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Old 04-20-2009, 08:52 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wimberley, Tx
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Year: 93
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Buying a bus TODAY

going to look at somebuses today.

Blue Bird and Thomas with exact same drive train and length.

Which one is the preferred model? Why?

I will have one or the other by 12 noon today.

Thanks for your quick replys.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:28 AM   #2
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Re: Buying a bus TODAY

I've had at least 2 thomas body buses....as a matter of fact, i'm typing this message from inside a thomas bus right now. I have nothing negative to say about thomas buses. I think that the general consensus is that Blue Bird buses are a little higher end than your average skoolie. I would not make a decision based on thomas vs bluebird necessarily. With engines and transmissions being equal, i would look at other things like:

Rear end gear ratio. the lower the number the better ie: 4.44 is way better than 5.57. You can usually crawl under the bus with a paper towel or wire brush and clean off the tag on the axle to find the gear ratio. This is a HUGE thing when it comes to top end speed and fuel economy

Inside Height

Air or juice brakes? Air brakes are nice because it's cool to run air tools and the like. Hydraulic brakes work fine though, and are easier for regular non-bus people to drive.

Mileage...the lower the better obviously

then there are other features like rust, underbelly storage, tinted windows, air ride driver seat vs fixed drivers seat, etc
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Re: Buying a bus TODAY

Thanks. Great info. Anything else
Meaning blue bird higher than Thomas?
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: Buying a bus TODAY

This is probably too late to help...even with that said, it's probably not too much help anyway.

I was talking to our bus barn manager awhile back about the differences between Blue Bird and Thomas. He said that they were of equal quality, but that Blue Bird was just overpriced...his opinion. I think that everyone has their preferences. I'm a track and cross country coach and I prefer Asics to Nike, although Nike are generally higher. I've had MUCH better luck with the Asics shoes than I ever have with the Nike...and my son has destroyed the few pairs of Nike that he's had. But that's neither here nor there...

BB's have the little "eye" think over the windows which may be problematic depending on what you intend to do with your bus. I think there is a post somewhere that someone "solved" that problem of what to do with the eyelids. With all things being about equal, look at what you're going to use your bus for and what advantages would one present over the other...if none, flip a coin!

Best of luck! Let us know how it came out.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:54 PM   #5
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Re: Buying a bus TODAY

Bought the Thomas....

I had three buses to look at. The Bird was the preferred because it was 2" taller inside and I like the way the front looks. It had a signicant leak at the rear main bearing of the tranny. The leak had been there awhile. I did not like the location of the fuel tank. It had ~148000 miles. The two Thomas's were clean one cleaner than the other. I ended up with the one that had a slight oil leak via valve cover. I just had a better feeling about it after poking around them for a hour. The Thomas has all kinds of room underneath vs. bluebird. Kudos to the owner who was very patient with me. In two weeks I go get it to drive it back. The wife says i can't park it at home.

Thanks for all your opinions.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:34 AM   #6
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Re: Buying a bus TODAY

Congratulations on your purchase, and hopefully you will have many happy hours with it.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:17 AM   #7
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Re: Buying a bus TODAY

Do yourself a favor. Before you start work on it, Prick your finger and put a drop of blood somewhere in/on the bus.

I read several posts that the "Bus God" demands blood, and if you dont offer it, He will make you give it...
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:40 AM   #8
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Re: Buying a bus TODAY

Thanks for all the help....Now i have to acquire all the STUFF to put in it.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:00 PM   #9
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Year: 1993
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Chassis: International Cornbinder
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
Re: Buying a bus TODAY

Nice bus. Looks alot like my 1993 AmTran/International I bought saturday. What motor does it have in it? Driving back from Kentucky I was able to get 65mph out of the bus easily on flat ground.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:01 PM   #10
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Year: 93
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Re: Buying a bus TODAY

It has the cummins 5.9, AT545, unknown rear end. It probably won't get over 55-60.

I recognize your bus. Those boxes built in are a real plus. I talked to the guy selling it and came extremely close to bidding on it. The drive home was too far for me to commit.

The guy I bought from sold one on ebay that i bid on and lost because I went to sleep. He had three others 4.5 hrs away. I got to look at all three pretty close before making the decision which was a real plus. The BB had a significant leak. One of the Thomas's had a bad alternator and the other a minor valve cover gasket. I took the one with the leak because it just looked better taken care of.

At any rate the wife says I have to keep it somewhere else. I told her that if I was going to be white trash I had to give it 100%. She is not buying it. I bring it home May 3rd.
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