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Old 06-30-2016, 02:22 PM   #1
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Need Help -- Lost the Ignition Key!

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We need to move our 1990 Thomas pusher diesel, but we have lost the ignition key(s). Called a local locksmith, and he doesn't know anything about bus matters, although I think he'd be willing to take out the old ignition and install a new ignition.

The problem is that we don't know the part number for the ignition, which is still in place.

Can anyone help with a part number? My next stop is to call the Director of Transportation for the County school system and find out if he can refer me to someone in their maintenance shop.
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:27 PM   #2
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I wouldn't be terribly surprised if there turned out to be just a small number of ignition key patterns used in any given year, or even over a span of several years. It certainly is that way with industrial equipment.

Chances are good also that if you get inside the dash you'll find it's just a simple key switch with no interlock to the steering or anything else. In that case you could replace it with another key switch or even with a plain slide or rotary switch.

Asking for help from the school bus shop doesn't seem like a bad idea. If you could get the key switch to their shop they might be willing to let you go through their key collection looking for a match.
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
I wouldn't be terribly surprised if there turned out to be just a small number of ignition key patterns used in any given year, or even over a span of several years. It certainly is that way with industrial equipment.

Chances are good also that if you get inside the dash you'll find it's just a simple key switch with no interlock to the steering or anything else. In that case you could replace it with another key switch or even with a plain slide or rotary switch.

Asking for help from the school bus shop doesn't seem like a bad idea. If you could get the key switch to their shop they might be willing to let you go through their key collection looking for a match.
I don't know that we need to find an exact key match, we'd be fine replacing the ignition as that would also provide 1 or 2 keys -- but still, don't know the part number for the old ignition we have, and I don't know how to pull it out to be able to see if there is a part number on it. Figure if we have the part number for the ignition, we can check around bus parts places for an exact replacement or for any other ignition that will work.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:27 PM   #4
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I would suggest that you call another locksmith, a good one will be able to make you a key for it.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:31 PM   #5
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Good news! I contacted Auto Safety House, which is the Thomas bus repair and service business, and there is one in our state -- they were able to order the correct ignition part for me.

Then I contacted the Transportation Dept of our local school district, and asked if any of their mechanics might be willing to come and install the ignition, make a little side money. They had a mechanic call me, and he came out this morning and changed out the old ignition for the new one. Cost me $40.

Bus started right up and ran like a champ!

We may need to replace a couple of tires to be on the safe side for the 2-hour drive (with some uphill grades) that the bus will need to go for now, but that won't be too bad, think we can get that done locally also.

Many thanks for the helpful suggestions. For future reference, if anyone needs a specific Thomas bus part, look up Auto Safety House and give them a call.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:22 PM   #6
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Auto Safety House..The one in PHX?
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