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Old 06-18-2014, 12:24 PM   #1
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Is this transit bus a good idea?

Hi guys,

I'm checking out a 1991 Orion 744 transit but in eastern WA that supposedly has 25k miles on it. Thing is, I don't know ANYTHING about the engine or transmission. There is also very little information online.

Does anyone have experience with the Cummins L10 or ZF transmissions? Check out the auction here:
http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/auctio ... uc=1149124

Thanks,
DK

One question and answer about it:
Question #1
I have a few questions with regard this Orion.......I attempted to use the VIN decoder to answer some of my questions: But the engine does not look like a 6V92 it appears to be a cummins..........So the decoder was useless; What is the length of this Orion bumper to bumper......what is the engine? And please tell me the transmission is not a Voith........but do tell me what it is with a model Number. Please. And interesting for a transit it appears to have a full compliment of gauges. Are they working: Will Manuals with this Orion convey, you know the factory binders that came with the bus? And finally, what is the rear axle ratio of this Coach. Thank you so much in advance..........
Answer
The engine is Cummins L-10. The bus is 40" in length. The transmission is ZF.
The rear axle ratio is 4.30. It is unknown if all gauges still work as the bus has been out of service for some time. These buses were purchased used for spare buses only so there is no manuals, no factory binders, no original purchase information.

And one of the pics:
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:28 PM   #2
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

More than likely geared for city driving and what would you do if you needed Orion parts?
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:52 PM   #3
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

I guess I was hoping I wouldn't need many Orion specific parts. Is that silly? And according to the guy who manages the fleet it'll top out around 70mph.

And an update regarding mileage, no one has any idea how many miles the bus, engine, or tranny have since last rebuild. Strict regular maintenance intervals have been followed and it's been running great without leaks he says.
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:10 PM   #4
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djDK
Does anyone have experience with the Cummins L10 or ZF transmissions?
I have no actual experience with them, but I have seen coach buses (Vanhool, and a few Dinas) with that have both the Cummins L10 and a ZF transmission. ZF is a brand, not a specific model. They still sell transmissions and its fairly common to see them in newer vanhools (I know that I saw a few 03s-09s for sale with ZF transmissions).
http://www.zf.com/corporate/en/products ... r=129_7561
I saw a 91 Vanhool 40 ft bus on craigslist with a cummins L10 that was blown, the bus had 425000 miles on it. I am pretty sure that it displaces around 10 liters (Following the M11 (Successor) numbering (11 means it displaces 11 liters, 11.8 to be exact), so my guess is it wont be too economical on fuel. It seems like a OK engine though.
I know a few old orions in NYC had ZF transmissions, and they were retired at about 650000-750000 miles. I have no idea how many transmissions they went through, but I am sure they were at least on there 2nd one.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

I appreciate the info. I'll look into any data I can find from Vanhools. I also didn't realize transmissions are expected to be replaced that often. Makes it a risky proposition with an unknown mileage and incomplete maintenance history.

I've been getting impatient with the lack of options out here in WA, but with schools just now ending things should improve.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:45 PM   #6
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by opus
More than likely geared for city driving and what would you do if you needed Orion parts?
Ditto on the gearing for city driving....... mileage would be crap.... to say the least!!!
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

I know someone selling a bunch of buses (Res, FEs). All school buses, most of them around 4.5K, if you want his contact info I can PM his number to you, just let me know. They all have good engines and transmissions (5.9 & 8.3 Cummins, MD3060 and MT643)

EDIT: They are in WA, forgot to mention that earlier
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:56 AM   #8
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

To find info on Transit buses, try asking at http://busnut.com/forum/ and/or http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php. There are member on both forums (possibly the same members) that have converted transits.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:20 PM   #9
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

No. Unless you are rich. Still no.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:16 PM   #10
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Re: Is this transit bus a good idea?

Thanks again everyone. I think I'm going to let this one go while I do more research.

jmar, my budget is around $2k for the bus itself. A white water rafting company out here just picked up a very nice looking school bus from a local school for $600. I don't know the details on it. Could have been a connection they had. I wish they didn't tell me that though...
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