Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-15-2007, 10:12 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 755
Info on a Thomas type D School bus

Here is a bus I am considering;

Thomas type D School bus (flat nose), 3208 Turbo Cat engine, Allison 4 speed automatic, 22.5 tires all in good shape, air brakes, maintained by school district since new, ceiling height is 6'5, overall 39' length, all seats have been removed as well as vinyl and plywood flooring- the remaining steel floor has been partially sanded/sealed.



I am unsure of the model year and mileage. I am waiting on an answer as to the year it was built, milage and what size gears (if he knows) are in the rear-end.

Any information regarding performance based on the information above would be appreciated.
Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2007, 11:07 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

The axle gear ratio may well be on a tag inside. Otherwise it will be stamped on a tag on the housing. Make him crawl under there and get it for you because it really can be a deal breaker. I think you'll be fine, however.

Also, find out what transmission it has. 4 speed Allison doesn't tell you a whole lot. If I had a turbocharged 3208 I probably wouldn't want to mess around with an AT545. Thankfully most rear pushers I've seen have MT643's anyway. Have him get you the horsepower spec on the engine as well. Again, it will be posted on a tag somewhere on the engine. Sure if could have been modified from that, but it will likely have been turned up, not down.

Do you have more pictures? Cosmetic stuff is great, but get some pictures of the meat and potatoes. You want to see the steering linkages, the brakes, the transmission and engine, the differentials, etc. Wet is bad.

I think you might have a heck of a find there. I love the tall ceiling height. Chances are that was an activity bus or used on a longer route and will have all the stuff that makes interstate travel more comfortable. Just don't be too quick to jump on it if it doesn't feel right and don't be afraid to make the seller work for your money.
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2007, 11:14 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 755
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

Thank you for the reply. I just received an e-mail from the owner. He says the bus is a 1987 model with about 200,000 miles (he thinks). I plan to reply with the questions you posted.

His asking price is $4,500. He says he needs to sell ASAP.

(Heh, to funny)
Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 12:36 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
boojiewoojie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tullahoma, Tennessee
Posts: 214
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E (250h.p.)
Rated Cap: 81
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

Are you buying straight from a school district? I'm assuming not since the seats,etc. are out. How long has the bus been retired? If it's only been retired for a short while (a year or less) then everything is probably in pretty good shape. Before the school retired it, it was probably a stand-by bus for a while. Find out what school district owned the bus. Call the bus garage and speak to the head mechanic about the bus. Of course if it's local just go by the garage in the early afternoon and someone there will probably be glad to tell you about it. If he begins his sentence with something like, "Did you buy that dog?" run, don't walk away from it. Where's the bus from?
The transmission is the heavier duty allison MT643. The engine is rated at 250hp. Even if it has a higher ratio rear end it'll probably hold 65mph. Does it smoke? Under what conditions and what color is it? From what I've heard all 3208s smoke (that's why they stopped making them after 1990). It should smoke (black) only under a load. For the fun of it ask what kind of radiator fan it has. If it has been converted to electric fan(s) that would be very cool.
The bus looks nice. I doubt if structural rust is an issue. It's got storage bays that go all the way across underneath, which is very, very cool.
Ask how many hours are on the hobbs meter. If it's really high hours that means it's been on short routes with a lot of stop and go. Ask if the engine's a reman. If so it should be labeled on the right side valve cover. How much oil does it use? If he's driven it much he should have a good idea. Most use some oil- some as high as a quart every couple of hundred miles, some just barely. Ask how the transmission shifts. Is it smooth or jerky? The tranny has lock up in I think 3rd and 4th gear- how easily does it shift back down? Does he know what the mpg is? How does it track at speed? Does it shake- is there any play in the steering?
$4500 is a little high. If the bus is in great shape with a recently remanufactured engine and new tires it's definately worth it. I paid $2500 for my '85 Thomas w/ NA3208, same length, not as much storage in decent shape. Swinada paid under 2k Canadian for his '96 (lucky guy!) with all the bells and whistles. Jake VonSlatt paid ~2k for his '83 I think- his is 35'. $4500 isn't bad. If you can get him down to 3k considering the work he's done you would have a great deal.
The Thomas SafTLiners from the '80s were the cadillacs of the time. They're very solid and built very well. I love mine, and if this one is in decent shape you'll never regret buying it.
__________________
Daddy, can we go on a trip again??
'85 Thomas SafTLiner RE
3208 NA CAT MT643
boojiewoojie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
swinada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern BC Canada
Posts: 538
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

i'll defenetly be jealous of the inside height, other then that I dont have anything to add. Good luck and post me more pictures and specs if you get them.
4500 seems a little high. How long was it sitting around? was it started and driven regularly or was it sitting for a coupple years? rats and other rodents could be living in there somewhere and could have chewed appart a few things.
__________________
Proud owner of a: 1996 Thomas Safe-T-Liner,Cummins 6CTA 8.3Lt diesel, Allison AT.
http://picasaweb.google.com/swinada/BusPictures http://www.swinada.com/bus.htm
http://lh4.ggpht.com/swinada/SL91F-b...opbussmall.jpg
swinada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 08:15 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 755
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

