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Old 05-12-2015, 10:49 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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thanks nat, thats just what i was looking for. with the manual trans, how often do clutches typically go out? will the 6 speed cruise ok @ 70 mph for hours without hurting it?
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:04 AM   #12
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one more question. when they measure a bus, are they measuring tip to tail? so a 35 foot bus would have more seating in a flat nose than a dog nose?
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Front engine dog nose buses ride as good as any MDT truck. With air ride rears, I think they ride and handle great. I have driven a 96 international with a DT466, air ride rear back from Edmonton to Westlock (a hour drive) at 206 kmh. That bus has 3.54 gears. The long wheel base and the air ride made for great high speed handling.


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I'll give ya $ 37.82 and a half eaten chese burger for it!? Maybe? Please?!
That sounds like a REAL nice bus. All the buses we get here in MB are bottom-of-the-barrel, slow, junk here. Our roads kill anything that gets whith in 200 miles of the province. I'm seeing busses from 05 already completely ruined....
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:05 AM   #14
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thanks nat, thats just what i was looking for. with the manual trans, how often do clutches typically go out? will the 6 speed cruise ok @ 70 mph for hours without hurting it?
How often the clutch needs changing fully depends on how you drive. If you let the clutch out and don't slip it much, it will last a life time.

I have only ever had to change the clutch in two vehicles I drive. One was my 2003 dodge one ton that pulled C-can shipping containers it's whole life. At 500,000km it needed changing.
The other was last summer in the 3 ton tree spade truck. After about 8 years of constant maneuvering into tree poisons it needed changing.

Clutch this size is around $1200 for parts. It can be done yourself if you watch a few you tube videos. Difficulty on a 1 to 10 is a 7.

Running that speed as long as you have the gearing to keep the engine at a safe RPM will not hurt anything. Gearing is the key.

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Originally Posted by themoreweexplore View Post
one more question. when they measure a bus, are they measuring tip to tail? so a 35 foot bus would have more seating in a flat nose than a dog nose?
Yes the flat nose will have a few more feet of interior space than a dog nose. But they lose aerodynamics, and comfort.

Nat
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:14 AM   #15
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Super helpful Nat, thanks.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:56 AM   #16
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There is no "perfect" bus out there.

Everything is a compromise in order to do what you need to do the most with some of the bells and whistles to make the job user friendly. And when most of the buses are purchased via low bids you will find most school buses are pretty basic.

Western buses, specifically WA, OR, CA, and CO buses, tend to have state spe'c's that are considerably more laden with "standard" equipment than eastern buses. A WA spe'c bus will cost about $20,000.00 more than a ND spe'c bus due in large part to what WA requires as standard over what ND requires as standard.

You will also find many of the trip buses purchased by schools in states like MT are set up more like a coach than a school bus--activity or coach recliner seats, big HP, high speed gearing, pass through under the floor luggage compartments, air suspension, coach type slider windows, A/C, etc.

The vast majority of school buses spend 90+% of their service life at 35 MPH or less. Finding a school bus that has the HP and gearing to go highway speeds is the exception and not the rule. And most of those are going to be 40' RE buses.

Rear air suspension has been standard equipment on all IC RE buses for the ten years or so. Rear air and full air suspensions have been an option clear back into the '50's. Finding any school bus with even just rear air suspension older than ten years old will be the exception and not the rule.

Automatic transmissions have been the standard in the industry for all buses for more than 20-years. Still, some operators will pay extra for a stick shift but those are so few and far between that it is noteworthy when one sees one.

Air brakes in a bus are desirable for many reasons. The most important for a convertor is they rarely have any issues from sitting around for a long time.

Every hydraulic brake system will have issues from moisture getting into the brake system (brake fluid is hydroscopic and attracts water). Over time the water will reduce the boiling point of the brake fluid enough that you can literally boil your brake fluid away on a long down grade. The water in the brake fluid can also cause rust to build up in the brake cylinders causing the brakes to leak fluid and fail.

Air brakes do not have the same sort of problems with moisture although moisture can play havoc on air brake systems as well. Using the water drains every day and a good air dryer and/or automatic air drains elminate most moisture issues with air brakes. Air brakes don't mind if they sit and don't get used. Air brakes also tend to have much greater braking surfaces so the time interval between brake service jobs is usually much greater. And the best thing about air brakes is the emergency/parking brake will actually hold the bus in place on any sort of grade if the brakes are adjusted correctly.

Up until the last few years when the engine brake on Cummins ISB engines was an option that cost about $100.00 auxililary braking systems have been extremely rare in the school bus world except for in CO. In CO the state minimum spe'c includes auxiliary braking systems.

Good luck with your search for your dream bus. If I can help please let me know how I can help.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:20 AM   #17
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thank you so much for that info, I really appreciate it cwolitzcoach. It sounds like a retarder or air brake would be worth the rust I would likely find on a colorado bus.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:21 PM   #18
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Colorado is the "high desert" I've seen lots of vehicles out there that aren't very rusty. Like I said, if a bus can handle the Rockies, the rest of the country should be a piece of cake.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:27 PM   #19
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It's the salt on the road that I'm worried about. Here in Utah the salt eats our cars alive.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:29 PM   #20
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They salt the roads in Ky and my bus is virtually rust free except that the crappy roof hatches leaked for 23 years causing rust in the ceilings.
The buses I've seen from Co are solid.
People often pay 2-3x as much for "florida buses" thinking they have no rust for some reason, or that they're maintained well possibly. Wrong on both counts. We have salt in the very AIR here. The furthest point in Fl from salt water is around 60 miles. The constant humidity and rain only make the rust worse. The schools here are as under-funded as they come, too. But people pay way more for these rusty, less-maintained florida buses due to us not having road salt.
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