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Old 07-13-2010, 08:11 PM   #11
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith
you see,it like cummins they have 4, 5.9 eng's 160 hp 190 hp 230 hp 250 hp in the 5.9 when you add a blower to the eng,it helps.like mine i have the 160 hp but added the blower its now about 225 hp good on fuel less to rebuild if have too,but all USA build..


this is how the bus's line up
1- crown,,,,,best-----there own frame
2-blue bird,,,#2 best-----the same
3-thomas,,,,good-----what ever the chepest chassis maker at the time
mostly IH,,,,but i see they have used frightshakers & pete's if orded
4-ward's,,,,,, being the worst bus------WHAT EVER THEY CAN GET...just to stay in busseness
5- there was one other the groverment made them close down

the thomas saf-t-liner is like the blue bird all amercan and the IH genissess bus ,,take them right to the junk yard
i have worked all of them... for the past 35 yrs
Keith;

My Ward is built like a tank. Look at the rivots and J hooks holding her together. The sheet metal is very thick and durable. Perhaps I have an exception to the rule, but I'm very pleased with my Ward.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:06 AM   #12
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Year: 1990
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Went to see the Thomas today. Seems to be in pretty good condition with no rust anywhere that I could find, except for about 2 square inches on the side mirror tube frame. Funny though, there were two old Crowns and a Gillig parked right next to it. I might buy the Thomas if the price is right, but only after looking at the Crown Super Coach II tomorrow.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:10 PM   #13
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Year: 1990
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

I see that Public Surplus now has two Thomas Buses in Bellingham, WA, both with the 8.2 engine. Older buses though, about 1986. Wonder if they're worth looking into.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:08 PM   #14
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Ha 1o31 ,now see yours is on a truck frame,but them flat nose's or the RE's are crap...shake ,ratel,roll......they just fall apart after about 4 yrs of service ....now i got a 94 blue bird with 36000 origional mile and its just as tight as the day it was born,,, got mine from a school in ala and use only for the band and football...
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:43 PM   #15
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith
Ha 1o31 ,now see yours is on a truck frame,but them flat nose's or the RE's are crap...shake ,ratel,roll......they just fall apart after about 4 yrs of service ....now i got a 94 blue bird with 36000 origional mile and its just as tight as the day it was born,,, got mine from a school in ala and use only for the band and football...
Oh yeah, now I get it. Valid point since I have a conventional. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:34 PM   #16
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Super Coach II, 36 Ft. RE
Engine: Cat 3208T, MT643
Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

I went to see the Crown today. Generally, it looks nice and has a cleaner look than the thomas, put together in such a way that the thousands of rivets and metal screws that the Thomas has either aren't visible on the Crown or aren't necessary. Not sure how it's put together.

That said, there appear to be some issues. Number one, I couldn't start it. The batteries must be discharged. The port side rides six or seven inches higher than the starboard side, with the whole bus body leaning to starboard and the rear starboard wheels slanting out at the bottom. I see this as either an Air suspension leak, or a problem with the axle(s). I did not see any evidence of an Air suspension (no airbags that I could see) although I'm definitely no expert. This is puzzling, since the bus only has about 112K miles on it. Paint must not stick as well to aluminum as it does to steel because there are several places where the paint is peeling off the aluminum skin. The engine and side radiator doors appear to be made of fiberglass and there is some minor damage to the radiator door. The underside of the engine and filters were wet with oil, but I saw no active drips. The transmission fluid was clean and smelled fresh. The tread on the rear tires appear new, and the front tires are about 1/2. Supposedly this bus was recently driven to its current location. I did not see any rust.

So here's a comparison of the two buses as I see them:

1. Thomas started up, Crown did not. Edge: Thomas.
2. Crown leans for an unknown reason. Thomas is level on its suspension. Edge: Thomas.
3. Crown is a nicer looking bus with cleaner lines. Edge: Crown.
4. Crown has a "cult" following and is more rare. Probably better resale value as a result. Edge: Crown.
5. Crown has 112K miles, Thomas has 139K miles. Edge: Crown.
6. Crown has 3208 Cat. Thomas has 3116 Cat. Both have Allison MT643 tranny. Edge: Crown.
7. However, Thomas engine runs and was dry, whereas Crown didn't start and has evidence of some oil leakage. Edge: Thomas.
8. Belly storage twice as large in Thomas. Edge: Thomas.
9. Crown storage and other hatches lock with square key. Thomas storage does not. Edge: Crown.
10. Paint solid on Thomas and no body damage. Crown has some minor body damage and flaking paint. Edge: Thomas.
11. Usable interior space as measured from front of upper engine shelf to back of driver's seat: Thomas: 33 Feet, Crown: 29' 7". Edge: Thomas.
12. Center Ceiling height: Thomas 6' 5", Crown 6' 4". Edge: Thomas.
13. Interior width same in both: 90" wall to wall, and a 2" taper to the windows. No edge for either bus.
14. Wheel well hump: Thomas 9", Crown 6". Edge: Crown.
15. Thomas entry door is a double out swing. Crown is a single in swing. Edge: Crown.
16. Tires look newer on the Crown. Edge: Crown.
17. Thomas has sanders, Crown does not. Since I plan to also use my conversion in the winter for skiing, the edge in this case goes to Thomas.

That's a tie at 8 for both the Thomas the Crown, plus one even, unless I'm missing something. However I'm still more inclined toward the Thomas even though I like the look of the Crown better, because the Thomas did not display the potentially serious mechanical problems that the Crown did.

Your feedback is welcome and eagerly anticipated!
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:01 AM   #17
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locutus
2. Crown leans for an unknown reason. Thomas is level on its suspension. Edge: Thomas.
9. Crown storage and other hatches lock with square key. Thomas storage does not. Edge: Crown.
2. See if you can verify the leaning issue. Many Crowns were built with air suspension. It's common for air-ride buses to deflate unevenly and lean severely while parked (and if you're sitting on the bus, it's often not a slow leak, things get hung up and then drop an inch or so at once with a bang. If you're working under the bus, make sure the body is supported). I've seen buses that hold full air pressure for months (after some mechanic went OCD on air leaks in the whole system) and I've seen some that would lose air after half an hour. It could be a spring system with some major problem, but it sounds like deflated air bags (and maybe parked on unlevel ground). I'd rather have air than springs, although some people are uncomfortable with the swaying of air ride.

9. The square key latch isn't a lock. You can open those with a slightly wider-than-normal flat screwdriver. I used to own a Crown. I now own an AmTran, which has square key latches for the engine compartment, and I can use the key from my Toyota to open those.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:40 AM   #18
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Phil,
I couldn't see the rear suspension but the front was leaf springs and shocks. Didn't see any air bags. There was actually about 6 or 7 inches difference in clearance in the wheelwells between port and starboard. Ground clearance under the belly bins was about 14 inches on the port side and only 8 inches on the starboard side. I'm going to try to contact the school district today and see if they can provide any info on this.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:59 AM   #19
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Check the spring hangers and spring bolts on the back. Air ride usually has (on a single bag system) an arm connecting the axle to the chassis to stabilize the bag and keep alignment on the rear axle. A dual bag system is set up differently (at least on semis).
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:17 PM   #20
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

If you need a tie breaker, I'm not an expert but personally I don't think the Crown Super II qualifies for the "cult following" bus. For that it needs to be the original "twinkie" look, which I think was last made in 1991. A new model with a 3208 isn't going to cut it with the "Old Skool" crowd. Not that it's a bad bus, just not the same as the oldies.
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