I agree, $4,500 did seem a bit high to me as well. I did plan to make an offer on the bus. I just received an e-mail from the owner in which he chose to bypass all of my questions including how much millage was on the bus. He would not provide the requested information and went on to say that the only way I could make an informed decision was to see the bus myself. I of course planned to drive up and look at it once I knew more about the vehicle. I didn't expect the guy to try and tell me how I should go about purchasing his vehicle. I replied that I was concerned by his choice of not answering some very simple questions concerning the vehicle's mileage and history. I thanked him and informed him that I would continue looking elsewhere.
Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 06:01 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

Heck, you can find people that will do a free carfax report for you since they buy a monthlong subscription or whatever. Check out various other forums. I know people do it over on Pirate4x4.com
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 02:04 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 755
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

I sent the following e-mail to the owner;

"Hi Michael,

I have a few more questions for you. I am interested in knowing what the horsepower specs on the engine are, there should be a metal tag somewhere on the motor with it displayed. I am also interested in what model transmission the bus is running, what model 4 speed Allison? Do you know what the rear-ends gear ratio is? The axle gear ratio may well be on a tag inside the bus. Otherwise it will be stamped on a tag on the housing. Do you have any (or all) of the bus's maintenance records form the School District it was purchased from? Oil test records? I am also wondering about the mileage, what makes you think it has 200k on it? Also do you have more pictures available? I would be very interested in seeing more interior/exterior photos and photos of the engine, transmission, trans-axle, tires and break linkages. Of course the more photos the better.

Thanks!"

He replied to me;

"Those are not the type of questions a serious buyer would ask. That information is all readily available on the Internet. You are nothing but a Craig's List Troll and I expect NO further communications from you!"


I was pretty shocked by that response as he did not provide #VIN number or link to any of the above requested information. How it is readily available is beyond me.
Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 04:32 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
boojiewoojie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tullahoma, Tennessee
Posts: 214
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE300
Engine: DT466E (250h.p.)
Rated Cap: 81
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

Wow. I don't guess he really wants to sell it...
__________________
Daddy, can we go on a trip again??
'85 Thomas SafTLiner RE
3208 NA CAT MT643
boojiewoojie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 09:07 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Re: Info on a Thomas type D School bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott
He replied to me;

"Those are not the type of questions a serious buyer would ask. That information is all readily available on the Internet. You are nothing but a Craig's List Troll and I expect NO further communications from you!"
Those ARE the types of questions a serious buyer would ask. That's why all of us that own buses suggested them. He's also wrong in saying that that information is available on the internet. A wide range of horsepower options, gearing options, transmission options, etc exist. Buses are built to order. They are not like going down to the car lot and picking up a new car. Each state has its own required specifications with each district additionally requiring other things given the type of route the bus will be on, the terrain it will encounter, and indeed its commonality with the other buses in the district.

The point of it all is that I think you did yourself a favor by not buying that bus from him. Someone else who is more willing to work with you will come along and you will be much happier.

Given the nature of his post I almost have to wonder if he isn't somehow linked to Arky. That response was very Arky-like. Maybe we did a bad thing by saying our mind about the other site. Then again...would you really like to work out a vehicle sale with someone that would behave like that anyway?
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just Right Bus: 1991 Ford Thomas School Bus Conversion kellyetross Skoolie Conversion Projects 12 02-15-2017 11:51 AM
Local School Bus Fire!!! Thomas burns EastCoastCB Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 10 12-19-2014 09:16 AM
2000 Thomas School Bus Saf-T-Liner FE GreyEagle Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 0 07-30-2011 12:27 PM
wondering info on GMC 8.2 liter in a 1990 thomas bus batchlor BusMan Detroit Diesel Drivetrain 2 03-04-2004 01:13 AM
Thomas Type D Saf-T-Liner Steve Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 3 12-15-2003 10:47 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.