I had to make a delivery to City of Chesapeake School Bus garage today, and they have about 150 Thomas buses... So after I got done with the Parts dept, I went to the service desk and asked them about this.
Apparently NONE of the solenoids in the side electrical compartment have anything to do with the starter working or not. There are 4 Ford Starter style solenoids in there, but I'm told those are for fans, pumps etc...
He told me to open up the rear starter box (the box with the remote starter buttun in the engine compartment), he said the wire from the ignition goes straight back to this box...and he indicated that on all the buses they had this was a purple wire. He told me to start checking at this point, and if I get juice from the key on-start position to there, then the problem will be inside that box (since the bus will start with the push button in that box).
He also said that I needed to check the transmission neutral safety switch too...as the start wire goes through that. Seems to me that must be ok though, as I can still start from the rear.....I would suspect that also runs through the neutral safety switch, otherwise the person starting the bus could conceivable run himself over?
So, guess I got a starting point. Thought I'd share this so that others with the Thomas can tuck this away for furture reference...
You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)