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Old 05-10-2018, 04:08 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Birmingham, AL
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Year: TBD?
Coachwork: Looking...
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Rated Cap: Looking for <40'
Should I Buy....2005 Thomas HDX

I would appreciate any advice any of you can offer.

I co-owned a bus years ago and have rented RVs / Airstreams in recent years. Young family of 5 and it is time to convert a skoolie!

I donít know much about engines and transmissions. I can handle some carpentry, electrical, and plumbing. I am no mechanic. I am not doing work myself. Donít have skills or time. I will research options, systems, etc and find someone to help do the conversion.


I am now bus shopping.

I was sold on a RE HDX based on usable interior space, noise, heat, and undercarriage storage. But, Iíve recently read criticism related to bad mirror design (I can replace mirrors) and a recall on wiring system.

Looking for total length around 38ft.

I want to buy the best bus I can find so I have a solid vehicular foundation.

Currently looking at:

2005
Thomas HDX
38í
Cat C7 engine
______? auto transmission
51k miles
Air brakes


Is this a good bus?
What questions should I ask?
What are known issues or standard upgrades to this model?



Any advice appreciated.

Thanks,
Bart
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:48 PM   #2
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Depends on what the asking price is. Most of us shy away from anything 2005 or newer due to potential costly and hard to diagnose electrical issues.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:16 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
I've an 03 Saf-T-Liner. No problems with mine (so far)
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:40 PM   #4
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Year: 1999
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Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Honest opinion?

Awesome bus, horrible engine.

I would pass on the C7.

Now if you find one with the Cummins ISC ...
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:04 PM   #5
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I agree on the motor.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
I agree on the motor.


What is wrong with Cat C7?
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BartStephens View Post
What is wrong with Cat C7?
It's loaded with emissions equipment that they never got to work properly.

It was so bad they redesigned the system and called it the ACERT.

That one was a disaster, and CAT pulled out of the School Bus market.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
It's loaded with emissions equipment that they never got to work properly.

It was so bad they redesigned the system and called it the ACERT.

That one was a disaster, and CAT pulled out of the School Bus market.
Yep, that's what went down.
I'd avoid ANY newer diesels with the emissions junk. But especially a Cat.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:35 PM   #9
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So, an old bus is better?
Before 2005?
Hmmmm... Got it.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Life And Stuff View Post
So, an old bus is better?
Before 2005?
Hmmmm... Got it.
Yes and "old" is a relative term.

Rust is the killer. Few school buses get to the kind of mileage that means everything is wearing out.

So if you get a clean bus with moderate mileage, its age is secondary.
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