perform that? id like to do it on both of my busses just to get an idea of the wear level on the rings / valves..

-Christopher
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:38 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Kansas
Posts: 209
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins, 643
You need a manometer, I used a simple clear hose made into a U shape then a T connected to the crank case vent on your engine one side connects to the manometer and the other side has an orifice ( not sure what size your engines will use). After the engine is warmed up you measure the readings of the manometer at different RPM's. Cummins has the orifice size and desired results available i have never done one on any other diesel.

There is loads of info available on line. You can buy "kits" but my dad made me a slick fitting that does the 5.9 and 8.3 Cummins it has both size orifices and you just tape the one your not using.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:40 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,556
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
You need a manometer, I used a simple clear hose made into a U shape then a T connected to the crank case vent on your engine one side connects to the manometer and the other side has an orifice ( not sure what size your engines will use). After the engine is warmed up you measure the readings of the manometer at different RPM's. Cummins has the orifice size and desired results available i have never done one on any other diesel.

There is loads of info available on line. You can buy "kits" but my dad made me a slick fitting that does the 5.9 and 8.3 Cummins it has both size orifices and you just tape the one your not using.
great information!! ill look in my navistar service books for it.. I have a manometer from my days in HVAC (setting gas valves on boilers and furnaces)..

-Christopher
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:29 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Pensacola, Fl
Posts: 19
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: not sure
Engine: 8.3L L6 Diesel
Rated Cap: not sure
"If it is an ISC it should be possible for a shop to check the milage on the engine computer against the odometer." I don't know what that is and I don't think they'll allow to take it to a shop. Was hoping to persuade a shop to let me borrow a mechanic. "Oil sampling can tell you if there are any unseen problems like coolant, fuel, or high levels of wear metals in the oil." Again how do you do that, talking to a newbie so dummie it down please (ha ha). It was recently retired from Va and is now currently resides in Md. Scary part is I to relocate it to the Panhandle area Fl. Never driven before.

Thanks everyone for answering a newbie's question, really appreciate it
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:39 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by skytz View Post
"If it is an ISC it should be possible for a shop to check the milage on the engine computer against the odometer." I don't know what that is and I don't think they'll allow to take it to a shop. Was hoping to persuade a shop to let me borrow a mechanic. "Oil sampling can tell you if there are any unseen problems like coolant, fuel, or high levels of wear metals in the oil." Again how do you do that, talking to a newbie so dummie it down please (ha ha). It was recently retired from Va and is now currently resides in Md. Scary part is I to relocate it to the Panhandle area Fl. Never driven before.
You are making a large investment. Any reasonable seller would be perfectly happy for you to have an independent mechanic assess your prospective purchase. That service is available in most areas, but it can be expensive.

Part of the inspection should include pulling any fault codes from electronic control units. The mechanic knows how to do that and should bring the equipment. This is a little dependent on the bus being in running condition, or at least having good battery power.

Drawing a sample of oil is easy. It can be done with a syringe down the dipstick tube, and you only need 3 to 5 ounces. Blackstone Labs can rush an analysis report in two or three days.

If there are any indications that you should be concerned about engine condition, and are not competent to do this yourself, these procedures are good insurance against expensive problems. If the seller doesn't want to cooperate, find another bus.

ps. If I were selling a bus that I knew to be in good condition, I'd get this done myself and offer the report to prospective buyers. It only costs about $30.
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